Sound Design for Film and Television



Sound design is the emotional heartbeat of a film, TV show or game. The soundtrack has the ability to make you feel scared, to be uplifted, to bring you to tears, to build tension and release joy.

At the NFTS we marry together training in the technical skills of sound design with a passion for telling stories through sound.

"I wouldn't have the confidence of doing what I do today if not for the NFTS. The narrative emphasis in its sound design curriculum was exactly what I needed. Undoubtedly, anyone who wants a career in sound design should go to the NFTS as soon as they can.” Graduate Ting li Lim, Director of Sound at Mocha Chai Laboratories, Singapore's first Dolby Atmos mixing studio. 

Students work in professional-standard facilities and learn all aspects of audio post-production, developing the techniques and creative awareness required to work as professional sound editors, sound designers and dubbing mixers. And they also have the opportunity to use their skills to tell real stories, collaborating with students across a range of disciplines to make films and practical projects, including live action, animation, TV, and video games. All production costs are met by the School.

NFTS sound design graduates have regularly won BAFTAs and other prestigious awards. Our students have won the student section of the Los Angeles based Golden Reel Awards for best sound editing 15 times since 1996.

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 Walter Murch (Apocalypse Now).

​This course is industry recognised by ScreenSkills, the industry-led skills body for the UK's screen-based industries, and carries the ScreenSkills Select quality-mark which indicates courses best suited to prepare students for a career in the screen industries.

Recent credits and successes

The Crown promo pic

Graduates Stuart Hilliker and Martin Jensen were BAFTA-nominated for The Crown.

Shaun The Sheep promo pic

Graduate Adrian Rhodes' credits include Shaun the Sheep, High Fidelity and The Full Monty.

Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool promo pic

Graduate Paul Davies' credits include Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool, The Queen and We Need to Talk About Kevin.

What you will study

The components of the soundtrack – dialogue, atmospheres, Foleys, ADR, designed FX and music – are explored in detail in our professional standard post-production facilities. With a firm emphasis on storytelling, students develop an aesthetic awareness integrated with technical expertise, encouraging them to be collaborators from an early stage in all productions and throughout the whole post-production process.

The course represents a steady progression beginning with the basic technology and skills that underpin and support the creative process and ending with the responsibility for sound design on a range of graduation projects, including fiction, documentary, animation, science and natural history, TV, and video games. At each stage skills are added through workshops, to provide a comprehensive education that is of great value in understanding and communicating with other industry professionals.

Download programme specification (PDF)

Download course outline (PDF)

Current or recent tutors

Adele Cutting

Adele Cutting

Visiting tutor

Credits include Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 1 and Hasbro Family Game Night

Paul Davies

Paul Davies

Visiting tutor

Credits include You Were Never Really Here, We Need to Talk About Kevin and The Queen

Guy Hake

Guy Hake

Senior tutor

Credits include Star Wars Episode One: The Phantom Menace and The Avengers

Graham Hartstone

Graham Hartstone

Visiting tutor

Credits include Aliens, Eyes Wide Shut, Blade Runner and The World is Not Enough

Andy Kennedy

Andy Kennedy

Visiting tutor

Credits include Game of Thrones, Sherlock Holmes, Harry Potter and Taboo

Keith Marriner

Keith Marriner

Visiting tutor

Credits include The Lady in the Van and The Hollow Crown 

Chris Pow

Chris Pow

Head of Sound Design

Chris has tutored the Sound Design course for over 20 years. His credits include The Last Thakur

Adrian Rhodes

Adrian Rhodes

Visiting tutor

Credits include Shaun the Sheep, The Hollow Crown and Aardman's Pirates!

Fees and funding options

Fees for this course are as follows:

Home Fees:  £14,800 per year 

International Fees (including EU nationals): £26,000 per year 

These are the fees for January 2023 intake.

Please note:

EU nationals who have been granted settled or pre-settled status under the EU settlement scheme may be eligible for “Home Fees”, subject to meeting the residency requirements. (You need to be  ordinarily resident in the UK or EEA for 3 years prior to the start of your course).  

The NFTS has £900,000 of scholarships and bursaries available.

There is a compulsory, non-refundable £25 application fee for each MA application. A non-refundable deposit of £500 is required against the cost of your fees on confirmation of your place. As a part of our admissions selection process, following a successful interview applicants are required to attend a selection workshop for five days, which has a fee of £150. 

Students are expected to provide their own laptops.

The NFTS is committed to ensuring it is open to students of genuine ability, no matter what their background or financial circumstances. We don’t want anybody to be put off applying for a place at the NFTS because of the cost, which is why we award more scholarships and bursaries to British students, relative to the size of our student body, than almost any other educational institution in the UK.

At the NFTS you will get far more time learning directly from tutors, in real production facilities and on real projects, than in the vast majority of film schools or universities – and we won’t charge you extra for the cost of productions or materials. The specialist nature of our courses mean that our students gain the relevant skills and experience they need to go straight into the industry.

Entry requirements

In the Post Production department, we are looking to assemble a group of students with diverse and varied backgrounds. There is no 'typical' student or perfect candidate who conforms to a mandatory list of qualifications. Applicants are likely to have some industry experience, or training in their chosen field. Your background may be in the arts or other media, you might be looking for a further professional qualification or wish to broaden your knowledge of sound post-production, taking you to a higher level of work.

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.

For international students, more information about our entry requirements, including Visa and English language requirements, can be found on our What You Need To Know section of our Students From Abroad page. 

As a part of our admissions selection process, following a successful interview applicants are required to attend a selection workshop for five days, which has a fee of £150. 

If you have any questions, please email

How to apply

Application deadline: Contact Registry

When submitting your application, you will be asked to download a video file, to then submit with your own complete sound design.

In addition, you will be asked to submit one other piece of work, preferably a short film that you have worked on, or alternatively an audio only piece is also allowed - maximum of 10 mins. 

Both of these files should be submitted as Vimeo links.

The application deadline has now passed. Please join our mailing list if you would like to be kept up to date with NFTS news and updates.