The Diploma of Screen and Media (CUA51015) 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 Diploma of Screen and Media (CUA51015) 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 Diploma of Screen and Media (CUA51015) has been adopted by the Sydney Film School from the Screen and Media Training Package (CUF07). The training package has been devised by the Innovation & Business Skils 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 Diploma of Screen and Media (CUA51015) 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 a Diploma of Screen and Media (CU51015), 15 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 the industry as well as its WHS concerns. The specialist units require students to demonstrate expertise in the technical areas of directing, camera, sound and editing. The elective and bank units enable students to develop skills in their key roles for the major projects.

Vocational Outcomes:
Graduates of the Diploma of Screen and Media (CUA51015) may be employed in the following job positions:

Click here for career prospects

Graduates may also gain recognition towards further studies:

Click here for university pathways

Entry Requirements:

Click here for a complete list of selection criteria

Targeted Groups:
The Diploma of Screen and Media (CUA51015) is targeted for a diverse range of students in age and ethnicity. Students may be:

  • Recent School Leavers
  • Current Tertiary Students
  • Recent Tertiary Graduates
  • Mature age students with previous experience in the industry
  • Mature age students with no experience in the industry who seek an alternative career path
  • International Students

The Diploma of Screen and Media (CUA51015) must meet their needs in a vocational way. The course is practical, while developing creative, theoretical and technical skills across a diverse range of subject areas.
Holistic Delivery and Assessment:
Sydney Film School uses a holistic delivery and assessment methodology in order to ensure a high quality educational outcome. Under holistic assessment students have multiple opportunities to demonstrate competency in various skill areas. Holistic assessment also ensures that competencies are delivered and assessed under a variety of industry conditions.

The Sydney Film School operates as a production studio wherein the students commit to industry crew roles and work to film project deadlines.

Delivery of Units of Competency:
To successfully complete this qualification a student must complete 15 units of competency. These units of competency are delivered and assessed over 18 Subjects as follows:


Part One: Subjects 1 – 13

Subject One: Drama Production

BSBCRT402 Collaborate in a creative process

BSBCMM401 Make a presentation

Subject Two: Documentary Production

BSBCRT402 Collaborate in a creative process

BSBCMM401 Make a presentation

Subject Three: Story, Sound and Image 

CUAPPM407 Create storyboards


Subject Four: Directing Character 

CUADRT502 Direct performers for screen productions


Subject Five: Story for Screen

CUFWRT402 Write extended stories 

BSBCRT501 Originate and develop concepts


Subject Six: Screen Careers (includes Meet the Filmmaker)

CUAIND502 Maintain and apply creative arts industry knowledge


Subject Seven: Digital Editing

CUAPOS201 Perform basic vision and sound editing

CUASOU506 Create a final sound balance

CUASOU407 Edit sound


Subject Eight and Nine: Equipment Workshop
CUACAM404 Pull focus

CUASOU410 Record sound on location


Subject Ten: Screen Legals and Ethics

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


Subject Eleven: Risky Business

CUAPPR505 Establish and maintain safe creative practice

HLTAID003 Provide first aid


Subject Twelve: Drama Post-Production

SFS Course Requirements.


Subject Thirteen: Specialisation Workshop

SFS Course Requirements.



Part Two: Subjects 14 – 21

Subject Fourteen: Screen Studies

SFS course requirements.


Subject Fifteen: Documentary Post-Production

BSBCRT402 Collaborate in a creative process


Subject Sixteen: Thesis

CUAPPR405 Develop and discuss ideas for own creative work

CUFDRT502 Direct performers for screen productions

BSBCRT501 Originate and develop concepts


Subject Seventeen: Director’s Lab

SFS course requirements.


Subject Eighteen: Risky Business 2

CUAPPR505 Establish and maintain safe creative practice


Subject Nineteen: Screen Careers 2

CUAIND502 Maintain and apply creative arts industry knowledge


Subject Twenty: AVID Review – Digital Editing

SFS Course Requirement


Subject Twenty-One: Specialisation Workshop Part 2

SFS Course Requirement


Assessment Scope and Requirements:
Assessment for the 15 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 & 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.

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).