Filmmaking Diploma

Get ready to kick-start your career in film or TV.  Our one-year diploma gives you hands-on practical training in all aspects of filmmaking and equips you with the skills, knowledge and on-going support to excel in your chosen field.

Join our supportive network of film professionals and hone your craft in a small group within the nurturing environment of London’s best-loved film school. Our Filmmaking Diploma is the only fully comprehensive course of its kind, where you will learn your skills from practising Film and TV industry experts and be fully immersed in the production of your own films.

You’ll leave as a versatile filmmaker with an extensive showreel and a network of professional contacts. 95% of all LFA students start working in the film industry within three months of graduating – why not be one of them?

“The London Film Academy gave me the opportunity to meet important players in the industry. They have always been there to help me find my way and develop my knowledge, even after the course had come to an end.”  
Jean-Philippe Gossart, Filmmaking Diploma Graduate - ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’, ‘Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald’, ‘Justice League’

At a glance:

  • 12-month study time (minimum 30 hours per week)
  • Learn from practising, award-winning film & TV industry professionals
  • Create lifelong contacts within a community of professionals
  • Leave with versatile and adaptable industry skills and an extensive showreel
  • Opportunity to progress to BA or MA qualification
  • £23,000 all inclusive, no hidden costs (Bursary and Scholarship options available, please see FEES AND FUNDING section below)

Duration: 1 year, full-time
Intakes: Spring and Autumn each year
Hours: 30 per week (plus additional hours, incl. evenings and weekends)

Duration: 1 year, full-time
Intakes: Spring and Autumn each year
Hours: 30 per week (plus additional hours, incl. evenings and weekends)

Our intensive 12-month Filmmaking Diploma was the first of its kind to offer “full picture filmmaking”. You will learn the six key filmmaking disciplines: directing, producing, editing, screenwriting, cinematography and sound. In over 30 hours of practical tuition per week you will find out where your strengths lie, and move into the industry with a wealth of skills, useful contacts and practical knowledge.

All our tutors are film and TV industry professionals with a working knowledge of current practice and a host of impressive credits. Regular tutors include BAFTA winning Director Richard Kwietniowski, Screenwriter Michael Holden, Editor Peter Hollywood and Cinematographer Robin Vidgeon, while recent guest speakers have included Actor Diana Rigg, Producer Jan Harlan (‘Full Metal Jacket’) and Writer Sam Bain (‘Four Lions’ and ‘Fresh Meat’). Through tutor support, workshops and complimentary membership to LFA Filmmaker’s Club you gain access to a wide range of industry jobs, networking opportunities and work experience placements.

Unlike other film schools there are no hidden additional costs, all course materials and film budgets are included in your fees. You will work with both Super 16mm and high end digital cameras (such as the Arri Alexa or Sony FS7); learn the current industry software including Final Draft, Movie Magic EP Budgeting & Scheduling, Avid Media Composer and Adobe Premiere and work on a broad range of  projects and film shoots including: visual narratives, short films (two-, four- and eight-minute) and commercials. This all ensures that you leave LFA with an extensive showreel of work.
Graduation takes place at the British Film Institute (NFT1, BFI Southbank) where the graduation films are showcased on the big screen in front of invited industry guests, family and friends.


LFA Filmmaking Diploma is a multi-disciplinary hands-on course, designed to enable students to make creative decisions and receive constructive feedback in a safe, nurturing environment. Over three terms Filmmaking Diploma progresses naturally from a basic introduction to aesthetic and technical aspects of filmmaking to wider, more complex problems posed by film production.

Students explore in depth the narrative short film format, from concept and character to dialogue. A proportion of student scripts are selected to go through intensive workshops (script editing and written feedback) until they are ready to go into production. Students learn early on in the course that in the film business “writing is rewriting” and so modelling industry practice takes priority during the development period. 

Students are taught the fundamentals of directing, from looking at the script to pre-production, production and editing. Students are encouraged to take on the role of a storyteller and team leader. A number of individual projects (visual narratives) are set and the finished film analysed in the class. Students work with actors to understand staging, text analysis and casting. During the pre-production of graduation films students have one-to-one feedback and advice from an acclaimed film or TV industry director.

Students are trained in both line producing/production management and creative producing to maximise their opportunities for work in the film & TV industry. Students acquire a working knowledge of EP Budgeting & Scheduling software, contracts, copyright, distribution and the basics of financing for independent filmmakers (for both short and feature films). Students also receive pre-production and on-set support. 

Students cover a number of roles: director of photography, gaffer, camera operator, 1st and 2nd camera assistants and grip (track and dolly). Predominantly, students work with Super 16mm film cameras to understand thoroughly the nature of light, framing and the mechanics of film. Classes are taught by, and shoots are supervised by, many different members of the British Society of Cinematographers. Students are exposed to the highest standards of practice by some of the world’s leading directors of photography. 

Production Sound Recording
Students learn: the definition of sound and the physics behind it; the physical recording of production sound on digital recorders with a range of microphones including radio mics, working to a frame, multiple tracks, and the craft of sound design and track mixing. Some practical sessions are combined with cinematography and all graduation films are recorded with live sound. 

Editing & Post-Production Sound
Students work with existing drama material and rushes from student’s own individual projects to learn Avid Media Composer.. These practical sessions are woven together with theory lectures that include cutting techniques, filmic time and space, editing styles, setting audio levels and foley, a brief history of music in cinema and the aesthetics of film music, and a practical guide to working with a composer. 

Individual Film Projects and Commercials
Throughout the course students are given an opportunity to direct and work on a number of projects, including short films and commercials. Tutors guide and assess students through a formal shooting experience on Super 16mm film and/or digital formats with professional actors. This supportive environment is where students discover their strengths as they perform selected crew roles. Constructive feedback is an on-going process throughout the course – written assessments cover technical, creative and collaborative capabilities. 

Production of Graduation Films
Students pitch to secure a head of department role, such as director of photography, producer or director, and work as a team across a number of films, rotating through a variety of crew roles.  Role allocations are decided upon using student pitches, previous assessments and careers guidance.

Students are given relative autonomy in their decision-making and manage a several-thousand-pound budget – budgets in the thousands of pounds - students decide what proportion is spent on film stock, locations, actors and other production costs. Each crew role has its own clearly defined function and responsibilities, giving students an experience of the industry roles in conditions emulating those of a professional film set. A director works with a writer to develop the script and with an editor to edit the film.

We provide pre-production and on-set professional technical support. Students have the opportunity to apply their knowledge in a supportive environment and to find their own creative voice. 

Film Festival Attendance
Students are encouraged to attend events and screenings at a range of film festivals throughout the duration of the course. LFA is involved with a variety of film festivals both within the UK and Europe. In addition students are invited to attend workshops held at these festivals and facilitated by the LFA. Where possible, students will be issued with delegate passes for relevant festivals, where we actively encourage attendance at screenings or networking events. Such festivals may include the Encounters Film Festival or Aesthetica Film Festival (BAFTA qualifying festival).

Enhancing Students Film-School Experience
Together, students form lasting professional and personal relationships. LFA is a filmmaking community that operates like a production company. Students from all courses regularly support one another, thus enhancing their film-school experience: for example, the Screenwriting Diploma students submit scripts for production and join the sets of the Filmmaking Diploma students’ films.

All the excitement of seeing your work projected on the big screen is shared by your friends, family, cast and crew, at the LFA annual Graduation Ceremony & Awards which take place at the BFI. You are presented with your Filmmaking Diploma from the hands of industry personalities such as: Baroness Kidron, Nicolas Roeg and Roger Greaf.

To learn what some of our graduates are doing now you can read our Graduate Stories.

The Filmmaking Diploma fees are all-inclusive of film production budget and there are no hidden costs. 


The Filmmaking Diploma fees is £23,000 - This is inclusive of film production budgets and there are no hidden additional costs.

There a number of financially assisted places (bursaries) available per Filmmaking Diploma intake. These places are awarded on merit and at LFA's discretion. Please visit the Funding Your Studies section of our website for more information. For further information please contact our Admissions Coordinator on +44 (0) 207 3867711 or email

Age: minimum age 18 years.


Students who successfully complete LFA Filmmaking Diploma are eligible for direct entry to the following University of Derby programmes:

  • MA in Film and Photography [W690] 
  • MA Writing and Performance [W810]
  • BA (Hons) Film Production  [W617]

with the following credit transfer: 

  • Students with undergraduate qualification gain entry to Level 7 (MA) 120 Credits (students will be required to successfully complete an additional 60 credits at the University of Derby to achieve the award)
  • Students without undergraduate qualification gain entry to Level 6 (BA) 240 Credits  (students will be required to successfully complete an additional 120 Credits at the University to achieve the award) 

Taking the progression route means students get a unique opportunity to experience two types of learning environment both professional and academic. Students are able to effortlessly combine a year of unrivalled production experience at London Film Academy followed by an academic qualification to ensure that students graduate from the course as a highly employable prospect with an internationally recognised qualification, a wealth of important filmmaking skills and an impressive showreel of work.


To book your place on this course please apply via the APPLY NOW & COURSE DATES section. As soon as we've received your application we’ll send you a confirmation email containing information on the next steps. Please check your ‘Junk Mail’ folder if you appear to have not received this email.

  • Bachelors degree or equivalent, however, we may also consider students with a non-traditional background on the strength of their previous work experience and/or portfolio
  • Visual and written work submitted prior to attending an interview - we are looking for potential creative filmmaking ability as evidenced through visual and written material
  • All applicants must be fluent in English: English Language Level: Upper Intermediate
  • Some practical experience in film production is desirable, except in cases where student can demonstrate transferable skills in other relevant areas

What kind of students are we looking for?

  • Committed and dedicated people with a proven passion for filmmaking, and want a professional career in film or television
  • Collaborative, articulate and creative people who can demonstrate a strong instinct for the grammar of visual storytelling
  • Those who want a practical education across several key disciplines behind the camera either because you know you want thorough grounding in all areas of the filmmaking process or you are undecided about exactly which area of the film and television industry appeals to your strengths.

For General Admission

  • Complete application form online
  • CV
  • 2x References
  • One example written piece of work:  A critique of a film you have seen or a film script you have written
  • ​One example visual piece of work: A presentation of storytelling series of photos or a web link to a film you have made or a project you have done that reflects your interest in filmmaking

For Financial Assistance

  • All items listed above in 'For General Admission' section, and
  • A personal statement about why you should be awarded a bursary or scholarship.

To apply online please click on the course date below.

To apply by post please click here