Boosting Our Economy - Celebrating Our Culture - Enhancing Our Children's Education

Boosting Our Economy - Celebrating Our Culture - Enhancing Our Children's Education


Academy Programmes 2019/20

Funded by the Department for Communities through Northern Ireland Screen, the Creative Learning Centres will be running a series of Screen Academies in Belfast, Derry-Londonderry and Armagh aimed at any young person aged 16-19 with the talent and commitment to take up an exciting career within the screen industries.

BFI Film Academy 

Now in its 6th year the BFI Film Academy has successfully trained over 100 young people in film production.  You will have the opportunity to work as a crew to produce a short film as well as complete a Level 2 NCFE Award in Preparing to Work in the Film Industry.

As a BFI Film Academy participant, you will work with filmmakers and take part in a series of master classes and workshops with industry professionals, hear their top tips on how to get into and succeed in the film industry, get practice in developing your ideas and producing your own work.

The three Creative Learning Centre in Northern Ireland, Amma Centre (Armagh), Nerve Centre (Derry) and Nerve Belfast will be delivering the BFI Film Academy this Autumn.

Applications for the Academy are now available – see Nerve Belfast’s BFI page for more details.

Northern Ireland Screen Foundation Academy for Animation 

The Northern Ireland Screen Foundation Academy for Animation is now open for applications!

The Foundation Academy is a unique training programme focussing on 2D animation, providing training and hands-on experience of key job roles within the animation industry. Participants will be introduced to the animation production process, learn about design, have the opportunity to animate characters using industry standard software, visit several of the leading animation studios in Northern Ireland and complete an OCN Level 3 qualification in 2D Animation.

The Foundation Academy for Animation is open to any young person aged 16-19 throughout the region with the enthusiasm and commitment to take up a career within the animation industry and who is not currently attending university.

Animation is a major growth area in the creative industries in Northern Ireland and there is a high demand for skills and local talent in animation. Several of our leading animation companies, Sixteen South, Jam Media, Paper Owl and Dog Ears, are partnering with Nerve Belfast and the Nerve Centre in Derry/Londonderry to establish a career pathway into the industry.

Structure of the Foundation Animation Academy   

To allow for progression, the Northern Ireland Screen Foundation Academy for Animation will have two distinct phases.

Phase 1: Saturday, September 28, October 5, 12, and 19

Delivered in Nerve Belfast and Nerve Centre, Derry. 

These four training sessions, delivered by industry professionals, will introduce you to the animation production process and the theory and principles of animation. Everyone accepted on to the Foundation Academy will have the opportunity to complete a unit from an OCN Level 3 qualification in 2D Animation.

Phase 2: Saturdays November – March

Delivered in Nerve Belfast. 

On completion of Phase 1, you will be invited to apply to Phase 2 of the Foundation Academy. Phase 2 will provide creative skills development and technical training in many of the key job roles involved in the animation industry, including 2D drawing, rigging, lay-out, digital painting, compositing, in-betweening and storyboarding.

Phase 2 will include a production element linked to an OCN Level 3 qualification in 2D Animation. You will have the opportunity to visit local animation studios and receive training and guidance from leading industry professionals.

To apply visit:

If you have any questions please contact Laura Robinson at [email protected]

Deadline: Friday 20th of September 5pm

The Foundation Academy for Animation is funded by the Department of Communities through Northern Ireland Screen.

To hear more about the success of Foundation Academy for Animation click here

Games Development Academy 

The Northern Ireland Screen Games Development Academy is a unique training and experience programme, which focuses on core technical skills around computer game development and production. For the first time this course will be running in Derry~Londonderry at Nerve Centre, Magazine Street. If you are aged 16-19 and interested in finding out more about Games Industry in Northern Ireland then this is the Academy for you.


The Academy is a free course and will run each Saturday starting on Saturday, February 8 and finishing with a weekend of activities joining with the Belfast Games Development Academy on the March 28-29 weekend at the Nerve Centre, Derry~Londonderry. You will be introduced to the core facets of the games development process, from idea generation and character design, understanding game play, problem solving and refinement through to technical skills, under the guidance of industry professionals.

Whether you have experience with Games Development or not this Academy is a great place to get started. It is a great opportunity to find out more about the careers from those already working within the Games Industry in Northern Ireland and develop the skills that are needed to get into this growing industry.


Deadline for applications is Wednesday February 5.

Apply via the online form in the link below.  Please keep an eye on your email, you will be contacted once the applications have closed.  


Production Design and Film Construction Academy

The application for the Production Design and Film Construction Academy is now open for 16-19 year olds.

Interested in a career in the Film and Television Industry?

The Production Design and Film Construction Academies are unique training programmes focusing on the key craft and design and technical skills involved in the art and construction departments of film and television production. You will be introduced to the key roles of production designer, set designer, set decorator, costume designer, make-up, construction master and assistant roles and learn how these diverse job roles are performed on a production. You will receive training from industry professionals who are performing these job roles on some of the many productions taking place in Northern Ireland.

You will have the opportunity to choose an area to specialise in and work as part of the art or construction departments on a production which will be publicly screened at the end of the Academy. Training will take place in the former UTV studios at Havelock House, Belfast, currently managed by Flax Arts studios.

This academy will run in two phases with the first phase beginning in November until December.


During this first phase you will have the opportunity to attend a number of masterclasses and workshops facilitated by practitioners who are working in the film industry in Northern Ireland and beyond.  This is an opportunity to learn about the job role, departments, what it is like to work on a film production and what skills are need to pursue a job in the industry.  Once you apply you will be sent a link to book your place on however many masterclasses you would like to attend.  Working in the film industry is a collaborative process so understanding how each department works will definitely benefit you in your future career. Please see dates below:

  • Intro to the Art Department Art Direction with Barbara Ann Carville Tuesday 3rd December
  • Who’s who in the Art Department with Barbara Ann Carville Wednesday 4th December
  • Costume Design with Enda Kenny Saturday 7th December
  • Short Film Break Down and Practical with Barbara Ann Carville Saturday 7th December
  • Production Design Art Department with Kevin Fraser Tuesday 10th December
  • Makeup with Connie McGrath Thursday 12th and Friday 13th December


The second phase of the academies will commence in January through to May, during this phase we will be working on a production of a short Sci Fi Film to be shot at Havelock House Studios in April.  Participants will be invited to apply to be part of the art or construction departments and will work toward the shoot dates in April.  Each department will work on their own discipline creating and building what is needed for the short sci fi film.  The application for the phase of the academy will be released in January.

You must be aged 16 to 19 to apply for these academies, there is one application for both the Production Design and Film Construction Academy which you can access via the button below.
Further details will be sent to your email address, please ensure you submit the correct details.

Click HERE to apply.


To register your interest in any of the Academies, please provide your details on Nerve Belfast’s Academies Register.

For further information please contact Jennifer McAlorum at Nerve Belfast either by email [email protected] or phone 02890312094.

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