Performing & Screen Arts

So you think you can direct, act, dance or sing? Got what it takes to become a writer, camera operator, songwriter, music producer, editor, gaffer or technician in the film or theatre industry? We can get you started. With over 350 students and 40 staff, the Department of Performing and Screen Arts is arguably the largest and busiest film and performing arts department in the country.

Making movies, creating music and producing shows – it's what we do. It's what you'll do too: film productions and performances are a big part of your study. Each year our students develop over 100 screen, dance and stage productions. Nowhere else can you collaborate every day with acting, contemporary music, costume, dance, design, directing and writing, film and television, production technology, and scenery/props students and professionals. It's like a miniature model of the industry, working in film/TV and dance studios, or in the theatre, with professional resources and facilities.

You'll be guided by industry experts (many of them very well known) and inspired by visiting local and international filmmakers, actors, dancers, writers, directors and technicians. Last year we made a feature film, Stars in Her Eyes, where our students worked alongside leading industry practitioners. And of course you get to show off your creative work – to the public, your friends and family, and the industry.

Knowing the right people is key. And our address book is bursting at the seams. All the big players are there:

  • SPADA (Screen Production and Development Association)
  • DANZ (Dance Aotearoa New Zealand)
  • CANZ (Composers Association of New Zealand)
  • The New Zealand Film Commission
  • The New Zealand Writers Guild
  • WIFT (Women in Film and Television)
  • Playmarket
  • Entertainment Technology NZ
  • The New Zealand Film and Video Technicians' Guild

And then there are the major industry employers:

  • South Pacific Pictures
  • TVNZ
  • The Auckland Theatre Company
  • Silo Theatre
  • The Auckland Festival
  • The New Zealand Dance Company
  • Footnote Dance Company
  • Mau
  • Black Grace

We're also proud to be tertiary partner for the Outlook for Someday competition, which challenges young filmmakers to tackle the subject of sustainability. It's these close links with the industry that give our performing and screen arts students real-world experience before graduating.

Our graduates work on Hollywood blockbusters, local independent films and your favourite Kiwi TV programmes. They're represented in major dance and theatre companies, make their mark as successful composers, singers/songwriters or sound engineers, or produce award-winning short films, designs, plays and choreographic work. They hit the ground running, ready to find employment. That's why we were voted among the world's top 10 film schools in 2010 and 2012 by respected filmmaking website Reelshow International, and awarded the New Zealand Screen Council's Screenmark, the industry's seal of approval.


Performing and Screen Arts programmes

For those just starting out:

Or, our Bridgepoint foundation education programmes can get you ready to apply for certificate, diploma or degree level study. Find out more about Bridgepoint programmes on offer.

For those interested in music:

To become an actor:

To become a contemporary dancer or choreographer:

For a career behind the scenes:

A pathway to masters level study in your screen/theatre specialisation:



Last edited: 19 September 2013  

Programme Brochure
Graduate Profile
  • Lucy Lynch

    "Being able to dance everyday as my job is amazing. I love the discipline ...