• Two Technical Theatre students rigging on stage
  • Technical Theatre student tests sound an dlighting
  • Technical Theatre students bump in a production
  • Technical Theatre student in front of power board controlling the light and sound

Technical Theatre and Stage Management

NIDA’s Bachelor of Fine Arts (Technical Theatre and Stage Management) is an immersive, practice-based course which equips students with the specialised skills they require for a successful career in this field.

Apply now

The course focuses on innovative and effective ways to manage and integrate technical fields within live performance and event environments.

Students gain a broad range of experience and knowledge to prepare them for roles that require creative, technical and managerial expertise across multiple disciplines. Topics covered include stage management, lighting, audio, technical drawing and video for live performance. All students receive practical experience as stage managers, technical managers, technical designers and crew.

In their final year, students undertake at least 10 weeks of industry placements, where they gain essential real-world experience and have the opportunity to create contacts and networks in the performing arts industry.

This course produces graduates who are industry-ready and highly employable.

This comprehensive technical production course equips students to pursue careers in a range of technical fields within the arts and entertainment industries, including theatre, opera, dance, events and film and television.

Want to know more about this course? Graham Henstock, Head of Technical Theatre and Stage Management explains.

Contact NIDA


Bachelor of Fine Arts (Technical Theatre and Stage Management) CRICOS CODE 083701F

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 our Bachelor of Fine Arts courses to:

  • Attend an audition in Australia (Acting only)
  • 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) 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 apply

Complete and assemble the following documentation. Further information about these documents can be found in the Application Guide and Checklist

  • A photograph/ headshot
  • Proof of Identification
  • Evidence of change of name, if relevant
  • Evidence of most recent qualification
  • Academic IELTS or equivalent evidence (International students only)
  • A certified official translation of any document not in English

NIDA only accepts online applications.

There are five steps to successfully applying for a NIDA course.


Step 1 Create your NIDA account (one time only. Former applicants can use an existing account created previously).

Step 2 Complete the online application form clearly and in full.

Step 3 Attach a headshot/photograph and all requested documentation evidence (see above).

Step 4 Select an interview location & time. Please note that locations/dates/times are subject to availability, NIDA reserves the right to amend these if necessary.

Step 5 Make payment of AUD$150 application by credit/debit card.

  • When you complete the process you will receive a receipt and further email correspondence related to your choice of interview date including the address, time, arrival instructions and options for amending these details if required.
  • All eligible applicants who submit their applications by the deadline will be invited to interview.
  • Applications open 3 July to 30 September but late applications will be accepted as long as there are interview spaces available.

Interview dates

Interviews in 2017 are expected to take place in Adelaide, Brisbane, Darwin, Hobart, Melbourne, Sydney and Perth.  Under some circumstances, interviews may be conducted via Skype or its equivalent.

Adelaide

  • Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Brisbane

  • Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Darwin

  • Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Hobart

  • Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Melbourne

  • Monday, 6 November 2017

Perth

  • Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Sydney

  • Monday, 20 November 2017
  • Tuesday, 21 November 2017
  • Wednesday, 23 November 2017
  • Thursday, 24 November 2017
  • Friday, 25 November 2017
  • Monday, 27 November 2017
  • Tuesday, 28 November 2017
  • Wednesday, 29 November 2017
  • Thursday, 30 November 2017
  • Friday, 1 December 2017

Please ensure you select a date and time suitable to you during application process, if you cannot attend the available dates 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.

After you have completed your application you are able to change interview dates once, if necessary. Instructions will be provided with your receipt or please contact applications@nida.edu.au for further details.

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 Technical Theatre and Stage Management Project

  • Please download and read the project information. Project information will be available from July 2017.
  • For further information, please see our 2018 Undergraduate Application Guide and Checklist.
  • 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

View Source

PRODUCTION OPTIONS

Plays

  • The Servant of Two Masters by Nick Enright and Ron Blair
  • Blackrock by Nick Enright
  • Scorched by Wajdi Mouawad
  • Don’s Party by David Williamson
  • Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare

Operas

  • Carmen by Georges Bizet
  • Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny by Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill

Musical

  • Cabaret by John Kander and Fred Ebb

Theatre Project

1. Once you have chosen a production from the production list, you must prepare a creative project that demonstrates how you would stage your production within the nominated theatre (as per attached plans).  That project must incorporate at least one of the following forms –

  1. A 1:25 or 1:50 scale model
  2. Detailed storyboard and associated sketches
  3. Virtual (electronic) three dimensional model of the set

Whilst some elements of your production may be presented in “sketch form”, at least one technical element (the set design, lighting design, audio design or video design) must be thoroughly investigated. This investigation should be demonstrated through appropriate references and documentation.

2. Prepare a ground plan of your set

  • You must use a 1:50 scale.
  • Your ground plan can be hand-drawn or computer generated.
  • You must use the attached plan and section of the theatre as the basis for your drawing.

For further information on the project, please see our 2018 Undergraduate Application Guide and Checklist.

Written Project

Prepare a written review of a production you have seen and enjoyed recently

  • Your review should be a minimum of 300 words.
  • Rather than giving a synopsis of the production, provide a personal response to the production – tell us what you liked about it and why it inspired you.
  • Describe how the technical elements of the production supported the narrative.

Theatre Plans

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

Theatre Plan (PDF 1.6MB)

Theatre Section (PDF 1.3MB)

The Interview

How to prepare

1. Submit your application form (available from 3 July 2017)

  • Please provide only brief details of your experience on the application form, as this will be discussed in more detail at your interview.

2. Complete a Technical Theatre and Stage Management Course Questionnaire before your interview

  • The Course Questionnaire will be sent to you with the details of your interview time and date.
  • It will allow you to go into detail about your interests in theatre and film and in your chosen course.
  • Return your Course Questionnaire in plenty of time for the panel to read it before your interview.

3. Prepare your Technical Theatre Project

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

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 Technical Theatre 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 45 minutes. During the interview, we will discuss your project; your ideas about theatre, film and so on; and why you want to study Technical Theatre 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 Technical Theatre and Stage Management 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- 5 February-9 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 our Bachelor of Fine Arts courses to:

  • Attend an audition in Australia (Acting only)
  • 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) 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
  • Stage management theory and practice
  • Lighting and sound
  • Computer-aided drafting (CAD)
  • Staging scenery, costume and mechanics
  • Score reading
  • Rigging and staging 
  • Multimedia
Delivery mode
  • Classes and studio work
  • Participation in production workshops and NIDA productions

Technical Theatre and Stage Management Studio

SEMESTER ONE

TSM7101A TECHNICAL THEATRE AND STAGE MANAGEMENT STUDIO (30 credit points)

This subject introduces students to the knowledge and skills that underpin proficiency in the Technical Theatre and Stage Management disciplines. Through theoretical and applied sessions that communicate and demonstrate the primary processes, students are introduced to the practices, procedures, history and technologies that exist in the fields of stage management, lighting, audio, technical drawing, staging and multimedia.

Students are also exposed to methods for recording, classifying and integrating information in a variety of documentary forms, such as technical drawings, discipline-specific documentation, reference notes and creative journals.

Students prove their acquired knowledge and skills through a variety of projects that require them to recall, demonstrate and express the creative, technical and managerial practices, procedures and frameworks they have been introduced to in this subject.

SEMESTER TWO

TSM7101B TECHNICAL THEATRE AND STAGE MANAGEMENT STUDIO (30 credit points)

This subject deepens student understanding of the knowledge and skills that underpin the disciplines of Technical Theatre and Stage Management. Students are familiarised with the fundamental processes and technologies utilised by Technical Theatre practitioners and are encouraged to integrate these elements into their practice.

The primary technologies and procedures of stage management, lighting, audio, technical drawing, staging and multimedia are illustrated and contextualised through both theoretical and applied sessions.

Students also refine their methods for recording, classifying and integrating information in a variety of documentary forms, such as technical drawings, discipline-specific documentation, reference notes and creative journals.

Students demonstrate their acquired knowledge and skills through a variety of projects that require them to communicate comprehension of creative, technical and managerial roles, methods and procedures, as well as translate that comprehension into practical outcomes.

Technical Theatre and Stage Management Interdisciplinary Collaboration

SEMESTER ONE

TSM7102A TECHNICAL THEATRE AND STAGE MANAGEMENT INTERDISCIPLINARY COLLABORATION (10 credit points)

This subject involves an experiential learning process through which students develop, realise and apply their acquired skills and knowledge on large-scale, cross-discipline collaborative projects.

Students are assigned a technical theatre support role. Within the scope of that role, they work collaboratively with students from other intakes and disciplines to realise at least one significant performance project.

The tasks executed by the students during the performance project emulate those undertaken by technical crew members within a professional live performance environment and involve a comparable level of responsibility and expectation.

TSM7102A and TSM7102B Technical Theatre and Stage Management Interdisciplinary Collaboration are run concurrently, with half of a student intake completing each subject in each semester.

SEMESTER TWO

TSM7102B TECHNICAL THEATRE AND STAGE MANAGEMENT INTERDISCIPLINARY COLLABORATION (10 credit points)

This subject involves an experiential learning process through which students develop, realise and apply their acquired skills and knowledge on large-scale, cross-discipline collaborative projects.

Students are assigned a technical theatre support role. Within the scope of that role, they work collaboratively with students from other intakes and disciplines to realise at least one significant performance project.

The tasks executed by the students during the performance project emulate those undertaken by assistant stage managers within a professional live performance environment and involve a comparable level of responsibility and expectation.

TSM7102A and TSM7102B Technical Theatre and Stage Management Interdisciplinary Collaboration run concurrently, with half of a student intake completing each subject in each semester.

Technical Theatre and Stage Management Professional Practice

SEMESTER ONE

TSM7103A TECHNICAL THEATRE AND STAGE MANAGEMENT PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE (5 credit points)

This subject offers a context for understanding the national creative industries landscape by providing an overview of the orientating concepts, history and current composition of Australia’s performing arts markets, institutions and organisations. This content includes detailed information about employment types and trends, customary employment conditions and the industrial relations structures that shape life as a professional within Australia’s creative industries.

In addition, the subject introduces students to the personal management skills and techniques that play a critical role in successful creative careers. Amongst these practices are time management, prioritisation, scheduling and adaptability.

Linking industrial relations and good work practices, this subject also begins the process of familiarising students with the frameworks, procedures and documentation underpinning effective Workplace Health and Safety.

SEMESTER TWO

TSM7103B TECHNICAL THEATRE AND STAGE MANAGEMENT PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE (5 credit points)

The focus of this subject is on the non-discipline specific skills and knowledge students will require for forging successful careers. The subject interweaves training in basic financial management procedures and techniques with the fundamentals of working with spreadsheet software.

Furthermore, the subject emphasises the managerial and interpersonal skills that are essential within the technical theatre and stage management disciplines. As a means of imparting this knowledge and these skills, the subject concentrates specifically on effectual communication, processes of negotiation, conflict resolution techniques and modes of successful leadership. Through these topics, students will learn effective systems and practices that can be applied to the leadership and communication challenges that arise within creative industries.

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
  • Stage management and advanced analysis of theatrical management practices
  • Production management
  • Arts and financial administration
  • Arts law and Workplace Health and Safety (WHS)
  • Company, event and tour management
  • Exploring individual interests and areas of speciality
Delivery mode
  • Classes and workshops
  • Practical work on a NIDA production

Technical Theatre and Stage Management Studio

SEMESTER ONE

TSM7201A TECHNICAL THEATRE AND STAGE MANAGEMENT STUDIO (20 credit points)

Students are introduced to complex processes and technologies utilised by Technical Theatre and Stage Management practitioners. They explore the ways in which their growing understanding and aptitude in these fields can be used to identify, interrogate and resolve creative, technical and managerial challenges. Through a combination of theoretical and applied sessions, students investigate, test, analyse and clarify stage management, lighting, audio, technical drawing, staging and multimedia processes, practices and procedures.

Students improve and extend their methods for notating, categorising and presenting information in an array of documentary forms, through the generation of detailed technical drawings, comprehensive discipline-specific documentation, reference notes and creative journals. The students’ ability to synthesise and adapt their acquired knowledge and skill is tested through a variety of projects that require them to demonstrate thorough comprehension and translate that understanding into efficient and effective practice.

SEMESTER TWO

TSM7201B TECHNICAL THEATRE AND STAGE MANAGEMENT STUDIO (20 credit points)

Students are immersed in the complex vocabularies, processes and technologies and utilise their growing expertise in these fields to develop strategies and processes for managing and leading creative and technical teams. Students are encouraged to explore and refine their artistic and professional identities, processes and passions, as well as position themselves as independent artists, valuable collaborators and industry leaders.

Although theoretical sessions occur, there is a significant focus on the application, integration and demonstration of stage management, lighting, audio, technical drawing, staging and multimedia systems, practices and procedures.

Students hone their methods for notating, organising and communicating information across various documentary forms, including intricate technical drawings, specialised discipline-specific documentation, reference notes, creative journals and reflective diaries.

The depth and quality of the students’ knowledge and skill is confirmed through projects that require them to translate and evolve their comprehension into innovative and adroit practice.

Technical Theatre and Stage Management Interdisciplinary Collaboration

SEMESTER ONE

TSM7202A TECHNICAL THEATRE AND STAGE MANAGEMENT INTERDISCIPLINARY COLLABORATION (15 credit points)

This subject involves an experiential learning process through which students develop, realise and apply their acquired skills and knowledge on large-scale, cross-discipline collaborative projects. Students are assigned a stage management role within the scope of which they work collaboratively with students from other intakes and disciplines to realise at least one significant performance project.

Students are assigned a technical theatre supervisory role. Within the scope of that role, they work collaboratively with students from other intakes and disciplines to realise at least one significant performance project.

The tasks executed by the students during the performance project emulate those undertaken by technical theatre supervisors or system designers within a professional live performance environment and involve a comparable level of responsibility and expectation.

TSM7202A and TSM202B Technical Theatre and Stage Management Interdisciplinary Collaboration run concurrently, with half of a student intake completing each subject in each semester.

SEMESTER TWO

TSM7202B TECHNICAL THEATRE AND STAGE MANAGEMENT INTERDISCIPLINARY COLLABORATION (15 credit points)

This subject involves an experiential learning process through which students develop, realise and apply their acquired skills and knowledge on large-scale, cross-discipline collaborative projects. Students are assigned a stage management role within the scope of which they work collaboratively with students from other intakes and disciplines to realise at least one significant performance project.

The tasks executed by the students during the performance project emulate those undertaken by stage managers or deputy stage managers within a professional live performance environment and involve a comparable level of responsibility and expectation.

TSM7202A and TSM202B Technical Theatre and Stage Management Interdisciplinary Collaboration run concurrently, with half of a student intake completing each subject in each semester.

Technical Theatre and Stage Management Professional Practice

SEMESTER ONE

TSM7203A TECHNICAL THEATRE AND STAGE MANAGEMENT PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE (10 credit points)

This subject is designed to prepare students for their future careers as self-generating artists and professionals. In order to achieve that goal, the subject delivers knowledge and skills related to two specific topics – Professional Profile Management and Independent Business skills.

The topic of Professional Profile Management provides instruction in how to effectively create, manage and market a professional identity, including training in the preparation of portfolios and résumés, job interview techniques and the online management of professional reputations and personas.

In regards to independent business skills, the subject covers the processes that must be followed when setting up an operational entity, as well as the basics of seeking funding, business taxation and the roles and responsibilities of employers and employees.

Running parallel to both topics is ongoing learning about the frameworks, processes and documentation that contribute to operational Workplace Health and Safety.

SEMESTER TWO

TSM7203B TECHNICAL THEATRE AND STAGE MANAGEMENT PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE (30 credit points)

The intention of this subject is to extend students’ understanding of national and international creative industries and contexts, whilst also solidifying the non-discipline specific knowledge and skills utilised in business, financial and project management environments.

Throughout the subject there is a focus on the legislative and regulatory conditions that apply to creative industries, especially those that relate to copyright, privacy, commercial contracts, importation and exportation, international employment, industry specific taxation and workplace health and safety. This content is contextualised by an ongoing analysis of the key organisations, institutions and individuals that influence and operate within arts and entertainment fields and couched in terms of good governance practices for business planning, project management and grant acquittal.

In addition, students continue to explore and refine their business, financial and project management techniques through the development of complex interlaced project plans, schedules and budgets.

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

In the final year the course focuses in depth on practical work at NIDA, in which each student is expected to display professional skills closely related to professional practice, and includes an extended period of observation and professional practice working with arts and entertainment industry-based companies or practitioners.

Delivery mode
  • Practical work
  • Industry placement

Technical Theatre and Stage Management Studio

SEMESTER ONE

TSM7301A TECHNICAL THEATRE AND STAGE MANAGEMENT STUDIO (15 credit points)

Students are presented with complex hypothetical scenarios that include multilayered creative, technical and managerial challenges. The students draw upon their acquired knowledge and skill to formulate, research and develop strategies, processes and procedures for managing and overcoming the challenges present within the scenarios.

Student learning and engagement during this subject is predominately self-directed, although some supplementary resources and teaching sessions will be delivered in a blended-learning format. In addition, students will have direct access to an assigned supervisor or mentor for added support and guidance.

Students finesse their ability to document and communicate complex concepts and practices through the generation of detailed project briefs, planning documents, technical drawings, creative journals and reflective diaries.

Student progress is evaluated through the presentation of an interim report that demonstrates specific hypotheses, as well as the research and planning that has been done.

SEMESTER TWO

TSM7301B TECHNICAL THEATRE AND STAGE MANAGEMENT STUDIO (15 credit points)

With reference to the scenarios provided within the previous subject, students continue to research and develop, and then realise and test, strategies, processes and procedures for managing and overcoming multi-layered creative, technical and managerial challenges. This process culminates in a written submission that includes documentation of research methods, plus evidence of any practical demonstrations of concept. Through this submission, students will supply confirmation of the testing of their hypotheses, as well as the results of that testing, valid or otherwise.

Students refine their ability to document, communicate and evaluate complex concepts and practices through the generation of detailed project briefs, planning records, technical drawings, discipline-specific documentation, reference notes, creative journals and reflective diaries. Assessment of student capacity to translate acquired skill and knowledge into reflective practice is achieved through evaluation of the documentation and practical realisation of strategies, processes and procedures. 

Technical Theatre and Stage Management Interdisciplinary Collaboration

SEMESTER ONE

TSM7302A TECHNICAL THEATRE AND STAGE MANAGEMENT INTERDISCIPLINARY COLLABORATION (30 credit points)

Within this subject students are assigned a technical theatre design role. Within the scope of that role, they work collaboratively with students from other years and disciplines to realise at least one significant performance project.

The tasks executed by the students during the performance project emulate those undertaken by lighting, audio or multimedia designers within a professional live performance environment and involve a comparable level of responsibility and expectation.

TSM7302A and TSM7302B Technical Theatre and Stage Management Interdisciplinary Collaboration run concurrently, with half of a student intake completing each subject in each semester.

SEMESTER TWO

TSM7302B TECHNICAL THEATRE AND STAGE MANAGEMENT INTERDISCIPLINARY COLLABORATION (30 credit points)

Within this subject students are assigned a technical theatre design role. Within the scope of that role, they work collaboratively with students from other years and disciplines to realise at least one significant performance project.

Students are assigned a senior management role. Within the scope of that role, they work collaboratively with students from other intakes and disciplines to realise at least one significant performance project.

The tasks executed by the students during the performance project emulate those that might be undertaken by production managers, senior stage managers, company managers, technical managers or event managers within a professional live performance environment and involve a comparable level of responsibility and expectation. 

TSM7302A and TSM7302B Technical Theatre and Stage Management Interdisciplinary Collaboration run concurrently, with half of a student intake completing each subject in each semester.

Technical Theatre and Stage Management Professional Practice

SEMESTER ONE

TSM7303A TECHNICAL THEATRE AND STAGE MANAGEMENT PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE (15 credit points)

TSM7303A and TSM7303B Technical Theatre and Stage Management Professional Practice are synergistic subjects that seek to introduce and integrate students into professional industries, networks and communities.

In this semester, students are involved a process of formalised collaboration between NIDA and the professional industries, through which students engage in a significant work integrated learning experiences. During the semester, students spend a minimum of five weeks working with at least one industry partner, receiving direct experience of the practices, processes and environments of professional industry.

Student performance and progress is assessed through a process that incorporates the observations and feedback of industry collaborators and professional mentors, as well as a self-reflective element, through which the students document, analyse and synthesise their experiences.

SEMESTER TWO

TSM7303B TECHNICAL THEATRE AND STAGE MANAGEMENT PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE (15 credit points)

TSM7303A and TSM7303B Technical Theatre and Stage Management Professional Practice are synergistic subjects that seek to introduce and integrate students into professional industries, networks and communities.

In this semester, students continues a process of formalised collaboration between NIDA and the professional industries, through which students engage in a significant work integrated learning experiences. During the semester, students spend a minimum of five weeks working with at least one industry partner, receiving direct experience of the practices, processes and environments of professional industry. This experience deepens and expands student understanding of professional practices and standards.

Student performance and progress is assessed through a process that incorporates the observations and feedback of industry collaborators and professional mentors, as well as a self-reflective element, through which the student documents, analyses and synthesises their experiences.

Careers

As a graduate of the Bachelor of Fine Arts (Technical Theatre and Stage Management) you will have the necessary skills and knowledge required to succeed across the multidisciplinary field of production.

Potential careers

  • Production manager 
  • Technical manager
  • Stage manager 
  • Event manager
  • Lighting designer
  • Sound designer
  • Multimedia designer 
  • Theatrical 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 2018 Annual tuition fee $AUD* Estimated total course tuition fee*
Bachelor of Fine Arts (Technical Theatre and Stage Management) Three years $14,277.96 $42,833.88

Tuition fee details

Year 1, 2018
Subject code Subject Credit points EFTSL** Tuition fee*
Semester 1, 2018



TSM7101A Technical Theatre and Stage Management Studio 30 0.25 $3,569.49
TSM7102A Technical Theatre and Stage Management Interdisciplinary Collaboration 10 0.83 $1,189.83
TSM7103A Technical Theatre and Stage Management Professional Practice 5 0.42 $594.92
COM7101A Performance and Ideas 10 0.083 $1,189.83
COM7102A Introduction to Collaboration 5 0.042 $594.92
Total for Semester 1, 2018
60 0.5 $7,138.98
Semester 2, 2018



TSM7101B Technical Theatre and Stage Management Studio 30 0.25 $3,569.49
TSM7102B Technical Theatre and Stage Management Interdisciplinary Collaboration 10 0.083 $1,189.83
TSM7103B Technical Theatre and Stage Management Professional Practice 5 0.042 $594.92
COM7101B Performance and Ideas 10 0.083 $1,189.83
COM7102B Introduction to Collaboration 5 0.042 $594.92
Total for Semester 2, 2018
60 0.5 $7,138.98
Total for Year 1
120 1.0 $14,277.96
Year 2, 2018
Subject code Subject Credit points EFTSL** Tuition fee*
Semester 1, 2018



TSM7201A Technical Theatre and Stage Management Studio 20 0.167 $2,379.66
TSM7202A Technical Theatre and Stage Management Interdisciplinary Collaboration 15 0.125 $1,784.75
TSM7203A Technical Theatre and Stage Management Professional Practice 10 0.083 $1,189.83
COM7201A Performance and Ideas 10 0.083 $1,189.83
COM7203A Student-led Projects 5 0.042 $594.92
Total for Semester 1, 2018
60 0.5 $7,138.98
Semester 2, 2018



TSM7201B Technical Theatre and Stage Management Studio 20 0.167 $2,379.66
TSM7202B Technical Theatre and Stage Management Interdisciplinary Collaboration 15 0.125 $1,784.75
TSM7203B Technical Theatre and Stage Management Professional Practice 10 0.083 $1,189.83
COM7201B Performance and Ideas 10 0.083 $1,189.83
COM7203B Student-led Projects 5 0.042 $594.92
Total for Semester 2, 2018
60 0.5 $7,138.98
Total for Year 2
120 1.0 $14,277.96
Year 3, 2018
Subject code Subject Credit points EFTSL** Tuition fee*
Semester 1, 2018



TSM7301A Technical Theatre and Stage Management Studio 15 0.125 $1,784.75
TSM7302A Technical Theatre and Stage Management Interdisciplinary Collaboration 30 0.25 $3,569.49
TSM7303A Technical Theatre and Stage Management for Professional Practice 15 0.125 $1,784.75
Total for Semester 1, 2018
60 0.5 $7,138.98
Semester 2, 2018



TSM7301B Technical Theatre and Stage Management Studio 15 0.125 $1,784.75
TSM7302B Technical Theatre and Stage Management Interdisciplinary Collaboration 30 0.25 $3,569.49
TSM7303B Technical Theatre and Stage Management Professional Practice 15 0.125 $1,784.75
Total for Semester 2, 2018
60 0.5 $7,138.98
Total for Year 3
120 1.0 $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 academic year.

Additional costs

Equipment List

You will not need to purchase all the equipment prior to commencing the course. However you should be prepared to buy the equipment as you need it through the year. Some of the equipment is expensive and fragile, take care of it and it will last many years.

The brand names of tools are recommendations only: Stanley, Sidchrome, and Staedtler are considered reliable brands.

Required WH&S Equipment and tools

  • Insulated blade 150mm screwdriver (usually red) (Stanley)
  • 1 x No. 2 Phillips head screwdriver - 100mm (Stanley)
  • 2 x 200mm adjustable wrench (Sidchrome)
  • 8 metre metric steel tape (Stanley)
  • All-purpose scissors
  • 1 x pair insulated combination pliers (Sidchrome)
  • 1 x pair insulated side cutters (Sidchrome)
  • 1 x pair riggers or yachting gloves for focusing/rigging
  • Cordless Drill (recommended but not essential), with No. 2 Philips Head screwdriver bit and 5/16” Hex Head bit

Required Theatre Drafting Equipment

  • Scale rule: 300mm scale rule with 1:25 scale (this is not a common scale), e.g. Kent 63M scale rule, Staedtler Mars 561 70-3 AU, AS 1212-3/300 metric,or similar
  • Pencils: two mechanical pencils (0.5 mm), OR two clutch pencils and a clutch pencil sharpener
  • Plus an assortment of suitable leads: H, F, HB and blue
  • Plastic pencil eraser: Staedtler Mars Plastic 526 50 (for pencil) or similar
  • Compass Set: Kent Speed Bow Compass Set 8004 or similar
  • Masking tape: 25mm wide 3M General Purpose Masking Tape or similar

You can buy drafting items yourself or take advantage of a NIDA package deal with Draftex to supply these items as a drafting kit at a discounted price. If you are interested in this deal, speak to your Theatre Drafting tutors early in the first semester. It is recommended that you not purchase this equipment until after your first drafting class.

Model Making Equipment

  • Cutting implements: a snap blade knife or similar
  • 300mm steel rule

General Equipment

  • Notepaper/notebooks for class notes
  • Diary
  • 2B pencils, 2 hole punch, highlighters and a ruler
  • Pocket size torch e.g AA Maglite, LED Lenser
  • White chinagraph pencil
  • Stopwatch (an iPhone or other smartphone is not an acceptable alternative)
Headphones for Sound course work
  • A pair of good quality headphones is recommended. The following is a suggestion but anything equivalent would suffice; Sony MDR-7506
  • You will not need to purchase headphones immediately so if these are too expensive for your budget you should consult your Sound Tutors about more economical options.

Compulsory Clothing

Shortly after arriving at NIDA you will be required to have a set of black clothes (i.e. long sleeved black top, with no visible logos/designs and long black trousers) and black shoes for production work. All black clothes should be neat and presentable.

You should also have sturdy, protective footwear for working in workshops and theatres; rubber-soled work boots (Blundstones, Redbacks or similar), hiking boots with leather uppers, or something similar (steel caps recommended but not compulsory). Steel toed Dunlop Volleys are NOT recommended. Your boots should have good ankle support, and you may wish to consider investing in a pair of cushioned inner soles. Canvas slippers, open toed shoes and sandals are not suitable footware for workshops or the theatres.

N.B. Safe working footware and clothing is compulsory when in the workshop area.

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).

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

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 Technical Theatre and Stage Management Graham Henstock


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