We interview all applicants and you do not need to have had prior theatre or film experience. There are no academic or physical requirements beyond a basic level of health and fitness, and a willingness to take on the work.

Entry to the course is by portfolio, interview and workshop.

Design students must have turned 18 years of age by the first day of the first term (for next year, Monday 19 February 2018). There is no upper age limit. This is an emotionally, intellectually and physically demanding course and our students need to bring a mature approach.


Anyone is welcome to come into the school to observe a class or to experience the ambience of Te Whaea. Please call at least a fortnight in advance to make a time.

Application Process

**** Applications for entry in 2018 have now closed  ****

Outline of the application process:

  • Submit an initial online Application Form
  • Submit an online Applicant’s Supplementary Information Form
  • Nominate two referees and ask them to complete and submit the online Reference Form
  • Send us your Portfolio, to arrive no later than Friday the 21st of October 2016 (if submitting hard copies)

Each time you submit an online form you should receive an email confirmation from us. If you don’t, this means the form hasn’t submitted correctly, please contact us if you have any problems apply@toiwhakaari.ac.nz.

In the Personal Statement section of the Applicant’s Supplementary Form please address the following questions (200 words each max):
1. Select two or three of your most significant achievements to date and explain why you believe they are significant. What have you discovered about yourself from these achievements?
2.What do you hope to gain from your time at Toi Whakaari?
3.Why have you chosen to study Design? Why for stage and screen? Include some reference to how much theatre and screen you see and how you see yourself as a future practitioner in this field.
You are encouraged to share some personal insights and influences that have shaped you.

In the Portfolio section of the Applicant’s Supplementary Form you can either: enter a link to your website/Tumblr/Dropbox or other online portal, or you can submit a physical portfolio by the 20th of October 2017 (this could be on a USB, disc, hard copies of images/workbooks etc). We are looking for potential and ability in the following areas: drawing; creative innovation; design process; collaboration; visual communication and conceptual thinking. Put together a portfolio which gives us an insight into:

  • your ability to communicate ideas visually
  • your process: the way you work things out; e.g. inspiration, research and working drawings. Include plans/images of the development stage for a project you have done (or dream of doing). We are happy to accept these as an accompanying workbook as well as inside your portfolio.
  • your experience in your own area(s) of interest (screen, costume, set, props, stage, performance art, etc).
  • your passion! This might be a project that you are proud of or that you have initiated.

If you send us hard copies please ensure that all your work is clearly identified with your name and no larger than A2 size. We accept as many folders/discs/workbooks as you wish to submit.

Interview Process

All applicants must attend Applicants’ Weekend (3rd – 5th November 2017). All applicants will be interviewed and take part in a workshop. After Applicants’ Weekend successful applicants will be offered a place. All applicants will be notified of the interview panel’s decision by mail and email.


Bachelor of Design (Stage and Screen)

Fees for 2017 are $6787 ( incl GST). Fees for 2018 will be set later this year.  There is also a Student Services Levy of approximately $300 – $450 per year (subject to confirmation). Students need to buy a small amount of equipment, and some texts. It is also recommended that students allocate an additional $1000 to $1500 per annum for associated course costs.

If necessary, students should contact  StudyLink as soon as possible prior to the beginning of the school year to start loan application process.

International Students

Toi Whakaari welcomes applications from international students.  International students are not eligible for any government support while studying at the school and have to pay international student fees. International applicants can be interviewed on-line via Skype or video conference. For more information about international applications, visit the International Students’ section of our website or email apply@toiwhakaari.ac.nz

Australian students

Australian students pay domestic students fees but must meet New Zealand government residency requirements in regard to eligibility for student loans. More information is available here.