NFTS Scotland Diploma: Production Accounting for Film and Television



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This unique online part-time Professional Diploma course, aims to equip students with the skills required for a career as a film or television Production Accountant.

This perfectly combines my accountancy skills and my love of cinema.” Graduate Sarah Gough.

This course, delivered in partnership with Disney, aims to give students the expertise to succeed in this demanding role, as well as the opportunity to make key contacts to move to a career in the film and television sector. The course is run as a blended learning course with the majority of the sessions online with some face-to-face tuition in Glasgow.

The course will run online every 2nd Saturday of the month (09:00-11:00am and 12:00-14:00pm), followed by an evening Zoom session on the last Monday of every month (6:45-8:45pm).

What you will study

This course is ideally suited for those already working in a finance/accountancy role and who are keen to move into the film and television sector. Production Accountants calculate finances, work out the cost of a production, communicate with financiers (companies or individuals who provide the funding) and control the cash flow, or spending. This is a demanding role that requires a level head, self-confidence and strong communication skills.

In pre-production, Production Accountants help the Producers and Production Managers to prepare budgets and Estimated Final Cost Reports. During production, they oversee all payments, manage payroll, petty cash and foreign currency and keep accurate financial records. They help monitor budgets, analyse spending and provide daily or weekly cost reports. They also produce cost forecasts to evaluate the impact of any production changes.

Course Content

This course will cover:

  • Production set up and implementation of systems
  • Budgeting
  • Sources of finance and treatment of funds
  • Completion guarantors
  • Cash flow, forecasting and cost reporting
  • Working with inherited budgets
  • Working with multi-currency
  • Running the project
  • Contract and employment law
  • Copyright and licences
  • Taxation and insurance
  • Pre production, production and post-production
  • Production audits
  • Management skills

The course strives to offer participants work placements on UK productions, helping them gain an invaluable end-to-end overview of the vital role of a production accountant on independent size projects and some of the highest profile productions being made in the UK. 

Download course outline (PDF)

Course Leader

The course is run by Neil Cairns. Neil has 25 years’ experience as Production Accountant and Financial Controller from low budget independent films to High End TV throughout the UK, Europe, US and Australia. Credits include The Inbetweeners, T2 Trainspotting, Under the Skin, Outlaw King, Everybody's Talking About Jamie, and currently, Bridgerton.

Fees and funding options

Fees for this course are as follows:

Home/EU/EEA £1,487 

To ensure that the course is accessible to as many people as possible, the original course fee of £5,950 is being 75% underwritten by Disney. Due to this, successful applicants will pay £1,487.50 for the course.

This course is only open to UK applicants and EU/EEA applicants must hold an EU settlement status. 

Additionally, further scholarship support is available for students who may require financial assistance via the John Sargent Scholarship and Disney.

A non-refundable deposit of £200 is required against the cost of your fees on confirmation of your place.

Students are expected to provide their own laptops.

Entry requirements

A proven interest in film and television production and an ability to work as part of a team are essential. We would expect those applying to have academic or vocational qualifications in accounting or be able to demonstrate competency through work experience. Previous experience of working in an Accounts environment will be taken into account when considering applications.

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 an EEA or International citizen, you must already be in possession of EU settled/pre-settled status or another visa which allows you to study for the duration of the course. If you do not already hold a UK status, unfortunately we cannot accept your application as we are currently unable to support a visa on our Diploma courses.

If you have any questions, please email

How to apply

Application deadline: Contact Registry

Applicants must complete the online application form and submit the following supporting materials:

  • Please tell us about the likely challenges of working as the Production Accountant on a low budget British Feature Film (no more than two sides of A4)

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