*Subject to validation
The MA in Film Making offers students the opportunity to create sophisticated, professionally produced, expertly crafted films. The students’ practical and theoretical understanding of film making will be advanced by internationally renowned lecturers and award winning film makers, and is geared towards fostering committed film makers - those who come with film stories in mind and who have a strong desire to realise films with a distinct voice.
Students will have access to industry standard equipment, including high end cameras, a professional on-campus film studio, edit suites with requisite post-production software and sessions with a variety of film makers and professionals who span industry and beyond. Within the context of a highly structured production environment, students will be encouraged to experiment creatively, and explore the art of filmmaking through the craft of script writing (during which they will be able to realise a full-length feature script), expand their technical expertise and futureproof by consolidating a specialism. They may explore methods of working with actors, directing styles and the rehearsal process, as well as evolve their engagement with contributors and documentary subjects. Critical and theoretical perspectives will contextualise and underpin their experience of viewing and of making, and students are encouraged to think of their film production portfolio in terms of both career advancement and personal exploration.
As part of the course students will undertake a final major project in which they will be able to realise a quality, festival-ready short in any genre/form, which they can use to demonstrate their professional range of skills. They will also leave the course with a feature length script, which will enable them to develop a relationship with agents, and give them a full length feature project with which to launch themselves into the film making market.
A hands-on, practical course delivered through lectures, workshops, critiques, masterclasses and one-to-one tutorials make up the core of the teaching practice. All classes are delivered on two days of the week, thus allowing for work, travel and other commitments. Assessment is both practical and written.
Learn how to create sophisticated, professionally produced, expertly written, personal films
Join our team of film makers and explore the world of film making on a course which offers the perfect balance of creativity, craft and theory.
Experience a range of field trip opportunities
Join our International/European field trips to major film festivals to see works by established and emerging film makers with our BA Film Production cohort.
Benefit from our Creative Skillset accreditation which demonstrates the industry-relevant, high quality degrees
Work in the excellent multi-platform facilities of our expanding media centre to realise a series of personally developed film works which will make you festival-ready and underpin your future career development.
Benefit from our Creative Skillset accreditation, links to film festivals and industry, as well as visits from specialists/practitioners who will provide insider knowledge on this rapidly evolving field.
This course will enable you to develop film production skills with both digital and analogue equipment, as well as knowledge of the theories of contemporary cinema. The focus is placed firmly on developing clear and simple storytelling techniques that go beyond arbitrary formal categorisations of drama, documentary or genre. The course takes its inspiration from forms of cultural production that have challenged conformity, including the work of artists, musicians, painters and performers, and the movements of Italian neo-realism and the developing cinemas of Africa, Latin America, South Korea and Iran.
You will study the basic principles of filmmaking, develop an understanding of the nature and potential of visual storytelling, and discover the importance of sound, lighting and the screenplay. You will also gain a sound knowledge of theories and ideas that can help in the interpretation of your own work and that of other filmmakers. You will produce a portfolio of moving-image projects to illustrate your technical ability in cinematography, sound recording, editing and writing/direction.
You will be able to use high-definition digital video camcorders, DSLRs and Macs running Final Cut Pro and Adobe Creative Cloud to apply classical and independent principles with contemporary technology; 8mm, super8 and 16mm film cameras are also available to explore analogue forms of filmmaking (students who wish to use our analogue cameras will have to cover their own stock and processing costs).
Film production projects, critical journal, essays, and seminar presentations.
Many postgraduate courses at Kingston University allow students to do a 12-month work placement as part of their course. The responsibility for finding the placement is with the student; we cannot guarantee the placement, just the opportunity to undertake it. As the work placement is an assessed part of the course, the work placement is covered by a student's tier 4 visa. Find out more about the postgraduate work placement.
This programme takes a project-led, practice-based approach to studying for an MA in Film Directing (Documentary) which integrates practical film making with analysis of contemporary film practice. Students choose to make a creative documentary or a non -fiction film which defies genre definition and pushes the boundaries of narrative. We develop these through workshops and tutorials. Our students work within an integrated framework that helps them question the form of their films and enables them to find the right language for their storytelling.
The programme encourages ways of working as a film community that foster the important exchange of ideas, with inspiration from international visiting film makers through Scottish Documentary Institute and support from our team of documentary practicioners. All tutors are top professionals currently working within the industry as directors, producers, editors, cinematographers or sound designers. A newly built Avid edit teaching space, and a new screening space helps us encourage a fresh approach to emerging technologies.
Graduate films do well internationally regularly winning BAFTAs, RTS Awards and awards at international festivals. Over the last five years students have received an Oscar nomination for an MA film made here and an Oscar shortlist for a film made by a recent graduate. We work closely with the Scottish Documentary Institute, the University’s internationally-acclaimed research centre in documentary film making.
The aim of the Film Directing programmes at ECA is to:
This programme is project-led and delivered through workshops and regular individual tutorials. It integrates practical studio work with theoretical and written studies from the Screen cultures course (see separate description) which is run independently from the Film Department.
The first semester, Design Studio is organised round a series of micro-films which lead to a growing awareness of film language and enhancement of technical skills to creatively support filmic vision. Cinematography and sound workshops are delivered by visiting lecturers. Directorial voice is built up also through tutorials in which an idea for a graduating film is developed and evolved. Awareness of current international documentary practice is built through regular seminars and screenings, collaborations with Film Festivals such as Take One Action and also supported by Scottish Documentary Institute. This is also to inspire students to push boundaries in their approach to narrative structure and visual language and not to get locked in conventional approaches. We want to encourage bold work that takes risks. At the end of the first semester all students pitch their films using a trailer or short excerpt from their research material. They also develop a treatment with feedback from tutorials.
Semester two is spent preparing and shooting the graduate film and is backed up with edit tutorials as well as project support from weekly meetings with a tutor. Students also receive seminars in production process including contracts.
Semester three is when the film is edited and finished with input from group crits, tutorials. Students also attend or often volunteer with Edinburgh Film Festival and the Edinburgh Pitch in order to observe and engage with key players from the international documentary world through hearing feedback from commissioning editors.
Alongside the ECA learning structure, students also have a pool of potential collaborators from Screen Academy Napier including the possibility of working with cinematographers, editors and producers.
Our students go on to a wide range of roles, including producer, director, writer, production or location manager, researcher, editor, assistant director, cinematographer, or journalist. Graduates have found work directing for the BBC and making work internationally for top broadcasters and film funds. Related fields include advertising, community films, academia or film development agencies.
MA/MFA Film Directing has been awarded the Creative Skillset Tick, the industry kitemark of quality, following a rigorous assessment process by experts working in the Creative Industries. The Creative Skillset Tick is awarded to practice-based courses which best prepare students for a career in the industry. Screen Academy Scotland is one of only 3 Screen Academies in the UK along with National Film School and London Film School.
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.
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).
Students choose two of the following:
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.
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
The programme equips students for careers in:
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.
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).
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.
This innovative new course offers the opportunity to gain both the vital skills and critical awareness necessary to pursue a career in the diverse areas of contemporary film curation and exhibition, whether within the industry or within the field of research. This could include curation within a museum or arts centre; festival management; exhibition, both theatrical and online; or cinema programming.
A range of placements with industry partners including The Tetley, a leading centre for contemporary art housed in the former Tetley brewery, and Leeds International Film Festival, will allow you to see this in action, providing you with the practical skills you need to successfully curate and exhibit films.
Classroom-based modules will explain the theory behind programming, archiving and film exhibition using case studies including cinemas, art galleries and festivals amongst others.
You will be joining the Northern Film School, one of the best-known film and television schools in the UK, whose staff and students have been making innovative and award-winning films for more than 25 years. In this collaborative environment, you will work alongside filmmaking students, sharing ideas and inspiration with fellow creative professionals.
Industry visitors and successful alumni will visit to share their experiences and you will have the opportunity to build your networks through film festival visits and events at the University. Previous students have visited CineYouth Film Festival in Chicago and regularly show their work at Sheffield DocFest. Our academic staff have premiered their films at FrightFest. Leeds is also home to the Leeds International Film Festival, so you will have ample opportunity to see how a professional event is run by experiencing it yourself.
The School's research expertise will feed into your learning, helping you to understand the context of different audiences. For example, the Film School's CINAGE project which began in 2013, explores the EU's recommendations for healthy, active ageing by engaging older people in contemporary cinema.
You will be taught by expert staff including Visiting Lecturer Jason Wood who helped to develop the course. Jason is the Artistic Director of Film at HOME, Manchester. He is also a Research Professor of Film at Manchester School of Art and the co-director (with Simon Barker) of the experimental Ballard adaptation Always (crashing). Previous publications for Faber include: The Faber Book of Mexican Cinema, Nick Broomfield: Documenting Icons and The Curzon Faber Book of New British Cinema (with Ian Haydn Smith). He is currently completing a memoir with Green Gartside/Scritti Politti and writing a history of recent Iranian Cinema (both for Faber).
Keith Dando, who heads the School's taught postgraduate programmes, has an extensive range of experience in film marketing, distribution and exhibition. Keith has curated a nimber of film screenings, including Northern Film School showcases at the Leeds International Film Festival and The Royal Armouries, and was co-founder, director and programmer of the Liverpool Lesbian and Gay Film Festival.
Dr Steven Gerrard has spent many years developing collaborative projects with partners as diverse as Swansea Football Club, the Musuem of Welsh Life, and the National Trust.
There will also be guest lecturers and masterclasses by current industry film curators and programmers who will ensure that you are kept up to date with the latest developments in the sector as they are happening.
With your specialist knowledge, you could enter a range of diverse careers with film and moving image at their heart. Areas such as film festival programming, archiving and restoration, museum curation, film exhibition and distribution (theatrical and online), community arts and cinema management will all be open to you.
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.
Guest Lectures and Guest Speakers include:
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.
Assessment is carried out by a variety of methods including project work, photo essays and written production papers.
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.