First established in 1971 and due to celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2021, the National Film and Television School (NFTS) has evolved to become a leading global institution, developing some of Britain and the world’s top creative talent. It is widely acknowledged to be the top school of its kind in the UK and one of the best internationally.
Directing and Producing Science and Natural History MA
The NFTS runs the only MA course of its kind in the UK, designed to fast track you into the industry. Run in partnership with BBC Studios, the course aims to give students the skills and expertise needed to direct science and wildlife productions, the know-how to produce and direct entire shows and the ability, confidence and knowledge to generate and pitch ideas and formats to commissioning editors.
The course includes masterclasses from industry experts, including the world-renowned BBC Natural History Unit, and work experience is available at major wildlife production companies. Our graduates have the opportunity to build a brilliant list of industry contacts and relevant skills for a career as a Producer/Director.
Students will carry out assignments in the specialist skills of long-lens, time-lapse and macro photography. In the 1st year, students will not only produce and direct, but also shoot and edit their 10-minute film. In the 2nd year they typically shoot their films, but they also collaborate with composers, editors and sound designers when they make their 20 to 25 minute graduation films. Science and Natural History 2020 film Life on The Rocks, directed and produced by graduate George Pretty won the Best Emerging Filmmaker category at the prestigious Jackson Wild 2020 Awards. The category also included a nomination for an NFTS first year film, Painted Ladies, directed by Megan Brown, a current student of the course.
The course is led by Bucy McDonald, who has been a Producer and Director across a number of popular science strands at the BBC, shooting on location in Europe, USA, New Zealand, Australia, Argentina and the Philippines, filming on land and underwater. She also worked for nearly a decade at the Natural History Museum making films for galleries, exhibitions and across digital platforms.
All production costs are included in the course fees, including the use of School facilities and equipment. Generous scholarships and bursaries are available.
Find out more at: nfts.co.uk/directing-and-producing-science-and-natural-history
Also see: Applications now open for the NFTS Science and Natural History MA