• Group of acting students on stage during a performance
  • Acting students in rehearsal room
  • Close-up of Acting student in performance
  • Acting students in group choreography

BFA (Acting)

CRICOS CODE 083696J

NIDA’s Bachelor of Fine Arts (Acting) is a three-year full-time courses that equips students with the specific knowledge and skills to pursue careers as actors across the breadth of today’s arts and entertainment industries – in main stage and smaller independent theatre companies, film, television and commercial arenas.

The preparation of professional actors has been at the heart of NIDA’s education and training programs since our earliest days. Our Acting alumni include two-time Academy Award® winner, Cate Blanchett as well as Hugo Weaving, Jessica Marais, Miranda Tapsell, Richard Roxburgh and Sarah Snook.

Applications are now open.

Apply now

Contact NIDA

About the course

Through practice-based learning, students develop technical skills in the disciplines of voice, movement, music and acting. They extend their technique through the study of screen and recorded media. Students participate in classroom exercises, in-depth scenework, workshop stagings of plays, and full-scale productions enabling them to explore their individual talents, develop their working process and hone their artistic voice.

Final-year students undertake public productions, industry-standard film and television shoots and a professional orientation program focusing on the practical realities of the entertainment sector. The year culminates in a showcase performance for industry representatives.

As this is a highly competitive career, there is an emphasis on collaborative and self-directed work throughout the course which prepares students to engage with a wide range of communities and to initiate their own creative opportunities.

Want to know more about this course? John Bashford, Head of Acting explains.

Course dates and times

Course duration and contact hours

Students are at NIDA from 9am to 6pm from Monday to Friday. During production terms students may also be required for rehearsals after hours and on weekends.

Additional time also needs to be allocated to library work, research, preparation for classes and private study. For this reason it is difficult for NIDA students to maintain regular part-time jobs. Studying at NIDA is a big commitment so students need to manage their time and resources carefully. 

All NIDA Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees are three-year full-time courses. All NIDA Master of Fine Arts courses, except for Cultural Leadership, are 15-month full-time courses. 

2018 course dates

SEMESTER 1

Welcome week- 5 February- 9 February

Term 1: 5 February- 13 April

Mid-Semester Break: 14 April– 29 April

Term 2: 30 April– 29 June

MID-YEAR BREAK: 30 June- 22 July

SEMESTER 2

Term 3: 23 July– 7 September

Mid-Semester Break: 8 September- 16 September

Term 4: 17 September– 15 November

The semester continues until early December for those involved in the Directors’ productions.

The scheduling and delivery of this course each year is subject to minimum enrolment numbers.

2019 course dates

SEMESTER 1

Term 1: 4 February- 14 April

Mid-Semester Break: 15 April– 28 April

Term 2: 29 April– 30 June

MID-YEAR BREAK: 1 July - 21 July

SEMESTER 2

Term 3: 22 July– 8 September

Mid-Semester Break: 9 September- 15 September

Term 4: 16 September– 17 November

The semester continues until early December for those involved in the Directors’ productions.

The scheduling and delivery of this course each year is subject to minimum enrolment numbers.

Subjects

First year

Acting Studio

SEMESTER ONE 

ACT7101A ACTING STUDIO (30 credit points) 

This subject introduces students to the theoretical, technical and practical foundations of acting, voice, movement and music for the professional actor. It aims to cultivate the uniqueness of self to reveal and release habitual physical patterns that impede effective communication. Technical cognizance coupled with knowledge and critical awareness of self will aid the actor in making imaginative connections to body, sound, words, emotion, and the creative world of stage and screen. The subject begins the process of cultivating the technical craft required of the individual actor, releasing imagination and creativity within a developing ensemble. Self-discipline and awareness are developed through practical experiential exercise with classes examining particular theatrical and screen forms, individual and group research, vocal, physical and music training. 

SEMESTER TWO

ACT7101B ACTING STUDIO (30 credit points)

This subject further engages with the theoretical, technical and practical fundamentals (acting, voice, movement and music) for effective communication for the professional actor. It aims to continue the process of unlocking habitual physical patterns that impede self-expression, individualism and creativity, and, through the exploration of the principles of voice, body and music, release and reveal textual and physical constructs (i.e. ownership of language, form and structure of verse, rhythm, length of words and imagery). The embodiment of technical facility and flexibility, coupled with knowledge and critical awareness of self, will aid the actor in making imaginative connections to words, emotion, and the creative world of stage and screen. The subject solidifies the personal technical craft of the individual actor, releasing the individuals’ imaginative response within an ensemble. Classes examine particular theatrical and screen forms, individual and group research, vocal, physical and music training.

Acting Interdisciplinary Collaboration

SEMESTER ONE 

ACT7102A ACTING INTERDISCIPLINARY COLLABORATION (15 credit points)

This subject offers students with the opportunity to engage with theories and techniques that encourage creative collaborative stagecraft and performance practice for the actor. The subject aims to support and transfer technical proficiency discovered in the Acting Studio subject enabling and revealing cognisance of self (self-awareness) within/through a text or non-text based collaborative performance context. Through the interface with collaborative theatre practice and the rehearsal process students acquire an appreciation of the roles and responsibilities that inform theatrical production and actively contribute and participate in the forming of a creative ensemble. Classes examine particular theatrical constructs, as well as individual and group research for collaborative in-house performance outcomes.

SEMESTER TWO

ACT7102B ACTING INTERDISCIPLINARY COLLABORATION (15 credit points)

This subject requires the transference of theoretical, technical and practical skills acquired to collaborative performance practice for the screen actor. The subject enables students to further acquire an informed cognisance of self towards self-actualisation within/through text and/or non-text based cooperative production contexts. The subject places an emphasis on the individual actor’s aptitude for self-expression within collaborative rehearsal and production processes in theatre and screen. Students will acquire a detailed and practical understanding of the roles and responsibilities that inform stage and screen production, and actively participate and engage creatively and imaginatively within an ensemble for stage and/or screen production. Classes and rehearsals examine particular theatrical and screen forms, as well as individual and group research.

Performance and Ideas

SEMESTER ONE - COM7101A PERFORMANCE AND IDEAS (10 credit points)

SEMESTER TWO - COM7101B PERFORMANCE AND IDEAS (10 credit points)

This subject gives students a theoretical, critical and experiential understanding of key contexts, forms and conventions based on a chronological framework that supports an understanding of the Western theatrical canon.

In understanding the historical and social context ranging from ancient Greeks to contemporary Australian film practices, students will interrogate key figures, forms, conventions, productions, plays and practices of each topic.

Fundamental to ‘Performance and Ideas’ is students’ ability to actively relate these various historic practices of the Western theatrical canon to their own performance-based disciplines as 21st century artists.

Introduction to Collaboration

SEMESTER ONE

COM7102A INTRODUCTION TO COLLABORATION (5 credit points)

The focus of Introduction to Collaboration is the theory and practice of collaboration.

This subject introduces students to the principles of collaboration, which includes defining collaboration and creativity and examining how ethics, values and behaviours of collaboration are generated. Students investigate notions of ownership, agreement, creative conflict and how to generate ideas and create innovative practice.

This subject provides a theoretical, conceptual and practical scaffold for other BFA subjects including Student-led Projects and Interdisciplinary Collaboration.

SEMESTER TWO

COM7102B INTRODUCTION TO COLLABORATION (5 credit points)

This subject builds upon the principles of collaboration, skills and conceptual tasks featured in the previous semester. The concepts previously explored are now realised through practice in a group collaborative project. These small cross cohort collaborations are supervised and mentored. They have strategies and articulated milestones for the collaboration built into the conceptual plan so that students remain accountable to the learning outcomes of the subject.

Second year

Acting Studio

SEMESTER ONE

ACT7201A ACTING STUDIO (30 credit points)

In this subject, particular emphasis is placed on the interaction between the imaginative, theoretical, technical and practical skills of acting, voice, movement and music for the actor. It has a particular focus on the application and integration of technical facility and creative expression to reveal character. It is linked specifically to the exploration of complex text and language (classical dramatic, heightened verse and prose), physicality, voice and speech (such as accents and dialects) as well as the engagement with three Studio Electives - Music Theatre, Applied Theatre, Physical Theatre and Classical Acting for the Contemporary Stage. In the elected Studio Electives students investigate a distinctive creative modality in order to concentrate on and cultivate a broad range of skills as professional actors and/or artists

The subject aims to develop well researched, self-disciplined, determined and creative actors and/or artists that constantly challenge their understanding of the creative process by undertaking a series of projects that develop skills in cultural interfacing, observation, imagination and character development. Classes examine particular theatrical and screen forms, individual and group research, vocal, physical and music training.

SEMESTER TWO

ACT7201B ACTING STUDIO (30 credit points)

In this subject, students are encouraged to embody the theoretical, technical and practical applications of acting, voice, movement and music within theatrical and screen constructs for public performance. The subject places particular emphasis on the actualisation and transformation of character, through the exploration of highly complex text and language (dramatic, comedy, heightened verse and prose), voice, physicality and continued creative engagement with specialist Studio Electives (Music Theatre, Applied Theatre, Physical Theatre and Classical Acting for the Contemporary Stage).

The subject aims to develop technically creative and imaginative artists who are able to appreciate and express various styles and forms (American comedy and American theatre) inherent in theatre, screen and societal contexts for the actualisation and expression of text, character and meaning. Students explore performance styles and production contexts by undertaking a series of projects to develop skills in cultural interface, observation, imagination and actualisation of character.

Acting Interdisciplinary Collaboration

SEMESTER ONE

ACT7202A ACTING INTERDISCIPLINARY COLLABORATION (15 credit points)

This subject introduces students to interdisciplinary collaboration and performance for public production. It encourages actors to engage responsibly with other disciplines across NIDA and clearly define their role and responsibilities within a professional production. The subject is designed to interface with the Acting Studio subject, supporting and transferring technical proficiency to investigate character development within the collaborative rehearsal process for a public theatrical production. Students engage and participate in professional rehearsal room expectations, interfacing with stage managers, costume designers, prop makers, lighting designers, voice coaches, etc. and with resident and other professional directors. The rehearsal process aims to replicate as fully as possible current professional practice, the director and acting tutors placing emphasis on the actors’ craft with the focus on marrying technique and expression for interesting, imaginative and involved behaviour in creative collaborative situations.

SEMESTER TWO

ACT7202B ACTING INTERDISCIPLINARY COLLABORATION (15 credit points)

Students develop the ability to transfer skills developed in Acting Studio to realise character in and through interdisciplinary rehearsal and public performance. The subject demands that the actor engage with initiative in the creative process of theatre and screen making. Students use emerging leadership skills and technical proficiency discovered in Acting Studio to realise character through the collaborative rehearsal process, public production and practice from stage to screen. The rehearsal process aims to replicate as fully as possible current professional practice. The focus is on the seamless integration of acting technique and creative expression for interesting, imaginative and involved behaviour in production/public performance. Classes examine particular theatrical, and screen forms, and individual and group research within a collaborative context.

Performance and Ideas

SEMESTER ONE - COM7201A PERFORMANCE AND IDEAS (10 credit points)

SEMESTER TWO - COM7201B PERFORMANCE AND IDEAS (10 credit points)

This subject builds upon the knowledge and analytical skills built in the earlier semesters of Performance and Ideas.

This subject gives students a theoretical, critical and experiential understanding of key contexts, forms and conventions based on a contemporary chronological framework of the Western theatrical canon of the 20th and 21st centuries.

In understanding the historical and social context ranging from Brecht to contemporary gaming storytelling practices, students will interrogate key figures, forms, conventions, productions, plays and practices of each topic.

Fundamental to ‘Performance and Ideas’ is students’ ability to actively relate these various historic practices of the 20th century Western theatrical canon to their own performance based disciplines as 21st century artists.

Student-led Projects

SEMESTER ONE

COM7203A STUDENT-LED PROJECTS (5 credit points)

Student-led Projects derive from the theoretical and methodological frameworks explored in introduction to Collaboration. Students self-select their collaborative teams with cross cohort representation. Together each team shapes an idea for presentation drawing on the individual knowledge and ability of each member to problem-solve in the development and realisation of the collaborative endeavour. Collaborative groups request input from staff or external mentors when it is required. In this subject, students apply their acquired knowledge of behaviours, innovation in practice, leadership, followership, emotional intelligence and negotiation skills to devise a collaborative performative work.

Each group draws on the collective knowledge of different performance forms and processes to decide on the particular shape of their work and has strategies and articulated stages for the collaboration built into a written conceptual plan. A peer-review framework for assessment makes each student individually and collectively behaviourally accountable to the vision of the work.

SEMESTER TWO

COM7203B STUDENT-LED PROJECTS (5 credit points)

In this subject students build on the collaborative practice project established in the preceding semester by bringing their project to realisation and, if they wish, presenting it in a public or semi-public setting.

Students complete their documentation of the whole project in this semester, refine and finalise their framework for peer review, and document the outcome of the peer review process after final presentations of the work.

Third year

Acting Studio

SEMESTER ONE

ACT7301A ACTING STUDIO (15 credit points)

This subject focuses on acquiring the professional competencies required of the ‘industry-ready’ artist. It is designed to provide students with a broad range of industry specific skills (such as voice-overs, ADR/looping recording, commercials etc.). It also continues a detailed rigorous engagement with the Studio Electives with a view to realising students’ potential as interesting, imaginative and engaged artists.

Classes are designed to accompany and complement productions in Acting Interdisciplinary Collaboration, as well as to examine particular theatrical, screen forms, individual and group research, vocal, physical and music training.

SEMESTER TWO

ACT7301B ACTING STUDIO (15 credit points)

With a continuing focus on the application of technical, imaginative and expressive skills, students take part in presentations that enable them to demonstrate skilled and industry- ready leadership and transformation of emotional, physical, and vocal range to creating a variety of roles. The subject aims to prepare students to be the creative and artistic leaders of the future, capable of contributing to the professional industry (both nationally and internationally) to a high standard. The subject is designed to establish the individual student actor in an industry context by consolidating three years of conservatoire education and training in an industry Showcase. Classes are designed to complement ShowcaseShowreel and final productions, as well as to examine particular societal contexts, theatrical and screen forms, and individual and group research. 

Acting Interdisciplinary Collaboration

SEMESTER ONE

ACT7302A ACTING INTERDISCIPLINARY COLLABORATION (30 credit points)

This subject focuses on performance-orientated competencies for the professional actor through the collaborative process in a range of different cultural and personal territories for stage and/or screen and various media. The subject encourages actors to engage with the principles and practices of the professional actor in collaborative, devised and contemporary performance. The subject is designed to provide students with a broad range of industry specific skills supporting and transferring technical proficiency discovered in Acting Studio to develop and actualise character in the devising and rehearsal process, as well as in a public theatrical production with a focus on professional competency in the role. Classes examine particular theatrical constructs, and individual and group research within a collaborative context.

SEMESTER TWO

ACT7302B ACTING INTERDISCIPLINARY COLLABORATION (30 credit points)

The actors/artists demonstrate career-ready competency through the collaborative process in a range of different cultural and personal territories. The subject is designed to enable students by providing them with a broad range of industry specific opportunities and a final public performance/production. The productions are designed to support and showcase technical proficiency of the student actor to the contemporary professional industry. Students participate in professional rehearsal room expectations, interfacing with stage managers, costume designers, prop makers, lighting designers, as well as internal and professional external directors. The rehearsal process aims to replicate as fully as possible current professional practice. The focus is on the advanced application and amalgamation of technique and expression for interesting, imaginative and involved behaviour in production/public performance. 

Acting Professional Practice

SEMESTER ONE

ACT7303A ACTING PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE (15 credit points)

This is a cross-disciplinary subject designed to prepare the actors/artists for professional industry practice by providing opportunity to create a professional portfolio, as well as demonstrating a responsible and consistent attitude towards the self-management required of an independent career in the performing arts. The subject formalises the transition from personal development to a career-orientated model and aims to foster an in-depth understanding and knowledge of industry and industrial relationships, such as presenting a Showcase, agents’ visits, developing auditioning skills, maintaining employment contracts, clarifying the role of casting agents, casting directors, and becoming knowledgeable about policy-making and funding bodies. Students perform unplugged (i.e. without theatrical conventions) for agents and industry professionals from across Australia.

SEMESTER TWO

ACT7303B ACTING PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE (15 credit points)

This subject aims to be the stepping-stone into the professional industry and assists in building business skills (websites, self-testing, and marketing) and industry relationships with directors, agents and casting directors. Students develop and present a fully supported Showcase and Showreel for the industry, completing their professional portfolio.

Admission criteria

Essential requirements for admission

Admission Criteria

NIDA's general entry requirements for accredited courses are:

  • Have completed a High School Certificate or equivalent qualification at the end of high school for undergraduate courses
    • NIDA will waive the requirement for completion of year 12 studies where an applicant's work and life experience supports their ability and skills to engage in their selected program (includes those who left secondary education more than 2 years ago).
  • Be 18 years of age by 31 March in the first year of enrolment for domestic students in undergraduate programs (only in exceptional circumstances can this condition be waived) and 18 years at date of commencement for international students (there is no waiver for international students on age).
  • Be proficient in written and spoken English. International students must have an English language proficiency equivalent to IELTS 7.0 with no band score less than 6.0 (IELTS 8.0 for BFA (Acting)).
  • Have skills and knowledge appropriate to the level and discipline the applicant is seeking to gain admission into.
  • Have an evidenced interest in the performing arts.

NIDA does not currently have an enabled course or bridging program.

Essential requirements

We select students who:

  • demonstrate commitment, motivation and passion in relation to the arts, entertainment and related industries, to their chosen discipline, and to the course of study
  • provide evidence of their capacity to work creatively and imaginatively
  • demonstrate an aptitude to collaborate with peers as part of a creative process
  • demonstrate a range of knowledge, skills, technical abilities and/or problem-solving techniques relevant to their discipline
  • demonstrate cultural and contextual awareness
  • articulate and communicate ideas clearly

NIDA encourages applications from students from diverse backgrounds, with different levels of experience in theatre, film, television or other areas.

NIDA welcomes Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander applicants. General admissions requirements apply.

Due to the volume of auditions carried out, we are unable to provide you with individual feedback. The decision of the audition panel is final.

It is not possible to defer an offer of a place at NIDA.

International students

We require all international applicants to:

  • attend an audition in Australia.
  • be aware of the visa conditions and financial obligations you are required to meet as an overseas student.
  • accept full responsibility for all arrangements concerning entry into, and residence in, Australia (including visas and health insurance).
  • have an English language proficiency equivalent to an overall band score of 7.0 IELTS (8.0 for Acting). Information on IELTS and testing centres in your country is available at www.ielts.org This requirement may be waived for applicants that have completed their high school studies in English.

For more information on applying as an international student, see international students.

Domestic applicants with overseas qualifications

Domestic students with overseas qualifications must supply certified translations of their qualifications.

NIDA's general entry requirements apply and selection is based on merit.

Fees

Tuition fees

Domestic and international students are required to pay tuition fees by the due date each semester.

The tuition fees are reviewed each year and if you enrol you are liable for the additional tuition costs if the tuition fees rise during the course of your enrolments.

Domestic Students

Domestic students are Australian citizens, Australian permanent residents and New Zealand citizens.

Download the NIDA Domestic Undergraduate Student Fees Schedule 2018 (PDF 597KB).

Download the NIDA Domestic Undergraduate Student Fees Schedule 2019 (PDF 1115KB).

International Students

Fees and financial assistance vary for international students see International Students for full details.

Tuition fees overview

DegreeCourse duration2018 Annual tuition fee $AUD*Estimated total course tuition fee*
Bachelor of Fine Arts (Acting)Three years$14,277.96$42,833.88

Tuition fee details

Year 1, 2018
Subject codeSubjectCredit pointsEFTSL**Tuition fee*
Semester 1, 2018    
ACT7101AActing Studio300.25$3,569.49
ACT7102AActing Interdisciplinary Collaboration150.125$1,784.75
COM7101APerformance and Ideas100.083$1,189.83
COM7102AIntroduction to Collaboration50.042$594.90
Total for Semester 1, 2018 600.5$7,138.98
Semester 2, 2018    
ACT7101BActing Studio300.25$3,569.49
ACT7102BActing Interdisciplinary Collaboration150.125$1,784.75
COM7101BPerformance and Ideas100.083$1,189.83
COM7102BIntroduction to Collaboration50.042$594.92
Total for Semester 2, 2018 600.5$7,139.98
Total for Year 1 1201.0$14,277.96
Year 2, 2018
Subject codeSubjectCredit pointsEFTSL**Tuition fee*
Semester 1, 2018    
ACT7201AActing Studio300.25$3,569.49
ACT7202AActing Interdisciplinary Collaboration150.125$1,784.75
COM7201APerformance and Ideas100.083$1,189.83
COM7203AStudent-led Projects50.042$594.92
Total for Semester 1, 2018 600.5$7,138.98
Semester 2, 2018    
ACT7201BActing Studio300.25$3,569.49
ACT7202BActing Interdisciplinary Collaboration150.125$1,784.75
COM7201BPerformance and Ideas100.083$1,189.83
COM7203BStudent-led Projects50.042$594.92
Total for Semester 2, 2018 600.5$7,138.98
Total for Year 2 1201.0$14,277.96
Year 3, 2018
Subject codeSubjectCredit pointsEFTSL**Tuition fee*
Semester 1, 2018    
ACT7301AActing Studio150.125$1,784.75
ACT7302AActing Interdisciplinary Collaboration300.25$3,569.49
ACT7303AActing Professional Practice150.125$1,784.75
Total for Semester 1, 2018 600.5$7,138.98
Semester 2, 2018    
ACT7301BActing Studio150.125$1,784.75
ACT7302BActing Interdisciplinary Collaboration300.25$3,569.49
ACT7303BActing Professional Practice150.125$1,784.75
Total for Semester 2, 2018 600.5$7,138.98
Total for Year 3 1201.0$14,277.96

*The tuition fees are reviewed each year and you are liable for the additional tuition costs if the tuition fees rise during the course of your enrolment.

** EFTSL - Effective Fulltime Study Load: indicates the relative study load of a subject against a full time study load of 1.0 for an academic year.

Administration fees

Administration and Other Fees 2019

These fees are payable at the time the service is provided or item purchased.

Item/ServiceDetail2019 Cost
Binding supplies1 comb,1 cover, 1 back$2
GraduationAcademic Dress Hire: gown, hood and cap$35
Additional tickets for guests (2 guests no charge)$20 per head
Student ID Card replacementReplacement of a lost student card$25
PhotocopyingB/W – single sided$0.05
B/W – double sided$0.10
Colour – single sided$0.10
Colour – double sided$0.20
Locker keyDeposit$25
Replacement of lost locker key$25
Testamur replacement1 testamur – domestic postage$80
1 testamur – standard international postage$90
Transcript replacement1 transcript – domestic postage$20
1 transcript – standard international postage$30

Additional costs

Acting students must wear 'blacks' to class every day; students need to make sure they have at least a couple of sets of blacks to get themselves through the week.

As a NIDA student you can receive a 20% full time student discount in store at Bloch, or alternatively Dance Direct Online offers reasonable online prices.

Acting Class Requirements

  • Plain black pants (not jeans)
  • Several black short and long sleeved T-shirts
  • Black socks
  • Black leather soled shoes

It is suggested that students purchase clothing of a suitable quality to avoid rapid dis-colouration or wear. Acting students must also supply their own make-up and soft black shoes. 

Movement/Dance Requirements

The following items are essential for the start of the course as you will need them in the second week of term when full classes commence.

Clothing

  • Black dance pants
  • Black leotard (Female)
  • Black convertible tights (Female)
  • Black T-shirt (Male)
  • Black leggings (Male)
  • Men’s support

Shoes

  • Flexi jazz shoes
  • Black stage shoes
    - Female – S0320L Bloch Show-Case Women's Stage Shoe or similar
    - Male – S0310M Bloch Karacta Men's Canvas Shoe or similar

Equipment

  • Yoga mat
  • Knee pads (soft)

Recommended Reading

While students are provided with the script of any plays they are involved in as part of the NIDA Production Program, students are encouraged to purchase other scripts and textbooks for subjects such as Performance and Ideas. 

Information Technology Recommendations

To access NIDA wireless (iWIRE) network, students are required to have access to a Laptop (Windows 7 and later), Macbook (Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard or later) or a Tablet (less than three years old with wireless facility). All the devices should comply with 802.11a/b/g/n WPA-Enterprise security. All notebooks should be secured with a Kensington lock to help prevent theft.

For file transfers and data backup, a 500GB hard drive or higher and an 8GB USB stick are also recommended, as is a DVD burner, for optimum visual graphics on your computer(Laptop/MacBook/Desktop etc.) a 1GB dedicated graphics card is recommended but not required. 

Further financial information

Australian citizens and holders of permanent humanitarian visas are eligible for an Australian Government FEE-HELP loan for all or part of their tuition fees. For more information about FEE-HELP please read the information below and visit Study Assist.

FEE-HELP

WHAT IS FEE-HELP?

FEE-HELP is the Australian Government loan scheme that assists eligible students to pay their tuition fees, so that students do not have to pay tuition fees up-front. FEE-HELP can cover all or part of a student's tuition fees. In 2018 the FEE-HELP lifetime limit is $102,392.

A loan fee of 25% applies to FEE-HELP loans for undergraduate courses of study. The FEE-HELP limit does not include the loan fee.

The Government pays the amount of the loan directly to NIDA. Students repay their loan through the tax system once their income rises above the minimum threshold for compulsory repayment.

For more information go to www.studyassist.gov.au

WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR FEE-HELP?

You are eligible for a FEE-HELP loan if you are either:

  • an Australian Citizen; or
  • hold a permanent humanitarian visa.

The following students are NOT eligible for FEE-HELP:

  • New Zealand citizens - refer to the Study Assist website
  • Australian permanent residents
  • Overseas students.

Financial assistance

Eligible students, who are Australian residents, can apply to Centrelink for financial assistance through Youth Allowance, Austudy or ABSTUDY. Visit Centrelink or call 132 490 for more information.

While at NIDA, students can also apply for consideration for a NIDA student bursary. Each year there are a limited number of NIDA student bursaries to assist with living costs. These are allocated to students on the basis of financial need with second and third year undergraduates and Master of Fine Arts students prioritised. The bursaries are made available through the generosity of donors to NIDA and from bequests.

Statement of Tuition Assurance Exemption

Under the Higher Education Support Act 2003, (the HESA) and the Higher Education Provider Guidelines, approved Higher Education Providers must have arrangements in place to protect students if the Provider is unable to continue to offer a course for any reason, unless the Provider has been exempted from this requirement.

As required under 2.5.1.5 of the Higher Education Provider Guidelines of 23 November 2006, NIDA advises that, under section 16-30 (2) of the HESA, NIDA has been granted an exemption from the tuition assurance requirements of HESA. The reason for the exemption is that NIDA is in receipt of funding from the Australian Government. As NIDA is principally funded by the Australian Government, appropriate transition arrangements would be put in place should it be decided to discontinue a course.

FAQs

Entry requirements FAQs

What ATAR score do I need to get into NIDA?

Entry into NIDA courses is by audition or interview only. We do not ask for exam scores or ATAR rankings. However, all applicants applying for any higher education course at NIDA must have completed their Higher School Certificate or equivalent qualification at the end of high school. In exceptional circumstances this requirement can be waived. 

What subjects should I study at school?

NIDA does not require students to have studied any particular subjects at school. However, it is beneficial during their period of study at NIDA for students to have a high level of literacy and to have read widely. A strong working knowledge of subjects such as English and History is helpful to provide an understanding of historical context and literary references in theatre and literature. It is helpful to have an understanding of drama and, if possible, to have attended a range of theatre and films. Applicants for some courses often study Design and Technology, Textiles and Design, or similar subjects such as Art. Knowledge of a language other than English and understanding of other cultures is also beneficial. 

For courses such as Properties and Objects, Staging, Design for Performance, and Technical Theatre and Stage Management there is a need to have some numeracy and basic computing skills. For the Staging and Properties and Objects courses there is a need to be comfortable with basic applied algebra, geometry and physical concepts but memorisation is not required and use of these concepts is very practically focused. 

Is there a minimum age restriction?

The minimum age for entry into NIDA’s full-time courses is 18 years. Students are expected to be at least 18 years of age at the commencement of their first year, or within a few months of commencement. In exceptional circumstances this condition may be waived. Applicants must be at least 17 years of age at the time of their audition or interview.

Applications from those 16 years and younger will not be accepted.

Is there a maximum age restriction?

There is no maximum age restriction. As a guide to the age distribution at NIDA, the ages of students in undergraduate courses at the start of 2016 ranged from 17 years to early 30s, with the average age being 21.

The average age in the Master of Fine Arts courses is 32, with an age range from early 20s to mid-40s.

Application FAQs

How do I apply for a full-time course at NIDA?

Application to NIDA is by direct entry. Applicants apply online via the NIDA website.

NIDA will accept applications for the 2019 intake from 2 July - 30 September, 2018.

You must then prepare for your audition or interview, the details of which can be found on the course pages.

My application form isn’t working/loading!

If you are having difficulty using the online application form, check your internet browser: Chrome, Firefox and Safari are the recommended browsers. You should also turn off any security that blocks pop-ups, as this may prevent the application screen from opening. While application form will still work on a tablet or mobile device, it performs best on a PC or laptop.

Can I apply for more than one course?

Yes, however a separate online application form and payment of application fee AUD$75.00 will be required for each course you would like to apply for.

What do I do if the audition/ interview dates are not suitable?

NIDA aims to accommodate all Australian states during the audition/ interview period.

If the dates provided are not suitable to individuals applying to non-Acting courses we will try to work with you to create a mutually agreeable alternative. If you cannot attend any of the available dates, please select ‘Other Interstate’ when completing the application form and email applications@nida.edu.au to discuss further options.

Unfortunately due to the large volume of applications to the Bachelor of Fine Arts (Acting) course, we cannot schedule any alternative dates other than those advertised.

Audition and interview FAQs

What do I need to prepare for my audition/interview?

All the details for audition and interview requirements can be found on the individual course pages under the ‘How to Apply’ tab.

Does NIDA give audition/interview feedback?

Due to the large number of people being auditioned or interviewed, it is not possible for NIDA to provide individual feedback, either orally or in writing. However, the auditions and interviews are learning experiences, particularly through the opportunity in the auditions to observe the presentation of audition pieces by other applicants and any redirection suggestions provided to you or other applicants by members of the audition panel. 

What are my chances of getting into NIDA’s Acting course straight from high school?

There are around 1700 applicants for the 24 places in the Acting course. Most school leavers who apply for the Acting course are not accepted the first time they apply. There are advantages to having some life experience and maturity to be able to cope with a very rigorous course. However, the audition process is a valuable one and provides useful experience for future applications. There were two school-leavers among the 24 applicants selected for entry in 2016.

Where will my interview take place?

During your online application you will have the opportunity to select the date and location of your audition/ interview. The specific location details will be included in your receipt once you have submitted a complete application form. Please note that NIDA reserves the right to amend your audition/ interview date/ location at any time depending on scheduling requirements.

What happens after my interview?

Final selections are made for each course by mid- December when study offers will be distributed to successful applicants via email.

Please note applicants who do not make it through to the recall stage for Bachelor of Fine Arts (Acting) and Master of Fine Arts (Directing) courses have not been successful for the 2019 intake.

Studying at NIDA FAQs

What are the contact hours for BFA courses?

Students are at NIDA from 9am to 6pm from Monday to Friday. During production terms students may also be required for rehearsals after hours and on weekends.

Additional time also needs to be allocated to library work, research, preparation for classes and private study. For this reason it is difficult for NIDA students to maintain regular part-time jobs. Studying at NIDA is a big commitment so students need to manage their time and resources carefully.

How are NIDA’s courses structured?

NIDA offers a conservatoire based method of education and training based around intensive practice-based learning.

There is formal class work, practical instruction, lectures and, for some courses, periods of placements in the arts industry. Each course has dedicated time to discipline-specific immersion, as well as common subjects undertaken by students of all disciplines.

NIDA Play Productions and screen work provides practical learning experiences, giving students the opportunity to apply learnt technical skills. Play productions are an important part of NIDA’s higher education courses with usually five productions being produced each semester.

More detailed information about course structure can be found on the individual course pages. 

What facilities does NIDA offer?

NIDA’s award winning campus includes a range of facilities available to students:

  • the Parade Theatre, seating over 700 people, is equipped with advanced technology in sound, lighting and scenery
  • performance spaces of varying sizes. The Parade Studio, Parade Playhouse, Parade Space and Atrium are also utilised for productions
  • the state-of-the-art Reg Grundy Studio is used for film and television recording
  • the Rodney Seaborn Library, specialising in the performing arts
  • computer-aided design (CAD) and multimedia studios
  • rehearsal rooms, teaching spaces and music practice rooms
  • and workshops for the manufacture of scenery, properties and costumes.

What student services does NIDA offer?

Because of NIDA’s close relationship with UNSW, in addition to the NIDA library, NIDA students have access to the UNSW Library, The Learning Centre, health services and the UNSW Fitness and Aquatic Centre, all located close to NIDA.

NIDA students have access to student counselling services provided through UNSW.

Indigenous students can also use the services of the Nura Gili Indigenous Programs Centre at UNSW.

Does NIDA offer credit transfer for study undertaken elsewhere?

Yes, NIDA grants credit for formal study undertaken in recognised higher institutions in Australia, including universities, colleges, TAFE and other post-secondary education institutions and for study at recognised overseas institutions, where the applicant has met the learning outcomes, attained the knowledge and/or developed the skills relevant to a specific subject. An application for credit must be submitted and approved prior to commencement of the course. For further information see NIDA’s credit transfer policy.

Accommodation FAQs

NIDA does not provide accommodation for students. However the following information will help you consider some options available to you.

UNSW on-campus housing

Although NIDA is not part of the University of New South Wales (UNSW), NIDA students can access the student accommodation at UNSW.

UNSW is located directly across from NIDA on Anzac Parade, Kensington and has a number of on-campus residential colleges and self-catered apartments that Study Abroad students can apply for by going directly to their websites:

Fully catered colleges:

Self-catered apartments:

Seeking rental accommodation independently

Rental accommodation in the immediate vicinity of NIDA is not usually easy to find at short notice, can be expensive and Sydney landlords usually require a minimum six month lease to be signed. It is also in high demand so it is advisable to start searching at least two or three weeks before you start the course. You should also consider that not all accommodation is furnished and you may need to buy furniture.

Students tend to look for accommodation in suburbs near NIDA such as Randwick, Kensington, Kingsford, Coogee and Maroubra or, slightly further away, in Newtown, Surry Hills or Paddington, because of proximity and transport services. Students at NIDA often have to stay late during production and projects times so it is important that transport is available. Some useful websites that list rental agents and/or rental accommodation are:

Seeking share housing

Many students at NIDA find share accommodation in houses and apartments in the surrounding areas. The advantage to share renting is that all costs, rent, electricity, gas etc are shared, reducing the overall cost of living. Share rentals are often advertised on the rental websites given above, but NIDA students also post notices to the student web pages when they are seeking someone to share their accommodation. Students will be able to access these pages as soon as they have accepted their offer of place at NIDA.

Alternatively, there are local, public forums for seeking share-housing independently such as flatmates.com.au and closed Facebook groups such as Eastern Suburbs Housemates and Inner West Housemates (read the guidelines listed and request to join).

For any queries regarding the NIDA Study Abroad program contact us at applications@nida.edu.au.

NIDA Student policies FAQs

Can I defer my studies at NIDA?

Due to the highly competitive nature of NIDA’s admissions process, you must enrol for the year for which you have been offered a place. You cannot defer acceptance of a place. If you want to enrol in a subsequent year, you will need to apply again the following year and go through the audition/interview process again. There is no guarantee that you will be offered a place next time.

A first year student who discontinues a course of study during the year and wishes to return the following year, must re-apply for admission to NIDA in the normal manner. There is no guarantee of re-admission.

Application for leave of absence by continuing students must be made in writing with reasons to the Head of Course for consideration and recommendation to the Director. Approval for leave of absence can only be granted by the Director/CEO. It should be noted that approval for leave of absence will only be granted under exceptional circumstances.

Can students be suspended from NIDA?

In addition to cancellation of enrolment for non-payment of tuition fees, a student’s enrolment at NIDA can be suspended or cancelled on the grounds of misconduct. Refer to the Student Misconduct Procedures below.

Where can I find more information about NIDA Student Policies?

See NIDA Student Policies for more information. 

Fees FAQs

What are the tuition fees for accredited courses?

Full information about tuition fees and FEE-HELP is available under the ‘Fees’ tab on individual course pages. 

Are there any other costs to study at NIDA apart from tuition fees?

There is an optional annual fee of $40 to join the Student Council of NIDA (SCON).While students are provided with the script of any plays they are involved in as part of the NIDA Production Program, students are encouraged to purchase other scripts and textbooks for subjects such as Performance and Ideas.

Acting students must wear “blacks” to class everyday i.e. leotards, jogging pants, sweat pants, simple black tops or T-shirts, so students need to make sure they have at least a couple of sets of blacks to get themselves through the week. Acting students must also supply their own make-up and soft black shoes.

Scenic Construction and Technologies, Design for Performance, Costume, Properties and Objects, Technical Theatre and Stage Management students are required to purchase specific tools and equipment, which should be considered as lifelong investments. Students using workshop spaces are also required to have closed-toe protective footwear. Technical Theatre and Stage Management students should also have a few sets of “blacks” for working on productions.

Design for Performance students are also expected to purchase their own art equipment, drawing paper, cardboard and other material for models and should allow around $1000 for this each year.

To access NIDA wireless (iWIRE) network, students are required to have access to a Laptop (Windows 7 and later), Macbook (Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard or later) or a Tablet (less than three years old with wireless facility). All the devices should comply with 802.11a/b/g/n WPA-Enterprise security.

For file transfers and data backup, a 500GB hard drive or higher and an 8GB USB stick are also recommended, as is a DVD burner, for optimum visual graphics on your computer(Laptop/MacBook/Desktop etc..) a 1GB dedicated graphics card is recommended but not compulsory.

For a full list of additional costs by course please refer to the NIDA Domestic Undergraduate Student Fees Schedule 2019 (PDF 1115KB).

Financial assistance FAQs

Are there scholarships available for studying at NIDA?

NIDA does not offer scholarships that cover the cost of tuition fees. NIDA students, who are Australian citizens, are able to access FEE-HELP loans for assistance with their tuition fees. For more information on FEE-HELP loans see www.studyassist.gov.au.

NIDA offers students the opportunity to apply for financial assistance (bursaries) at the beginning of each year to assist with living costs. The bursaries are made available through the generosity of donors to NIDA and from bequests. Bursaries are paid on a fortnightly basis during the NIDA year, with the value of individual bursaries in 2014 ranging from $1500 annually to $4000 annually, depending on need and the year and course of study. These funds are allocated to students on the basis of financial need, course of study and year of study. Bursaries are only available to students currently enrolled at NIDA.

What other financial assistance is available to undergraduate students?

Eligible students enrolled in NIDA’s undergraduate courses can apply to Centrelink for Austudy, Youth Allowance and ABSTUDY. Visit Centrelink or call 132 490 for more information. 

Is financial assistance available for students in the Master of Fine Arts?

The Master of Fine Arts courses are not approved courses for students to receive Austudy, Youth Allowance (student) and Pensioner Education Supplement through Centrelink. Master of Fine Arts students are eligible to apply for a NIDA bursary

NZ and international students FAQs

Is there a limit on the number of international students accepted each year?

NIDA welcomes applications from international students. While there is no quota for international students, there are limited numbers of students in each course.

What are the English language requirements for international students?

Students must be proficient in written and spoken English, with international applicants required to have an English language proficiency equivalent to an overall band score of IELTS 8.0 for Acting, Directing and Writing for Performance, or IELTS 7.0 for other higher education courses. Information on IELTS and testing centres in your country is available at www.ielts.org.

International applicants who are short-listed for the Acting course after the recall audition must provide evidence of their English language capability by the end of the first week in December in order to be considered in the final selection process. International applications for other courses should bring evidence of their English language capability to their interview.

Where can I find more information about international students at NIDA?

More information about studying as an international student at NIDA can be found at International students

How to apply

Applications are now open.

Apply now

Application Process

Application to NIDA is by direct entry. Applicants apply online via the NIDA website.

NIDA will accept applications for the 2019 intake from 2 July - 30 September, 2018. Auditions will be held in November.

Entry to the BFA Acting is by audition. Applicants will need to prepare several audition pieces prior to their audition - see below for details or download the BFA Application Guide for 2019.

How to apply

There are six steps to successfully applying for a NIDA course:

STEP 1

Create your application account (link to be provided from 2 July).

You will then be sent an automatic email with your log in details to continue your application.

STEP 2

Log in, select the green ‘New Application’ button and complete the online form.

STEP 3

Upload the following documentation to the online form:

  • Evidence of your most recent qualification (e.g. school report, Higher School Certificate, university transcript or testamur).
  • Proof of identification (e.g. passport, driver’s licence, birth certificate; ID must show your date of birth).
  • A passport style photograph (less than six months old, in colour, well lit, plain background).
  • Academic IELTS or equivalent (international applicants only)
  • Any course related documents/portfolios.

STEP 4

Make payment of the AUD$75 administration fee by credit/debit card.

STEP 5

Book your audition or interview date in your nearest capital city.

STEP 6

Attend your audition or interview, having prepared the relevant material for your course.

Audition dates

Below are the expected first round and recall dates for 2018. Please note: NIDA reserves the right to amend and otherwise alter audition dates and locations, subject to minimum applicant numbers per region.

Adelaide

  • w/c 26 November 2018

Brisbane

  • w/c 12 November 2018

Canberra

  • Friday, 23 November 2018
  • Recalls in Sydney

Darwin

  • Thursday, 22 November 2018
  • Recalls in the afternoon

Hobart

  • w/c 3 December 2018

Melbourne

  • w/c 26 November 2018
  • Recalls w/c 3 December

Perth

  • w/c 19 November 2018

Sydney

  • w/c 26 November 2018
  • w/c 3 December 2018
  • Recalls w/c 10 December 2018

Townsville

  • Tuesday, 20 November 2018
  • Recalls in the afternoon

Your Audition

What to prepare

There are four pieces of work you will need to prepare in total; two for the first round and two for the recall, if you are invited to present further work.

FIRST ROUND AUDITION

1. ONE CLASSICAL PIECE
This should be a short monologue from a Shakespearian or Jacobean play. This must be in verse; it cannot be a sonnet or a poem. You may choose a piece from the Suggested Classical Monologues list or a piece of your own choosing

2. ONE MODERN/CONTEMPORARY PIECE
This should be a short monologue from a published play (Australian or international). This can be any play spanning the period of Anton Chekov (early 1900s) to the present day. You are welcome to present your modern/contemporary piece in the language of your cultural background if you so choose. However, you must be prepared to present it in English as well.

  • Your monologues must be no longer than two minutes. You will not be timed, but you should try and stick as close to two minutes as possible.
  • Your monologues must be memorised and fully prepared for the audition.
  • Bring two hard copies of the Classical piece if you have not selected from the Suggested Classical Audition Monologues.
  • Bring two hard copies of your modern/contemporary piece with you (one for you to have on hand, and one for the audition panel).
RECALL AUDITION

In the event that you are invited to attend a recall audition you will need to have prepared two additional pieces of work as outlined below:

3. A DUOLOGUE
Text to be provided by NIDA; you will be paired with another applicant.

4. EITHER a) A THIRD PIECE OF YOUR OWN CHOOSING

The third piece may be Classical or Modern/Contemporary.

OR b) A MUSICAL THEATRE SONG
Prepare a song from the list below; you will be provided with a piano accompanist.

What to expect on the day

ON THE AUDITION DAY
  • You should be prepared to spend half the day at your audition (i.e. either the morning or the afternoon).
  • Firstly, a NIDA staff member will run through some information about the Acting course, and you will have an opportunity to ask any questions about the course or the audition process.
  • The whole group will then participate in some movement and vocal warms ups before starting the monologue presentations.
  • In the first round audition you will present your Classical and Modern/Contemporary monologues to the panel. Other applicants will also be in the room. One of your pieces will be worked so be prepared to take direction from the panel.

ON THE RECALL DAY

  • If the panel would like to see more from you, they will invite you back for a recall audition, which will take place on a separate date. You should be prepared to spend the whole day at the recall.
  • The recall will involve a group warm up and the presentation of one, or both, of your first round monologues, which may or may not be worked on.
  • If you are invited to the afternoon session of the recall audition, you will be asked to present EITHER a third piece (of your choice) or a song (please only choose from the list provided by NIDA). You may also be asked to work with a partner (another applicant) on the duologue.
  • If at the end of the recall audition the panel would like to shortlist you, they will film one of your pieces for review on selection day (mid-December).

Please note if you are not invited to attend a recall audition, or you do not make it to the filming section of the recall audition, you should consider your application unsuccessful this year.

Dos and don'ts

DO:
  • Only select monologues from published plays. Excerpts from TV programs or films are not acceptable
  • Read the whole play that your monologue comes from – research is important
  • Choose characters close to your current age range – while you don’t need to stick to your exact age try to avoid the extremes, such as Shakespeare’s King Lear or Willy Loman from Death of a Salesman
  • Choose characters who are in circumstances you can identify with and that you will enjoy exploring
  • Select pieces that are new to you and that you have not presented before
  • Pick monologues that will showcase you and your acting choices
  • Feel free to use contrasting material when selecting your monologues; for example, serious and comic or internal versus external
  • Think about who you are talking to in the monologue and what you want from them – know what you mean and what you say
  • Make all of your monologues active, use an invisible partner – for example, your audience – as a friend, conspirator, confidant or whatever is needed for the scene
  • Relax and enjoy yourself – we find that most applicants manage to relax and enjoy the experience and we hope that you will too!
DON'T:
  • Don’t use a book of monologues, except as a reference – if you find a piece in an audition book that you like you must still read the whole play
  • Don’t select material for shock value, as this often backfires – while there are no real rules around this we suggest that you avoid material with strong sexual references or excessive use of expletives
  • Don’t present monologues you have prepared and presented at previous NIDA auditions
  • Don’t present any monologue other educational institutions have on their audition monologue sheets – we understand that this may result in extra work if you are auditioning for other institutions, but we are interested in your curiosity, hunger and level of preparation.

Tips for the day

REMEMBER:
  • that this is your audition – while it is useful to test out your monologue on a friend, do not worry about acting coaches and don't let anybody tell you how to act it
  • to wear suitable clothing – any casual clothing that does not limit your movement is acceptable
  • that you will be asked to work in bare feet, so do not wear closed-toe tights
  • to wear little or no make-up.

Audition preparation materials

Advanced standing

The collaborative nature of NIDA's conservatoire training means that NIDA does not encourage advanced standing/academic credit/recognition of prior learning, particularly for discipline based subjects. However a student can apply for academic credit or recognition of prior learning at the time of enrolment. Details are available on the student policies page.

See definitions for common terminology (PDF, 33KB).

Student profile

The table below gives an indication of the educational backgrounds of the 2018 commencing undergraduate BFA peer cohort in all disciplines at NIDA.

It should be noted that as selection and admission to courses at NIDA is based on merit the statistics below may not be indicative of the educational backgrounds of commencing cohorts on a year to year basis.

Applicant BackgroundNumber of studentsPercentage of all students
(A) Past higher education study7 11.5%
(B) Past Vocational Education and Training study1829.5%
(C) Recent secondary education
Admitted on basis of other criteria and ATAR was not a factor
20 32.8%
(D) Work and life experience15 24.6%
International students1 1.6%
All students61 100%

L/N - Low numbers: the number of students is less than 5.
N/P - Not published: the number is hidden to prevent calculation of numbers in cells with less than 5 students.

What does it take to put on a show?

Take a peek behind the curtain to see how our students collaborate each year on our June and October Student Production seasons.

Student work

See some of our students' work from productions, events, rehearsals, classwork and student projects.

Careers

Graduates of the Bachelor of Fine Arts (Acting) will have the performance skills and theoretical knowledge to be employed in a range of industries, including television, film, theatre and radio.

Students will graduate having studied one of three Studio Majors: Music Theatre, Applied Theatre, or Physical Theatre. Graduating students will also have a professional portfolio through which to showcase their talent and have ample opportunities to connect with industry professionals including agents and casting directors.

Potential careers include Actor for film, television, stage and audio.

See NIDA's list of Alumni.

Further Info

For more info, check the course guide (PDF, 2.5MB)

If you have any further questions about the application process, please contact:

Email: applications@nida.edu.au

Phone: +61 (02) 9697 7614
+61 (02) 9697 7611
+61 (02) 9697 7654

Mail:

Applications
NIDA
215 Anzac Parade
Kensington NSW 2033

Further information:

NIDA Undergraduate and Graduate policies and procedures
Commonwealth Register
National Register of Higher Education Providers

Read more about NIDA's Head of Acting John Bashford.


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