Factual programmes are at the heart of the UK television schedules, whether it’s '24 Hours In Police Custody', 'Gold Rush', 'Long Lost Family', 'The Great British Bake-Off', 'GP's Behind Closed Doors' or 'Gogglebox'. 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.
The world's first Diploma course in Factual Development and Production delivered with a major worldwide broadcaster.
-Delivered in partnership with Discovery Networks International.
-Opportunity to pitch to Discovery executives
-Potentially win £5,000 development funding for your own programme proposal
-Part-time, evening course.
-Regular Industry speakers.
-Develop ideas for factual series and pitch them to commissioners.
We welcome EU/EEA Students. Course fees charged at UK rate.
Senior Tutor Simon Broadley, currently commissioning the factual output for STV, is responsible for delivering the course, and said: "The most common reaction I get from the guest speakers themselves is, 'I wish there'd been something like this when I was starting out'.
The course commences in January each year. 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.
Students will be taught by leading producers and commissioners responsible for some of the UK’s most iconic UK factual shows such as Educating The East End, Salvage Hunters and Bear Grylls.
'After working in film for a couple of years, I thought the transition to factual television would be relatively smooth. But I struggled to find interesting, meaningful work - until I started at the NFTS. The support we got from our tutor and the confidence it gave me was invaluable. Within a few weeks I had secured a permanent position at an indie and am now an Assistant Producer, working on a wide range of projects.' - Katharine Fish. 2015 Graduate
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 will end with students pitching an idea to senior executives from Discovery Networks International; one student pitched show will be ‘optioned’ securing £5,000 for further development with the support of a Discovery executive producer.
Specifically participants will learn about:
-Factual programming trends in the UK and US
-Developing and Researching programme ideas
-Pitching an idea
-Working with Talent On and Off Screen
-Budgeting and Scheduling
-Health and Safety
-Shooting the Scene
-Working in the Edit
-Writing Voice Over
-360-degree ways of working
-Working with Press and Marketing
-Delivering a show for a UK Broadcaster
-Working with different types of broadcasters in the UK and US
Students graduate able to:
-Develop and pitch marketable factual programme ideas
-Build and manage factual teams
-Produce factual programmes
-Meet the delivery requirements of different broadcasters in the UK and US
-Critically analyse factual programmes
The course advisory board includes commissioners and established series producers:
-Aaqil Ahmed - Head of Commissioning – Religion TV and Head of Religion & Ethics - BBC Religion and Ethics
-Ade Rawcliffe – Diversity and Talent Manager – Channel 4
-Alexis Price – Head of Development – Renegade Pictures
-Alyson Jackson – Head of Production Management at Discovery Networks International
-Chris Shaw – Editorial Director, ITN Productions
-Dan Korn – Head of Factual at Discovery Networks International
-Denman Rooke – Managing Director, October Films
-Dimitri Doganis – Founder, Raw
-Emma Morgan – Head of Popular Factual – Oxford Scientific Films
-Jane Root – Chief Executive, Nutopia
-Maxine Watson – Acting Head of Documentary - BBC
-Rob Carey – Creative Director, Curve
4 x £5,000 Discovery scholarships are available to students on this course.
Discovery and the NFTS encourage applications from the brightest and best talent out there….from all backgrounds. To reaffirm our commitment to supporting exceptional talent and diversity in the media and broadcasting industries, we are encouraging applications from gifted individuals and under-represented groups, and have scholarships on offer to four of the successful candidates. These will be awarded to stand out talent who can demonstrate that without this funding they would not be able to afford the course, or who can demonstrate they bring a unique and distinct perspective to the course.