London, 14th March 2017: National Film and Television School (NFTS) announces it is partnering with the RSPB, the UK’s largest nature conservation charity, on its Directing and Producing Science and Natural History MA.

Photo credit, Ben Andrew

The RSPB will work closely with the world-leading film school, its tutors and students to inspire a new generation of filmmaking talent equipped to create engaging and innovative content that champions the charity’s conservation cause  by reaching new audiences through new and impactful visual communications. 

The partnership includes the launch of an RSPB scholarship to support a student through their two year MA, starting in the School’s new academic year in January 2018. To find out more, sign up to the open day on April 18th.

Students will benefit from access to RSPB nature reserves to practice and enhance their wildlife filming technique and will receive masterclasses and practical sessions, delivered by the RSPB’s  world famous Film Unit on conservation filmmaking, field craft skills, and the role of ethics and animal welfare in wildlife filming best practice.

Photo credit, Ben Andrew

First formed in 1953, the RSPB Film Unit is the oldest professional wildlife filmmaking outfit in the UK, producing many internationally-recognised, award-winning documentaries rewarded at Wildscreen, Jackson Hole and the Japan Wildlife Film Festival among many others.  It is well-known throughout the industry as a training ground for many of the world’s leading camera operators and producers, like Hugh Miles, Mike Richards, Ian McCarthy, John Aitchison and David Allen, who have achieved highly successful careers in natural history filmmaking.  Reconfigured in 2014 as RSPB Digital Media, the Film Unit continues to adapt and transform itself, embracing technical innovation to amplify its core, creative conservation messages in response to the changing digital environment. 

Highly experienced producer of wildlife documentaries and series, Paul Reddish, leads the Directing and Producing Science and Natural History MA; Paul is credited as Producer and Director across a number of high profile natural history films and series including Attenborough in Paradise, The Future is Wild, Hummingbirds Jewelled Messengers, and many more.

Mark Percival at RSPB Digital Media says:

 “We’re delighted to be working with the NFTS. We face a considerable challenge as conservationists, working to reverse the declines in the numbers of species and the loss of natural habitats. As filmmaking technology rapidly evolves, it creates new opportunities for us to reach millions of people with the message that there’s an urgent need to look after our wild spaces and the wildlife around us. Supporting and developing new talented filmmakers who are passionate about conservation, and who can create powerful visual stories, is fundamental to achieving the RSPB’s goal of a sustainable world richer in nature.”

Photo credit, Chiara Ceci

Paul Reddish says: “It is a privilege to partner with the RSPB which does such vital and important conservation work. I can’t think of a better placed institution to work with the students to build their understanding of the challenges of communicating conservation messages in wildlife filmmaking. The NFTS has a great reputation for building careers and industry leaders and I look forward to working with the RSPB to mentor our students to do great things via this exciting new MA.”

The two-year MA course will equip students with the skills required to direct science, natural history and wildlife productions and the know-how to produce entire shows. Whether it’s using ultra long lenses or aerial, macro or time lapse photography, the students will build a wide portfolio of experience bespoke to wildlife programme making.

As with all NFTS courses, the MA is both hands on and practical and students will benefit from work placements at the UK’s major wildlife production companies.

Applications for the Directing Natural History and Science MA are open until the 2nd May 2019 and the course will commence in January 2020.

For more information, please visit


Contacts for further information:

Vicky Hewlett, Head of PR and Communications, NFTS:

NFTS funding:

Jamie Wyver, Consumer PR Executive, RSPB: