The MA Radio Documentary is designed to fulfil the need for radio and audio producers who can create high-quality programmes across different platforms in today's fast-paced digital age. Offered in partnership with the BBC, you will have the opportunity to work alongside experienced producers in different fields. As well as giving you the chance to put your skills into practice, you'll also gain real-world understanding of the cultural industry and its supply chain.
The course is appropriate for graduates with a passion for radio and an interest in journalism. It offers a unique industry-aligned path of study for those who want to develop a sustainable career in radio or production in the cultural industries sectors. It is also suitable for those already working in the cultural or creative sectors who wish to develop a specialist knowledge and understanding of radio documentary production, and enhance their employability.
Based at the arts-focused Bower Ashton Studios, this full-time course will immerse students into radio for the digital age. Through a mix of practical and critical analytical learning, you will develop the skills required to work across many areas of radio, including journalism, content production, podcasting and documentary making.
There is a strong emphasis on developing your technical skills alongside those needed to compete in the business of radio, such as commissioning, pitching and getting documentaries to air. You will also gain experience through placements in some of Bristol's most innovative cultural organisations, and work on your own projects with mentoring from industry.
The course benefits from Bristol's rich activity in the cultural and media industries. In addition to teaching from faculty staff, guest speakers from the BBC and independent media production companies will play a key role in delivering the course.
You will be assigned live briefs to prepare for professional commissions in the public and private sectors. BBC staff will help design the live briefs to prepare you for professional commissions, whether for the BBC or commercial clients. You will be expected to work to real deadlines under real-world conditions, giving you the understanding needed to step into entry level posts in all aspects of radio and audio content production.
This course provides a distinct and bespoke learning experience. Both practical and theoretical teaching is delivered by highly esteemed current and former BBC radio production professionals.
You will be taught through a combination of lectures, seminars and expert-led technical workshops in audio collection techniques, sound, recording, radio studio work and digital editing using industry-standard software.
There will be field visits to documentary producers and regular guest speakers from the BBC to enhance learning and bring valuable industry insight.
Students will take part in a work shadowing scheme. This will allow you to see the day-to-day workflow of producing radio documentaries.
You will be encouraged to take up placements on multi-platform outlets to gain insights across all relevant digital media.
Indicative partners include Watershed, Arnolfini, Ujima Radio and BBC News.
You will be assessed through a combination of practical work, research portfolios, exams, essays and presentations.
Careers / Further study
We aim to equip you with the skills and understanding suitable for entry level posts in the radio factual broadcast sector including documentary, formats and presenter-led features.
The course partnership with the BBC brings opportunities for engagement, collaboration and ultimately employment. The BBC highly values the talent, fresh ideas and enthusiasm of our students.
Successful graduates go on to secure work in production companies and post-production facilities as broadcast assistants, junior researchers, production assistants and studio managers.
There are also options to teach and to progress to PhD study.
- 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.