NIDA acknowledges the Traditional Owners and Custodians of the lands on which we learn and tell stories, the Bidjigal, Gadigal, Dharawal and Dharug peoples, and we pay our respects to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders past and present.

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Applying for NIDA

Entry requirements differ for each course. Go to the individual course pages for more information.

There is no maximum age restriction for any NIDA undergraduate or graduate course.

The first step is to complete the online application form. Depending on your course, you may be required to prepare for an audition or interview. Details can be found on course pages.

Yes, however a separate online application form will be required for each course to which you would like to apply.

Online applications are open from June annually.

If you are having difficulty using the online application form, check your internet browser. We recommend using Chrome or Firefox. You should also turn off any security that blocks pop-ups, as this may prevent the application screen from opening.

After you submit your application, you will be emailed a receipt, as well as details regarding your audition or interview. If you do not receive any emails from NIDA, please check your spam or junk mail. If you still have not received any emails regarding next steps for your application, please contact us at

Interview Process

All the details for interview requirements can be found on individual course pages.

Due to the large number of applicants, it is not possible for NIDA to provide individual feedback, either orally or in writing. However, the audition/interview is a learning experience. During the auditions, you will have the opportunity to observe pieces from other applicants, and note any suggestions provided by the audition panel to you or other applicants.

Interview conditions will depend on your course. They may be in-person or over Zoom, in which case a Zoom link will be provided to you prior to your interview.

Final selections are made for each course by early December at the latest, study offers will be distributed to successful applicants via email as each course finalises its application process.

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 2024 intake.

Studying at NIDA

NIDA offers a conservatoire-based method of education and training, focused on intensive practice-based learning.

There is formal class work, practical instruction, lectures and, for some courses, placement periods 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 productions and screen work provide practical learning experiences, giving students the opportunity to apply learnt technical skills. Productions are an important part of NIDA’s higher education courses, with usually four to five productions being produced each semester.

More detailed information about course structure can be found on the individual course pages.

NIDA’s award-winning campus includes a range of facilities available to students:

  • performance spaces of varying sizes, many of which are utilised for productions.
  • the Rodney Seaborn Library, specialising in the performing arts.
  • computer-aided design (CAD) and multimedia studios.
  • a lighting studio.
  • rehearsal rooms, teaching spaces and music practice rooms.
  • workshops for the manufacture of scenery, properties and costumes.

Yes, NIDA grants credit for formal study undertaken in recognised higher institutions in Australia, including universities, colleges, TAFE and other post-secondary education institutions. NIDA also acknowledges 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 and RPL policy.

For students seeking Recognition of Prior Learning, NIDA will assess the individual’s relevant prior learning to determine the credit outcomes of an individual application for credit. For more information, refer to NIDA’s student policies.

Fees & Financial Assistance

Full information about tuition fees and FEE-HELP is available on individual course pages.

NIDA offers a range of scholarships to assist students in financial need. For more details, visit Scholarships.

NIDA students who are Australian citizens can access FEE-HELP loans for assistance with their tuition fees. For more information on FEE-HELP loans see or individual course pages.

NIDA offers full-time students the opportunity to apply for financial assistance (scholarships) at the beginning of each year to assist with living costs. Scholarships 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 scholarships in 2023 ranging from $2,000 to $5,000 annually, depending on need, as well as the year and course of study. Scholarships are only available to students currently enrolled at NIDA in full-time accredited courses.

The Master of Fine Arts courses are not approved courses for students to receive Austudy, Youth Allowance (student) or Pensioner Education Supplement through Centrelink. Master of Fine Arts students enrolled in a full-time course are eligible to apply for a NIDA scholarship.

Living in Sydney

NIDA does not have on-campus accommodation for students. NIDA has a close relationship with the University of New South Wales (UNSW) which is located opposite NIDA. UNSW offers a range of housing options which NIDA students can access. For more details, see Accommodation.

New and returning students can also access the NIDA student noticeboards and webpages to advertise or seek accommodation. Many students also liaise via email and Facebook to arrange housing together.

Students are responsible for arranging their own accommodation.

Students relocating to Sydney should consider evening transportation when choosing accommodation. Students working on productions are often required to stay as late as 11pm or 12am and need to consider safe ways to get home in the evenings. For this reason, many students choose accommodation options close to NIDA.

Consider that the costs of living in Sydney may be different to your home location.

We estimate that you need approximately AUD26,000 to cover living expenses in Sydney for each year of study. In addition, we recommend that you have at least AUD10,000 when you arrive to cover the initial costs of books, course equipment, rental bond and furniture.

These figures do not include the purchase of large household items (such as a refrigerator) or a car. We recommend that you use public transport, as owning a car can be expensive and there is very limited parking near NIDA.

NIDA Student Policies

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 application process again. There is no guarantee that you will be offered a place next time.

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/CEO. Approval for leave of absence can only be granted by the Director/CEO and only under exceptional circumstances.

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.

See NIDA’s student policies for more information.

New Zealand and international students

NIDA welcomes applications from international students. While there is no quota for international students, our courses have a limited number of spaces to give students an intimate learning experience.

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

International applicants who are shortlisted 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.

Visit International Students for more information.