Bachelor of Screen Arts - Film Major

Bachelor of Screen Arts - Film Major

Bachelor of Screen Arts - Film Major

Bachelor of Screen Arts

Study the Bachelor of Screen Arts Film Major and be a part of a creative team that designs and develops rich storytelling experiences. You will be part of a creative team development community which values collaborative practices and creative driven solutions. You will develop practical skills film making from script to release. Designing and developing storytelling experiences with an audience focus. You will be able to work on both solo and collaborative projects so you are exposed to a wide variety of skills and experiences which will prepare you for rewarding and creative future in the film, television and screen industries. 

SIT is now offering HyFlex ('Hybrid-Flexible') which combines face-to-face and online learning for the Screen Arts programme. 

Enrol via email
Key Details
Invercargill / Hyflex

Three years full-time,

Part time study is available.

Study Modes:

2025 Semester 1: 17 February to 21 November


This programme is eligible for the Zero Fees Scheme.

  • NO tuition fees
  • Direct material costs of just $1710 (Y1), $1710 (Y2) and $1998 (Y3) (GST inclusive)

International Fees can be found here.


The Bachelor of Screen Arts is a three-year programme that allows you to express your creativity using the latest digital technology. 

It will develop your creativity and technical abilities that are well sought after in this rapidly changing industry. You will be encouraged to develop individual projects which have distinctive conceptual, aesthetic and technical outcomes.

The Film major focuses on developing your creativity and technical skills with filmmaking and story telling.
You will learn:
  • Production
  • Film Crew
  • Cinematography
  • Screenwriting
  • Editing
  • Directing
  • Camera Crew
  • Colourist
  • etc 

In ten years’ time, the technology we use today will be obsolete, however skills in storytelling, character development, research and critical thinking, are enduring, irrespective of future technology.

Other majors in the Bachelor of Screen Arts:

Bachelor of Screen Arts (Film)

Year One

BSA 503 - Cross-Disciplinary Workshops

Students will participate in cross-disciplinary workshops to gain an understanding of real-world creative industry practice and communication. Students will be introduced to industry-specific techniques, gaining knowledge and skills required to participate as part of a team. Students will develop research skills to identify and demonstrate historical and theoretical practice. Students will document and analyse the progression of their projects. 

BSA 542 - Studio Digital 1

Students will be introduced to the fundamentals of design within the current creative industries. Students will complete projects that meet the requirements of a design brief, implementing various software solutions to develop an understanding of how to read and use imagery. Students will also explore and create digital artworks which apply the fundamentals of design principles. Students will investigate and a diversity of historic and contemporary digital design practices.

BSA 501 - Introduction to Filmmaking

Students will gain practical hands-on skills and develop techniques to be able to effectively use cameras, lighting and audio equipment involved in visual story telling for film. Students will explore a variety of techniques and apply skills to critically assess how to use these tools to greatest effect in various situations and to enhance storytelling.

BSA 504 - Screenwriting 1

Students will develop a basic understanding and an ability to analyse film structures, genre conventions and storytelling techniques. Students will develop writing skills to be able to effectively develop a short film script outline, treatment, and screenplay.? Students will learn skills in creating and developing story-driven techniques within the plot, theme, character, and dialogue of their script.

BSA 550 - Film Editing

Students will explore and develop an understanding of the aesthetics, concepts and practicalities of combining moving images in film. Students will be introduced to fundamental post-production tools, software, and editing techniques that serve narratives.

BSA 531 - Digital Filmmaking 1

Students will develop conceptual, technical, aesthetic, project management and organisational skills vital to producing, directing and crewing a short film project with high production values. Students will develop leadership skills by producing and directing their own short film project while also developing group and relationship management skills by crewing on other class members’ projects. Students will consider and document their project’s journey including the legal and ethical implications of their actions with regard to film production.

BSA 534 - Pre-Production Techniques

Students will learn how to breakdown, schedule, and budget a project, as well as being able to examine the structure and?organisation of departments involved in developing and implementing a project. Students will develop documentation and pre-visualisation artwork as part of a proposal for this project. Students will learn key health and safety procedures and planning strategies relevant to a project.

Year Two

BSA 603 - Cross-Disciplinary Workshops 2

Students will participate and collaborate across disciplines to engage in a series of innovative and contemporary creative industry driven projects. Students will collaborate developing skills in versatility and adaptability within a visually creative environment. Students will research and develop an analytical understanding of emerging disciplines within the creative industries. Students will research and develop communication skills in leadership, decision-making, and group dynamics.

BSA 602 - Audio Techniques 

Students will develop an understanding of producing audio for the creative industries. Students will research and analyse historical and contemporary audio practitioners and their contributions to the evolution of the creative industry. Students will also gain creative and technical skills to effectively capture and manipulate audio for projects.

BSA 604 - Screenwriting 2

Students will advance their understanding of screenwriting techniques and story, with a particular focus on structure, conflict, and character status. Students will refine their short film writing and script editing skills and be introduced to various forms of serial storytelling and longer format screenwriting. 

BSA 631 - Digital Filmmaking 2


Students will produce, direct, and evaluate a short film showcasing and building on their storytelling, conceptual development, art direction, cinematography and
post-production skills throughout this paper. Students will investigate, understand, instigate and document appropriate protocols to ensure their compliance with the legal and ethical implications of their actions regarding film production.


BSA 634 - Cinematography

Students will research and gain a theoretical understanding and practical experience of the lighting, camera tools and techniques used in digital cinema production to enhance a practical project. Students will develop their understanding and implementation of visual language within storytelling and marketing concepts. Students will develop skills to an industry standard for both location and studio situations.

BSA 627 - Visual Effects Compositing

Students will be introduced to a range of visual effects and compositing tools and techniques. Students will analyse and implement a VFX production pipeline to produce a project that contains composited elements, either individually or as groups. Students will also examine relevant existing and emerging practises, and document project progress through self-reflective commentaries. 

BSA 642 - Studio Digital 2

Students will extend their understanding of project-focused research through creative industries practices. Within their fields, students will develop a body of work that reflects an in-depth investigation relevant to their research focus. Students will gain an understanding of the practical and theoretical implications of proposing, developing, and resolving a creative industries project. Students will engage in historical and contemporary research relevant to their research focus. Students will demonstrate experience evaluating a range of practical and digital materials and processes to engage with target audiences. Students will also utilise documentation as a key research method.

Year Three

BSA701 - Studio Project 1

Students will build knowledge and skills in communications and management strategies to lead a deadline-driven creative project within a team environment. Students will explore and research relevant existing and emerging practices. Students will develop and produce a project utilising and challenging each member’s current technical and aesthetic talent base. Students will explore pipeline/workflow and time management models, while maintaining best health, wellness and safety practices while observing legal and ethical considerations. Students will explore and critically engage in audience research to ensure all concepts and designs are user centric. Students will critically analyse and execute transmedia approaches to release the final project.

BSA702 - Studio Project 2

Students will build knowledge and skills in communications and management strategies to develop or produce a creative project. Students will develop individual or collaborative projects with peers or external partners but must implement individual processes with legal considerations. Students will plan and implement pipelines/workflows that embed researched and evaluated ethics, health, safety, and wellbeing procedures. Students will identify audience to ensure all concepts and designs are user-centric and have clear approaches to brand development and product release. Students will critically analyse and execute transmedia approaches to release their final project.

When you complete the programme you will have the broad range of skills necessary for an industry that increasingly asks for people with a multidisciplinary approach. Depending on the specialisation chosen, you will be able to look for work in areas as diverse as video editing, screenwriting, directing, as well as other film/television production roles.

The real strength of the programme is that graduates will have had some experience in many of these areas, a quality that will become increasingly important as technologies converge.

The third year of the programme features a major project. For film students this may be a short film.

School Leavers

University Entrance - NCEA Level 3 - three subjects at Level 3, made up of:

14 credits each, in three NZQA University Entrance approved subjects, and

Literacy – 10 credits at Level 2 or above, made up of five credits in reading and five credits in writing, and

Numeracy – 10 credits at Level 1 or above, made up of specified achievement standards through a range of subjects, or a package of three numeracy unit standards (26623, 26626, 26627 – all three required)

Mature Applicants

Be at least 20 years of age when the programme begins and provide evidence of aptitude or appropriate work or other experience; or completion of an external or overseas qualification which is considered to be the equivalent of any of the above qualifications, as approved by the Head of Faculty.

Special Admission

Notwithstanding the above admissions categories, in exceptional circumstances, an applicant below the age of 20 who can show evidence of ability to succeed in the programme may be considered for admission, provided the applicant has successfully completed an approved course or programme which is deemed to prepare graduates for the required academic standard for entry.

An applicant who does not meet academic criteria, may be provisionally admitted to enrol in one or more Year One papers, provided he or she meets the requirements above. Upon successful completion of the papers, the student may apply for special admission or admission by mature entry.

Additional Criteria - Portfolio Requirements

Applicants are required to submit a portfolio of their work with their application as follows:

  1. A paragraph introducing yourself and your interests in your chosen field.
  2. A link or digital samples of your creative work, for example:
    a. 5-10 pieces of digital or traditional artwork, or 
    b. a short film, or animation,  or game you have worked on, or
    c. Photographs of a small garment collection or design spec sheets.
  3. You may be asked to do a short interview with the programme manager or appropriate staff member.

English Language Requirements

Applicants, whose first language is not English, or who come from a country where the language of instruction in schools is not English, are required to provide evidence of having achieved one of the following:

NCEA Level 3 with University Entrance, or

an International Baccalaureate Diploma or Cambridge A- level qualification for which the teaching and assessment was conducted in English, or

Cambridge Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (CELTA),or Trinity College London Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (CertTESOL), or

Successful completion of all primary education (being the equivalent of New Zealand primary school years 1 to 8) and at least three years of secondary education (being the equivalent of three years from New Zealand secondary school years 9 to 13) at schools in either New Zealand, Australia, Canada, the Republic of Ireland, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States one of the countries listed in Rule 18.5 where the student was taught using English as the language of instruction, or

Successful completion of at least five years of secondary education (being the equivalent of New Zealand secondary school years 9 to 13) at schools in either New Zealand, Australia, Canada, the Republic of Ireland, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States where the student was taught using English as the language of instruction, or

Successful completion of a Bachelors' Degree, Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma, Bachelor Honours degree, Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma, Masters' Degree or Doctoral Degree, the language of instruction of which must be in English and which must be from a tertiary education provider from New Zealand, Australia, Canada, the Republic of Ireland, South Africa, the United Kingdom or the United States, or

Successful completion of one of the following internationally recognised proficiency tests listed below to the level required of the programme of study and with all scores achieved in a single test during the two years preceding the proposed date of enrolment:

IELTS test - Academic score of 6 with no band score lower than 5.5 
TOEFL Paper based test (pBT) - Score of 550 (with an essay score 5 TWE) 
TOEFL Internet based test (iBT) - Score of 60 (with a writing score of 18) 
Cambridge English Examination - B2 First or B2 First for schools or C1 Advanced or C2 Proficiency with a score of 169. No less than 162 in each skill. 
OET - Minimum of Grade C or 200 in all sub-tests 
NZCEL - a) Expiring Level b) Current: a) Level 4 (Academic) b) Level 4 (Academic) 
Pearson Test of English (Academic) - PTE (Academic) score of 50 with no band score lower than 42 
Language Cert - C1 Expert International ESOL Written (LRW) PASS with no less than 25/50 in each skill and Spoken (S) PASS 
Trinity ISE - ISE II with no less than distinction in any band

* New versions of some NZCEL qualifications, and in some cases new qualifications, were published on 13 June 2017. These are intended to replace pre-existing versions and qualifications, which have been given expiring status until discontinued on 31 December 2019. (a) denotes expiring (b) denotes current.

In order to be awarded the Bachelor of Screen Arts the student will have been credited with all required papers and electives as specified in the schedule of papers (360 credits).

The overall programme of study for every candidate requires 360 credits for successful completion of the degree.

  • Every candidate is required to pass 120 credits at Year One.
  • Every candidate is required to pass 120 credits at Year Two.
  • Every candidate is required to pass 120 credits at Year Three.

Individual papers may have specific pre-requisites or other knowledge/skill requirements, which must be satisfied by all students.

Screen Arts Block Course – all level 5 students

Monday 12 February – Friday 23 February, 9am – 5pm.

Meet at Te Rau o Te Huia (SIT Creative Centre) – J Block

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