• 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)

NIDA’s CUA51015 Diploma of Screen and Media (Specialist Make-up Services) provides practical and intensive training to prepare students for industry facing roles in make-up design and application, hair styling, creating wigs and designing make-up special effects and prosthetics.

Make-up training is industry-driven with content delivered by practising professionals and guest tutors. The course is supported by organisations such as Foundation Theatres, Pinchgut Opera and includes site visits to the Opera Centre, Opera House and the Capitol Theatre.

Students have opportunities throughout their training to practise their skills through roles on live performance and film projects. Students have a chance to collaborate with students from NIDA’s other creative disciplines in an environment which mirrors hair and make-up departments in the live performance industries.

The specialist make-up course includes placement on NIDA’s production seasons which are at the heart of NIDA’s calendar year. This provides 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 students to build on the skills developed. Classes are practical, providing and active learning environment and a hands-on approach to learning.

The course culminates in a presentation of a live showcase of make-up work in one of the NIDA theatres. This event is attended by entertainment industry practitioners, producers and agents.

Applications to start the Make-up course in April 2021 are open.

Please email vocational@nida.edu.au to apply.

Express interest for 2022

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

NIDA welcomes Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander applicants.


For our 2020 Virtual Open Day, alumni Briohny Walker and Annabel Cameron joined tutor Sandra Wograndl for a talk about the CUA51015 Diploma of Screen and Media (Specialist Make-up Services).

2019 Showcase

The diploma culminates in an end-of-year showcase of the students' work - here are some of the highlights from the 2019 showcase.

Prosthetic work 2019

Thank you to Denise Sheppard for putting together this video of our 2019 students' prosthetics work.

About the course

Course dates and times

2020 Course dates

In 2020 the course will be delivered at our Sydney campus. Duration of the course is 13 July 2020 – 5 March 2021, 4 days per week, 9am–5pm.

Term 1

Monday 13 July – Friday 18 September

Term 2

Monday 28 September – Friday 18 December

Term 3

Monday 4 January 2021 – Friday 5 March 2021

Individual project

An individual project will take place in Term 3 where you will undergo a short placement

at a venue or performing arts company.

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

2021 Course dates

In 2021 the course will be delivered at our Sydney campus. Duration of the course is 19 April 2021 – 17 December 2021. Classes are scheduled 4 days per week, 9am–5pm.

Term 1

Monday 19 April– Friday 25 June

Term 2

Monday 12 July – Friday 1 October

Term 3

Monday 18 October – Friday 17 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
  • SIHHHDS408A 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 (in some circumstances NIDA may select candidates who turn 18 during their 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


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

2020 Full course fee: $16,920

Schedule of VET tuition fees 2020

2021 Full course fee: $16,920

Schedule of VET tuition fees 2021

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.

Enrolled vocational students can defer part of their fees using VET Student Loans (Australian citizens and permanent residents only). A 20% loan fee applies to VET Student Loans. The amount of the VET Student Loans provided for a part of a course or unit, plus the VET Student Loan fee of 20% is referred to as the VETSL Debt. More information regarding VET Students Loans can be found here;


VETSL Debt repayments are generally made after the student commences full time employment, repayment amounts are taken out of their pay by the Australian tax system. Students can make voluntary repayments at any time to reduce their balance; payments are made directly to the Australian Tax Office.

More information about paying back your VETSL Debt can be found here;



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

Application process

There are six steps to applying:


New Applicants: Create your application account here. You will be sent an automatic email with your log in details to continue your application.

If you have previously applied and your email address already exists in the application system you will not be able to create a new account . Please follow the link below to reset your password, use your email address as your User Login ID. Reset your password here.


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


Upload the following documentation to the online form:

  • Evidence of your most recent qualification if you have one (e.g. school report, Higher School Certificate, university transcript, statement of attainment)
  • Proof of identification and citizenship (e.g. Australian passport, Australian driver’s licence, birth certificate. The scanned document needs to show your date of birth).
  • A recent photograph (head and shoulders, in colour, well lit, plain background).


By credit /debit card, make payment of AUD $75.00, as an application administration fee.


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.

  • The application administration fee payable by you is AUD $75.00 (including GST) per application. This is non-refundable.
  • Applications for NIDA's diploma level courses (that commence in 2021) close on 30 September 2020. NIDA may not be able to accept applications after this date.
  • There are a limited number of places available in each of our diploma courses. Selection is based on merit; not all applicants who meet the published entry requirements will receive a study offer.
  • All applicants are required to review the course information, including the schedule of tuition fees, published on the course page on our website.
  • It is not possible to provide applicants with individual written or oral feedback on their audition.
  • Applicants who receive a study offer for 2021 must accept the offer within the time frame indicated. It is not possible to defer a study offer at NIDA.
  • NIDA encourages applications from people from diverse backgrounds, with different levels of experience in their chosen area of interest.

Interview dates


Thursday 12 November: 10am-12pm


Wednesday 18 November: 10am-12pm


Friday 13 November: 10am - 12pm or 1pm - 3pm

Friday 20 November: 10am - 12pm or 1pm - 3pm

Friday 27 November: 10am - 12pm or 1pm - 3pm

Friday 4 December: 10am - 12pm or 1pm - 3pm


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.
  • Create a portfolio of any make-up or hair work you have done previously to bring to your interview. These are images showcasing your work.

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
  • Discuss your portfolio
  • 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.

Tips for the day


  • Bring your application form outlining your previous training and/or experience.
  • Bring a written testimonial from a teacher, colleague or employer.
  • Bring along any documentation such as portfolios, photos and/or drawings to support your application.


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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