Film and Television Production MA

Postgraduate ( full-time, part-time)

Cambridge

January 2017, September 2016

Intermediate awards: PG Cert, PG Dip

Course duration: 12 months full-time or 24 months part-time (September starts); 17 months full-time (January starts).

Teaching times:
Trimester 1: Wednesdays & Thursdays, 10am - 1pm (full time); Wednesdays, 10am - 4pm (part time).
Trimester 2: Wednesdays 10am – 4pm, Thursdays 10am – 1pm (full time); Wednesdays 10am – 4pm (part time).
Trimester 3: Tuesdays 10am – 12pm for 4 weeks & then tutorials by arrangement (full time).
Trimester 4: Thursdays 10am – 1pm (part time)
Trimester 5 & 6: Tuesdays 10am – 12pm for 4 weeks & then tutorials by arrangement (part time)

Overview

Develop as a producer/director of factual programmes and extend your creative skills and technical knowledge. With talks by industry professionals, and access to a broad range of equipment, you’ll create a portfolio of work that will help you stand out from the crowd.

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Full description

Careers

Our course will prepare you for a career in TV or in the broader media, and help you to decide which areas of the industry attract you the most. Although the emphasis is on directing and producing, you might choose to move into cinematography, production management or even television programme sales once you graduate. You might also develop a particular interest in observational documentary, natural history films or science programming, and decide to follow a career in these fields.

Here at Cambridge School of Art, you’ll gain specialist skills that will be useful for traditional, experimental and creative documentary making, or films for education, training, public relations, current affairs, marketing and campaigning. Our course will prepare you to forge a portfolio or freelance career, and give you the ability to make high-quality content for broadcast, web, film festivals or cinema. 

Modules & assessment

Core modules

  • Process and Practice as Research
    You will engage with the relationship between research and production. In particular you will explore the process of designing a research project for Art and Design students at Masters level. Lectures and seminars will introduce you to methodology, ethics and exemplars of research methods from a broad range of art and design disciplines. The specifics of designing a research project, such as dealing with failure and evaluating success, will be considered as fundamental aspects of research design. Lectures and seminars will be delivered on a cross-school platform and you will begin to consider alternative paradigms of practice and engage with ideas from outside your own discipline. Using the initial lectures as a starting point, you will be asked to design and undertake a practice-based, self-contained pilot project which tests the scope and limits of a specific research method or methods. Through the research design process you will write a proposal, identify milestones, deliver an outcome and evaluate your pilot project. In group critiques and tutorials within a specialist subject area, you will discuss and support the ongoing progress of each other’s pilot projects.
  • Visual Storytelling
    This module will help you better understand visual storytelling and develop skills essential to successful contemporary factual programming. You will employ documentary and film language to write programme treatments and storyboard ideas, culminating in pitches. You will also explore basic technical skills, enhanced through additional workshops and masterclasses, to facilitate practical film making. You will make two short productions (under ten minutes), learning to effectively plan and prepare, find and develop ideas, and ultimately film subjects and locations. You’ll operate as an individual practitioner to develop directorial experience, technical filming skills and to carry out the post production process. You’ll learn to reconcile a number of potentially conflicting pragmatic and conceptual issues. Formative assessment will include collective film reviews, peer assessment, pitching sessions and tutorials. Summative assessment will be formed of 2 films, accompanying paperwork and a reflective commentary; and submission of a record of budget and schedule for a programme series.
  • Understanding the Audience
    This practical and theoretical module will introduce you to the critical role of the audience in the conception and design of factual programming. You’ll develop and apply an understanding of the ways in which knowledge of specified audiences influences programme content and style. You’ll explore qualitative and quantitative audience research, and examine audience antecedents. You'll also analyse the different ways in which audiences watch programmes and how the programmes in turn affect the viewers, the audience being understood to be one of the principal variables at the root of programme making. Scheduling will be used as a key to understanding how the television industry works and current developments in viewing habits will also be assessed. You will explore successful models of programming and work towards an analysis of the ways in which the content, narrative structure and creative elements of such programmes achieve their address. In teams you will pitch for and produce two programmes in accordance with two briefs: first in the TV studio and then on location. Your summative assessment will comprise: (i) the production of your two programmes and your reflective commentary of the process; (ii) an essay comparing two factual television programmes in terms of the nature of their intended audience, the intended effects of the programmes on that audience and the ways in which aspects of the programmes’ design achieve their address.
  • Master's Dissertation Art and Design
    This module forms the major written element of the MA programme. On it, you will be invited to choose a topic related to your area of study, as the basis for a research essay of up to 6,000 words. The essay should demonstrate an awareness of current critical debate in the subject, through appropriate reference to relevant examples both from visual practice and critical writing. Your subjects may be thematic and issue-based, or may focus upon the critical analysis of a particular body of work. It is expected that you will use the module to investigate the use of critical writing as an aspect of your own creative development, by investigating issues and preoccupations for which you feel a particular affinity or concern, and that you will use the dissertation as an instrument of enquiry into the debates, conventions and values which define your own field of practice. In group tutorials you will explore the use of different modes of critical method and conventions of art and design research, and the production of critical writing as an aspect of an individual's creative and professional practice.
  • Master's Project: Art and Design
    The Masters Project represents the culmination of your learning on the programme, and giving you the opportunity to develop and resolve a major area of enquiry. This is a self-directed visual project negotiated with the staff team and peers. You'll need to negotiate, manage, co-ordinate and bring to successful conclusion a complex, practice-based project within your field of art, media or design. You'll start by formally presenting your research proposal to staff and peers, and will be expected to build on your previous modules to identify a complex area for investigation and enquiry, as well as research methods appropriate to the project. Following negotiation with staff, peers and, where appropriate, outside agencies, you'll then submit a written research proposal. Your project may involve external engagement alongside a personal exploration of themes and concepts in your specialist field. You'll need to show your ability to innovate, think strategically and be sensitive to changing cultural and social climates. You'll be assessed by portfolio (a body of work comprising a written project proposal, and developmental and final visual work) and a 1200-word reflective commentary. This commentary will specifically outline the methodological and ethical considerations relevant to your portfolio work, and evaluate your final visual work.

Assessment

You’ll demonstrate your learning, and ensure you’re developing the knowledge and skills to complete the course, through:

  • producing and directing films of different lengths and styles
  • working in a team on a TV studio production
  • written production analyses and reflective commentaries
  • essays
  • filming schedules and budgets
  • film pitches
  • your final Masters Project: this film is your 'calling card' for the industry

Your assignments are usually submitted at the end of each term. You’ll also be assessed informally and given feedback during the term to help you achieve to the highest level. Feedback could be on a film, a presentation or group participation; it will be given by your tutor and your fellow students.

Where you'll study

Your department and faculty

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Cambridge School of Art has been inspiring creativity since 1858 when it was opened by John Ruskin.

Engaging with current debates surrounding contemporary practice and with the state-of-the-art facilities, Cambridge School of Art houses light, bright studios, industry-standard film and photographic facilities, and 150-year-old printing presses alongside dedicated Apple Mac suites. Our digital art gallery, the Ruskin Gallery, exhibits both traditional shows and multimedia presentations, from national and international touring exhibitions and our own students.

We are the only university in Cambridge offering art and design courses at higher education level. A tight-knit community of artists, academics and over 900 students, we collaborate across our University, the creative industries, and other sectors. Cambridge is a centre for employment in the creative industries and there are rich opportunities for collaboration with the city’s entertainment, technological, scientific, arts and heritage industries.

Our graduates have a history of winning national and international awards and an excellent employment record. They include Pink Floyd's Syd Barrett and Dave Gilmour, Spitting Image creators Peter Fluck and Roger Law, and illustrator Ronald Searle, the creator of St Trinian's.

We’re part of the Faculty of Arts, Law and Social Sciences, a hub of creative and cultural innovation whose groundbreaking research has real social impact.

Where can I study?

Cambridge
Lord Ashcroft Building on our Cambridge campus

Our campus is close to the centre of Cambridge, often described as the perfect student city.

Explore our Cambridge campus

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Our Wired events are specialist lectures and workshops run by industry professionals, where you’ll learn about up-to-date practices and get invaluable advice. Our past speakers have included Sean Bobbitt (cinematographer: 12 Years a Slave, The Place Beyond the Pines, Hunger), Peter Strickland and Nic Knowland (director and cinematographer: Berberian Sound Studio), Cilla Ware (freelance drama director of Silk, Spooks, Primeval), Kathy Lee (film editor: Abuelas, A Letter to Dad), and Larry Sider (sound designer, The Piano Tuner of Earthquakes, Mirrormask).

Our Creative Front Futures events, run by Creative Front Cambridgeshire, will give you a broader taste of the creative industries, and let you find out more about the world of film and television production as well as explore other career options.

You’ll also get first-hand experience of the industry at informal work placements throughout the course and benefit from our close links with Cambridge Arts Picturehouse, where we hold regular student and industry events.

Specialist facilities

When shooting your projects you’ll benefit from our fully-equipped TV studio with full lighting rig; professional-standard gallery; mixer; autocue; multi-purpose scenic backdrops suitable for current affairs, magazine programmes and dramas; a large four-waller film stage with overhead lighting, tracks, dollies and green screens and sets for flats; a full range of HD and SD location cameras (including Steadicam); location lighting; and sound-recording equipment.

For your post-production work you’ll get access to over 30 Final Cut editing suites, Pro Tools and the Adobe Creative Suite master collection. You’ll be trained on all our equipment by a team of experienced technical staff, who also maintain and manage the facilities.

Fees & funding

Course fees

UK & EU students, 2016/17 (per year)

£7,100

UK & EU students, 2016/17 (per year part time)

£3,550

International students, 2016/17 (per year)

£11,700

UK & EU students, 2017/18 (per year)

£8,100

International students, 2017/18 (per year)

£12,400

UK & EU students, 2017/18 (per year part time)

£4,050

Important fee notes

The part-time course fee assumes that you're studying at half the rate of a full-time student (50% intensity). Course fees will be different if you study over a longer period. All fees are for guidance purposes only.

Additional costs

Estimated cost of materials £250 over three years.

Optional field trips £30-£300.

Optional field trip to Antwerp - 2 nights
Cost £160

How do I pay my fees?

Paying upfront

You won't need to pay fees until you've accepted an offer to attend, but you must pay your fees up-front, in full or in instalments.

How to pay your fees directly

International students

You must pay your fees up-front, in full or in instalments. You will also be asked for a deposit or sponsorship letter/financial guarantee. Details will be in your offer letter.

Paying your fees
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Funding for UK & EU students

There's no statutory funding for postgraduate study. However, we offer a number of scholarships and we've put together guidance on where to start researching funding options.

Students taking up a place on this course are eligible to apply for the Mark Wood Art and Design Scholarship. This is a financial award to recognise and encourage excellence. For more details and the application form, please visit our Making a Difference website.

Additional costs

Estimated cost of materials £250 over three years.

Optional field trips £30-£300.

Optional field trip to Antwerp - 2 nights
Cost £160

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Funding for international students

We've a number of scholarships, as well as some fee discounts for early payment.

Entry requirements

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Portfolio requirements
So that we can assess your suitability for the course, you'll need to send us an example of your creative work. This could be a film you've shot or directed, an animation, an article you've written, or any other creative project.

If you don't have any creative work that you want to submit, you can instead provide a clear narrative represented through ten photographic stills. Arrange the stills on a maximum of three sides of A4 and save the project as a PDF no larger than 2MB. Please also provide an explanation of your story, identifying the key moments that need to be presented visually.

For each shot you will need to consider:

  • What is the narrative function of the shot, eg introducing the setting? Introducing the characters? Showing a turning point in the story? Resolving the story?
  • What information should each shot provide and what framing will best serve this? Close-up? Wide-shot? High angle? Low angle?
  • What about the composition? For example, do you want the viewer to feel comfortable (a balanced composition) or unsettled (unbalanced composition)?
  • What about visual variety? Following wide shot with another wide shot might diminish the viewer's interest.
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Important additional notes

Our published entry requirements are a guide only and our decision will be based on your overall suitability for the course as well as whether you meet the minimum entry requirements. Other equivalent qualifications may be accepted for entry to this course, please email answers@anglia.ac.uk for further information.

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International students

We welcome applications from international and EU students, and accept a range of international qualifications.

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English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you'll need to make sure you meet our English language requirements for postgraduate courses.

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Improving your English language skills

If you don't meet our English language requirements, we offer a range of courses which could help you achieve the level required for entry.

We also provide our own English Language Proficiency Test (ELPT) in the UK and overseas. To find out if we are planning to hold an ELPT in your country, contact our country managers.

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Get more information

UK & EU applicants

01245 68 68 68

Enquire online

International applicants

+44 1245 68 68 68

Enquire online