The Advanced Diploma of Screen and Media (CUA60615) is part of the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF). The AQF has defined the following qualification levels:

  • Certificate I
  • Certificate II
  • Certificate III
  • Certificate  IV
  • Diploma
  • Advanced Diploma

The qualification framework is not a course and the standards are not curriculum documents. They combine a broad level of competencies that are applicable to any training package. The qualifications are tiered to require more complex levels of competency in each one. Each Industry adopts these levels (and their competencies) and integrates them into a training package.

The Advanced Diploma of Screen and Media (CUA60615) qualification meets the following competencies:

  • Demonstrate understanding of a broad knowledge base incorporating some theoretical concepts.
  • Apply solutions to a defined range of resources
  • Identify and apply skill and knowledge areas to a wide variety of contexts with depth in some cases
  • Identify, analyse and evaluate information from a variety of sources
  • Take responsibility for own outputs in relation to specified quality standards
  • Take limited responsibility for the quantity and quality of the output of others

Adoption of AQF by the Film and Television Industry:

The Advanced Diploma of Screen and Media (CUA60615) has been adopted by Sydney Film School. The training package has been devised by the Innovation & Business Skills Australia (IBSA) Council in consultation with the Australian Screen Industries, on behalf of the Federal Government.
Adoption of the Training Package by Sydney Film School:

The Advanced Diploma of Screen and Media (CUA60615) addresses vocational skills for employment in the Screen and Media industry. Students are assessed on attaining “units of competency” (skills) crucial in film and video production. Sydney Film School has structured a course programme that integrates these skills into the creative process of film and video production. Students work collaboratively to make narrative films and documentary videos. These works enable students to learn in an industry environment and to build up their own portfolios. Students must collaborate in teams on a minimum of four projects, at least one of which is writen and directed by the student.

Elective units were selected to provide students with a broad range of transferable creative thinking and team building skills.   Students furthermore gain specific competencies in directing, camera, editing, sound, presenting their ideas and managing teams.

To attain an Advanced Diploma of Screen and Media (CUA60615), 16 units of competency must be achieved in what are called core, specialist, elective areas and bank units. These enable students to gain broad skills as well as specialising in areas of interest. Core Competencies focus on an understanding of creative practice as well as the industry’s WHS concerns. The specialist units require students to demonstrate expertise in the technical areas of writing, directing, and, depending on student specialization choices, sound, editing, producing, design and cinematography.

Vocational Outcomes:
Graduates of the Advanced Diploma of Screen and Media (CUF60615) may be employed in the following job positions:

Click here for career prospects

Entry Requirements:

Click here for a complete list of selection criteria

Targeted Groups:
The Advanced Diploma of Screen and Media (CUF60615) is targeted for a diverse range of students in age and ethnicity. Students may be:

  • Persons with some limited experience in the film industry (such as those completing a Diploma of Screen and Media (CUF51015) who wish to develop their skills further in a specialised field.
  • International Students

Delivery of Units of Competency :To successfully complete this qualification a student must complete 16 units of competency. These units of competency are delivered and assessed as follows:

ADS1: Advanced Thesis

BSBCRT501 Originate and develop concepts (AD1) (D3)

CUADRT601 Establish the creative vision for screen productions (AD2)

CUADRT603 Direct screen production crews (AD4)

CUADRT605 Collaborate with editors during post-production (AD5)

CUAWRT502 Develop storylines & treatments (AD6)

CUAWRT601 Write scripts (AD7) 

CUADRT501 Direct rehearsals of performers (AD8)

CUADRT502 Direct performers for screen productions (AD9) (D6)

CUAWRT602 Edit scripts (AD10)

CUAPPR605 Evolve ideas for professional creative work (AD11)

ADS2: Writing / Directing

BSBCRT501 Originate and develop concepts (AD1)(D3)

CUADRT601 Establish the creative vision for screen productions (AD2)

CUADRT603 Direct screen production crews (AD4)
CUAWRT502 Develop storylines and treatments (AD6)

CUAWRT601 Write scripts (AD7) 

CUADRT502 Direct performers for screen productions (AD10)(D10)

ADS3: Screen Legals

Delivers and assesses all the legal and ethical aspects of the Advanced Diploma which relate to the different requirements of each and every Unit of Competency.

ADS4: Screen Careers 2

CUAPPR603 Engage in the business of creative practice (AD12)

ADS5: Crew Class

This subject is not assessed.

ADS6: Risky Business

CUAPPR505 Establish and maintain safe creative practice (AD3)(D2) 

Specialisation Subjects: student choose ONE Specialisation Sunject from the five options (ADS7-11) below:

ADS7: Producing

CUAPPM502 Realise productions (AD13)

CUAFIM501 Secure funding for projects (AD14)

CUAPPM603 Plan and manage film and media pre-production (AD15)

CUAPPM604 Plan and manage film and media post-production (AD16)

ADS8: Cinematography

CUAPPM502 Realise productions (AD13)

CUACAM601 Direct cinematography for screen productions (AD17)

CUADRT604 Devise camera coverage (AD18)

CUACAM401 Shoot a wide range of screen content (AD19)

ADS9: Production Design

CUAPPM502 Realise productions (AD13)

CUADES502 Realise production designs (AD20)

CUASET501 Design sets (AD21)

BSBDES402 Interpret and respond to a design brief (AD22)

ADS10: Sound

CUASOU503 Develop sound designs (AD23)

CUASOU505 Implement sound designs (AD24)

CUASOU408 Edit dialogue (AD25)

CUASOU410 Record sound on location (AD26)(D8)

ADS11: Editing

CUAPPM502 Realise productions (AD13)

CUASOU408 Edit dialogue (AD25)

CUAANM503 Design animation and digital visual effects (AD27)

CUAPOS501 Edit complex screen productions (AD28)



Assessment Scope and Requirements:

Assessment for the 16 units of competency is conducted in class, in a simulated work environment and by evidencing and reviewing tasks performed outside class (e.g written assignments). Assessment conducted in class may be in the form of observation, presentation,  visual / aural aids and response to questions. Assessments in a simulated work environment are conducted through observation of student skills working on film projects under industry conditions.

Exiting Prior to Completion:

Students who leave prior to completion may be awarded a Statement of Attainment in particular Units of Competency that have been successfully completed. Each UOC requires a minimum number of tasks successfully performed by the student in order to demonstrate competence.

Recognition of Prior Learning / Course Credit:

Students may wish to be assessed by Recognised Prior Learning (RPL) if they feel that they have achieved levels of competency through previous work or may seek Course Credit for previous studies. SFS recognises students who have attained units of competency from previous studies in accordance with AQF.

Click here for the Course Credit and Recognised Prior Learning procedure

Flexible Learning:
Learning and assessment at Sydney Film School is flexible and addresses access and equity for students. Flexible assessment might include cases where film students have poor written skills, and therefore, are disadvantaged by essay assignments.

Click here for the Language, Literacy and Numeracy procedures

Mode of Training: Institution-based training: 
Training and assessment occurs entirely at the Sydney Film School premises and on film locations.

Click here for a full list of facilities and resources

Validation of Units of Competency adopted by Sydney Film School:
Elective units were selected to support the employability skills list outlined in the training package. Students gain competencies in directing, camera, sound, editing, developing and presenting their ideas.

Click here for a full list of graduate careers

Training and Assessment Validation:

Training and Assessment is systematically validated including:

  • Semesterly internal trainer moderation and validation sessions.
  • External validation according to a five year strategy.

Industry Validation:

Industry validation occurs through:

  • Validation of programs by specialist members of the Industry Advisory Board.
  • Ongoing discussions with industry active tutors
  • Festival programmers, select, award and provide feedback to quality of student films.
  • Commercial distributors purchase student films and compilation, and provide feedback on quality and saleability.
  • Surveys of graduate employment rates.
  • Surveys of employer satisfaction (identifying any skill gaps).