Diploma

Overview


This unique 18-month part-time Diploma in Writing and Producing Comedy aims to enable students to develop all forms of scripted and unscripted comedy including sitcoms, sketch shows and panel shows for radio and TV.

"If you are considering a career in comedy, then the NFTS is a fast track for acquiring those career sustaining skills.” Phil Clarke, Channel 4 Head of Comedy.

The course is run in partnership with Channel 4.

Students will hear from regular industry speakers and get the opportunity to develop and write an original show and make a taster tape.

In 2015, three of our Writing and Producing Comedy graduates wrote for the award-winning satire show Dead Ringers. 2016 graduates Ed Amsden and Tom Coles are now in the Dead Ringers writing team and have contributed material to Have I Got News For You. They have also written for The Now Show and The News Quiz.

All NFTS students can attend the School’s masterclasses programme, with recent guests including Christopher Nolan (Dunkirk, The Dark Knight, Interstellar), Lynne Ramsay (You Were Never Really Here) and Armando Iannucci (The Thick of It, Veep, The Death of Stalin).

What you will study

Writing and Producing Comedy commences in January each year. The course is part-time (one evening a week and occasional Saturdays) over eighteen months and is delivered in central London. You will be expected to spend at least eight hours a week working on assignments for the course. You will leave the course with a portfolio of material, which could include a 10-minute taster tape of an idea you have developed, or a full script and some sketches and one-liners.

Students are taught about:

  • Comedy landscape
  • Radio comedy
  • Sketches
  • Panel shows and formats
  • Characterisation
  • Story structure
  • Narrative TV comedy
  • Script editing
  • Topical one-liners
  • Outlines and treatments
  • Pitching
  • Commissioning processes
  • Working with performers
  • Compliance issues
  • Working with writers
  • Writing briefs

Students graduate able to:

  • generate comedy programme ideas
  • create a narrative comedy, sketch show or comedy entertainment show
  • pitch ideas to commissioning editors
  • work with writers and help them develop their ideas

 

Download course outline

Current or recent tutors

Bill Dare

Bill Dare

Course Leader, Writing and Producing Comedy

Credits include Spitting Image and Dead Ringers

Fees and funding options

Fees for this course are as follows:

Home/EU/EEA £8,250

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 is actively seeking to improve diversity within the industry by encouraging applications from under-represented groups, and have bursaries of £4,650 on offer to two of the successful candidates. 

Entry requirements

Applicants must have comedy talent and have evidence that bears this out.

Applicants do not necessarily have to have a university Bachelors degree to apply for the course, but must be able to: demonstrate a knowledge of television/film; provide details of past achievements; demonstrate a clear focus for their future ambitions; and, crucially, show a passion for comedy.

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.

If you are not sure whether your experience or qualifications are appropriate, please ask the Registry for advice - info@nfts.co.uk.

How to apply

Application deadline: 27 Sep 2018

 

Applicants must complete the online application form and submit the following supporting materials:

  • Two TV or radio sketches of no more than 400 words each. One of these should be set on a space station.
  • An outline for a comedy series, no more than 600 words.
  • Please write a joke suitable for HIGNFY or 8 out of ten cats host script for 2 of the news stories listed in the materials sheet. ALTERNATIVELY write a third sketch (400 words max).

We are happy to receive applications at any time up until the midnight of the application deadline date.

Begin your application