Screen Tools information

Find out more details about the Screen Tools short course at the University of Auckland.

Screen Tools 2022 has been cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions. 2023 dates to be confirmed.

How to apply

Screen Tools 2021 has been cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Applications for 2022 will be announced end of year 2021.

When selecting your programme online, 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: 2022 Quarter Three
Campus: City
Academic credit: No

Course structure

Full-time Monday to Friday (approximately 40 hours per week). Structured classes Tuesday and Thursday mornings. Eight to ten hours studio time per week. Other time is spent in script production, casting, on-location filming, post-production, editing and field trips.

Course assessment

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:

  • Written analysis
  • Completed episode
  • Completed overall drama

Credit weighting

15 NZ points (approximately 3-5 US credits). International students may be able to cross-credit back to your home institution. On successful completion of the course you will receive an official University of Auckland transcript.

Programme fee

The programme fee for Screen Tools is NZ$7,190 (US$4,605*). This includes tuition, accommodation and field trips to Hobbiton movie set and Weta Workshop.
*Exchange rate as of October 2019


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.


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.

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).

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.

Production team roles

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.

Executive Producer (EP)
The EP oversees all phases of the process and ensures everyone and everything is up to standard. The role encompasses planning of post-production editing and delivery, quality control of product and personnel, final decision-maker on casting, style of shooting and script elements.

Producers must decide on the mode of broadcast delivery and identify and understand the target demographic, keeping in mind commercial imperatives. Producers will oversee script meetings, scripts, casting, planning, scheduling, and must take an active creative role in the development of allocated scenes and the overall film.

Directors work the writer and actors to take a scene from script to screen; to contribute to script elements; to cast roles in collaboration with other directors and the producer and to ensure a high standard of interpretation and performance.

Writers will work in a collaborative atmosphere to create a script for their episode that contributes to the whole story. Writers must follow developments of the script into rehearsal to iron out any deficiencies that may be brought up by the actors or directors. In the studio writers will assume the role of vision switcher, and may also be required to assist in other areas.

Line Producer
The Line Producers’ role is to oversee the management of funds and personnel, to ensure the steady flow of information, to appoint and manage shooting crews in collaboration with the producer and the director. The Line Producer must find locations, make-up and unit persons, organise product issues and possibly call shots in the studio for the vision switcher. The Line Producer also acts as DA/Continuity person on all shoots.

First Assistant Director (1stAD)/Designer
The 1stAD organises production meetings, and devises schedules and callsheets for rehearsals and shoots. They control and direct all operations during shooting, and ensure all settings, props and costumes are appropriate for each episode and each location.

The focus of this course is on collaboration in pre-production and production; good editing is essential to create a good end product but is a small component of the course. Your group will select an editor who is already capable in this area.