Short course


People call it a dark art - and there’s certainly a lot of mystique around what constitutes a good pitch. There are many theories about what works and what doesn’t. And just as many exceptions that don’t prove the rules. This makes it something that most people try to avoid – not to mention the stage-fright.

This one-day course is designed to give you some insight into what actually happens in a pitch, understand what things the winning ones share and introduce you to the basic principles of how to communicate your ideas effectively.

You’ll practice the ‘prep’, the ‘room’ and the all-important ‘follow-up’. And you’ll learn that, far from being an intimidating experience, pitching can be fun and a great way to start to any creative process.

This intensive, practical course covers:

  • The key elements of a pitch
  • What’s really going on in the pitch process
  • Preparing your pitch
  • Delivering it effectively
  • When to follow-up and when to try elsewhere

This course is led by Peter Dale, who produced and directed documentaries for the BBC for 18 years before going to Channel 4 as Head of Documentaries. In 2005 he conceived and launched More4, Channel 4’s third digital channel. His own independent production company Rare Day produces quality documentary and drama for broadcasters and other distributors. He’s now the Head of Documentary at the NFTS, as well as Executive Producer on a number of high-profile documentaries.

The course is aimed at experienced directors, producers and series producers - anyone who has pitching experience but wants to develop their existing skills to be more effective at winning the commission.

We also offer How to Pitch a Documentary 1 for entry and junior level practitoners, and anyone who wants to know more about pitching ideas for documentaries.  

Fees and funding options

Fees for this course are as follows:

Freelance Rate: £260
Corporate Rate: £420

Bursaries, supported by the Scottish Government, are also available for those who are eligible.


If you wish to apply for a bursary to contribute to the costs of your course, please read the bursary guidelines below carefully to confirm your eligibility. Please do not apply to a course unless you are sure you meet the bursary eligibility criteria or are able to pay for the course. 

Once you have submitted your course application, your bursary application should be submitted to

The bursary application deadline for this course is Monday 11th May 2020 at 9 am

NFTS Scotland Bursary Guidelines

NFTS Scotland Bursary Application Form

If you are not eligible for an NFTS Scotland bursary, please also read our Alternative Funding Avenues document which points you in the direction of a few other places which may be able to help.

How to apply

Application deadline: Book Now

To apply for this course, please complete the application form and submit your CV to