MA in Digital Film and Television Production

  

Overview

Overview

This Masters degree is designed to offer students an intensive and increasingly specialised programme that will equip them for the challenges of entering a film and television industry that is undergoing unprecedented and rapid change.  Over time, we expect the MA to foster a distinguished roster of filmmakers and television innovators – as directors, producers, writers, cinematographers or editors. This course is accredited by Creative Skillset, the UK film and TV industry sector skills council.

Our facilities

The equipment and facilities available to the course are of the highest quality found in professional film- and programme-making.  A new £24 million departmental building on the Heslington East campus houses a further £6million investment in:

  • a sound stage and (five- and three-camera) television studios
  • a 148-seat cinema equipped with a 12-metre screen, DTS 5.1 sound, and 35mm film and Barco 2K digital projectors
  • rehearsal rooms
  • RED cameras (among others) and lenses
  • full tungsten and daylight lighting kits (including HMIs)
  • a dedicated graduate-only post-production lab running Final Cut Pro
  • picture-finishing suites running Flame/Smoke/Lustre, as well as Nucoda Film Master, a motion-picture DI/grading workstation that is typically found in many of the best Soho postproduction facilities
  • audio postproduction suites including two dubbing theatres and foley/ADR, all running Protools
  • graduate-only facilities including study rooms (with full access to the department’s media servers) and common room

Read more on our new building and facilities

Aims

Aims

  • To provide students with an artistic and technical route map into professional film- and television programme-making.
  • To provide students with opportunities to specialize in screen and television directing, screenwriting, cinematography, editing and other creative skills.
  • To enable students to produce innovative work, executed and completed to the highest professional standards.
  • To provide students with a detailed technical knowledge of and the capability to use equipment and facilities typically found in film and television.

Teaching and assessment

Lectures

A full programme of lectures that introduce all aspects of the MA, from project development (including screenwriting to production/postproduction digital workflows

Workshops

These will provide students with opportunities to experiment with new techniques and technologies in film and TV storytelling.

Masterclasses

Offering a regular chance to meet and gain insights from some of the leaders in their field – from the film and television directors/producers/editors/etc successfully working in film or broadcast television to executives making decisions now that will affect students’ future career paths.

Group and individual projects

Providing opportunities to create short drama and/or documentary films, original television projects, and screenplays.  We assess projects by assigning group and individual marks

Screenings

All film and television screenings take place in our digital cinema and in a dedicated graduate screening room.

Modules

Autumn Term

Digital Cinematography

Working with our RED One, Epic and Sony F3 cameras, Angenieux Optimo lenses, and a range of lighting and grips, we teach the craft of cinematography so that students can work confidently and creatively with high-specification equipment. Subjects covered in lectures and in hands-on workshops include optics, naturalistic lighting, exposure, colour, and different modes of camera operation. Assessment is by soundstage and location camera tests and a technical/reflective essay.

Ten credits.

Digital Production and Postproduction Workflows

This module looks at digital production and postproduction processes for the creation of commercial film and television programmes. It examines the latest technical and aesthetic workflows for picture and sound. There are two associated labs- one for Picture Techniques and one for Sound Techniques - in which students put theory into practice by applying concepts and techniques covered in lectures. It is taken by all MA Digital Film and Television Production, MA/MScPostproduction with Visual Effects and MA/MSc Postproduction with Sound Design students. Assessment is through closed-book tests and portfolio-building individual project work.

Twenty credits.

Languages of Film and Television

This module examines the various strategies through which moving images communicate with audiences. Drawing on the close analysis of film and television texts as well as the industrial and technological conditions underpinning their production, students will explore the connections between theories of film and television and the practice of its production, distribution and consumption. It is taken by all MA Digital Film and Television Production, MA/MSc Postproduction with Visual Effectsand MA/MSc Postproduction with Sound Design students. Assessment is by essay.

Ten credits.

 

Spring Term

Directing and Advanced Production Methods

Directing is taught both as a creative discipline and as a highly technical craft. Students learn about strategies for blocking and staging action, working with scripts and writers, working with actors, working with production crew, and directing documentary. Assessment is by group and individual in-class tests.

Ten credits.

Group Projects

Teams of students (from Digital Film and Television Production, Visual Effects and Sound Design) will undertake two exercises: the first involves the creation of a title sequence for a film or television programme; the second involves the creation of an action sequence similar to those found in films and high-end TV drama. Students will specialise in their respective areas of study but work in collaborative teams to create programmes to professional standards. These exercises enable students to gain an understanding of the creative process and hone problem-solving skills in an industry-inspired applied setting. Assessment will be through practical work and reflective essays

Twenty credits.

Script Development

From students’ story ideas and treatments to their first-draft screenplays, this module gives intensive practical guidance, with lectures and workshops, on the key stages of the development of stories for film and television.  It is highly recommended that students use this module to develop stories for their Individual Project in Summer Term and Summer Vacation.

Twenty credits.

 

Summer Term and Summer Vacation

Individual Project

A short film, documentary or pilot for a television programme, directed by MA students either from their own screenplays or from work that they have adapted for the screen. These films usually have a duration of up to thirty minutes, and can be on any subject of the students’ choosing, although we strongly recommend that these are developed during the earlier Project Development module. Final submission is in mid-September, and the finished work is assessed along with a technical and reflective essay.

Ninety credits.

 

Industry Seminars

Throughout the year there will be regular seminars featuring practitioners from industry discussing how theory relates to practice and sharing first-hand experience. These are not assessed and are simply to provide additional opportunities to chat with working practitioners.

Fees

Up to date information on Postgraduate fees and funding are available from the central university website.

Careers

A large number of graduates from MA in Digital Film and Television Production have made striking progress in their careers since completing their course.  We believe that Skillset accreditation – the key industry ‘kite mark’ for university production courses – has been an important contributing factor.  But so has the emerging talent of our graduates, which has been a pleasure to see.  There’s quite a wide variety of career paths.  Graduates have joined the lighting and camera department in the German film industry, become editors in Soho (the heart of the British film and television industry), a production assistant for a major Channel 4 drama series, a newspaper journalist, an author who has published his first novel while script reading for a Hollywood production company, and a development executive for a Spanish broadcaster.

These skills will make you suitable for graduate jobs in many areas of work. To see where our graduates get jobs, see our Graduate Achievements page.

 

 

Who to contact

Graduate prospectus

How to apply

You can apply for this course using our online application system.

If you've not already done so, please read the application guidance first so that you understand the various steps in the application process.