Film students learn to read, understand, interpret and communicate visual information that allows them to bring their skills to a range of jobs and industries.

Film students study theoretical, historical, and critical approaches to films and are able to critically interpret and analyse production and film theory. Graduates interpret film as both a product of its society, culture or geography and a key influence on them,  developing skills in analysis, interpretation and communication. In production courses some Film students are introduced to film production processes, and demonstrate and develop their artistic or craft abilities and enhance their technical skills. A key workplace skill Film students develop is the ability to work collaboratively under pressure. Their understanding of user experience and production of video content is particularly helpful.

Roles and career pathways

A pathway to move into many roles in the film sector is to start out in customer service, administration roles, or as a crew services assistant, coordinator or intern. Many Film graduates are already experienced in producing and making their own films and are self-employed or hold a portfolio of paid and voluntary roles. Experience can lead to more senior roles such as film festival coordinator, film historian or curator, film writer and critic.

As part of the Master of Fine Arts (Creative Practice) programme, students do an internship with an arts organisation which provides valuable work experience and connections in the film industry.

Film graduates may also work in non-profit organisations, government departments or local government, particularly as policy advisers, education programme advisers, community development coordinators, or in event management or venue management. Graduates may also work in private businesses or consultancies in areas including marketing, communications or content creation.

Film students may combine their major with other subjects such as English Literature, Media Studies, Design or Marketing to expand their career opportunities.

Where Film graduates work

Film graduates have worked in the creative sector and in many other fields that use their unique mix of analytical and practical skills including:

Build relevant skills and experience

Part-time work and volunteering during study all help to increase your job prospects when you graduate. The WFHSS Internship course run by the Wellington Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences helps develop leadership skills and practical work place experience. Programmes such as Wellington Plus, and Wellington International Leadership Programme (WILP) offer opportunities to gain diverse volunteer and leadership experience. Developing complementary practical skills in film-making can begin early, joining a team for the 48 Hours film challenge, volunteering for organisations such as Film for Change or helping with New Zealand International Film Festival.

Make career connections

Alongside volunteering, making connections with individuals and groups during your degree can help you learn more about career and networking opportunities. NZ Federation of Film Societies such as Wellington Film Society is good for connecting with others in the industry, as are Commercial Communications Council and Screen Production and Development Association of New Zealand (SPADA). Film students can make business connections with other creatives and entrepreneurs, through Creative HQ and via a wide range of professional interest groups on Meetup. The Alumni as Mentors programme for final-year students also helps enhance your connections and employability while studying.