15 months
Study mode
Tuition fee (entire course)
Foreign students
USD 29,503
AUD 41,000
Other costs
Other costs apply

About this course

The Master of Fine Arts (Design for Performance) offers creative practitioners the opportunity to explore new technologies, practices and ideas in design for a range of cultural industries including theatre, opera, dance, live performance, screen and events.

The design for performance landscape has shifted over the past decade, both nationally and internationally. The perceived boundaries between members of the creative team are becoming increasingly permeable with areas of specialisation blending more readily to form a cohesive and expressive whole. There is a greater understanding, recognition and engagement with the contribution made by each discipline within the creative team in generating new work.

The Master of Fine Arts (Design for Performance) provides a ‘hot house’ environment where costume and sets designers and lighting designers can come together to collaborate with directors, actors, writers, dramaturgs, composers and choreographers. The focus of the course is to actively encourage and mentor creative unions that share a common language and to foster collaborative networks. By bringing areas of design specialism together the course emulates current forms of collaborative creative enquiry.

The course places strong emphasis on the collaborative role of the designer in the creative process, while challenging each student to forge their own artistic identity and to define, locate and realise their practice within the dynamic international world of theatre and performance. This Master of Fine Arts (Design for Performance) aims to foster a new generation of theatrical design leaders with a strong sense of their professional identity in an international context. Students will develop the ability to make meaningful and well informed conceptual design choices as part of a creative team, while gaining a rigorous grounding in the practical skills required to plan, develop and realise an integrated theatrical design solution.

Students will collaborate in teams to design set, costumes and lighting for NIDA's production program. 


Entry Requirements

We select applicants who demonstrate commitment, capacity and willingness to advance their practice by:
  1. Working creatively
  2. Collaborating as part of a creative team
  3. Demonstrating a range of relevant skills and technical abilities
  4. Providing evidence of intellectual enquiry and reflection within their work
  5. Communicating clearly 
  • Applicants must have an undergraduate degree in Design or a related discipline or have at least five years documented professional experience in Design, preferably within a performance context.
  • Graduates of NIDA’s Bachelor of Fine Arts (Design for Performance) who achieved a High Distinction result for both DFP7302A Design Interdisciplinary Collaboration, and DFP7302B Design Interdisciplinary Collaboration in the three year period prior to their application, will be offered automatic entry. All other NIDA graduates will apply in the normal way.

English Language Requirement:

  • English language proficiency equivalent to an overall band score of 7.0 or 8.0 IELTS, depending on the course.