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.

Cinematography graduate Roger Deakins ASC BSC won the 2020 Cinematography Oscar for his work on 1917.

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.

Recent credits and successes

1917 promo pic

Graduate Roger Deakins won the 2020 Best Cinematography Oscar for 1917.

Molly's Game promo pic

Graduate Charlotte Bruus Christensen's credits include Molly's Game, A Quiet Place, Fences, The Girl on the Train and Far From the Madding Crowd.

Black Mirror promo pic

Graduate Stephan Pehrsson was nominated for a 2018 Primetime Emmy for his work as DoP on the Black Mirror episode USS Callister.

Jonathan Flint with RTS award

Recent Cinematography MA grad, Jonathan Flint picked up the Best Camerawork Award at the 2019 RTS Student Television Awards. Full story here.

What you will study

This course explores the many ways in which the cinematographer participates in the collaborative process of translating screenplays into films. Exercises, workshops, masterclasses and productions, supported by critical and analytical study of the history and development of cinematography, give students a solid foundation in the art and craft of their future career.

As well as working with film, training in High Definition, Digital Cinema and Digital Post Production is an integral part of the course. Visual storytelling is emphasised alongside the art of creating mood and evoking emotion through the right combination of composition and lighting. Working closely with students of other specialisations, student cinematographers have the opportunity to shoot fiction, animation and documentary films, commercials and multi-camera television.

During the course students will be provided with tutorials, seminars, screen studies, workshops and master classes with specialist tutors and visiting professionals.

Download programme specification (PDF) 

Download course outline (PDF) 

Heads of Department

The course is run by award-winning Co-Heads of Cinematography Oliver Stapleton BSC (My Beautiful LaundretteThe GriftersShipping News) and over 60 other feature films, and Stuart Harris, award winning Cinematographer of David Hare’s Wetherby and over 4500 commercials and music videos including Pink Floyd's High Hopes.

Current or Recent Tutors

Recent visiting tutors have included Charlotte Bruus Christensen (A Quiet Place), Fabian Wagner (Game of Thrones, Justice League), Stuart Bentley (Black Mirror, Top Boy), Robbie Ryan (The Favourite) and Dick Pope (Mr. Turner)

Fees and funding options

Fees for this course are as follows:

Home Fees:  £14,800 per year 

International Fees (including EU nationals): £26,000 per year 

These are the fees for January 2023 intake.

Please note:

EU nationals who have been granted settled or pre-settled status under the EU settlement scheme may be eligible for “Home Fees”, subject to meeting the residency requirements. (You need to be  ordinarily resident in the UK or EEA for 3 years prior to the start of your course).  

The NFTS has £900,000 of scholarships and bursaries available.

There is a compulsory, non-refundable £25 application fee for each MA application. A non-refundable deposit of £500 is required against the cost of your fees on confirmation of your place. 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. 

All production costs are included in the course fees, including the use of School facilities and equipment. Students are expected to provide their own laptops. International students will need to pay for any visas that may be required for attendance at non-UK festivals as part of the course.

At the NFTS you will get far more time learning directly from tutors, in real production facilities and on real projects, than in the vast majority of film schools or universities – and we won’t charge you extra for the cost of productions or materials. The specialist nature of our courses mean that our students gain the relevant skills and experience they need to go straight into the industry.

The NFTS is committed to ensuring it is open to students of genuine ability, no matter what their background or financial circumstances. We don’t want anybody to be put off applying for a place at the NFTS because of the cost, which is why we award more scholarships and bursaries to British students, relative to the size of our student body, than almost any other educational institution in the UK.

Applications are now open to apply for the Black British Woman Cinematographer Scholarship Award, with the first recipient joining the NFTS Cinematography MA in January 2023. Netflix will entirely fund the two year course in addition to supporting annual living expenses. Upon completion, the NFTS and Netflix will work with the scholarship recipient to plan and support their next steps into the industry, putting them forward for work placements and employment opportunities on Netflix UK productions.

To apply for the Black British Woman Cinematographer Scholarship Award you must be a UK citizen. If you are offered a place and are eligible, you will be invited to apply for the scholarship.


Every year, our students shoot a number of short films.


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.

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

How to apply

Application deadline: Contact Registry

Applicants should provide up to 3 Vimeo link(s) to their work, no longer than 15 minutes in total.

At least one piece of work should contain a continuous narrative piece of fiction and/or documentary film that you have shot. All pieces must feature your work as Cinematographer/Director of Photography and at least one piece should also show your work as Camera Operator.

Submitted work should also demonstrate a strong visual sensibility and an awareness of the considerations of camera operating, composition and lighting and their potential for creating mood and atmosphere. Most importantly, your fiction film or documentary should have a clear element of visual narrative and show your ability to tell a story with images, using all the elements that can be brought to contribute to it.

Fiction/Documentary submissions must have original titles and credits at the beginning and/or the end. Please do not send in Montage cuts of your material. Works in progress are not acceptable. 

The application deadline has now passed. Please join our mailing list if you would like to be kept up to date with NFTS news and updates.