Script Development



This is the only comprehensive vocational programme in script development in the UK.

“The course was rigorous, challenging and stimulating, the standard of teaching was excellent.” Sasha Breslau, 2020 graduate, Head of Acquired Series - ITV

This part-time, fortnightly online evening course takes place over 14 months and aims to give students all the skills and expertise they need to develop scripts for film and television.

Students get access to new screenwriters and regular industry speakers, as well as working on a practical development project with a screenwriter.

All NFTS students can attend Masterclasses. Recent guests include David Fincher (Fight Club), Greta Gerwig (Little Women), Steve McQueen (12 Years A Slave), Edgar Wright (Hot Fuzz), Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Fleabag), Ben Wheatley (Free Fire), Rapman (Blue Story), Louis Theroux, Debra Granik (Winter’s Bone), Denis Villeneuve (Bladerunner 2049), Lynne Ramsay (You Were Never Really Here), Sam Mendes (1917), Asif Kapadia (Senna), Joanna Hogg (The Souvenir), Russell T Davies (Doctor Who) and Simon Beaufoy (Slumdog Millionaire).

Recent credits and successes

Promo still from film Diego Maradona

#NFTSStories: NFTS Script Development Alumnus Discusses His Journey from NFTS to Exec Producing ‘Diego Maradona’
Read the article here.

Murder on the Orient Express - Promo still

#NFTSStories: “The course I did at the NFTS unlocked the world of drama for me.”
Read the article here.

Marie Medevielle portrait

#NFTSStories: “I would never be where I am today if I hadn’t attended the NFTS course. Ever.”
Read the article here

ITV logo

"I found the script development course rigorous, challenging and stimulating. The standard of teaching was excellent from both tutors and guest lecturers, and the course was demanding but well-structured. Putting theory into practice with the 6-month writer project was highly useful and eye-opening. I view the diploma as solid foundation course in acquiring the skills required to be a developer, and it delivers amply on this." - Sasha Breslau, 2020 Graduate, Head of Acquired Series at ITV

What you will study

The Diploma offers the most comprehensive contemporary overview and on-going practical learning in an intensive professional environment. The programme combines lectures, seminars and workshops alongside talks and panel discussions with current industry practitioners, as well as supervised practical work with a screenwriter.

There are continuous written assignments (some assessed, some not) throughout the taught section of the programme which are mostly practical and designed to be useful to a career in development, as well as other areas of the film industry.

The programme consists fortnightly 2hr online sessions held on a Monday evening from 7pm - 9pm, plus 3 intensive weekend workshops running from September to April.. The Final Project element of the Diploma is a six-month supervised development project, which begins in April when students are paired with a screenwriter. The delivery of all assessed material for the Final Project is due in October.


Download course outline (PDF)

Course Leader

The course is led by Anna Seifert-Speck a script & story editor with an international background in talent development and experience as an executive producer. Past projects include: Francis Lee’s Ammonite (Cannes 2020), Dark Matter and God’s Own Country (BIFA winner 2017/BAFTA nominated), Dan Kokotajlo’s Apostasy (BAFTA nominated), Ben Sharrock’s Limbo (Cannes 2020), Harry Macqueen’s Supernova, Alice Lowe’s Delia, Sally El Hosaini’s Jones, Paul Wright’s Cuckoo, Rubert Jones’ Joy Unbound.

Fees and funding options

Fees for this course are as follows:

Home/EU/EEA £6,250 

These are the fees for September 2022 intake.

This course is only open to UK and EU/EEA applicants.

A non-refundable deposit of £500 is required against the cost of your fees on confirmation of your place.

Students are expected to provide their own laptops.

The NFTS want to encourage applications from the brightest and best talent out there, whatever your background. We are actively seeking to redress imbalances within the Industry by encouraging applications from under-represented groups, and have a limited number of bursaries on offer for UK applicants.

Entry requirements

We are looking for people who:

  • Already work in development and feel they may benefit from a structured course in story theory and working practice in order to build their confidence and resources
  • Already work in the film industry and are keen to develop or hone their skills when working with scripts and writers, to get the best work from those writers
  • Are producers keen to get an edge on finding and nurturing new writing talent
  • Have experience in other creative industries and would like to explore script development and believe that they can bring new experience and ideas to the process of developing scripts and cultivating writers
  • Have a passion for film, a love of storytelling, can demonstrate initiative, and have an enthusiasm for, and a commitment to, working collaboratively

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 UK 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: 04 May 2023

Applicants must supply a short piece (750 words max) telling us about a film or TV drama you wish you had developed. Please include:

  • The reasons you have chosen this piece.
  • A brief description of the main story line and the protagonist’s story arc. 
  • Your ideas around what you think might have improved the script.

Applications open 9th January 2023. We are happy to receive applications from 9th January until the midnight of the application deadline date.