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Study Screen Arts at Unitec

Screen Arts

Crafting stories for film and television is an artistic endeavour that draws upon an array of creative and technical tools & skills. Screen Arts at Unitec offers an in-depth film school experience that is connected to the centre of Auckland’s thriving screen production industry.

Our course is best known for preparing work-ready graduates and for the high quality of our students’ work, which comes out of our unique combination of creative practice, film theory and hands-on practical learning.

Learn from experienced industry practitioners. Grab the opportunity to hone your own screen industry skills for your dream career.

Explore your options

Important notice to current and prospective BPSA students 

Study film and television at Unitec and you'll start by exploring the basic skills of cinematography, directing, editing, production, sound design and scriptwriting. It’s a great overview of every step of the production process and helps you to decide what area of specialisation most captures your interest. As you progress through the busy, project-based programme, you’ll learn deep specialist skills.

Screen Arts is part of the Performing and Screen Arts school. Nowhere else can you collaborate with actors, set builders and costume designers on a huge variety of film projects. You’ll work together on set and on location, where you’ll continue to develop your technical skills. Unitec Screen Arts is the only tertiary course in the North Island that offers this kind of rigorous, in-depth specialist training. You'll be guided by experienced industry experts and inspired by visiting filmmakers, writers and directors.

The film industry has become a billion-dollar industry in Auckland alone. We aim to support screen students to match the diversity and innovation being fostered in the screen industry throughout Aotearoa. 

UPCOMING EVENTS:

In School of Creative Industries we have a wide range of shows and events, discover more from: 

What's On 

 

Programmes and study path

Start with a programme that suits your qualifications and/or experience, then progress to a level that achieves your goals.
PROGRAMME LEVEL DURATION CAREER OPTIONS START DATES
New Zealand Certificate in Study and Career Preparation (Level 3) 3 Full-time for 16 weeks or part-time options available Entry into further study at certificate or diploma level. February or July
New Zealand Certificate in Study and Career Preparation (Level 4) - Screen Arts, Acting and Technical Production 4 Full-time for 16 weeks or part-time options available Entry into further study toward a career in the media or performing and screen arts. February or July
Bachelor of Performing and Screen Arts (Screen Arts) 7 Full-time for three years Cinematographer, Editor, Production manager, Director, Screenwriter, Researcher, Camera assistant/gaffer/grip, Sound recordist, Editor, Post supervisor, Sound designer, Production Co-ordinator, Content developer, Production manager, Production Assistant, Production Assistant, Writer’s Assistant, Screenwriter, Screen Project Researcher, Editor, Assistant Editor, Director, Cinematographer, Camera Operator, Sound recordist, Camera: assistant camera, data wrangler, lighting assistant, Boom Operator February
Postgraduate Certificate in Creative Practice 8 Six months full-time or one year part-time February or July
Postgraduate Diploma in Creative Practice 8 Full-time for one year or part-time for two years Artist, Creative director, Curator, Digital artist, Director, Graphic designer, Photographer, Producer, Visual artist February or July
Master of Creative Practice 9 Full-time for 18 months or part-time for three years Artist, Art director, Product designer, Graphic designer, Director, Photographer, Experience designer, Producer, Production designer, Sculptor, Visual artist, Performance designer, Service designer, Curator, Actor for theatre, film and television, Choreographer, Filmmaker February or July

Industry connections

Industry accreditation

In 2006, the Bachelor of Performing and Screen Arts (Screen Arts) was awarded the ScreenMark, the New Zealand Screen Council’s industry accreditation for high quality and relevant tertiary courses in the screen industry.

Industry affiliations

  • Creative Digital Content New Zealand
  • Click Studios
  • ETNZ – Entertainment Technology New Zealand
  • Film Auckland
  • New Zealand Cinematographers Society
  • Screen Industry Guild of Aotearoa
  • New Zealand Writers Guild
  • Directors and Editors Guild of New Zealand
  • SPADA – Screen Production and Development Association
  • WIFT NZ – Women in Film and Television
  • CreaTer NZ – Alliance of Creative Tertiary Educators

Industry partnerships

Getting practical experience before you graduate is important. Study film and TV at Unitec and you'll benefit from our relationship with industry organisations like TVNZ, TV3, Maori TV,  New Zealand Film Commission, Department of Post, South Pacific Pictures, Script to Screen, Film Auckland and Documentary NZ Trust.

Internationally, we are affiliated with the Beijing Film Academy and the Shanghai Theatre Academy.

The department also has connections to the Oryza Foundation for Asian Performing Arts and Creative Coalition.

Equipment and Facilities

Screen Arts at Unitec gives students access to outstanding cameras, lighting and postproduction equipment.

Cameras

Unitec students shoot on a variety of professional and cinema quality cameras. ARRI Alexa, Panasonic EVA-1 and Blackmagic 4K PCC cameras (among others) are used throughout the programme. Whether it’s television, documentary or cinematic production, the right camera is available for student productions. Learning the different setups and workflows for high-end cameras is a key element  that prepares our cinematography students for the screen industry.

Lighting

A variety of film lighting instruments is available at Unitec for both studio and on-location use. These lights (tungsten, kino-flo, LED, etc.) and the tools that go with them (cutters, nets, gels, diffusion, etc.) are the heart of a good cinematography course. Students learn the art of sculpting light  to enhance emotion and drama in each scene.

Studio

Our industry quality studio is outfitted with a professional lighting grid with scissor lift accessibility. Each light can be individually controlled from our lighting desk. The studio is equipped with professional grip gear including dollies, jib arms and all sorts of rigging material.

Post-production

You’ll learn editing skills using industry standard AVID Media Composer software on a variety of non-linear editing stations and in dedicated edit suites. We also feature Premiere Pro and DaVinci Resolve. There’s a purpose-built Mac lab with over 20 computers for first year students, and advanced post-production sound facilities so our productions sound as good as they look. Unitec offers our students the ability to work with a professional Nexus Server that stores projects and footage and allows editing from any of our professional equipped edit suites.

Sound

Our location sound kits are based around Sennheiser and AKG shotgun mics and radio systems. A ProTools sound post-production suite enables you to record, edit and mix the films’ soundtracks.

Production Offices

Third year students are given access to a dedicated production office. This allows students to organise all the pre-production leading up to your shoots and to manage the films during production.

Writers’ Room

Final Draft is installed on all classroom computers, which equips students with industry standard screenwriting software. Writing students also participate in a series of exercises that replicate the experience of being a working writer, from pitching ideas, writing screenplays, to receiving feedback from peers. This is all takes place in our Writers’ Room, a space designed to reflect a professional TV writers’ room.

Screening Room

Our Screening Room is outfitted with a state-of-the-art projection system with 5.1 sound. It also doubles as a second studio during our busy projects season.

Interviews

If you have an interest in the screen and media industries, we want to hear from you. A portfolio showing any previous experience in screen or performance media will help your application, but it’s not compulsory. Interviews usually take place in Auckland in September and October, but telephone and video call interviews are also possible.

Find out more about upcoming auditions and interviews