The UK has a mature and highly successful TV industry with exports of programmes and formats worth over £1.3 billion annually. Broadcasting is still an expanding industry in many parts of the world, and is a crucial driver for the creative and cultural industries more generally. This course provides the wide perspectives and specific skills that are essential for success in the broadcasting industry.
This innovative course examines the different ways in which broadcasting is organised around the world. It has a particular emphasis on the production techniques of British television, approaching them through a comparative international lens. Students study a major BBC drama series in depth (currently the Saturday evening series Casualty) from conception, through to scripting and production organisation. The course includes visits to the production base in Cardiff as well as crucial skills training in the industry-standard MovieMagic budget and schedule software.
Each student takes creative control of their own television or radio production to complete the course. The Media Arts department’s extensive range of industry-standard equipment, our TV production studio, state-of-the-art Mac Labs and location store (all of which has recently benefited from a £100,000 investment), is available to all students and training is provided in using it as part of the course.
Located near London, the course provides students with a privileged insight into the production practices of the UK television industry. You will have guest lecturers from both production and management in the broadcasting industry. The wide range of past guest lecturers include:
- Alex Graham (CEO of Wall to Wall TV, executive producer of Who Do You Think You Are), - Karen Mullins (Project Manager for Channel 4 Racing, London Olympics, Rugby World Cup) - James Quinn (Executive Producer My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding) - Pip Clothier (Producer of undercover documentaries including BBC’s Panorama: Cash for Questions).
What you will study: - The nature of television as a medium: scheduling, genres, formats - How to produce your own short television or radio programme, using industry-standard equipment - The changing ways in which digital programming is being produced and delivered - The ways in which formats and programming are traded globally - The organisation and regulation of broadcasting around the world - The differing industrial structures of TV - The crucial skills of scheduling and budgeting, including training on the industry standard Movie Magic software. - TV series narrative arcs and character development - The TV production process, planning and execution, (including lectures by the producers of BBC’s Casualty
You will be taught by world-leading scholars including: - Professor John Ellis (author of Visible Fictions, Seeing Things; independent TV producer; formerly deputy chair of PACT, the UK independent producers’ trade organisation)
- Dr George Guo (graduate of Westminster University and Communication University of China who publishes on TV drama in China)
- Dr James Bennett (author of Television as Digital Media, Television Personalities)
- Mike Dormer (producer of The Whale (2013), Blue Murder (2007-9) New Tricks (2003-5)) a team that combines an international perspective, substantial experience in the TV industry, and innovative theoretical thinking.
- You will develop an international outlook on broadcasting, equipping you to pursue a career in the broadcasting industry, both in the UK or abroad
- You'll be taught by renowned scholars and experienced practitioners
- The MA is taught in a department devoted to TV and film production and its study
- There is an in-depth focus on the UK and its excellence in broadcast production
- You will be trained and develop advanced skills in the use of our industry-standard equipment, which includes Final Cut Studio 2 editing systems, Sony HVR-V1E cameras, Sennheiser radio microphone kits and a selection of professional quality sound recording and lighting equipment.
Department research and industry highlights
The Media Arts department at Royal Holloway has a vibrant production culture. Most staff members have substantial production experience in TV and cinema. Around 300 undergraduate and 60 postgraduate students every year are engaged in making their own productions, including MA International Television Industries students.
Staff include the feature film director John Roberts (War of the Buttons, Day of the Flowers), award-winning documentary maker Marc Isaacs (All White in Barking, The Road), former controller of BBC1 and head of BBC Drama, Jonathan Powell.
You will be taught by leading independent producers Professor John Ellis (Brazil: Beyond Citizen Kane, Cinema in China) and Mike Dormer (The Whale, New Tricks, The Bill).
On completion of the programme graduates will have:
- a thorough understanding of the world broadcasting market and its organisation - a thorough understanding of the main issues in broadcasting culture - a deep knowledge of the main genres and forms of broadcast programming - a detailed understanding of the nature of British TV series drama and the production processes that are involved in realising a TV drama series - an invaluable experience of production to a broadcast standard - a critical self-knowledge gained from analysing the process of producing their own work
Assessment is carried out by a variety of methods including: - seminar presentations - written essays - research portfolios - project work - self-assessment documents
Employability & career opportunities
On graduation, you will have a range of knowledge and a portfolio of written and media work which will be invaluable in finding employment in the broadcasting industry, particularly in those territories where the business is expanding rapidly.