Short course


Delivered online in the NFTS Scotland Virtual Classroom accessed by Zoom

This course provides a practical insight into the use of archive in television and film production, with an overview of the major source, costs, fair dealing, creative thinking with archive and recommendations of landmark archive productions.

The course covers: 

- What to think about when using archive
- Why use archive?
- Types of archive
- Historical storytelling
- Personal stories
- Changes in approach
- Major sources
- The curse of YouTube
- Bargain archive
- Free archive
- Fair dealing
- E&O insurance

This course is suitable for everyone keen to learn about production or already working in it, particularly researchers, directors and producers.
Lead tutor John Archer will also be joined by Obi Adumekwe (Associated Press, Sales Manager UK & Ireland) 
About the tutor: 
John Archer runs Hopscotch Films. Recent work includes the 14 hour WOMEN MAKE FILM: A NEW ROAD MOVIE THROUGH CINEMA, directed by Mark Cousins which in 40 chapters describes how to make a movie using examples from films directed by women - a film school where all the teachers are women. With Mark he has just completed the 160 minute film THE STORY OF FILM: A NEW GENERATION looking at innovation in cinema in the last decade, a follow up to the 15 hour THE STORY OF FILM: AN ODYSSEY. He produced 2019’s HARRY BIRRELL PRESENTS FILMS OF LOVE AND WAR, directed by Matt Pinder, a biography told through home movies from the 1930s to the 1970s. Other archive projects are DREAM ME UP SCOTTY – film’s idea of Scotland – and WHA’S LIKE US? – the Scot’s character in film – for BBC Scotland. He has unrivalled practical experience of fair dealing.

Fees and funding options

Fees for this course are as follows:

Freelance Rate: £175
Corporate Rate: £265

Online rate valid until December 2020 

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 deadline for this course is 21st September 2020 at 9am

Please note that bursary funding availability from NFTS Scotland is limited and we encourage you to seek alternative avenues of funding as well. 

Please read our Alternative Funding Avenues document which points you in the direction of a few other places which may be able to help.

NFTS Scotland Bursary Guidelines

NFTS Scotland Bursary Application Form




NFTS Scotland Hardship Fund 

With support from Screen Scotland, a new fund aimed at practitioners who have experienced significant work and financial loss as a direct result of the impact of COVID-19 is available for our online courses from May 2020 onwards.

This fund is available to those who are not able to evidence their eligibility for the NFTS Scotland bursary fund with the required supporting documents, but who now meet the income threshold criteria. 

It is a small, discretionary fund aimed at supporting those most in need. You should only apply if you are a Scottish resident and your finances have been directly affected by loss of work in March 2020 and beyond as a result of COVID-19.

To apply for support, please complete this application form and submit it to at the same time as making your course application.  

How to apply

Application deadline: Book Now

Please complete the application form to apply. 

Begin your application