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Postgraduate

MA Film

A figure leaps down a staircase within a lavish interior.
Call Me Joan, Directed by Adam Kalderon, MA Film, London College of Communication, UAL.
College
London College of Communication
Start date
September 2024
Course length
Course length 1 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.

Applying for more than 1 course

You can apply for more than 1 postgraduate course at UAL but we recommend that you apply for no more than 3. Find out more in the Apply Now section.

Why choose this course at London College of Communication

  • Practice-based: Whether you’re already a working practitioner, aiming towards a career in film and TV, or seeking a change in professional direction, MA Film will enable you to develop your craft and build the necessary skills to create commercial film dramas.
  • Industry-focused: You’ll join the course with a pre-determined specialism such as director, producer or production designer before exploring related industry practices. You'll also graduate with experience across the filmmaking process, from script development to post-production.
  • Creative collaboration: Moving beyond the role of the auteur, MA Film instead celebrates inclusion, co-operation and teamwork – values needed for a successful career.
  • Industry networks: You’ll develop working relationships with fellow students that will continue into your future career, and may also have opportunities to create commercial content for external organisations – previously, we've collaborated with Barnardo’s and Sir Robert McAlpine.
  • Graduate destinations: Our graduates have gone on to become successful directors, producers, crew members and post-production specialists for Hollywood films, Netflix series and TV.

Open Evenings

The next Virtual Open Event for this course will be on Wednesday 6 March at 4.30pm. Book your place.

Course overview

MA Film will prepare you for a career as a skilled film practitioner in the creative industries and enable you to develop a deep understanding of how to work creatively across the digital technologies of contemporary film production.

Our theoretical content underscores all of the practical elements of the course and offers a shared process for you to explore both your own work and the work of your fellow students.

You’ll be encouraged to take an innovative approach to narrative storytelling in a collaborative, sustainable environment where you’ll be able to create distinct and original work.

Taught through a combination of lectures, technical workshops, tutorials and assignments, the course enables you to both focus on and develop one key specialism at postgraduate level while being encouraged to engage creatively with related disciplines and wider filmic processes.

You’ll also gain insight into the creative industries through regular guest lectures and masterclasses from industry practitioners and you’ll have the opportunity to collaborate with external partners as well as other courses at UAL.

What to expect

  • Build up a portfolio of work while reflecting on and evaluating your own practice.

  • Develop your filmmaking skills both practically and intellectually. Participate in the creation of film drama/s.

  • Foster strong working relationships with other practitioners.

  • Become fully conversant with industry practices and methods of working.

Work experience and opportunities

Enterprise and employability are central to the course design to enable you to develop your creative, technical and academic skills, and to apply these to your own creative practice.

You’ll have opportunities to explore your future career options where possible through one or a combination of live briefs, partnerships with industry, cross-disciplinary collaborations, and initiatives towards your Major Project. Previously students have had the opportunity to work with organisations including Sir Robert McAlpine, Barnardo’s and Sohot Yoga.

The Screen School also belongs to the BAFTA albert Education Partnership, which offers students the opportunity to learn about environmentally responsible working practices, their professional relevance, and their contribution to the transformation of the film and television industry. During your time on the course, you will be encouraged to engage with and achieve the albert graduate employability certificate.

Mode of Study

MA Film is in Full Time mode which runs for 45 weeks over 15 months. You will be expected to commit 40 hours per week to study.

Course units

In response to the Climate Emergency, UAL has embedded responsible practices within the curriculum. We shaped our courses around principles of social and racial justice, and environmental sustainability that ensure learning outcomes reflect the urgent need to equip you with the understanding, skills, and values for ethical practice and empower you to work towards an equitable future. 

Each course is divided into units, which are credit-rated. The minimum unit size is 20 credits. The MA course structure involves six units, totalling 180 credits.

Autumn, term 1

At the start of the first term, you’ll begin with your contextual Specialism Investigation, which combines guest lectures and student-led seminars on your specific discipline, field of practice and wider filmmaking processes.

You’ll also be encouraged to develop a strong dialogue within your peer groups, and to contribute shared and individual creative visions during the First Term Film unit. Once term is underway, you’ll begin work on the Major Project and Secondary Roles units which will be carried through to the fourth and final term.

Introductory Production (20 credits)

In this unit, you’ll take a short script through production. This experience enhances your Specialism Investigation, prepares you for the Major Project, and helps you to position your practice within the wider filmic environment.

Specialism Investigation (40 credits)

You’ll study independently while taking part in set contextual lectures that explore current trends within the film industry, as well as the culture that informs it. You’ll also build a portfolio of research relating to your specialism as this unit continues through the following term.

Major Project (60 credits)

You’ll have an opportunity to pursue your skills in an ambitious production that spans the 4 terms of the course. You’ll undertake a Head of Department role on a fictional film of a specific length (maximum 30 minutes) to further develop your team leadership skills while balancing individual and shared creative visions.

Specialism roles include:

  • Producer
  • Production Designer
  • Director
  • Director of Photography
  • Postproduction Specialist

Spring, term 2

The Specialism Investigation unit continues and concludes in the later part of the Spring Term.

Collaborative Unit (20 credits)

You'll have the opportunity to engage in a specific collaboration with a related course at UAL or with an external partner. External collaborations could include site-specific, experimental work developed in conjunction with a gallery or public body, or an agreed commission/campaign film for a charitable or commercial organisation.

The Major Project continues with its development, preparing you for production in Term 3.

Summer, term 3

The Major Project continues with selected film productions.

Secondary Roles (20 credits)

In parallel to the Major Project, you'll have the opportunity to undertake at least 2 secondary roles during production. This will enable you to explore associated aspects of your practice by observing your specialism via a different perspective.

It will also enhance your skillset and help you to understand what it takes to effectively support a Head of Department.

The secondary roles include:

  • Production Manager
  • Locations Manager
  • Casting Director
  • Assistant Director
  • Set Dresser/Props
  • Camera Assistant Gaffer
  • Script Supervisor
  • Sound Recordist/Boom Operator

Autumn, term 4

In this term, the Major Project and Secondary Roles conclude with post-production.

Learning and teaching methods

  • Lectures
  • Seminars 
  • Technical and practice-based workshops
  • Individual and group tutorials
  • Formative critique and reflections on practice
  • Self-directed learning
  • Collaborative group assignments
  • Presentations 

Online Open Day

(Recorded March 2023)

Course Leader, Ray Kilby, gives an overview of what it's like to study MA Film at London College of Communication.

Course films

Student showreel

A taster of some of the films made my MA Film students across the years. Showreel edited by MA Film student, Rosa Ng.

Motswakwa | 2019

Film trailer

Written and directed by Moreetsi Gabang.

The Exchange | 2019

Film trailer

Written and directed by Pingwenan Wang.

Wise Decision | 2019

Film trailer

Written and directed by Chuxiang Xiao.

Student voices

Amer Jamhour

Amer’s final year film looks at minority groups and mental health. He talks to us about how his idea came together.

Moreetsi Gabang

MA Film graduate Moreetsi talks about his film Motswakwa, that explores two asylum seekers.

Xinpei Liu

Xinpei talks about her experience of producing on MA Film.

Laurie Barraclough

Laurie talks about his graduation film An Estuary.

Course stories

410 Gone

410 Gone


openresty

Facilities

  • Red light indicating recording is taking place.
    Image © Vladimir Molico

    Lens-Based and Audio-Visual

    Find out about the workspaces and studios that support Lens-Based and Audio-Visual practice.

  • Student reading a book in between two bookshelves in the Library
    Students in the Digital Space. London College of Communication, UAL. Photograph: Alys Tomlinson

    The Digital Space

    The Digital Space is an open-plan, creative hub with computers set up with specialist software.

  • A close-up of a monitor in the TV studio.
    Image © Vladimir Molico

    Film and Television

    Find out about the resources on offer to Film and Television students.

Staff

Fees and funding

Home fee

£13,330

This fee is correct for 2024/25 entry and is subject to change for 2025/26 entry.

Tuition fees may increase in future years for new and continuing students on courses lasting more than one year. For this course, you can pay tuition fees in instalments.

Students from countries outside of the UK will generally be charged international fees. The rules are complex so read more about tuition fees and determining your fee status.

International fee

£28,570

This fee is correct for 2024/25 entry and is subject to change for 2025/26 entry.

Tuition fees may increase in future years for new and continuing students on courses lasting more than one year. For this course, you can pay tuition fees in instalments.

Students from countries outside of the UK will generally be charged international fees. The rules are complex so read more about tuition fees and determining your fee status.

Scholarship search

Entry requirements

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 other equivalent qualifications, or those with relevant prior industry experience.

Educational level may be demonstrated by:

  • Honours degree (of at least lower second class (2:2) is desirable but not essential);
  • Possession of equivalent qualifications;
  • Prior experiential learning, the outcome of which can be demonstrated to be equivalent to formal qualifications otherwise required;
  • Or a combination of formal qualifications and experiential learning which, taken together, can be demonstrated to be equivalent to formal qualifications otherwise required.

APEL (Accreditation of Prior Learning)

Applicants who do not meet these course entry requirements may still be considered in exceptional cases. The course team will consider each application that demonstrates additional strengths and alternative evidence. This might, for example, be demonstrated by:

Each application will be considered on its own merit but we cannot guarantee an offer in each case.

  • Related academic or work experience
  • The quality of the personal statement
  • A strong academic or other professional reference
  • OR a combination of these factors

Language requirements

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.

For further details regarding international admissions and advice please visit the International Applications page.

Selection criteria

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 six 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

Apply now

Application deadline

Deadline

Round 1:

13 December 2023 at 1pm (UK time)

Round 2:

3 April 2024 at 1pm (UK time)

Digital portfolio deadline

Round 1:

16 January 2024

Round 2:

16 April 2024

Decision outcome

Round 1:

End of March 2024

Round 2:

End of June 2024

Round 1
Round 2
Deadline
13 December 2023 at 1pm (UK time)
3 April 2024 at 1pm (UK time)
Digital portfolio deadline
16 January 2024
16 April 2024
Decision outcome
End of March 2024
End of June 2024

All applications received by 3 April will be treated equally. If there are places available after this date, the course will remain open to applications until places have been filled.

Read more about deadlines

Apply now

Application deadline

Deadline

Round 1:

13 December 2023 at 1pm (UK time)

Round 2:

3 April 2024 at 1pm (UK time)

Digital portfolio deadline

Round 1:

16 January 2024

Round 2:

16 April 2024

Decision outcome

Round 1:

End of March 2024

Round 2:

End of June 2024

Round 1
Round 2
Deadline
13 December 2023 at 1pm (UK time)
3 April 2024 at 1pm (UK time)
Digital portfolio deadline
16 January 2024
16 April 2024
Decision outcome
End of March 2024
End of June 2024

All applications received by 3 April will be treated equally. If there are places available after this date, the course will remain open to applications until places have been filled.

Read more about deadlines

Apply to UAL

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Based across the world, our local UAL representatives can support you with your application from your home country. Check to see if there is a representative available in your country currently.

Find your representative

How to apply

Follow this step-by-step guide to apply for this course

Step 1: Initial application

You will need to submit an initial application including your personal statement and CV.

Personal statement advice

Your personal statement should be maximum 500 words and include:

  • your reasons for choosing the course
  • your current creative practice and how this course will help you achieve your future plans
  • any relevant education and experience, especially if you do not have any formal academic qualifications.

Visit our personal statement page for more advice.

CV advice

Please provide a CV detailing your education, qualifications and any relevant work or voluntary experience. If you have any web projects or other media that you would like to share, please include links in your CV. If English is not your first language, please also include your most recent English language test score.

Step 2: Digital Portfolio

We will review your initial application. If you have met the standard entry requirements, we will ask you to submit a digital portfolio.

You’ll need to submit this via PebblePad, our online portfolio tool.

Digital portfolio advice

Your portfolio should consist of recent work that reflects your creative strengths.

It should:

  • be a maximum of 20 pages
  • include the best examples of your film work (maximum 15 minutes long)
  • include evidence of your filmmaking specialism for example: film, photographs of models, images, sound files, or scripts etc.
  • reflect your specialism in the film clips, short or showreel
  • not include links to other platforms or websites, as these will not be viewed.

For more support, see our Portfolio advice and PebblePad advice.

Step 3: Interview

You may be invited to an interview following our review of your application. All interviews are held online and last 15 to 20 minutes.

For top tips, see our Interview advice.

You also need to know

Communicating with you

Once you have submitted your initial application, we will email you with your login details for our Applicant portal.

Requests for supplementary documents like qualifications and English language tests will be made through the applicant portal. You can also use it to ask questions regarding your application. Visit our After you apply page for more information.

Applying to more than 1 course

You can apply for more than 1 postgraduate course at UAL but we recommend that you apply for no more than 3 courses. You need to tailor your application, supporting documents and portfolio to each course, so applying for many different courses could risk the overall quality of your application. If you receive offers for multiple courses, you'll only be able to accept 1 offer. UAL doesn't accept repeat applications to the same course in the same academic year.

Visas and immigration history check

All non-UK nationals must complete an immigration history check. Your application may be considered by our course teams before this check takes place. This means that we may request your portfolio and/or video task before we identify any issues arising from your immigration history check. Sometimes your history may mean that we are not able to continue considering your application. Visit our Immigration and visas advice page for more information.

External student transfer policy

UAL accepts transfers from other institutions on a case-by-case basis. Read our Student transfer policy for more information.

Alternative offers

If your application is really strong, but we believe your strengths and skillset are better suited to a different course, we may make you an alternative offer. This means you will be offered a place on a different course or at a different UAL College.

Deferring your place

We do not accept any deferral requests for our postgraduate courses. This means that you must apply in the year that you plan to start your course and you will not be able to defer your place to start at a later date.

Application deadlines

For postgraduate courses at UAL there are 2 equal consideration deadlines to ensure fairness for all our applicants. If you apply ahead of either of these deadlines, your application will be considered on an equal basis with all other applications in that round. If there are places available after the second deadline, the course will remain open to applications until places have been filled.