The Young Professionals Program

Training for industry while still at school

Next deadline for applications for 2023: Sunday, October 2, 2022

Why wait till you finish school to follow your passion as an actor?

If you're a performer with promise, you can study acting with Perform Australia for Year 11 and 12 as part of our Young Professionals Program in Canberra.

You'll then be ready to step out into the industry once you finish school.

The Young Professionals program follows on from our Year 7-10 program, the Thrive Program - but you can also join it independently for your Year 11 and 12 studies, even if you weren't a part of Thrive. In the Young Professionals Program, you complete two qualifications with Perform Australia during Year 11 and 12:

You can count these towards your Year 12 Certificate when you enrol with Canberra Institute of Technology (CIT).

How does the program work?

performing arts high school

Our two qualifications in acting are packaged together and delivered to Young Professionals participants over two years (Year 11 and 12). You attend our campus in Fyshwick three days per week. On other days, you attend CIT classes (or complete distance education with CIT) to earn your Year 12 Certificate.

  • In Semester 1 at Perform Australia, you complete the 10915NAT Certificate IV in Acting.
  • In Semesters 2-4, you complete the 11017NAT Advanced Diploma of Performance.

What do I learn?

Together, our two courses train you for industry as an actor. You will have in-depth knowledge and skills to work on stage and screen. You'll work on:

  • Technique - improving your ability as a performer
  • Context - understanding the art form in the context of a broader history and tradition
  • Performance - you will perform in a range of stage and screen productions over your time with us
  • Sourcing work - you will learn about auditioning as well as other ways of sourcing and creating work in arts and entertainment
  • Business - you will learn about important aspects of working in the industry, developing your brand, and developing a business mindset

See our pages on the 10915NAT Certificate IV in Acting and the 11017NAT Advanced Diploma of Performance for details on the units studied.

Young professionals could be for you if:

  • You absolutely love acting and performing
  • You're keen to learn from industry professionals
  • You are consistent academically, and are able to manage a workload of academics plus the extra responsibilities of the actor, like learning lines in your own time, and performances after hours
  • You'd like to do your college years differently
  • You are willing to try new things, are open to learning, and able to think outside the box
  • You are eager to prepare yourself for a career in arts and entertainment

Acting course canberra

Pathways to university from Young Professionals

While many of our Young Professionals actors are keen to move out to industry after graduation, some seek to go onto university. You can aim for an ATAR through your enrolment with Canberra Institute of Technology (CIT), but even if you don't want to get an ATAR, you can still use our qualifications to access university in the following ways:

  • Apply for the Bachelor of Screen and Stage (Acting) with the Australian Performing Arts Conservatory (APAC) in Brisbane. Perform Australia has a pathway arrangement with APAC - if you successfully complete your Advanced Diploma of Performance with us, you only need to complete one more year of study with APAC to achieve your degree. An audition is required for access to the degree course.
  • Enrol with CIT for Year 11 and 12 alongside your Perform Australia enrolment, and create a graduation portfolio or obtain the School's Letter of Recommendation for access to university - discuss your options with CIT
  • Use our Advanced Diploma instead of an ATAR as evidence you are able to study at university level, to apply for a degree
  • Use our training to prepare yourself for auditions for NIDA, WAAPA, VCA and other university drama schools.

Some students in Young Professionals decide that it is enough to study our Certificate and Advanced Diploma program without the pressure of studying Year 11 and 12 at the same time. This is also an option for you within the Young Professionals program.

What else the Young Professionals Program offers:

The study of acting teaches valuable life skills, such as:

  • Improved ability to communicate
  • Improved self-presentation skills
  • Increased empathy for others
  • Improved textual and critical analysis skills
  • Improved creative thinking skills
  • Improved capacity to work in a team (or in an ensemble, as actors put it!)


Whether you choose to step out to industry after you finish Young Professionals, look to further study, or change direction altogether, you'll walk away with these wonderful attributes as a person.

Young professionals actor
Young Professionals acting course

What students say

"This program is great for people who know what they want to do... whether they want to be an actor, director or writer - and everyone is really welcoming. "

- Isabelle

"My advice is, if you love acting, or anything to do with it, just jump on in. Go for it. You won't regret it. The people are so amazing and you'll learn so much."

- Brandon

The Thrive Program

Download your Audition Pack & Young Professionals Prospectus

Fill out your details to download the Prospectus and your audition information for the Thrive Program.

Next steps - meet us!

Missed our Open Night this year?

If you missed our Open Night in May, you can still book a one-on-one meeting with our principal, hear more about the program, and tour the building.

Simply fill in the form below and we'll get in touch to arrange a time to suit you.

Yes, I'd like to find out more, please book us in:

How to apply for the Young Professionals Program

Entry to the Young Professionals Program is by audition and interview. You must follow the same procedure for applying for the 10915NAT Certificate IV in Acting, but fill out the application form on this page. We're now accepting applications for Semester 1, 2023. 

To apply, you must:

  • Complete the online application form
  • Prepare a monologue as per the instructions in the auditions pack
  • Present your audition (either face-to-face or via a video) and attend an interview.

Ready to apply?

Complete the application form below. It will take you to the application page for the Certificate IV in Acting (your first course with Young Professionals!) and you can nominate there that you are wanting to do the Young Professionals program.

Apply Now

Got questions?

Call us on 1300 908 905.