Diploma in Special FX & 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 

  • Diploma in Production Design and Sculpting - Level 5 

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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. 

    2018 Intake Dates

    • 29 January 2018
    • 16 April 2018
    • 9 July 2018


    38 weeks including 6 weeks of holiday. 


    This course is offered at our Auckland City campus.

    Entry Requirements

    Entry is open to beginners with an interest in art, fashion or design, or graduates of the Certificate in Makeup Artistry (Level 4).

    All applicants are considered however you must be:

    • 16 years or older.
    • Able to demonstrate a basic understanding of spoken and written English. 

    Course Costs

     Student loans and allowances are available if you meet the criteria. Find out if you're eligible by calling StudyLink on Freephone 0800 88 99 00 or visit Studylink

    *Includes the special effects kit that is required for this course.

    *subject to NZQA approval 

    Key Information For Students

    Diploma in Production Design and Sculpting

    Entry Requirements

    Minimum requirements
    Detailed requirements


    1 Year

    Tuition Fees - Total Qualification

    Student fees: $8,488
    Government tuition subsidy: $6,185
    Total: $14,674

    Compulsory Student Services Fee

    Student loan information: StudyLink

    Student Success

    Successful course completions: 85%

    National Graduate outcomes

    (3 years after completion)

    Median earnings : $31,438
    Earnings range: $22,259 - $38,494
    In employment: 66%
    In further study: 16%

    Note: all KIS information is the most recent available relating to domestic students only.

    Click here for more information about the Key Information for Students