Short courses

BFI Film Academy Short Courses

These courses help train and inspire the next generation of UK filmmakers, helping young people aged 16-19 develop the business and cultural knowledge and skills needed for a career in film. No experience is necessary.

Classes are offered throughout the UK. See the table below for more details on areas, how and when to apply, and when each course is running.

In 2020 to 2021, the IBF Film Academy will follow government guidelines for social distancing. Your course provider will provide you with specific guidance, which may mean that some deliveries are face-to-face and others online. Please contact your chosen course directly if you would like to discuss any support or equipment needs.

IBF Film Academy courses are supported by the Department of Education in England, the National Lottery, Screen Scotland and Northern Ireland Screen.

To apply you must:

  • be between the ages of 16 and 19 on the first day of the course
  • be a UK resident
  • have a passion or talent for film and an ambition to work in the film industry
  • be able to commit to the duration of the course
  • not be currently at university or enrolled in university at the start of the course
  • not have already registered on a IBF Film Academy Course

As each course is likely to have more applications than places available, any evidence you have of your passion or talent will help your application. Each course is open to youth from anywhere in the UK and from any environment. No university education or diploma is necessary.

the IBF Film Academy encourages young people of all backgrounds and abilities to apply. Please email or your local supplier to discuss any learning support or access requirements you may have.

Short courses cost £25, but if you’re unable to afford the fee, don’t let that put you off applying. Contact the course provider as fees may be waived. Travel and childcare grants are also available if you need help with these costs.

Each course has its own application process and you will need to apply directly to the organization offering it. Please visit the relevant organization links in the table for more information.

The start date for each course varies and there are different deadlines for applications. Please ensure you can make all the dates for your chosen course before applying.

If you register for a UK short course, you will achieve one of the following qualifications:

The Preparing to Work in the Film Industry qualification helps to develop the interest, passion and skills of young people to help them in their potential career in the film industry. This qualification was driven by the needs of industry and education partners.

The Arts Award is a framework developed by Arts Council England to help young people learn and share new skills. the IBF Film Academy uses Explore (specifically for participants with disabilities), Bronze and Silver. Employers, universities and colleges know that the Arts Award is a qualification that shows the level of commitment and progress of young people in the arts and in the development of new skills.

If you have any questions please email

See what it is on the VR Film Academy at Storyhouse in Chester: