The Bachelor of Performing and Screen Arts (Screen Arts), is a three year, full-time programme of study in which you will engage in a combination of creative, academic and practice-based courses designed to develop skills and qualities vital to the creative screen sector.
In Year One you will learn about the filmmaking process and industry as a whole, and the relationship between specialist skills, creative and critical thinking, and storytelling. From Year Two you will start to specialize, gaining depth in a particular area of the industry.
If you have done a short course or diploma at another institution and are considering further study, contact us about the possibility of cross-crediting into this programme.
- Participate in hands-on learning through film, television and small screen projects designed to emulate the real world.
- Experience different crew models such as working in small, tight teams, as well as in full industrial crews, as you would on a television or film set.
- 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 working in the studio and on location.
- Lecturers are experienced film and television practitioners.
- Small class sizes in specialist areas allow for lecturers to mentor students.
- Access to our equipment and facilities for 12 months after you graduate so you can continue to develop your projects and career.
- Strong industry links: New Zealand Film Commission, NZ On Air, Film Auckland, Film New Zealand, Documentary NZ Trust, Story Edge, Transmedia New Zealand, Nga Aho Whakaari, PIFT (Pacific Islanders in Film & Television) , Asia New Zealand Film Foundation, SPADA (Screen Production and Development Association), New Zealand Advertising Producers Guild, WIFT (Women in Film and Television), New Zealand Writers Guild, Screen Directors Guild, Entertainment Technology NZ, New Zealand Game Developers Association, New Zealand Film and Video Technicians’ Guild, New Zealand Cinematographers Society, Screen Education Alliance New Zealand and Creative Digital Content New Zealand.
Specialisation summary and modules taught
Camera and field sound
- Cinematography Skills – including the roles of Director of Photography; Camera Operating; Camera Assisting/Focus Pulling; 2nd Assistant Camera role; Data Wrangling/ Video Assist role; Camera; Digital Sensor; Lens/Optics theory.
- Lighting – Gaffer; Best Boy; Lighting Assistant roles - Daylight Control; Lighting Plans; Theatrical Lighting technique; Studio Lighting technique.
- Director/Camera Collaboration – Blocking for Camera; Continuity; Shot Listing.
- Location Recces – Shooting Approach; Health and Safety; Teamwork and Professional Practice.
- Camera Movement – Grip; Assistant Grip roles - Dolly Track Laying; Crane/Jib operation.
- New Technologies – Steadicam; UAV’s; Gyro rigs.
- Color Grading Process.
- Sound Theory – Physical Properties of Sound / Objective Sound / The Sound Field; Audio Recording Fundamentals; Mixer Fundamentals; Microphone Design; Signal Processing and Effects; Soundtrack Components.
- Sound Recording technical and operational knowledge and skills – Production Sound Recording; Boom Operating; Sound Assistant roles; Location Recces and script breakdowns; Equipment Preparation and Maintenance.
Post production (editing and post production sound)
- Technical Craft – Training in use of Adobe Premier and Avid Media composer; Introduction to codecs and formats; Comprehensive teaching around media management and file storage systems, including the AvidISIS server; Ingesting and transcoding media; Graphics, VFX and Green screen; Outputting final masters, Understanding post-production workflow.
- Visual Craft: Mechanics/Theory of Editing – In depth exploration of how video editing works conceptually; When and how to cut, how cuts work and why; The creation of rhythm. Use of eye trace, graphic editing; Working with performance; Serving the story.
- Soundtrack Craft for Post Production – Post Sound Roles and Pathways; Digital Audio Workstations and Non Linear Editing Systems; Sound Design; Sound Editing and Track Laying Foley and Voice Recording; Music for Picture; Mixing and Re-recording.
- Production Management – Includes training in all production paperwork and systems from preproduction through to post; production assisting and coordinating training, casting; creative management and problem solving; producing your own work; distribution.
- Assistant Directing – 1st, 2nd and 3rd Assistant Director training; scheduling including training on EP Scheduler software.
- Location Management and Scouting – Includes permits and contracts, technical and creative recceing, health and safety on set.
- Creative Writing – Short stories; the principles of story and character; generating ideas for stories and scripts; the importance of conflict in drama; finding your voice as a writer; researching for fiction-writing; creating story worlds.
- Writing Craft – Scene writing; writing drama; writing short films; dialogue writing; genre as a writing tool; basic principles of writing for web series, television and transmedia; basic principles of writing for feature films and tele-movies.
These practice-based subjects are complemented with a variety of electives and critical practice courses:
- Contemporary International Cinema
- New Zealand Cinema
- Professional Practice
- Audience Context and Interpretation
- Story, Myth and Ritual
- Acting for Non-Actors
- Writing and Directing for the Theatre
- Writing the Short Film
- Entertainment Lab for the Very Small Screen
- Genre Studies.
Students interested in directing can participate in a series of electives throughout years 2 and 3: Skills in Directing.
Directing classes are a mixture of lectures, screenings and workshops:
- Story – fundamentals of script analysis for screen; Directors breakdowns; Creating documents that reflect a director’s vision for a script; Audience relationship to story.
- Performance – The actor / director relationship; Dialogue analysis; The development of dramatic moments; Understanding character; Methods for approaching scenes; Improvisation; Blocking with actors; Approaches to rehearsal; Casting / audition.
- Visual Language – story telling in still image; exploration of texture and form; focus on the mise-en-scène elements of cinema; lens and movement; blocking and staging action for camera; creating an iconic image; post production approaches.
- Collaboration – working with the writer; learning how to collaborate with key contributors in pre production; on set protocols and approaches; multi disciplinary collaborative approaches; collaborating with producer; exploring market collaborations.
We will ask you to come in to an interview with your potential discipline leader, we will also ask you to complete a written exercise and bring any supporting documentation that demonstrates your previous experience in your field of interest will be helpful - this includes a CV of relevant work, along with any supporting documentation (Clothing: examples or photos of work, Art & Props: examples or photos of work, Lighting & Sound: Photos, Scripts, documents, that show previous performance work). Please either upload the material with your application or bring with you to the interview day.
Please note: If you're not sure that you're ready to apply for this highly competitive programme, please look at the Certificate in Communication and Media Arts as a way to ready yourself for the Bachelor of Performing and Screen Arts.
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:
Courses and timetables
For more details on the courses including timetables, please click on the course names below.
|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 New Zealand films in their historical, social and political contexts and to explore the role they play in constructing or reflecting national and/or cultural identity.|
|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 two areas of writing 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 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.|
|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.|
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 requirementsMinimum 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.
|Government tuition subsidy:||$9,094||$27,281|
National graduate outcomes
|(3 years after completion)|
|Earnings range||$19,408 - $46,097|
|In further study||24%|
|On a benefit||3%|
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.