Top 12 Tips for a Successful AFTRS Application

Oct 31 2016

So you’ve researched the different options you have out there for your future in film, TV and radio and you’ve (obviously) found that AFTRS is the place that can give you your best chance at a successful career. You’ve figured out the course you want to apply for, and now you have to complete the application process. In this article, we give you 12 top tips to help you stand out, and give you the best chance at a successful application.

  1. Read the application carefully.

    This may seem like a simple given, but rushing through your application could mean you miss small details that could negatively affect your application. Set aside some time, relax and read every word.

  2. Complete all the application tasks.

    Not some, not half, ALL. A completed application is the first step to a successful application.

  3. Address all selection criteria.

    If you’ve followed tip number 1, you would have read everything you need to address all the selection criteria. Give yourself time to give yourself the best chance. Filling out the application can actually be an enjoyable experience.

  4. Check that you comply with the prerequisites.

    This is very important; before you put aside time and effort into completing an application, make sure your work and experience is relevant for the course that you’re applying for.

  5. Submit on time

    Simple, yet essential.

  6. Creative work.

    For the BA, in total, there should be no more than 10 minutes of material to watch or listen to OR no more than 5 pages to read. It’s all about quality over quantity; we want to see the best of you.

  7. Creative work - be selective with your choices.

    We only want to see your best work; we’re really interested in ideas and execution. If you’re applying for undergrad and diplomas, we’re interested in your voice and your unique observation; we’d rather that than a piece of work with no story.

  8. Creative work – show-reels should only include complete sequences.

    We want to see how you construct story; take us on a journey, so no cut montages.

  9. Creative work - ensure that the format is both playable and readable for both pc and mac.

    We look at material on both and there’s nothing worse than trying to look at your work and finding that it is unreadable.

  10. Uploading your creative work - make sure you follow the technical guidelines on the AFTRS website.

    This URL will take you through how to upload your documents and media files: It is quite straightforward but give yourself enough time to read the instructions step by step.

  11. Test our material before submitting.

    Try previewing your work on a different computer to yours. Sometimes it plays fine on your machine but it’s not on anyone else’s.

  12. Don’t cram.

Manage your preparation carefully so you have plenty of time to complete and review your application. It’s not possible to cram a quality application.

BONUS: Check the application tasks for each course on the AFTRS website. Each course will have different entry requirements, creative tasks and prerequisites to getting in. If you have any questions you can always contact AFTRS via phone (1300 13 14 61 or 02 9805 6611) or via email:

For more in-depth information on these tips, check out this YouTube video where Convenor of BA Screen, Catherine Gleeson, explains each top tip further followed by a Q&A.


The Australian Film Television and Radio School would like to acknowledge the Traditional Owners, the Bidjigal people and Gadigal people of the Eora Nation, on whose land we meet, work, study and teach. We pay our respects to Elders past and present, and extend our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from all nations of this land.