Entry requirements

We are looking for people who are enthusiastic, keen to work hard as part of a team and quick to learn. The course is ideally suited for those people already working as Camera Trainees or as 2nd ACs.

In applying to this course you need to be available to attend the School in January, February (Module 1), from mid-June, July through to mid-August (Module 2) and then September, October (Module 3). The three modules can be completed over a two-year period, and Module 1 must be completed first.

During the three teaching modules students are expected to be at the School five days per week. In periods between each teaching block students should pursue their own professional work to develop their experience.

Months of entry


Course content

This innovative professional Diploma course equips camera trainees with the skills required for a successful career as 2nd and 1st ACs on both film and television drama.

You will not only graduate from the course with the expertise required for AC roles, but also a number of credits and valuable Industry contacts from NFTS, Panavision and Arri.

The course is structured to allow people active in the film and television industry to work at their own rate and build their skills around outside work. It is classed as part-time (approx. 26 weeks), but involves full-time learning throughout each module.

On completion of the course, you’ll have credits on a varied selection of films and will have worked on multiple formats to give you the foundation to build your skills as a 2nd and 1st AC.

Course Facilities

The NFTS has a range of over 50 film and digital video cameras, including 16mm, 35mm and Alexa Minis which you will have unparalleled access to. There is also a large stock of grip equipment available for a range of shoots.

What You Will Study

This course consists of three modules. You can take up to two years to complete all three modules allowing you the flexibility to fit the course in around your work schedule.

  • Working with Alexa Mini and Wireless Follow Focuses (Jan-Mar) On this module you’ll be working with Alexa Mini cameras and the W4PU Wireless Follow Focus. The course will be taught at both the NFTS, Panavision and Arri and you’ll get the opportunity to be taught by leading tutors in their fields. This module culminates in the production of 8 short 15 minute films where you and your classmates will act as 2nd and 3rd ACs under the guidance of a professional 1st AC.
  • Loading and working with 35mm and Alexa XT and Mini (May-Aug) On this module you learn about the various 35mm cameras from the Panaflex to the Arri Studio and LT cameras. You’ll be taught how to load, the relationship between you and the Lab and the differences in workflow of a digital and 35mm film project. This module culminates in the production of eight 20-30 minute films each with a substantial production budget. Again you and your classmates will act as the 2nd and 3rd AC crews and where suitable we will be looking for people to step up to the role of 1st AC.
  • Loading and working with 16mm (Sept-Oct) This module will be focused entirely on the art of 16mm which has seen a resurgence in recent years. You’ll get to handle cameras ranging from the Arri 416 and SR3s to the Aaton cameras. Again the module will end in the production of 8 short films on 16mm each with medium sized production budget. At this point for those of you who have already done the previous two modules we’ll be looking for as many of you as possible to step up as 1st ACs.

Information for international students

This course is open to UK applicants and EU/EEA Nationals with UK pre-settled/settled status (subject to meeting residency requirements) and applicants who are currently in the UK on a valid visa for the full duration of the course.

Fees and funding

Please visit our website for fees information. All production costs are included in the course fees, including the use of School facilities and equipment.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • Diploma
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Course Enquiries