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.

CRICOS: 083700G

BFA (Set Construction Technologies)

Home Study Undergraduate BFA (Set Construction Technologies)


3 years full-time on campus

Fees 2025

$17,400 / year AUD (domestic)

Semester Dates 2025

Semester 1: 10 February – 20 June
Semester 2: 21 July – 21 November

Applications for 2025 intake

Open Monday 3 June 2024

Contact Admissions

+61 (02) 9697 7686

BFA (Set Construction Technologies)

Course Overview

This is the only set construction course of its kind in Australia, and one of only a few available worldwide. The course focuses on unique practice-based immersive teaching and learning methods, which will equip you with the skills to build sets and performance environments in theatre, film and live events.

Working in small groups in the NIDA scenic construction workshop, you will learn how to create performance worlds alongside designers and industry professionals. You will learn stage mechanics, stage rigging and automation, as well as risk and project management. You will also develop theoretical knowledge about theatre, arts and culture.

During your first year, you will study timber and metal fabrication, rigging, stage machinery, computer-aided design (CAD) and project management.

In your second year, you will design and realise your own projects for specific staging challenges, including automation such as revolving stages.

During your final and third year, you will work as a construction manager or technical manager on two shows in the seasons of student productions, during which all NIDA students produce and present fully-staged shows working with guest artists at the top of their game.

To complete your degree, you will take your skills on an industry placement with some of the leading production companies either in Australia or internationally. You will leave NIDA with a robust skillset, valuable industry connections and confidence about your future in live events, theatre and film.

  • Interpret and manipulate the materiality and engineered systems of performance environments to meet a design brief with dexterity and acuity
  • Rigorously investigate and respond creatively to a diverse range of technical design problems and develop creative innovative solutions.
  • Demonstrate creative leadership through positive collaboration and the utilisation of honest, open, inclusive, and articulate communication in all stages of the design and production process
  • Demonstrate an awareness and commitment to innovative, ethical and sustainable practices in the choice of the materials, methods and techniques required for contemporary staging practice.
  • Develop an autonomous, creative, professional scenic practice based on engagement with diverse fields of experience, knowledge, and culture.
  • Apply entrepreneurial and management knowledge and practices to diverse collaborative and self-directed projects.

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 18-month full-time courses.

2025 Semester Dates

Semester 1: 10 February – 20 June 2025
Welcome Week: 3 – 7 February 2025 (First years & MFA only)
BFA Term 1: 10 February – 11 April 2025
Mid-semester break : 14 – 25 April 2025
BFA Term 2: 28 April – 20 June 2025

Semester 2: 21 July – 21 November 2025
BFA Term 3: 21 July – 12 September 2025
Mid-semester break: 15 – 19 September 2025
BFA Term 4: 22 September – 21 November 2025

Term dates exclude public holidays. View 2025 NSW public holiday dates.

Year One


  • Interdisciplinary Collaboration
  • Professional Practice
  • Scenic Construction and Stage Machinery
  • Rigging in Live Performance
  • Performance and Ideas
  • Performance Makers

Year Two


  • Interdisciplinary Collaboration
  • Professional Practice
  • Scenic Construction and Stage Machinery
  • Rigging in Live Performance
  • Expanded Staging Practices
  • Mechanical and Digital Automation
  • Contexts for Performance
  • Student Led Project

Year Three


  • Interdisciplinary Collaboration
  • Professional Practice
  • Independent Research Project

Download 2024 Course Overview

Our graduates have been employed by Opera Australia, Sydney Theatre Company, MNR Constructions, Stagekings Australia, ASAP London, Henn Projekt Germany, Simple Motion, The Australian Ballet and more.

Potential careers include:

  • Staging technician
  • Technical manager
  • Technical designer
  • Art installer
  • Special effects designer
  • Systems integrator
  • Automation technician

Meet the team

Open Day 2024

Learn more about the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Set Construction Technologies program from Open Day course information session on Saturday 15 June.

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 Set Construction Technologies is by interview. Applicants will need to prepare a portfolio as part of their application. See below for details.

The application process for the Bachelor of Fine Arts (Set Construction Technologies) consists of two parts:

  • Round One – online application and portfolio
  • Round Two – interview

Only applicants who are successful in Round One will be invited to attend an interview.

Download 2024 Application Guide


You must attach a portfolio to your application.

You should prepare examples of past work that you feel will support your application and demonstrate your suitability for a career in the arts and entertainment industry. These may include (but are not limited to):

  • Photos of woodwork and metalwork projects
  • Freehand drawings
  • Technical drawings
  • 3D CAD models
  • Schematics of mechanisms

The purpose of this portfolio is to provide an insight into how you think as a practitioner.

It must be a PDF document clearly titled with your name as follows: fullname_portfolio_BFASET_2024.

You will upload your CV in the ‘Course Specific Application Requirements’ attachment section of your online application.

You will be advised by email if you are successful in Round One. If you are successful, you will receive an invitation for an interview in Round Two. This will include confirmation of an interview date.

Each applicant will be interviewed for approximately 30 minutes via Microsoft Teams. During the interview, we will discuss your portfolio; your ideas about theatre, film and the broader creative industry; and why you want to study Set Construction Technologies at NIDA.

There will be an opportunity for you to ask any questions you may have about NIDA or about the interview itself.

Some tips:

We know that interviews can sometimes be stressful, but we will do our best to make your experience as relaxing and enjoyable as possible. The interview process is friendly, informal and open, and is designed to give you the best opportunity to show us your potential and readiness to study at NIDA.

Remember, the more time and effort you put into your application and project, the better prepared you will be, and the more you will enjoy the interview.

Fees and Scholarships

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

Domestic Students

Domestic tuition fees overview

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

Degree Course duration 2025 Annual tuition fee $AUD* Estimated total course tuition fee*
Bachelor of Fine Arts (Set Construction Technologies) Three years $17,400.00 $52,200.00

2024 Domestic Undergraduate Student Fee Schedule

2023 Domestic Undergraduate Student Fee Schedule

International Students

International tuition fees overview

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

Degree Course duration 2024 Annual tuition fee $AUD* Estimated total course tuition fee*
Bachelor of Fine Arts (Set Construction Technologies) Three years $34,920 $104,760

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

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 2025.


Further Information

The table below gives an indication of the educational backgrounds of the 2024 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 Background Number of students Percentage of all students
(A) Past higher education study 11 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
20 32.3%
(D) Work and life experience 8 12.9%
International students L/N L/N
All students 62 100%

NIDA’S Registration Status

Registered as a Higher Education Provider by TEQSA

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 Name Status CRICOS Code
Bachelor of Fine Arts (Set Construction) Self-Accredited by NIDA under TEQSA’s determination of Self-Accrediting Authority for NIDA. 083700G

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.

What does it take to put on a show?