Skip to main content Skip to footer site map
Click Here for More Articles on STUDENT CENTER - COLLEGE EDITION


Education Beyond the USA: Profiling The National Institute of Dramatic Art

Article Pixel

Education Beyond the USA: Profiling The National Institute of Dramatic Art

We're reaching outside of the US to bring hopeful students a wider picture of where they can attain training in the theatre arts! First up, we're looking at the prestigious National Institute of Dramatic Art in Australia. Get an idea of their degree programs, audition process and even hear from some of their faculty below.

Established in 1959, Australia's most prestigious performing arts school has fostered generations of internationally revered performers, storytellers and creative practitioners. From actors and directors to designers and props-makers, NIDA provides specialist training in every theatrical discipline.

NIDA ignites the creativity of emerging dramatic artists through world-renowned
conservatoire learning, empowering students to become sought-after practitioners and
change-makers in a global environment. NIDA's academic and artistic staff are inspirational experts creating transformational experiences through the dramatic arts.

NIDA's conservatoire training is characterised by intensive, embodied learning, immersing students in their specific disciplines; practical, rigorous training; regular experience through performances and productions, and professional development through industry opportunities.

NIDA Degree Programs

Bachelor of Fine Arts (The Singing Actor)

Three Year Program

Full-Time 9AM-6PM Monday to Friday

24 Students Per Year

A totally unique offering in the world of musical theatre training, NIDA's BFA (The Singing Actor) selects for talented actors who already have a high level of vocal
competency. Its focus is on the art of 'storytelling through song', a skill increasingly in demand for our contemporary theatrical landscape. During production seasons, students may be required additionally for rehearsals and performances after-hours and on weekends.

Education Beyond the USA: Profiling The National Institute of Dramatic Art

The Singing Actor students undertake the majority of their training alongside peers in the Acting cohort (with the total combined cohort numbering 24 students, maximum) but separate from them for weekly classes that develop their high level singing skills. The Singing Actor students are exposed to current musical theatre styles through movement and dance training, and encouraged to innovate in devised and new forms of musical theatre-making.

'This is a course for people who are fearless, who take risks, make bold choices and are happy to get it wrong in order to learn. We look for people who are passionate about the artform and understand how important it is to have a solid skills-base to their craft.'
- John Bashford, Director Centre for Acting, NIDA

For auditions, the institute recommends that you be prepared to be able to discuss your artistic choices, be yourself, and choose pieces that display your range. You don't have to sing any audition piece in its original key - choose a key that suits your voice.

Tips for Applicants from Outside Australia

Studying at NIDA is a great commitment, and international students should be
especially careful in preparing to manage their time and resources carefully. NIDA
students should not rely on being able to work part-time during semester due to the
requirements of full-time training with additional time for class preparation, private
study, and rehearsal and performances during production seasons.

For accommodation, the institute recommends living on UNSW campus for the first year as you acclimatise and make friends. It is safe accommodation within easy walking distance of NIDA. This will give you a year to get to know Sydney and forge a network of friends so that, in your second year, if you do wish to move out independently of
student accommodation, it will be a much easier process for you.

They also recommend making sure you have good medical health insurance. Financial aid is available in the form of bursaries. Currently enrolled students may apply for these. Bursaries are allocated to students on the basis of financial need.

Audition/Admission Process

NIDA welcomes applications from international students. Auditions are held in
November and early December each year, and international applicants must attend
in person in Australia (*excepting students who wish to study at NIDA as part of
Study Abroad/semester exchange programs, who may audition remotely). The institute requires all international applicants to: attend an audition in Australia. Information on what to prepare for your audition is here.

You should be aware of the visa conditions and financial obligations you are required to meet as an overseas student and accept full responsibility for all arrangements concerning entry into, and residence in, Australia (including visas and health insurance).

You should also have an English language proficiency equivalent to an overall band score of 7.0 IELTS (8.0 for Acting). Information on IELTS and testing centres in your country is available at This requirement may be waived for applicants that have completed their high school studies in English. For more information on applying as an international student, you can email

Find out more at, and connect on social media:

Twitter - @nidacommunity
Instagram - @NIDACommunity

Facebook - @NIDAcommunity

Related Articles

From This Author Linnae Medeiros