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Masters Degrees (Wildlife Documentary)

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On this course you will learn the research, scriptwriting and production skills that you will need to produce polished, professional wildlife documentaries. Read more
On this course you will learn the research, scriptwriting and production skills that you will need to produce polished, professional wildlife documentaries.

Key benefits:

• Work towards a fulfilling career in an exciting field with the potential for travel
• Learn from respected filmmakers via a series of masterclasses
• Develop the creative and technical skills you will need to produce striking and informative wildlife documentaries – this is a Skillset-accredited course.

Visit the website: http://www.salford.ac.uk/pgt-courses/wildlife-documentary-production

Suitable for

Graduates who have a passion for using video documentary techniques to communicate scientific knowledge about wildlife and the environment. The programme will provide students with a unique interdisciplinary interaction between sciences and creative arts.

Programme details

During your time with us, you will learn specialist wildlife-production techniques, including long-lens and time-lapse photography and close-up sound recording. There is a strong emphasis on professional practice, and your projects will be expected to measure up to scientific scrutiny, as well as exhibition and broadcast standards.


As well as lectures and seminars, you will attend masterclasses given by expert practitioners with links to the television industry. Plus you will take field trips to a range of animal habitats, where you will work on individual and group projects.

The course will employ a range of teaching and learning strategies in order to meet learning outcomes. These will include:

• Lectures
• Seminars
• Camera, sound and editing skills practice and assessment
• Analysis of case studies
• Student-led independent research
• Student-led project work and field trips.

This strategy will be integrated with an assessment strategy based on outcomes, students' reflective self-assessments and learning plans. Assessment methods will include production exercises and portfolios, projects, critical essays and a dissertation project.

Module titles

• Wildlife Biology, Ecology and Behaviour
• Media Theory and Practice
• Wildlife Research Skills
• Wildlife Research Skills
• Advanced Production Practices
• Major Project: Practice Research Project
• Major Project: Dissertation


Each module within the course uses and combines a number of different assessment criteria. The following styles are used within the course modules:

• Reports
• Presentations
• Essay
• Practical project
• Research Portfolio

Career potential

The course is ideal for those wishing to pursue careers in all aspects of wildlife documentary production, including directing, producing, script-writing, photography, sound recording and editing. A number of graduates are now working within the TV industry both in the UK and abroad, including several independent companies and ITV, all within wildlife documentary.

The majority of past students have found jobs in the television industry. Examples include:

• Ex-students are working for the BBC Natural History Unit as researchers and assistant producers.
• Ex-students are working for ITV, producing short films from their wildlife images catalogue
• A student is working as an assistant cameraman for a leading wildlife independent company
• One student is working as a producer for Portuguese TV
• Other graduates have jobs as field assistants (currently working in the arctic on a major wildlife film), runners and film librarians
• A student is making web-based programmes for Cornwall TV
• All are connected with wildlife and nature film-making

How to apply: http://www.salford.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/applying

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Documentary filmmaking is constantly evolving and with the rise of internet and social media, there are countless places for filmmakers to publish their work. Read more
Documentary filmmaking is constantly evolving and with the rise of internet and social media, there are countless places for filmmakers to publish their work. This course will help you find an audience for your idea and 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 from campaigning and issue-led films to observational and character pieces and experimental films to 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.

Visit the website http://courses.leedsbeckett.ac.uk/documentary_filmmaking_ma

Mature Applicants

Our University welcomes applications from mature applicants who demonstrate academic potential. We usually require some evidence of recent academic study, for example completion of an access course, however recent relevant work experience may also be considered. Please note that for some of our professional courses all applicants will need to meet the specified entry criteria and in these cases work experience cannot be considered in lieu.

If you wish to apply through this route you should refer to our University Recognition of Prior Learning policy that is available on our website (http://www.leedsbeckett.ac.uk/studenthub/recognition-of-prior-learning.htm).

Please note that all applicants to our University are required to meet our standard English language requirement of GCSE grade C or equivalent, variations to this will be listed on the individual course entry requirements.


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 allow you to make films you care about, helping you to make your voice heard and paving the way for your future as a filmmaker.

Careers advice:
The dedicated Jobs and Careers team offers expert advice and a host of resources to help you choose and gain employment. Whether you're in your first or final year, you can speak to members of staff from our Careers Office who can offer you advice from writing a CV to searching for jobs.

Visit the careers site - https://www.leedsbeckett.ac.uk/employability/jobs-careers-support.htm

Course Benefits

As the first and only film school in the UK to receive JAMES accreditation, our Northern Film School (http://www.northernfilmschool.co.uk/) 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.

Martin John Harris

Senior Lecturer

"The world of documentary is vast and it can often be difficult to decide the route you want to take as a filmmaker. What is most important is that you have an idea - with this starting point we can help you make the right type of documentary."

Martin is an award-winning film editor and documentary collaborator. He was a film editor at the BBC for seven years before working as a freelance editor on dramas and documentaries for major broadcasters. His work includes the BBC series 'Bombay Railway', winner of a Royal Television Society (RTS) award for Best Documentary in 2008, and feature length documentary 'Bloodshot: The Dreams and Nightmares of East Timor' which won the RTS award for Best Documentary in 2013.


- Electric Press
Based at the Electric Press, our Northern Film School has dedicated facilities and equipment for you to use. These include studios, camera and grip equipment, lighting equipment, edit suites for post-production and a 75-seat HD viewing theatre.

- Film Studios
There are two production studios within our Electric Press building. The studios are of a significant size, giving you the opportunity to explore film set design and prop building.

- Sound recording & editing equipment
We have an extensive range of professional sound equipment from the likes of Sennheiser, Sound Devices and Tascam. All edit stations are equipped with ProTools software and AVID editing software.

There is a sound recording studio in Electric Press and access to larger facilities elsewhere in our University.

Find out how to apply here - http://www.leedsbeckett.ac.uk/postgraduate/how-to-apply/

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Bristol is the global capital of natural history programme making and the natural place to study for an MA in Wildlife Filmmaking. Read more
Bristol is the global capital of natural history programme making and the natural place to study for an MA in Wildlife Filmmaking. On this highly popular Masters course you will learn how to develop and pitch ideas, tell great stories and make intelligent and surprising programmes to captivate and engage audiences.

Our partnership with the BBC Natural History Unit (NHU) means that, alongside your studies, you will have incredible opportunities to network with professional wildlife film makers, attend talks, film festivals and other events around the city.

Our MA students graduate with the skills, experience and knowledge needed for entry level jobs in all areas of production from online to broadcast. Graduates now work for the BBC, Icon Films, Discovery, Tigress and other top production companies in the UK and overseas.

Course detail

On this Masters course you will learn all you need to know via technical workshops, seminars, masterclasses and through experience and opportunities making films and digital content for clients. We also help you develop skills in research, script writing, directing, producing, production management and the pitching and commissioning of ideas.

One of the unique aspects of this course is that you will be matched with an industry mentor who, alongside your tutor, will guide you through the production of your final project. All students complete their Masters by writing, directing and producing a final project/film. These films are premiered each year and seen by an audience of invited film and television professionals from the BBC and independent sector.


The full master's course comprises 180 credits divided into three 60 credits stages: Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma, and Master's. Students work incrementally through the three stages and must pass all modules at each stage in order to progress to the next.


• Creating the Story
• Mastering the Business
• Preparing for Production
• Future Documentary
• Professional production


The main teaching will take place in seminars and in workshops focused around the University's creative media centre at its Bower Ashton campus (see Study Facilities). You will also benefit from BBC visits, real-life filming experiences and allied conferences and external events.

All our teaching is informed by the latest industry developments, with valuable industry insight thinking on business developments from professional practitioners.


Modules are assessed by a range of submissions including portfolios of work together with films and production work. The first two semesters drive your skills and learning towards your final natural history production which must be of professional standard with appropriate documentation and matching industry standard deliverables.

Careers / Further study

Students have worked on BBC series, produced films for the Festival of Nature, The Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust at Slimbridge, the RSPB and the Zoological Society of London - some of the UK's top wildlife and conservation organisations.

We also have an ongoing partnership with Wildscreen, the award-winning wildlife conservation charity and Encounters, the Bristol-based international short film festival. Students have been highly commended in the British Wildlife Photography Awards HD film category and were nominated in the Wildscreen Panda Awards. Graduates have also secured internships and employment with the BBC and other organisations such as Discovery, Icon Films, RDF and Tigress Productions.

How to apply

Information on applications can be found at the following link: http://www1.uwe.ac.uk/study/applyingtouwebristol/postgraduateapplications.aspx


- New Postgraduate Master's loans for 2016/17 academic year –

The government are introducing a master’s loan scheme, whereby master’s students under 60 can access a loan of up to £10,000 as a contribution towards the cost of their study. This is part of the government’s long-term commitment to enhance support for postgraduate study.

Scholarships and other sources of funding are also available.

More information can be found here: http://www1.uwe.ac.uk/students/feesandfunding/fundingandscholarships/postgraduatefunding.aspx

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A unique course, the only one of its kind in the UK, designed to fast track you into the industry. Quick Facts. 2 Year Course. Full-time. Read more
A unique course, the only one of its kind in the UK, designed to fast track you into the industry.

Quick Facts:

2 Year Course
Course runs Jan-Dec each year
Next intake: January 2017
NFTS Scholarships available for UK Students

Visit the website https://nfts.co.uk/our-courses/masters/directing-producing-science-natural-history



New technology and a greater variety of formats are challenging the traditional boundaries of Science and Natural History Programming and driving greater audience demand. British production companies are at the forefront of leading innovation in formats and high-end content, with growing opportunities to work with North American and international broadcasters.

This course will give you:

- The skills to direct science and natural history productions.
- The know-how to produce entire shows.
- A practical working knowledge of current science and natural history television production methods.
- The ability to generate science and natural history programme ideas and formats.
- Knowledge of how the business works and current trends, including co-productions etc.
- The confidence and know-how to pitch those ideas to commissioning editors.
- Brilliant industry contacts and relevant skills for building a sustainable career as a Producer/Director.
- Access to NFTS's Masterclasses lead by major creative figures from film, television and games.

The National Film and Television School’s Science and Natural History Masters* focuses on developing Producers and Directors. Therefore, as part of the course students will be exposed to the development and production challenges of specialist factual genres, such as Landmark and Blue Chip (interchangeable terms for high budget, high production value programming mainly used in a pure wildlife context), mini landmarks, Children’s, People and Nature, Live, Expedition films, Magazine formats, Obs-doc etc. In addition there will be a focus on promoting cross-genre ideas to foster creativity.

Editorial policy and standards, together with codes of practice relating to science and the filming of animals, and Health and Safety will be fully explored.

Students will gain practical experience in both the research and development of programming of this type whilst also developing a body of work that showcases their practical film making skills and innovation within the genre.

* Subject to Validation


Below is an indicative list of the topics covered on the course:

- Audiences, and the genres of science and natural history films: differences and overlaps
- Editorial and production values in science and natural history programmes
- The documentary tradition
- Principles of storytelling and film narrative
- Finding stories: research
- Story Development
- Treatments and Proposal Writing / Pitching and packaging the concept
- The film process, from script to screen
- Writing techniques
- Wildlife Behaviour
- Finding and working with Talent and Presenters
- Guidelines for Filming Animals
- Editorial Policy and Standards
- Digital Content and Social Media Extensions
- Formatting
- Short form storytelling
- Directing the camera to capture a ‘scene’
- Working with graphics and VFX
- Pitch Reel / Sizzle Reels
- Outside Broadcasts
- Production and Post Production Workflow (logging, DITs etc)
- Health and Safety
- The History of Science and Wildlife Filmmaking
- The Business: how programmes are financed. International co-production
- International Markets and Programming
- Marketplace trends
- Managing a career

In addition, students will be exposed to specialist science and natural history filming techniques, such as: thermal, Slow Motion, underwater, Macro & Micro filming, drones, timelapse, rigs etc.

There is a strong emphasis on professional practice. This means that student projects will be expected to measure up to scientific scrutiny, as well as exhibition and broadcast standards.

The structure of the course follows the chronological steps of a Science or Natural History Television production. Injected into this timeline will be specifically tailored modules taught by top television professionals, with experience of different subgenres or appropriate specialist techniques, eg cinematography or VFX. Students also get the chance to pitch their Science and Natural History programme ideas to broadcasters like the BBC, National Geographic and Discovery.

NFTS students are engaged in more productions as part of the curriculum than any of our competitors. Unlike other schools, all production costs are met by the School and productions are given cash production budgets.


Each student will complete a minimum of 10 days work experience.


Science & Natural History course participants will have full access to the NFTS’ optional creative stimulus strands, including: Cinema Club, Screen Arts and NFTS Masterclasses - these strands see major creative figures from film, television and games screening their work and discussing with students in the campus cinema. Recent speakers include David Fincher (Director, Seven, Gone Girl), Graham Linehan (The IT Crowd, Father Ted), Abi Morgan (Suffragette, The Hour), Christopher Nolan (Interstellar, The Dark Knight) and Hamish Hamilton (Director, Super Bowl XLVIII).


If you are lively and imaginative, then this is the course for you! Applicants must be able to demonstrate their passion, commitment and talent for developing a career in Television.

Typically applicants will have a proven interest in science and natural history, which, typically, may involve a background in Physics, Chemistry, combined Natural Sciences, Zoology, Biology, Psychology, Mathematics etc.


- A short proposal for a science or natural history television programme – no more than one A4 typed page
- Optional: A DVD containing samples of your work specifying your exact role in each. This work need not be in the science and natural history area, as some applicants may not have a film or other programme-making background.


You can apply directly to us at the NFTS by clicking on the link below:

APPLY FOR DIRECTING & PRODUCING SCIENCE & NATURAL HISTORY COURSE - https://nfts.co.uk/user/login?destination=node/9%3Fnid%3D2023

You can apply online, or download a word document of the application form to submit via email
When selecting your course, please ensure that you have read the entry requirements and details of the supporting materials that should accompany your application.


We are happy to receive applications 24/7 and 365 days a year up until the deadline. That said, there is no particular advantage to submitting your application very early. The important thing is that your application shows us your latest work and tell us about your most recent filmmaking experiences.

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