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Overview

With its academic base on the Ayr Campus, our course is also delivered from Film City Glasgow, the bespoke industry hub for twenty independent production companies and post-production facility houses. Film City Glasgow also boasts Scotland’s only Dolby sound mixing studio.

Our MA Filmmaking course will provide a stimulating, supportive and professional environment in which you can freely yet rigorously develop your unique individual voice. Throughout your course you will be mentored by leading film practitioners from around the world. This support includes our very own multi award-winning tutors, Professor Nick Higgins and Sam Firth.

Our distinctive course also boasts an international guest faculty programme, who complement our core tutors, support staff, and technical facilities, to ensure that from the moment they walk through the door, our students no longer feel as though they are “students”, but are already operating at the highest professional level, as creative collaborators in a context that replicates the conditions of the industry in which they intend to work. Previous guest tutors have included Oscar and BAFTA winners.

Students completing the MA will graduate with three short films (including both documentary and fiction) to add to their portfolio, having been through a process that provides space for both creative experimentation and professional rigour.

Placement Opportunities

Our MA Filmmaking course allows you exclusive access to strands within the context of film festivals. It provides you with privileged access to industry visitors, and takes advantage of their presence in the country to run special industry events with our partners.

There will also be opportunities for you to learn from the professionals who work in Film City, and to make use of their facilities (which no university in the UK can rival).

Placement opportunities are also likely to emerge through the Scottish Film Talent Network.

Entry Requirements

What qualifications do you need?

We welcome Scottish, UK and international students and consider all applicants on an individual basis.

Don’t worry if your qualifications are not listed here, we take a range of factors into account when assessing your application and are happy to consider other alternative combinations of qualifications and experience

If you are applying with an EU or non-EU qualification, please check our Postgraduate Entry Requirements page which gives more information about country-specific entry requirements.

Academic Requirements

Honours degree (minimum lower second) or equivalent. You will be required to submit a portfolio of relevant creative work (previous films or creative projects), a written statement (500-750 words), and attend an interview with the Course Leader either in person or via video conference.

Our course may in certain circumstances permit entry where specific professional or other experience is demonstrated and is deemed appropriate to the level.

English Language Requirements

For applicants whose first language is not English, the University sets a minimum English Language proficiency level. The qualifications below must have been gained within two years of the start of your course.

General English language requirements at UWS: International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic module (not General Training)

  • overall score 6.0
  • no sub-test less than 5.5

Equivalent scores in another recognised qualification:

Common equivalent English language qualifications

All stated English tests are acceptable for admission for both home/EU and international students for this programme:

  • CAE (Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English): 176 overall; no sub-test less than 169
  • CPE (Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English): 176 overall; no sub-test less than 169
  • Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English: ISEII with the minimum of a Pass in all sub-tests

IELTS Score Exceptions

For our research degrees (MRes, MPhil, PhD, DBA, DProf), applicants are required to have an IELTS score as follows:

  • overall score of 6.5
  • no sub-test less than 6.0

For Health, Nursing & Midwifery courses that lead to professional registration with the Nursing & Midwifery Council, applicants are required to have an IELTS score as follows:

  • overall score of 7.0
  • no sub-test less than 7.0

For our Certificate of Higher Education courses, applicants are required to have an IELTS score as follows:

  • overall score of 5.0
  • no sub-test less than 4.5

Pre-sessional courses

Applicants who do not meet the minimum English language requirements have the option to study one of our preparatory and pre-sessional English courses. The UWS courses available are:

  • 10 week pre-sessional - entry criteria UKVI IELTS 5.0 with no element below 4.5.
  • 5 week pre-sessional - entry criteria UKVI IELTS 5.5 with no element below 5.5.
  • English Language for University Study - entry criteria UKVI IELTS with score of 4.0 in all elements (10 month course), or 4.5 with no score below 4.0 (7 month course).

Course details

Topics of study on our MA Filmmaking course will include:

  • Advanced Fiction Film Practice
  • Advanced Documentary Film Practice
  • Film as an Industry
  • Development Lab
  • Master's project

 

Upon completing the MA you will graduate with three short films, including both documentary and fiction.

Topics

Your study and assessment will involve the topics below:

Advanced Film Documentary Practice:

You will make a documentary film under the direction of the core course team, exploring the boundaries of documentary film practice, and its intersection with:

  • Fiction
  • Essay film
  • Transmedia practice

 

Film as an Industry:

You will gain a professional insight into the contemporary film industry. You will study every aspect of the planning and logistics of complex low-budget film shoots, from concept to new distribution models and marketing, placing these key activities within their economic and artistic context.

 

Advanced Fiction Film Practice:

You will make a short fiction film under the direction of an invited filmmaker, who will launch the module with an intensive one-week workshop, and remain available over the rest of the trimester to follow your progress and mentor your project.

 

Development Lab:

You will undertake an industry-standard development process, in which you prepare your final Masters film project under the supervision of leading professionals active in the practice of the short film form.

 

Master's project:

You will undertake a major creative project – either fiction or documentary or immersive film – under the guidance of the course team.

Course Structure

Find out more about the structure, learning outcomes, compulsory and optional modules in this course.

Course Structure (17/18)

Career Prospects

Our MA Filmmaking degree will support your development of working professionally in the independent and world cinema sectors of the film industry either in:

  • Fiction
  • Documentary
  • Experimental filmmaking
  • Virtual Reality productions

Postgraduate Tuition Fees

Scottish campuses non-lab-based 2017/18

Scottish & EU

£3,400 per year of study

English, Northern Irish & Welsh

£3,400 per year of study

Channel Islands & Isle of Man

£3,400 per year of study

International (Non-EU)

£12,300 per year of study

More on current & future tuition fees

Additional Costs & Sources of Funding

The cost of attending university is an investment in your future career.

In addition to tuition fees and living expenses, some courses involve extra costs like study materials, field trips, equipment and uniforms.

Fortunately, there is a great deal of financial support available to help students meet the cost of their study. This ranges from:

  • statutory government loans to pay for tuition fees
  • scholarships for Scottish, EU and International (non-EU) students
  • bursaries to help towards living expenses

The sections below provide details of additional costs that your course may involve along with any financial support that may be available.

You can also find additional information in our Postgraduate Money, Fees & Funding section.

 

Students on certain degrees will incur some additional costs not covered by their tuition fees. These could be for things like specialist equipment, study materials, work placements, graduation, membership of relevant organisations or costs related to carrying out fieldwork.

For students on course with an element of fieldwork, there may also be extra costs for travel and accommodation.

Please contact the course leader for details of the additional costs associated with this course.

Tuition Fees & Additional Costs

Tuition fees are calculated based on where you are from and what you are studying. Some courses also involve additional costs, such as mandatory field trips, equipment or studying abroad.

Find out how much it will cost you to study at UWS as a postgraduate student.

Funding for Scottish Students

Scottish students studying at postgraduate level at UWS are entitled to various funds and support towards tuition fees and living costs.

Find out more.

Funding for English, Welsh & Norther Irish Students

English, Welsh and Northern Irish students studying at postgraduate level at UWS are entitled to various funds and support towards tuition fees and living costs.

Find out more.

Funding for EU Students

EU students studying at postgraduate level of UWS may be eligible for SAAS funding, as well as support to meet the costs of childcare and various sources of additional funding.

Find our more.

Funding for International Students

There are several scholarship and incentive schemes available to international students studying at postgraduate level at UWS, as well as support to meet the costs of childcare and various sources of additional funding.

Find out more.

Discretionary & Childcare Funds

UWS administer a range of discretionary and childcare funds. These are designed to support students who are experiencing financial difficulty or struggling to meet the costs of childcare.

Find out more.

Benefits & Tax Credits

Becoming a student can have an impact on your entitlement to certain benefits. It may mean you are no longer eligible to claim a benefit you have been receiving, or your new income from student funding may affect the amount you are able to receive.

Find out more.

Additional Financial Support

If there isn’t a statutory source of funding for you or your course, or you are in need of additional financial support, you may wish to consider more alternative sources of funding such as trust funds and scholarships.

Find out more.

Money & Debt Advice

Choosing to become a student can have a big impact on your budget and you may need to reassess your spending to account for a reduced income. We’ve put together some guidance to help you manage your money and make the right financial choices for you and your family.

Find out more.

HOW TO APPLY

You should apply for all UWS postgraduate courses using our online application form.

APPLY ONLINE

The first stage of the process is to create a profile; you don't have to complete the application in one session - you can complete it in stages by saving what you do each session and return to complete it at a later date.

Most courses don't have a formal closing date, but they will close when they are full; apply early to avoid disappointment. There may also be funding deadlines that apply to you.

You will need to upload documents with your applications, which may include transcripts and degree certificates.

You can find out more here in our Postgraduate Application Guide


An ATAS certificate is not required for overseas students applying for this course.

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Course Leader

Nick Higgins / Sam Firth

Media, Culture & Society

Research at UWS

With cutting edge facilities, specialist knowledge and world-leading and internationally excellent expertise, we aim to develop research outputs that have a tangible, early and positive impact on society across the globe.

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We will always try to make sure that we publish accurate course information but we do not accept responsibility for any mistakes or omissions. We will also try to make sure that we deliver our courses in line with our published information. However, we may not always be able to do so and you can find further information about this in our enrolment terms and conditions.