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Associate Degree of Film


Make your establishing shot in film with a degree that covers everything from concept to cut!

With eighty percent of internet content projected to be video by 2020, film is an exciting career pathway with many and varied opportunities for career outcomes, now and into the future.

In the Associate Degree, you will complete the first four trimesters of the Bachelor of Film program, which consists of six trimesters. This will prepare you to enter the workforce as a highly skilled para-professional employee. The Associate Degree is also designed an excellent pathway into the Bachelor of Film program.

Starting with the fundamentals and rolling through to the finer, more complex aspects of cinematography, you'll acquire a very particular set of skills during your time. You’ll experience the different ways you can tell your stories on screen; through scripts, still images, moving images, in the editing room and via different platforms.

At SAE you won’t find yourself in a lecture with 300 people or even in a traditional lecture at all. You’ll be in a studio environment using industry-standard equipment like 4K Red, Sony and Canon cameras, DaVinci Resolve colour grading software, Avid Media Composer, and Adobe Creative Cloud.

Your growth and development will be assessed through the completion of industry-based projects, not theoretical based essays. This will ultimately help you build up a body of work and portfolio to share with potential employers or first client.

In preparation for an industry that commands agility and adaptability, you’ll cut your creative teeth on projects initially in partnership with your course peers. As your skills develop and you work on more dynamic projects, you’ll apply your capabilities on cross-discipline projects.

For those wanting to go the extra, and thousands of miles, you can complete up to two trimesters of your course at selected SAE campuses across the planet. Suddenly, real-world experience just went worldwide.

But most importantly at SAE, you'll see your ideas come to life as you prepare for a big future in front of you behind the lens.

SAE film alumni Hayden Fortescue documented his trip to the annual Global SAE alumni convention and awards

Find out more about Studying Film at SAE

Enquire Now


 Graduate roles may include

  • Assistant director
  •  Producer
  • Assistant producer
  •  Visual effects artist
  •  Camera assistant
  •  Broadcast designer
  •  Editor
  •  Screenwriter
  •  Production assistant
  •  Production designer


News on SAE Institute Australia




Jaime Gonzalez


Alumni Superstars
Film alumni, Jaime Gonzalez is the director, campaign manager and producer of his own independent film production company, Flamingo Amigos. He graduated from SAE Byron Bay with a Bachelor of Film.

"As first hand professionals who are fully immersed in film, [SAE lecturers] opened my mind to how the industry works" - Jaime Gonzalez.

Read more


Industry Associations & Partners

Australian Film Directors Guild logoNorthern Rivers ScreenworksScreenwest

Professional Film Crew of West Australia logo

FF6E3 - Associate Degree of Film

  • Brisbane
  • Byron Bay
  • Sydney
  • Melbourne
  • Perth


Your learning experience

  • Develop your knowledge and skills on industry standard camera technologies including 4K Red cameras,  Canon C300s, and more.
  • Work collaboratively with artists, designers, web, mobile and games developers, animators, and audio specialists.
  • Create productions under real-world conditions.
  • Learn high-level cinematography and visual effects skills using the same equipment, software, and processes employed by industry practitioners.
  • Build skills in industry-standard software including DaVinci Resolve colour grading software, Avid Media Composer editing software, Adobe After Effects, and Photoshop standard screen graphics applications.
  • Experience a course designed in collaboration with industry partners and develop skills that the film industry wants.
  • Develop high-level skills in your craft before you graduate: be industry-ready. 


The Associate Degree of Film program is broken up into discrete stages, each designed to promote different skills.

Stages of Film Degree

Stage I – Foundational Skills Development
In Stage I, students will undertake a number of foundational units which will give students the essential technical skills and knowledge not only relevant to the chosen discipline area, but also give students the skills required to collaborate with other creative media students and professionals in later stages of the Film course.

  • Introduction to cinematography and film production
  • Post-production principles and techniques
  • Storytelling for contemporary media
  • Critical thinking for creative media
  • Screen design
  • Film studies
  • Overview of industry
  • Project management and professional etiquette
  • Critical and creative thinking
  • Contemporary industry overview


1800 SAE EDU


Stage II – Interdisciplinary Projects, Media and Cultural Studies
In Stage II we show students how their work in Film contributes to and interacts with broader culture and media practice. This knowledge will enable students to work with a variety of other disciplines and artists and expand their potential on the global stage.

Students will complete a number of real-world projects with students not only in their own discipline, but also in all other SAE disciplines.

Stage II has three studio modules with projects based on the following areas;

1. Production

Both film specialisations have a strong common set of subjects covering the broad base the film industry requires. The Production specialisation focuses on targeting producing and directing skills specifically to this stream, strengthening the ‘big picture’ skill-set of graduates.

2. Post production

The Post Production specialisation adds more specific compositing and software curriculum elements to the common core subjects of this degree. Visual Effects are used in many more films than most people realise and these techniques are studied in this specialisation using industry standard software.
 Some of the high level software was traditionally very expensive and required major hardware installations in order to use. Software is now more accessible to students, increasing creative possibilities within the realm of all future filmmakers.

Stage III
Only students who progress to the Bachelor of Film will be eligible to undertake Stage III. In Stage III, students undertake a project of their own design. Students also undertake work placement to finalize the development of their professional skills in a real work placement setting.

Stage III is NOT included in the Associate Degree.

SAE Institute Australia Fees and Financing



Graduate Destinations (Associate Degree):

  • Assistant director 

  • Assistant producer 

  • Camera assistant 

  • Editor 

  • Broadcast designer 

  • Assistant director of photography 

  • Production designer 
  • Screenwriter 

  • Production assistant 

  • Visual effects artist


Associate Degree of Film (Post Production)
Trimester 1 (1st Year)
Employability Skills in the Creative IndustriesFilm Studies and PracticeStorytelling for the ScreenIntroduction to Cinematography and Sound Recording
Editing Principles and Techniques   
Trimester 2
Employability Skills in the Creative IndustriesScreen DesignFilm Production
Contemporary Industrial Practices   
Trimester 3
Media StudiesFilm Studio 1 (Post Production)
Trimester 4 (2nd Year)
Cultural PerspectivesFilm Studio 2 (Post Production)
  • Creative Industry Unit
  • Discipline Specialisation Unit
  • Multi Discipline Unit


  • Camera techniques
  • Production techniques
  • Cinematography
  • Visual effects
  • Production design
  • Screen design
  • Storytelling
  • Post production
  • Screen writing
  • Project management
  • Industry knowledge
Trimester 1
Employability Skills in the Creative Industries
Film Studies and Practice
Storytelling for the Screen
Introduction to Cinematography and Sound Recording
Editing Principles and Techniques
Trimester 2
Employability Skills in the Creative Industries
Screen Design
Film Production
Contemporary Industrial Practices
Trimester 3
Media Studies
Film Studio 1 (Post Production)
Trimester 4
Cultural Perspectives
Film Studio 2 (Post Production)
  • Creative Industry Unit
  • Discipline Specialisation Unit
  • Multi Discipline Unit


  • Camera techniques
  • Production techniques
  • Cinematography
  • Visual effects
  • Production design
  • Screen design
  • Storytelling
  • Post production
  • Screen writing
  • Project management
  • Industry knowledge

Key Info


    4 Trimesters



    Enrol By: N/A

    Trimester Start: N/A

    Trimester End: N/A



Entry requirements

Applicants for degree courses must satisfy one of the following minimum entry criteria:

  1. Completion of an Australian Senior Secondary Certificate of Education (SSCE) or equivalent, OR
  2. Completion of a diploma level qualification issued under the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF), OR
  3. Experience Based Entry for applicants who do not meet the requirements above. 'Enquire Now' or call 1800 723 338 directly for more information.

Fees and Payments

Fees: view our current Fee Schedule for information on SAE course fees.

Payment options: Fee-Help, or upfront trimester instalments.