Elstree Studios Academy
Elstree Studios Academy is the industry school for 14 to 19 year olds specialising in multimedia arts, performance and production technology. This page is designed to give you a quick glance at this creative institution and a brief insight into the courses and student experience you can expect to find here.
For a more detailed overview, please visit our website where you can find our online prospectus with full details of all our subjects, teaching staff, industry links and professional opportunities. Engage with our community and keep up to date with all that’s happening at ESA via our social media channels on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Love Learning. Make Magic.
We say ‘Love Learning Make Magic’ because when you actually want to be at college or work; when you’re happy and motivated; when you are in love with what you’re doing – magic happens. We see it all the time in student productions; in the creative collaborations between artist, performer and backstage technician. Learners flourish here because they care about what they’re doing and they love their areas of study. We are obsessive believers in the magic of the creative arts and the culture industries.
We work with state of the art kit in a new purpose build campus under the guidance of specialist educators and industry partners. If you are a creative and brave thinker with a passion for media, art, performance, production and digital technology then ESA offers a bespoke curriculum and a chance to develop insight into this vibrant creative sector, whilst attending a free and inclusive industry school and sixth form college.
The journey to industry success
Pre 16: Key Stage 4 (14-16)
Begin your journey at KS4, studying career relevant courses in a like-minded community of committed creatives and technicians. Our KS4 curriculum offers you more creative subjects than mainstream schools allow. Alongside these creative options, we provide fundamental core studies in GCSE Maths, English and Science.
Post 16: Key Stage 5 (16-19)
In our sixth form, we provide ‘hands on’ courses and A-level pathways designed to be relevant and credible to our industry specialism. We also offer the Arts Council Gold Award and the chance to achieve an independent Extended Project Qualification.
We train students professionally for a wide range of future opportunities including employment, university and apprenticeships, including with our professional partners such as the University of Hertfordshire Elstree Studios, BBC, LifeCast, Smile Productions, ColourSound and WhiteLight.
We provide core learning here to high standards because it matters. Maths and Science are vital to producing technologically capable and creative engineers who can solve problems. English is the study of communication and is therefore essential to art, design, media and performance.
Alongside these core subjects, we deliver a specialist and industry relevant curriculum including multimedia, film, design, creative arts, production technology, lighting installation, performance makeup, games and software design, music and sound production, dance and theatre, creative writing and cultural studies.
However, ‘curriculum’ is more than the subjects you study and the results that you achieve; curriculum also refers to all the creative and professional experiences you have here and the social learning too. We have a rich extended curriculum including professional speakers, workshops and our projects and productions team.
Our projects & productions team make connections and form partnerships with industry and they run our in-house production company ‘ESA Productions’. We are able to offer opportunities to work professionally in media arts content-creation including film/TV production, music production, graphic design, marketing and app development. Students will be trained and mentored to work on live briefs for real industry clients such as Elstree Studios, the MOBO Awards, Apples & Snakes, SmallTalks, Apps for Good, Elstree Screen Heritage, Team Margot and the British Library.
Students develop proficiency in industry standard software, hardware and technical kit through our programme of workshops, designed to equip our learners with the skillset required for professionally recognised trades and crafts. Students who complete these workshops can then join ESA Production crews to fulfil industry briefs for our professional clients.
Site and Equipment
We are exceedingly lucky to have a newly refurbished campus which stands on the old MGM film lot where Stanley Kubrick filmed The Shining. Our facility includes 2 equipped studio stages, a cinema, video editing suite and industry equipped arts and design studios. We also have 2 production makeup suites, a craft workshop, an audio recording studio, a dance studio and a fully equipped lighting rig. Industry standard kit and skilled technical staff means that we can offer students the chance to join production crews and be trained to university standards.
To apply for a place at ESA, head directly to our website, click on ‘apply’, fill out the simple ‘expression of interest form’ and we will be in touch within 3 working days to guide you through the application process.
What are people saying about ESA?
“Not a lot of people can say that they’ve had work experience on the EastEnders set, have had their design displayed on the Curve at the Piccadilly Lights or been Production Manager for a College showcase. These are just some of the opportunities that ESA has given me.” – ESA Student
“This college worked so well for my oldest son, I moved my youngest son here too. It’s positive, constructive and diverse attitude to learning has brought the best out of my children.” – ESA Parent
“Elstree students produced a highly professional and engaging product, the quality of their work has been of industry level standard throughout the filming process.” – The Rt Hon Lord Baker of Dorking CH PC