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Do you have a passion for TV? Are you fizzing with ideas for fresh, exciting content? Do you want to know how to get ideas out of your head and onto the screen? This could be the course for you.

The first of its kind in Scotland, this MSc focusses on development and production of factual content for broadcast television. Developed with industry and taught by experienced practitioners, this course is focused on the practical side of television production - growing ideas, developing proposals and making programmes.

You’ll learn how to generate great ideas and quality factual content, how the modern business of television works and how issues of editorial and ethics affect programme-makers today.

Practice is at the heart of everything we do. Developed to mirror professional practice in the industry, teaching will include masterclasses, workshops and pitching panels with experienced professionals.

The course will cover core areas of factual TV:

  • factual formats
  • specialist factual
  • access-led documentary

Within these modules, you’ll explore ethical issues of representation, consent, trust and editorial control while learning about the business of factual content.

You’ll build up your practical skills with a series of creative challenges:

  • developing ideas in response to an industry brief
  • pitching your ideas
  • receiving regular feedback from staff and visiting experts

You’ll also develop and produce filmed pieces as part of the Access Documentary module.

Alongside practical projects, you’ll develop essential career skills through an industry experience module. You’ll be supported in researching and securing a placement, developing your own network of contacts and making the first steps towards work.

Course details

Our MSc TV Content Development and Production covers:

  • Development
  • Factual Formats
  • Access Documentary
  • Specialist Factual
  • The Business of Television

You’ll gain in-depth knowledge of professional broadcasting, and develop as insightful programme makers through project-based learning and critical analysis of editorial and ethics. You’ll develop a broad range of development and production skills and techniques.

Both the module content and the range of visiting lecturers will reflect current practice. The course explores:

  • commissioning
  • developments in television and online platforms
  • the regulatory, commercial and ethical aspects of production

You’ll have plenty of opportunity to apply your learning through developing both programme ideas and filmed work.


University of Stirling Communication, Cultural and Media Studies research was ranked first in Scotland for research impact in the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014), with 70% of our research classed as 'world-leading' or 'internationally excellent'. The  (SMRI) enjoys an international reputation for the quality of its work, regularly attracting a diverse array of international visitors. The SMRI has a purpose-built research facility for the use of its members. Current research is focused on:

  • Cultural Creativity
  • Film and Television
  • Journalism
  • Media and Communications Policy
  • Public Relations
  • Sport Media
  • Digital Media
  • Media Archives and Cultural Memory

After you graduate

You’ll be given many industry experience opportunities throughout the course. You’ll greatly enhance your employment prospects through working with professional briefs and interacting with a wide range of professionals currently working in factual production.

Several leading production companies offer placement opportunities to students on the course. Production professionals also contribute to the delivery of many modules. In responding to relevant briefs set alongside industry, you’ll cultivate communication, team working and interpersonal skills to a professional level. Pitching regularly to senior industry personnel will help you to acquire the entrepreneurial skills required of a 21st century media professional.

Real industry connections

The University also enhances its research and teaching through meaningful connections with the media. Since 2017, we've played host to Focus on Scotland – a factual television festival that attracts leading figures from the industry and gives students an opportunity to meet with them first-hand. Watch highlights from the 2018 event below.

Visit the Television Content Development and Production MSc page on the University of Stirling website for more details!





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Recipient: University of Stirling

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