Factual programmes are at the heart of the UK television schedules, whether it’s The Great British Bake-Off, GP's Behind Closed Doors or Gogglebox.
“I’ve gone from working in a pub to working for one of the largest, most prestigious broadcasters on the planet, doing exactly what I’ve always wanted to do.” Graduate George Richardson
If you want to learn from key industry figures – including commissioning editors and top producers – how mainstream factual programmes are developed, commissioned and produced today, then this year-long, part-time diploma is for you.
This part-time, evening course aims to give students the know-how and confidence to develop ideas for factual series and pitch them to commissioners.
The course is delivered in partnership with Discovery Networks International and ends with students given the opportunity to pitch an idea to their senior executives. One student pitched show will be ‘optioned’ securing £5,000 for further development with the support of a Discovery executive producer.
All NFTS students can attend the School’s masterclasses programme, with recent guests including Martin McDonagh (In Bruges, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri), Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Fleabag, Killing Eve), Asif Kapadia (Amy, Senna, Diego Maradona), Lynne Ramsay (You Were Never Really Here, We Need to Talk About Kevin), Louis Theroux, and M Night Shyamalan (The Sixth Sense, Glass).
Successful applicants will be invited to apply for the Discovery Networks International scholarship.
What you will study
Producers have overall responsibility for making programmes happen. They begin work in the development stage and work right through until the programme or series is delivered to the channel and transmitted. Therefore this unique course is structured around three key areas - developing shows and understanding the factual programming market; producing a show; and delivering a show and managing the show post transmission.
The course is part-time (one evening a week and occasional Saturdays) over twelve months and is delivered at Discovery’s UK headquarters in Chiswick, London. Participants will leave the course with a portfolio of material developed during the course, including ideas for factual shows, production bibles and treatments.
The course is made up of a number of modules and workshops, participants learn by ‘doing’ as well as understanding theory and developing a variety of practical and creative skills. Each of the modules will focus on the UK in the first instance and then compare and contrast approaches with the US market.
Fees for this course are as follows:
This course is only open to UK and EU/EEA applicants.
The tuition fees for January 2021 intake will be confirmed in June 2020, and are likely to be the same, or very similar to 2020.
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
Applicants will typically have some experience, if only at a junior level, in television and have the commitment to progress to a more senior role.
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; provide details of past achievements; demonstrate a clear focus for their future ambitions; and, crucially, show a passion for factual programming.
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.
Application deadline: 10 Sep 2020