This unique and exciting one year full-time practical diploma course aims to equip students with the skills and experience necessary to enhance their career in the field of professional model/prop making within animation or other media industries.

“For the first time in 5 years, I can’t wait to get to work." Oliver Arnell-Argles, Model Making for Animation student.

Our students work in a fully-equipped workshop/studio environment and collaborate with those in other specialisms, such as animation, production design, digital effects and cinematography, to make several films and practical projects – with all production costs met by the School.

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), Armando Iannucci (The Thick of It, Veep, The Death of Stalin) and Alex Garland (Ex Machina, Annihilation).

The NFTS wants to encourage applications from the brightest and best talent out there, whatever your background. That’s why we have made scholarship funding available for this course – find out more here.

Recent credits and successes

Nick Park Returns to NFTS to Celebrate Wallace & Gromit's 30th Anniversary. Read more here.

Photos from recent student projects

  • Students replicating a set in miniature from The Shining.

What you will study

This is the only UK-based model making course located in a dedicated film studio environment. We intend to take advantage of that.

We will be creating professional models, sets, props and puppets. Successful candidates will work individually, and as part of a team within a course comprising tutorials and challenging modules, which will culminate in building models and sets on some of the animation graduation films.

You will be encouraged to research, sample, test, and mix traditional and new techniques throughout the course and will use a vast array of materials to successfully realise the brief. This will be as “real world” as it can be.


Download course outline

Current or recent tutors

Joe Holman

Joe Holman

Visiting Tutor

Credits with Mackinnon and Saunders include Frankenweenie, Corpse Bride and Fantastic Mr Fox

John Lee

John Lee

Head of Model Making

Credits include Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Isle of Dogs and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Fees and funding options

Fees for this course are as follows:

Home/EU/EEA £9,500

This course is only open to UK and EU/EEA applicants.

The NFTS does not charge you extra for the cost of productions or materials.

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 for any travel and accommodation related to any work experience we arrange. Students will also be expected to pay for any travel involved with exhibitions or events scheduled away from the NFTS campus. 

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. The specialist nature of our courses mean that our students gain the relevant skills and experience they need to go straight into the industry.


Model Making students take part in a range of modules and exercises throughout the year. 

Entry requirements

There will be no typical candidate for this course. Your background will almost certainly be in the Arts, and you may well be a recent graduate or Industry professional looking to further specialise.

You will most likely have some pre-industry experience of model making or training in your chosen field and have a basic understanding and experience of workshop equipment and machinery. The ideal candidate should have a mixture of creative, technical, communicative, and problem solving skills necessary to work within a highly productive team.

You will be expected to have your own tool kit and to expand on this during the year, at your cost.

Your application and CV should be supported by a brief outline of your interests in modelling, puppet making, sculpture, filmmaking etc, and show photographic examples of a selection of your best work with detailed notations.

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.

If you are not an EEA National, you must already be in possession of a UK visa valid for the duration of this course.  We are unable to accept your application if you do not.

If you have any questions, please email info@nfts.co.uk.

How to apply

Application deadline: Contact Registry


Applicants must supply the following:

  • Please provide links to your online portfolio, website or showreel and supply detailed notations of your contribution to the images. State whether the work is collaborative or created by you entirely.
  • If you are selected for an interview, you will be expected to show examples of your work in the form of a photographic stills portfolio, as well as digital format on a laptop or tablet and bring to interview some examples of models or puppet making.

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