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MA Television

College
LCC
Start date
September 2020
Course length
1 year 3 months full time (45 weeks across a four-term model)

MA Television delivers the skills needed to design and make fact-based television. Learn about pitching, budgeting and translating your ideas into practical, hands-on advanced programming.

Why choose this course at London College of Communication

  • A focus on factual programming: The course combines advanced practical training in factual programme making with research-based analysis of the television industry today; its values, its genres, its development processes, its production practices, and the proliferating platforms available to programme makers.
  • A focus on self-employment: The course is designed primarily – but not exclusively – for those who wish to work in, or run, small-to-medium sized production companies, or become freelance producer/directors. The latter provides a large and constant component of the UK production base (and increasingly beyond), but one that is yet to be catered for in many screen schools.
  • Business planning: You'll produce both a programme (or other moving-image product) and a researched business plan, accompanied by an explanatory narrative, identifying your target market. The programme and plan will be the outcome of guided analysis and research so by graduation you will already have developed a highly viable pitch for your first offer to the television industry.
  • The TV studio: Our TV studio is of a very high professional standard, with a new Tricaster mixing desk that allows for a wide range of effects and computer-generated imagery. Mastery of this resource will further distinguish you from the majority of media and film school Master's-level graduates.
  • Industry contacts: The MA will draw on London College of Communication's wide range of contacts in the London TV industry to provide visiting lecturers, workshop leaders, critiques and introductions to networks of graduates now working in media in London. It will allow and encourage you to take full advantage of our contacts with the British Film Institute. You will have access to the many specialist cinemas, studios, facilities houses and media events that are features of London’s busy and varied media life.

Open Evenings

The next Open Evening for this course will be on:

Thursday 5 December

Student Voices: Irene Villalon

MA Television graduate Irene Villaton talks to us about her final year project, following the lives of figure skating duo Penny Coomes and Nick Buckland.

Student Voices: Joana Esteves

Joana talks us through her final project on the Girl Guides.

Student Voices: Henrik Bie

Hear about Henrik's experience of being a postgraduate student at UAL and what it was like to move from Norway to London.

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.

The Digital Space, London College of Communication.
Image © Ana Escobar

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.

Course overview

MA Television focuses on the hands-on experience of making television programmes. Working in teams, with access to London College of Communication’s state-of-the-art multi-camera TV studio, you will produce four TV shows, drawing on analysis of contemporary factual genres.

You'll learn the key skills needed to make effective programming covering areas such as format, narrative, scripting, camera techniques, lighting, sound, and editing. 

Other units of study will explore the nature of the TV industry, and potential markets for your ideas and programmes.

What can you expect?

The TV studio: programmes made for the course will have both location and TV studio contents. Training in the use of the television studio is relatively rare in UK media schools: an omission, given that as much as 70% of TV programming is produced in this way. 

London College of Communication's TV studio is of a very high professional standard, with a new Tricaster mixing desk that allows for a wide range of effects and computer-generated imagery. 

Mastery of this resource will be a significant asset to graduates of MA Television and will further distinguish them from the great majority of media and film school Master's-level graduates. 

Multiple perspectives: MA Television approaches the practice of programme-making from complimentary, but interlocking, perspectives, seeing programmes simultaneously as: 

  • Directed exercises of the creative imagination. 
  • Vectors of ideas, information and understanding. 
  • Mechanisms through which social, political and cultural norms are transmitted. 
  • Commercial products that must directly or indirectly offer returns on investment. 
  • Examples of project management, in which potentially conflicting demands of time, resource, cost and quality must be continually addressed. 
  • Adherents to rules of certain formats. 

Collaboration: In the second term, you will develop creative, mutually beneficial collaborations with external partners, for example local charities and NGOs, small businesses, or artists/arts organisations. 

You will produce a programme to a brief you agree with your collaborative partner. You will gain valuable experience of real world contexts, conditions and outcomes of production. 

Media cultures and criticality: The media cultures strand of the MA, which runs through all four terms, will underpin learning and practice through its examination of the key issues surrounding the production, uses and consumption of factual TV programming. 

Their shared basis is the application of theoretical approaches in ways that reinforce and enlarge programme making, and will require you to adopt an analytical, evaluative approach to the shared norms of current practice. This is also an iterative process. Theory and practice operate in parallel, and each will inform the other critically. 

The experience of programme-making will invite you to question the conventions which govern production, for example in the hierarchical nature of production teams, or the extents to which established formats can be amended and developed. 

Mode of Study

MA Television 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

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 

Unit Summary

  • Media Cultures 1 (20 credits): 

This unit provides you with an introduction to the critical study of the factual television programme industry; its current practice, its history and its future.

You will learn an overview of relevant formats and the underlying story development process. You will be assessed on a written piece about a factual television format demonstrating a developed critical awareness and industry insight.

  • Production 1 (40 credits)

You’ll participate in the making of two factual television programmes to an editorial brief, as part of an intensive practical introduction to production techniques.

You’ll learn about studio practice and discipline in our multi-cam television studio and shooting for location inserts for your studio presentations. You will write an analysis and evaluation of the production context, process and outcome.

Spring, Term 2

Unit summary

  • Collaborative unit (20 credits)

You will identify, form and develop collaborative working relationships with a range of potential partners or briefs, both collegiate and external.

You’ll learn about the concept of talent, produce a treatment and proof of concept, draft a budget and production schedule, and make a competitive pitch to industry standards.

You’ll build an assessed portfolio of work which demonstrates your research and development of collaborative partnerships and reflects critically on the process.

  • Media Cultures 2 (20 credits)

The focus of this unit is factual television programmes as commercial products; how they are branded, who they’re aimed at and what production value means in practice.

You’ll learn about industry commissioning and pitching practice, the concept of “flow”, audience research and the importance of scheduling. You’ll write a case study of a television programme or series from a practical, industry focused perspective. 

Summer, Term 3

 Unit summary

  • Research (20 credits)

In this unit you’ll prepare a coherent pitch, a budget reflecting intended production values, a treatment or script and proof of concept in preparation for your final Major Project pitch to a selected panel.

You’ll write a programme proposal including numerical data which will set out the narrative, the target audience, and your intended platform. You’ll demonstrate your business case and the research underpinning the programme proposal. 

  • Major Project – Commencement (60 credits)

You will form teams to begin pre-production and the production of your group studio-based show and/or location based programme Major Project.

Autumn, Term 4

Unit summary

  • Major Project – Completion

Major Projects will be completed in post-production and in the delivery of a television pilot or programme. You’ll submit your collaborative group programme, a proposal and business plan that you will be able to take to market. 

Learning and teaching methods

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Technical and other workshops
  • Supervised practice
  • Close-reading
  • Critiques of practical outcomes
  • Supervised presentations
  • Guided student-managed learning

Assessment methods

  • Essays
  • Critical reviews
  • Research plans and outcomes
  • Business plans and accompanying commentaries
  • Evaluation of practical work
  • Presentations

Staff

Susan  Shaw

Susan Shaw

Course Leader, MA Television

How to apply

Opportunities for all

We are committed to making university education an achievable option for a wider range of people and to supporting all of our students in achieving their potential both during and after their courses.

We welcome applications from people with disabilities. If you have a disability (e.g. mobility difficulties, sensory impairments, medical or mental health conditions or Asperger’s syndrome) we strongly encourage you to contact us on disability@arts.ac.uk or +44 (0)20 7514 6156 so that we can plan the right support for you. All enquiries are treated confidentially. To find out more, visit our Disability & Dyslexia webpages.

Entry requirements

The course team welcomes applicants from a broad range of backgrounds, from all over the world. MA Television attracts applications from graduates of a good honours degree in a relevant subject such as either film, television or related media subject. We will also consider graduates of a good honours degree in any other subjects who can demonstrate a developed interest in, and knowledge of, current television practice and output.

Such fields may include print journalism, photography, project management, business, general management and any other discipline or area which it is felt will bring a variety of experience and imagination to the course.

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.

The educational level may be demonstrated by:

  • Honours degree (named above);
  • Possession of equivalent qualifications;
  • Prior experiential learning, the outcome of which can be demonstrated to be equivalent to formal qualifications otherwise required, demonstrating relevant experience and an aptitude for film, television or other moving-image production subjects;
  • 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:

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

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

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:

  • Sufficient prior knowledge and experience of and/or potential in television to be able to successfully complete the programme of study and have an academic or professional background in a relevant subject
  • Knowledge and understanding as reflective viewers of the ways in which television programmes operate. (Relevant for applicants without practical experience of programme-making)

Making your application

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 review your personal statement
  • There is no requirement for an academic or professional reference.

Required information for all postgraduate course applications

Before you apply, please take time to read the guidance below. You will be asked to provide the following items and upload documents when completing 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
  • CV
  • Personal statement

Extra information required for applications to this course

There are no additional items (portfolio or study proposal) required for this course.

Start your application now

The online application 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 press submit.

Apply now

Application deadline

Applications are accepted and offers are made, throughout the year. Early application is advised.

Transfers

If you have successfully completed 60 credits in the equivalent units/modules on your current postgraduate course at another institution and wish to continue your studies at London College of Communication, you can apply to transfer. The Admissions Tutor will consider applications on a case by case basis, subject to places being available. You must apply directly to the course via the course webpage as early as possible. Find out about our UAL External Student Transfer Policy which includes what you need to include in your application.

CV

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.

Personal statement advice

You will be asked to complete a personal statement describing why you want to study on MA Television. Candidates will be expected to demonstrate critical knowledge of and enthusiasm for the subject, and a well-articulated rationale for joining the course. The personal statement is a very important part of your application and should demonstrate to the course team that you are interested in the subject and that you have thought very carefully about why you wish to study on the course.

Ensure that your personal statement it is well written, clear and free of any spelling mistakes. It is your chance to impress the course team by showing a strong interest in the subject, demonstrating what you feel you would bring to the course, your appreciation of what the course can offer you and how you feel it might help you in the future. This can be demonstrated through work experience, previous studies and your personal experience.

Deferrals

Deferring an offer

If you are offered a place for 2020/21 but wish to defer to 2021/22, information on how to do this and who to contact can be found in your offer letter. Additionally, International applicants should pay the pre-payment in order to defer. In all cases, deferred places will be held for one year.

Making a deferred application (during 2019/20 for entry in 2021/22)

Home/EU applicants are permitted to make a deferred application.

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 review your personal statement
  • There is no requirement for an academic or professional reference.

Required information for all postgraduate course applications

Before you apply, please take time to read the guidance below. You will be asked to provide the following items and upload documents when completing 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
  • CV
  • Personal statement

Please note: we will ask you for copies of certain documents (for example, English language qualification/certificate and copies of any previous UK study visas).

For further advice on how to apply please visit the UAL International Application page.

Extra information required for applications to this course

There are no additional items (portfolio or study proposal) required for this course.

Start your application now

The online application 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 press submit.

Alternatively, international applicants can apply through an overseas representative in your country.

Apply now

Application deadline

Applications are accepted and offers are made, throughout the year. Early application is advised.

Transfers

If you have successfully completed 60 credits in the equivalent units/modules on your current postgraduate course at another institution and wish to continue your studies at London College of Communication, you can apply to transfer. The Admissions Tutor will consider applications on a case by case basis, subject to places being available. You must apply directly to the course via the course webpage as early as possible. Find out about our UAL External Student Transfer Policy which includes what you need to include in your application.

Immigration history check

Whether you are applying through a UAL representative or direct application you will need to complete an Immigration History check. If you do not complete the Immigration History Check we will not be able to proceed with your application.

CV

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.

Personal statement advice

You will be asked to complete a personal statement describing why you want to study on MA Television. Candidates will be expected to demonstrate critical knowledge of and enthusiasm for the subject, and a well-articulated rationale for joining the course. The personal statement is a very important part of your application and should demonstrate to the course team that you are interested in the subject and that you have thought very carefully about why you wish to study on the course.

Ensure that your personal statement it is well written, clear and free of any spelling mistakes. It is your chance to impress the course team by showing a strong interest in the subject, demonstrating what you feel you would bring to the course, your appreciation of what the course can offer you and how you feel it might help you in the future. This can be demonstrated through work experience, previous studies and your personal experience.

Deferrals

Deferring an offer

If you are offered a place for 2020/21 but wish to defer to 2021/22, information on how to do this and who to contact can be found in your offer letter. Additionally, International applicants should pay the pre-payment in order to defer. In all cases, deferred places will be held for one year.

Making a deferred application (during 2019/20 for entry in 2021/22)

International applicants are not permitted to make a deferred application.


After you apply

Communicating with you

After you have successfully submitted your application online, you will receive an email confirming your application and providing your login details for the UAL Applicant Portal. Please log into the portal, as this is where we will send you important updates and requests, and you can contact us with any questions you may have about your application.

What happens next

Interview advice

Applicants are often interviewed by the course team before a place can be offered. Interviews will take place at LCC, or via Skype/telephone.

How we notify you of the outcome of your application

You will receive the outcome of your application through the UAL Applicant Portal.

Fees & Funding

Home/EU Fee

£11,220 (2020/21).

UAL alumni receive a £1,000 discount

Course fees may be paid in instalments

International fee

£22,920 (2020/21).

UAL alumni receive a £1,000 discount

Course fees may be paid in instalments

Additional costs

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.

Accommodation

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:

Scholarship search

Careers and alumni

As a student on MA Television you will learn the key technical skills needed to make television programmes, including camera operation, sound recording and editing. However, the course is primarily designed to prepare you for the role of:

  • Producer
  • Production Manager
  • Researcher
  • Director

You will develop an understanding of the business aspects of programme-making that will stand you in good stead to work in the independent sector and/or as freelance producer/directors. Such understanding will also be attractive to employers – broadcasters or larger production companies – who will value the commercial sense and understanding offered by graduates of MA Television.

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