National Institute of Dramatic Art

National Institute of Dramatic Art

Learn at Australia’s leading dramatic arts education institution – and one of the world’s top 10 drama schools! The Hollywood Reporter’s 2018 international ranking places NIDA in the top echelons, along with London’s Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and New York’s Juilliard School.

NIDA is recognised as one of the world’s best dramatic art conservatoires and is the leading school of dramatic art in Australia. The NIDA Conservatoire offers Bachelor of Fine Arts and Master of Fine Arts degrees in acting, costume, cultural leadership, design, directing, props, scenic construction, technical theatre and stage management, voice and writing for performance. Through pathways, NIDA also offers Vocational Diplomas (RTO 90349) in live production, make-up, musical theatre and stage and screen performance.


Industry engagement and collaborative student learning are core ingredients of a NIDA course, with graduates from the past 60 years enjoying highly successful careers in Australia and around the world.

NIDA’s leading role in conservatoire-style teaching of the dramatic and performing arts is acknowledged by the Australian Government, with significant funding provided by the Department of Communications and the Arts.


We ignite the creativity of emerging dramatic artists by empowering them through conservatoire learning to become sought-after practitioners and change-makers in a global environment.


We bring together inspirational experts to create transformational experiences through the dramatic arts.


NIDA’s graduates have had national and international impact and have made significant contributions to Australia’s theatre, screen and creative industries. Our graduates are recognised, not only for their success on stage and behind the scenes, but also for their dedication to Australia’s cultural fabric. They have played a major role in telling Australian stories since the 1960s.

Acclaimed alumni include Cate Blanchett, Rob Collins, Fiona Crombie, Judy Davis, Remy Hii, Deborah Riley, Richard Roxburgh, Shari Sebbens, Sarah Snook, Yael Stone, Hugo Weaving and Kip Williams.

How to apply

Applications must be submitted directly to NIDA via the NIDA website. Follow the prompts on the application page and make sure you include all supporting documentation. Applications are open in July 2020. Late applications may be received under some circumstances. Do not apply through UAC.

Student profile

Refer to the Student Profile tab on each course page for student profile information.

Admission criteria

All undergraduate applicants seeking admission to one of NIDA’s Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) must:

  • have reached the age of 18 before the commencement of the course (in exceptional circumstances this may be waived)
  • hold a Higher School Certificate or its equivalent from any state or territory in Australia or overseas (in exceptional circumstances this may be waived); ATAR is not required.
  • be fluent in spoken English and proficient in written English. International students need 8.0 IELTS or equivalent for Acting, and 7.0 IELTS or equivalent for all other BFA course.
  • complete the audition or project requirements for their chosen course (refer to the NIDA website from 1 July for full details).


You will receive information about attending your enrolment audition and/or interview upon application.

Acceptance of offer

Offers are usually made in December each year. Successful applicants will be advised by telephone and in writing.


Due to the highly competitive nature of NIDA’s admissions process, you must enrol for the year for which you have been offered a place. You cannot defer acceptance of a place.

Fees and charges

All students are required to pay tuition fees. Information on tuition fees for each course in 2020 are available via the NIDA website. International students enrolled in NIDA’s BFA are required to pay international student fees. Information on tuition fees for courses open to international students is available on the NIDA website.

Financial assistance

FEE-HELP supported degree programs

Eligible domestic students in the BFA courses can apply for FEE-HELP, a loan scheme that assists eligible fee-paying students in paying all or part of their tuition fees. New Zealand citizens pay domestic student tuition fees but are not generally eligible to apply for a FEE-HELP loan. Refer to the Study Assist website for more information. Permanent residents of Australia pay domestic student tuition fees but are not eligible to apply for a FEE-HELP loan. For more information, and to check your eligibility, go to the Australian Government’s Study Assist website.


Each year there are a limited number of NIDA student bursaries to assist with living costs. These are allocated to students on the basis of financial need. The bursaries are made available through the generosity of donors to NIDA and from bequests.

Details of the application process for bursaries are provided to students at the start of the NIDA year. 

Student and campus services

The award-winning NIDA campus is equipped with state-of-the-art facilities to foster creativity and innovation.

There are six dedicated performance venues – including a 700-seat proscenium arch theatre and an outdoor event and performance space – all with the equipment necessary to mount full-scale professional productions.

Teaching and rehearsal spaces include dedicated screen-work areas, high-end acoustically treated rooms for voice work, specialised studios for design, lighting, multimedia and sound recording, as well as an extensive costume and properties store. The Costume, Scenic Construction and Technologies, and Properties and Objects courses each have dedicated industrial workshops. NIDA’s spacious foyer is used as an exhibition space for student work.


NIDA does not provide residential accommodation for students. Through NIDA’s relationship with the University of New South Wales Sydney (UNSW Sydney), NIDA students can apply for accommodation at the various on-campus residential communities. NIDA students usually share rented accommodation in the area close to campus. Early in the year, information is made available to students regarding those offering shared accommodation and those wanting to share with others.

Library services

The NIDA campus is home to the Rodney Seaborn Library – one of Australia’s leading performing arts-based libraries. Created in 1980, the specialist library includes 30,000 drama and performance-related books and play scripts.

Medical or other health and wellbeing services

NIDA actively promotes the health and wellbeing of its community through information sessions and workshops on a broad range of health topics from mindfulness to fitness and injury prevention. There is a dedicated counsellor on-site at NIDA one day a week. All students also have access to Counselling and Psychological Services (CAPS) at UNSW Sydney Monday–Friday and remote emergency counselling 24/7.

Student organisations

SCON promotes friendship, social engagement and support among NIDA students through events that bring the student body together. SCON represents the students at executive meetings and act as a conduit for discussion between the students and board members and the president sits on the NIDA Academic Board. For more information about SCON follow them on Facebook @nidastudents. 

Courses available



215 Anzac Parade
Kensington NSW 2033

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