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.

Graduate Roger Deakins won the 2018 Oscar for Best Cinematography for Blade Runner: 2049.

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 the School’s masterclasses programme, with recent guests including David Fincher (se7en, Fight Club, The Social Network, Mindhunter), Steve McQueen (12 Years A Slave), Edgar Wright (Baby Driver, Hot Fuzz, Shaun of the Dead), Elisabeth Moss (The Handmaid's Tale), Stephen Fry, Denis Villeneuve (Bladerunner 2049), Krysty Wilson Cairns (1917), Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Fleabag, Killing Eve), Asif Kapadia (Amy, Senna, Diego Maradona), and Louis Theroux.

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

Graduate Roger Deakins won the 2018 Best Cinematography Oscar for Blade Runner: 2049.

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.

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

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

Download course outline

Current or recent tutors

Charlotte Bruus Christensen

Charlotte Bruus Christensen

Visiting tutor

Credits include A Quiet Place, Molly's Game and The Girl on the Train

Rob Hardy

Rob Hardy

Visiting tutor

Credits include Ex-Machina, Annihilation and Mission Impossible: Fallout

Stuart Harris

Stuart Harris

Co-Head of Cinematography

Acclaimed film, commercials and music video cinematographer. Winner of the D&D Pencil 

Ula Pontikos

Ula Pontikos

Visiting tutor

Credits include Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool, Humans and The Game

Oliver Stapleton

Oliver Stapleton

Co-Head of Cinematography

Credits include My Beautiful Laundrette, The Grifters, Shipping News

Tom Townend

Tom Townend

Visiting tutor

Credits include You Were Never Really Here and Attack the Block  

Fees and funding options

Fees for this course are as follows:

Home/EU/EEA £14,800 per year (for January 2020 intake)

Overseas £31,000 per year (for January 2020 intake)

The tuition fees for January 2021 intake will be confirmed in June 2020, and are likely to be the same, or very similar to 2020.

We also welcome EU/EEA students on the same rate as our UK students – and those enrolling onto a two-year MA in January 2020 will continue to pay home fees for the second year of their MA. However, we are currently unable to confirm if this will remain the case for those starting their first year in 2021.

In the last year, 8 in 10 UK MA students received support, with more than £800,000 given out in total.

There is a compulsory, non-refundable £60 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, successful 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.

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.

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.


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 here

If you have any questions, please email

How to apply

Application deadline: 31 May 2020


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. It should clearly identify you as the camera operator and also the creator of the lighting design, i.e. that you are Cinematographer/Director of Photography. It 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 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.

Each submitted item must have original titles and credits at the beginning and the end. Works in progress are not acceptable. 

You can apply online by clicking on BEGIN YOUR APPLICATION below.

We are happy to receive applications at any time up until the midnight of the application deadline date.

Begin your application