This unique diploma course delivered in partnership with IMG, the world’s largest independent sports producers, will equip students with the editorial skills required to produce state-of-the-art sports and live events coverage, highlights content and other material.
  • Unique course.
  • Job at IMG for one student on graduation.
  • Intensely practical and hands on.
  • Four week work placement at IMG .
  • Unlike other schools, all production costs are met by the School.

We welcome EU/EEA Students. Course fees charged at UK rate.

Application Deadline: 27 Sep 2018

Course Overview

IMG is the world's largest independent producer. It has major relationships with broadcasters including the BBC for the Football League show, snooker and darts, Channel Four for its exclusive horse racing coverage, and ESPN in the US for the Open Championship.  It also enjoys a string of other important client relationships, most notably with Wimbledon, the R&A for the Open Golf Championship, the BCCI for IPL Cricket, FIFA, UEFA and the New York Road Runners (NY Marathon). 

IMG produces Sport 24, the first ever-live global premium 24-hour sports channel for the airline and cruise industries, as well as other in-flight programming for over 50 airlines, and is also a partner with Associated Press for the sports news agency SNTV, and with the European Tour for European Tour Productions, the world's most prolific producer of golf programming.

The diploma course is 12 months full-time and is delivered at the NFTS and at IMGs' state-of-the-art facility IMG Studios.

Specifically students will learn about:

  • Outside broadcast production
  • Studio production
  • Highlights production
  • Planning and pre-production
  • Storytelling in sports
  • Chasing stories and ideas
  • Shooting and editing effective pieces
  • Scripting and Running Orders
  • Logging and IPD Director
  • Basic self-shooting and editing
  • Casting and working with Talent
  • Leading production teams
  • Budgets & Scheduling
  • Rights and Distribution

Students graduate with:

  • the know-how to produce live and pre-recorded sports content
  • a practical working knowledge of current television and digital production methods
  • the ability to generate sports programme ideas and formats
  • the confidence and know-how to pitch those ideas to commissioning editors and/or rights holders
  • work experience on high profile sports content
  • brilliant Industry contacts


The course philosophy is that you learn by ‘doing’ as well as understanding theory and developing a variety of practical and creative skills. Specific areas taught and practiced are:

Sports programming landscape in the UK and worldwide

This will explore the outlets for domestic sports programming and the relationship between producers, facilities suppliers, rights holders and broadcasters. Which broadcasters and which channels have access to particular sports and how that is scheduled will be examined. The differences between dedicated sports channels and mixed programming channels and their requirements will be discussed, particularly with regard to scheduling and planning for over-running events.

International sports broadcasters and their relationships with UK producers will be explored and the differences between producing programming for a domestic and an international audience will be detailed.

Producing Sports and Live Events

This takes students through the production process from planning and pre-production through to transmission. Students will receive instruction and mentoring throughout a production period which will involve researching, shooting and editing single camera items (Broadcast Production students will be available to help with at least some of this), researching and editing archive footage, producing graphics and music assets and booking presenters and guests. Students will also be given a recording of a football match and having logged it, will, prepare a 10 minute highlight package for use in the programme, with the assistance of an editor. The final product will be an 'as live' sports feature programme. Working in teams, each team will produce a short show recorded in the NFTS TV Studio.

Developing, pitching and responding to RFPs

Both broadcaster in-house and production company development, pitching and costing will be examined together with authoring documentation and presentations for both Requests For Information and Proposal (RFI/RFP). The skills and knowledge are needed to make up an RFP team will be discussed. In addition to broadcasters, event organisers, rights holders and sports governing bodies may also issue an RFP. The differences in approach required across a range of potential clients will be examined and a practice RFP will be issued to students as an exercise for them to respond to. Production Management and Technical advice will be available to the students.

Each sport has its particular requirements and restrictions. A thorough knowledge of these has to be demonstrated in bid documentation and presentations. This module will include briefings on major sports and their particular issues.

Managing people and being managed

As a leader you are successful if you deliver your objectives and people want to work for you again. Leadership skills will form part of this module as these are critical to getting the best out of production, craft, technical and, of course, performers. The management, as distinct from leadership, of both staff and on-screen talent will be looked at. This module will also consider how to be effectively managed by Heads of Department/Production.

Understanding the commercials

This deals with many of the issues that confront sports producers on a daily basis in an increasingly complex and fragmented media distribution landscape. Budgets and how to prepare and manage them will be examined and the importance of scheduling and its contractual implications will be discussed. A contract may stipulate a minimum number of matches that have to be shown irrespective of whether there is still mass viewer interest in the tournament after the ‘local’ team has been knocked out. Live rights and deferred highlights will also be covered as will the importance of ‘new media’ and distribution over IP rights


Each student will complete a four week internship at IMG.

Specialist Workshops and Exercises

During the course there will be a range of other specialist workshops on topics including digital content and formats, social media and mobile applications and risk management.

Graduation Projects with IMG

The final part of the course allows students to produce projects with teaching and preparation being done at the NFTS and at IMG. Participants will use IMG facilities and help from IMG staff, including access to incoming sports feeds, archive material, editing and studio time to create exemplar coverage of major sporting events. For example, participants might create a Ryder Cup highlights show, a live presenter led insert for the World Snooker Championships a look ahead to the Grand National or a studio based ‘Look back at the year’ with guests, clips and live inserts. Graduation Project subject matter will be different each year depending on access and the sporting calendar.  

NFTS Benefits

Sports course participants will have full access to the NFTS’ optional creative stimulus strands, including: Passport to Cinema (weekly screenings of classic and pre-release films in the state-of-the-art campus cinema); and NFTS Masterclasses - major creative figures from film, television and games screening their work and discussing with students in the campus cinema. Recent speakers include David Fincher (Director, Seven, Gone Girl), Andy Wilman (Executive Producer, Top Gear), Graham Linehan (The IT Crowd, Father Ted) and Hamish Hamilton (Director, Super Bowl XLVIII).


The course is led by Tom Lewis, who has over 30 years’ experience in sports television, and leading sports producer, Chris Downham (recent credits include Series Producer of BBC Football League Show, Senior Features Producer at 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil and Senior Producer of UEFA Euro 2016 Qualifiers Highlights).

Entry Requirements

A proven interest in sports or live production and an ability to work as part of a team are essential. We are looking for people who are practically- minded and who have a good general education.

If you are not an EEA National, you must already be in possession of a UK visa valid for the duration of this course.  We are unable to accept your application if you do not.

Apply With

  • A one-page overview detailing how you would enhance the coverage of either a typical Premier League Football Match (Broadcast on Sky) or Channel 4 Racing. No more than one page (A4 paper).
  • Evidence (via a short showreel) of technical proficiency in editing and/or camera. Please include a link.

How to Apply

You can apply directly to us at the NFTS by clicking on the link below:

When selecting your course, please ensure that you have read the entry requirements and details of the supporting materials that should accompany your application.

Timing your application

We are happy to receive applications 24/7 and 365 days a year up until the deadline.

  • 12 Month Course
  • Full-time
  • Course runs Jan-Dec
  • Next intake: January 2019
  • UK and EEA applicants only