Bachelor of Performing Arts (with optional specialisation in Music Theatre).xml Bachelor of Performing Arts (with optional specialisation in Music Theatre)

A-Z study guide
Bachelor of Performing Arts (with optional specialisation in Music Theatre)

DegreeFull-time, 3 years

Programme code








Domestic Applications due

Applications due 30 August

International Applications due

Please enquire


Christchurch - Madras Street

Annual Fees(indictive 2020)


$7,650 - $7,950



Course related costs

$1,500 approx

About this programme

Gain a solid foundation of skills for a rewarding career on stage.

This three-year degree will give you the skills needed to succeed in a number of branches of the performing arts.

You'll gain practical experience in performance and production work in key theatre disciplines such as acting, singing and dance, as well as studies in spoken voice, music theory, theatre history, technical theatre skills and research methods. From the second year, you will refine your programme of study to suit your strengths and interests, choosing to specialise in music theatre, or continue with a broader pathway defined by your own areas of interest and ability.

In the final year, most assessment is focused on performance in practice and allows for considerable work integrated learning in industry settings and further specialisation to develop other, performance-related skills within the worlds of applied theatre and theatre for the stage.

You'll learn from experienced performers and teachers who are dedicated to helping you make the most of your career.

Find out more about studying at NASDA

Career opportunities

You'll graduate with the knowledge, concepts and practical experience needed for a wide range of professional opportunities including musical theatre, acting for stage and other media, teaching and working in the tourism and entertainment industry.

Study pathways

Ara, in conjunction with Waikato Institute of Technology (Wintec), is delivering postgraduate programmes for graduates from the BPA. This gives you the opportunity to study in Christchurch to Honours or Masters level.

Recommended school subjects

  • English and English-rich subjects
  • Drama
  • Music
  • Dance
  • Physical Education

Programme structure

To complete this Degree you are required to complete 360 credits. Please browse the guide below to view the course options currently available within this qualification.

Core courses
Elective Courses

To be a full time student you need to maintain a workload of 120 credits per year. We recommend you talk with us to ensure you choose electives to benefit your future career.

Entry requirements

Academic requirements
  • University Entrance: NCEA Level 3 (60 credits at Level 3 and 20 credits at Level 2 or higher) which must include 14 credits at Level 3 in each of three approved* subjects and

    • Literacy* - 10 credits at Level 2 or above, made up of 5 credits in reading, 5 credits in writing and
    • Numeracy* - 10 credits at Level 1 or above (specified achievement standards, or unit standards 26623, 26626, 26627)

    Note: If you have undertaken examinations other than NCEA (e.g. International Baccalaureate, Cambridge Examination), Ara will assess your qualification for academic entry equivalency.

    * NZQA approved subjects: see

Alternative requirements
  • Still want to study but don't meet the Academic Requirements?

    If you show that you have equivalent skills for tertiary study gained through study, work and/or life experience, you may be able to gain alternative entry.

Additional requirements
  • In addition you need to:

    • Submit the completed Application to Study form with the requested information. Applications are accepted throughout the academic year.
    • Attend an audition. Auditions are held during August and September of each year, however, early or late applications and auditions may be arranged in consultation with the programme leader. Absentee auditions may be arranged (such as overseas applicants) via video-tape or DVD with applicants interviewed by telephone.

English requirements
  • What if English is not my first Language?

    If English is not your first language, we want to make sure that you will be successful in your chosen programme of study. Please provide a result from a test or qualification on the acceptable alternatives English Proficiency Outcomes Chart.


    • If you are a New Zealand Citizen or Permanent Resident, complete an Admission and Enrolment form and Ara will contact you regarding a free assessment.
    • If you are not a New Zealand Citizen or Permanent resident, book an IELTS, Pearson or other test through the Ara Examination Centre or in your home country.

    IELTS scores used must be taken from a single IELTS test report form and are valid for two years from the date of the test.

    What if I have achieved NCEA Level 3 University Entrance?

    You do not need to provide additional evidence of English Language skills.










Acceptable Alternatives Chart

Selection criteria

Applicants will be ranked from the audition process. Candidates are given marks under the following headings: Song Interpretation and Communication, Intonation, Technique, Natural Singing Vocal Quality, Sense of Pitch and Rhythm, Acting -Cold Read, Comprehension, Monologue Characterisation, Technique including Pace, Breath and Diction, Natural Spoken Vocal Quality, Alignment, Physical Expressiveness.

Next steps

To apply for this programme please:

  • Complete an Admission and Enrolment and Additional Requirements form
  • Alternatively, if you feel you have gained your learning through on the job experience talk to us about recognition or assessment of prior learning.
  • Provide a Personal statement, Performance CV, Medical Certificate, Application to Audition and Referees' Reports

Application documents

Credit recognition

If you have work experience in this area, or a relevant prior qualification, you may be eligible for credit recognition towards this qualification.