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Documentary Filmmaking (MA)

Course Description

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/

Visit the Documentary Filmmaking (MA) page on the Leeds Beckett University website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Peter Baumann

My filmmaking course taught me how to work with other people in different kinds of circumstances. The highlight was shooting Border Patrol for our final degree project in Germany with an international crew. Winning the Student Academy Award has also helped me a lot with my career. I’m currently writing scripts for new projects including a mini-series based on Border Patrol and a 90-minute feature film.

Peter Baumann
Director & Writer, Student Academy Award Winner 2014 for the film Border Patrol


Entry Requirements

Please check our site for the most up-to-date entry requirements (View Website).

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