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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CRICOS: 083696J

BFA (Acting)

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Delivery

3 years full-time on campus
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Fees 2024

$16,560 AUD / year (domestic)
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Semester Dates 2024

Semester 1: 12 Feb – 21 Jun
Semester 2: 22 Jul – 22 Nov
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Application Deadlines

Sign up for our Higher Education list for updates about 2025 applications.
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Contact Admissions

+61 (02) 9697 7686
applications@nida.edu.au

Course Overview

Do you have the passion and courage to become an actor? If so, bring your curiosity and creativity to NIDA where our acting course will help you become your best artistic self.

Whether you wish to study at NIDA as an actor or singing actor, you will join an exceptional ensemble of students and teachers. Your creativity will be encouraged to flourish safely, while you learn how to collaborate with your fellow artists.

We believe there is no ‘one way’ to act, and that each actor is unique. As you progress through the course, you will be equipped with a wide range of skills and techniques to enhance your craft for theatre, musical theatre, film, multimedia and television.

You will work alongside inspirational staff and guest artists that have contemporary knowledge relevant to the demands of industry. You will do all this in NIDA’s state-of-the-art professional theatres and facilities which provide you with the best possible learning environment.

By the end of your training, you will be a flexible, adaptive, future-facing artist capable of the highest level of artistic expression and ready for a confident life-long career.

  • Analyse and apply a range of appropriate acting techniques and skills within various artistic contexts.
  • Evaluate and interrogate texts, objects, and other materials from both national and international sources to stimulate the imagination as part of their creative artistic practice.
  • Communicate and collaborate with members of diverse disciplines in developing work within artistic, social, and cultural contexts.
  • Synthesise complex ideas through physical engagement and embodied practice in performative contexts.
  • Create strategies, through the ability to organise an action plan, for ongoing, future focused self- learning, entrepreneurial and personal development. 
    Employ safe working practices to ensure good mental and physical health throughout their professional careers.

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.

2024 Semester Dates

Semester 1: 12 Feb 2024 – 21 June 2024
Welcome Week: Feb 05 (First years & MFA only)
BFA Term 1: 12 February – 12 April 2024
Mid-semester break : 15 April – 26 April 2024
BFA Term 2: 29-April – 21 June 2024

Semester 2: 22 July – 22 November 2024
BFA Term 3: 22 July – 13 September 2024
Mid-semester break: 16 September – 20 September 2024
BFA Term 4: 23 September – 22 November 2024

Term dates exclude public holidays. View 2024 NSW public holiday dates.

Year one

  • Engagement with Technique
  • Application of Technique
  • Performance and Ideas
  • Performance Makers

Year two

  • Engagement with Technique
  • Application of Technique
  • Contexts of Performance
  • Student-Led Project

Year three

  • Engagement with Technique
  • Interdisciplinary Collaboration
  • Professional Practice

Download 2024 Course Overview

Graduates of the Bachelor of Fine Arts (Acting) will have the performance skills and theoretical knowledge to be employed in a range of industries, including television, film, theatre and radio.

Graduating students will have a professional portfolio through which to showcase their talent and have ample opportunities to connect with industry professionals including agents and casting directors. Potential careers include actor for film, television, stage and audio.

Our Acting alumni include many globally lauded and recognised actors, including two-time Academy Award winner Cate Blanchett, two-time Academy Award winner Mel Gibson, Academy Award nominee Judy Davis, Rob Collins, Ryan Corr, Colin Friels, Remy Hii, Joel Jackson, Jessica Marais, Miranda Otto, Richard Roxburgh, Sarah Snook, Miranda Tapsell, Hugo Weaving, Sam Worthington and director Baz Luhrmann.

Admissions Criteria

Domestic students with overseas qualifications must supply certified translations of their qualifications.
International students with academic qualifications that are not in English will need to attach a certified, official translation in English in application portal.

For more information, read our Admissions Transparency Statement.

Entry is by merit selection.

General entry requirements for accredited courses are as follows:

  • Have completed a Higher School Certificate or equivalent qualification at the end of high school for undergraduate courses.
  • Be 18 years of age by 31 March in the first year of enrolment for domestic students in undergraduate programs.
  • Be proficient in written and spoken English.
  • Have skills and knowledge appropriate to the level and discipline into which the applicant is seeking to gain admission.
  • Have an evidenced interest in the performing arts.

Applications are encouraged from domestic applicants who:

  • Have previous higher education study.
  • Have vocational education and training.
  • Have work and life experience (having left school more than two years ago).
  • Are recent secondary education applicants.
  • Identify as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander.

Applications are encouraged from international applicants who:

  • have successfully completed a Genuine Temporary Entry (GTE) interview.
  • have completed the equivalent of a Year 12 or final year of high school qualification
  • have an English language proficiency equivalent to IELTS 7.0 with no band score less than 6.0 (IELTS 8.0 for BFA Acting).
  • Are 18 years of age at date of enrolment for international students.
  • Have skills and knowledge appropriate to the level and discipline into which the applicant is seeking to gain admission.
  • Have an evidenced interest in the performing arts.

Recognition of Prior Learning is an assessment process that involves assessment of an individual’s relevant prior learning (including formal, informal and non-formal learning) to determine the credit outcomes of an individual application for credit.

NIDA may grant credit for:

  • Formal study undertaken in recognised education institutions in Australia, including universities, colleges, TAFE and other post-secondary education institutions and for study at recognised overseas institutions.
  • Credentialed courses provided by recognised professional bodies, employers and other authorities, where appropriate certification is available; and
  • Prior learning, where such learning can be sufficiently evidenced.

The principles underlying the assessment of credit transfer/Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) applications are that the policy and procedures are:

  • Aligned to the Higher Education Standards Framework and the Vocational Standards for RTOs.
  • Designed to maintain the integrity and reputation of NIDA’s accredited courses for which credit or RPL is applied and support the collaborative nature of NIDA’s conservatoire training model.
  • Consistent, equitable, transparent, and accountable.
  • Based on processes of comparable standard and integrity to those used to assess the relevant subject.
  • That students are not disadvantaged in achieving the expected learning outcomes for the course of study or qualification.

NIDA Recognition of Prior Learning Policy

Apply for RPL/Credit Transfer

Domestic students with overseas qualifications must supply certified translations of their qualifications.

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

We select students who:

  • Demonstrate commitment and motivation 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.

How to apply

Applicants MUST apply online via the NIDA website.
Entry to the BFA Acting is by audition. Applicants will need to prepare several audition pieces prior to their audition. See below for details.

The application process for the Bachelor of Fine Arts (Acting) consists of two rounds:

  • Round One – online application and audition video
  • Round Two – recall audition

All first-round auditions for BFA (Acting) will be online via video audition as part of your application.

Only applicants who are successful in Round One will be invited to audition in Round Two.

Download 2024 Application Guide

VIDEO AUDITION

You should prepare to perform the following in your audition video. Your audition video should include two monologues. One monologue should be filmed as a long shot (i.e. from your feet to your head; your full body). The other monologue should be filmed as a mid shot (i.e. from your waist up). It is up to you which monologue is filmed in either shot.

1. ONE MODERN/CONTEMPORARY PIECE
This should be a short monologue from a published play (Australian or international). 'Contemporary' in this context means a play spanning the period of Anton Chekov (early 1900s) to the present day. We suggest choosing a piece from the list of Contemporary Monologues in the Monologue List, however, you may also select material not on this list. You are welcome to present your modern/contemporary piece in the language of your cultural background if you so choose. However, you must be prepared to present it in English as well.

2. ONE HEIGHTENED TEXT AND LANGUAGE PIECE
This should be a short monologue in verse. We suggest choosing a piece from the list of Heightened Text and Language Monologues in the Monologue List, however, you may also select material not on this list.

3. If you have indicated that you are applying for the Singing Actor stream, you will also be required to upload a separate 60-second video performing a song  from a musical theatre piece of your choice. This could even be an opera or operetta and must be sung without any accompaniment (acapella).

DO
  • Only select monologues from published texts. Excerpts from unpublished TV shows or films are not appropriate.
  • Read the whole play your monologue comes from where possible – research is important.
  • Choose characters close to your current age range.
  • Choose characters that are in circumstances you can identify with and that you will enjoy exploring.
  • Select pieces that are new and fresh to you.
  • Pick monologues that will showcase you and your choices.
  • Feel free to use contrasting material when choosing your monologues (e.g. serious and comedic; internal and external).
  • Think about who you are talking to in the monologue and what you want from them – know what you mean, and what you want to say.
  • Relax and be yourself.
DON'T
  • Don’t use a book of monologues, except as a reference – if you find a piece in an audition book that you like you must still read the whole play.
  • Don’t choose material for shock value. There are no real rules around this, but we suggest you avoid material with strong sexual references or excessive use of explicit language.

Your video audition should include the two monologues as explained above. It should be submitted as an unlisted YouTube video link, in the appropriate field of your application. For information on how to upload an unlisted video, or change your video’s privacy settings, click HERE.

Please make sure you understand the following guidance and instructions, and prepare what is required before you start to record anything.

1. Recording format

You do not have to record your audition with a professional camera. It can be recorded on your mobile phone. The important thing is that you are heard and seen clearly.

IMPORTANT: If you are using your phone to record, please ensure that the camera is not in ‘High Efficiency’ mode. You should be able to check this in your phone’s camera settings. For iPhone, you will need to switch on ‘Most Compatible’ mode.

2. Set up

You can use a stand or surface, or have someone hold the phone/camera for you.

Do not look directly into the camera, but just to one side; to the left or right (if it helps, you can place a chair or mark to be your focal point). If someone is holding the phone/camera for you, you can speak your monologue to them, or a third person to visualise whom you are addressing as either another character or the audience.

If using your mobile phone, shoot in landscape, NOT portrait.

  • Background – you must be seen clearly.

    Try to record against a plain, light background, with no harsh shadows behind you. Avoid busy, distracting images, and ‘hard’ colours like green and red. Ideally, the background should be plain. Grey can work well for a wide range of skin tones on screen.
  • Lighting – You must be seen clearly.

    Do not sit directly in front of a window. A window in front of your face and behind the camera will work better. You can also use additional lighting, like the torch light from your phone, stand lamps, or bedside lamps. Avoid hard or awkward shadows.
  • Sound – you must be heard clearly.

    Check the space you have chosen to record in for sound disturbances. This could involve closing any windows, turning off any devices playing music in the background, air-conditioning, noise/talking/cooking sounds from a nearby room.

3. Audition pieces

You may record both pieces in one continuous shot or film these separately and edit them
together. Please read the instructions below carefully.

In mid shot (waist up – leave a little head room), start by saying your name, Applicant number (e.g. A12345), and tell us which pieces you will be performing (character, title, and author).

Then present your first piece in mid shot frame.

Adjust your position so you are now in long shot (entire body in frame) and perform your second piece. This is an opportunity embody the expressive range of the character.

4. Finishing and submitting your self-tape

  • Review your recordings. This will help you pinpoint areas to improve on, including sound/vision quality. Have a break and then repeat the process. Don’t overthink it! As a general rule, try not to film more than three takes.
  • You will not be timed, but the length of each monologue should aim to be close to two minutes. Your video should aim to be close to four minutes long in full, five minutes if you are applying for the Singing Actor stream.
  • When you are happy, upload your video to YouTube, making sure it is ‘Unlisted’. This means only people with the link can view your audition.
  • Your video description should include your name and NIDA applicant number (e.g. A12345).
  • Only upload one submission.
  • If you have any problems with the upload, contact applications@nida.edu.au.

Click HERE for instructions of how to upload your video audition to YouTube.

If the panel would like to see more from you, they will invite you to a recall audition, which will take place on a separate date.

We hope to be able to recall most applicants in person at your nearest Australian capital city. There will be no recall auditions held via Zoom. This means that international students must attend recall auditions in-person in Australia. Recall auditions will take place from November to December 2023.

  • If you applied for the Actor stream, you will be asked to present a third piece of your choice – can be something not on our list.
  • If you applied for the Singing Actor stream, you will be asked to present a song chosen from the Song List (see Appendix on Application Guide).
  • If you selected ‘Both’ in your application, you must choose whether to present EITHER a third piece OR a song, as above.

If you perform a third monologue for your recall audition, you will only be considered for the Actor stream.

If you perform a song for your recall audition, you will be considered primarily for the Singing Actor stream, but may also be considered for the Actor steam.

You might be asked to perform your Round One monologues again for the panel. You might also be asked to work with a partner (e.g. another applicant, on a duologue.)

After your recall audition, you will be informed by the panel if you are selected for the shortlist. After shortlisting, you will be informed by telephone if you are being invited to study at NIDA. Unsuccessful applicants will be informed via email.

Please note if you are not invited to attend a recall audition, or you do not make it to the recording section of the recall audition, you should consider your application unsuccessful this year.

TIPS AND ADVICE

NIDA recognises that auditions can be stressful, but every effort will be made to ensure your experience will be as relaxing and enjoyable as possible. Remember, the more time and effort you put into your monologues, the better prepared you will be and the more you will benefit from the audition.

Fees and Scholarships

Domestic and international students are required to pay tuition fees by the due date each semester.

Domestic Students

2024 Domestic tuition fees overview

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

DegreeCourse duration2024 Annual tuition fee $AUD*Estimated total course tuition fee*
Bachelor of Fine Arts (Acting) Three years $16,560.00 $49,680.00

2024 Domestic Undergraduate Student Fee Schedule

2023 Domestic Undergraduate Student Fee Schedule

International Students

2024 International tuition fees overview

Fees and financial assistance vary for international students, please read full details here.

DegreeCourse duration2024 Annual tuition fee $AUD*Estimated total course tuition fee*
Bachelor of Fine Arts (Acting) Three years $34,920.00 $104,760.00

2024 International Undergraduate Student Fee Schedule


*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.

** EFTSL – Effective Full-Time Study Load: indicates the relative study load of a subject against a full-time study load of 1.0 for an academic year. For consistency, the EFTSL have been rounded to 3 decimal places. This is not indicative of the full value of the EFTSL but represents an accurate load for fee calculations.

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.

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 2024, the FEE-HELP loan limit is $121,844 for most students.

A loan fee of 20% 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 https://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

Those NOT eligible for FEE-HELP are:

  • 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.

NIDA is committed to making its education and learning more accessible to the most creative and talented individuals across Australia with a range of scholarships aimed to remove financial barriers, providing students with the opportunity to study at NIDA while being relieved of some of the cost of living, relocating and study expenses.

NIDA scholarships are made available by the generous support of donors, sponsors, corporate partners, trusts and bequests, through the NIDA Foundation Trust, and enable a significant increase in financial assistance to ongoing and students commencing study in 2024.

Scholarships

Further Information

The table below gives an indication of the educational backgrounds of the 2023 commencing undergraduate BFA peer cohort in all disciplines at NIDA.

It should be noted that as selection and admission to courses at NIDA is based on merit the statistics below may not be indicative of the educational backgrounds of commencing cohorts on a year-to-year basis.

L/N - Low numbers: the number of students is less than 5.

Applicant BackgroundNumber of studentsPercentage of all students
(A) Past higher education study11 17.7%
(B) Past Vocational Education and Training study 22 35.5%
(C) Recent secondary education
Admitted on basis of other criteria and ATAR was not a factor
2032.3%
(D) Work and life experience812.9%
International studentsL/NL/N
All students 62 100%

NIDA’S Registration Status

Registered as a Higher Education Provider by TEQSA
https://www.teqsa.gov.au/national-register/provider/national-institute-dramatic-art

Registration Renewal Date

25 June 2025

CRICOS Registration

Code: 00756M

This allows NIDA to enrol international students on student visas into CRICOS approved courses.

Self Accrediting Authority*

Yes – partial self accrediting

Registered Higher Education providers may be authorised by TEQSA to self-accredit courses of study.

Course NameStatusCRICOS Code
Bachelor of Fine Arts (Acting) Self-Accredited by NIDA under TEQSA’s determination of Self-Accrediting Authority for NIDA. 083696J

Frequently Asked Questions

Looking for more info about NIDA courses, admissions and facilities? Check our FAQ page for answers to commonly-asked questions from future students.


This qualification is recognised in the Australian Qualifications Framework The Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) is the national policy for regulated qualifications in Australian education and training.

Read more information about the AQF.