Students awarded prestigious RTS bursaries

16 November, 2023

Screen and Film School is delighted to announce that five of our promising students have been awarded the Royal Television Society’s prestigious TV Production and Journalism Bursary.

This award promises a unique blend of financial support, free RTS membership, industry mentoring, exclusive event access, and invaluable networking opportunities throughout each academic year of study.

What is the Royal Television Society Bursary?

The Royal Television Society Bursary program stands out for its extraordinary commitment to tapping into the extensive network of RTS members, patrons, and supporters. By using this network, the RTS aims to show talented students that a career in television is not only attainable but also one where they can make a meaningful impact.

Each of the successful scholars for 2023 will receive financial support to help cover their expenses and living costs. Additionally, they will enjoy the benefits of a complimentary RTS membership throughout their academic journey, including an extra year after graduation. As they approach their final year of study, the RTS will arrange mentoring opportunities, connecting each scholar with one of its industry members.

“The RTS Bursary is an amazing resource for our students to be part of. Having four students successful from the Screen and Film is amazing for us. From a careers point of view, the level of networking our students will get as part of the programme is something a young person can only imagine.” – Judith Suckling, Careers Manager at Screen and Film School Manchester

Screen and Film School RTS bursary scholars

Five Screen and Film School students were selected for the TV Production and Journalism Bursary, excelling against intense competition to be amongst just 34 victorious applicants from across the country. Our accomplished students are:

Tom Saunders (Screen and Film School Brighton)

Amaar Zafar (Screen and Film School Brighton)

Niamh Quirke (Screen and Film School Brighton)

Nayan Sharma (Screen and Film School Manchester)

Charley Burke (Screen and Film School Manchester)

We caught up with our selected student scholars to get their thoughts on this exciting news, and to find out a bit more about the exclusive dinner and networking event they were invited to attend in London earlier this month.

“I was shocked when I first found out; the RTS is a prestigious society, so I suppose I wasn’t expecting to be one of the selected out of so many applicants. However, I am extremely proud of myself. It has definitely given me a lot of confidence and reassurance that I am on the right track and that I am a worthy scholar.

“The networking event was honestly so inspiring, and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to be there. I met many amazing people, from industry experts to fellow scholars who I will continue to grow with throughout this scheme. Meeting so many like-minded individuals has given me a better idea of the career path I would like to take. It has proven to me that, by simply being myself and working hard, I am beginning to see that I am going places. I am excited for my future as a Royal Television Society Bursary scholar.” – Charley Burke, Screen and Film School Manchester student

“Representing Manchester Screen and Film School at the RTS Dinner as a scholar was a milestone in my production career journey. The ceremony itself was a nexus of inspiration. I had the honour of discussing the craft of writing and the strategic art of pitching with esteemed writers Jack Thorne (This is England) and Jesse Armstrong (Peep Show, Fresh Meat), and engaging with luminaries from Netflix and Apple TV. These conversations, enriched by the academic foundation laid by our esteemed institution, were enlightening.

“The Masterclass with Ash Atalla (The Office) was equally pivotal, providing a platform to delve into industry intricacies through well-crafted questions, reflecting the depth of my educational experience. The entire evening was a testament to the invaluable connections and the practical embodiment of our curriculum in the television production landscape.” – Nayan Sharma, Screen and Film School Manchester student

Apple TV+ has stepped forward as a supporting partner for the program in 2023, joining established supporters like All3Media, the Steve Hewlett Memorial Fund, Hartswood Films, and STV.

The RTS has a commendable track record, having invested over £1 million in its bursary schemes and supporting 325 bursary scholars throughout their educational journeys. The program’s success and growth are largely attributed to the generous industry donations, which provide not only financial backing but also in-kind support, such as mentoring, networking events, internships, and work experience. These contributions have allowed the program to thrive and continue to make a lasting impact.

Huge congratulations once again to our incredible students. We can’t wait to see where their journeys take them.

Photo credits: Paul Hampartsoumian and Nayan Sharma


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