Creative Computing (ANU Extension)

Update Feb 15: applications have now closed for our 2021 intake, but there will be a new intake next year. So if you’re in Year 10 this year you’ve got a whole year to get pumped and work on your application portfolio for 2022 ☺

As always, if you’ve got any questions/inquiries, you can email Ben anytime.

In Creative Computing you’ll learn the fundamentals of computer programming through the creative process of making music and visual art. It’s not just an art/music course, and it’s not just a “coding” course: you’ll need to use both halves of your brain, and (we hope) you’ll have a lot of fun in the process.

Creative Computing is split into two components; one focused on music, one on visual art. After an introductory period, students will be allowed to choose one stream or the other (music or visuals) as the focus for their year’s project (a final creative work to be presented in the end-of-year exhibition). These streams will run in parallel, and students from each one will work together (i.e. DJ+VJ).

The course caters to two types of students:

  • those with an interest in and aptitude for IT (especially computer programming) who wish to apply and develop these skills in new and creative directions

  • students with an interest in and aptitude for the creative arts (e.g. playing a musical instrument, painting/drawing) who are keen to incorporate & technology in their creative practice (but haven’t necessarily done any IT or programming courses).

Creative Computing (like all ANU Extension courses) has a competitive application process; we are limited in the number of students we can take (see the selection process page for more info). However, we welcome diverse applicants who might not have come through the “traditional” pathways, so if you’re not sure if you’re eligible then get in touch (email

Application checklist

If you want to be part of this, here’s the tl;dr:

  1. apply through the ANU Application Manager

  2. read the selection process page carefully

  3. book an interview timeslot (for in-person interviews) or make an interview video

Good luck!


So is this just a course on Photoshop/Ableton etc.?

Nope, in fact we won’t teach those software packages at all. The whole point of Creative Computing is that we unlock the true creative potential of computing when we write our own creative software. Photoshop, Ableton and other “creative” software tools are amazing—and we may look to them for inspiration—but they’re someone else’s vision of what creative software looks like. In this course, you won’t have to conform to that vision… isn’t that exciting?

What’s ANU Extension?

ANU Extension is a program where ACT College (year 11 & 12) students can take advanced courses at uni. As well as the opportunity to study & do things you wouldn’t get the chance to do in your normal college courses, all ANU Extension courses count towards your ATAR, and you’ll get a course credit if you end up deciding to enrol at the ANU when you go to uni.

So how does ANU Extension Creative Computing fit in?

There are several different ANU Extension courses—across the sciences, languages, and other areas of study at the ANU. Creative Computing is the first ANU Extension course from the School of Computing1, and we’re super excited to offer this program to all ACT students who want to combine their passions in computing and the creative arts.

Creative Computing is listed on the ANU Programs and Courses website under the course codes EXTN1019A (for the Year 11 part) and EXTN1019B (for the Year 12 part).

Are there any co-requisites for my college study?

Students must be enrolled in a tertiary Arts, Technologies, and/or IT course in their home college to be eligible for this H Course.

How long does it go for?

All ANU Extension courses go for 2(ish) years—terms 2, 3 and 4 in year 11 and terms 1, 2 and 3 in year 12.

When does the course start?

The first Creative Computing intake will be in Term 2, 2021.

What’s the weekly time commitment?

The Creative Computing course has a 2hr weekly workshop during term time, held on the ANU campus. In term 2 2021 (starting April 20), the time & location is:

In addition, students are expected to do a few hours a week at home using the material we’ll provide in the class.

Will I need my own laptop?

You’ll need a laptop (macOS/Windows/Linux) that you can install stuff on and bring every week to class. If that’s an issue, then let us know and we’ll sort something out—we don’t want this to be a barrier to your participation.

What will the assessment be?

An assessment breakdown is listed on the Programs & Courses webpage (click on the “Study” tab).

Is it free, or are there course fees?

The course is free. Hooray!

As an extra incentive, the ANU School of Computing is providing an annual Creative Computing Scholarship. Every year (from 2022 onwards) one student will be selected from the graduating Creative Computing cohort and offered a $5k scholarship to continue their studies in Computing at the ANU.

How do I apply?

To apply, register through the main ANU Extension webpage. Applications close midnight on the 14th February 2021. You can apply for more than one course… although you might have to choose your favourite further down the track if you get offered a place in multiple extension courses.

Is there an admission exam/test for Creative Computing?

See the info on the selection process page.

I’m really into formal BSSS course descriptions, does this course have one?

Weird flex, but ok. Here you go.

I’m still a bit unsure about this whole thing—can you help?

Sure. If you’ve got more questions/comments/worries, then you can send Ben an email and he’ll be happy to answer any questions you (or your parents) have.

  1. formerly the Research School of Computer Science 

Updated:    23 Feb 2021 / Responsible Officer:    Director, School of Computing / Page Contact:    Ben Swift / License:    CC BY-NC-SA 4.0