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Programme overview

Learn about the creative development of production, and the key design and organisational management of areas of screen and theatre production by participating in the making of a large body of work for theatre and film.

You'll specialise in one of three areas of production:

  • Costume
  • Lights/sound/stage management
  • Scenery/props/art department.

Our aim is to produce creative practitioners who understand the professional requirements of their chosen field and can pursue careers in the film, TV and theatre industries.

Highlights

  • Practical focus: work on industry-modelled projects from fully realised classic theatre pieces to new and original plays, short films (studio and location), contemporary dance works, commercials, and cutting-edge experimental and multi-disciplinary work.
  • A chance to work collaboratively across art forms.
  • Emphasis on developing an inquiring, flexible, creative and critical attitude in your approach to the conceptual and organisational skills required for the profession.
  • An industry placement in both your second and third years.
  • Access to fully equipped theatre, dance and television studios, and extensive production workshops.
  • Staff who are experienced industry professionals.
  • Strong industry links.
  • Visits from international experts.

In your first two years you will gain industry-standard experience and the technical skills needed for one of the following specialist areas:

Costume

Acquire experience and skill in costume making, sewing, pattern drafting and cutting, corset making, props and accessories, millinery, period costumes, fabric enhancement and dyeing, and the basics of costume design. Learn real-world wardrobe standby skills when making short films in the studio or on location.

Lights/sound/stage management

Specialise in performance operation and management utilising our state-of-the-art theatre equipment, Mac technology labs and production workshops. Gain industry-standard experience in equipment handling, safety and maintenance while you explore and perfect your creative and technical abilities in practical workshops, projects and events.

Art department

Acquire experience and specalist skills in sculpting, prop making, prop sourcing, moulding and casting, scenic painting, scenic furniture production, art direction (both on and off set), and television/ film set design and construction.

In your third year you'll focus on design (production, costume, lighting, set or sound) and management (art direction, production, stage, technical or costume), depending on your specialist area. You'll develop practical creative design and management skills by working collaboratively on a large range of projects, gaining experience in your specialist role and in leading teams of makers and technicians.

Across the three years you'll explore the historical development of drama, from its origins in ritual and religion to the age of digital communication. Alongside your future industry peers, you'll explore in-depth theoretical and critical thought, integrating theory and professional practice in an exciting cross-discipline environment.

Note: Students who complete the first two years of the programme and who wish to enter the industry as an entry-level technician may be awarded the Diploma in Performance Technology.

Interview workshop

The interview workshop will take place in early October and will consist of a combination of exercises which demonstrate your ability to carry out specific tasks (related to your chosen specialisation) both individually and as part of a group. You'll be notified of the exact nature of these tasks when you apply, to allow you time to prepare. From this workshop, the final selection of trainees is made for the following year.

Admission requirements

To be eligible for admission, applicants must meet the general, or the discretionary, or the special admission requirements and they must also meet any programme-specific admission requirements. Applicants must also meet the English language requirements and may be interviewed.

Generic Admission Requirements

General Admission

Applicants must have:

  1. A minimum of 42 credits at NCEA Level 3 or higher on the National Qualifications Framework, with 14 credits at Level 3 or higher in each of two subjects from an approved subject list, with a further 14 credits at Level 3 or higher taken from no more than two additional domains on the National Qualifications Framework or approved subjects plus a minimum of 14 credits at Level 1 or higher in Mathematics or Pangarau on the National Qualifications Framework, plus a minimum of 8 credits at Level 2 or higher in English or Te Reo Maori; a minimum of 4 credits must be in Reading and a minimum of 4 credits must be in Writing; OR
  2. At least 3 ‘C’ passes in the New Zealand University Bursaries Examinations; OR
  3. Successful completion of the Unitec Certificate in Foundation Studies: Whitinga Level 3 with a relevant pathway, where appropriate;OR
  4. Certificate of University Preparation (Level 4); OR
  5. Certificate in Foundation Studies (Level 4); OR
  6. Equivalent

Special Admission

Applicants must have: 

  1. Attained the age of 20 years on or before the first day of the semester in which study for the degree is to commence; AND 
  2. Have provided sufficient evidence of aptitude or appropriate work or other life experience that would indicate a potential successful outcome in the qualification. 

Discretionary Admission

In exceptional cases an applicant who does not meet the general admission requirements and who has not reached the age of 20 on or before the first day of the semester in which study for the degree is to commence may apply for discretionary admission.

In assessing whether to grant discretionary admission in exceptional cases, the primary focus will be on the applicant’s level of preparedness for study at the required level.

English Language Admission Requirements

General English Language Requirements
Applicants must have achieved a minimum standard of English as demonstrated by a minimum of 8 credits at NCEA Level 2 in English (4 in Reading, 4 in Writing).

International Students for whom English is not their First Language
Applicants must have achieved one of the following:

  1. Completion of NZ Certificate in English Language (NZCEL), Academic, Level 4;
  2. An overall IELTS band score (Academic Format) of 6 with no band score lower than 5.5;
  3. An overall TOEFL pBT (Paper-based Test) score of 550 (plus essay TWE of 5) OR  an overall TOEFL iBT (Internet-based Test ) score of 60 (plus writing score of 20);
  4. Level B2 under the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR);
  5. First Certificate in English (FCE) with a pass at grade B OR Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) with a score of 52 or higher under the Cambridge International standard tests of English as a foreign language;
  6. Pearson Test of English (PToE) (Academic) with a score of 50;
  7. City & Guilds Internal English for Speakers of Other Languages (IESOL) B2 Communicator with a score of 66.

Existing English Language Proficiency
Applicants may also provide evidence of satisfying one of the criteria for existing English proficiency as specified by the NZQA. For more information please visit the NZQA website.

Programme Specific Admission Requirements

To be admitted to this programme, applicants must also meet the requirements set out in this schedule.

  1. Interviews, submissions and/or auditions will be required for all applicants. The interview/audition stage shall consist of a combination of demonstrations and exercises requiring the applicant to demonstrate his or her ability to carry out specific tasks individually and as part of a group. The exact nature of the tasks involved will be related to the major of the degree into which the student is seeking entry, and will be notified to applicants at least 14 working days prior to the interview/audition.
  2. A completed medical declaration must be submitted for all applicants. A student cannot be admitted to the Degree if they have a medical condition that will impact on their ability to participate in the physical and practical aspects of the selected major.

Discretionary Admission

Applicants may be granted Discretionary Admission if for they have, for example:

  • a history of experience and/or employment in a field related to performing or screen arts; OR
  • evidence of ability in a related programme of study.

Interview/audition

The interview/audition stage will consist of a combination of demonstrations and exercises requiring the applicant to demonstrate their ability to carry out specific tasks individually and as part of a group. The exact nature of the tasks involved will be related to the major of the degree into which the applicant is seeking entry, and will be notified to applicants at least 14 working days prior to the interview/audition.

Courses and timetables

The following courses are valid for 2014. The courses may be offered as part of the programme. Click on the course links below to see the course details and timetables.

CoursesCredits Restrictions
Production and Technology 1 (PASA5701) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To provide students with a practical learning experience in which they will explore the fundamentals of stage and screen production. The course focuses on collaboration and establishing the habits and methods appropriate to production work. There is also a focus on health and safety in the workplace.
Production and Technology 2 (PASA5702) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To provide students with a practical learning experience in which they can employ the professional practices associated with their specialist area of production. The course focuses on developing professional self-management approaches for production work through practice in a specialist role as well as developing the student’s ability to identify personal areas of their own creative development.
Storytelling, Myth & Ritual (PASA5901) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To enable students to develop a broad understanding of the major concepts of storytelling in terms of mythic constructs, rituals and symbols in an interactive multi-disciplinary learning environment. This course provides a foundation for the development of specialist Performing and Screen Arts literacies such as reading media texts and interpreting creative ideas among students from all disciplines of the programme. There is also a focus on the whakapapa of storytelling in Aotearoa placed within a noho marae learning environment.
Professional Development 1 (PASA5902) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To introduce students to the basic professional practices associated with the performing and screen arts industries and their own professional development. This course focuses on building capability for students in self-management, communication and presentation, as well as academic literacies such as text analysis and academic writing.
CoursesCredits Restrictions
Production Design and Management 1 (PASA6701) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To enable students to examine the creative process of production and to employ collaborative and team approaches in a range of production contexts. The course focuses on the creative relationships that develop in the making of work and the collaborative role of the specialist technician within the process of production.
Production Design and Management 2 (PASA6702) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To provide students with a practical learning experience in which they examine the nature of the relationships between design, management and creativity. The course focuses on exploring design as both a process and an outcome, as well as professional and creative management techniques and approaches for production.
Audience, Context & Interpretation (PASA6901) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To enable students to examine the ways in which the creator/performer communicates with their audience in an interactive multi-disciplinary learning environment which includes an artist hui at Te Noho Kotahitanga marae. This course focuses on understanding through the analysis of the modes of address and conventions of representation and interpretation commonly associated with performing and screen arts culture.
Professional Development 2 (PASA6902) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To enable students to utilise a range of tools that will enhance their ability to operate independently as professionals in their own area of specialisation. The course focuses on establish a personal approach for each student to the ethics of work and associated discipline specific professional practices.
CoursesCredits Restrictions
Production Design and Management 3 (PASA7701) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To enable students to establish a critical understanding of advanced practice for production design and management. This course focuses on advanced methodologies and specialist techniques in a range of production scenarios while establishing the student’s ability to evaluate their own work and that of others.
Production Design and Management 4 (PASA7702) 45 credits (0.375 EFTS)To provide students with a practical learning experience in which they can employ advanced theories, concepts and techniques in specialised creative practice. This course focuses on enabling students to consolidate their ability to create and realise complex creative work in a variety of contexts. There is also a focus on the ability of students to critically evaluate their own performance.
Professional Development 3 (PASA7902) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To enable students to transition into the industry by acquiring advanced professional development skills. This course focuses on setting personal and professional goals for academic and professional achievement as well as the business and management practices associated with the performing and screen arts profession.
CoursesCredits Restrictions
Venue Technician 1 (PASA5731) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To enable students to develop practical skills in stage lighting and sound and stage management. The course focuses on building capability in handling equipment and technology and introduces the role of venue technician. There is also a focus on health and safety in the workplace.
Venue Technician 2 (PASA5732) 30 credits (0.25 EFTS)To provide students with a practical learning experience in which they explore the creative and operational use of production technologies in performance and the role of venue technician. The focus of this course is to enable students to increase their skill level with production technologies and the work of the venue technician by undertaking specialist roles in production situations under supervision.
Production Scenery and Props 1 (PASA5741) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To enable students to develop practical skills in set building, props making and scenic painting. The course focuses on building capability in handling equipment and technology as well as the basic techniques and processes of making and painting objects for theatre and screen production. There is also a focus on health and safety in the workplace.
Production Scenery and Props 2 (PASA5742) 30 credits (0.25 EFTS)To provide students with a practical learning experience in which they explore the creative and operational techniques for production scenery in production. The focus of this course is to enable students to increase their skill level in props making and scenic painting and the work of the art department technician by undertaking specialist roles in production situations under supervision.
Costume Making and Pattern Drafting1 (PASA5751) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To enable students to develop practical skills in costume making and pattern drafting. The course focuses on building capability in handling equipment and technology as well as the basic techniques and processes of making costumes for theatre and screen production. There is also a focus on health and safety in the workplace.
Costume Making and Pattern Drafting 2 (PASA5752) 30 credits (0.25 EFTS)To provide students with a practical learning experience in which they explore the creative and operational techniques for costume in production. The focus of this course is to enable students to increase their skill level in costume making and pattern cutting and the work of the costume maker by undertaking specialist roles in production situations under supervision.
History of Theatre (PASA5911) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To enable students to examine and reflect upon the historical development of theatre languages and theories in an interactive multi-disciplinary learning environment. This course focuses on placing selected movements and developments of production and performance in the context of the student?s specialist discipline. There is a focus on experiencing professional art making in the community through field trips and site visits.
History of Cinema (PASA5961) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To enable students to examine and reflect upon the historical development of cinematic languages and theories in an interactive multi-disciplinary learning environment. This course focuses on placing selected movements and developments of production and performance in the context of the student?s specialist discipline. There is a focus on experiencing festival and world cinema through field trips and site visits.
CoursesCredits Restrictions
Negotiated Creative Project 1 (PASA6605) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To enable students to engage practically in a theatre and/or screen production project in a negotiated role using a variety of individual and collaborative approaches. This course provides a practical environment for students to engage in collaborative creative projects from their own specialist perspective.
Stage Management (PASA6722) 30 credits (0.25 EFTS)To provide a practical learning experience in which students employ a personal and creative approach to the role of stage manager. The course focuses on the further development of specialist skills and the application of individual creative development and practice.
Performance & Event Technician 1 (PASA6731) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To enable students to extend their capability in the utilisation of event technologies and the practices associated with stage management and performance operation. The course focuses on the further development of specialist skills and the evolution of a personal methodology that will give expression to individual creative development and practice.
Performance and Event Technician 2 (PASA6732) 30 credits (0.25 EFTS)To provide a practical learning experience in which students employ a personal and creative approach to performance operation and the role of event technician. The course focuses on the further development of specialist skills and the application of individual creative development and practice.
Art Department 1 (PASA6741) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To enable students to extend their capability in the production of scenery and props and in art department practice. The course focuses on the further development of specialist skills and the evolution of a personal methodology that will give expression to individual creative development and practice.
Art Department 2 (PASA6742) 30 credits (0.25 EFTS)To provide a practical learning experience in which students employ a personal and creative approach to the role of art department technician. The course focuses on the further development of specialist skills and the application of individual creative development and practice.
Costume Production 1 (PASA6751) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To enable students to extend their capability in costume making and pattern drafting and the associated technologies. The course focuses on the further development of specialist skills and the evolution of a personal methodology that will give expression to individual creative development and practice.
Costume Production 2 (PASA6752) 30 credits (0.25 EFTS)To provide a practical learning experience in which students employ a personal and creative approach to the role of costume maker. The course focuses on the further development of specialist skills and the application of individual creative development and practice.
CoursesCredits Restrictions
Theatre Writing Techniques (PASA7251) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To acquire the theoretical, creative and technical skills required to develop short scripts for the stage (or associated medium). This course focuses on giving a hands-on experience to participants with the opportunity to workshop their script work.
Production Stage Management (PASA7721) 30 credits (0.25 EFTS)To enable students to consolidate a critical understanding of advanced skills, knowledge and practices for stage management and production management practice. This course focuses on students employing professionalism in creative and collaborative practice.
Entertainment Lighting (PASA7731) 30 credits (0.25 EFTS)To enable students to consolidate a body of advanced theories, concepts and techniques relating to specialised design and technical management for events, theatre, dance and entertainment practice. This course focuses on the articulation of a personal voice for production lighting design and the employment of professionalism in creative and collaborative practice.
Performance Sound (PASA7733) 30 credits (0.25 EFTS)To enable students to consolidate a body of advanced theories, concepts and techniques relating to specialised design for theatre and dance. This course focuses on the articulation of a personal voice for production sound design and the employment of professionalism in creative and collaborative practice.
Art Direction (PASA7741) 30 credits (0.25 EFTS)To enable students to consolidate a body of advanced theories, concepts and techniques relating to the role of the art director in screen production. This course focuses on the articulation of a personal voice for art direction and the employment of professionalism in creative and collaborative practice.
Costume Design and Management (PASA7751) 30 credits (0.25 EFTS)To enable students to consolidate a body of advanced theories, concepts and techniques relating to specialised design and management for events, theatre, dance and entertainment practice. This course focuses on the articulation of a personal voice for production costume design and management and the employment of professionalism in creative and collaborative practice.