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Course summary

IN PATNERSHIP WITH BBC DOCUMENTARIES AND BBC STUDIOS This course aims to give students the tools and the confidence to become successful documentary makers. We put storytelling at the centre of the filmmaking process, while at the same time helping each student to develop their personal voice. Head of Department Peter Dale won a 2019 BAFTA for his work on Louis Theroux: Altered States. Our students are regularly nominated for, and win, prestigious prizes around the world. In recent years they have won at the Griersons, Sheffield DocFest, Locarno, IDFA, Royal Television Society, Sundance, Hot Docs, Berlin and many others. Students collaborate with those in other specialisms to make several films and participate in practical projects, developing the skills they learn throughout the course – with all production costs met by the School. All NFTS students can attend Masterclasses. Recent guests include David Fincher (Fight Club), Greta Gerwig (Little Women), Steve McQueen (12 Years A Slave), Edgar Wright (Hot Fuzz), Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Fleabag), Ben Wheatley (Free Fire), Rapman (Blue Story), Louis Theroux, Debra Granik (Winter’s Bone), Denis Villeneuve (Bladerunner 2049), Lynne Ramsay (You Were Never Really Here), Sam Mendes (1917), Asif Kapadia (Senna), Joanna Hogg (The Souvenir), Russell T Davies (Doctor Who) and Alex Gibney (Citizen K). ​This course is industry recognised by ScreenSkills, the industry-led skills body for the UK's screen-based industries, and carries the ScreenSkills Select quality-mark which indicates courses best suited to prepare students for a career in the screen industries.

Modules

Students will direct and shoot at least three films during the course of the MA. The first year consists of four practical exercises, increasing in length and complexity.. These focus on the techniques and approach of a specific documentary genre: observation, sound and music, character–led narrative and an enquiry. Students collaborate with editors, sound recordists, sound designers and composers, and are encouraged to build relationships with cinematographers and producers. They are also expected to know how to work alone. The second year includes three projects: a graduation film in which students synthesise what they have discovered in the first year, and use it to challenge conventional approaches to documentary; an MA dissertation in which they reflect on a documentary topic that has intrigued them during the course so far; and finally the opportunity to develop a project to take into the professional arena. The final term also consists of visits to a film festival, broadcasters, independent producers and other relevant institutions, together with seminars dealing with the commissioning process, legal requirements, finance and distribution.

Assessment method

Assessment is based on a dissertation and a graduation film.


Entry requirements

Students come from a wide variety of backgrounds and have usually had some previous experience of filmmaking, though this may not be at a professional level. All have a strong social awareness and a keen desire to translate that awareness into stories told with a personal voice. While many applicants will have a degree from a British or overseas university, we will consider applicants who do not have a degree if they have an impressive portfolio, a creative track record or an alternative qualification. If you have any questions, please email [email protected].


Fees and funding

Tuition fees

England £14800 Year 1
Northern Ireland £14800 Year 1
Scotland £14800 Year 1
Wales £14800 Year 1
Channel Islands £14800 Year 1
Republic of Ireland £14800 Year 1
EU £26000 Year 1
International £26000 Year 1

Additional fee information

No additional fees or cost information has been supplied for this course, please contact the provider directly.

Sponsorship information

NFTS Scholarships available for UK Students.

Directing Documentary at National Film and Television School - UCAS