Diploma in Wildlife Documentary Film-Making

Why Us


Isle of Mull

Isle of Arran



with 8 weeks of filming on location in 4K

The UK Wildlife Film School is extremely proud to announce that we are now offering a 16 week, SCQF Level 8 ´Diploma in Wildlife Documentary Film–making´ course built around an 8 week practical section of filming on location on the Isle of Mull in Scotland.
The Diploma has been independently assessed and accredited by the Centre for Credit Rating at Napier University in Edinburgh under the Scottish Credit and Qualification Framework.

This Diploma means that…
The UK Wildlife Film School is the only independent wildlife film school in the world
offering its students an ´internationally recognized SCQF Level 8 Diploma qualification´

Course Dates:
Monday 4th June to Friday 21st September 2018.

Please note that – Although this as an 16 week course, there is an 8 week ´Practical Section´ (2nd July to 24th August 2018) of the course that you need to attend on the Isle of Mull in Scotland.
Before the start of this practical section there are 4 weeks of pre-course study and paperwork; and then a further 4 weeks of study and paperwork, after the practical section of the course has finished.

Closing Date:
The closing date for this course is the 6th April 2018.
This course is booked on a ´First-come, First-served´ basis, so it is highly recommended that you book early to secure your place. You will not be able to book on this course after this date.
Please Note: Places on this course are now being filled.

How to Book:
To pay the booking deposit or fully book on this course please complete our enquirers / booking form.

Accreditation Certification:
To view a copy of the accreditation certificates awarded to The UK wildlife film school by CCR at Napier University. (Click here)

Course Outline:
The entire ´practical section´ of this course will be located on the Isle of Mull, operating out of various basecamps situated in different locations around the island. The course will consist of 8 weeks of filming, editing and producing a wildlife documentary film out on location.

Each day will consist of filming out on location and working on a rough edit during the evening from the footage filmed. The last 10 days of the course will be a block session of editing, consisting of the final edit and prettification of your final film, in and around base camp.
You will be tasked to complete a 45 minute broadcast standard wildlife documentary about the island, the wildlife found there and your time on the island filming.
The final film can be presenter led or have an accompanying voiceover, as well as a selection of background music and additional text and graphics, as required.

Eight weeks on location will give you an unprecedented amount of time for you to learn and improve both your camera and production skills. The course will take you through all the stages of -

•  Initial program / script ideas & brainstorming
•  Script writing
•  Production ethics
•  Presenter lead programming
•  Presenters' scripting
•  Animal observation & tracking
•  Filming on location
•  Filming a Presenter on location
•  Sound recording on location
•  Video editing on location
•  Audio editing on location
•  Production of final film / documentary
•  all necessary logistics & camp-craft

(We will also cover the elements below at various points during the course (Time Permitting))
•  Locating / tracking Animals
•  Map & compass work
•  Navigation overland without a map
•  Route planning
•  Camp placement & orientation
•  Base camp management
•  Water management & sanitation
•  Emergency procedures & actions

Course Location:
Just what can we tell you about the Isle of Mull… this is the island where it all started. Our very first course was run here way back in 2007 and to date we have now run 24 courses on the island and its surrounding smaller Isles, and we can honestly say, long will it remain to be one of the jewels in the wildlife calendar of the United Kingdom.

The whole island is such an amazing place that we think you could run a wildlife film school here and never leave the island. From the coral beaches, to the vast shingle mud flats in the sea lochs, from the sea lochs themselves to the range of mountains in the center of the island, and from the major diversities between the north of the island and the Ross of Mull in the south, anyone visiting here will never be short of locations in which to film.

The Natural History of the Isle of Mull:
The Isle of Mull is the second largest island of the Inner Hebrides, after Skye, lying off the west coast of Scotland. Mull is also the fourth largest Scottish island and the fourth largest island surrounding Great Britain. Mull has a coastline of approximately 300 miles that is made up on many coves and inlets but mainly 4 large peninsulas which are predominantly moorland, radiate from the center and sea lochs. Mull has a mountainous core, the highest peak being Ben More, which reaches over 900 meters. The waters around Mull are affected by the Gulf Stream, which in turn brings coral sands with it making some of Mulls many beaches, so of the best in the world.

The island is home to hundreds of types of birds including the White-tailed Eagle, which when re-introduced in the nearby Island of Rum migrated to Mull, where it now has a stronghold, as well as several other birds of prey such as Hen Harriers, Golden Eagles and Short eared owl, which are all difficult to see elsewhere in the UK.

The island one of the primary locations in the UK for seeing some of Britain's more elusive wildlife species. I have personally seen Basking sharks and dolphins from the coast. The island is also home to a large and thriving population of Otters that live in many coastal habitat, and can often be seen hunting during the day.

Further Information:
The closing date for booking this course will be Friday 6th April 2018.
This course will have a maximum of 8 students working with a 4x4 Land Rover. This vehicle will have a wildlife guide/driver, with the students occupying the rest of the vehicle. The Land Rover will have three 4K cameras plus an audio field recording boom kit; as well as other smaller cameras such as a DJI Osmo, a Phantom4 quadcopter (for filming 4K ariel footage) as well as some smaller 4k cameras fitted in prominent places to be able to film additional footage from both inside and outside the vehicle.
During your course we will overnight in a tented basecamp.

You do not need to have any experience to attend the course. However a basic understanding about how the principles of how a lens works, as well as shutter speeds and exposure will help you.
We will take you through the whole process of production; from filming on location to writing a script in reference to what you have filmed, presenter or voiceover led productions, editing a ´rough edit´ of your film, adding voiceover and music (if required) and the undertaking a final edit with tasks such as colour correction, key-framing and time re-mapping.
We will spend the whole of the first week instructing you in the use of both the cameras and the audio recording equipment on location; as well as other items of production/grip equipment.
The last 10 days will be a dedicated editing session where you will produce the final ´polished´ copy of your film.

As part of your course fees we will supply you with -
•  £50,000 of 'in-house' 4K camera equipment
•  £15,000 of location & production equipment
•  £10,000 of 'on location' editing equipment
•  £5,000 of basecamp equipment
•  All staff and instruction
•  Any additional paperwork costs, such as submitting your diploma for accreditation
•  All vehicles and transportation overland required during your course

Places on this course are now being filled; and as all of the UK Wildlife Film School courses are booked on a ´First-come, First-served´ basis, so it is highly recommended that you book early to secure your place.
You are not able to book after the closing date, Friday 6th April 2018

Please Note: Flights to the UK are not included in your course fees as our students fly in from many different destinations around the world.

Diploma Details:

Module 1 - Research of and preparation of wildlife programming (On–line Module)
Module 2 - Fundamental production skills
Module 3 - Audio recording in the field
Module 4 - Production, Post-production & editing
Module 5 - Application of foundation skills in documentary production on location
Module 6 - Evaluation of overall standard of a wildlife documentary (On–line Module)
(Modules 2, 3, 4 & 5 take place on the Isle of Mull in Scotland)

Programme Aims:
•  To demonstrate and teach all the necessary fundamental basics of wildlife film production through the use of continuous, hands-on workshops and practical experience working/operating out on location. (Camera operation, Audio recording, post-production editing)
•  To demonstrate and teach how to successfully work from a basecamp on location, so as not to pollute or disturb the environment that a television production crew is working in.
•  To demonstrate how to work in the environment actively filming wildlife, without adversely disturbing the wildlife within that area.
•  To produce a ´Broadcast Standard Wildlife Documentary´ whilst out on location, during the 8 week practical section of this 16 week film course.

Programme Intended Learning Outcomes:
•  Demonstrate the ability to critically research and prepare for a wildlife filming assignment, taking into consideration production, logistics, ethical and budgetary requirements
•  Demonstrate core abilities in reference to the fundamental production skills used during wildlife film making
•  Exhibit the ability to film video footage in the field to a professional standard
•  Exhibit the ability to record audio in the field to a professional standard
•  Understand and implement a range of professional standards of skills required in post-production & editing
•  Apply a professional level of skills required to produce a broadcast standard wildlife documentary on location
•  Evaluate the standard of the documentary produced, against the recognised ´Broadcast Standards´ of Wildlife Filmmaking

Knowledge and Understanding:
By the end of this course the student will have a –
•  Comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the defining features of various production values, within different styles of production
•  Comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the operation of television equipment for different styles of production
•  Critical knowledge and understanding of the operation of television and video camera equipment in the field
•  Critical knowledge and understanding of different types of audio recording in the field
•  Critical Knowledge and understanding of editing video and audio on location
•  Comprehensive knowledge and understanding of professional techniques required to produce a broadcast standard wildlife documentary.
•  Comprehensive knowledge and understanding of data and what it represents and how to record it

Skills and Other Attributes:
By the end of this course the student will have –
•  Developed an advanced level of subject specific research skills into key concepts and issues within wildlife documentary production
•  Gained the ability to correctly operate television equipment for different styles of production
•  Learnt to undergo all stages of audio recording to a professional standard, to accompany a fully finished wildlife documentary
•  Gained the ability to use different types of editing equipment and editing software systems to produce a fully finished wildlife documentary with narrative
•  Gained the ability to use and professionally manage different types television camera, audio recording and editing equipment to produce a fully finished, broadcast standard, wildlife documentary
•  Learnt to collect, record and analyse various pieces of data into categories that will display a final ´visual standard´ of the value of the documentary produced

Your Diploma Course Certificate will be awarded by The UK Wildlife Film School.

To view a copy of the accreditation certificates awarded to The UK wildlife film school; and the points value for each module as accredited by the Center for Credit Rating.Click here

Invest in your future…
Invest in your education…
Invest in a “Diploma in Wildlife Documentary Film-making” and get one step ahead of your competition.

This programme is managed, delivered and awarded by The UK Wildlife Film School and leads to an award on the Scottish Credit & Qualifications Framework. The Diploma has been credit rated by the Center for Credit Rating at Edinburgh Napier University, Scotland.
The ´SCQF´ Logo is used with permission from Pauline Sutton, Scottish Credit and Qualification Framework.
The ´EQF´ Logo is used with permission from Pauline Sutton, Scottish Credit and Qualification Framework.

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