NFTS Scotland: Working in the Assistant Director's Department

Short course


This intensive practical course will equip you with the knowledge and skills to pursue a successful future career as a Third, Second and First Assistant Director.  The course will be taught by top industry professionals. Following the two weeks of training, students will be given the opportunity to practice their training as 1st Assistant Director on a Royal Conservatoire of Scotland student 3-day film shoot.

This course combines classroom learning, practical exercises and experience as a First Assistant Director on a 2nd-year student film at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

As part of the course, students will undertake Health & Safety training.

The course will cover:

  • 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
  • The paperwork used by the whole of production as well as department-specific documents
  • Set protocol, etiquette and communication skills
  • How to break down a script for different purposes
  • How to develop a shooting schedule
  • The skills required to be a capable and successful Assistant Director
  • Preparing a shoot with the director and key crew of the student film and running the set during filming
  • Health & Safety training

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:

Course Rate: £925

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


The NFTS Scotland bursary fund is currently closed for this course and we encourage you to seek alternative avenues of funding to support the cost of this course if required. 

Please read our Alternative Funding Avenues document which points you in the direction of a few other places which may be able to help. Please allow yourself enough time to secure funding when considering your application.



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.