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 interdisciplinary programme is taught by staff from a wide range of departments at UCL, all international experts in the fields of film and media studies. Linguistic and cultural expertise informs our teaching on the film-making traditions of Europe, the Americas, the Middle East, Asia and South-East Asia.
The programme covers the history of cinema and a wide variety of world cinemas. It is designed to provide students with advanced knowledge of both the history of cinema and its contemporary developments, and with the skills, concepts, methods and theories required for the study of cinema and media at graduate level.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of two core modules (30 credits and one non-credit bearing), three optional modules (90 credits), and a dissertation (60 credits).
All MA students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 12,000 words.
Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials, and film and video screenings. The core modules are assessed by essays and examinations, which together count for 20% of the final mark. Optional modules are assessed by essays (40%), and the dissertation makes up the final 40%.
Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Film Studies MA
Graduates from the MA in Film Studies have pursued various careers, including: academic research and teaching; careers within media arts (writing, directing, editing); print and media journalism; arts and museum management; multimedia authoring and digital design; film preservation and curating.
Recent career destinations for this degree
Former students of this programme have gone on to careers in education and publishing and a wide variety of careers in the media arts, including film production, festival programming, and film curation with organisations including the BBC, the Barbican Centre, the Athens International Film Festival, and the London Film School.
Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.
Each year, we welcome students from all over the world to our Film Studies MA. Under the aegis of UCL's Centre for Multidisciplinary & Intercultural Inquiry (CMII), students spend a year amongst a thriving, cross-disciplinary community of cinema scholars and research students.
We have particular research strengths in film history, film theory, and in an exceptionally broad range of national and regional cinemas.
UCL has made a major commitment to refurbishing its multimedia infrastructure for the study of film and related media. This includes building a significant collection of print and visual materials and new facilities for teaching and for film and media screenings.
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.
Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.
This course provides the opportunity for you to develop as a thinking practitioner of film-making or television programme-making, someone who is able to innovate while questioning and interrogating existing values and traditions. The emphasis is firmly on practical film-making and television production work, underpinned with contextual theory throughout, engaging with contemporary issues and emerging trends in film and television production, as well as established film/television theories and practices.
The first two semesters of study provide a range of modules which will allow you to develop your film/television “craft skills” – this may include work with camera, lighting, sound, editing, directing and producing – while working on short film/TV projects of your own devising. There will be opportunities to collaborate with other students, and you will be encouraged to make contact with, and work with, contributors (e.g. interviewees, actors) from outside of the university. You will also develop your skills as an academic researcher by carrying out research which feeds directly into your film projects.
The course culminates in the Masters Project, where you will be the key creative leader of a film or television production, taking on the role of producer or director.
In a typical week, a full-time student on this course will have up to ten hours of class time which will be a mixture of lectures, seminars, tutorials and practical workshop sessions. Most course modules will blend these different teaching methods within a given timetabled session, so there will be plenty of variety.
In lectures, you will typically be given ‘food for thought’ in relation to your own project ideas. In workshop sessions you will get to practice film-making techniques related to your own project work needs. In seminars you will share ideas and discuss with tutors and fellow students. In tutorials you will have one-to-one or small group discussion about your works in progress.
The general flow of the course for a full time student is to start with production skills, research skills and scriptwriting in the first semester. In the second semester you move on to a small personal project which will combine all that you have learned from these three areas. In the final semester, you bring it all together in a personal film/TV production project which is seen as the culmination of your studies.
Part-time students experience exactly the same course modules and course content, but necessarily broken down into smaller groups of modules.
The course is built upon negotiated production work, which means you get to propose and develop your own ideas for film and television. The teaching staff are experienced with production across documentary, drama and social action production, and will guide you according to your ambitions, skills and needs.
There is always the opportunity to work on ‘live’ project briefs, which can be used as the basis of a module project, or alternatively as an extra-curricular experience which informs your development on the course and allows you to network with students on related courses.
The course is taught in the School of Media, which houses a three-camera live television studio, fifteen editing suites with Premiere Pro, After Effects, Final Cut Pro X and other professional software packages, and a sound-recording/foley production suite. It also has an equipment store from which you can borrow all the camera, sound, lighting and other equipment you need to produce your work.
Who will teach you on this course?
The course teaching team includes four active doctoral or postdoctoral researchers – Adam Kossoff, Tracy McCoy, Phil Nichols and Gavin Wilson – whose interests include documentary film, social action video, screenwriting and adaptation, and cinematography. They are all qualified higher education teachers, and have many years of experience of teaching at undergraduate and postgraduate level. They are also experienced film and programme makers.
Our students and graduates have a track-record of success in competitions and festivals, such as the prestigious Royal Television Society Student Awards, the Midland Movies awards, and the Business Disability Forum's Technology Taskforce Film Festival.
Film-maker and editor Andrew Webber has had his films screened at international festivals in the UK, Jamaica and West Africa. He says, “The University has been extremely supportive, through my studies and after graduation.”
Niki Gandy has pursued a teaching career, and now teaches photography and art in a High School. Calling herself a “proud graduate” of our related undergraduate course, she says, “I chose it for its practical content and which helped furnish me with numerous transferable skills necessary to forge my career in teaching. Almost a decade on, my lecturers continue to provide me with support and guidance - I feel certain that my relationship with the university will continue for many years to come.”
Actor and director Brian Duffy, creator of TV series Small World – a comedy series about a group of deaf flatmates which has been shown on TV and online – says, “Studying at the University of Wolverhampton helped me with networking and organisation – especially as filmmakers came to Wolverhampton for Deaffest, the UK’s leading deaf film and arts festival. My lecturer could also sign which was a great help and a huge weight off my shoulders – I could talk to her one-to-one. That’s something I never had the pleasure of pre-university.”
Lauren Shinner has been working in media production ever since graduating. She says, “My time at the University was invaluable, I wouldn't be where I am today without it. The tutors were always helpful and push students to do their best with plenty of support and understanding and the course prepares you well for your prospective career. I've gone on to work as a video editor in education, ran my own media business and have done videos for high end charities and new bands, and am now working in media in another area. Without my degree, none of this would have been possible.”
This intensively taught programme is designed for artist filmmakers who want to develop their practice and their professional networks to a level that enables them to work within the art and film worlds.
This course is a twelve-month, intensively taught practice-based MA aimed at graduates and/or artists working within the field of moving image who wish to achieve a professional level in their practice with the support of an Art Department that has an exceptionally high concentration of accomplished artist filmmakers.
The programme is centred around the individual experience and knowledge that each student brings to the programme toward developing them as highly reflective and committed practitioners, as artist filmmakers who want to innovate in the expanding field of moving image within the context of artists’ film production, exhibition, reception and distribution.
The programme aims to enhance students’ professional potential by subjecting the process of thinking about, making, and exhibiting moving image works to critical scrutiny, reflection and discussion. Applicants apply with a proposal for a moving image project to ensure that they are suitably equipped to benefit from a focused, practice-based, student-centred curriculum.
Students are encouraged and supported to develop their own areas of interest and research through their primary project and dissertation, the development of which is supported through one-to-one tutorials with core staff and guest lecturers, as well as through seminars, lectures, screenings, study visits and a professional development programme that includes mentoring, master classes and workshops with leading professionals and affiliated organisations from within the international field of artists’ film and moving image.
How The Programme Is Structured
There is one route for successful completion of the MA Artists’ Film & Moving Image programme: one full time calendar year.
Students accepted onto the programme will already have outlined their key interests in their project proposal. It is from this starting point that you will be supported in developing your project through various teaching modes, including tutorials, seminar presentations, research skills training, workshops, mentoring and master classes with relevant professionals, which continue across the three terms of the programme.
Teaching is largely constituted of student-centred learning, guided independent research and studio practice, taking place across the Autumn, Spring and Summer terms leading to a final degree exhibition in July. The remainder of the summer is meant for completion of the dissertation, which is submitted at the end of August.
The programme has three core summative modules that run simultaneously. All parts of the programme are mandatory. There are no optional modules on the programme.
What You Will Be Expected to Achieve
You will be expected to complete a significant moving image project over the duration of the programme, which will be exhibited in a Final Degree Exhibition, alongside a Research Portfolio and a Dissertation. By working on and realising these three achievements you will develop a unique combination of practical, cognitive and analytical skills that will enable you to critically and constructively analyse your own practice in relation to a wider historical and contemporary context, and act upon this understanding through your practice and writing.
You will be expected to integrate the various taught elements across the modules on the programme toward working independently to develop your project, and to engage with the opportunities afforded by the programme to develop your professional practice as artist filmmakers.
You will develop a body of historical and theoretical knowledge that enables you to think and write critically about contemporary artists' film, exhibition strategies, distribution networks and its social and cultural contexts.
Students will be assessed by project presentations leading to three examination elements: Research Portfolio, Final Degree Exhibition, and Dissertation. All three elements must be passed to successfully complete the programme.
The degree of MA Artists’ Film & Moving Image is awarded to students who have successfully passed all three elements of assessment.
Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.
The MA Artists’ Film & Moving Image is designed to provide you with an understanding and experience of artists’ moving image practice that has a breadth of outcomes and a variety of transferable skills in the knowledge that the professional field demands creative and practical flexibility.
Students completing the programme should be able to establish themselves as practitioners of significance in the field of contemporary art, film and moving image and related professions, including: independent artist filmmakers, academics, teachers, curators, writers, critics, as well as institutional and independent innovators.
Throughout the duration of the programme you will be introduced to and work alongside leading professionals from within the field of Artists’ Film, through workshops, seminars and one-to-one meetings. This will contribute to your establishing your own professional network, as well as providing significant experience and understanding of the processes of production, display and distribution of artists’ film and moving image.
The Department of Art has a long and continuing record of alumni establishing professional careers and achieving considerable success in the field, including nominations to and winners of the Derek Jarman Award, the Turner Prize and the Oscars, alongside and in addition to alumni who show their work internationally at museums, public and commercial galleries, as well as on national television, international film festivals and biennales.
Are you passionate about films and all things visual or on screen? Do you want to work in the arts or do you want to find a way to do this? This programme gives you cultural contexts across a range of different genres and history of film to understand why films depicted what they did and how this contributed to the world around us and the way we live. It is well known that film has shaped other disciplines like fashion, the way we think, cultural identity, how we are able to express ourselves or understand something better we previously didn't know about. It is an opportunity to put the record straight on history and get to the root cause and effect of different periods in history through characters. Film is also about getting to the truth in documentary films. Film also follows many other arts disciplines in interpreting them and bringing them to our attention in a way that theatre and performance cannot in terms of scale and reality. Much of what has been successful on the West End Stage, Opera, ballet, the life of a famous painter or other creative is often successfully depicted in film due to its ability to portray several art forms together successfully.
Film isn't the only art form to transform our lives but it probably reaches more people than any other art form around the world. It probably has more of a profound influence in people's lives around the world to change the course of their life in work, interests, style, imitation and more. Different ages of photography have been monumental in transforming our perceptions and getting us closer to reality such as old film and photography of the 19th century, war in the world and celebrities being the first fashion icons of the 50s, without the need for script.
You study and analyse film across the recent past and you look at animation and digital from the days of the Walt Disney team making up each frame to its evolution into digital animation and speed production. You also look at how changing tastes and cultural styles have changed the way in which we view film and by what method, plus you look at living overseas in the context of your own cultural identity. From this you gain useful skills and knowledge to critique contemporary film, curate exhibitions work in museums, become and expert in a specific theme or age of film.
Find out more detail by visiting the programme web page
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*Please be advised that some programmes have different tuition fees from those listed above and that some programmes also have additional costs.
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