Entry requirements

Above all, you’ll need a strong social awareness and a keen desire to translate that awareness into stories told with a personal voice.

Our students come from a wide variety of backgrounds and have usually had some previous experience of filmmaking, though this may not be at a professional level. 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.

Months of entry


Course content

Give yourself the tools and the confidence to become a successful documentary maker.

We put storytelling at the centre of the filmmaking process, while at the same time encouraging you to experiment and develop your personal voice. You'll get the best practical experience possible, making 4 films during your time on the course.

You'll collaborate with students in other specialisms to make several films and participate in practical projects, developing the vital skills of both directing and collaboration, as well as learn about commissioning, and the legal and finance side of getting a film made.

You'll also access vital networking opportunities as you will meet Industry professionals and attend at least one film festival. From the start to the end of the documentary filmmaking process - you'll leave fully prepared to launch yourself, and your films, into the Industry.

Course Facilities

Throughout the course, you will have access to Industry standard production facilities. You will be trained to use digital 4K cameras, a range of sound recording equipment and editing software.

What You Will Study

You will direct and shoot four films during the course of the MA. The first year consists of four practical exercises, increasing in length and complexity. These focus on the techniques and approach of a specific documentary genre: observation, sound and music, character–led narrative and an enquiry. You’ll collaborate with editors, sound recordists, sound designers and composers, and are encouraged to build relationships with cinematographers and producers. You are also expected to know how to work alone.

The second year includes three projects: a graduation film in which you’ll synthesise what you have discovered in the first year, and use it to challenge conventional approaches to documentary; an MA dissertation in which you reflect on a documentary topic that has intrigued you during the course; and the opportunity to develop a project to take out to the Industry.

The second year also consists of a visit to a film festival, meetings with broadcasters and contact with industry professionals alongside seminars on commissioning, legal requirements, financing and distribution.

Information for international students

This course is open to UK/EU/International students.

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.

The NFTS is committed to ensuring it is open to students of genuine ability, no matter what their background or financial circumstances, 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.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MA
    full time
    24 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Course Enquiries