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Key details  

Course code/title

FTVMS 317 / Screen Tools
26 June - 21 July 2017
Structure Full-time
Credit  15 points (approx. 3-5 US credits)
Costs NZ$6,050 (US$4,500*). Includes tuition, accommodation and field trips. *Exchange rate as at 1 September 2016.
Perfect for... International students and graduates aiming for a career in filmmaking, or looking for a study abroad experience over the northern summer.
Eligibility Ideally applicants will have at least two years' undergraduate experience. A background in film or media production, drama, or creative writing is preferred, but not essential. Students with only one year of undergraduate experience and a strong creative portfolio are also eligible for entry.

How do I apply?

Applications are now open for Screen Tools 2017.

For detailed instructions about the online application process, please follow this step-by-step application guide.
When selecting your programme on the online application, choose the following options for Screen Tools:
Programme type: Certificate
Programme name: Cert of Proficiency Short Prog (COPSP)
Major or specialisation: Media, Film and Television
Start term: 2017 Quarter Three
Campus: City

Start your application now

How is the course structured?

You will be one of a maximum of 16 students on the course, all working to create the pilot episode of a serial drama. Everyone on the course has a specific role such as director, producer or writer. Actors will be cast from the University’s drama programmes.

Following an industry-style production schedule, the course is designed to give you practical experience and an understanding of the collaborative and co-operative nature of the making of drama for film, television and digital platforms, within strict time limits.

As well as developing technical skills in multi-camera television production, single camera location shooting and digital editing, you will be introduced to the processes of script breakdowns, casting and directing actors.

Screen Tools places a special focus on digital and new media as the method of distribution for your production. Platforms such as Facebook, YouTube and pod-casting open up opportunities for emerging filmmakers to release their work, and are increasingly becoming the media of choice for consumers.

You will be encouraged to identify and understand the target demographic for your chosen distribution platform, to ensure that the format and content of your production meet commercial imperatives.  

This intensive course requires a full-time commitment. Classes are held on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, with an additional eight to ten hours studio time required per week. Additional time will be spent in script production, casting, on-location filming, post-production, editing and on field trips to the Hobbiton movie set and Weta Workshop.


What role will I play in the production team?

Production team roles will be allocated in the first week of the course. The role you get will depend on your preference as well as your own skills and experience and the mix of skills and experience across the group.

For role descriptions, see class roles.


How is the course assessed?

This course is a practical production process based on professional television industry practice. You will be assessed on your creative, technical and organisational skills individually and collectively with your production team.

Assessment is broken down into three individual and group assignments:

1.    Written analysis

2.    Completed episode

3.    Completed overall drama


How can I transfer the credit back to my home university?

Talk to your department advisor and/or the study abroad office at your home institution to discuss transfer of credits. The official Screen Tools (course code 'FTVMS 317') syllabus is available below for download.

Screen Tools is worth 15 University of Auckland credits. This equals approximately 3-5 US credits – the exact conversion is at the discretion of your home institution.

On successful completion of the course you will receive an official University of Auckland transcript.


Where will I live?

You will stay in student accommodation near campus, with a private bedroom (single), and shared living spaces.

The University campus is located in the centre of Auckland city, close to shops, restaurants, entertainment, public transport and the harbour. 


What exactly is included in the programme fee?

The programme fee for the course is NZ$6,050 (US$4,500*).

What’s included:

  • GST (Goods and Services tax)
  • Tuition fees
  • Travel insurance (see Health and travel insurance)
  • Accommodation
  • Field trips including transport/flights and activities

What’s not included:

  • Flights to and from New Zealand
  • Food
  • Personal expenses

*Exchange rate as at 1 September 2016.


What are the entry requirements?

This course is designed for students with two years’ undergraduate experience. A background in film or media production, drama, or creative writing, is preferred, but not essential. Students with only one year of undergraduate experience and a strong creative portfolio are also eligible for entry.  Applicants need to have a strong academic record (equivalent to at least a University of Auckland B average).


What are the English language entry requirements?

If English is not your first language, and English is not the medium of instruction at your home university, then you will be required to provide evidence of your proficiency in the English language. 

In IELTS or TOEFL you will need the following scores:

  • IELTS (academic), total of 6.0, no band less than 5.5 
  • TOEFL (internet), total 80 with a writing score of 21 
  • TOEFL (paper), total of 550 with a TWE of 4.5

We also accept other English language tests as proof of English proficiency. For more information see English language requirements.

Download the course syllabus:


Enquire now!


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