Develop the skills you need to start a career in the film and television industry. Build a broad understanding of the industrial filmmaking process and become equipped with specialised skills.
The Bachelor of Performing and Screen Arts - Screen Arts, is a three year, full-time programme made up of creative, academic and practice-based courses that develop the vital skills you need for the screen sector.
Spend your first year learning about the filmmaking process and the industry as a whole. You’ll study the relationship between specialist skills, creative and critical thinking, and storytelling. It’s the ideal preparation for Year Two, when you’ll start to specialise in a particular area of the industry. By Year Three you will be deepening yours skills in your specialisation through lots of projects and practice.
If you’ve already done a short course or diploma in screen arts and are considering further study, you may even be able to cross credit into Unitec’s bachelor programme.
- Participate in hands-on learning through film, television and small screen projects that replicate the industry.
- Work in different crew models including small teams, as well as full industrial crews, as you would on a television or film set.
- Work collaboratively with acting, dance, art department and costume students to gain on-set experience in the studio and on location.
- Learn from lecturers who are experienced film and television practitioners.
- Benefit from small class sizes and mentoring from your lecturers.
- Access Unitec’s filmmaking equipment and facilities for 12 months after you graduate to develop your projects and your career.
- Utilise Unitec’s strong industry link with organisations such as 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.
Learn the technical skills of sound, lighting, composition and camera movement:
- Cinematography – learn cameras, digital sensors and lens/optics theory, operating and focus pulling, data wrangling.
- Lighting – daylight control, lighting plans, theatrical lighting techniques and studio lighting performed by gaffers, best boys and lighting assistants.
- Director/Camera Collaboration – this includes blocking for camera, continuity and shot listing.
- Location Recce – this includes shooting approach, health and safety, teamwork and professional practice.
- Camera Movement – dolly track laying and crane/jib operation performed by a grip or assistant grip.
- New Technologies – including steadicam, UAVs and gyro rigs.
- Color Grading Process
- Sound Theory –the physical properties of sound, objective sound and the sound field. You’ll study audio recording fundamentals, mixer fundamentals, microphone design, signal processing and effects, and soundtrack components.
- Sound Recording – this includes the technical and operational knowledge and skills needed for production sound recording, boom operating, location recces, script breakdown, and equipment preparation and maintenance.
Learn how to formulate and communicate an idea, and lead a team with a variety of creative skills:
- Story – the fundamentals of script analysis for screen, directors’ breakdowns, how to create documents that reflect a director’s vision, and the audience relationship to a story.
- Performance – this covers the actor/ director relationship, as well as dialogue analysis, the development of dramatic moments, understanding character, methods for approaching scenes, improvisation, blocking with actors, approaches to rehearsal, and casting/ audition.
- Visual Language – this is about story telling in still image and includes the exploration of texture and form, the mise -en-scène, lens and movement, blocking and staging action for camera, creating an iconic image, and post production approaches.
- Collaboration – this explores how to work with the writer and other key contributors and covers pre production, on set protocols and approaches, multi disciplinary collaborative approaches, and market collaborations.
Editing and post production sound
Gain practical, hands-on experience of film editing using the latest equipment and technology:
- Technical Craft – training in Adobe Premier and Avid Media composer, an introduction to codecs and format, media management and file storage systems including the AvidISIS server, ingesting and transcoding media, VFX and Green screen, outputting final masters, and understanding the post-production workflow.
- Visual Craft: Mechanics/Theory of Editing – explore how video editing works conceptually, when and how to cut, how cuts work, the creation of rhythm, use of eye trace, graphic editing, working with performance, and serving the story.
- Soundtrack Craft for Post Production – learn about post sound roles and pathways, digital audio workstations and non linear editing systems, sound design, sound editing and track laying, foley and voice recording, working with music, mixing and re-recording.
Learn how to keep the production moving to set timeframes by working with the director and coordinating cast and crew:
- Production Management – this includes production paperwork and systems from pre-production through to post, as well as casting, creative management, problem solving, producing your own work and distribution.
- Assistant Directing – this covers 1st, 2nd and 3rd assistant director training, and includes training on EP Scheduler software.
- Location Management & Scouting – this includes permits and contracts, technical and creative recceing, and health and safety on set.
Develop your writing skills for a range of different productions including short films, feature films, soaps and sitcoms:
- Creative Writing – study the principles of story and character, learn how to generate ideas for stories and scripts, understand the importance of conflict in drama, find your voice as a writer, and learn how to research fiction-writing and create story worlds.
- Writing Craft – this covers scene writing, writing drama, writing short films, dialogue writing, genre as a writing tool, the basic principles of writing for a web series, television and trans-media, and the basic principles of writing for feature films and tele-movies.
The Bachelor of Performing and Screen Arts programme is also complemented with a variety of electives and critical practice courses, including:
- Introduction to Film History
- New Zealand National Cinema
- Professional Practice
- Audience Context and Interpretation
- Story, Myth and Ritual
- Acting for Non-Actors
- Hybrid Art Practice
- Writing and Directing for the Theatre
- Emerging Media Innovation Lab
- Writing the Short Film
- Documentary Research & History
- Entertainment Lab for the Very Small Screen
Auditions and interviews
Over one hundred people apply each year for the 45 places offered in Year One. Interviews are carried out in batches from August through to October.
Please note: If you're not sure that you're ready to apply for this highly competitive programme, have a look at the Certificate in Communication and Media Arts which is a great way to prepare yourself.
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
Applicants must have:
- 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
- At least 3 ‘C’ passes in the New Zealand University Bursaries Examinations; OR
- Successful completion of the Unitec Certificate in Foundation Studies: Whitinga Level 3 with a relevant pathway, where appropriate;OR
- Certificate of University Preparation (Level 4); OR
- Certificate in Foundation Studies (Level 4); OR
Applicants must have:
- 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
- provided sufficient evidence of aptitude or appropriate work or other life experience that would indicate a potential successful outcome in the qualification.
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).
English language requirements for international students
Applicants must have at least ONE of the following:
a) Gained NCEA level 3 and met New Zealand university entrance requirements;
b) Clear evidence that they satisfy one of the following criteria for existing English proficiency:
- Previous primary and secondary study in English as evidenced by completion of one of the following at schools using English as the language of instruction:
- Completion of all primary education and at least three years of secondary education (that is, the equivalent of New Zealand Forms 3 to 7 or years 9 to 13), or
- Completion of at least five years of secondary education (that is, the equivalent of New Zealand Forms 3 to 7 or years 9 to 13)
- Previous tertiary study in English: clear evidence of completion of a tertiary qualification of at least three years’ duration with English as the language of instruction in New Zealand, Australia, Canada, the Republic of Ireland, South Africa, the United Kingdom or the United States.
- Achievement of the Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults (CELTA)
c) Achieved, within the preceding two years, at least one of the English proficiency outcomes listed below:
- NZ Certificate in English Language (NZCEL) (Academic) (Level 4)
- An overall IELTS band score (Academic Format) of 6 with no band score lower than 5.5. The IELTS scores used must be taken from a single IELTS Test Report Form.
- An overall TOEFL Paper-based test (pBT) score of 550 (essay 5 TWE) OR an overall TOEFL Internet-based test (iBT) Score of 60 (writing 20)
- 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
- Pearson Test of English PToE (Academic) with a score of 50
- City & Guilds Internal English for Speakers of Other Languages (IESOL) B2 Communicator with a score of 66.
Programme Specific Admission Requirements
To be admitted to this programme, applicants must also meet the requirements set out in this schedule.
- Interviews, submissions and/or auditions will be required for all applicants. The interview/audition stage shall consist of a combination of demonstrations and ex-ercises 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.
- 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.
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;
- evidence of ability in a related programme of study.
Courses and timetables
The following courses are valid for 2016. The courses may be offered as part of the programme. Click on the course links below to see the course details and timetables.
|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.|
|New Zealand Cinema (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.|
|Contemporary International Cinema (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.|
|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.|
|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.|
|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.|
|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|
|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).|
|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.|
|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.|
|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.|