Diploma of Film

SAE Melbourne Audio and Film students
Available at
Adelaide, Brisbane, Byron Bay, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney
FEE Help available
Diploma of Film
Domestic Fees

Units x Costs ($AUD)
4 x $3,807
2 x $2,728
1 x $5,456

Indicative Total Course Fee*
$26,140 AUD
Plus Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF)

* The Indicative Total Course Fee & Indicative Annual Course Fees reflects that students are charged fees on a per unit basis and the fee for a unit may increase.

For more information view the SAE Fee Schedule or visit the Fee & Payment page.

FEE-HELP Available
Diploma of Film
International Fees

Units x Costs ($AUD)
4 x $4,439
2 x $3,178
1 x $6,356

Indicative Total Course Fee*
$30,468 AUD
Plus Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF)

* The Indicative Total Course Fee & Indicative Annual Course Fees reflects that students are charged fees on a per unit basis and the fee for a unit may increase.

For more information view the SAE Fee Schedule or visit the Fee & Payment page.

2 Trimesters Full Time (Fast Track)

Complete your course faster by studying the course units over approximately 7 months (2 trimesters).

Diploma of Film
Course Durations
2 Trimesters Full Time (Fast Track)

Complete your course faster by studying the course units over approximately 7 months (2 trimesters).

3 Trimesters Full Time

Whilst still classified as a full-time study load, you will complete the course units over one year. (3 trimesters)

Part-time option available

If you want to take a little longer, that’s ok too. We’ll help you work out the best study load to suit your needs.

Note: Part-time is not available for international students.

We understand that things can change, so you'll have the flexibility to change your study load throughout your course if you need to.
Start Date(s)
May 2024
Diploma of Film
Start Dates
  • May 2024

  • September 2024

  • February 2025

  • May 2024

  • September 2024

  • February 2025

Byron Bay
  • May 2024

  • September 2024

  • February 2025

  • May 2024

  • September 2024

  • February 2025

  • May 2024

  • September 2024

  • February 2025

  • May 2024

  • September 2024

  • February 2025

Entry Requirements
Diploma of Film
Domestic Entry Requirements
Domestic students must meet one of the following criteria:
Completion of a Australian Senior Secondary Certificate of Education (QCE, WACE, HSC, SACE, etc) (like your Year 12 certificate or equivalent); OR
Completion of a Certificate III level qualification, or higher, issued under the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF); OR
Experience-Based Entry – for applicants who do not meet the requirements of entry criteria above.
More info
Diploma of Film
International Entry Requirements
International Entry Requirements
Minimum age requirements
International students seeking admission to SAE must be 18 years of age OR must be turning 18 during their first trimester of studies at SAE.
Academic requirements
Successful completion of secondary school studies (assessed as an equivalent of Australian Year 12 secondary studies). Minimum overall pass is required.
English language requirements
International English Language Testing System (IELTS): An overall score of 5.5 or higher with no individual band lower than 5.0 (only the Academic Test is accepted), OR
Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL): 63 overall (internet-based test); OR
Pearson Test of English (PTE): Academic score of 36 or higher, OR
Completion of Year 12 English in an Australian secondary school or college or equivalent with a minimum result of “Satisfactory” or equivalent.
More info
Successful completion of an Academic English program with an SAE-approved Australian-based English partner. Please refer to our SAE International Study Pathways for more information.
More info


Be cast directly into a world-class creative environment with SAE’S hands-on Diploma of Film. Guided by expert lecturers you will gain an in-depth introduction to film, from scriptwriting and film production, right through to digital post-production.

You will engage in collaborative studio-based learning where you will have access to all the latest equipment and software including DaVinci Resolve colour grading software and Adobe Creative Cloud. Your growth and development will be assessed through the completion of industry-based projects, not theoretical-based essays.

You’ll feel like you are already working, with the amount of hands-on experience you’ll gain operating film production equipment for a variety of screen contexts, including cameras, lighting, and sound.

You’ll also learn about digital post-production including audio mixing, tilting colour grading and the authoring processes.

Upon completion, you will be eligible for up to 80 credit points towards the Bachelor of Film.

SAE Film students look through camera

Career Outcomes

What jobs will this course lead to?

  • Entry-Level Videographer
  • Entry-Level Film Crew
  • Camera Assistant
  • Production Assistant
  • Entry-Level Editor
  • Independent Filmmaker

Why study a Diploma of Film at SAE?

Students Filming in Green Screen Wonder Room. SAE Sydney
Learn in world class studio environments 4K Red, Sony and Canon cameras, DaVinci Resolve colour grading software, Adobe Premiere Pro and Adobe Creative Cloud.
Practical, immersive training All work is project-based, with no exams.
Flexible course options Completing one of the three stages of the Bachelor of Film, this course provides an excellent pathway into the degree.
Become job-ready To complement your technical skills, you will develop communication, introductory project management, teamwork and collaboration skills.


Film Skills

Screen studies fundamentals Principles of storytelling Screenwriting software Operation of film equipment Basic post-production technical processes Exposure to post-production & screen design software

Tools & Software


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Course Structure

The Diploma of Film is stage 1 of the 3 stages of a Bachelor.
Yellow. Infographic explaining Trimesters 1-6 for the Diploma, Associate Degree and Bachelor Film courses at SAE.
Stage 1: Foundations
Develop the essential technical film skills and the knowledge required to collaborate with other creative media students and professionals.
Credit points: 10

This unit introduces you to the fundamental principles of screen studies, including theory and history, to explore ways in which these principles are connected to screen practice. Emphasis is placed on how these concepts and approaches work within screen production, allowing you to develop analytical, critical reflection and creative thinking skills by applying your understanding of topics in project-based activities. Finally, this unit should assist you in becoming more critically aware of your craft and introduce you to ways of developing your knowledge of screen production.
Credit points: 10

In this unit, you will be introduced to the principles of storytelling for the screen in the production of a short dramatic screenplay. Theoretical approaches to plot, structure, character, theme and genre will be explored, and applied to a range of screenplay development tools such as synopsis, treatment and character breakdowns. Through the analysis of a diverse range of mostly short films and the application of theoretical knowledge, you will develop the skills to create engaging character arcs and a satisfying story structure.

You will learn the techniques required to write effective dialogue and scene descriptions. As you draft your final screenplay, you will need to engage with industry-standard formatting and software programs. Feedback processes are essential in the development of engaging stories, and you are expected to engage with feedback from your lecturer and colleagues throughout the trimester.
Credit points: 10

In this unit, you will be introduced to the craft of filmmaking through participation in practical film shoots. An introduction to camera, lighting and sound equipment will be supported by a study of the fundamentals of frame composition and cinematography. Key roles and responsibilities of a working film crew as well as production processes and protocols are covered, including workplace health and safety. Familiarity with the equipment and its safe assembly and use is as important in this subject as the technical and creative elements.
Credit points: 10

This unit aims to instil a basic working knowledge of the structures, aesthetics and technologies involved in digital post-production. There is a particular emphasis on the editing process, as well as a general introduction to audio mixing, titling, colour grading and authoring processes within an industry-level non-linear editing tool.

Editing techniques and approaches vary between different mediums and this unit focuses on both documentary and drama workflows and file management protocols. Effective communication of narrative is the main focus of the unit, and you will learn to edit for narrative clarity, performance, subtext and dramatic effect. Historical and contemporary perspectives on montage theory and continuity editing theory will be explored to broaden your understanding and approach to the art of editing.
Credit points: 10

This unit will introduce you to the mindset and skillset of the creative entrepreneur, and transform your approach to problem-solving. You will analyse historical and contemporary models of leadership and best practice in entrepreneurship, and use tools for project design that include ideation, problem framing, and pitching. The skills in this unit will assist you in developing your creative thinking, exploration, and experimentation methods, allowing you to experiment with project design and content for creative media.
Credit points: 10

This unit aims to instil a working knowledge of the structures, aesthetics and technologies involved in digital post-production visuals and title design. There is a particular emphasis on compositing and manipulating the visual content within the frame, and the implementation of titles to footage. Influential cinematic, art and graphic styles, movements and techniques are analysed to give you a foundation in post-production visual aesthetics. The unit also deals with workflow, project management and interpersonal skills needed to export footage for a variety of delivery mediums and collaborating with creative clients.
Credit points: 20

This unit will give you the opportunity to develop a project from early ideation through to an industry-standard screen production. The purpose of this unit is to introduce you to procedures and protocols of screen production as well as further developing your skills in cinematography, lighting and sound. You will also be introduced to the pathway a screen production takes through the post-production stage to final delivery. A key outcome of this unit will be a screen production initiated and developed over the course of the unit.
CRICOS Course Codes
102829F (2 TRIMESTERS) 094746B (3 TRIMESTERS)
Australian Qualifications Framework
We consult closely with industry professionals so you can expect a course that’s highly relevant and equips you with sought-after skills.


Here are some frequently asked questions.

Read more FAQs

We carefully design and deliver all our units to help you develop the knowledge you need to be successful in your chosen field of study. Courses and course units at SAE follow best practice teaching and learning.

FEE‑HELP* is an Australian Government loan scheme that assists eligible fee paying students pay all or part of their tuition fees. It cannot be used for additional study costs such as accommodation or text books. The total amount of FEE‑HELP a person can use is known as the ‘FEE‑HELP limit’.

Once a person begins using FEE‑HELP, the amount of FEE‑HELP they have left to use is known as their ‘FEE‑HELP balance’.

* Terms and conditions apply. For the latest updates regarding FEE-HELP please refer to

SAE has three intakes per year: February, June and September. Short courses and certificates courses may have different intake timings. View our academic calendar for trimester start dates or contact your campus for further information.

Course structure line graph

Easy transition into the Bachelor of Film

SAE Diploma, Associate and Bachelor Degrees are structured in an integrated course framework.

This means that when you complete an SAE Diploma of Film you will be awarded the maximum credit points available, providing you with the opportunity to seamlessly transition into the higher-level Associate and Bachelor degree qualifications if you choose to do so.


SAE may recognise your prior learning and may grant credit towards satisfying the requirements for a higher-level program. This is applied where previous learning is considered equivalent to the content and learning outcomes prescribed for units within the program.
For full details, please refer to SAE's policy on recognition of prior learning and credit transfers.
Film camera


With our industry connections, specialised teachers and personalised education in world-class facilities, you can unleash your creative future with confidence.
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