• Make-up student and model in skeleton make-up
  • Make-up student painting costume make-up on a model
  • Three students wearing theatrical make-up
  • Make-up student applying theatrical make-up to a model

Specialist Make-up Services

Take your place in this exciting industry. NIDA’s Vocational Diploma of Screen and Media (Specialist Make-up Services) prepares you for a range of roles in make-up, hair and special effects for theatre, film and television.

This practical and intensive training provides you with the skills and knowledge to design and apply specialised make-up, style hair, create wigs and design and make prosthetics.

The course includes collaboration with other NIDA students on production work, giving you the opportunity to work with expert NIDA tutors and guests from the performing arts industry.

The skills you will develop are transferable to a range of performance contexts, including theatre, dance, opera, concerts, events, film and television.

The course is industry driven with content delivered by practicing professionals and guest tutors. Classes are mostly in the form of demonstrations and practical activities providing you with a hands-on approach to learning.

Assessments take place throughout the course, allowing you to build on the skills you develop. The course culminates in a presentation of a live, and filmed, showcase of your work in a NIDA theatre, attended by entertainment arts industry professionals.

Want to know more about this course? Ezra Miller and Mia May-Sullivan, students in the class of 2016, explain.

Contact NIDA 

Interviews and how to apply

How to apply

Application process

Applications open 1 July and close 30 September. 

Application and interview
  • The first step to applying is to book and pay for an interview session, applications open 1 July to 30 September. 
  • Late applications will be accepted if there are spaces available.
  • Attend your interview in person. Interview via video or other electronic means may be considered in certain circumstances.
  • Interviews take place in Sydney and Melbourne.
  • Prepare for your interview by reading the information below.

Admission requirements

To be eligible for entry to the Diploma of Screen and Media (Specialist Make-up Services) you must have:

  • Reached the age of 18 before the commencement of the course
  • At the interview, demonstrate a high level of practical ability, potential and motivation
  • Complete the interview requirements for the course 
The Diploma of Screen and Media (Specialist Make-up Services) is not open to international students.

Interview requirements

All applicants must attend an interview.

Prepare, and bring to the interview:

  • A short testimonial from a teacher, colleague or employer outlining why you would be a good candidate for the course.
  • Bring along any documentation such as portfolios, photos and/or drawings to support your application

NIDA encourages applications from students from diverse backgrounds, with different levels of experience.

We are unable to provide you with individual feedback. The decision of the selection committee is final.

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

Interview process

On the day

At the interview, you will: 

  • Complete an application form.
  • Discuss any previous training or relevant experience with the selection committee.
  • Undertake a written short-answer questionnaire.
  • Participate in one or more creative design tasks.
Outcome of your interview 

If we are able to offer you a place on the course, we will contact you in mid-December.

Selection of students

Selection criteria

We select applicants who:

  • Demonstrate potential to create and/or apply make-up and hair designs
  • Exhibit a capacity to collaborate
  • Communicate effectively
  • Respond to direction and feedback


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

Email: vocational@nida.edu.au

Phone: +61 (02) 9697 7516


Vocational applications
215 Anzac Parade
Kensington NSW 2033


Course structure

Course dates and times

2018 Course dates

Duration of the course is 30 April 2018 – 14 December 2018, 4 days per week, 10am–5pm. For special projects you may be required up to 5 days per week, times to be confirmed.

Term 1

Monday 30 April – Friday 6 July

Term 2

Monday 23 July – Friday 28 September

Term 3

Monday 8 October – Friday 14 December

2017 Course dates

The duration of the course is 24 April to 15 December 2017, 4 days per week, 10am–5pm. For special projects you may be required up to 5 days per week, times to be confirmed.

Course overview


The vocational course CUA51015 Diploma of Screen and Media (Specialist Make-up Services) comprises the following units of competency:

  • CUAIND502 Maintain and apply creative arts industry knowledge
  • CUAPPR505 Establish and maintain safe creative practice
  • BSBCRT501 Originate and develop concepts
  • CUAMUP401 Design, apply and remove make-up
  • CUAMUP402 Maintain make-up and hair continuity
  • CUAMUP403 Style hair for performances or productions
  • CUAMUP404 Style wigs and hairpieces for performances and productions
  • CUAMUP502 Design and apply specialised make-up
  • CUAMUP503 Design and apply special make-up effects
  • CUAMUP504 Create prosthetics for special make-up effects
  • SIHHHDS305A Select and apply hair extensions
  • SIHHHDS408A Make wigs and hairpieces
  • BSBCMM401 Make a presentation
  • BSBCRT402 Collaborate in a creative process
  • BSBREL401 Establish networks

Learning outcomes

Learning outcomes

The Vocational Diploma of Screen and Media (Specialist Make-up Services) has a number of valuable learning outcomes:

  • Gain skills and knowledge to design and apply make-up, create wigs and style hair and hair pieces
  • Learn specialist skills relating to prosthetics and special effects make-up 
  • Develop the ability to work as a part of a team or independently in make-up services 
  • Develop autonomy in responding to make-up and hair design briefs
  • Develop problem solving skills for a range of collaborative situations
  • Develop skills to work collaboratively with other creative professionals and performers


As a graduate of the NIDA Vocational Diploma of Screen and Media (Specialist Make-up Services) you have the skills and knowledge to be employed in a range of industries, including theatre, dance, opera, concerts, events, television and film.

Potential careers
  • Make-up artist
  • Hair stylist
  • Wig maker
  • Special effects make-up designer
  • Special effects make-up artist



Students are required to pay tuition fees on or before enrolment day.

The Vocational Diploma of Screen and Media (Specialist Make-up Services) is only open to domestic students.

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

Tuition Fees for the 2017 Vocational Diploma of Specialist Make-up Services: $14,000.


Schedule of 2017 tuition fees for the Vocational Diploma of Screen and Media (Specialist Make-up Services) (PDF 192KB) 

Other costs

NIDA will provide the greater part of resources and consumables required for the training. Students need to contribute $1,450 towards make-up, special FX and hair kits, which become the students’ personal property.

Further financial information

VET Student Loans

NIDA is an approved VET Student Loans provider. Eligible students may be able to obtain an Australian Government student loan for all or part of their tuition fees.

For further information, please visit VET Student Loans.

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. 

Read more about NIDA's Director of Vocational Studies Mark Gaal

NIDA is an approved delegate of the Australian Skills Quality Authority. Registered Training Organisation (RTO) ID number 90349.

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