• Full-body painting
  • Make-up students and performers in wonderland inspired make-up posing
  • Student applying a scary face prosthetic
  • Two performers in face paint posing for camera

CUA51015 Diploma of Screen and Media (Specialist Make-up Services)

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

Training is industry-driven with content delivered by practising professionals and guest tutors. The course is supported by Pinchgut Opera and includes site visits to the Opera Centre and City Recital Hall.

Throughout the course, you will have opportunities to apply your skills on live performance or film projects, collaborating with students from other creative disciplines in an environment that mirrors the make-up and live performance industries.

The course includes placement on Student Productions which are at the heart of NIDA’s calendar year, and around which all disciplines of the school unite. This gives you the opportunity to work with NIDA tutors and industry guests, and to collaborate with Acting, Design for Performance, Directing and Musical Theatre students.

Assessments take place throughout the course, allowing you to build on the skills you develop. Classes are practical, providing you with a hands-on approach to learning.

The course culminates in a presentation of a live and filmed showcase of your work in one of the NIDA theatres, attended by entertainment industry practitioners, producers and agents.

Applications for 2020 will open on 1 July, 2019.

Express your interest

Contact NIDA

About the course

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

Course dates and times

2019 Course dates

In 2019 the course will be delivered at our Sydney campus. Duration of the course is 29 April 2019 – 20 December 2019, 4 days per week, 9am–5pm.

Term 1

Monday 29 April – Friday 5 July

Term 2

Monday 15 July – Friday 27 September

Term 3

Monday 8 October – Friday 20 December

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

Course overview


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

  • CUAMUP401     Design, apply and remove make-up
  • CUAMUP403     Style hair for performances or productions
  • BSBCRT402      Collaborate in a creative process
  • BSBCRT501      Originate and develop concepts
  • BSBCMM401    Make a presentation
  • SHBHDES005   Select and apply hair extensions
  • SHBHDES008   Make wigs and hairpieces
  • CUAMUP402     Maintain make-up and hair continuity
  • CUAMUP502     Design and apply specialised make-up
  • CUAMUP404     Style wigs and hairpieces for performances and productions
  • CUAMUP503     Design and apply special make-up effects
  • CUAMUP504     Create prosthetics for special make-up effects
  • CUAIND502       Maintain and apply creative arts industry knowledge
  • CUAPPR505     Establish and maintain safe creative practice
  • BSBREL401      Establish networks

Learning outcomes

Learning outcomes

The CUA51015 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

Admission criteria

Essential requirements for admission

Admission criteria

To be eligible for entry to the CUA51015 Diploma of Screen and Media (Specialist Make-up Services) you must :

  • Have reached the age of 18 before the commencement of the course
  • Demonstrate a high level of practical ability, potential and motivation
  • Complete the interview requirements for the course

The CUA51015 Diploma of Screen and Media (Specialist Make-up Services) is not open to international students.

Essential requirements

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


2019 Tuition Fees

The CUA51015 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 2019 CUA51015 Diploma of Specialist Make-up Services: $16,740.

Schedule of VET tuition fees 2019 for the CUA51015 Diploma of Screen and Media (Specialist Make-up Services)

Other costs

NIDA will provide the greater part of resources and consumables required for the training. Students need to contribute $1,475 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 part of their tuition fees.

For further information, please visit VET Student Loans.

VET Student Loans Logo

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.

NIDA is registered by the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) under the National Vocational Education and Regulator Act 2011 to deliver Vocational Education and Training (VET) services. NIDA is a NVR Registered Training Organisation (RTO): ID number 90349.

Nationally Recognised Training logo

How to apply

Applications for 2019 courses are now closed. There are a limited amount of auditions/interview places left in some locations. For late application requests, please contact the Learning and Teaching Team at applications@nida.edu.au as soon as possible.

Express your interest

Application process

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


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

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


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


Upload the following documentation to the online form:

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


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


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


Attend your interview in person. Interview via video or other electronic means may be considered in certain circumstances.

Interviews will take place in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. Prepare for your interview by reading the information below.

Interview dates


  • Monday, 19 November 2018
  • Thursday, 22 November 2018
  • Monday, 26 November 2018


  • Monday, 19 November 2018


  • Tuesday, 4 December 2018

Interview requirements

Applicants must attend an interview. In certain circumstances, a live interview may be arranged via online services such as Skype.

When you book an interview:

  • Provide us with an outline of your previous experience and training.

Ahead of the interview:

  • Obtain a short testimonial from a teacher, colleague or employer outlining why you would be a good candidate for the course.

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:

  • Discuss any previous experience or training
  • Undertake a written short-answer questionnaire
  • Undertake a make-up task, using make-up and tools provided.
Outcome of your interview

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


As a graduate of the NIDA CUA51015 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

See NIDA's list of Alumni.

Further info

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

Further information regarding NIDA's vocational training products can be found at Training.gov.au

Read more about NIDA's Executive Director Pathways and Partnerships Mark Gaal

NIDA is registered by the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) to deliver Vocational Education and Training (VET) services. RTO (Registered Training Organisation) code: 90349

Nationally Recognised Training logo

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