NFTS Scotland: Introduction to Working in the Assistant Directors' Department Online

Short course


Delivered in the NFTS Scotland Virtual Classroom accessed via Zoom

This intensive practical course will equip you with the knowledge and skills to pursue a successful future career in the Assistant Directors department.  The course will be taught by industry 1st AD and NFTS AD Course Leader, Richard Lingard. Richard is also Vice Chair of the Assistant Directors' Guild

The course will cover:

- An overview of the current UK Film and HETV industry.
-The roles and responsibilities of each member of the ADs’ department in pre-production and during the shoot
-Where the department fits in with production and how to work collaboratively with other departments
-Paperwork used by the production, including department-specific documents
-Set protocol, etiquette and communication skills
-How to use and break down a script
-How to produce a shooting schedule
-The skills required to be a capable and successful Assistant Director
-Health & Safety from the 1st Assistant Director’s perspective and COVID-19 protocols

This course is for anyone wishing to work in the Assistant Director’s department.

Fees and funding options

Fees for this course are as follows:

Freelance Rate: £495
Corporate Rate: £745


As part of our work to diversify the screen industry workforce, there is reduction in fees of up to 50% made available by our partnership with the BFI for freelancers with disabilities, who are ethnically diverse or from lower socio-economic backgrounds.

Please state ‘APPLYING FOR ADDITIONAL BFI FUNDING’ at the end of your Why do you wish to attend?’ statement on the application form in order for your submission to be considered.


A limited number of bursaries are available for all of our short courses. Channel 2 bursaries are also available for introductory level short vocational courses, including this one.  

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 can pay for the course by other means.

Please apply as far in advance of the course date as possible (and no later than 10 working days in advance of the course date) to give yourself the best chance of securing a supported place, as we may not be able to accommodate all applications.

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

NFTS Scotland Bursary Guidelines 
Channel 2 Bursary Guidelines

Bursary Application Form 

If you are not eligible for an NFTS Scotland bursary, please read our Alternative Funding Avenues document (pdf) which points you in the direction of a few other places which may be able to help. Please submit your application in plenty of time as timescales for funders differ. 

How to apply

Application deadline: Register your interest

This course is not currently open for applications. Please register your interest to be advised of future dates as they become available.