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If you are passionate about pursuing a career as a cinematographer in an environment that promotes innovative filmmaking, this programme is for you. With its unique blend of hands-on workshops, studio and location filming exercises, and high production value collaborative film projects, the MA Filmmaking (Cinematography) elevates your skills as a moving-image storyteller to the level of Director of Photography.

What we offer

The MA Filmmaking (Cinematography) is a pathway of the Goldsmiths MA Filmmaking. It is housed in a new purpose-built media facility with state-of-the-art teaching spaces including film and photography studios equipped with Arri cameras and lighting. 

You'll learn sophisticated camera, lighting and gripping techniques, and will perform all camera department roles from Director of Photography to Camera Operator, Focus-puller, Gaffer, Camera Assistant, Spark and Grip. You’ll work on a number of exercises and films per term in your specialist role, culminating in a major film production towards the end of the degree. Throughout the degree, you’ll also gain parallel experience in related cine roles by crewing for your fellow cinematographer classmates.

In addition to developing professional-level skills in your specialist craft area, you’ll attend classes in related disciplines such as Directing and Editing and advance your collaborative skills by working with students across all specialisations, including writers, producers and sound designers. The horizontal framework is designed to stimulate collaborative practice by introducing you to a breadth of filmmaking knowledge combined with a high level of expertise as an accomplished cinematographer.

Expert guidance

Experienced tutors and industry guests provide expert guidance designed to enhance the flow of your individual research, experimentation and artistic achievement. Recent guest speakers include Barry Ackroyd BSC, Cesar Charlone ABC, Jess Hall BSC, Martin ‘Teddy’ Testar BKSTS, Adam Scarfe (DoP), Howard Davidson (Gaffer), Steve MacCarthy (Operator) and our very own Witold Stok BSC.

You'll be able to join the British Society of Cinematographers Club as student members and have the opportunity to interact with the world’s top cinematographers during our annual trip to the world’s largest cinematography festival Camerimage in Poland.

You'll leave the MA with a diverse portfolio of moving-image work that spans fiction and documentary, as well as hybrid and experimental genres. The programme will prepare you to enter the global job market, armed with an enhanced understanding of your practical, intellectual and creative capacities as a cinematographer. You will also develop a variety of transferable intellectual, organisational and communication skills to equip you for a broad range of employment opportunities across the arts and media landscape.

What you'll study

For two terms you will spend a full day a week in specialised contact with your specific programme convenor. These sessions include:

  • practical demonstrations and exercises
  • lectures
  • screenings
  • small group seminars
  • workshops

You will also take three option modules, taught through practical workshops and hands-on experiences, as well as critical discussion and essay writing.

The third term will be taken up with your final substantive project and you will take part in a series of progress and feedback meetings.

Compulsory modules

You will take the following modules:

  • Cinematography: Specialist Skills
  • Contemporary Screen Narratives in Practice and Theory
  • You will also complete a Final Project (90 credits), assessed by a portfolio of work and a viva that reflects your practice.

Screen School options

As well as your Cinematography specialism, you will choose three 15-credit option modules to enhance your other skills and critical approaches. Options include:

  • Social Activist Film
  • Adaptation and Script Editing
  • Archaeology of the Moving Image
  • Camera Fundamentals
  • Experimental Media
  • Filmmakers Make Theory
  • Film Producing Fundamentals
  • Representing Reality
  • Sound Design Fundamentals
  • The Ascent of the Image
  • Visual Storytelling
  • Doctor Holby: Writing for Existing Continuing TV Drama Series
  • Media Law and Ethics
  • Practical Law for Film-makers

Download the programme specification, for the 2019-20 intake. If you would like an earlier version of the programme specification, please contact the Quality Office.

Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.

Our graduates

Recent alumni are active in the film, media and cultural industries around the world as:

  • cinematographers
  • film camera operators
  • television camera operators
  • lighting designers
  • focus pullers
  • gaffers
  • grips
  • steadicam operators

Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths


Visit the Filmmaking (Cinematography) - MA page on the Goldsmiths, University of London website for more details!

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