Diploma in Audio Engineering



Programme Overview

The Diploma in Audio Engineering focuses on intensive practical training that forms a natural progression for developing sound recording and mixing skills. Graduates are able to apply and demonstrate a solid grounding in all aspects of commercial music and audio within the industry.

This programme constitutes the first year of the three-year Bachelor of Recording Arts.

Who should take this programme?

  • People wishing to transition their personal audio interests into an exciting career
  • Experienced individuals wanting to stay competitive in a rapidly developing professional industry
  • Musicians wishing to develop a technical studio skill-set to enhance their music career


NZQA Accredited as a Level 5 Diploma (PC1902)

  • Auckland


You will learn

The course is designed to provide you with the essential skills and knowledge in audio engineering including:

  • Analogue and digital console theory and practice
  • Multi-track recording
  • Microphone theory and techniques
  • Signal processing and effects
  • Mixing techniques
  • Signal flow
  • Sound system set up and tuning
  • Monitoring systems
  • Wireless systems
  • Workplace safety


Career Options

  • Assistant sound engineer
  • Studio sound recordist/engineer
  • Mix engineer
  • ProTools operator
  • Live sound engineer
  • Dubbing engineer
  • Mastering engineer
  • Broadcast engineer
  • Audio post-production
  • Music and dialogue editor
  • Location recordist
  • Music producer
  • Electronic musician
  • Sales and installation
  • Consultancy, education and associated careers
  • Stage manager


Diploma in Audio Engineering
Computing and Media
Introduction to Studio Studies
Basic Musicianship and Theory Studies
Introduction to Studio Equipment
Digital Audio Editing
Advanced Studio Studies
Computing and Media
Introduction to Studio Studies
Basic Musicianship and Theory Studies
Introduction to Studio Equipment
Digital Audio Editing
Advanced Studio Studies



What do I need to get in?

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

How many intakes are there per year?

The Diploma in Audio Engineering has two intakes in 2018, one in January and one in April.  Some years there are also intakes in June and/or September, depending on demand.

When is the next intake for the Diploma in Audio Engineering?

The next intake starts on the 3rd April 2018. Apply now to secure your spot!

How much are the student fees for this programme?

The Diploma in Audio Engineering is approx. $12,107 for domestic students, and $24,849 for international students.

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. The fees above are the full figure for enrolling in all the courses that make up the Diploma in Audio Engineering.

Is there an administration fee?

Yes. The administration fee is $500. This can be paid as part of your StudyLink loan. The administration fee is non-refundable.

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 auckland@sae.edu 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


    12 Months Full Time



    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

  • Candidates are required to have gained a minimum of NCEA Level 2

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.  

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.


Fees and Payments

Registration Fee   $500
Programme Fee   $12,107
Total Fees   $12,607

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