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Programme overview

Study at Unitec and you will be participating first hand in producing a wide range of projects for theatre, dance and film. Learn about the creative process of production, design, and management of screen and theatre productions, as well as gaining practical experience in relevant technology.  

In your first two years you will gain industry-standard experience and the technical skills needed for a foundational understanding of all areas of production. In your third year you will focus on design (production, clothing, lighting, set or sound) and management (art direction, production, stage, technical or costume), depending on your chosen specialisation.  

At Unitec you will become a creative practitioner who understand the professional requirements of your chosen field and can pursue careers in the film, TV and theatre industries.  

Highlights  

  • Specialise in Clothing Design, Stage Management (including Lighting and Sound) or Set & Props 
  • Work with industry experts from day one, working towards industry placements and internships in your second and third years  
  • Industry-modelled projects from classic theatre pieces to new and original plays, short films and contemporary dance works (and everything in between!)  
  • Work collaboratively across specialisations with actors, dancers, directors, choreographers and cinematographers  
  • Current industry specialists brought in for workshops and short courses  
  • This major offers you three pathways, each with its own specialist tutors, lecturers and career opportunities:  

Clothing Design

We are the only tertiary programme in New Zealand that specialises in all aspects of clothing design for stage and screen. You will study pattern drafting and cutting, sewing, millinery, jewellery and accessory making, shoe making, dyeing and screen printing, costume breakdown, costume props and costume design. In your first year we will help guide your development as a clothing designer as you foundational design skills. In your second year you will produce clothing and in your final year you’ll design your own. Over the course of your degree you will have the opportunity to work on short films, in the studio, and on location. All of our 2015 graduates are all employed within the fashion, film or theatre industries in New Zealand and Internationally in roles ranging from being a Stylist at Fashion week to a Costume Dresser on Wicked at Covent Garden (UK) through to a Costume Assistant on Power Rangers.  

Stage Management, Lighting and Sound  

The drama can’t unfold if the audience can’t see or hear anything.  Great lighting is more than just basic visibility. Learn how to consider angles, shadows, and colour, in relation to timing and performance.  Lighting and Sound designers work closely with stage directors to integrate technology seamlessly into the performance. All are working towards a goal to create a shared experience between the audience and performers.  

Our courses provide a great balance of studio and classroom instruction with considerable practical experience in theatres both on campus and throughout Auckland. You will learn how to plan and execute a successful production as well as develop your personal voice in regards to art direction and the creative process.   

You will be utilising our state-of-the-art theatre equipment, Mac technology labs and production workshops. You will get industry-standard experience in equipment handling, safety and maintenance while you explore your creative and technical abilities in practical workshops, projects, events and internships.  

Set and Props (including Art Department) 

If you want to work as a Set Designer (also known as the Art Director), you'll be responsible for designing and creating sets, props and effects. Design choices help to create the atmosphere of a production so you'll collaborate with your director and other designers to determine style and environment. Collaboration is the key to successfully bringing a story to life. Be part of a team that constructs and paints sets, obtains or creates props, and wires electrical equipment.  
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  

The interview consists of a chat with a representative from the department, a short written exercise, and a review of any supporting documentation whether that be your CV, a portfolio of work, photos, scripts, or any other supporting documents. You can either upload these with your application, or bring them with you to the interview.

For more information visit see Auditions and Interviews.

Admission requirements

For this programme, you will need the following:

1. 42 credits at NCEA Level 3 or higher including:

  • 14 credits in two different approved subjects; and
  • 14 credits from up to two subjects (approved or non-approved)

2. 8 credits at NCEA Level 2 or higher in English or Te Reo Maori (4 in reading, 4 in writing)
3. 14 credits in NCEA Level 1 or higher in Mathematics or Pangarau
4. Interviews, submissions and/or auditions will be required – we'll notify you of what is required
5. Candidates who have English as a second language are required to have one or more of the following:

  • Have achieved NCEA Level 3 and New Zealand University entrance
  • Be able to provide evidence you satisfy our criteria for existing English proficiency
  • Have achieved at least one English proficiency outcome in the last two years

Don’t have NCEA? We also accept:

  • A relevant qualification at Level 3 on the NZQF or above or an equivalent qualification; or
  • Provide sufficient evidence to be eligible for special or discretionary admission.

For more information download the programme regulations:

Programme Regulations

Courses and timetables

For more details on the courses including timetables, please click on the course names below.

CoursesCreditsAim
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.
CoursesCreditsAim
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 concepts that will enhance their ability to operate independently as professionals in the creative industries. The course includes a focus on establishing a personal approach for each student to professional practices within a bi-cultural context.
CoursesCreditsAim
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.
CoursesCreditsAim
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.
CoursesCreditsAim
Skills in Screen Directing 2A (PASA6253) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To introduce students to specialised theories, concepts and techniques for directing. This course focuses on enabling students to practically engage with skills in directing for screen media.
Skills in Screen Directing 2B (PASA6254) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To enable students to extend specific skills, knowledge and practices for screen directing needed to achieve standards that enhance creative decisions.
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.
Entertainment Lab for the Very Small Screen (PASA6911) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To develop a theoretical and practical understanding of evolving digital content platforms, in order to reconceive processes for entertainment content creation and delivery into an evolving future.This course focuses on giving a hands-on experience to participants in workshop and classroom exercises
CoursesCreditsAim
Writing the Short Film (PASA7257) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To acquire the theoretical, creative and technical skills required to develop short scripts for the screen (or associated medium).
Documentary Filmmaking (PASA7392) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To interact effectively and professionally in creative partnership with creative production staff and production crews to realise production of original/selected documentary material. This course focuses on giving a hands-on experience to participants in workshop and classroom exercises.
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.
Performance Production Management (PASA7735) 30 credits (0.25 EFTS)To enable students to understand, explore and demonstrate skills and techniques relating to management of a Live performance production
Theatre Design Management Fundamentals (PASA7737) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To enable students to understand, explore and demonstrate skills and techniques relating to the design and management of of a Live performance production.
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.

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Disclaimer

The 'Key Information for Students' below does not reflect any international student information.

Please take this information as a guideline only. For example, you will often see a difference between these tuition fees and our estimate above. This is because there are a number of variables, such as the specific courses chosen within a programme.

The national graduate outcomes information is for all tertiary New Zealand providers including Unitec. This information is provided by the New Zealand Government and is derived from a national database that links educational and income information.

The statistical results below are a summary for:

Key Information for Students

Entry requirements

Minimum requirements: Applicants may be admitted to the programme under general, special or discretionary admission. Applicants must also meet English language requirements. Interviews, submissions and/or auditions will be required for all applicants.

Detailed requirements: See the above "Admission requirements" section for more information about entry to this progrogramme.

Duration

3 Years

Tuition Fees

Annual

Total Qualification

Student fees:  $9,679$29,038
Government tuition subsidy: $9,094$27,281
Total:$18,773$56,319

Compulsory Student Services Fee
Student loan information available at StudyLink.

National graduate outcomes

(3 years after completion)
Median earnings$33,776
Earnings range$20,351 - $48,000
In employment68%
In further study23%
On a benefit3%

Note:All KIS information is the most recent available relating to domestic students only. Click here for more information about the Key Information for Students.