- Start dateSeptember 2017
- Course length1 year 3 months full time (45 weeks across a four-term model)
MA Film is a highly vocational and hands-on course that will develop your understanding of the creative, commercial and practical aspects of digital film production.
About this course
You will expand your technical skills in digital film, working across a number of specialisms from development and finance, to exhibition and distribution. The course places a strong emphasis on collaborative production to reflect the professional realities of the sector, where the traditional auteur model is becoming less relevant.
You will learn how to build your professional networks and become equipped to operate in a wide range of industry disciplines.
MA Film is a practical course in the production of film drama; from development and finance to distribution and exhibition.
It is designed for students who want a hands-on, industry-orientated course in the creative, technical and practical aspects of digital film production.
Taught through a combination of tutorials, lectures, technical workshops, mentoring, masterclasses and work placements, the course allows you to focus on one key specialism and develop it at postgraduate level while encouraging you to engage creatively with related disciplines and wider filmic processes.
Within the Collaborative Unit, you have a choice of pathways where you can collaborate with external partners as well as with other courses within UAL. These pathways could be realised through work placements, cross-disciplinary collaboration, initiatives towards the Major Project or a combination of activities.
The theoretical programme underscores all of the practical elements of the course and offers a shared process for students to explore both their own and each other’s work.
What to expect
The course aims to produce graduates who are self-reliant, highly motivated and able to successfully navigate this increasingly competitive industry.
Applicants must demonstrate developed skills and an understanding of their chosen specialism at application, with major and minor roles allocated accordingly.
Term one begins with the Statement of Intent, which is designed to prepare you for both the Dissertation and the Major Project. This will help you to position your work within the wider filmic environment.
This unit combines guest lectures and student-led seminars on your specific discipline or field of practice. You'll be encouraged to develop a strong dialogue within your groups and contribute shared and individual creative visions ahead of the Major Project.
Once the term is underway, you will begin the Major Project and undertake a Head of Department role, with a chosen specialism, on a fiction film of a prescribed length (max 30 minutes).
The Major Project provides an opportunity to sharpen your skills in one of six chosen specialisms (identified at application) on an ambitious production that spans the four terms of the course.
The specialism roles are:
- Production Designer
- Director of Photography
- Sound Mixer/ Designer
As a Head of Department, you will further develop team leadership skills, and balance individual and shared creative visions.
In term two, the Collaborative Unit offers students the opportunity to engage in a specific collaboration with a related course at UAL or external partner, or in the form of a work placement.
UAL collaborations could provide opportunities to:
- Work with LCC courses MA Documentary Film or MA Television in technical roles on documentary or television formats.
- Develop a funding and promotional strategy for the Major Project.
External collaborations could include:
- Site-specific experimental work, developed in conjunction with a gallery or public body.
- An agreed commission or campaign film for a charitable or commercial organisation.
- A work placement in the relevant discipline.
In term three, you will also undertake two Secondary Roles on course productions. These roles will enable you to explore associated aspects of your specialism, enhance your skillset and learn what it takes to effectively support a Head of Department.
The Secondary Roles are:
- Production Manager
- Locations Manager
- Casting Director
- Assistant Director
- Set Dresser/Props
- Camera Assistant
- Script Supervisor
- Sound Recordist/Boom Operator
The Dissertation is a significant piece of research-based academic writing, designed to help students locate their work within the wider filmic environment.
Running throughout terms two and three, with a submission in term four, the 10,000 word Dissertation encourages you to reflect on your current practice/s, identify trends in the professional sphere and explore the production process.
How to apply
You can begin your application for this course using our online application form – the link to this is below. Before you apply, we recommend you take some time to read the course Entry Requirements section to learn about the application process, including detailed guidance on the extra information we will ask you to provide later in the process.
Required information for all postgraduate course applications
You will need to enter the following information in the online application form:
- Personal details (including full name; date of birth; nationality; permanent address and English language level)
- Current and/or previous education and qualification details
- Employment history
Before you can submit the form, you’ll also need to agree to the terms and conditions for how we process your data – these are explained in the form.
Please note, if you’re an international applicant we will need to contact you separately to ask for copies of certain documents (for example, English language qualification/certificate and copies of any previous UK study visas).
Extra information required for applications to this course
Once you have submitted the online application form, we will send you a confirmation email.
From January 2017 you will be emailed a link to our online application tool, where you should submit the extra information we require for the selection process:
- Personal statement
The course leader will then review your work, may invite you to interview, and will then make a decision on your application, from January 2017.
The admissions team will be in touch after that to let you know the outcome and to guide you through the next steps.
Start your application now
Applications are accepted, and offers are made, throughout the year. Early application is advised.
The application form can be saved as you fill it out, so you don’t need to complete it all at once. You will also have the chance to review all the information and make any necessary amendments before you submit the application form.
We will send you emails as you progress through the application process, so do check your inbox (and junk folder, just in case). These emails will contain important information about your application, and links to the online forms you should use to submit the extra information required.
Recruitment and admissions
The course team welcomes applicants from a broad range of backgrounds, from all over the world. MA Film attracts students who apply direct from an Honours degree course or those with other equivalent qualifications. The course team also welcomes students with relevant experience or those who may have previously worked in industry.
An Honours degree is desirable but not essential.
You should have (or expect to be awarded) an Undergraduate degree of at least lower second class (2:2) in a relevant subject which demonstrates a high level of practical experience or specialist knowledge in the chosen specialism.
Alternative entry routes
We welcome applicants with relevant professional and vocational qualifications, or from mature students who do not have formal qualifications but may have relevant experience in industry.
If you do not have the required qualifications, but do have professional experience you may be eligible to gain credit for previous learning and experience through the Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning AP(E)L system.
Your experience is assessed as a learning process and tutors will evaluate that experience or currency, validity, quality and sufficiency.
Language requirements (International/EU)
All classes are conducted in English. If English is not your first language, we strongly recommend you let us know your English language test score in your application. If you have booked a test or are awaiting your results, please indicate this in your application. When asked to upload a CV as part of your application, please include any information about your English test score.
- IELTS 6.5 (or equivalent) is required, with a minimum of 5.5 in each of the four skills.
- If your first language is not English, you can check you have achieved the correct IELTS level in English on the Language Requirements page.
All applications will be considered by the course team who will consider key elements when making a decision on your suitability to join the course:
- Firstly they will look at your qualifications and transcript (or projected results)
- Secondly, they will scrutinise your personal statement, portfolio and any previous work experience
There is no requirement for an academic or professional reference.
Offers will be made based on the following selection criteria, which applicants are expected to demonstrate:
- A high level of expertise and experience in one of the 6 specialisms taught on the course
- An understanding of the need for a critical and analytical approach to the area of study
- An approach suited to the demands of the course and the projected career futures
Please say why you are applying for this course, including which of the specialisms you wish to undertake and what experience you have in this role. You should also identify how you plan to deepen your involvement in this area of film production and study.
Please provide a CV detailing your education, qualifications and any relevant work or voluntary experience. If English is not your first language it is important that you also include in your CV details of your most recent English language test score.
A portfolio is essential and we ask applicants to upload examples of film work they have already made. You should demonstrate a keen interest and high level of experience in practical narrative filmmaking.
Your portfolio and application will be reviewed together, and assessed on the selection criteria stated above.
Applicants are usually interviewed by the course team before a place can be offered. Interviews will take place at LCC, or via Skype/telephone.
Fees and funding
Home / EU fee
In addition to tuition fees you are very likely to incur additional costs such as travel expenses and the cost of materials. We strongly suggest you read the information on our Additional Costs page.
Find out about the accommodation options available and how much they will cost.
Scholarships and awards
A range of scholarships, bursaries and awards are available to postgraduate students at UAL.
Postgraduate loans of up to £10,000 are now available for eligible UK and EU students. A full list of eligibility criteria and information on applying can be found on the postgraduate loans webpage.
Home / EU and International students
Funding opportunities available for this course:
UAL Jobs and Careers
UAL has a number of services and networks that hold regular workshops and careers fairs developed to help you establish and promote your career in the arts, design, or media. These include:
Careers and Employability are the University's dedicated careers and professional practice service. We help UAL students and graduates embark on their professional futures in the creative industries, find jobs, set up a business, and sell their work. We run events throughout the year on all aspects of the career journey.
Creative Opportunities jobs board helps graduates and students find job and internship opportunities and connect with organisations and companies in the creative sector. We post jobs and paid internships, part-time work, freelance contracts and full-time opportunities.