This course provides a unique environment in which directors can find their individual style and their own distinctive voice.

"The NFTS is right at the heart of training for the industry." Graduate David Yates, director of the Harry Potter series and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

The course is highly practical, giving students the opportunity to make high quality films in our in-house studios or on location. They will also have the chance to learn from top industry professionals.

Students will collaborate with those in other specialisms to make several films and practical projects, putting into practice the skills they learn along throughout the course – with all production costs met by the School. The NFTS has purpose-built film and television studios and professional standard post-production facilities.

All NFTS students can attend the School’s masterclasses programme, with recent guests including Christopher Nolan (Dunkirk, The Dark Knight, Interstellar), Lynne Ramsay (You Were Never Really Here) and Armando Iannucci (The Thick of It, Veep, The Death of Stalin).

Recent credits and successes

Graduate Lynne Ramsay’s credits include You Were Never Really Here, We Need to Talk about Kevin and Ratcatcher

2013 graduate Lewis Arnold has gone to direct Humans, Broadchurch and Misfits.

Johnny Kenton’s 2018 graduation film Dead Birds has been selected from over 1500 films to reach the semi-final stage of the Student Academy Awards.

What you will study

This course provides two years in which directing students will be adding depth and understanding to their abilities whilst regularly producing work. This is an environment where they will be both challenged and supported by staff and fellow students.

The essence of the course is the practical experience of film-making, combined with a wide-ranging series of work-shops emphasising performance, mise-en-scène and an examination of how narrative works in cinema and in television. The tutor to student ratio is high, thus allowing the teaching to be specific to the needs of the individual director.

The course includes weekly sessions on film and television culture, both contemporary and historical, and opportunities to learn from the work of more established directors through masterclasses and set visits. It also involves interaction with other disciplines, ranging from visual art, literature and architecture to installation and performance art.


Download programme specification

Download course outline


Current or recent tutors

Brian Gilbert

Brian Gilbert

Co-Head of Fiction

Credits include Vice Versa, Wilde, The Gathering

Lesley Manning

Lesley Manning

Co-Head of Fiction

Credits include Ghostwatch, Leila, Honeycombe Lodge

Ian Sellar

Ian Sellar

Co-Head of Fiction

Credits include Venus Peter, Prague, Home Road Movies

Fees and funding options

Fees for this course are as follows:

Home/EU/EEA £14,300 per year

Overseas £30,000 per year

We also welcome EU/EEA students on the same rate as our UK students – and those enrolling onto a two-year MA in January 2019 will continue to pay home fees for the second year of their MA.

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. 

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 and software. Students will be expected to pay for their travel for occasional off-campus events.

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 make a number of short films.

Entry requirements

Students come from a wide range of backgrounds: you may be an independent filmmaker, you might have a degree or you may have experience of working in the industry.

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 here

If you are not sure whether your experience or qualifications are appropriate, please ask the Registry for advice -

How to apply

Application deadline: Contact Registry


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The following items should accompany your online application:

  • A short film (15 minutes max) which you have directed. Please submit your work via Vimeo links. If you are submitting a piece of work which is longer than 15 minutes, please note that you can specify which 15 minutes should be viewed. The technical quality of the work submitted is not a priority in assessment. (If dialogue is not in English and the film does not have English subtitles please email a dialogue transcript in English).
  • A treatment for an original film or video project of no more than 5 sides of A4 paper, typed and double spaced. This should not be a treatment for the same project as submitted above. It should be a treatment for either a short film or a feature length project.
    This treatment should include the basic situation, the characters and other elements, the main thrust of the story as it changes from beginning, through middle, to end