• Diploma in On Screen Acting

    Today, actors around the world gain more work on screen than on stage. South Seas offers the only full time acting course in New Zealand with a primary focus on Film and TV. If you want to build a career in acting, we can help you get there!

    Successfully complete this course and you’ll receive the New Zealand Diploma in Drama (Level 5) [Ref. 3428].

    Why Come to South Seas?

    • Practical, immersive Acting training
    • Cutting edge industry technology
    • Tutoring by established Acting / Film Industry professionals
    • Expansive facilities on Auckland North Shore

    Animation College NZ, as the registered PTE provides and awards the qualifications offered by South Seas Film & TV School. When you enrol with South Seas Film & TV School, your enrolment is with Animation College NZ. Animation College is a Category 1 Provider, the highest rating a school can be awarded by the Government.

    A button to easily access key student information about this qualification.

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  • Acting Course Overview

    The entertainment industry has seen a major shift in employment to On Screen rather than Theatre Acting. The South Seas On Screen Acting Course provides total immersion training in the unique acting skills and techniques required for film, television and screen media.

    South Seas Film & TV School - Short CutsSouth Seas Film & TV School has an impressive range of professional equipment, facilities and other support courses that make it an ideal venue for an acting school with a screen performance focus.

  • During On Screen Acting training, you will

    • Acquire the essential skills and practice to act on screen.
    • Discover your potential, talent and imagination as an actor.
    • Work on practical projects in a wide range of production styles and formats.
    • Perform in several original short films written by student directors.
    • Gain an appreciation of key roles, responsibilities and opportunities in the national and international Film and TV industry.
    • Develop your auditioning skills, create a show reel and find an agent.

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  • South Seas Acting School Aims

    • To develop actors who are skilled, professional, confident and creative.
    • To provide students with an understanding of the practice of television and film production.
    • To support students in their journey to discover themselves as actors through the camera lens.

    Career Opportunities in Acting

    On Screen Acting graduates will be ready to gain representation with an actor’s agent, audition for roles in TV and Film productions as well as theatre, and create their own screen productions using their new networks in the industry.

    Many graduates have also found career opportunities in Acting Teaching, Event Management and Multi Media training. Graduates also gain overall production experience that can lead to employment in the industry.

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  • Acting Course Content

    The On Screen Acting Course is made up of three major components:

    Acting Techniques: Students learn to develop their own personal actor’s instrument (body, voice and imagination) while exploring a wide variety of Acting Techniques.

    Performance Skills: Students take part in a variety of studio and location production exercises with Film & TV students as they develop their craft from simple shoots to short film dramas.

    Professional Skills: Students are given a comprehensive understanding of the Film & TV industry and their ability to manage and sustain a career.

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  • Acting Skills – Summary

    • Art – to appreciate the fundamental aim of acting as an art form is the creation of the inner life of a human spirit and expressing it in an artistic form.
    • Fitness and flexibility – to develop fitness, flexibility, awareness and relaxation, allowing the actor to become centred physically, emotionally and mentally.
    • Listening – to experience the distinction of listening as opposed to hearing, and be able to actively and creatively listen as a character as part of communication in any given situation.
    • Spatial awareness and freedom of artistic expression. To develop inner awareness of authentic creativity and explore communication through physicality.
    • Visualization – use their creative imagination to its maximum when visualizing characters and settings.
    • Voice – to demonstrate an open and free voice allowing full expression and good tone, using resonance, pitch, relaxation and projection.
    • Microphone Techniques – to utilise microphone techniques in studio voice-over and ADR situations.
    • Emotional Recall – to develop an ability to call on personal experiences in order to truthfully recreate any given emotion.
    • Communicating – to employ communication freely and truthfully as a character, combining all the actors’ physical, emotional, intellectual & spiritual talents.
    • Improvisation – to freely and confidently improvise both on set and in audition situations.
    • Truth – an understanding of the need to inter-react with truth and authenticity.
    • Character Development – a comprehensive knowledge and practical skills in developing a character, utilizing the above skills with effectiveness, style, truth, subtlety and impact. A level of physical mobility, fitness and flexibility in order to draw freely on physicality as an integral part of character development.
    • Accents – to have an understanding of the structure of both Australian and West Coast Californian accents in order to recreate them whenever needed.
  • Performance Skills – Summary

    • Camera Awareness – to develop a complete awareness of camera positions and shots and be able to adjust performances accordingly.
    • Props – to freely, comfortably and naturally use any given prop in any given situation.
    • Analysis – to demonstrate creative analysis with any given script, understanding form and style, creative stimuli to enhance the character, interactions, and scene structure.
    • Sub-text – to understand the depth of sub-text required to portray a scene effectively and truthfully, and to generate this freely and creatively.
    • Workshop class camera exercises are many small practical performance exercises used throughout the curriculum to develop particular skills and techniques utilizing their own psyche and vulnerability.
    • An ability to be self-motivated and interdependent. To work with energy, self commitment and focus.
    • An ability to work with directors by adapting their performance to fulfill the production requirements.

    Professional Skills – Summary

    • An understanding of the roles and responsibilities in the Television and Film Industry
    • Understanding of the process of production from Concept to Distribution
    • Understanding of the terminology used in Film and Television production
    • Ability to research and articulate a professional career in the industry
    • Actor Job Seeking – Have the ability to secure an agent and enter into the profession of Acting
    • Produce the key Actor Marketing elements: CV, head shot, and show reel

2019 Calendar for Film & Television Production + On Screen Acting Courses

Graduation TBA

Semester 1

Semester 2

Classes begin: Tue 29 Jan 2019 Classes begin: Mon 15 Jul 2019
Term ends: Fri 12 Apr 2019 Term ends: Fri 20 Sep 2019
Mid-semester break Mid-semester break
Classes begin: Tue 23 Apr 2019 Classes begin: Mon 30 Sep 2019
Term ends: Fri 28 Jun 2019 Term ends: Fri 29 Nov 2019


  • Immerse Yourself in Acting!

    It is hands on, full on. You live it, eat it, sleep it, then do it all over again the next day. Total immersion is not for everyone – it’s for people who want to work hard. Total immersion is feeling the heat at the centre of the action, surrounded by people who share it. It will propel you into something you love: your job. Imagine that!


  • Variety of Acting Techniques

    The course includes class work, lectures, workshops, location and studio shoots. Through classroom and practical training, students are challenged to break through individual blocks and take their acting to new heights.

    Training is given in voice, speech (including accents), improvisation, stunts, character development, physical agility and industry awareness. You will develop an awareness of what goes into effective on-camera work and become familiar with the unique processes of the professional film actor.

    Variety of Acting Experience

    OSA Students work closely with FTV students on small and large productions throughout the year including:

    • Mini scenes on location with specific briefs
    • Live dramatic scene with audience
    • TV Commercial on location
    • Short dramatic video production shot on location
    • Monologue recording
    • Film shot on location with professional tutors
    • Multi-camera drama in studio
    • Show reel scenes on location
    • Final FTV course drama productions on location

Requirements & Fees

  • Acting Course Duration

    The course year is 39 weeks in duration and is divided into four terms. (Term 1: 10 weeks, Term 2: 10 weeks, Term 3: 10 weeks, Term 4: 9 Weeks). The On Screen Acting day is 08:30-17:00 Monday to Friday. There may occasionally be weekend workshops or rehearsals.

    Acting Course Entry Requirements

    • The On Screen Acting course is open to all NZ and International students.
    • International applicants must be 17 years or older.
    • International students must have English language skills equivalent to IELT level 6.
    • All applicants must also complete the course application form and written requirements as well as complete a formal interview.

    Acting Diploma Requirements

    Throughout the course there are various practical and written course exercises, assessments and/or tests which must be completed by set deadlines in order for students to be able to obtain in excess of the minimum number of 120 course credits at the required levels for a NZQA Diploma pass.

  • Selection Process

    We accept applications from people aged 17 and over, or people who will have reached the age of 17 by the course start date. The applicant completes an application form – click Apply when you are ready, or Contact Us if you would like us to send you an application form in the mail.

    A representative from South Seas will contact the applicant for any further information needed. When we have a full and complete application form that meets all our requirements, we will invite suitable applicants to attend an Audition Workshop at South Seas. The workshop will involve a series of exercises and observation by South Seas OSA tutors, who will assess the applicant’s suitability for a place on the course. After the initial assessment, the OSA tutors will invite some applicants back for a “call back” where the applicant will complete more exercises and an interview process with staff. The tutors will then contact all applicants and advise whether they will be offered a place on the course.

    NZQA Approved

    The course is NZQA registered and approved so students are eligible for student loans and allowances. South Seas is audited by external assessors and the NZQA at regular intervals in order to ensure that the actual performance of the course measures up to our stated aims and objectives.

Acting Course Fees

On Screen Acting Diploma Course – Fees & Costs
Domestic Student Fees International Student Fees
$8,486.40 + $340 Student Services Levy $19,500 + $2,000 Course Fee
(Eligible for “Fees-Free” study)

Additional costs for On Screen Acting: Students should allow approx $150 for extra skills text books and up to $300 for Actors Agency & Portfolio Photographs as well as general course costs.

The New Zealand Government has imposed an international student levy on tuition and course related fees. From 1 January 2019 the levy will be 0.89% of the compulsory tuition fees.


  • Application Requirements

    Please view the general application requirements before applying.

    Application Sections

    1. Basic information
    2. Education & work experience
    3. Aptitude (incl. 1 essay question)
    4. Course specific questions
    5. Additional information

On Screen Acting Graduates