• The world of storytelling is at your fingertips and the industry demands talented and skilled professionals. Get direction with Film at SAE.




Bachelor of Film Arts


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

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


1 May 2018

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


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 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 Info

Entry Requirements
Minimum requirements

Tuition Fees
Total Qualification
Student Fees (What you pay)

Government Tuition Subsidy (What the government pays)


Student Loan Information

Student Success
Successful Course Completions

National Graduate Outcomes

(3 Years after Completion)

Median Earnings

Earnings range

In Employment

In further study

On a benefit

Note:- All KIS information is the most recent available relating to domestic students only.

Click here for more information about the Key Information for Students.