This unique course will equip graduates to report from international hostile environments in a safe, informed and innovative way. It was developed in consultation with media organisations, conflict reporters and international security/safety experts/disaster healthcare specialists, all with frontline hostile environment experience. This is supplemented by academic research and critique of the coverage of conflict, terrorism, natural disasters and of state suppression of media and investigative journalists. Students complete a 12,000 word dissertation in a chosen topic.
This new course will equip graduates to report from hostile environments in a safe, informed and innovative way. It was developed in consultation with media organisations, conflict reporters and international security/safety experts/disaster healthcare specialists, all with frontline hostile environment experience. This was supplemented by academic research and critique of the coverage of conflict, terrorism, natural disasters and of state suppression of media and investigative journalists. The University has long and successful experience running an MSc in Disaster Health Management (online/blended), MA Journalism, MSc Disaster Recovery and MFA Photography (online/campus) and expertise from these programmes will also be used for this new course.
The figures are stark for the increasing global danger for journalists. Some 780 journalists have been killed since 2006 (Reporters Sans Frontiers, 2017) with 74 killed alone in 2016. Thus, Ulster University is harnessing its expertise in areas related to conflict to deliver this innovative programme.
This course is underpinned with advanced practical skills on remaining safe and assessing risk that meet the requirements of major media organisations.This element will be taught through a week long field exercise preceding the course by several highly experienced international trainers all with decades of front line experience in Northern Ireland, Iraq, Afghanistan, Mexico and parts of Africa. Even for those opting to complete the course by distance learning, they will have to attend this element in person and it will be delivered the week before the main semester starts.
This hostile environment training course will cover preparation such as country analyses prior to deployment to include geography, history, economics and social structure.This also includes familiarising yourself with cultural etiquette and local area taboos, regional threats and in country communications infrastructure analyses. Water purification and food sourcing and survival tools will also be included. Also preparation such as travel vaccinations, tropical medicine, visas and currencies. It will include a component on emergency first aid and disaster zone healthcare. Other elements will include surviving natural disasters, navigation training, theft avoidance and security of possessions, packing kit, equipment and safety devices. The area of vehicle maintenance and loading, vehicle systematic search and transport considerations.
Once in the hostile environment, it will look at personal and accommodation security and situation awareness and counter surveillance measures. It will look then at the more journalistic elements such a meeting sources, establishing remote source communication, using cover stories, telephone security and negotiating check-points. Mines and weapon awareness will also be covered.
It will then look at more common areas that can become hostile environments such as civil disturbances and riots, crowd dynamics and control. Finally, there will be a session on post-traumatic stress disorder awareness. Each day will also have a reflective session.
The course, however, is not just a hostile environments training and certification programme. It will provide students with a deep theoretical understanding of the key elements that both create hostile environments and critiques of how they have been covered in the past. The School has several staff expert on analysis of conflict and post conflict reporting and investigative journalism, particularly relating to paramilitary groups. Other staff from biomedical science, disaster and austere environment nursing, environmental science and disaster recovery engineering who will give guest lectures on disease, climate change, earthquakes and disaster recovery. Students will select an area of importance to their career or interest and complete a 12,000 word dissertation researching this area. These could be areas of conflict, terrorism, post-conflict, criminal gangs, state suppression, climate change, famine, natural disaster, refugee issues and disease.
Develop as a producer/director of factual programmes and extend your creative skills and technical knowledge. With talks by industry professionals, and access to a broad range of equipment, you’ll create a portfolio of work that will help you stand out from the crowd.
No matter what experience you have of filmmaking, our course will develop your knowledge of factual UK TV and digital media content production, and your creative skills, to an advanced level. Along the way, you’ll make seven films of different lengths and write a dissertation on a media subject that excites and interests you.
Focusing on two key roles, the director and the producer (which in current factual programming are merged into one), you’ll explore the dynamics of this ever-changing industry, and what it takes to succeed. You’ll learn to become a visual storyteller, a communicator, a collaborator, a motivator and a problem solver. You’ll also develop skills in scheduling, production managing, budgeting and marketing programmes. Although the emphasis is on factual programming, there is scope and flexibility to develop more creative films.
With specialist technical workshops on camera operation, sound, lighting and editing, you’ll develop professional skills in screen-based production. This will be supported by tutorials, diary work, and independent research, giving you a strong critical and contextual grounding for your practical work.
You’ll be encouraged to collaborate with other students on this course and others, becoming a flexible media professional who can produce and deliver high-quality video content for many different clients.
All our teaching staff have backgrounds in the film and television industries, and they're supported by industry specialists and visiting lecturers.
Sept starters: Trimester 1 - Weds & Thurs 10.00 – 17.00; Trimester 2 – Tues & Weds 10.00 – 17.00; Trimester 3 – Tuesdays 10.00 – 13.00.
Jan starters: Trimester 2 - Weds & Thurs 10.00 – 17.00; Trimester 1 – Tues & Weds 10.00 – 17.00; Trimester 2 – Tuesdays 10.00 – 13.00.
Semester 1: Thursday 10:00 - 17:00; Semester 2: Wednesday 10:00 - 17:00
Our course will prepare you for a career in TV or in the broader media, and help you to decide which areas of the industry attract you the most. Although the emphasis is on directing and producing, you might choose to move into cinematography, production management or even television programme sales once you graduate. You might also develop a particular interest in observational documentary, natural history films or science programming, and decide to follow a career in these fields.
Here at Cambridge School of Art, you’ll gain specialist skills that will be useful for traditional, experimental and creative documentary making, or films for education, training, public relations, current affairs, marketing and campaigning. Our course will prepare you to forge a portfolio or freelance career, and give you the ability to make high-quality content for broadcast, web, film festivals or cinema.
Process and Practice as Research
Understanding the Audience
Master's Dissertation Art and Design
Master's Project: Art and Design
You’ll demonstrate your learning, and ensure you’re developing the knowledge and skills to complete the course, through:
• Producing and directing films of different lengths and styles
• Working in a team on a TV Studio production
• Written production analyses and reflective commentaries
• Filming schedules & budgets
• Film pitches
• Final Masters Project: this film is your “calling card” for the industry
Your assignments are usually submitted at the end of each term. You’ll also be assessed informally and given feedback during the term to help you achieve to the highest level. Feedback could be on a film, a presentation or group participation; it will be given by your tutor and your fellow students.
Our Wired events are specialist lectures and workshops run by industry professionals, where you’ll learn about up-to-date practices and get invaluable advice. Our past speakers have included Sean Bobbitt (cinematographer: 12 Years a Slave, The Place Beyond the Pines, Hunger), Peter Strickland and Nic Knowland (director and cinematographer: Berberian Sound Studio), Cilla Ware (freelance drama director of Silk, Spooks, Primeval), Kathy Lee (film editor: Abuelas, A Letter to Dad), and Larry Sider (sound designer, The Piano Tuner of Earthquakes, Mirrormask).
Our Creative Front Futures events, run by Creative Front Cambridgeshire, will give you a broader taste of the creative industries, and let you find out more about the world of film and television production as well as explore other career options.
You’ll also get first-hand experience of the industry at informal work placements throughout the course and benefit from our close links with Cambridge Arts Picturehouse, where we hold regular student and industry events.
When shooting your projects you’ll have access to our fully-equipped HD TV studio with full lighting rig; our ground-breaking digital exhibition space Ruskin Gallery; a mixer; an autocue, multi-purpose scenic backdrops suitable for current affairs, magazine programmes and dramas; a film studio with overhead lighting, tracks, dollies and green screens and sets for flats; a full range of HD cameras (including Steadicam); location lighting; and sound-recording equipment.
For post-production work you’ll get access to over 30 editing suites with the complete Adobe Creative Cloud software suite including Premier Pro, after Affects, audition and Speed Grade and the Adobe Creative Suite master collection. You’ll be trained on all our equipment by a team of experienced technical staff, who also maintain and manage the facilities.