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Programme overview

Have you always wanted to make movies? Have you considered a career in film and television? The Screen Arts (film and television) major has an emphasis on the creative and practical skills and knowledge you need for a career as a film and television professional in one of the following six specialisations: camera, directing, editing, production, scriptwriting or sound.

Develop the skills to participate in the making of work to a professional standard in your specialisation. Gain the ability to analyse your own work, interpret a variety of creative briefs and study the history, theory and critique of film and television. An important component of the programme is the opportunity to work in teams with students from other specialisations while still practising your own specialisation. This will help you understand what it means to work at a professional level and assist in forming important future collaborative relationships.

Highlights

  • Practical projects: you'll work on high-quality practical exercises and projects (a mix of short documentaries, commercials, music/dance video, short films, experimental film and studio pieces) using current industry standards.
  • The real world of performing and screen arts: work collaboratively with acting, dance, art department and costume students to gain real-world, on-set experience when making short films in the studio and on location.
  • Lecturers who are experienced film and television practitioners and educators: our staff have many years of industry experience.
  • Strong industry links: SPADA (Screen Production and Development Association), WIFT (Women in Film and Television), New Zealand Writers Guild, Screen Directors Guild, Entertainment Technology NZ, New Zealand Film and Video Technicians' Guild, New Zealand Cinematographers Society, Screen Education Alliance New Zealand and Creative Digital Content New Zealand.
  • Graduates who are regarded as highly employable by the film and television industries. They work on Hollywood blockbusters and local independent features, and produce prize-winning short films and documentaries in New Zealand and internationally.

You will have time to discover where your interests lie. In the first two years you'll explore the basic skills and techniques associated with film and television production such as camera, directing, editing, production, sound and scriptwriting, and gain an overview of the production process and key responsibilities.

By the end of Year Two, it will become clear through your achievements in various subjects and projects which discipline area(s) suits you the best. The last year will focus on your specialist area.

Camera

Aid the realisation of the director's vision onto the screen through lens choice, lighting, composition, camera movement, focus, filtration and exposure. Develop essential skills and knowledge by working creatively on a wide range of projects, and get trained for the film crew positions of camera operator, focus puller, data wrangler, gaffer, lighting assistant and grip.

Directing

You'll learn about the creative and technical side of directing, and also about text analysis, actor process, shaping performance, design and the associated technologies of film, including camera, sound and editing and what they contribute to the filmmaking process. You'll learn what it means to formulate and communicate a vision for a project, and lead a team with a variety of creative skills towards a common creative goal.

Editing

Gain practical, hands-on experience of film editing, from documentary through to feature film, and use the latest equipment and technology, which is being constantly updated to include new formats and techniques. You'll also learn the power of visual storytelling through screen grammar, the cut, and the use of effects and transitions.

Production

You'll learn about production management, assistant directing and location managing in a variety of industry-modelled projects and workshops. You'll progressively learn to harness your organisational and communication skills as you keep the production moving according to set timelines and ensure that production deadlines are met. You'll plan ahead, trouble-shoot and pay close attention to detail as you assist the director and co-ordinate all production activity, supervising the cast and crew.

Scriptwriting

You will develop your writing skills in a practice-based course that offers in-depth knowledge of the craft and creative processes involved in writing for screen. A number of key areas of scriptwriting, including short films/plays (which increase in length and complexity), feature film treatments, soaps and sitcoms will be studied. Scripts may even be made into films.

Sound

Become involved in field recording and sound post-production, from basic introductory techniques, such as boom-swinging and mixing levels, to the rigours of dialogue replacement, FX editing and multiple microphone location recording. In your final year, you'll explore the creativity of the craft via challenging projects such as documentary and short film, and explorative studio work, including surround sound and video dance.

Auditions and interviews

Around 100 people apply each year for the 45 places offered in Year One. The first round of interviews will take place in early October. From these interviews, the final selection of successful applicants is made for the following year. For more information visit see Auditions and interviews.

Please note: If you're not sure that you're ready to audition for this highly competitive programme, please look at the Certificate in Communication and Media Arts.

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
Film & Television 1A (PASA5301) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To enable students to gain a practice-based understanding of fundamental theories, concepts and techniques associated with film & television technology and production. The course focuses on collaboration and establishing the habits and methods appropriate to production work in six key production areas. There is also a focus on health and safety in the workplace.
Film & Television 1B (PASA5302) 30 credits (0.25 EFTS)To enable students to acquire a wide range of basic skills, knowledge and practices in the development, production and technologies of screen works. 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.
Screen Basics 1A (PASA5311) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To enable students to practically employ film and television technologies in the creative process of screen production work. This course focuses on working collaboratively across a range of discipline areas and establishing habits and methodologies appropriate to the profession.
Screen Basics 1B (PASA5312) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To enable students to employ fundamental theories, concepts and techniques in practice-based settings to develop their creativity and artistic growth through experiential exploration of film and television technologies and processes. This course continues to work collaboratively across a range of discipline areas and focusses on establishing habits and methodologies appropriate to the profession.
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.
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
Screen Arts & Technology 2B (PASA6304) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To enable students to locate contemporary cinema in its historical, social and political context and the role it plays in constructing or reflecting national and/or cultural identity. This course focusses on establishing an understanding of the whakapapa of Aotearoa New Zealand contemporary cinema.
Camera & Sound (Screen Technologies) 2A (PASA6333) 30 credits (0.25 EFTS)To enable students to increase understanding of specialised theories, concepts, techniques and technologies for camera and screen sound. The course focuses on evolving a personal methodology that will give expression to individual creative development and practice.
Editing & Sound (Post-Production Technologies) 2A (PASA6343) 30 credits (0.25 EFTS)To enable students to increase understanding of specialised theories, concepts, techniques and technologies for editing and post-production sound. This course focuses on evolving a personal methodology that will give expression to individual creative development and practice.
Screen Development & Production 2A (PASA6355) 30 credits (0.25 EFTS)To enable students to increase understanding of specialised theories, concepts and techniques for screen development and production. This course focuses on evolving a personal methodology that will give expression to individual creative development and practice in the areas of writing, directing and 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
Screen Arts & Technology 3A (PASA7301) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To enable students to examine local and global perspectives and issues influencing the continuing evolution of media screen production and develop the ability to apply critical judgement to creative decisions. This course employs a noho marae to allow students to evaluate and develop responses to cultural/political perspectives as an emergent creative arts practitioner.
Screen Projects (PASA7304) 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 screen creative practice for. This course focuses on enabling students to consolidate their ability to create and realise complex screen 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
Camera & Sound 2B (PASA6334) 30 credits (0.25 EFTS)To enable students to extend specific skills, knowledge and practices for specialised camera and sound technologies needed to achieve standards that enhance creative decisions. The course focuses on the further development of specialist skills and the application of individual creative development and practice.
Editing & Sound Post-Production 2B (PASA6344) 30 credits (0.25 EFTS)To enable students to extend specific skills, knowledge and practices for specialised editing and post-production sound technologies needed to achieve standards that enhance creative decisions. The course focuses on the further development of specialist skills and the application of individual creative development and practice.
Scriptwriting 2B (PASA6356) 30 credits (0.25 EFTS)To enable students to develop works for the screen and to achieve creative and technical standards that demonstrate professionalism. This course is designed to extend specific skills, knowledge and practices for writing needed to achieve standards that enhance creative decisions.
Directing for Screen 2B (PASA6366) 30 credits (0.25 EFTS)To enable students to extend specific skills, knowledge and practices for directing needed to achieve standards that enhance creative decisions. This course is designed to extend specific skills, knowledge and practices for directing needed to achieve standards that enhance creative decisions.
Screen Production 2B (PASA6376) 30 credits (0.25 EFTS)To enable students to extend specific skills, knowledge and practices for production needed to achieve standards that enhance creative decisions. This course is designed to extend specific skills, knowledge and practices for production 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.
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.
Camera and Sound 3 (PASA7331) 30 credits (0.25 EFTS)To enable students to establish a critical understanding of advanced skills, knowledge, technologies and practices for camera and sound. This course focuses on students employing professionalism in creative and collaborative practice while developing the ability to critically evaluate their own work and that of others.
Editing & Sound (Post-Production) 3 (PASA7341) 30 credits (0.25 EFTS)To enable students to establish a critical understanding of advanced skills, knowledge, technologies and practices for editing and sound design. This course focuses on students employing professionalism in creative and collaborative practice while developing the ability to critically evaluate their own work and that of others.
Screen Production 3 (PASA7371) 30 credits (0.25 EFTS)To enable students to establish a critical understanding of advanced skills, knowledge and practices for screen production. This course focuses on students employing professionalism in creative and collaborative practice while developing the ability to critically evaluate their own work and that of others.
Critical Theatre Perspectives (PASA7911) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To enable students to examine local and global perspectives and issues influencing the continuing evolution of contemporary theatre and performance. This course focuses on making connections between advanced methodologies and specialist techniques in a range of production scenarios.