MFA (Design for Performance)
CRICOS CODE 088605K
This course is not on offer in 2022.
To register an expression of interest for 2023, please email email@example.com.
NIDA also offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Design for Performance) course.
- About the course
- Admission criteria
- How to apply
- NIDA FAQs
- Further info
- Course accreditation
About the course
This immersive design course focuses on both stage and screen design.
This is for a designer interested in broadening their artistic, theoretical and technical understanding of scenography, mise-en-scène, and all aspects of design for performance in stage and screen. It is particularly suitable if you have experience or qualifications in performing arts, screen, architecture, visual arts, fashion, lighting, interiors, technical theatre, or backgrounds creation.
You will build your design practice through a high level of individual tuition, a uniquely intense mentorship program and technical support.
Choose one or two specialisations in set design, production design, costume design, lighting and/or video design. You will access studio spaces, fully equipped theatres and workshops to realise your stage and screen projects.
As a key member of a creative team, you will learn how to make meaningful, well-informed design choices, and gain the creative and practical skills to develop and realise them.
For your major project, you will collaborate intensely with professional and student directors, writers and performers to create a fully staged production in NIDA Theatres.
Throughout your course, you will foster your own individual artistic identity, practice and goals. In your final semester, you will have the chance to do professional placements at prestigious arts organisations. Previous students have undertaken placements with the English National Opera, The National Theatre UK, Alexander Dodge Design NY, and Music Hall Belgium, or placed with international designers, including NIDA alumni around the world.
The duration of the MFA course is 15 months and comprises eight subjects with a total 180 credit points.
Students will need to be resident in Sydney and available on a full time basis from late January to early December of the first year. In the final three months (January to March of the following year), students complete their research project and write up the results as a journal article. It is normally not essential that students be resident in Sydney during the final three months of the course.
Applicants should note that the course may involve interstate travel, and will include an international field trip.
The MFA (Design for Performance) is offered in full-time mode only.
Design for Performance Practice (80 credit points)
Design for Performance Techniques (40 credit points)
Design for Performance Analysis (5 credit points)
Design for Performance Professional Practice (10 credit points)
Contextualising Practice (15 credit points)
This subject develops each student’s understanding of their site of cultural endeavour within the framework of a wider field of contemporary cultural enterprise. The subject is designed to facilitate engagement by arts practitioners as well as producers, executives and managers, with a view to contextualising the practice of a range of creative and cultural professionals.
The subject begins by introducing critical analysis as a means of contextualizing the work of others. The remainder of the subject is divided into modules that explore the processes of creativity and collaboration that underpin diverse arts practices.
Generating Research through Practice (30 credit points)
- All applicants must have completed an undergraduate degree in Design or a related discipline or have at least five years relevant experience in a related area.
- 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. Information on IELTS and testing centres in your country is available at http://www.ielts.org
We select students who:
- demonstrate commitment, motivation and passion 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
- Applicants must have an undergraduate degree in Design or a related discipline or have at least five years documented professional experience in Design, preferably within a performance context.\
- Graduates of NIDA’s Bachelor of Fine Arts (Design for Performance) who achieved a High Distinction result for both DFP7302A Design Interdisciplinary Collaboration, and DFP7302B Design Interdisciplinary Collaboration in the three year period prior to their application, will be offered automatic entry.
- All other NIDA graduates will apply in the normal way.
NIDA encourages applications from students from diverse backgrounds, with different levels of experience in theatre, film, television or other areas.
Due to the volume of interviews carried out, we are unable to provide you with individual feedback. The decision of the audition panel is final.
It is not possible to defer an offer of a place at NIDA.
How to apply
How to apply
NIDA uses direct application to the provider via the NIDA website
There are six (6) steps to successfully applying for a NIDA course:
Create your application account (link to be provided from 6 July 2020). 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:
- Evidence of your most recent qualification (e.g. school report, Higher School Certificate, university transcript or testamur)
- Proof of identification (e.g. passport, driver’s licence, birth certificate; ID must show your date of birth) NIDA Bachelor of Fine Arts Application Guide for 2021 Intake Page 4 of 58
- A passport style photograph (less than six months old, in colour, well lit, plain background)
- Academic IELTS or equivalent (international applicants only) (NIDA requires an overall band of 8.0 Academic IELTS for Bachelor of Fine Arts (Acting) and 7.0 Academic IELTS for all other Bachelor of Fine Arts courses)
- Any course related documents/portfolios (refer to the course information in the following pages for more details)
- BFA (Acting) applicants must submit a first-round audition video with their application. It must be submitted as a link to an unlisted YouTube video (refer to the course information in the following pages for more details).
Make payment of the AUD$75 administration fee by credit/debit card.
Book your interview date – all first-round interviews for Costume, Design for Performance, Properties and Objects, Scenic Construction and Technologies, and Technical Theatre and Stage Management will happen via Zoom
Attend your audition or interview, having prepared the relevant material for your course (refer to the course information in the following pages for more details).
TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF APPLYING
- The 2021 intake administration fee is AUD$75 (including GST) per application. This is a non-refundable fee.
- Applications for NIDA's higher education courses commencing in 2021 close on 30 September 2020. NIDA cannot accept applications after this date.
- There are a limited number of places available in each course. 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 requirements and tuition fees as stated NIDA Bachelor of Fine Arts Application Guide for 2021 Intake Page 5 of 58 on the NIDA website.
- It is not possible to provide applicants with individual written or oral feedback on their audition/interview.
- Applicants who receive a study offer for 2021 must accept the offer within the timeframe indicated. It is not possible to defer a study offer at NIDA.
There is one major round of offers.
Offers are made after the auditions and interviews are finished.
You will be called if you are being offered a place and will then receive a formal offer via email.
You must accept or decline your offer by the date indicated on the offer letter.
Short list and possible second rounds
If you are on a short list you will be notified that you are on a short list by phone.
If a first-round offer is not accepted a short listed applicant may receive an offer via email.
Once an applicant has accepted an offer, enrolment is done via accessing your student account online. NIDA administrative staff will contact you throughout January with key information about fees, concession cards, student identity cards , your orientation (Welcome Week) and other useful information.
2021 interview dates for the 2022 intake will be announced in July 2021.
What to prepare
SUBMIT WITH YOUR APPLICATION
The following should be uploaded with your application:
1. PROFESSIONAL CV
You should upload a detailed CV highlighting your education and training, professional work and other relevant information.
2. ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT
You will need to provide proof of your university degree/s or five years of professional experience in a relevant area. This can be a scan/photograph of your transcript or testamur from the awarding institution.
PREPARE FOR YOUR INTERVIEW
The following should be prepared in advance and submitted by Dropbox to be discussed at your interview:
3. ARTIST STATEMENT (completed in Word and submitted as a PDF)
A statement describing the kind of artist you are and performance work you like to see and take part in. Provide one example of live performance production that you have seen recently – either live or recorded (live is preferred), and describe the elements of the set, costume and lighting and/or video design and explain the role the design played in making meaning in performance. (500-800 words. Include the Production name, the Producer’s name, the venue and location, the Director’s/Choreographer’s name, the Design team’s names. Please include 5 images where possible, and credit the photographer, name of production, producer/s and featured artists).
4. INTERVIEW PROJECT (Collated and submitted in PowerPoint form)
Select and submit 3 contrasting images taken from a variety of sources. Write 500 words about each image and explain why you find each one interesting and what impact they have on you. Please choose images that affect you differently, for example: how does each image make you feel? Do any of the images jolt a memory? What inspires you about each image?
Within each set of 500 words (a total of 1500), discuss the following in an imaginative way; some of your descriptions may be factual, some may be fiction… tell us a story about your image.
- How does the image make you feel? Consider the subject/s, colour, context, light, and relationships.
- Consider the composition – what is in and out of frame? What else do you imagine going on beyond?
- What happened just before the image was created and what happened afterwards?
- Finally, describe a way you could modify the image, firstly strengthening the mood and atmosphere contained in the image, and then what you would change to alter the mood significantly.
5. PORTFOLIO (Collated and submitted in PowerPoint form)
Submit a digital portfolio that demonstrates your design skills and you experiences in the arts. This may have been work produced in the workplace, at School, College, at home, at leisure, or work created through volunteer or related opportunities. A good portfolio will demonstrate your creativity and your passion for the arts; it will also show us your level of design skills – such as drawing, model-making, Photoshop, drafting or creative making. A good portfolio will show your best and most appropriate work – don’t overcrowd your portfolio with weak work – it is better to have fewer examples but better work. You will be taking us through your portfolio online at the interview, and you will also be submitting via a Dropbox link provided in the Application Guide. Please email Julie.Lynch@nida.edu,.au with Rebecca.Paling@nida.edu.au CC’d to ask any questions.
Examples to include in your portfolio:
- Production photographs you have designed or assisted on. Examples of design work in productions you have taken part in – such as model-making, working drawings, costume and properties designs.
- Photographs, drawings, sketchbooks, paintings, renderings, illustrations (hand drawn and digital).
- Design development, rough sketches, creative journals.
- Any making projects, including: models, sculptures, design styling, costume, properties and scenic art.
- Anything technical, such as technical drawings, props lists, set lists, schedules. Any paperwork, calendars etc., that shows how you organise yourself.
- Other “wild-card” items that you think relate to your potential as a designer or demonstrates who you are as an artist.
- Note: we encourage photographs of large items such as sets, scenic art, digital art, properties, costumes.
What to expect on the day
ON THE INTERVIEW DAY
All first interviews will be conducted via Zoom (you will be provided with a Zoom address prior), and you should be prepared to spend up to one hour for your first interview.
The interview is in two parts:
- First, there will be a brief talk about NIDA, the Design for Performance course and what will happen during the interview. There will be an opportunity for you to ask any questions you may have about NIDA or about the interview itself.
- Each applicant will then be interviewed for around 45 minutes. During the interview, we will discuss your project; your ideas about theatre, film and the broader creative industry; and why you want to study Design for Performance at NIDA.
SUMMARY OF SUBMISSIONS PRIOR TO INTERVIEW
You will submit:
- ARTIST STATEMENT (fullname_artiststatement_MFADFP_2021.pdf)
- DIGITAL PROJECT (fullname_project_MFADFP_2021.pptx)
- DIGITAL PORTFOLIO (fullname_portfolio_MFADFP_2021.pptx)
THINGS TO NOTE
NIDA recognises that interviews 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 the project and portfolio in advance, the better prepared you will be and the more you will benefit from the interview and discussion.
NIDA will keep your digital work on file. Make sure your name is clearly marked on all project materials. Ensure you have a copy of both materials to share and access at the interview from your computer.
The interview process is friendly, informal and open, and is designed to give you the very best opportunity to indicate your potential and readiness to study at NIDA. However, should you have any concerns with the interview process or with what is said to you during the course of the interview, please express your concern immediately or talk it over with a member of the interview panel before your interview finishes.
- Preparation! The more time and effort you put into the project and interview preparation in advance, the more confident you’ll be and the more you will benefit from the interview and discussion.
- Come with a clear idea of why you want to study Design for Performance at NIDA.
- Plan your journey to the interview. Give yourself plenty of travel time to allow for delays.
- We know that interviews can be stressful, but every effort will be made to ensure your experience will be as interesting and enjoyable as possible. The interview is designed to give you the very best opportunity to show your potential and readiness to study at NIDA.
Domestic and international students are required to pay tuition fees by the due date each semester.
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.
Domestic students are Australian citizens, Australian permanent residents and New Zealand citizens.
Prospective Students: Download the Domestic Graduate Student Fee Schedule 2022.
Current Students: Download the Domestic Graduate Student Fee Schedule 2021.
Fees and financial assistance vary for international students see International Students for full details.
Domestic tuition fees overview
|Degree||Course duration||2020 Annual tuition fee $AUD*||Estimated course tuition fee*|
|Master of Fine Arts (Design for Performance)||15 months||NA||$32,220.00|
Domestic tuition fee details
|Subject code||Subject||Credit points||EFTSL**||Tuition fee*|
|Study Period 1|
|DFP9101A||Design for Performance Practice A||40||0.278||$7,160.00|
|DFP9102A||Design for Performance Techniques A||20||0.139||$3,580.00|
|DFP9103||Design for Performance Analysis||5||0.035||$895.00|
|Study Period 2|
|DFP9101B||Design for Performance Practice B||40||0.278||$7,160.00|
|DFP9102B||Design for Performance Techniques B||20||0.139||$3,580.00|
|COM9102||Generating Research Through Practice||15/30||0.104/0.208||$5,370.00|
|Study Period 3|
|COM9102||Generating Research Through Practice||15/30||0.104/0.208|
|DFP9104||Design for Performance Professional Practice||10||0.69||$1,790.00|
*The tuition fees are reviewed each year and you are liable for the additional tuition costs if the tuition fees rise during the course of your enrolment.
** EFTSL - Effective Fulltime Study Load: indicates the relative study load of a subject against a full time study load of 1.0 for academic year.
Administration and Other Fees 2022
These fees are payable at the time the service is provided or item purchased.
|Binding supplies||1 comb,1 cover, 1 back||$2|
|Graduation||Academic Dress Hire (gown, hood, cap), and two guests||$38|
|Tickets for additional guests||$20 per person|
|Student ID Card replacement||Replacement of a lost student card||$25|
|Photocopying||B/W – single sided||$0.05|
|B/W – double sided||$0.10|
|Colour – single sided||$0.10|
|Colour – double sided||$0.20|
|Replacement of lost locker key||$25|
|Testamur replacement||1 testamur – domestic postage||$80|
|1 testamur – standard international postage||$90|
|Transcript replacement||1 transcript – domestic postage||$25|
|1 transcript – standard international postage||$35|
All items marked with * are to be purchased and labelled with your name prior to arrival at NIDA
This equipment will be checked by your tutors by 8 February 201/. You should consider your purchases as life-long investments. You may consider buying a toolbox.
Please Note: Design for Performance students are also expected to purchase their own art equipment, drawing paper, cardboard and other material for models and should allow around $1000 for this each year.
Required Tools *
NB: Brand names are recommendations only, Stanley, Sidchrome are considered reliable brands.
- 1 pair of protective goggles
- 8 metre metric steel tape (eg Stanley)
- 1 pair all purpose scissors
- 1 pair combination pliers (eg Sidchrome)
- 1 pair heavy duty rubber gloves
- 1 glue gun (decent quality)
- Respirator mask + filter, e.g. Protector single filter + RC 56R cartridge
- 1 snap blade cutting knife
- 1 steel edge ruler
- 1 cutting mat – A3 minimum
- PVA glue
Essential rendering equipment *
- Selection of paints (inks, acrylics, watercolours and gouache)
- Selection of brushes, sketching pencils and rubbers
- 1 A2 Bond paper pad
- 1 A3 watercolour paper pad
- Charcoal sticks
- Selection of chalk pastels
Required Clothing *
Safe working clothing is COMPULSORY when in the workshop area. Closed shoes must be worn at ALL times in the workshop studios and theatres. Protective footwear such as rubber-soled Blundstones are compulsory for use in all workshop areas and theatre spaces so you must have these at the beginning of your course.
Shortly after arriving at NIDA you will be required to have a set of black clothes (ie. long sleeved black top and long black trousers) for production work.
Technical drawing equipment
- Scale rule: 300mm scale rule with 1:25 scale (this is not a common scale), e.g. Kent 63M
- Scale rule (the cheapest), Staedtler Mars 561 70-3 AU, AS 1212-3/300 metric (the red one) or similar
- Pencils: two mechanical pencils (0.5 mm), OR two clutch pencils and a clutch pencil
- Assortment of suitable leads: H, F, HB and blue
- Plastic pencil eraser: Staedtler Mars Plastic 526 50 (for pencil) or similar
- Compass Set: Kent Speed Bow Compass Set 8004 or similar
- Masking tape: 25mm wide 3M General Purpose Masking Tape or similar
You can buy these drafting items yourself or take advantage of a NIDA package deal with Draftex to supply these items as a drafting kit at a very reasonable price. If you are interested in this deal, speak to your Theatre Drafting tutors early in the first semester.
While students are provided with the script of any plays they are involved in as part of the NIDA Production Program, students are encouraged to purchase other scripts and textbooks for subjects such as Performance and Ideas.
Information Technology Recommendations
To access NIDA wireless (iWIRE) network, students are required to have access to a Laptop (Windows 7 and later), Macbook (Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard or later) or a Tablet (less than three years old with wireless facility). All the devices should comply with 802.11a/b/g/n WPA-Enterprise security. All notebooks should be secured with a Kensington lock to help prevent theft.
For file transfers and data backup, a 500GB hard drive or higher and an 8GB USB stick are also recommended, as is a DVD burner, for optimum visual graphics on your computer(Laptop/MacBook/Desktop etc.) a 1GB dedicated graphics card is recommended but not required.
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.
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 2019, the FEE-HELP limit is $104,440 for most students.
The government pays the amount of the loan directly to NIDA. Students repay their loan through the tax system once their incomes rises above the minimum threshold for compulsory repayment.
For more information go to 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.
The following students are NOT eligible for FEE-HELP:
- New Zealand citizens - refer to the Study Assist website
- Australian permanent residents
- Overseas students.
Entry requirements FAQs
Entry requirements for each course are available under the ‘Interviews and how to apply’ tab on individual course pages.
Is there a maximum age restriction for students?
There is no maximum age restriction for any NIDA undergraduate or graduate course.
How do I apply for a full-time course at NIDA?
The first step is to fill in an application form, available online from June 2021. You must then prepare for your audition or interview, the details of which can be found on the course pages.
Can I apply for more than one course?
Yes, however a separate online application form will be required for each course you would like to apply for.
My application form isn’t working/loading!
Online applications are open from June annually.
If you are having difficulty using the online application form, check your internet browser: Internet Explorer, Firefox and Safari are the recommended browsers. You should also turn off any security that blocks pop-ups, as this may prevent the application screen from opening.
What do I do if the interview dates are not suitable?
NIDA aims to accommodate all Australian states during the audition/interview period. If there aren't auditions/interviews scheduled in your state, please select "Other (Interstate)" and email firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss a suitable alternative.
International students (all courses other than Acting and Cultural Leadership) should select the option ‘International - Offshore Applicant’ a representative from NIDA will then be in touch via email to organise an interview over Skype which will suit both you and our staff.
What do I do if I haven’t received details of my interview?
Once you have submitted your application and paid your application fee you will be emailed a receipt as well as further details regarding preparation for your audition/ interview. If you do not receive any emails from NIDA please check your junk/ spam filter or promotions filter (Gmail). If you are still experiencing difficulties please contact us at: email@example.com
What do I need to prepare for my interview?
Does NIDA give audition/ interview feedback?
Due to the large number of people being auditioned/ interviewed, it is not possible for NIDA to provide individual feedback, either orally or in writing. However, the audition/ interview are learning experiences, particularly through the opportunity in the auditions to observe the presentation of audition pieces by other applicants and any redirection suggestions provided to you or other applicants by members of the audition panel.
Where will my interview take place?
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.
What happens after my interview?
Final selections are made for each course by mid- December when study offers will be distributed to successful applicants via email.
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 2021 intake.
Studying at NIDA FAQs
How are NIDA’s courses structured?
NIDA offers a conservatoire based method of education and training based around intensive practice-based learning.
There is formal class work, practical instruction, lectures and, for some courses, periods of placements 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 Play Productions and screen work provides practical learning experiences, giving students the opportunity to apply learnt technical skills. Play productions are an important part of NIDA’s higher education courses with usually five productions being produced each semester.
More detailed information about course structure can be found on the individual course pages.
What facilities does NIDA offer?
NIDA’s award winning campus includes a range of facilities available to students:
- the Parade Theatre, seating over 700 people, is equipped with advanced technology in sound, lighting and scenery
- performance spaces of varying sizes. The Parade Studio, Parade Playhouse, Parade Space and Atrium are also utilised for productions
- the state-of-the-art Reg Grundy Studio is used for film and television recording
- the Rodney Seaborn Library, specialising in the performing arts
- computer-aided design (CAD) and multimedia studios
- rehearsal rooms, teaching spaces and music practice rooms
- and workshops for the manufacture of scenery, properties and costumes.
What student services does NIDA offer?
Because of NIDA’s close relationship with UNSW, in addition to the NIDA library, NIDA students have access to the UNSW Library, The Learning Centre, health services and the UNSW Fitness and Aquatic Centre, all located close to NIDA.
NIDA students have access to student counselling services provided through UNSW.
Indigenous students can also use the services of the Nura Gili Indigenous Programs Centre at UNSW.
Does NIDA offer credit transfer for study undertaken elsewhere?
Yes, NIDA grants credit for formal study undertaken in recognised higher institutions in Australia, including universities, colleges, TAFE and other post-secondary education institutions and for 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 policy.
NIDA Student policies FAQs
Can I defer my studies at NIDA?
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 interview 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.
Can students be suspended from NIDA?
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 student policies for more information.
What are the tuition fees for accredited courses?
Financial assistance FAQs
Are there scholarships available for studying at NIDA?
NIDA is pleased that through the generosity of the Luminis Foundation, we are able to offer the Luminis Foundation Indigenous Fellowship in Cultural Leadership at annual intake. This Fellowship will support the successful applicant by funding 50% of their Master of Fine Arts (Cultural Leadership only) course fee.
NIDA does not offer other scholarships that cover the cost of tuition fees.
NIDA students, who are Australian citizens, are able to access FEE-HELP loans for assistance with their tuition fees. For more information on FEE-HELP loans see www.studyassist.gov.au or the ‘Fees’ tab on individual course pages.
Is financial assistance available for Master of Fine Arts students?
The Master of Fine Arts courses are not approved courses for students to receive Austudy, Youth Allowance (student) and Pensioner Education Supplement through Centrelink. Master of Fine Arts students enrolled in a full-time course are eligible to apply for a NIDA bursary.
NIDA offers full-time students the opportunity to apply for financial assistance (scholarships) at the beginning of each year to assist with living costs. The bursaries 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 bursaries in 2019 ranging from $1,600 annually to $4,000 annually, depending on need and the year and course of study. Bursaries are only available to students currently enrolled at NIDA in full-time courses.
NZ and international students FAQs
Is there a limit on the number of international students accepted each year?
NIDA welcomes applications from international students. While there is no quota for international students, there are limited numbers of students in each course.
What are the English language requirements for international students?
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 www.ielts.org.
International applicants who are short-listed 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.
Where can I find more information about international students at NIDA?
Costume Research Collection
MFA research videos
For their Generating Research Through Practice class, students identify a research topic and carry out a practice-based research project, applying the methods and processes they have explored in order to generate new findings. The key concept behind the subject is praxis: the interdependency of theory and practice, with one mutually informing the other.
The MFA (Design for Performance) equips students with the specific knowledge and skills to pursue careers such as:
- Stage and screen set/production designer
- Stage and screen costume designer
- Art director
- Lighting designer
- Properties designer
- Event designer
- Design educator
Our graduates have won numerous Academy Awards, BAFTA Awards, AACTA Awards, APDG Awards, Green Room and Sydney Theatre Awards. They have designed for Cirque du Soleil, Bangarra Dance Theatre, feature films from international studios including movies such as Aquaman, The Amazing Spider-Man, The Matrix, Romeo + Juliet, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 and 2, Watchmen, 300, Garden State, The Favourite, Game of Thrones, The Great Gatsby, Moulin Rouge!, Jindabyne, 21 Grams, numerous Olympic Games and more.
See NIDA's list of Alumni.
For more info, check the course guide.
If you have any further questions about the application process, please contact:
Phone: +61 (02) 9697 7614
+61 (02) 9697 7611
+61 (02) 9697 7654
215 Anzac Parade
Kensington NSW 2033
NIDA’S Registration Status
Registered as a Higher Education Provider by TEQSA
|Registration Renewal Date|
25 June 2025
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|
Master of Fine Arts (Design for Performance)
Self-Accredited by NIDA under TEQSA’s determination
Read more about Bob Cousins, Course Leader Design.