Creative Business




Would you like to start your own creative business? Our Masters degree gives you all the tools to launch the businesses of the future – whether in games, film, TV, theatre, film, television, music or digital entertainment.

“This course gives young entrepreneurs in the creative industries the compass to navigate their way across those domains, with practical knowledge and practical guidance.” Richard Branson, course champion

You will meet major players from every sector of entertainment across a busy, two-year part time course. You'll learn the basics of industry - from business models, to marketing, raising finance, digital distribution, legal agreements, talent and more.

The course is taught by players from across the creative industries. It comprises two days per week of tutor-led seminars - combined with reading, assignment work, and self-led research tasks to be conducted outside the classroom in the student’s own time. Our participants not only learn from the best but have the chance to develop a network of contacts that can last a lifetime, as well as the opportunity to pitch for seed funding for their second year project.

Creative Business makes the most of both the thriving NFTS campus in Beaconsfield, and our office the heart of London's Soho, right where many entertainment firms are located.   That means students benefit not only from London’s ‘global hub’ but also the School’s state-of-the-art facilities. We've designed the MA to allow students to combine it with professional work.

In addition, all NFTS students can attend Masterclasses - with NFTS' regular line of major names giving you the benefit of their creative and business insights.   

Recent guests have include David Fincher (Fight Club), Greta Gerwig (Little Women), Steve McQueen (12 Years A Slave), Edgar Wright (Hot Fuzz), Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Fleabag), Ben Wheatley (Free Fire), Rapman (Blue Story), Louis Theroux, Debra Granik (Winter’s Bone), Denis Villeneuve (Bladerunner 2049), Lynne Ramsay (You Were Never Really Here), Sam Mendes (1917), Asif Kapadia (Senna), Joanna Hogg (The Souvenir), Russell T Davies (Doctor Who) and Richard Branson.

Recent credits and successes

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NFTS Creative Business MA student, Ian Haig tells us about his intriguing live theatre project, Showtime Challenge in our latest blog.

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Nick Horowitz graduated from the Creative Business course in 2015 and has since co-founded a creative agency for startups, The Clerkenwell Brothers. Read his story in our news section here.

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Carthew Neal, an NFTS graduate of Creative Business MA, was nominated for his first Oscar in 2019 for his role as Producer in the Best Picture category for Jojo Rabbit.

Victoria Thomas image

Victoria Thomas graduated from the Creative Business MA in 2016 and has since received funding from Creative Europe to launch a mobile app, Cues described as Tinder for movie trailers! Find out more in our blog post here.

What you will study

Ingenious, Saffery Champness, Lee&Thompson logos

Over the course of the two years, participants looking to set up or build upon their own existing business will expect to learn:

  • The business and creative dynamics of each of the seven domains - film, TV, games, theatre, publishing, digital content and music
  • The personal and professional tools needed to set up and run their own business in the entertainment industry
  • How to analyse a market, negotiate deals and build and execute a business plan

Graduates leave not only with a fully worked-through business proposal or plan that has been taken to investors, partners and has been mentored by a dynamic business leader in the field - but also a network of contacts across the whole media industry.   

Participants already working within a business can expect to develop further:

  • A 360-degree view of the creative business sectors adjacent to their own existing specialisation
  • Management, legal, accountancy and planning skills that are key to the development of any business and of their own careers
  • A fully worked-through proposal for a new venture, a new division, or a new solution to an existing project or business plan proposal in need of development

Download programme specification (PDF)

Download course outline (PDF)

Head of Department

The course is led by Dr Alex Connock. Alex combined a background as entrepreneur and MD at a number of production companies, with an academic career at NFTS and Oxford University. He is a specialist in the interaction between entertainment industries, ecommerce and Artificial Intelligence.

In addition, the course also regularly hosts tutors and speakers from the worlds of publishing, theatre, games, film, television, music and digital entertainment.

Fees and funding options

Fees for this course are as follows:

Home Fees:  £11,850 per year 

International Fees (including EU nationals): £18,000 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. 

Students are expected to provide their own laptops and to pay their own travel costs for work placements and Beaconsfield-based seminars.

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.


Entry requirements

Applicants must demonstrate entrepreneurship, OR existing involvement in the development of an existing business. This experience could be:

  • Building a company
  • Raising finance for a project
  • Developing or implementing a new venture within a company
  • Planning a new business or business venture
  • Investing in an entrepreneurial activity
  • Working for a media company that encourages entrepreneurship
  • Working as a professional advisor (lawyer, accountant, agent) in the creative industries

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.

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. 

If you have any questions, please email

How to apply

Application deadline: 07 Jul 2022

Applicants must complete the online application form and submit the following supporting materials:

  • Please submit one or more examples of material that demonstrates your entrepreneurial engagement. This could be: a commercial funding application, a business plan for a new project or business, a detailed description of a business challenge that you have taken on, or a full description of your role working with someone else setting up, financing or building a project or company.
  • If your background has been as an investor or professional advisor, please submit an overview of your investment or advisory role, and at what level.

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