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Course summary

In partnership with BBC Studios Could you make the next Seven Worlds One Planet, Horizon or Forces of Nature? This is the only MA course of its kind in the UK, combining Science and Natural History in one MA, designed to give students all they need work professionally in this exciting industry. It aims to give students the skills and expertise needed to direct science and wildlife productions, the know-how to produce and direct entire shows and the ability, confidence and knowledge to generate and pitch ideas and formats to commissioning editors. Within 2 months of graduating all our 2019 graduates secured roles at leading television companies, including BBC Natural History Unit, Plimsoll Productions and Silverback Films. The course includes masterclasses from industry experts, including the world-renowned BBC Natural History Unit, and work experience is available at major wildlife production companies. Our graduates have the opportunity to build a brilliant list of industry contacts and relevant skills for a career as a Producer/Director. With a passion for the natural world and a love of storytelling, students can adapt and further their knowledge at the NFTS, learning what they need to become a filmmaker at an exciting time in this industry, documenting how we interact with the natural world and helping to bring together the stories that need to be told. “You are the future. It’s up to you to change things about the way you look at the natural world, using formats I haven’t dreamed about.” Sir David Attenborough, NFTS Masterclass 2017


This course will give you the skills to direct science and natural history productions, the know-how to produce entire shows, and the ability to generate new programme ideas and formats. Students gain a practical working knowledge of current television production methods and insight into how the business works and current trends. There is a strong emphasis on professional practice. This means that student projects will be expected to measure up to scientific scrutiny, as well as exhibition and broadcast standards. Students will carry out assignments in the specialist skills of long-lens, time-lapse and macro photography. In the 1st year, students will not only produce and direct, but also shoot and edit their 10-minute film. In the 2nd year they typically shoot their films, but they also collaborate with composers, editors and sound designers when they make their 20 to 25 minute graduation films. As part of the course students will be exposed to the development and production challenges of specialist factual genres, such as Landmark/Blue Chip (interchangeable terms for high budget, high production value programming mainly used in a pure wildlife context), mini landmarks, Children’s, People and Nature, Live, Expedition films, Magazine formats, Obs-doc etc. In addition, there will be a focus on promoting cross-genre ideas to foster creativity.

Assessment method

Dissertation and graduation project.

Entry requirements

Applicants must be able to demonstrate their passion, commitment and talent for developing a career in television and a keen interest in the natural world, science, conservation and bio-diversity. Typically, applicants will have a proven interest in science and natural history, which may involve a background in Physics, Chemistry, combined Natural Sciences, Zoology, Biology, Psychology, Mathematics, Wildlife Photography etc. But other educational backgrounds are not excluded. 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

No fee information has been provided for this course

Additional fee information

No additional fees or cost information has been supplied for this course, please contact the provider directly.
Directing and Producing Science and Natural History at National Film and Television School - UCAS