• BFA Staging student welding
  • Staging student welding on set
  • Staging students and teacher construct the base of a fountain
  • BFA Staging student uses a machine to cut wood

Staging

NIDA’s Bachelor of Fine Arts (Staging) is an immersive, practice-based course that teaches students how to create the environments in which performances take place.

The course equips students with an understanding of all aspects of staging, including current staging practice, stage engineering, stage rigging and automation, and risk and project management, as well as a broader theoretical and contextual knowledge of theatre, arts and culture.

During their first year, students study timber and metal fabrication, rigging, mechanics, drafting, computer-aided design and stage machinery, among other related areas.

In their second year, students design and realise solutions to specified staging challenges, and explore the world of automation and control.

In their third year, students act as construction managers or technical managers for NIDA’s full-scale productions, working alongside fellow students to bring staging concepts to life. Industry placements with a leading production company give students hands on experience, a broader understanding of the live performance industry, and a chance to create contacts and networks for further professional development.

The only set construction and supervision course of its kind offered in Australia, and one of only a few available worldwide, this internationally recognised course equips students to pursue careers as technical designers and managers, construction managers, set builders, staging technicians and mechanists in the arts and entertainment industries, including for theatre, opera, dance, film, television, music festivals and other live events.

Want to know more about this course? Nick Day, Head of Staging and Lynsey Brown, Associate Lecturer Staging explain.

 

Contact NIDA


Bachelor of Fine Arts (Staging) CRICOS CODE 083700G

Interviews and how to apply

Applications will be open July–September 2017, to study at NIDA in 2018.

Entry to the course is by interview. All applications received by 30 September will receive an interview place. Interviews will be held across Australia between late October and early December 2017. Late applications may be considered if interview places are still available.

Course requirements

Entry 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.

  • All applicants applying for any undergraduate course at NIDA must have completed their Higher School Certificate or equivalent qualification prior to the start of their chosen course.
  • Applicants must also be 18 years of age by 31 March in their first year of enrolment. Only in exceptional circumstances can this condition be waived.
  • Students must be proficient in written and spoken English.


INTERNATIONAL APPLICANTS

We require all international applicants for the Costume course to:

  • Attend an interview 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 8.0 IELTS and bring evidence of your English language capability to your interview. Information on IELTS and testing centres in your country is available at http://www.ielts.org/

Additional information

  • The Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees are 3 years, full-time
  • Timetabled hours are 9am-6pm, Monday-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.
  • 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.

Application Process

How to prepare

1. Complete the Course Questionnaire

  • The Course Questionnaire will be emailed to you after completion of your online application. You will be able to respond to the questionnaire by clicking on the link and answering the questions on the online survey form.
  • You should go into detail about your interests in theatre and film and in your chosen course.
  • Please complete your Course Questionnaire and submit it well in advance of your interview.

2. Prepare your Staging Project

  • Please download and read the staging project information. Project information will be available from July 2017. 
  • Read the project instructions carefully and prepare your project well ahead of time. Do not leave it until the last minute.
  • Projects must be prepared in advance and brought with you to interview

3. Prepare your Portfolio

  • You should bring to the interview examples of past work (both images as well as some actual examples) that you feel will support your application and demonstrate your suitability for a career in staging and the arts and entertainment industry. (if not submitted digitally with your application)

4. Demonstrate at interview why you want to work in the arts and entertainment industry.

Project information

Project options

Project options will be available from July 2017. 

Project requirements

1. Choose one of the titles from the production options and prepare a model of how you would like to see the production staged (a plan and section of the theatre will be available to download from 1 July).

  • Make your model from any suitable materials that effectively show how you would stage the stage – common examples are balsa, cardboard or foamcore, but you can choose anything.
  • Only use a scale of 1:25 (use a scale rule for accuracy).
  • Build the model on a strong base – plywood or thin particleboard.
  • Your model should indicate the colour and finishes of the set.
  • Your model should include at least one human figure (at 1:25 scale) to give a sense of scale.

2. Prepare a two-page written statement of how you would stage your chosen production. At your interview, be prepared to discuss:

  • What style, period and/or concept you would choose to set the production in and why.
  • A scene/act or elemental transition you think would benefit from the use of an automated or mechanical stage effect.
  • How you would go about achieving this effect. This description can include diagrams and/or photographs.

Theatre plans

Download the theatre design documents you will need for your project here.

Theatre-Plan.pdf

Theatre-Section.pdf

The Interview

What to expect on the day

If interviewing in Sydney, you should be prepared to spend half the day at your interview (i.e. either the morning or the afternoon). Interstate interviews will be scheduled on the hour.

  1. First, there will be a brief talk about NIDA, the Staging Course and what will happen during the individual interview. There will be an opportunity for you to ask any questions you may have about NIDA or about the interview itself.
  2. Each applicant will then be interviewed for around 30 minutes. During the interview, we will discuss your project; your ideas about theatre, film and so on; and why you want to study Staging at NIDA.

The interview process is informal and open. Should you have any queries about the interview process or about what is said to you during the course of the interview, please convey your thoughts to a member of the interview panel before you leave.

Interview tips

Preparation! The more time and effort you put into the project and interview preparation in advance, the more confident you’ll be and the more you will benefit from the interview and discussion.

Come with a clear idea of why you want to study Staging at NIDA.

Plan your journey to the interview. Give yourself plenty of travel time to allow for delays.

We know that interviews can be stressful, but every effort will be made to ensure your experience will be as interesting and enjoyable as possible. The interview is designed to give you the very best opportunity to show your potential and readiness to study at NIDA.

Selection Process

Selection of students

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.

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

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

Age and education requirements

  • All applicants applying for any undergraduate course at NIDA must have completed their Higher School Certificate or equivalent qualification at the end of high school.
  • Applicants must also be 18 years of age by 31 March in their first year of enrolment. Only in exceptional circumstances can this condition be waived.
  • Students must be proficient in written and spoken English.

International students

We require all international applicants to:

  • attend an interview in Australia, although an initial interview can be conducted through Skype or equivalent.
  • 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 and bring evidence of your English language capability to your interview. 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.

International students (all courses other than acting) should select the option ‘International- Offshore Applicant’ a representative from NIDA will then be in touch via email to organise an interview over Skype which will suit both you and our staff.

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

Contact

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

Course Structure

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. 

2017 course dates

SEMESTER 1

Term 1: 23 January–7 April

Mid-Semester Break: 8–23 April

Term 2: 24 April–23 June

MID-YEAR BREAK: 24 June–16 July

SEMESTER 2

Term 3: 17 July–1 September

Mid-Semester Break: 2–10 September

Term 4: 11 September–10 November

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

2018 course dates

SEMESTER 1

Welcome week- 29 January-2 February

Term 1: 5 February-13 April

Mid-Semester Break: 14–29 April

Term 2: 30 April–29 June

MID-YEAR BREAK: 30 June-22 July

SEMESTER 2

Term 3: 23 July–1 September

Mid-Semester Break: 2–7 September

Term 4: 17 September–15 November

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

Course requirements

Entry 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.

  • All applicants applying for any undergraduate course at NIDA must have completed their Higher School Certificate or equivalent qualification prior to the start of their chosen course.
  • Applicants must also be 18 years of age by 31 March in their first year of enrolment. Only in exceptional circumstances can this condition be waived.
  • Students must be proficient in written and spoken English.


INTERNATIONAL APPLICANTS

We require all international applicants for the Costume course to:

  • Attend an interview 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 8.0 IELTS and bring evidence of your English language capability to your interview. Information on IELTS and testing centres in your country is available at http://www.ielts.org/

Additional information

  • The Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees are 3 years, full-time
  • Timetabled hours are 9am-6pm, Monday-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.
  • 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.

Subjects 

First year

First year at a glance

In brief
  • Materials and structures
  • Stage rigging
  • Venue architecture
  • Project management
  • Stage Machinery and CAD
Delivery mode
  • Classes
  • Participation in NIDA production
  • Individual and group projects

Staging Studio

SEMESTER ONE

STG7101A STAGING STUDIO (30 credit points)

This subject provides a foundation for the study of materials and structures, mechanics, rigging, CAD drafting and physics of stage machinery and their principles and practice in the performing arts as well as project management.

This subject is delivered through lectures and practical class work. It introduces the students to hands on experience in carpentry and metal fabrication techniques and investigates the properties, strengths and weaknesses of a broad range of set construction materials as well as looking at basic mechanical components and their uses.

The subject is assessed through the keeping and presentation of reflective journals and a formal presentation of completed project work.

SEMESTER TWO

STG7101B STAGING STUDIO (30 credit points)

This subject contributes to the continuing formation of a framework of foundation knowledge and skills which furthers the study of materials and structures, mechanics, rigging, CAD drafting and physics of stage machinery as well as introducing students to risk management and Work, Health and Safety and venue architecture.

This subject is delivered through lectures and project work. It asks the students to draw on knowledge and skills learnt in the previous semester to investigate and construct solutions to simple stage mechanical scenarios. Students also examine the performance space both in terms of its function and design as well as from a work safety point of view.

Assessment is through the keeping and presentation of reflective journals and a formal presentation of completed project work.

Staging Interdisciplinary Collaboration

SEMESTER ONE

STG7102A STAGING INTERDISCIPLINARY COLLABORATION (15 credit points)

This subject is closely tied to the NIDA play production program and immerses the student in the business of making theatre. Following an introductory term in the basic concepts and skills required to make scenery, manage time and finances and the safe and efficient use of workshop resources, the students work on a specific production in the role of sets assistant, where, under supervision, they support a third year Staging student in the realisation of a third year Design for Performance student’s set design for the play to be produced.

SEMESTER TWO

STG7102B STAGING INTERDISCIPLINARY COLLABORATION (15 credit points)

This subject is closely tied to the NIDA play production program and immerses the student in the business of making theatre. In this semester the student is attached to a production which will expose them to a different set of constraints through the filtering of venues and design parameters by Staging academic staff. Students work under the supervision of Staging teaching staff, and support a third year Staging student in the realisation of a third year design student’s set design.

Performance and Ideas

SEMESTER ONE

COM7101A PERFORMANCE AND IDEAS (10 credit points)

This subject investigates six different play texts to create a trans-historical understanding of the tragic form and the ideas that have influenced tragedy across the centuries.

Students interrogate three main questions:

  • What is tragedy?
  • In what way has innovation in the tragic forms sprung out of a tradition of practices?
  • In what way does this tradition influence our meaning making and practice today?

Students investigate these questions within the broader context of the ‘world views’ through which we can examine tragedy critically, the responses that these ‘world views’ have provoked to tragedy, the way we have responded to them artistically, and what tragedy can teach us about ourselves and about society.

SEMESTER TWO

COM7101B PERFORMANCE AND IDEAS (10 credit points)

This subject’s focus is on comic forms and intercultural analysis. It investigates five different play texts to create a framework of understanding of the comic form and the ideas that have influenced comedy across the centuries, in particular interculturalism.

Students consider three main questions:

  • What is comedy?
  • In what way has innovation in the comic forms sprung out of a tradition of practices?
  • In what way does this tradition influence our meaning making and our practice today?

The subject sets these questions within a broad sociological and historical context and provokes students to reflect on the impact of comedy in the theatre and in wider society.

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

Second year at a glance

In brief
  • Power, data and control systems
  • Technical design and consulting
Delivery mode
  • Classes
  • Given and self derived projects
  • Production supervision

Staging Studio

SEMESTER ONE

STG 7201A STAGING STUDIO (30 credit points)

Students are introduced to the fundamentals of electrical engineering and how these laws are applied in the specification of staging components in terms of generation and distribution as well as the conversion of electrical energy to mechanical power through actuators. It also introduces the students to methods of controlling these systems using electro-mechanical devices and computers.

This subject is delivered through lectures and project work. The students are invited to apply the theory learnt in lectures to practical scenarios in the workshop and appraise the outcomes various technologies.

The subject is assessed through the keeping and presentation of reflective journals, on-line tests and a formal presentation of completed project work.

SEMESTER TWO

STG7201B STAGING STUDIO (30 credit points)

This subject synthesises knowledge and skills learnt to date, and requires the student to integrate these into a technical design project from a given brief.

This subject is delivered through supervised project work, which is mentored by industry professionals who work in the area being investigated. The outcome of the project is documentation aimed at selling the solution to a prospective production house.

The subject is assessed through the quality of the documents presented and the presentation of them to the production’s 'producers’. 

Staging Interdisciplinary Collaboration

SEMESTER ONE

STG7202A STAGING INTERDISCIPLINARY COLLABORATION (10 credit points)

This is an applied research practicum subject. Under the guidance of tutors, students research and develop areas of specialist interest within technical staging. To inform this research, students may observe and participate in approved projects either within and/or beyond NIDA campus. The parallel subject, Staging Professional Practice, supports students’ increased knowledge through facilitation of visits to and by Industry leaders within the chosen specialisation.

SEMESTER TWO

STG7202B STAGING INTERDISCIPLINARY COLLABORATION (10 credit points)

This subject involves the Staging students with the MFA Directors’ program and sees the students take part in two distinct projects.

The first involves the realisation of a performance art piece / installation, devised and staged in cohort with the Directing students.

The second places the Staging student in the role of construction manager under the supervision of the Head of Staging. The students put into practice the skills and processes that they were introduced to in Staging Studio. The students engage in the full production process from initial design consultations through the planning, construction and rehearsal process to technical rehearsals, performance and bump-outs.

The subject presents students with experience of working as a team with the production manager and construction manager to interact and negotiate design outcomes.

Staging Professional Practice

SEMESTER ONE

STG7203A PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE (5 credit points)

In this subject the student takes on the role of technical consultant and is involved in the creation and presentation of technical design solutions to a group of tutors who take on various roles within a creative production environment. Through this hypothetical production exercise, students experience professional relationships and the expectations of the client as well as negotiate outcomes given a previously agreed set of deliverables.

SEMESTER TWO

STG7203B PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE (5 credit points)

This subject incorporates industry involvement to expose the student to the role of stage mechanical and automation consultancy in the context of venues. This subject tests the students’ vocational literacy, asking them to apply knowledge and skills and present costed solutions in a work environment.

Performance and Ideas

SEMESTER ONE

COM7201A PERFORMANCE AND IDEAS (10 credit points)

This subject draws together some of the earlier learning about tragedy and comedy and brings into focus twelve

different play texts through which students form an understanding of the tragi-comedic form and the ideas that have influenced it across the centuries.

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, and culminates in a study of nine different works to develop an understanding of non-Aristotelian experiments as they have impacted on the development of contemporary performance. The subject addresses the questions:

  • What can performance be?
  • What are the ethics of performance?
In what way has innovation in performance ruptured, adapted and affirmed a tradition of practice?

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

Third year at a glance

In brief
  • Completing a technical masterwork
  • Undertaking industry placement
  • Work on two NIDA productions
Delivery mode
  • Classes
  • Independent project work
  • Industry placement

Staging Studio

SEMESTER ONE

STG7301A STAGING STUDIO (30 credit points)

With the support of their coordinator students define their own brief that prescribes and informs the realisation of a ‘masterwork’. From this brief students undertake a research and development process that explores a variety of techniques to be employed in the final realisation of the masterwork. This process will deliver the planning and management strategies of the research process and also the scheduling of the creation of a physical outcome, either a prototype or partial/scale model.

Throughout this process students are monitored and tutored on their progress and direction. Students may be referred to industry professionals who may mentor their progress.

The subject is assessed through the keeping and presentation of a reflective journal and a formal presentation of schedules, budgets and drawings, which are to lead to the realisation of the masterwork.

SEMESTER TWO

STG7301B STAGING STUDIO (20 credit points)

Students realise the research brief they outlined and documented in the preceding semester. Using an allotted budget and NIDA workshop resources as well as any industry relationships that may be necessary, the students create prototypes or scale models to illustrate their masterwork design.

This subject is predominantly self-directed with timetabled tutorial time each week for the coordinator to assist the student in steering their project.

The subject is assessed through the formal presentation of completed project work to an invited audience.

Staging Interdisciplinary Collaboration

SEMESTER ONE

STG7302A STAGING INTERDISCIPLINARY COLLABORATION (20 credit points)

This subject uses the NIDA play production program to immerse the student in the practice of Staging for performance.

The students take on key leadership roles as construction manager or technical manager with first year students assigned as their assistants. The students form part of the creative team and are responsible for analysing and rationalising the design concepts, providing creative solutions to any structural, mechanical or environmental problems and delivery and installation of the staging requirements to the theatre.

SEMESTER TWO

STG7302B STAGING INTERDISCIPLINARY COLLABORATION (20 credit points)

This subject uses the NIDA play production program to immerse the student in the practice of Staging for performance.

The students take on key leadership roles as construction manager or technical manager with first year students assigned as their assistants. The students form part of the creative team and are responsible for analysing and rationalising the design concepts, providing creative solutions to any structural, mechanical or environmental problems and delivery and installation of the staging requirements to the theatre.

Staging Professional Practice

SEMESTER ONE

STG7303A PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE (10 credit points)

This purpose of this subject is threefold. Firstly, it instils students with the non-discipline specific skills and knowledge they will require to successfully pursue careers within a professional artistic environment. Secondly, it commences the introduction and integration of the students into professional industries, networks and communities; and thirdly it furnishes the student with place and audience through which to explore and comment on contemporary performance practice and their aspirations.

SEMESTER TWO

STG7303B PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE (20 credit points)

This subject is a work integrated learning activity achieved through experiential and immersive learning opportunities involving substantial levels of industry collaboration. This approach coalesces the students’ practical skills and knowledge, whilst also providing students with a broader contextualisation, understanding and experience of the live performance industry.

Students develop an online journal in which they log their experiences and communicate with their subject tutor while further evaluation of their experience occurs through a formal feedback process that incorporates the observations and opinions of industry collaborators and professional mentors.

Careers

As a graduate of the Bachelor of Fine Arts (Staging) you will have the necessary skills and knowledge required to succeed across the multidisciplinary field of staging.

Potential careers

  • Staging technician
  • Technical manager
  • Technical designer
  • Art installer
  • Special effects designer
  • Systems integrator
  • Automation technician

Fees

Tuition fees

Tuition fees for domestic students, see international students for costs for international students.

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.

Tuition fees overview

Degree Course duration 2017 Annual tuition fee $AUD* Estimated total course tuition fee*
Bachelor of Fine Arts (Staging) Three years $13,998 $41,994

 

Tuition fee details 

Year 1, 2017
Subject code Subject Credit points EFTSL** Tuition fee*
Semester 1, 2017



STG7101A Staging Performance Studio 25 0.25 $2,916.25
STG7102A Staging Interdisciplinary Collaboration 20 0.125 $2,333.00
COM7101A Performance and Ideas 10 0.083 $1,166.50
COM7102A Introduction to Collaboration 5 0.042 $583.25
Total for Semester 1, 2017
60 0.5 $6,999
Semester 2, 2017



STG7101B Staging Studio 25 0.25 $2,916.25
STG7102B Staging Studio Collaboration 20 0.125 $2,333.00
COM7101B Performance and Ideas 10 0.083 $1,166.50
COM7102B Introduction to Collaboration 5 0.042 $583.25
Total for Semester 2, 2017
60 0.5 $6,999
Total for Year 1
120 1.0 $13,998
 
Year 2, 2017
Subject code Subject Credit points EFTSL** Tuition fee*
Semester 1, 2017



STG7201A Staging Studio 30 0.25 $3,499.50
STG7202A Staging Interdisciplinary Collaboration 10 0.083 $1,166.50
STG7203A Staging Professional Practice 5 0.042 $583.25
COM7201A Performance and Ideas 10 0.083 $1,166.50
COM7203A Student-led Projects 5 0.042 $583.25
Total for Semester 1, 2017
60 0.5 $6,999
Semester 2, 2017



STG7201B Staging Studio 20 0.167 $2,333.00
STG7202B Staging Interdisciplinary Collaboration 20 0.167 $2,333.00
STG7203B Staging Professional Practice 5 0.042 $583.25
COM7201B Performance and Ideas 10 0.083 $1,166.50
COM7203B Student-led Projects 5 0.042 $583.25
Total for Semester 2, 2017
60 0.5 $6,999
Total for Year 2
120 1.0 $13,998
 
Year 3, 2017
Subject code Subject Credit points EFTSL** Tuition fee*
Semester 1, 2017



STG7301A Staging Studio 30 0.25 $3,499.50
STG7302A Staging Interdisciplinary Collaboration 20 0.167 $2,333.00
STG7303A Staging Professional Practice 10 0.083 $1,166.50
Total for Semester 1, 2017
60 0.5 $6,999
Semester 2, 2017



STG7301B Staging Studio 25 0.208 $2,916.25
STG7302B Staging Interdisciplinary Collaboration 20 0.167 $2,333.00
STG7303B Staging Professional Practice 15 0.125 $1,749.75
Total for Semester 2, 2017
60 0.5 $6,999
Total for Year 3
120 1.0 $13,998
 * 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 academic year.    

Additional costs

Equipment List

While NIDA supplies access to power tools we recommend that you come with a basic tool kit including:

Compulsory WH&S equipment and tools

  • Respirator mask + filter (e.g. 3M Tekk half face respirator from Bunnings, or similar)
  • 8M metric tape measure
  • Claw hammer
  • Combination square
  • Pincers
  • Pair of combination pliers
  • Stanley knife
  • Tool belt
  • Adjustable spanner (200mm)
  • General purpose leather work gloves
  • Pair of safety specs
  • Calculator (preferably scientific)
  • Ear defenders (ear plugs are supplied)*
  • Set of bevel edge chisels ¼ , ½, ¾, 1”*
  • Panel saw 20” hard point*
  • Tennon saw*
  • Cordless drill including Phillips bits #2*
  • Block plane*
  • Machinist scriber*
  • Engineers square*
  • Bevel gauge*

* Please note these tools can be purchased through NIDA at a later date

Drawing Equipment  

  • Scale ruler (must have 1:25, 1:50, 1:10)
  • Adjustable set square
  • Protractor
  • Drawing pencils (B, 2B, HB, H, 1H, 2H)
  • Rubber and sharpener
  • Compass

Other

  • A4 pad or ring binder (plain and lined) for your journal entries
  • USB flash drive for backing up personal files
  • Padlock (for the tool storage space provided)
  • Personal camera/phone camera to document your work in progress (NIDA does have professional DSLRs for documenting completed projects) 

Required Clothing

Suitable clothing is required which includes sturdy closed toe shoes, we recommend steep caps boots or trainers.

Shortly after arriving at NIDA you will be required to have a set of black clothes (i.e. Long sleeved black top, long black trousers and black shoes) for production work. 

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. 

Download the NIDA Domestic Undergraduate Student Fees Schedule 2017 (PDF 757KB).

Domestic and international students are required to pay tuition fees by the due date each semester. Domestic students are Australian citizens, Australian permanent residents and New Zealand citizens.

International Students 

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

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 2015 the FEE-HELP lifetime limit is $97,728.

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.

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?

The first step is to fill in an application form, available online from 1 July to 30 September. 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!

Online applications are open from 1 July to 30 September annually.

If you are having difficulty using the online application form, check your internet browser: Internet Explorer, 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.

Can I apply for more than one course?

Yes, however a separate online application form and payment of application fee $150.00 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 we will try to work with you to create a suitable alternative.

If you cannot attend any of the available dates during the application process, please select the option ‘Other- Dates provided not suitable’ and email applications@nida.edu.au to discuss further options

International students (all courses other than acting) should select the option ‘International- Offshore Applicant’ a representative from NIDA will then be in touch via email to organise an interview over Skype which will suit both you and our staff.

What do I do if I haven’t received details of my interview?

Once you have submitted your application and paid your application fee you will be emailed a receipt as well as further details regarding preparation for your audition/ interview. If you do not receive any emails from NIDA please check your junk/ spam filter or promotions filter (Gmail). If you are still experiencing difficulties please contact us at: applications@nida.edu.au

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 sent to you with your receipt once you have submitted a complete application form. You will also be sent further information for how you can change the location/ date of your audition/ interview if necessary. Please note that NIDA reserves the right to amend your audition/ interview date/ location at any time depending on availability.

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 2017 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.

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. 

Staging, 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.

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

Student work

Read more about NIDA's Head of Staging Nicholas Day


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