Access NFTS is a national outreach programme designed to find, inform and inspire a new generation of film, TV and games talent.

As the UK's national film and television school, it's our mission to seek out home grown British talent and to help it flourish. We want to meet and work with the film, television and games makers of the future - from school leavers to adults looking for a way into the industry - wherever they may come from and whatever their means so that they have the opportunity and support to reach their full potential.

Whether you want to go on to study with us at the NFTS or elsewhere, or get a junior job in the industry and work your way up, our access programme can help you take your career forwards.

Access NFTS is supported by

Universal logo

Access NFTS in Lockdown

We are living in unprecedented times and the NFTS is doing all it can to continue to support both its current students, potential future students and the industry as a whole. Online teaching, incredible Masterclasses from industry professionals and home delivery of essential resources has ensured our students are still getting the highest possible level of teaching and learning. Regular virtual mindfulness sessions and online drop ins with staff, along with a dedicated Covid 19 hardship fund also help to give students any support they need during this time. 

Pictures from Masterclasses
Incredible Masterclasses from great names like Ricky Gervais, Sandy Powell, Asif Kapadia, Steve McQueen and Krysty Wilson-Cairns

In terms of the wider world the NFTS still wants to engage with you so we have reworked our Access NFTS programme. Below you will find a review of the programme pre lockdown and future plans we are working on now for when things start to revert back. However in the meantime we are also posting information below of opportunities and information (from NFTS and other organisations) that you can access right now. So get involved, or simply enjoy meeting our students or watching clips from our screening room. 

From all of us at NFTS, stay well, stay safe and we look forward to seeing you again soon. 

Virtual Open Days

Virtual Open Days poster

During lockdown we still want you to be able to meet our staff and students and learn about our courses. These new 2 hour online events each focus on a different course at the NFTS. You still need to book your place, and then once confirmed you will be contacted with joining instructions. Each event will feature a course overview and Q&A with the Head(s) of Department, the chance to ‘meet’ current students/graduates, screening of  graduate work, as well as funding/fees information.  

Visit our Events and Open Days page for more information and/or to register your interest in future events.

60 Second Challenge

The NFTS understands that getting inspired and creative during self-isolation is incredibly challenging. So, in order to combat this, the School started the NFTS 60 Second Challenge.

Each week NFTS Heads of Department and tutors give the students a brief to make a 60 second film using their phones at home. We got a really great response from them and received some very creative and inventive submissions.

After seeing the response, the NFTS decided to open up the challenge to our followers on social media to encourage them to engage with the School and spark creativity at home. Following the success of this, we opened this up to our followers giving them a weekly brief with some fantastic submissions across #NFTS60secchallenge.

Free Training Courses and taster sessions
Explore Filmmaking: from Script to Screen
Camera person at work

During lockdown, the NFTS has been inundated with messages from GCSE and A-Level film and media students all looking for tips on how they can best make use of their time during this difficult period. As always we wanted to do our bit to help, launching Explore Filmmaking: From Script to Screen, a completely free six week course, which is available to anyone interested in filmmaking.

The aim of the course which requires no specialist film-making skills, is to deepen the understanding of the filmmaking process and show participating students how to take it further. Whether they are a budding filmmaker or a film fan who wants to understand more about what happens behind the scenes, Explore Filmmaking: From Script to Screen will cover a variety of film production specialisms from writing and directing to cinematography, editing and composing.

Each week, the filmmaker host will use examples from their work as well as films that have influenced and inspired them. Students will develop a more insightful appreciation of the films they watch (and there is certainly no shortage of content available to view and catch up on while in quarantine!)

Explore Filmmaking: From Script to Screen was developed by Jon Wardle, NFTS Director with support from the BFI Film Academy and FutureLearn.

To find out more and learn from award-winning filmmakers how films go from script to screen sign up on the FutureLearn website.

Meet our Students

In this section we will be posting profiles and videos from our current students discussing their experiences at the NFTS but also about how they got to this point in their career along with their aspirations for the future.

Also we may introduce to some non students, but friends of the NFTS. We are going to start with this year's new model characters! 

Each year the NFTS Model Making students create their own brilliantly original stop frame animation puppets as one of their modules on the one year full-time Model Making Diploma.

This year’s brief was to make a stop-motion puppet for a pre-school television series.

Meet their incredible puppets (including PERO pictured below) here.

Model Making Model Pic

Free Masterclasses

In this section we will post about our Masterclasses that are available for you to stream for free.

NFTS Masterclass of Masterclasses
Closing its doors in March due to the pandemic, the NFTS was keen to keep students feeling inspired and supported while they studied from home. The School reached out to over 50 high profile names and past alumni including Sam Mendes, Elisabeth Moss, Stephen Fry, Sally Wainwright, Edgar Wright, Danny Boyle, Malorie Blackman, Marielle Heller and a host of others who all signed up to deliver exclusive Virtual Masterclasses from their own homes. This 90 minute video montage features highlights from some of the masterclasses held online for NFTS students during lockdown in 2020. Watch here.

Terry Gilliam
With a career spanning over six decades, pioneering director, writer and animator Terry Gilliam, known for his visionary body of work including Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and Brazil, gave a Masterclass with a difference to NFTS students to celebrate his highly acclaimed career and mark his recent milestone 80th birthday. Watch here.

Jina Jay, Shaheen Baig and Jane Arnell | Casting Masterclass
Hear NFTS Director, Dr Jon Wardle in discussion with renowned Casting directors Jina Jay (Black Mirror, Bird Box), Shaheen Baig (Peaky Blinders, Free Fire) and NFTS Casting Course Leader Jane Arnell (Deep Blue Sea, Suspects) talking about the role of the Casting director and the new NFTS Casting Certificate course supported by the CDG (The Casting Directors' Guild of Great Britain & Ireland). Watch here.

Nick Rowland & Joe Murtagh | Calm with Horses
Just a few short years since graduating from the NFTS, graduates Nick Rowland and Joe Murtagh enjoyed a virtual homecoming during a Masterclass hosted by NFTS Director Jon Wardle to celebrate the release of their stunning debut feature film, Calm with Horses. Watch here.
The film is available to rent now from the BFI player. There is also a live Q&A with Nick on the BFI YouTube channel. The channel also hosts a lot of other interesting clips and interviews. 

Sally Potter | The Roads Not Taken
We were excited to hold our first Instagram Live Masterclass on with renowned Director and Screenwriter, Sally Potter. Watch here.
Sally's film The Roads Not Taken starring Javier Bardem and Elle Fanning is available on Digital and On Demand.

Bitesized at NFTS logo

Register for our new online bite-sized short courses now! These are fee paying courses with prices ranging from £35 - £75 per course. Course include;

  • Sketch-Writing for TV and Radio
  • Comedy Writing
  • Pitch Surgery
  • Narrative Directing Analysis
  • Writing a Micro-Short

Check out the full list of available courses here.

Useful Links

In this section we will highlight any links, either here at the NFTS or from other related organisations that we feel might be of interest to you. The below links are aimed at a variety of audiences.  

  • Screenskills are hosting masterclasses online through lockdown. Find out more here.
  • Discover Creative Careers have a whole host of online opportunities available including a great Disney Pixar animation course. find out more here.
  • BFI have a screening platform with various levels of membership, including a free one. Check out some free films here.
  • The National Theatre are showing some of their productions via their You Tube channel. Details can be found here.
  • For the younger age range, watch interview, enter competition and access event on the BAFTA Kids website here
  • If musicals are your thing, check out the weekly releases on 'The Show Must Go On' YouTube channel here.
  • Visit the BFI at home webpage, showing contemporary and classic cinema for free
  • Creative England has a lot of shorts and features along with lots of information here.
  • The BFI Network website hosts lots of podcasts and features related to careers in the film and TV industry, more details here.
  • BAFTA offer a programme of events and screenings you can access here
  • BAFTA Guru is a great source of career information and inspiration for you here 
  • YGD is for young games designers out there, find out more here
  • Fancy learning how to make a stop motion animation, Animator Tim Allen has a tutorial for children right here
  • Fans of Wallace and Gromit know they were born at NFTS and now live at Aardman studios, There are some great articles on different careers and student diaries on the Aardman Academy website.
  • The BBC have a great page about careers in film, TV and Games, with insight from professionals and great videos about working in the industry.
  • Channel 4 have the 4Talent webpage, with information on apprenticeships, work experience, training and events.

and of course, be sure to check out the NFTS Screening room website for clips of students work, showreels, trailers and promos taking you behind the scenes at the school. 

Access NFTS, Past, Present and Future

Access NFTS launched in September 2019. In its first few months the scheme has engaged with over 8000 people across the UK. This has been through a series of events including;

  • Careers fairs
  • Industry Marketplaces
  • Workshops
  • Masterclasses
  • NFTS visits

The main focus of the programme though has been to take NFTS around the country through a series of Pop Up events. So far we have visited;

  • Glasgow
  • Edinburgh
  • Bristol
  • London
  • York
  • Birmingham
  • Leeds

We have also visited Beaconsfield schools, colleges, and community groups and welcomed groups on site at the NFTS campus.  So far our events have covered multiple behind the camera careers including;

  • Digital effects
  • Screenwriting
  • Production design
  • Production Management
  • Producing
  • Model Making
  • Animation
  • Games Design
  • TV Entertainment
  • Commercials
  • Documentary

All of the events have given opportunities to those not for people from the age of 11 upwards to meet staff, students and alumni of the NFTS and help broaden knowledge and raise aspirations for those interested in the film TV and games industry.

A priority for the Access NFTS scheme is to work in partnership with other organisations and to help those from more disadvantaged backgrounds or those groups underrepresented in the industry currently ensure opportunities to experience. Relationships have already been formed with the BFI, Ghetto Film School, Bucks Skills Hub and London Screen Academy.  

Whilst on lockdown we are looking at how we can make the programme bigger and better for the future. We are working with current NFTS staff and students along with alumni, local school and college staff and organisations with similar aims and objectives. The end result will be a comprehensive programme of events and resources, both physical and virtual, to help inform about the opportunities and careers available in the creative industries and raise the aspirations of those who feel it is not currently a path open to them.  

During this time of reflection and planning if you have any thoughts on how the NFTS could support you, your pupils, students, children, colleagues in pursuing or learning about a career in this industry then please do get in touch

Student group shot 1.Student group shot 2Student group shot 3Student group shot 4Student group shot 5Student group shot 6


For more information on Access NFTS please contact Head of Outreach, Joe Bradbury-Walters |  

Be part of the story.

Be part of the story.

Find a course