CRICOS CODE 088780F
NIDA’s MFA (Voice) provides specialised, conservatoire-based practice and pedagogy for actors, theatre directors, teachers of speech and drama, speech therapists or those wishing to develop a voice practice as a vocation.
It is expected that graduates of the course will find employment in vocal coaching or directing for theatre, screen and broadcast media, or as corporate trainers and presenters, actor trainers, academics and practitioners of voice and speech.
We acknowledge the generous support of The Ian Potter Foundation in the development of this course.
Applications for 2019 courses are now closed.
About the course
Students are empowered to develop their own artistic vision, as well as their capacity for leadership within the cultural, performance and academic communities.
Applicants should note that the course may involve some interstate travel, and will include an international field trip. The airfare and a capped contribution to expenses will be provided by NIDA for field trips.
The course uses methods developed by leading international specialists, practitioners and teachers. It places equal emphasis on physiological function and imaginative intention, examining the relationship between voice and speech, text and language.
Want to know more about this course? Katerina Moraitis, Head of Voice explains.
The duration of the course is 15 months fulltime and comprises six subjects with a total of 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 airfare and a capped contribution to expenses will be provided by NIDA for the field trip.
Course duration and contact hours
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.
Monday 4 February, 2019
Holidays and Study Breaks
Study Break - 12 - 26 April
Queen's Birthday - Monday, 11 June
Study Break - 1 - 19 July
Labour Day - Monday, 1 October
Study Break - 4 November, 2019 - 3 January, 2020
Research and Reports
5 January - 30 March, 2020
Tuesday 31 March, 2020
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 wide range of creative and cultural professionals.
The subject begins by introducing critical thinking and the project of cultural studies in the 20th and 21st centuries. The remainder of the subject is divided into modules that explore critical frameworks through which cultural practice might be understood. The assessment regime brings together the disparate modules by inviting students to demonstrate and reflect on how their practice as creative artists has been facilitated by the variety of critical lenses to which the course has introduced them.
Generating Research through Practice (30 credit points)
This subject introduces students to the concepts and methods of practice-based research as these apply to the exploration and investigation of the arts. Students are introduced to the concept of research and to research skills and related issues, including ethics, as these apply to practice-based research. In subsequent terms, students identify their research topic and design the research project, undertake investigation and gather data, and process the data and other findings.
The subject culminates in the writing of a journal article as the final research output. NIDA’s PRAXIS online journal will publish selected journal articles arising from this subject. These articles will add to the body of knowledge of performance practice, leadership and pedagogy. Students whose journal articles are assessed as outstanding will be encouraged and supported to submit them to externally peer-reviewed journals.
Vocal Practice and Pedagogy (60 credit points)
Vocal Practice and Pedagogy promotes a distinctive approach to teaching voice and speech through embodied skill and knowledge. Embodied knowledge – learning through ‘doing’ and the critical reflection on that experience – is essential for developing effective teaching methodologies in voice and speech. This is the primary subject within the course and is designed to develop professional awareness of issues and practices in voice teaching and coaching with particular reference to the work of leading practitioners in the field of voice, speech and text.
Vocal Practice and Pedagogy provides an environment for the advancement of personal practice and teaching methodologies through experiential learning, collaborative study and the oral interpretation of a range of texts and language. This is informed by the key support subjects of co-requisite subjects Vocal Enquiry and Teaching Practicum.
Vocal Enquiry (30 credit points)
Vocal Enquiryengages students in an advanced theoretical interrogation of voice, speech science and practice. Students will acquire knowledge and understanding of functional anatomy and the physiology of the human voice, including basic skeletal structure and muscular function, breathing and phonation, resonance, and articulation. Foundational phonetics using the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) will be studied and will form the foundation for the exploration of a variety of accents and dialects of English.There will be opportunities to analyse a variety of accents and dialects of English both phonetically in terms of characteristic sound changes, and physiologically in terms of characteristic resonance and default placement using innovative technologies.
Students will also be introduced to phonetic description and transcription of Standard Australian (a regional Australian dialect of Australian English) alongside Received Pronunciation (RP), Estuary and Standard American. Finally, there will be opportunities for students to explore different methodologies for teaching accents and dialects and to design and implement imaginative practical exercises.
Teaching Practicum (30 credit points)
Teaching Practicum provides opportunities for students to apply the vocal pedagogies gained through the course to voice teaching and coaching practice with a variety of specialist and non-specialist individuals/groups within the NIDA program. Each placement will apply sensitive and creative use of methods and materials appropriate to the needs of the individuals/groups based on pedagogical theory examined in the course.
This subject is undertaken in two phases. The first focuses on practical pedagogical strategies such as observation, microteaching and experimentation. Through the application of lesson planning for a range of learning styles, the use of technology in practice-based teaching, and assessment of learning and achievement, students enact roles as pedagogues. Immersive teaching and/or coaching experience supports students to demonstrate advanced levels of teaching expertise.
There will be opportunities at NIDA to coach within one-to-one voice tutorials or small group tutorials, and to be assigned to a production within the Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) subject Interdisciplinary Collaboration. Students will collaborate within the NIDA MFA community of practice, working with MFA (Directing) students by assuming the role of vocal director for a full production.
Accompanying these placements will be a series of seminars where the key principles and theories of teaching and learning, and their application to voice teaching, will be discussed. These seminars will also allow for critical reflection and evaluation of the teaching experience.
International Placement (15 credit points)
The International Placement further develops teaching competency gained through Teaching Practicum by offering advanced independent pedagogical practice at an international level. The key focus of the placement is to provide a teaching and learning environment that supports high-level autonomy and responsibility in students’ proficiency as teachers, practitioners and/or coaches. The subject aims to deepen and strengthen students’ personal pedagogical approach through valuable industry connections, and familiarise students with the wider voice community.
Students will consult with MFA (Voice) staff and be assigned a placement based on the individuals’ growing competence as teachers and practitioners in the field/discipline of voice. Placements will be negotiated on a one-to-one basis and will last no longer than four weeks. Students will be supported by a supervisor from the host institution who will negotiate a realistic schedule of experiences and responsibilities, as well as oversee all activities along with NIDA staff who will continue to liaise with students during the placement to offer assistance, encouragement and support.
Essential requirements for admission
- All applicants applying for a graduate course at NIDA must have completed an undergraduate degree (in any area) or have 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 applicants who demonstrate commitment, capacity and willingness to advance their practice by:
- Working creatively
- Collaborating as part of a creative team
- Demonstrating a range of relevant skills and technical abilities
- Providing evidence of intellectual enquiry and reflection within their work
- Communicating clearly
All applicants applying for the graduate courses at NIDA must have:
- An undergraduate degree in performance/teaching practice with voice foundations, or
- at least five years’ experience in a related discipline.
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 www.ielts.org.
The scheduling and delivery of this course each year is subject to minimum enrolment numbers.
We require all international applicants to:
- attend an interview in Australia, although an initial interview can be conducted through Skype or equivalent
- be aware of the visa conditions and financial obligations you are required to meet as an overseas student
- accept full responsibility for all arrangements concerning entry into, and residence in, Australia (including visas and health insurance)
- have an English language proficiency equivalent to an overall band score of 8.0 IELTS and bring evidence of your English language capability to your interview. Information on IELTS and testing centres in your country is available at www.ielts.org.
International students are able to apply for all full time courses at NIDA. Please note Cultural Leadership will only be offered part time in 2018.
International students should select the option ‘International- Offshore Applicant’ during the application process. 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.
For more information on applying as an international student, see international students.
Domestic and international students are required to pay tuition fees by the due date each semester.
Domestic students are Australian citizens, Australian permanent residents and New Zealand citizens.
Fees and financial assistance vary for international students see International Students for full details.
Tuition fees overview
|Degree||Course duration||2019 Annual tuition fee $AUD*||Estimated course tuition fee*|
|Master of Fine Arts (Voice)||15 months||$31,462.20||$31,462.20|
Tuition fee details
|Subject code||Subject||Credit points||EFTSL**||Tuition fee|
|VOC9101||Vocal Practice and Pedagogy||60||0.418||$10,487.40|
|COM9102||Generating Research Through Practice||30||0.208||$5,243.70|
*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 2019
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 and cap||$35|
|Additional tickets for guests (2 guests no charge)||$20 per head|
|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||$20|
|1 transcript – standard international postage||$30|
- Text books (approx. $400)
- Notebooks and class stationary
Yoga/ Alexander Technique
- Comfortable clothing
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 2018 the FEE-HELP lifetime limit is $102,392.
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 July 2018. 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 and payment of application fee $150.00 will be required for each course you would like to apply for.
My application form isn’t working/loading!
Online applications are open from July 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 the dates provided are not suitable to individuals we will try to work with you to create a suitable alternative.
If you cannot attend any of the available dates during the application process, please select the option ‘Other- Dates provided not suitable’ and email firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss further options
International students (all courses other than acting) 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?
During your online application you will have the opportunity to select the date and location of your audition/ interview. The specific location details will be sent to you with your receipt once you have submitted a complete application form. You will also be sent further information for how you can change the location/ date of your audition/ interview if necessary. Please note that NIDA reserves the right to amend your audition/ interview date/ location at any time depending on availability.
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 2017 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 will now be able to offer the Luminis Foundation Indigenous Fellowship in Cultural Leadership for the 2018 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 (bursaries) 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 2015 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?
How to apply
Applications for 2019 courses are now closed.
How to apply
- 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).
- A passport style photograph (less than six months old, in colour, well lit, plain background).
- Academic IELTS or equivalent (international applicants only)
- Any course related documents/portfolios.
Below are the expected interview dates for 2018. Please note: NIDA reserves the right to amend and otherwise alter interview dates and locations, subject to minimum applicant numbers per region.
- Saturday, 1 December 2018
- Monday, 19 December 2018
- Friday, 7 December 2018
- Wednesday, 5 December 2018
- Wednesday, 26 November 2018
- Wednesday, 12 December 2018
For all other locations select ‘Other Interstate' when completing the application form and email firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your options
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; if you are offered a place in the course you will be required to provide a certified copy.
PREPARE FOR YOUR INTERVIEW
The following should be prepared in advance to be discussed at your interview:
- Prepare and memorise a piece of poetic or dramatic text of no more than two minutes in length.
- Prepare examples of past work that you feel will support your application and demonstrate your suitability for a career in voice coaching and teaching in the performing arts.
What to expect on the day
ON THE INTERVIEW DAY
Interviews are conducted by two NIDA staff members, in person. You should be prepared to spend half a day at your interview.
The interview is in three parts:
- First, there will be a brief talk about NIDA, the MFA (Voice) 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.
- You will then be asked to work creatively and collaboratively through a physical and vocal workshop, along with the recital/performance of your chosen text. The workshop will be no longer than one hour in duration, during which the work presented will be discussed and interrogated.
- After the workshop, individual interviews will be held where you will be able to discuss your reasons for applying to the course, provide evidence of intellectual enquiry, and reflect on your personal voice practice and pedagogy.
- Applicants will be required do some physical and vocal work during the workshop. It is advisable that applicants wear loose comfortable clothing that will not restrict movability.
- Preparation! The more time and effort you put into the recital 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 Voice at NIDA.
- Plan your journey to the audition. Give yourself plenty of travel time to allow for delays.
- We know that auditions can be stressful, but every effort will be made to ensure your experience will be as interesting and enjoyable as possible. The audition is designed to give you the very best opportunity to show your potential and readiness to study at NIDA.
The collaborative nature of NIDA's conservatoire training means that NIDA does not encourage advanced standing/academic credit/recognition of prior learning, particularly for discipline based subjects. However a student can apply for academic credit or recognition of prior learning at the time of enrolment. Details are available on the student policies page.
See definitions for common terminology (PDF, 33KB).
Graduates can go on to pedagogical and professional roles in a range of contexts, such as teaching emerging actors and theatre professionals, coaching professional actors for performance or consultation, delivering corporate training.
See NIDA's list of Alumni.
Read more about NIDA's Head of Voice Katerina Moraitis.