'SCQF Level 8'
Diploma in Wildlife Documentary Film-Making
in Wester Ross and Sutherland
Isle of Mull
Spend 8 weeks filming here in this truly remote location.
Whilst most people head towards Scotland's wonderful north west coast, the majority of them cross over the bridge to the Isle of Skye; but for those looking for truly remote areas of the Scottish Highlands, then time spent in the Wester Ross and Sutherland is time well spent.
The boundaries of Wester Ross and Sutherland lye to the south with the Isle of Skye, and to the north by way of the imposing Cape Wrath. The area between filled with superb scenery, fantastic array of truly wild wildlife, thousands of timeless filming locations, imposing mountain peaks, unspoilt sandy beaches made from the golden Caribbean sands, and the most beautiful sunsets you can imagine. Wester Ross National Scenic Area covers 1635¬†km2 of countryside and coastline, and is the largest of the national scenic areas in terms of land area. Wester Ross was designated as a Biosphere Reserve in April 2016. There are many different habitats in Wester Ross, ranging from the marine and coastal environment to mountain summits over 1000¬†m above sea level.
The Natural History of the Wester Ross & Sutherland:
Moorland habitats, which are rare globally, are quite common in Wester Ross. The moors are home to such breeding birds as golden plover, greenshank and dunlin, along with a resident population of red grouse.
The summits of Wester Ross host alpine and sub-alpine heaths comprising mosses, liverworts and lichens, and dwarf shrubs such as alpine bearberry, juniper, crowberry, and cowberry. Beinn Eighe is the only known site for the Northern prongwort in the UK, and represents 75% of the known world population.
Bird species in the area of Wester Ross also include the very illusive ptarmigan, dotterel and snow bunting, along with raptor species such as golden eagle, white tailed sea eagle and merlin.
As of 2014, it was estimated that there were 98 breeding pairs of white tailed sea eagle living along the west coast of Scotland.
The coastline is mostly formed of cliffs and rocky shores covered with barnacles and seaweed. These cliffs are home to large numbers of seabirds such as puffins, fulmars, kittiwakes, razorbills, guillemots, black guillemots, cormorants and shags, whilst the plethora of rocky islets are important for both grey and common seals.
Whales, dolphins, porpoises and seals area frequently seen in the outer lochs and open waters, whilst the more sheltered sea lochs contain rocky reefs, and deep mud banks. The rivers and lochs of Wester Ross support important populations of Atlantic salmon and sea trout. Freshwater pearl mussels live in the gravel beds of clean, fast flowing rivers, and the population is now of international importance.
Otters and water voles are both present in strong numbers in the rivers of Wester Ross; and the sea lochs also support internationally important concentrations of breeding black-throated divers.
Monday 3rd June to 20th September 2019.
During this time you will spend 8 weeks on location in Scotland filming.
( We are now taking bookings for this course )
Please note that – Although this as an 16 week course, there is an 8 week ´Practical Section´ (Monday 1st July to Friday 24th August 2019) 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.
The closing date for this course is the Monday 25th March 2019.
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.
Module 1 - Online - Research of and preparation of wildlife programming
Module 2 - On location - Fundamental production skills
Module 3 - On location - Audio recording in the field
Module 4 - On location - Production, Post-production & editing
Module 5 - On location - Application of foundation skills in documentary production on location
Module 6 - Online - Evaluation of overall standard of a wildlife documentary
To view a copy of the accreditation certificates awarded to The UK wildlife film school by CCR at Napier University. click here
How to Book:
To pay the booking deposit or fully book on this course please complete our Enquirers / Booking Form
The entire 8 week long ´practical section´ of this course will be located in the Wester Ross and Sutherland in the upper north west Scotland, operating out of various basecamps situated in different locations around the whole area. 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 a base camp.
You will be tasked to complete a 45 minute broadcast standard wildlife documentary about the region of Wester Ross and Sutherland, the wildlife found there and your time 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.
This course will have a maximum of 8 students working out of two Land Rovers. This vehicle will have a wildlife guide/driver, with the students occupying the rest of the vehicles. The Land Rovers will have three 4K cameras fitted plus an audio field recording boom kit; 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. 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
• Operating camera & production equipment
• Recording sound & audio
• Filming on location
• Filming a Presenter on location
• Video editing on location
• Audio editing on location
• Production of final film / documentary
• All necessary filming logistics necessary
(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
• Successful route planning in wilderness areas
• Carrying and movement of large film equipment
• Camp placement & orientation
• Base camp management
• Water management & sanitation
• Emergency procedures & actions
Course Fees & Equipment:
The course fees for our 2019 Wester Ross Diploma Course will be £5500 per student
Plus an Equipment Damage Waiver of £1000 per student
- Making the total course fees payable for each student £6500
As part of your course fees we will supply you with:
• £60,000 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 for the duration of the course
• The cost of all filming permits
• The cost of all location fees
• The cost of all camping fees
• Any additional paperwork costs, such as submitting your diploma for accreditation
• All vehicles and transportation overland required during your course
To read a breakdown of the Diploma Course syllabus click here
To apply for the paperwork to book on this course please complete our Booking form
( Please Note: You are able to pay for your course in instalments) For more information click here
For more information on the Equipment Damage Waiver click here
• 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, Monday 25th March 2019)
Please Note: Flights to and from Scotland are not included in your course fees as our students fly in from many different destinations around the world.
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 Napier University, Edinburgh. click here
Invest in your future…
Invest in your education…
Invest in this “specialist” 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. It has been credit rated by Edinburgh Napier University, but is not an Edinburgh Napier University course / award.
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.