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Course summary

This is the only two-year specialist cinematography MA in the UK. Our students learn both the art and craft of cinematography, combining creative expression with technical expertise. Students will collaborate with their colleagues to shoot several films, with the opportunity to shoot both live action and animation, and with access to 16mm and 35mm film as well as Alexa XT and Alexa Mini Cameras. Our graduates are in demand in the UK, Europe and the US and go on to work in both film and television. Recent graduates, from the last four years, have gone on to shoot films shortlisted for Oscars and produce BAFTA-winning work as well as shoot commercials, television series and documentaries for Channel 4, Granada and Sky. 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) and Denis Villeneuve. Cinematography-based Masterclasses include Roger Deakins (1917), Hoyte van Hoytema (Tenet), Mihai Malaimare Jr (Jojo Rabbit), Mandy Walker (Mulan), Reed Morano (The Handmaid’s Tale) and Bradford Young (Arrival). 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. Cinematography graduate Roger Deakins ASC BSC won the 2020 Cinematography Oscar for his work on 1917.


Year One: The Craft of Cinematography; Set Protocol Week; Interpreting The Scene; Take One Painting; Character of Place; 3DDDs – Short Tales; Visual Literary: Active Looking; Beyond Time; Lighting Large Spaces; Rear Projection Workshop; Silent Movie; First Year Film – Your aim is shoot a short film (around 20 minutes in length); Three Light Night Workshop; Product Lighting; Beauty Lighting; Perspectives In Light. Year Two: Digi Fiction, Grad Animation, Take Two Painting, Summer Fiction Film, Grad Animations, TV and additional project, Ready for Work, Kodaks, Directing Commercials.

Assessment method

Assessment is based on a dissertation and a graduation film.

Entry requirements

We are looking for people with innate talent. Therefore, previous training in these areas is not mandatory but some basic technical knowledge is required. Experience gained from working in the camera department of the film and television industry is helpful but not essential. You must have an understanding of the role of the Director of Photography and its creative and logistical responsibilities. You would also need to be able to demonstrate good communication and collaborative skills and leadership qualities. You must have a good understanding of “cinematic language” and demonstrate this in your submitted film material. 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 (for instance, in theatre or other arts) or an alternative qualification. If you have any questions, please email [email protected]. For international students, more information about our entry requirements, including Visa and English language requirements, can be found on our What You Need To Know section of our Students From Abroad page. As a part of our admissions selection process, following a successful interview applicants are required to attend a selection workshop for three days, which has a fee of £100. 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 may be available for UK Students.

Cinematography at National Film and Television School - UCAS