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Diploma in Television and Screen Media 
91898  Diploma in Television and Screen Media 
Academy of Sound Engineering 
CHE - Council on Higher Education  HEQSF - Higher Education Qualifications Sub-framework 
Diploma (Min 360)  Field 02 - Culture and Arts  Film, Television and Video 
Undefined  360  Not Applicable  NQF Level 06  Regular-Provider-ELOAC 
Reregistered  SAQA 091/21  2021-07-01  2023-06-30 
2024-06-30   2029-06-30  

In all of the tables in this document, both the pre-2009 NQF Level and the NQF Level is shown. In the text (purpose statements, qualification rules, etc), any references to NQF Levels are to the pre-2009 levels unless specifically stated otherwise.  

This qualification does not replace any other qualification and is not replaced by any other qualification. 

This qualification is aimed at equipping learners with requisite technical, theoretical, practical and ethical knowledge and skills and a professional attitude to prepare them to work in the industry or pursue further studies in a specialised field of study. Qualifying learners should be able to start working at entry-level in the industry, contribute immediately and advance rapidly.

The educational focus on the techniques and processes of feature film-thinking is not aligned with the actual socio-economic situation of South Africa, or in fact, the whole of Africa. The Diploma in Television and Screen Media (Dip: TSM) seeks to address these gaps by providing a qualification focused squarely on the art, science, and business of creating television today - and into the future.

In line with the needs identified in the survey conducted, this qualification is designed to:
  • Provide the learner with a relevant and appropriate qualification in Screen Media; a qualification which addresses the complexities of a rapidly evolving and technologically complex industry.
  • Provide the learner with knowledge and the necessary theoretical and practical skills, experience and expertise demanded of the entry-level practitioner in the Screen Media industry, thus equipping learners for sustainable and profitable careers upon achieving the qualification.
  • Provide the means for learners to develop technical proficiencies along with creative and artistic implementation of technological principles, techniques, and methodologies.
  • Create a platform to satisfy the skills shortage within the industry sector.
  • Create opportunities for learners to build individual portfolios of work and to gain relevant work experience.
  • Produce learners who are skilled and knowledgeable at entry-level across a wide variety of disciplines and have real as well as properly simulated experience.
  • Be in alignment with a combination of related qualifications in South Africa and abroad, to allow for creation of specific horizontal and vertical articulation agreements. These higher education options will provide further training in more specific areas, and this qualification is designed to prepare learners for such further training.
  • Focus specifically on issues of critical theory, content, context and citizenship while delivering quality technical and craft education.
  • Give prominence to issues of storytelling from a South African, as well as an African, perspective as a basis for all disciplines.

    The need for this qualification was identified during a survey conducted by the Academy of Sound Engineering (ASE) that revealed the existing and ongoing needs and opportunities in the South African screen production, broadcast and education industries. The survey was compiled through engagement with various research sources, local and international industry professionals, civil society, local and international training providers and learners from ASE.

    A draft version of the qualification was submitted to numerous industry bodies, including craft associations, regulatory and management bodies, broadcasters, private production companies, equipment manufacturers and providers, government agencies, media lawyers and policy experts, civil society groupings, industry bodies, NGOs, and other educational institutions. Their input and that of the various industry individuals surveyed was carefully considered in revising this qualification prior to submission.

    Some of the significant survey findings indicate that the offering of this qualification will alleviate unemployment and consequently contribute to the country's economy in that:
  • The Television and Internet industries together constitute over 50% of the entire entertainment media industry in South Africa in terms of monetary spending. They are also the top two fastest-growing sectors.
  • Online and mobile Television revenues are projected to triple during the next five years. The digital portion of entertainment and marketing spending has tripled in the past three years and will triple again in the next three years.
  • More than five billion Rand in revenue is generated yearly by the South African audiovisual production industry. This spending is divided fairly equally among film, television and commercials.
  • In Gauteng alone the industry has revenues of approximately two billion Rand annually, with nearly 70% generated from broadcast television production.
  • Broadcast television still occupies the biggest market share in the South African entertainment markets in terms of end-user spending on products and advertising, at 26%. The internet is third at 18%. Filmed entertainment comprises only 1%.

    This qualification endeavours to provide learners with a balance of technical, business, conceptual, and self-management knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary for success in the Screen Media industry. 

    This qualification assumes that learners are competent in:
  • The language of instruction.
  • Communication at NQF Level 4.
  • Mathematics or Mathematical Literacy at NQF Level 4.
  • Life Skills at NQF Level 4.
    And either
  • Technology at NQF Level 4.
  • Computer Literacy at NQF Level 3.

    Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL):
    RPL can be used to grant learners who do not initially meet the full entry requirements admission to the qualification. Learners can also receive credits towards the qualification where competency in a specific component is established by a qualified assessor.

    This qualification may be achieved in part through the recognition of relevant prior learning and through prior working experience as a practitioner in the area of Audio Technology, or Sound Engineering.

    RPL will be applied on a case-by-case basis, using a structured range of assessment tools, procedures and techniques, to assess the leaner's competences against the exit level outcomes of the qualification.

    Access to the Qualification:
    To gain access to this qualification, an applicant is required to be in possession of one of the following:
  • National Senior Certificate at NQF Level 4, granting access to Diploma studies.
  • National Certificate (Vocational) at NQF Level 4, granting access to Diploma studies.
  • Senior Certificate with Matriculation exemption. 


    The qualification consists of modules at NQF Levels 5, 6 and 7, to a required total of 360 Credits. All the given modules are compulsory and must be achieved in order to be awarded the qualification.

    Modules at NQF Level 5:
  • Academic Literacy, 20 Credits.
  • Production and Distribution I, 20 Credits.
  • Production Technologies I, 20 Credits.
  • Post-Production I, 20 Credits.
  • Storytelling I, 20 Credits.
  • Context and Critique I, 20 Credits.

    Total Credits at NQF Level 5 = 120.

    Modules at NQF Level 6:
  • Market Literacy, 24 Credits.
  • Production and Distribution II, 24 Credits.
  • Production Technologies II, 24 Credits.
  • Post-Production II, 24 Credits.
  • Storytelling II, 24 Credits.
  • Context and Critique II, 24 Credits.
  • Industry Project I (Work Integrated Learning), 24 Credits.

    Total Credits at NQF Level 6 = 168.

    Modules at NQF Level 7:
  • Industry Electives, 24 Credits.
  • Context and Critique III, 24 Credits.
  • Industry Project 2 (Work Integrated Learning), 24 Credits.

    Total Credits at NQF Level 7 = 72. 

    1. Create, broadcast and promote a variety of screen programmes, assuming various roles and paralleling methods used in the real screen industry at a professional level.
    2. Transcend practical challenges appropriate to the screen industry, through problem solving strategies based on research practice.
    3. Manage time and resources effectively.
    4. Recognise and respond to changes and trends in the marketplace to be able to broaden and shape the future of the medium and also engage with alternative techniques and methods.
    5. Deal critically and creatively with issues of content, implementation and storytelling as a central aspect of Screen Media.
    6. Engage with the issues of citizenship necessary to be a responsible and ethical screen media practitioner.

    Critical Cross-Field Outcomes:
    All the Critical Cross-Field Outcomes are addressed throughout this qualification. 

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 1:
  • A variety of screen programmes is successfully created and broadcast.
  • Choices made in real-world projects reflect a balance of detailed technical, theoretical and practical knowledge that is contextualised within other aspects of screen media.
  • Methods used are parallel to industry methods at a professional level.
  • A clear understanding of the interrelated systems that define the industry is shown.
  • Team or group work is managed effectively.
  • An appropriate professional attitude is displayed.
  • Leadership roles are successfully assumed when necessary.
  • Diverse roles are successfully assumed within a production.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 2:
  • Problems are effectively solved and challenges repeatedly transcended.
  • Responses show cumulative improvement.
  • Research oriented strategies are employed in problem-solving.
  • Information is gathered from reliable sources, organised efficiently and practically, accurately evaluated and analysed and clearly presented in appropriate formats.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 3:
  • Time and resources are used efficiently and accountably and evidence thereof, produced.
  • Projects are delivered within set parameters such as budget and deadline.
  • Understanding of the legal, financial and ethical structures and practices available to a freelancer, employee or small business person is demonstrated.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 4:
  • Changes and trends in the marketplace are accurately recognised and effectively responded to.
  • Insight is shown in how the future of the medium can be shaped.
  • Alternative approaches to techniques and methods are explored and assessed.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 5:
  • A critical understanding of local and global content is displayed within various socio-cultural contexts.
  • Content is developed through creative thinking processes.
  • A personal approach to screen content is developed.
  • An understanding of storytelling practices in local and global contexts is demonstrated.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 6:
  • An understanding of active citizenship is demonstrated and practically implemented.
  • Ethical concerns are considered and demonstrated in all projects undertaken.
  • Screen media content relating to the characteristics and complex relations between fiction and non-fiction formats, cultural and socio-political context, across various communities is selected and evaluated.

    Integrated Assessment:

    Formative assessment:
    Learning and assessment are integrated. Formative assessment is conducted to result in constructive feedback, which focuses on the extent of competence as measured against outcomes as a mechanism to monitor learning progress, identify weak points or limitations and provide remedial guidance to learners for further learning and professional development.

    Summative assessment:
    A variety of assessment methods and tools may include, but are not limited to, any of the following:
  • Written and computer based examinations.
  • Problem-solving assignments and exercises.
  • Case studies and research projects.
  • Practice in simulated contexts.
  • Portfolios of evidence of workplace experience.
  • Practical production projects resulting in the production of completed videos finished on web and DVD.
  • Practical assessment of specified skills.

    Assessment will ensure engagement with both theory and practice. Assessment tools will encourage learners to give an account of the thinking and decision-making that underpin their demonstrated performance. Some assessment practices will demand practical evidence while others will be more theoretical, depending on the type of outcomes to be assessed. A broad range of task-oriented and theoretical assessment tools will be used, with the distinction between practical and disciplinary knowledge maintained, so that each takes its rightful place. 

    The Sydney Film School in Australia offers a Diploma in Screen and Media. Sydney Film School was established in 2004 by a team of award winning industry professionals. The film school provides world class film education to aspiring filmmakers. The qualification is aimed at developing the learners' knowledge and skills in production, direction, camera, sound, lighting, editing, digital composing, scriptwriting and research and also the ability to apply these within cultural and industry frameworks. The qualification combines studies in various aspects of film, television and digital media production with a thorough grounding in the history, practice and critical analysis of filmmaking.

    The one-year qualification consists of the following compulsory modules:
    Semester One:
  • 16mm Film-Drama.
  • Digital Video - Documentary.
  • Story Through Sound and Image.
  • Story Through Character.
  • Specialisation - Producing.
  • Editing.
  • Cinematography.
  • Documentary, Music, Experimental and Production Design.

    Semester Two:
  • Screen Studies.
  • Specialist Workshops - Screenwriting.
  • Documentary.
  • Acting/Directing.
  • Cinematography.
  • Digital Workshop and Sound.
  • Film Project and Individual Thesis Film.

    University Pathways:
    Learners, who have successfully completed the Diploma in Screen and Media, can gain entry into the following qualifications at The Raffles College of Design and Commerce:
  • Bachelor of Visual Arts.
  • Bachelor of Arts in Visual Communication.
  • Master of Film and Digital Image.

    The Queensland School of Film and Television in Brisbane runs an eighteen-month long Diploma in Screen and Media. However, learners also have the option of completing the fifteen module qualification on a part-time basis. The curriculum focuses on technical and organisational skills that ensure success in the industry as well as the creative aspects and underpinning knowledge of filmmaking. Learners participate in practical projects throughout the course and are encouraged to develop a portfolio of evidence for use in gaining employment after graduation. The qualification is aimed at providing learners with techniques relating to how to position and move cameras effectively, editing techniques, storytelling and narrative. Furthermore, learners are trained in pre-visualisation techniques, shot language, camera moves, transitions and editing. Learners will comprehensively learn about the technical, organisational, creative, and fundamental aspects of filmmaking in a highly supportive environment.

    The qualification consists of the following compulsory modules:
  • Camera Operations.
  • Business Essentials for Creative Industry.
  • On set Techniques and Safety.
  • Information Technology for Production.
  • Editing.
  • Advanced Post-Production.
  • Sound Production.
  • Production Design.
  • Production Coordination.
  • Production Management.
  • Directing.
  • Scriptwriting.
  • Television Commercial Production.
  • Film Production.
  • Workplace Health and Safety.

    There are many employment opportunities in the marketplace for qualifying Film and TV learners. Some of the most common employers, among others, include television stations, movie studios, advertising agencies, television commercial production companies, government production units, equipment rental companies, post production or special effects companies.

    Learners build up a professional portfolio of evidence throughout the duration of the qualification, leaving them well equipped to present themselves to potential employers.

    The Garware Institute of Career Education and Development in Mumbai offers a one-year, fulltime Diploma in Film and Television. There is a growing need for qualified and trained staff to develop and revolutionise the business of creative writing and the use of latest technologies to meet the changing demands of consumers. The qualification is aimed at equipping learners with various functions, technology, trends and processes in films and in knowledge of management, supported by training, to develop in-depth knowledge and necessary skills for the Film and Television sector.

    The qualification structure is as follows:
  • Introduction to Management.
  • Business and Markets.
  • Information Technology and Telecommunication.
  • Theatre/Music/Choreography.
  • Business Skills Development.

  • Production.
  • Acting/Directing/Cinematography.
  • Script Writing.
  • Sound Recording.
  • Acting.
  • Production/Editing.
  • Directing.
  • Industry Training.
  • Photography.
  • Sound Recording Post Production.
  • Projects/Practical.

    Whilst the overall structure of the qualifications varies regarding the areas of study, duration and credit allocation, the focus remains the same. Another common feature is that all the qualifications comprise a theoretical as well as a practical component. All the qualifications aim at ensuring that learners acquire the knowledge, skills and techniques intrinsic to the Film and Television industry. This implies, therefore, that the Diploma in Television and Screen Media compares favourably with the international qualifications. 

    Horizontal articulation:
    This qualification articulates horizontally with similar Diplomas at NQF Level 6, such as:
  • Diploma in Video Technology.
  • National Diploma in Film and Video Technology.

    Vertical articulation:
    This qualification articulates vertically with the following qualifications at NQF Level 7:
  • Advanced Diploma in Animation and New Media.
  • Bachelor of Technology in Motion Picture Production. 

    The ASE will appoint moderators for the exit-level examinations from both outside and inside the institution to report on the standard of the examination papers.

    The moderators must:
  • Be in possession of an applicable qualification, at least one level higher than the level within which the assessment is taking place.
  • Have the necessary minimum industry and educational experience as determined by the Head of the Division in consultation with the Governing Body.

    Moderation of examination marks serves as a vital function in ensuring that required standards are consistently met. All examinations are moderated by random selection of papers and inspection of pass and fail rates by qualified individuals other than the primary examiner. 

    Assessors should be in possession of either:
  • An applicable qualification, at least one level higher than the level of the learner being assessed.
  • Appropriate practical experience in the craft being assessed. 

  • NOTES 


    This information shows the current accreditations (i.e. those not past their accreditation end dates), and is the most complete record available to SAQA as of today. Some Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionaries have a lag in their recording systems for provider accreditation, in turn leading to a lag in notifying SAQA of all the providers that they have accredited to offer qualifications and unit standards, as well as any extensions to accreditation end dates. The relevant Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionary should be notified if a record appears to be missing from here.
    1. Academy of Sound Engineering 

    All qualifications and part qualifications submitted for public comment, or registered on the National Qualifications Framework, are public property. Thus, the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction: it is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.