NFTS Cymru Wales: Documentary Storytelling

Short course


This course will be delivered face to face.

Documentaries and factual tv programmes come in many shapes and sizes, but they all have a set of organising principles. These are fundamental, easy to grasp and vital in helping you make sense of your idea and your material.

If you know what they are and how to use them, the problems you encounter throughout the film-making process will be more easily solved.

In this course we identify the key elements of a good documentary story, how they work and why they matter – from the moment you start production to the final day of the edit.

The course will:

  • explain what the key elements of story structure are 
  • explore how stories work in documentaries 
  • help you develop an idea from the page to the screen 
  • guide you through the problems that every documentary has in the edit

This course is led by Peter Dale, who produced and directed documentaries for the BBC for 18 years before becoming Channel 4’s Head of Documentaries. In 2005 he launched More4, Channel 4’s third digital channel and then ran his own independent production company. He’s now the Head of Documentary at the NFTS.

The course is aimed at producers at all levels including Development Producers, Edit Producers, Series Producers, Producer Directors, Assistant Producers and anyone who wants to know more about how stories work in documentaries.

Fees and funding options

Fees for this course are as follows:

Freelance Rate: £365

Corporate Rate: £550

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


A limited number of bursaries are available for all of our short courses. 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 if you are able to pay for the course by other means.

Please apply as far in advance of the course date as possible to give yourself the best chance of securing a supported place as we may not be able to accommodate all applications. We aim to advise successful applicants no later than 10 working days prior to the course start date.

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

NFTS Cymru Wales Bursary Guidelines (pdf) | NFTS Cymru Wales Bursary Application Form (pdf)

I ddarllen y dogfenau yn Gymraeg:
NFTS Cymru Wales Canllawiau’r Bwrswriaeth (pdf) | NFTS Cymru Wales Ffurflen Gais Bwrswriaeth (pdf)

How to apply

Application deadline: Book Now

Please complete the application form to apply. You will be asked to upload your CV. 

Please also read the Terms and Conditions (pdf file) / Telerau ac Amodau (pdf file) of booking as payment of a successful application assumes acceptance of these.

Begin your application