RTS Bursaries

Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall celebrate 90 years of the RTS

Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall cut the RTS cake (Credit: RTS/Paul Hampartsoumian)

The visit celebrated the 90th anniversary of the Society, of which the prince has been patron since 1997, and took place at ITV Studios in London.

A reception was attended by some of the leading figures from the UK television industry including BBC Director of Content Charlotte Moore, Secretary of State Matt Hancock, Chief Executive of Channel 4 Alex Mahon and Chief Executive of ITV Dame Carolyn McCall.

RTS bursary scheme deadline extended

The RTS offers two bursary schemes (the Technology bursary and the TV Production and Journalism bursary) to talented students from low-income backgrounds, intending to pursue a career in television.

The number of bursaries offered in 2020 will reach 40 across both schemes, with STV matching its commitment from last year and generously funding 10 further bursaries for the 2020 intake.

Ashley John-Baptiste announced as the first ambassador for the RTS bursary schemes

This year the RTS will be offering an unprecedented 40 bursaries across its two schemes: The Technology Bursary and The TV Production and Journalism Bursary.

In his role as ambassador, Ashley will champion the scheme and motivate students looking at a career in the Television sector, provide his support and share his experiences with current and future bursary students, as well as joining the Education Committee.

RTS Bursaries: Young lives on hold

“It’s all a bit of a mess, really,” says Charlotte Humphreys. “I was living in south London, which had the most cases of Covid-19 in the UK, so I packed some of my most important stuff into Ikea bags and left.

“I’m paying £700 a month for a room I’m not living in, my stuff is at four different addresses and I’m staying with my Dad, who has a terminal lung condition. I bought a car, an absolute banger, for £275, because I need to get shopping for my Dad.”

The next generation of women taking on tech in TV

RTS bursary alumni Abbie Howell (Credit: Paul Hampartsoumian)

The RTS launched its Technology Bursary Scheme in 2015. The initiative supports students from lower-­income households studying science, technology, engineering or maths (Stem) subjects, with the aim of tempting them into a career in the media industry when they graduate.

Our first group of five students comprised four men and one woman. This year, we awarded eight bursaries. For the first time, we have equal numbers of male and female students. Is this a blip, or are we moving towards a more equal gender balance?

RTS announces 2019 undergraduate bursary recipients

The 2019 RTS bursary cohort (Credit: Paul Hampartsoumian)

2019 sees the RTS offering more than double the number of bursaries compared to the number at launch in 2014.

This year, the list of eligible courses was substantially expanded and for the first time the RTS invited applications from students studying a ScreenSkills accredited higher national diploma. For 2019, 35 bursaries for Television Production and Broadcast Journalism students and eight bursaries for Technology students have been awarded. 

My RTS Bursary Diary: Paula Melissa Ugochukwu

RTS Bursary Students at Buckingham Palace for the Prince of Wales' 70th Birthday

When I learnt of the Royal Television Society (RTS) bursaries in 2015, I knew I had to apply. Any organisation actively committed to the diversification and inclusion of underrepresented groups within the British media will always hold a place in my heart. Plus, being part of the RTS is a great opportunity to network with media industry leaders - an opportunity that I was very unlikely to stumble across as a young black woman, from a low-income family.

My RTS Bursary Diary: Victor Hampson

RTS Bursary Students Victor Hampson, Kayleigh Jones and Richard Walker (Credit: Paul Hampartsoumian)

I recently spent a week in the commissioning department at UKTV. I arrived at the reception and gave my name, braced for the understandable response that I should leave immediately due to my lack of relevance and the fact that everyone here was very busy getting on with their jobs. But no, I was welcomed in.

As I walked through the turnstile, I expected alarms to ring out - “Unauthorised entry! You do not belong here! And also sort your hair out; seriously, what’s going on there?” but once again I passed through without an eyebrow raised.