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International Students - Diploma in Special Effects & Prosthetic Makeup Artistry Level 5

If you are passionate about film making, fashion and media production, this is the course for you! Completion of this intensive training programme will provide you with the skills you need to excel as a freelance makeup artist for catwalk, studio, advertising, film and television. You will have the added advantage of model-making, prosthetics, costume and props skills which will give you a competitive edge in the production workplace.

Course Content

Alternating between the Creature Shop and the Production Design workshop the skills you gain will give you an edge in the SFX workplace.

Creature Shop Module

Designed in consultation with Weta, the Creature Shop is an industrial SFX studio where you will master the skills of SFX makeup from inspiring tutors and produce a range of SFX creations.

Modules include:

  • Initial SFX tools and techniques
  • Scar-plating and sculpting
  • Research, drawing and marquette sculpture
  • Model-making and prosthetics creation
  • Creature fabrication
  • Creation of a life-size mask

Production Design Makeup Module

Beginning in the Production Design workshop you will progress from basic instruction in makeup, costume, props, hair and wig styling for stage, screen and photography to a class project of pre-production planning and experience as backstage crew on a professional production.

Modules include:

  • Out of kit fantasy and horror makeup
  • Character and period makeup
  • Body art and photographic makeup
  • Makeup for stage and screen
  • Hairstyling for stage and screen
  • Costume, wig styling, and props
  • Working to a director’s concept
  • Standby makeup for film and television
  • On-set and theatre protocol.

Qualifications Awarded 

  • New Zealand Diploma in Arts & Design Level 5

Career Opportunities

On graduation you may seek employment as a special effects makeup artist in film, television, theatre or advertising production industries. You will also be qualified for contract or freelance employment as a SFX production makeup artist and sculptor for TV, film, stage and screen productions.

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2020/21 Intake Dates

Auckland City Campus 
3 May 2021
18 October 2021  


32 weeks 


    This course is offered at our Auckland City campus.

    Entry Requirements

    Applicants must:

  • Be at least 18 years old.
  • IELTS 5.5 in Academic module with no band score lower than 5 or equivalent.
  • NCEA level 3 or equivalent study Or
    New Zealand Certificate in Makeup Artistry (Level 4) or equivalent Or
    Relevant experience, and; 
  • A portfolio according to requirements, here. *It is preferable if students provide their portfolio with their application but it is also entirely acceptable for students to work on their portfolio with guidance during the first days of their programme after they have arrived in New Zealand.
  • 2020 Course Costs

    • Tuition fees: $19,500.00
    • Course fee: $1,750.00

    Cut Above Academy is one of the trading names for the registered PTE New Zealand School of Tourism. Your enrolment is with New Zealand School of Tourism Ltd and your qualification is issued by the New Zealand School of Tourism