Bachelor of Film Arts



Programme Overview

The Bachelor of Film Arts is an opportunity to deepen your understanding of the film and television industries.

The programme is highly practical, involving hands-on experience right from the start, and workplace scenarios where you will learn technical and operative skills, project workflow and management, research skills, documentation and communication with clients and other industry professionals.  The degree provides the opportunity to collaborate with student audio practitioners in a unique interdisciplinary creative hub, and culminates in individualised capstone creative projects.

You will meet high profile creative industry professionals up close in small workshops and seminars who give an insight into their perspectives, knowledge and experience.  As well as focussing on further development of film production skills, the programme includes relevant aspects of cultural studies, business management and legal matters.

This degree opens the way to the highest levels of academic education (Master's and PhD).

This programme is intended for:

  • Students who have completed the Diploma in Film Making and wish to further hone their skills, techniques and portfolio
  • Individuals with industry experience who want to expand their skills and employment opportunities
  • Diploma graduates from other institutions who wish to achieve a Bachelor' degree through project based film production

This programme receives funding from TEC and is NZQA approved, therefore is eligible for the 'Fees Free' scheme.  To determine your eligibility, visit


NZQA Accredited (PC2833)

  • Auckland


Skills and Capabilities

  • The ability to analyse and generate solutions to unfamiliar and complex problems and issues related to key stages of film production
  • The ability to effectively apply an advanced level of generic skills in a range of production activities such as screenwriting, storyboarding pre-production planning and scheduling, production assisting, directing, camera operation, sound recording, lighting, editing vision and sound, computer generated imaging, 3D animation and special effects
  • The ability to effectively apply specialist skills in specific areas of film production at an advanced level
  • The ability to take responsibility and show leadership in all areas of film production in addressing and solving complex film production problems and issues
  • An understanding of the key pre-production, production and post-production roles, processes and activities, and the ability to apply this understanding effectively to a range of creative and technical situations
  • The ability to effectively utilize a range of production equipment, techniques and technology to achieve a range of complex and challenging creative goals
  • The ability to plan and execute complex tasks either as an individual or part of a team
  • The ability to adapt to and utilize new concepts, equipment and technology
  • A capacity for critical, conceptual and reflective thinking
  • A capacity for creativity and originality
  • The ability to apply research skills and critical thinking to specific problems and issues 


  • Camera Operator
  • Film Editor
  • Special Effects Artist
  • Scriptwriter
  • Videographer
  • Visual Designer
  • 2D or 3D Animator
  • Film Producer
  • Film Post Production Engineer
  • Lighting Technician
  • Performer/Actor
  • Advertising/Marketing/Promotions
  • Film Critic
  • Creative entrepreneur
  • Film Director
  • Line Producer
  • Executive Producer
  • Film Distributor
  • Film Exhibition
  • Film Publicist
  • Sales Agent
  • Event Manager
  • Film Lecturer
  • Media Researcher
  • Media Policy Analyst

…and a ton of jobs within our burgeoning film and television industry with creative organisations like the New Zealand Film Commission, NZ on Air, Film NZ, a range of television production houses and so forth.


Bachelor of Film Arts
Industry Perspectives, Issues & Research Techniques
Cultural Perspectives
Business and Legal Studies
Advanced Filmmaking Techniques
Research Project
Industry Perspectives, Issues & Research Techniques
Cultural Perspectives
Business and Legal Studies
Advanced Filmmaking Techniques
Research Project



What do I need to get in?

The entry criteria for this qualification is outlined on the KIS info tab.

If I continue onto a Bachelor of Film Arts degree, what happens to my Diploma?

If you undertake the degree, that Level 7 Bachelor qualification supersedes the Level 5 Diploma qualification. Once you successfully complete your degree, the Bachelor of Film Arts is the qualification that we would record next to your name in our records.

How long is this programme?

Two further years AFTER successful completion of the Diploma in Film Making (ie 3 years in total).

How many intakes are there per year?

The Bachelor of Film Arts usually has one intake per year starting in February. Occasionally we also offer a July intake depending on demand.

When is the next intake for the Bachelor of Film Arts?

The next intake starts on the 12th February 2018. Apply now to secure your spot!

How much are the student fees for this programme?

The Bachelor of Film Arts is approx. $18,502 for the 2 years of study for domestic students, and $40,085 for international students. This is in addition to the fees associated with the Diploma in Film Making.

Why is this figure slightly different from the fee under the KIS info page?

The KIS info page links to the Ministry website and is an estimate based on averaging recent enrolments including students who may have studied part time. It also considers the fees for all 3 years, however if you have already successfully completed the Diploma in Film Making you do not need to undertake that Level 5 study again. Therefore, the fees above are the full figure of all the Level 6 and Level 7 courses that you will need to undertake in order to obtain a Bachelor of Film Arts.

Is there an administration fee?

There is no administration fee for Degree study, as typically you have already been enrolled at SAE as a Diploma student.

Can I pay for the fees via StudyLink?

Yes, both the administration fee and tuition fees can be paid by StudyLink.

Beyond the tuition fees, are there any additional costs?

Everything you need to complete the programme is included within your fee. However, you may want to allow for costs associated with personal items such as stationery. You may also choose to pay for additional equipment etc, but this is not a requirement.

When do I need to pay the tuition fees?

You should pay fees before the commencement of your programme. Fees for multi-year programmes are paid annually.

Can I study part-time?

Most students study full time with us, but it is possible. If you are keen, get in touch to talk through options.

What if I enrol, and then change my mind?

It's important that you choose the right programme. We appreciate however that you may not know until you start. So, you have the first 8 days (for domestic students) or 10 working days (for international students) to decide. This is referred to as the Census Date. If you choose to withdrawal before Census Date, you will be refunded your fees.

What if I change my mind after the first 8-10 days?

If you choose to withdrawal after census date, you will not be refunded any fees and your academic transcript will show as 'unsuccessful completion'.

Are there any implications of withdrawing after census date for future study?

Potentially yes. Having a 'unsuccessful completion' on your academic record can jeopardize future enrolment opportunities at both SAE and other tertiary institutions. It can also jeopardize your ability to access StudyLink support for future study.

What if I fall behind for a legitimate reason, such as being unwell?

SAE offers fantastic Student Support to help you catch up. We are as keen to see you succeed as you are!

How do I apply?

Email us at and we'll send you an application form.

I'm still unsure, can I come in, have a look around, and chat with one of the staff?

Of course! Complete an inquiry form and we'll line up a campus tour for you.

Key facts


    2 Years Full Time (on completion of the Diploma in Film Making)



    Enrol By: N/A

    Start Date: N/A

    End Date: N/A



Entry requirements


Proof of Identity
  • A copy of the student's valid photo ID must be provided.
General Academic Admission
  • For Level 7 Degree programmes, candidates are required to have gained a minimum of NCEA Level 3 or equivalent

Special Admission

  • Domestic applicants aged 20 years or above who have not met the General Admission or entry requirements for a programme but whose skills, education or work experience indicate that they have a reasonable chance of success may be eligible for Special Admission. Special admission will be granted at the discretion of the Academic Manager or designated nominee. Such applicants may be required to successfully complete a foundation, bridging or tertiary introduction programme as a condition of entry into higher level programmes.  

Provisional Admission

  • Domestic applicants aged under 20 years who have not met the general academic admission and entry criteria for a programme but who can demonstrate a reasonable chance of success through other educational attainment and/or work or life experience may be eligible for provisional entry at the discretion of the Academic Manager. Provisional entry places restrictions on re-enrolment to be lifted if the applicant’s performance is deemed satisfactory by the Academic Manager.

English as an Additional Language Applicant requirement

  • English as an Additional Language (EAL) applicants, including NZ Residents must meet standard NZQA minimum English Proficiency Outcomes for a diploma programme, i.e. for the academic version of IELTS they will require a score of 6 with no band score lower than 5.5, or acceptable equivalent as per the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students.

An applicant must be a minimum of 17 years at the start date of the programme. Applicants aged less than 18 years old must apply with parental/guardian consent.

International students must be a minimum of 18 years of age at the time of enrolment.  

All students are given the tutorial and pastoral support needed to satisfactorily engage with the academic and technical demands of the programme, and in particular students entering with the minimum qualification of NCEA Level 2.

All entry is at the discretion of the Academic Manager.


Selection Process

Where there are more applicants than the number of places available a selection process may be applied.  An offer of place in a diploma or degree programme would be extended to applicants who meet the entry criteria and demonstrate the potential to successfully complete the programme on the basis of:

  • A portfolio of work that represents the applicant’s level of achievement

  • An interview

  • Curriculum vitae (optional)

Applicants who submit a formal application to enrol in the programme, and who meet the entry criteria would be invited to submit a portfolio of work and participate in an interview.  The purpose of the interview is to assess the applicants’ suitability for the programme. It will determine whether an applicant is offered a place in the programme, and if so, at what level of the programme the applicant will be offered a place. Applicants would be welcome to enlist whānau support.

 Cross Crediting and RPL

  • Cross Crediting

    Cross crediting is at the discretion of the Academic Manager and will be applied in circumstances where a student is transitioning from one programme to another. To ensure the currency of learning, cross crediting of courses will be automatic for any courses undertaken within fives years of the cross crediting.

  • Application process for RPL or credit transfer

    Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) or credit transfer applies to circumstances where a learner can demonstrate relevant and current knowledge gained through prior learning and/ or a learner is requesting credits to be transferred from a qualification with comparable outcomes.

    Applicants who believe they meet the criteria for RPL or credit transfer should complete the application form and attach relevant certified documentation including official academic records and/or evidence of learning outcomes being met through previous work/life experience. An interview may also be conducted with the Academic Manager. Each application will be assessed by relevant academic staff.



Fees and Payments




Total Fees



Programme fees may be paid by Student Loan or Direct Credit and must be paid in full prior to the start of the course.