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Masters Degrees (Documentary)

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We're in the middle of a documentary renaissance. Documentary stories are being told in cinemas, on TV, in galleries, on tablets and on mobile phones. … Read more

We're in the middle of a documentary renaissance. Documentary stories are being told in cinemas, on TV, in galleries, on tablets and on mobile phones. On this course you'll learn about the technology that's bringing improvements in documentary making, understand the ethical challenges that documentarians face, and face questions of authorship and authenticity. At Royal Holloway we nurture creative and challenging Filmmakers. The course offers a launch pad for outstanding careers in a growing field of filmmaking. 

You'll be taught by award-winning documentary filmmakers and commissioners: our tutors Marc Isaacs, Helen Littleboy and Victoria Mapplebeck, are all active filmmakers with industry contacts. They'll give you insight into what commissioners are looking for in documentaries today and you'll get real vocational experience by working on your own projects with established industry leaders.

  • You will gain hands-on tuition, classes, workshops and ongoing support from award winning directors, producers, editors, commissioners and film programmers
  • Be part of a challenging and dynamic production environment in which you will meet other aspiring directors, writers and producers, creating contacts and support that could last a lifetime
  • We bring in commissioners from the real world of documentary production to give you a full picture of what it takes to work as a documentarian. Some of our visiting commissioners have gone on to work with our students to develop their projects.
  • You will have the chance to workshop, develop and produce creative and original documentaries, gaining the skills, knowledge and contacts to see those projects go from idea to screen with an depth knowledge of documentary commissioning, across all platforms of distribution and exhibition
  • Draw inspiration from our location: taught predominantly at 11 Bedford Square, our creative hub close to the British Museum in London's Bloomsbury – plugging you right into the centre of a busy industry. You'll also have access to all of our facilities at our leafy Egham campus.
  • Make use of our exclusive 24-7 media labs and post-production rooms, complemented by our impressive range of professional location filming equipment, TV and sound studio facilities, supported by our committed and approachable technical team.
  • Access to work opportunities and internships in TV, cinema and cross platform production. Our students and alumni have worked on productions at BBC Storyville, Channel 4 and Reuters.

Guest Lectures and Guest Speakers include:

  • Nick Fraser – Commissioning Editor - BBC Storyville
  • Clare Paterson – Commissioning Editor - BBC Documentaries
  • Ollie Lambert – Award Winning Director
  • Films include: The Tea Boy of Gaza, Mum and Dad are Splitting Up and Syria ; Across the Lines
  • Pawel Pawlikowski – Award Winning Writer and Director
  • Films include: Ida, Last Resort, My Summer of Love , The Women in the Fifth and Tripping With Zhirinovsky

Course structure

Core modules

Ideas to Screen

In this module you will develop an understanding of the practice of documentary film making. You will look at eclectic notions of the genre, exploring the conceptual and formal challenges of creative documentary filmmaking, and examine ways of translating observations and ideas into both visual and aural imagery. You will also consider experimental forms of narrative, focussing on the the boundaries between fine art and documentary.

Foundations of Production

In this module you will develop an understanding of commissioning institutions and their political and financial structures. You will look at contemporary forms of distribution, from the internet to theatrical, and consider the three fundamental stages of production management in for documentary films - pre-production, production, and post-production. You will gain practical experience in the production of short taster tapes and the writing of proposals and treatments, covering the basics of budgets, schedules, copyright, legal compliance and marketing. You will also have the opportunity to participate in a number of field trips and attend sessions with industry experts.

Major Documentary Production

You will produce a substantial documentary production of 20-minutes in length. You will develop an understanding of documentary film genre and its changing boundaries, as well as emerging technologies and their impact on genre. You will look at the process of making a documentary film, from initial concept to final form, and the various stages of production. You will consider the current and changing platforms for documentary film, including cinema, television and the internet, and examine the ways in which the documentary industry is being reinvented.

Teaching & assessment

Assessment is carried out by a variety of methods including project work, photo essays and written production papers.

Your future career

Our students have gone onto become award winning Directors, Editors, Animators and Producers. Recent graduates have been nominated for and won many awards, including The London International Film Festival, BBC Storyville, International Women’s Film Festival, Open City Docs, CineGlobe and The One World Media Award.

Recent Graduates include:

Iris Lebrun - Whilst at Royal Holloway, Iris won a One World Broadcasting Award. Her film Feeding The Void, won First Prize at Open City Docs Fest. Iris was also selected for Mini Meet Market at Sheffield Doc Fest 2014 . Since graduating she has interned at BBC Modern Times and worked as an Editor on Text Me, a cross platform Documentary which won the 2014 Pixel Lab Award.

Masumi Higashi – Masumi’s film Motorbike Midwifes won a One World Broadcasting Award whilst she was at Royal Holloway. Motorbike Midwifes went on to win twenty Awards, including, BBC Storyville Prize for documentary narrative excellence at CineGlobe , Winner of the International Short Documentary Garden State Film Festival and The Gold Award Winner at the California Film Awards.

Jeong One Park. Jeong One's film Kung Fu Grannies won a One World Broadcasting Award and was nominated for a One World Media Award. Kung Fu Grannies went on to win: First Prize at the International Women’s Film Festival, Best Short Film at the Society for Visual Anthropology Film Festival and Best Short Film at the Cineffable France. Since graduating Jeong One has worked as an Editor and Producer at Channel 4, BBC and Reuters.



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As part of this course you will produce a major, practical documentary project informed by contemporary debates and historical perspectives, having gained the practical skills via a firm grounding in digital video production and exploring photography and multimedia using industry-standard equipment. Read more
As part of this course you will produce a major, practical documentary project informed by contemporary debates and historical perspectives, having gained the practical skills via a firm grounding in digital video production and exploring photography and multimedia using industry-standard equipment.

You will cover all stages of documentary production - from initial proposal to final edit, learning how to research and write a documentary, and create and edit film.

Choose from video, photography and multimedia technologies, discovering new and unique features of each medium. Underpinning the strong practical element are the political, legal, moral and ethical issues informing contemporary production and exhibition.

Intermediate qualifications available:

• Postgraduate certificate – 60 credits at Masters level
• Postgraduate diploma – 120 credits at Masters level

Visit the website: https://www.beds.ac.uk/howtoapply/courses/postgraduate/next-year/documentary

Course detail

• Study an intensive specialist course in creative documentary, focused on practice informed by ideas, with access to state-of-the-art documentary film-making equipment and excellent links with industry professionals
• Explore a unique opportunity to study documentary practices in moving image, photographic and journalistic forms with opportunities to attend documentary festivals in the UK and mainland Europe
• Develop specialist knowledge of specific areas of the media and use the opportunities presented by your project work to enter competitions and make industry contacts
• Gain a qualification valuable to anyone seeking employment in the rapidly changing field of media: with the knowledge and skills to pitch ideas, write proposals, identify sources of funding and find appropriate avenues of distribution and exhibition of your work
• Benefit from a degree that prepares you for roles such as documentary producer, researcher or director, or qualifies you to continue to MPhil and PhD research degrees

Modules

• Documentary Practice
• Stills and Movies
• Production Research
• Practical Post Production and Digital Effects
• Documentary Project A
• Documentary Project B

Assessment

Assessment is an integral part of your learning. Your assessments will follow the pattern of teaching and learning.

As you complete each stage of your production we will give you feedback and give you advice on how to further develop and improve your work so that you can take it to the next stage. We will assess both the processes you use to produce work and the quality of the final production.

The media industry expects high quality work completed to absolutely fixed distribution deadlines. We will reflect this in our assessment of your work.

Careers

MA Documentary provides the opportunity for the committed student to engage with a range of industry relevant events, this includes professional practice seminars, developing documentary ideas into workable projects and visits to international festivals such as IDFA, British Shorts Berlin and Sheffield International documentary festival.

Funding

For information on available funding, please follow the link: https://www.beds.ac.uk/howtoapply/money/scholarships/pg

How to apply

For information on how to apply, please follow the link: https://www.beds.ac.uk/howtoapply/course/applicationform

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This MA will develop your skills and creative vision in documentary production. It enhances your understanding of the historical context and contemporary modes of documentary production against a backdrop of the wider issues in media production. Read more

This MA will develop your skills and creative vision in documentary production. It enhances your understanding of the historical context and contemporary modes of documentary production against a backdrop of the wider issues in media production.

This Masters, a pathway of the MA Filmmaking, will encourage your understanding of the politics, aesthetics and ethics of documentary production, and the nature and diversity of documentary practice in contemporary society.

What we offer

The programme is housed in a new purpose-built media facility equipped with state-of-the art teaching spaces including a range of digital cameras, Avid Media Composer, Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere Film Editing suites, Animation, Digital Special Effects, Pro Tools Audio Postproduction suites.

You will be able to make your own documentaries, learning and refining research, interviewing, self-shooting and editing techniques – but also have the unique opportunity to be part of a programme that includes specialised producers, cinematographers, editors, sound recordists and sound designers, so that you can develop the scope and range of your filmmaking by collaborating with them.

You work on at least two films during the year, culminating in a major production towards the end of the degree. In addition you can attend classes in related disciplines such as Cinematography and Editing and may collaborate with students across other specialisations on film projects. This framework is designed to provide you with a breadth of filmmaking knowledge combined with a high level of expertise in your chosen filmmaking discipline.

The MA encourages you to develop

  • an awareness of documentary production techniques, ethics and aesthetics
  • specific filmmaking and production management skills
  • technical skills (including camera, lighting and sound editing)
  • an understanding of the workings of the media and their broad cultural and social impacts

Our former students have gone on to win awards including:

They've also launched their own film festivals, worked on critically acclaimed films and documentaries, and have had their work screened at the London International Documentary Festival, National Geographic's All Roads Film Festival and Open City, the London Documentary Festival.

Modules & structure

How you will learn

You will be taught the skills to be able to self-shoot and edit, but will also have the chance to work with specialised camera-people, editors and producers. You complete several short films and exercises, then make your own 15-25 minute documentary, during which you will fully explore research methods, visual and thematic storytelling, experimental and multi-platform formats and much more.

For two terms you will spend a full day a week in specialised contact with your specific programme convenor, plus a further day in Screen Lab working with colleagues across the programme in a Talent Campus-style project-led learning structure with:

  • Masterclassess
  • Pitches
  • Role-plays
  • Exercises aimed at using your skills specialism in a variety of live shoot situations

You will also have a variety of research projects to undertake, as well as other module options.

Screen Lab

You will also advance your collaborative skills by working in teams with both fiction and documentary producers and cinematography, sound and edit students, on a variety of projects and at least three scheduled films across the year.

You will leave the programme with a diverse portfolio of work that may span a variety of formats – essay or diary film, web and multi-platform content, activist or campaign film, longer form feature-documentary 

Screen School options

As well as your Screen Documentary specialism, you will undertake three short courses to enhance your other skills and critical approaches. 

Skills & careers

If you are passionate about fashioning an exciting career for yourself as a filmmaker in an environment that promotes innovative filmmaking, this course is for you.

Our alumni are active in the film, media and cultural industries around the world, working and winning awards as documentary producers and directors.

Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths.



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Direct and produce your own film. Learn from experienced tutors who've screened work for the BBC and Channel 4. Find out how to pitch and compete for commissions. Read more

Introduction

Direct and produce your own film. Learn from experienced tutors who've screened work for the BBC and Channel 4. Find out how to pitch and compete for commissions. With MA Documentary graduates who've achieved distinction in leading industry awards and screenings, this course gives you the chance to become another of the celebrated faces behind the camera.

Content

Get to grips with the entire documentary film making process on this comprehensive course which blends theory with practical experience.

London College of Communication’s MA Documentary Film course leads on exploring the full range of documentary genre and modes of production that have brought about recent innovation. The digital revolution means new ways of directing, producing, and showing documentary films in the broadcast, independent and web 2.0 media. You will learn the entire process, taking the roles of Producer, Director, Camera Operator, Sound-Recordist and Editor.

You can expect to be grounded in documentary direction, camerawork and editing - the key artistic and technical skills for a successful production team. Each year students take their work from LCC onto the competitive British and international documentary filmmaking circuit. You will enhance your career prospects through the valuable skills, vision and opportunities that this postgraduate course provides, including guidance on pitching for funding and commissions.

Structure

Phase 1

1.1 Documentary: process and practice
1.2 Documentary: history and theory

Phase 2

2.1 Documentary Practices: taster tape and pitch and critical context
2.2 Documentary: ethics and methodologies

Phase 3

3.0 Major Project

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New for 2018/19, this. MFA. provides extended practical training in creative documentary film and aims to provide all the technical and intellectual resources required to make outstanding non-fiction moving image. Read more

New for 2018/19, this MFA provides extended practical training in creative documentary film and aims to provide all the technical and intellectual resources required to make outstanding non-fiction moving image. It draws on broad based anthropological and critical thinking about the social and cultural world but above all will leave you with a deep practical understanding of the craft of factual film making, culminating in the production of a medium-length feature documentary film.

 

About this degree

You will acquire advanced camera and editing skills in a context of critical enquiry about the social world. You will learn and explore diverse forms of factual storytelling including how to work with an ‘external commissioner’. You will learn how to take risks in pushing the boundaries of film form. You will deepen your knowledge of documentary film history and learn how to tell long-form stories through images.

Students undertake modules to the value of 300 credits.

In the first full calendar year the programme consists of four core modules (total 135 credits) and three optional /elective modules (45 credits) - a total 180 credits. In the second (academic length) year you complete a graduation project (120 credits).

 

Core modules

Introduction to the practice of Documentary and Ethnographic Film (30 credits)

Advanced practice of Documentary and Ethnographic Film (60 credits)

Short 'commissioned' Practical Film Project and sustained reflection (15 credits)

Research Work and Book (30 credits). The research work and accompanying book refers to preparatory work for your final graduation project.

 

Optional modules

An Introduction to Social Theory (15 credits)

The Story and I – Finding the Form (15 credits)

Time and the Staged Index – The evolving narrative of Photography and Film (15 credits)

Experimental and Interactive Storytelling – Form and Narrative (15 credits)

Documentary Radio – a practice based introduction (15 credits)

Documentary Film and the Anthropological Eye (15 credits)

The Idea of Documentary (15 credits)

Russian Cinema: Epochs and genres (15 credits)

Global Cinemas (15 credits)

East and South Asian Cinemas (15 credits)

Performance, visual media and popular culture in Africa (15 credits)

The French New Wave (15 credits)

Genre in Italian Cinema (15 credits)

Nordic Cinema: Contextualising Dreyer, Bergman and Dogme (15 credits)

The Latin American Cinematic Tradition (15 credits)

New Argentine Cinemas (15 credits)

Hollywood Genres (15 credits)

 

Dissertation/report

In your graduation film ('research project/design project') you will independently make a medium length creative documentary film/moving image story on a subject of your choosing. Pre-production begins at the outset of the second year supervised by the course tutors and project mentors. You will also produce a project diary reflecting on the entire work process.

 

Teaching and learning

All practice based courses are delivered in lectures, masterclasses and tutorials followed by supervised project work. Across the MFA you will spend significant time each week completing camera and editing exercises, building up a portfolio of work. All work is assessed, either formatively or formally, by the MFA teaching team.

 

Funding

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

 

Employability

Graduates of the programme will develop a series of practical and transferable skills including:

Solving complex problems - developing lateral thinking and creative questioning

Managing time and production flows in complex projects and effectively integrating research into film practice

Communicating effectively and succinctly

To be able to pitch and sell stories/product to potential clients

Be able to find the form best suited for a particular 'narrative, be this in media or other contexts.

Why study this degree at UCL?

UCL Anthropology was the first in the UK to integrate biological and social anthropology with material culture into a broad-based conception of the discipline. It is one of the largest anthropology departments in the UK in terms of both staff and research student numbers, offering an exceptional breadth of expertise.

Our excellent results in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise and 2014 Research Excellence Framework show that we are the leading broad-based anthropology department in the UK.

Students are encouraged to take full advantage of the wider anthropological community in London and the department's strong links with European universities and international institutions.

Application Dates

All applicants

Open: 16 March 2018

Close: 5 September 2018



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This unique MA programme is based in a university but run by leading film practitioners, ensuring that you not only receive the highest-quality practice-based learning, but you do so in a university research environment where you learn to understand the world we live in. Read more

This unique MA programme is based in a university but run by leading film practitioners, ensuring that you not only receive the highest-quality practice-based learning, but you do so in a university research environment where you learn to understand the world we live in. You have your own camera equipment throughout and there are two dedicated Mac Editing suites for this degree.

About this degree

Students will learn to devise a visual research project; to apply anthropological and social science approaches to documentary film work; to think critically about the relationship between form and content in ethnographic/documentary practice; using our professional level equipment, to master the technical skills needed to produce different kinds of films of different lengths for varied audiences; and to critically view and review film material.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of one core module (60 credits), two optional /elective modules (30 credits) and a project/diary (90 credits).

Core modules

  • Practical Ethnographic and Documentary Filming and Editing
  • Students without a social science background at either undergraduate or Master's level also take Social Anthropology or another social science foundational module in term one as agreed with the tutor.

Optional modules

Students choose two of the following:

  • Anthropology and Photography
  • Documentary Film and the Ethnographic Eye
  • The Story and I - Finding the Form and/or Time and the Staged Index
  • One of the practical film-related options offered as part of Film Studies MA according to provision
  • One of the film history modules taught in the School of Slavonic & East European Studies (SSEES), or Departments of History or English, (for example, Russian Cinema in SSEES), details to be confirmed
  • An Anthropology or other social science module from the Faculties of Social & Historical Sciences, or Arts & Humanities
  • An Anthropology or other social science module from the Faculties of Social & Historical Sciences, or Arts & Humanities

Dissertation/report

A major practical film project and diary allowing the students to demonstrate their mastery of the skills of documentary film-making in a film of 20–35 minutes.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of practical tutorials, seminars and masterclasses and assessed by camera and editing exercises and a written piece.

Placement

We facilitate two types of placements. Firstly, we will enable short-term internships at the film companies with whom we already have relationships through Open City Docs. Secondly, as opportunities arise students can work on collaborative or other film-making projects, such as the Doc in a Day workshops or UCL film productions.

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Ethnographic and Documentary Film (Practical) MA

Careers

The programme equips students for careers in:

  • mass media including broadcast, cinematic and web-based moving image
  • film and TV industry as camera operators, producers, directors, editors, researchers
  • academia – ethnographic research, visual media and culture
  • marketing and research
  • communication and other media
  • archives, as well as cultural heritage organisations.

Employability

The increasing demand for social and scientifically trained moving image specialists in the years ahead will continue, if not accelerate. Many of the graduates of our existing programmes now work in organisations such as Ipsos Mori film unit, independent production companies, BBC World Service and BBC Education.

Why study this degree at UCL?

This MA will allow you to benefit from UCL’s unique position in the heart of London, and from the many activities in film within UCL Anthropology. The programme is unique in using professional film-makers to teach within a truly pan-disciplinary university research environment. It provides outstanding access to camera and editing facilities.

UCL now houses London’s Global Documentary Film Festival, Open City Docs Fest, created by Professor Michael Stewart. You can participate in the curation and delivery of this festival; gain experience in the delivery of a major public arts event; and benefit from established partnerships with world-famous institutions such as the the Science Museum and the British Film Institute.

This degree provides three strands: non-fiction cinema and reportage based documentary; a 'Mixed Realities' strand (including VR, Augemented; and interactive documentary production).

Research Excellence Framework (REF)

The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.

The following REF score was awarded to the department: Anthropology

68% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)

Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.



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Develop a wider vision. Designed with photojournalists and documentary photographers in mind, MA Photojournalism and Documentary Photography (online) will help you expand your practice and challenge the potential of the medium. Read more
Develop a wider vision. Designed with photojournalists and documentary photographers in mind, MA Photojournalism and Documentary Photography (online) will help you expand your practice and challenge the potential of the medium. Learn through a series of assignments as part of this internationally renowned programme, and join the graduates who've gone on to win the World Press Photo Daily Life Singles category and the Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize.

Content

A practical, cutting-edge Masters course with an international reputation, designed for aspiring photojournalists and documentary photographers.

Photojournalists and documentary photographers explore and record human experience. Beginning with Henri Cartier-Bresson (regarded as the father of modern photojournalism), they have recorded significant moments in history, documented unfolding news and created images that have gained iconic status. Central to their work is the telling of a story through images.

This internationally-recognised course is aimed at people who want to pursue a career in photojournalism or documentary photography. The aim is to equip students with a thorough grounding in the discipline, whether through film or digitally-based photography. You will follow a rigorous programme of photographic assignments, as well as initiating and developing your own projects and areas of special interest. All this takes place within the framework of the history and development of the medium, together with critical ethical and theoretical contexts. You will be encouraged to develop a wider vision of the practice and potential of the medium through exploration of the uses of documentary and reportage photography in magazines, portfolios, gallery exhibitions, books, television, web, CD-based productions and other media.

Structure

Phase 1

- Photojournalism Practice
- History of Photojournalism and Documentary Photography

In the first week, you’ll take part in an online induction programme, using web conferencing, in which you will:

- Become familiar with the course structure,
- Be introduced to the teaching staff and your fellow students,
- Access information about the Student Union, Student Services and Learning Resources,
- Become familiar with PGNET, delivered through the software Moodle.

Phase 2

- Documentary Practice with Research Methods
- Critical Perspectives on Photojournalism and Documentary Photography (including research methodology)

Phase 3

- Major project

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Develop a wider vision. Designed with photojournalists and documentary photographers in mind, the MA Photojournalism and Documentary Photography course can help you expand your practice and challenge the potential of the medium. Read more

Introduction

Develop a wider vision. Designed with photojournalists and documentary photographers in mind, the MA Photojournalism and Documentary Photography course can help you expand your practice and challenge the potential of the medium. Learn through a series of assignments as part of this internationally renowned programme and join the graduates who've gone on to win the World Press Photo Daily Life Singles category and the Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize.

Content

A practical, cutting-edge Masters course with an international reputation, designed for aspiring photojournalists and documentary photographers.

Photojournalists and documentary photographers explore and record human experience. Beginning with Henri Cartier-Bresson (regarded as the father of modern photojournalism), they have recorded significant moments in history, documented unfolding news and created images that have gained iconic status. Central to their work is the telling of a story through images.

This internationally-recognised course is aimed at people who want to pursue a career in photojournalism or documentary photography. The aim is to equip students with a thorough grounding in the discipline, whether through film or digitally-based photography. You will follow a rigorous programme of photographic assignments, as well as initiating and developing your own projects and areas of special interest. All this takes place within the framework of the history and development of the medium, together with critical ethical and theoretical contexts. You will be encouraged to develop a wider vision of the practice and potential of the medium through exploration of the uses of documentary and reportage photography in magazines, portfolios, gallery exhibitions, books, television, web, CD-based productions and other media.

Structure

Phase 1

Photojournalism Practice
History of Photojournalism and Documentary Photography

Phase 2

Documentary Practice with Research Methods
Critical Perspectives on Photojournalism and Documentary Photography

Phase 3

Major Project

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Documentary filmmaking is constantly evolving, thanks to the rise of internet and social media, there are now countless places for filmmakers to screen their work. Read more

Documentary filmmaking is constantly evolving, thanks to the rise of internet and social media, there are now countless places for filmmakers to screen their work. This course will help you find an audience for the idea or subject you are passionate about, and it will support you in turning your vision into a bold and innovative film.

At the Northern Film School you will have the opportunity to explore and communicate a subject you are passionate about. We support all types of filmmaking, including campaigning and issue-led films, observational and character pieces, experimental films and wildlife documentaries. You will develop and pitch your ideas and successful ones will be made into masters projects and given real production budgets.

Workshops will train you in the craft and technical aspects of filmmaking: producing and directing, camera, sound and editing. Using our industry-standard facilities, you will produce films of integrity and importance.

Course Benefits

As the first and only film school in the UK to receive JAMES accreditation, our Northern Film School is the ideal environment to explore your ideas and creativity. Our industry-standard facilities and experienced staff will give you the support you need to make your passion a visual reality.

You will be joining a strong and successful group of graduates, many of whom have won Oscars and BAFTAs for their work. The prestige of the Northern Film School will set you up to achieve your ambitions and our reputation will provide you with the foundation to becoming a successful documentary filmmaker. We have contacts with the BBC, ITV and Channel Four and strong connections to Sheffield International Documentary Festival where you will have the opportunity to showcase your work.

Core Modules

  • Creative Practice
  • Documentary Practice 1
  • Documentary Research 1
  • Documentary Practice 2
  • Documentary Research 2
  • Masters Project
  • Next Project Development

Job Prospects

This course will prepare you for the collaborative environment of documentary filmmaking. You will gain the experience and knowledge you need to interpret your ideas and give them exposure to new audiences. Your technical and creative skills will enable you to make films you care about, ensuring your voice is heard and paving the way for your future career as a filmmaker.



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This MA is for you if you have a passion for news, current affairs, documentary or any aspect of factual programme-making. It offers a practical training in, and critical engagement with, journalism and documentary-making. Read more
This MA is for you if you have a passion for news, current affairs, documentary or any aspect of factual programme-making. It offers a practical training in, and critical engagement with, journalism and documentary-making.

You’ll learn how to:
-Research, write, subedit and design for print and digital media
-Contextualise journalistic and documentary practice within a theoretical framework of journalism and documentary studies
-Understand how the news media is undergoing rapid and far-reaching change

How will I study?
You’ll learn through core practice and theory modules and options in the autumn and spring terms.

In the summer, you develop a research project that can take the form of a conventional dissertation, a journalism project or a documentary.

Assessment is by:
-Practical video/media work and supporting production documentation
-Term papers and critiques
-Portfolios of journalism accompanied by critical reflections

The final assessment may take the form of a 15,000-word dissertation, a 20-minute documentary or a portfolio of journalism and critical work.

Scholarships
Our aim is to ensure that every student who wants to study with us is able to despite financial barriers, so that we continue to attract talented and unique individuals.

Chancellor's International Scholarship (2017)
-25 scholarships of a 50% tuition fee waiver
-Application deadline: 1 May 2017

HESPAL Scholarship (Higher Education Scholarships Scheme for the Palestinian Territories) (2017)
-Two full fee waivers in conjuction with maintenance support from the British Council
-Application deadline: 1 January 2017

USA Friends Scholarships (2017)
-A scholarship of an amount equivalent to $10,000 for nationals or residents of the USA on a one year taught Masters degree course.
-Application deadline: 3 April 2017

Faculty
Our faculty work in journalism and documentary across a range of platforms and conduct internationally recognised research in these fields.

Faculty projects have been broadcast on the BBC and Channel Four and shown in high profiles venues such as:
-The BFI Southbank
-Jeu de Paume
-Brighton Festival

Elements of our degrees are taught by experienced journalists at Brighton Journalist Works.

Careers
This course equips you with the skills for a career in:
-Broadcast and online journalism
-Documentary production
-Television production and research
-The wider media and communications industry
-Teaching and academic research

The sessions by industry professionals and distinguished alumni such as Gerry Rothwell, Kim Longinotto, Penny Woolcock, Peter Beard and Marc Isaacs enable you to make links with potential employers and give you insights and advice on working in the media professions.

Employers of our graduates include:
-The BBC
-ITN News
-Al Jazeera
-Century Films
-Ricochet
-Back2Back Productions
-Brighton.tv
-EDF Energy
-BP
-Vodafone
-A variety of universities and research centres

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This programme supports students who wish to become professional documentary filmmakers and/or research academics. The MA in Documentary Practice provides the ideal creative production environment within a research-based postgraduate Film Studies department. Read more
This programme supports students who wish to become professional documentary filmmakers and/or research academics. The MA in Documentary Practice provides the ideal creative production environment within a research-based postgraduate Film Studies department. This combination of production professionalism and academic excellence is key to promoting intellectual, current, and socially engaged documentary makers.

* The Department of Film Studies at Queen Mary is an exciting and vibrant department.
* You will have the chance to take challenging courses in aspects of film history and theory.
* You will have the opportunity to learn practical production skills, and to put these skills into practice making documentary production.
* Our London location adds a large amount of value to the programme as we have links with the London Film Festival, BFI, local film festivals, East London Film Festival.
* Access to specialist film production equipment and the experienced practitioner staff, able to advise and support.

Why study with us?

We were placed 5th in the Times Good University Guide 2012 table for Communication and Media Studies, and are ranked 6th in the UK in the Guardian University guide for 2012. In the National Student Survey in 2009, Film Studies at Queen Mary ranked first in the UK for overall quality.

Documentary is becoming increasingly popular with both film and TV audiences due to recent successes in the genre such as Senna, Bowling for Columbine, and Supersize me. This programme will allow you to develop a career and skills in production, documentary making, or develop an academic career.

* The department is ideally situated in the heart of the East End, in an immensely exciting part of London, to our west, and to the Olympic Park emerging in time for the London Olympics in 2012 to our east.
* The teaching staff have national and international reputations in their fields. You will be taught by experienced filmmakers, as well as by leading academics in areas which cover many different periods of film history and which draw on films and cinema traditions from around the world.
* According to our students, the Film Studies degree programme offers an outstanding educational experience.
* Queen Mary's commitment to the best teaching and research is reflected in its strong performance in the National Student Survey.
* During your study you will be able to produce three individual documentary productions, each of twenty-three minutes in length (programme length for 30 minute TV broadcast).

Facilities

The Department of Film has its own postgraduate production company which produces documentary and fiction work, as well as its own studio facilities and state-of-the-art 41-seat cinema.

You will have access to facilities and equipment, including:

* Film studios
* Edit suites
* Professional production equipment

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A dynamic and practical documentary programme to develop your creative storytelling and multi-media production skills. The programme will include lectures, workshops and opportunities to learn from professional media experts. Read more
A dynamic and practical documentary programme to develop your creative storytelling and multi-media production skills. The programme will include lectures, workshops and opportunities to learn from professional media experts. You will also be encouraged to forge contacts with media companies and undertake a professional placement to enhance your employability in this creative sector

-Explore practical documentary making on a variety of media platforms
-Work with award-winning documentary makers and experienced journalists
-Study in the £38 million Redmonds Building and enjoy full access to Liverpool Screen School's state-of-the-art facilities
-Undertake a placement with a professional media company

This new practice-led masters degree focuses on documentary making on a variety of platforms, enabling you to develop the core skills required to become a successful documentary maker.
​Through the exploration of practical camerawork skills, including sound recording, editing and interviewing, you will become confident in your craft, while the journalism modules will develop your skills in storytelling, interviewing and the various journalistic principles.

You will also study and understand the laws which impact responsible journalism, including the latest media law and ethics.

​The degree is taught by two departments in Liverpool Screen School; Media Production runs a popular and highly successful undergraduate degree which develops students to become confident and independent media developers. The Journalism department has offered undergraduate and postgraduate degrees for many years and continues to produce well-skilled graduates ready for the workplace. The collaborative nature of this degree means you will receive the best learning support, access to the latest techniques, academic research and opportunities to engage with key external partners.

What you will study on this degree

Please see guidance below on core modules for further information on what you will study.

-Practical craft skills in camerawork, sound recording and editing
-Core journalism skills including storytelling, interview technique, media law and ethics
-Core documentary production skills
-Interactive story-telling
-Tools for interactive documentary-making

Further guidance on modules

The information listed in the section entitled 'What you will study' is an overview of the academic content of the programme that will take the form of either core or option modules. Modules are designated as core or option in accordance with professional body requirements and internal Academic Framework review, so may be subject to change. Students will be required to undertake modules that the University designates as core and will have a choice of designated option modules. Additionally, option modules may be offered subject to meeting minimum student numbers.

Academic Framework reviews are conducted by LJMU from time to time to ensure that academic standards continue to be maintained.

Please email if you require further guidance or clarification.

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The course explores documentary practices and photojournalism as exciting and developing mediums, through a combination of practice based teaching and discussion of critical contexts. Read more
The course explores documentary practices and photojournalism as exciting and developing mediums, through a combination of practice based teaching and discussion of critical contexts.

We take each applicant on their own merit. This can include students of documentary photography or photographers in general who are interested in specialising in this area. Also welcome are artists who wish to focus their activities on a more social practice, and individuals from other disciplines, who wish to explore the subject area at post grad level.

The course builds on the international stature of the photographic and journalism departments of the University and is designed to equip you with an awareness of contemporary documentary and photojournalism, drawing on a variety of related media.

Course content

The Documentary and Photojournalism MA allows students to explore ideas of society through photographically related practice and within critically informed ways that maintain connections with the issue, yet also consider fresh visual approaches to the subject matter.

We approach photography as a social practice, situated within its own history, but also drawing on various discourses. We explore the idea that documentary practice and photojournalism may take many forms in the 21st Century.

Importantly, from your arrival, we emphasize the development of your own practice, through experimentation, critique and theory, and encourage analysis of practice through contemporary perspectives.

The course leads towards the Final Major Project, which is a consolidation of student learning into a high profile event in a central London exhibition space.

You will be taught by practising professional photographers, artists and writers, within a supportive course atmosphere. Technically, the course resources are equipped to the highest professional standards for both analogue and digital production of still and moving image.

Associated careers

We would imagine our graduate to be well rounded and confident individual with adaptability facilitating new ways of seeing

In addition to the skills acquired of photographers enabling the production of works this will also involve proficient use of a variety of hardware, software, social media, presentation and production skills. The course will offer the development of various hardskills such as:
-Curation and Management of large and small scale projects
-Direction (either within film or theatrical modes)
-Advocacy, (such as in educational or community roles)
-Experience of group and collaborative working

We intend that the student will be highly employable as a still photographer, documentary film-maker, educator, activist, artist and writer, and much more, as well as having preparation for further doctoral study.

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Taught by committed and active filmmakers, you’ll learn to produce a portfolio of short non-fiction films in a creative and stimulating environment. Read more
Taught by committed and active filmmakers, you’ll learn to produce a portfolio of short non-fiction films in a creative and stimulating environment.

You have the opportunity to pursue your own interests through your film practice and engage in a range of approaches from story-telling to more experimental forms. You will learn:
-To communicate imaginatively through the moving image about the topics that interest you most
-How to research and write original non-fiction film
-How to develop visual storytelling
-How to shoot and edit
-How to project manage, schedule, budget, distribute and fundraise

Uniquely, you also have the opportunity to develop your abilities not only in single-screen video but in other digital media forms.

How will I study?
Each term you work on practical documentary projects alongside conceptual and theoretical study. In the summer term, you undertake either a documentary project or a dissertation.

There are frequent discussions of your work-in-progress. Regular master classes and screenings are presented by industry professionals and successful alumni from the course.

Assessment is by:
-Practical video/media work
-Essay or video essay and
-Production documentation and critique

The final assessment is a major documentary project plus report or a dissertation.

Facilities
You’ll have 24-hour access to the School of Media, Film and Music’s broadcast-standard equipment including HD cameras and a range of post-production facilities.

Scholarships
Our aim is to ensure that every student who wants to study with us is able to despite financial barriers, so that we continue to attract talented and unique individuals.

Chancellor's International Scholarship (2017)
-25 scholarships of a 50% tuition fee waiver
-Application deadline: 1 May 2017

HESPAL Scholarship (Higher Education Scholarships Scheme for the Palestinian Territories) (2017)
-Two full fee waivers in conjuction with maintenance support from the British Council
-Application deadline: 1 January 2017

USA Friends Scholarships (2017)
-A scholarship of an amount equivalent to $10,000 for nationals or residents of the USA on a one year taught Masters degree course.
-Application deadline: 3 April 2017

Faculty
Our researchers produce internationally recognised creative and critical practice through a range of media, including film, radio, photography and new and interactive forms.

Faculty projects have been broadcast on the BBC and Channel 4 and shown at many festivals, galleries and events including:
-Jeu de Paume (Paris)
-LLGFF London Southbank
-Brighton Festival
-Impressions Gallery
-Sydney Museum of Contemporary Art

They specialise within three interlocking themes:
-Cultural histories/cultural politics
-Resistant images
-Hybrid forms, media and genres

Careers
The MA prepares you for professional work in the media and related industries, as well as enabling you to make an informed contribution to non-fiction film.

The sessions by industry professionals and distinguished alumni including Gerry Rothwell, Kim Longinotto, Penny Woolcock, Peter Beard and Marc Isaacs allow you to make links with potential employers and give you insights and advice on working in the media professions.

The course also provides an in-depth study of contemporary documentary for those wishing to pursue a PhD in this area.

Our students have been successful in gaining highly competitive scholarships offered for doctoral study, both at Sussex and other UK universities.

Graduates have pursued careers in:
-Independent filmmaking
-Television production and research
-Marketing
-Communications
-Teaching and academic research

Employers include the BBC, ITN News, Al Jazeera, Century Films, Ricochet, Back2Back Productions, Brighton.tv, EDF Energy, BP, Vodafone and a variety of universities and research centres.

Students’ documentary work from the School has been shown at several film festivals including:
-London Short Film Festival
-Cinecity
-Sheffield International Documentary Festival
-East London Film Festival

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The NFTS has a tradition of enabling documentary filmmakers to find a distinctive voice that both prepares them for the Industry and makes their work a force for changing it. Read more
The NFTS has a tradition of enabling documentary filmmakers to find a distinctive voice that both prepares them for the Industry and makes their work a force for changing it.

-Develop a personal voice.
-Put storytelling at the centre of your process.
-Study in a multi-disciplinary filmmaking environment.
-Shoot on digital formats.
-Unlike other schools, all production costs are met by the School.

We welcome EU/EEA Students. Those accepted onto courses starting in 2018 will have their fees guaranteed at the UK rate for both years of the course. Postgraduate students can apply for a loan to help with their studies via the Student Loans Company Loans. A £ 10,000 loan is available to contribute to course and living costs. The Post Graduate Loan is only open to EU/EEA and UK Students who normally live in England. It is not currently available to Scottish, Welsh or Northern Ireland Students. Find out more here: https://nfts.co.uk/fees-funding/funding-guide

COURSE OVERVIEW

This course commences in January each year. The goal of the course is to give our graduates the tools and the confidence to become successful members of the international documentary community. Our students have won the Grierson and Sheffield Student Awards two years running, IDFA and the Royal Television Society last year, and win prizes at the most prestigious festivals round the world: Sundance, IDFA, Hot Docs, Berlin, Sheffield and many others. The most important thing, however, is to prepare them for life as committed documentary storytellers, wherever that may lead.

In the UK, getting a first commission can be a daunting task but last year, for example, Marc Williamson, made a First Cut for Channel 4 from his Sheffield student award winning graduation film which this year won him the Grierson Prize for Best Newcomer. Some use the contacts they make in the last phase of the course, to put together deals with TV production companies and non-TV source as Sam Blair did with Adidas for his brilliant feature debut about sprinters, Personal Best. Since students direct and shoot five films in different genres during the course, many progress swiftly by using their unique skills to contribute to productions throughout the industry, like James Newton who won a Grierson last year as one of the directors of The Year the Town Hall Shrank.

CURRICULUM

YEAR ONE
Built around a series of four practical exercises, increasing in length and complexity, informed and inspired by relevant traditions. Each exercise isolates and focuses on the techniques and content of a specific documentary genre: observation, character–led narrative, image/sound poetry and investigation. Students collaborate in various combinations with editors, cinematographers, sound designers and composers and also work alone using digital video equipment.

YEAR TWO
Includes three projects: a graduation film in which students synthesise what they have discovered in the first year, and use it to confidently challenge conventional approaches to documentary: an MA dissertation in which they reflect on a practical question that has intrigued them during the course so far and a proposal/taster tape for a project to take into the professional arena.

The final stage consists of visits to film festivals, broadcasters, independent producers and other relevant institutions, together with seminars dealing with the commissioning process, legal requirements, finance and festival potential.

Unlike other schools, all production costs are met by the School including an above-the-line cash production budget. NFTS students are engaged in more productions as part of the curriculum than any of our competitors.

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