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2024 Wildlife Film Courses Overview

We are still in the initial stages of planning our 2024 Wildlife Film Courses. However, we have posted this information here to let you know of our plans before we publish the details of each course. Should you wish any further information about any course 2024, please email us at
( The information below is relevant to all of our 2024 courses )

Course Planning:
This year we are going to do something very different. Instead of running our usual courses that focus a lot on the Isle of Mull and it’s wildlife. (We have run a total of 29 wildlife film courses on the Isle of Mull during the last 15+ years) We are going to run a series of six ‘interlinked’ courses that stretch up the whole of the west coast of Scotland. The courses will run from south to north, and the location of each course will differ from month to month.

2024 Course Dates:

Course Locations:
The Isle of Arran plus Knapdale and surrounding area
The islands of Islay and Jura, plus Oban and surrounding area
The Scottish Highlands (Rannoch Moor, Glen Etive, Glencoe & Benn Nevis and surrounding areas)
The Isle of Mull
The Isle of Skye
The Outer Hebrides, Wester Ross and Cape Wrath

Course overview:
This years courses overall ‘productions’ will follow on a presenter in a sea kayak paddling up the west coast of Scotland, with the intention of producing a series of 6 interlinked wildlife/Travel documentaries. Utilising a sea kayak will give us unprecedented access to all things wildlife as well as some extremely remote, seldom seen locations. The beauty of filming a journey with sea kayak is we will be able to film both on, and underneath the water; as well as on the land and from the air. The final film produced during each 4 week film course will make up one part of a six part wildlife/travel documentary series.

Ric Swift (The course instructor) is a very accomplished sea kayaker. It is now 25 years since he undertook a 3600 mile journey to be ‘The first person to paddle a sea kayak, solo, unsupported, around the whole of the British Isles’ for which he gained a Guinness World Record.

As a UK Wildlife Film School student, you do not need to have any experience in paddling a sea kayak to attend any of our 2024 courses, as you WILL NOT be paddling a sea kayak as part of your course.

Course Route:
(The first course (Pink on map)) will start in Ardrossan, near Ayr, on the mainland in Southern Scotland. From here we will travel out to, and around the Isle of Arran before crossing back to the mainland on Kintyre. Crossing through Knapdale via the Crinan Canal we will reach the outer sea just in time to cross over to the Islands of Islay and Jura (The second course White on map)). From Jura we will head north up the mainland coast to Oban. At Oban we will head inland for 4 weeks of filming in some of the most spectacular scenery that the Scottish Highlands has to offer (The third course (Red on map)), in Ranch Moor, Glen Etive, Glencoe and Benn Nevis range. After our visit to the Highlands we will cross over to the Isle of Mull (The fourth course (Blue on map)). After circumnavigating the Isle of Mull, we will head north again to paddle the southern half of the Isle of Skye (The fifth course (Green on map)), before crossing over to the Outer Hebrides (The sixth course (Orange on map)). Paddling up the whole length of the Hebrediean islands, we will make our final passage back to the mainland to travel the final section up the length of Wester Ross, before finally rounding the northernmost point of western Scotland at Cape Wrath and ending our journey in Durness.

Course Dates:
We will be running six 4-week wildlife film courses during the summer of 2024, from March through to August 2024. Should you wish to, you are able to join us for more than one course.
These will be practical courses, and you will need to be on location with us for the full duration of the course you book.

Course Booking Requirements:
You need to have booked and paid for your course in full, before the course closing date to be able to attend your chosen course.
All our courses are 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 any course after the course closing date of that course.

Number of Students:
To minimise our impact on the ground in reference to the size of our base-camps, there is a maximum of 4 students permitted on each course.

How to Book:
For more information on how to book on a course, please see our Booking page

Personal Filming Experience:
You do not need to have any previous film production experience to attend a course with the UK Wildlife Film School. (However a basic understanding about the principles of ‘how a lens works’ as well as ‘shutter speed’ and ‘exposure’ will help you)

We will take you through the whole process of producing a wildlife documentary film from start to finish including; script ideas, production ethics, script writing, presenter and voiceover-led productions, filming on location, recording audio on location and editing on location; as well as all the necessary logistics and camp-craft requirements to allow you to be able to successfully work in such a remote environment.
We can guarantee that four weeks of filming / working on location will give you an unprecedented amount of time for you to learn and improve both your camera and production skills in some truly fantastic locations. The west coast of Scotland by far is the best location in the UK to both see and film wildlife.

As a UK Wildlife Film School course student, you do not need to have any experience in paddling a sea kayak to attend any of our 2024 courses, as you WILL NOT be paddling a sea kayak as part of your course.

During all our 2024 courses we will be doing some filming underwater. To do this we will be using snorkelling equipment. As a student, you do not need to have any experience in snorkelling or filming underwater; however if you do, this will be to your advantage as you will be permitted to film underwater footage during your course.

During all our 2024 course we will be doing some arial filming. To do this we will be using drone equipment. As a student, you do not need to have any experience in flying a drone; however if you do, this will be to your advantage as you will be permitted to fly a drone / film with a drone during your course.

You entire four week long practical section of this course will be operating out of various tented basecamps situated in different locations throughout Western Scotland. Each course will have a maximum of 4 students working from a vehicle/s. The vehicle/s will have a course instructor and wildlife guide/driver, with the students occupying the rest of the vehicle. This vehicle/s will also carry everything logistical we need for our time in Scotland; as well as selection of 4K cameras, lenses, audio recording equipment and other production equipment; plus various grip, tripod and support equipment.
During the whole of your course we will living / working out of a tented basecamp; which will have electrical power via a petrol generator. For your comfort each student will have their own 2-man mountain tent.

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

As part of your course fees we will supply you with:
•  All 4K camera equipment
•  All ‘on location’ production equipment
•  All ‘on location’ 4K editing equipment
•  All basecamp tents and equipment
•  All staff and instruction
•  All vehicles and transportation overland required during your course

To apply for the paperwork to book on this course please – Click here
For more information on the Equipment Damage Waiver – Click here

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