Leon Narbey

Unitec students learning to use the Arri Alexa camera under the tutelage of renowned Cinematographer Leon Narbey

Unitec Department of Performing and Screen Arts
Unitec in Mt Albert, Auckland has New Zealand’s largest and only fully integrated performing and screen arts school. We specialise in collaboration within a professional context and provide ‘real world’ learning for our students across a range of programmes in Acting, Dance, Screen Arts, Music and Behind the Scenes (Performance Technology, Costume, Art Direction).

Our success is derived from quality teaching to industry standards using resources and methods that are innovative and cutting edge. We provide a project-driven environment for our students, which are underpinned by solid critical theory and analysis. Our staff and students participate in collaborative projects across disciplines. We also value our strong links in the community and with our industry partners in New Zealand and overseas.

The world thirsts for more creative cultural content in film, television and live performance. We aim to turn out quality graduates who are ‘thinking professionals’ that will contribute to this dynamic growth area. Our proud and prolific record of producing high calibre successful graduates is a testimony to that commitment.

Bachelor of Performing and Screen Arts (Screen Arts)
Become equipped to begin a career as a film and television professional in cinematography, editing, sound, production, scriptwriting and directing. Work collaboratively with other students on a wide range of projects. Develop the skills you need to start a career in the film and television industry.

Build a broad understanding of the industrial filmmaking process and become equipped with specialised skills.

Unitec students on set making a short film

Unitec students on set making a short film

Screen Arts Programme overview
The Bachelor of Performing and Screen Arts – Screen Arts, is a three year, full-time programme made up of creative, academic and practice-based courses that develop the vital skills you need for the screen sector.

Spend your first year learning about the filmmaking process and the industry as a whole. You’ll study the relationship between specialist skills, creative and critical thinking, and storytelling. It’s the ideal preparation for Year Two, when you’ll start to specialise in a particular area of the industry.

By Year Three you will be deepening yours skills in your specialisation through lots of projects and practice. If you’ve already done a short course or diploma in screen arts and are considering further study, you may even be able to cross credit into Unitec’s bachelor programme.


  • Participate in hands-on learning through film, television and small screen projects that replicate the industry.
  • Work in different crew models including small teams, as well as full industrial crews, as you would on a television or film set.
  • Work collaboratively with acting, dance, art department and costume students to gain on-set experience in the studio and on location.
  • Learn from lecturers who are experienced film and television practitioners.
  • Benefit from small class sizes and mentoring from your lecturers.
  • Access Unitec’s filmmaking equipment and facilities for 12 months after you graduate to develop your projects and your career.
  • Utilise Unitec’s strong industry link with organisations such as SPADA (Screen Production and Development Association), WIFT (Women in Film and Television), New Zealand Writers Guild, Screen Directors Guild, Entertainment Technology NZ, New Zealand Film and Video Technicians’ Guild, New Zealand Cinematographers Society, Screen Education Alliance New Zealand and Creative Digital Content New Zealand.

Specialist areas

  • Camera and field sound
  • Directing
  • Editing and post production sound
  • Production Management
  • Screenwriting


The Bachelor of Performing and Screen Arts programme is also complemented with a variety of electives and critical practice courses, including:

  • Introduction to Film History
  • New Zealand National Cinema
  • Professional Practice
  • Audience Context and Interpretation
  • Story, Myth and Ritual
  • Acting for Non-Actors
  • Hybrid Art Practice
  • Writing and Directing for the Theatre
  • Emerging Media Innovation Lab
  • Writing the Short Film
  • Documentary Research & History
  • Entertainment Lab for the Very Small Screen

Career Options

  • Camera: assistant camera, data wrangler, lighting assistant
  • Director’s assistant
  • Assistant editor
  • Production: production co-ordinator, production secretary, production assistant, assistant director, runner
  • Scriptwriting: researcher, scriptwriter
  • Sound: sound recordist, boom swinger, sound designer
  • Transmedia Producer
  • Production Stills
  • EPK Creator

Key staff
Alex Lee (Head of Department/Producer), Maile Daugherty (Head of Screen Arts/Production), Dorthe Scheffmann (Directing), Caroline Grose (Scriptwriting), Victor Grbic (Sound), Donny Duncan (Camera), Alan Locke (Camera), Brent Hargreaves (Art Direction), Joe Jowitt (Editing/Post Production)

Enquire now
Call 0800 10 95 10 or enrol online at unitec.ac.nz/perform
Follow us on facebook or twitter

For more information on Unitec’s Department of Performing and Screen Arts
Email [email protected]nitec.ac.nz or call (09) 815 4321 ext. 7250