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MA Digital Film and Television Production

Intensive training for a career in the film and television industries

2018/19 entry


1 year full-time,
2 years part-time

Start date

September 2018 (term dates)

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30, 31 January and 1 February

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This is an intensive and specialised course that will equip you for the challenges of entering a film and television industry that is undergoing unprecedented and rapid change. 

You'll have the opportunity to develop specialised skills in screen and television work, such as directing, screenwriting, cinematography, editing and other creative skills.

You'll gain practical experience and detailed knowledge of the equipment and facilities typically used in film and television. By the end of your course you will have produced innovative work that you'll complete to the highest professional standards.

Graduates of this course have gone on to roles in British and European film industries, and in film, TV and commercial production in China, Latin America and the Middle East.


This course is accredited by Creative Skillset, the skills council for the UK film and TV industry and video games industries. The accreditation means that our students learn professional skills on courses approved and supported by the industry; and it gives access to various schemes, eg internships and traineeships with the BBC, ITV and other broadcasters, as well as independent production companies in British film and television.


Employment prospects

You'll experience industry-standard training and creative practice to prepare you for a career in industry.

Course content

This is an intensive course that will equip you for the challenges of entering the film and television industry. You'll learn theory and get practical experience in many different areas: from script writing to camera operation and from lighting to directing and much more.

As you progress through the course you'll get the chance to specialise in areas that you find appealing.

Most of our students study full-time for one year, but you can also study this course part-time over two years.


You'll study a total of 180 credits. 90 of these will be through taught modules in the first two terms. You’ll then go on to study a further 90 credits by making a short dramatic or documentary film and writing a reflective essay and technical report.

Term 1

1. Digital Cinematography (10 credits)

Cinematography has been at the forefront of technological change in the film and television industries in the last decade. You'll learn to work flexibly and knowledgeably in an industry where change will continue. You will receive an aesthetic and technical grounding in visual storytelling, developed with the skilled use of the department's RED and Sony cameras. You'll understand the importance of lighting in cinematography and be expected to put the lighting and grips available to full creative use in a variety of production settings.

2. Digital Production and Postproduction Workflows (20 credits)

You'll study this module alongside postproduction masters students in the department providing an interdisciplinary and collaborative experience of digital film and television production and postproduction. You'll look at digital production and postproduction processes for the creation of commercial film and television programmes.

3. Languages of Film and Television (10 credits)

You'll examine the ways in which moving images communicate with audiences. You'll draw on the analysis of film and television texts as well as the industrial and technological conditions underpinning their production. You'll also explore the connections between theories of film and television and its production, distribution and consumption.

Term 2

1. Script Development (20 credits)

You'll develop a range of creative and technical script development skills and learn to work collaboratively with others (including writers, producers and executives) to develop scripts. You gain insights into various areas of script development, from pitching and script drafting, through narrative structure and character development to visualisation tools such as storyboards and concept art.

2. Directing for Film and Television (10 credits)

You'll explore the creative and technical aspects of directing. You’ll develop the key skills typically used by directors working on the studio floor or on location - including blocking camera positions, directing actors, managing the set, and collaborating with crew members.

3. Group Projects (20 credits)

You’ll join a team made up of fellow MA students, as well as students from our postproduction courses who have specialisms in visual effects and sound design. You'll undertake an exercise that first involves the creation of a title sequence for a film or television programme that leads into an action sequence similar to those found in films and high end TV drama. You'll build upon your experience in previous modules to work in collaborative teams creating the sequence to professional standards. This industry-inspired exercise allows you to understand of the creative process and hone your problem-solving skills in an applied setting.

Please note, modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff.


Term 3 and summer

The final term is dedicated to the design and development of individual piece of work and accompanying report. This module accounts for half of all credits in the course, reflecting that it's the most important and also the most challenging part of the course.

Individual Project (90 credits).

You will create a short film: a work of fiction or non-fiction that may be a stand-alone film or work as a piece of episodic television. You may want to make an adaptation, a personal story or a genre piece. Deciding early will allow you time to prepare for the module by exploring what permission, access and background information you'll need. You may find you build upon the development and preproduction work you did in the Script Development module.

You'll devise a concept in consultation with staff; the final film concept, schedule and running time will be agreed your supervisor. All preproduction and postproduction work will be done on campus, although you may find you need to be away from campus for principal photography.

The completed film, mastered to professional specification, will be submitted along with a formal project report of around 10,000 words. You'll be able to attend a screening of your work and meet with examiners to discuss the work. This isn't assessed, but allows the examiners a chance to ask questions about the film.

Fees and funding

Annual tuition fees for 2018/19

Study modeUK/EUInternational
Full-time (1 year)£7,940£20,910
Part-time (2 years)
Fees for subsequent years are subject to confirmation.
year 1 fee
year 1 fee

Fees information

UK/EU or international fees? The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK/EU or international student.

Funding information

Discover your funding options to help with tuition fees and living costs.

If you've successfully completed an undergraduate degree at York you could be eligible for a 10% Masters fee discount.

Home/EU students

International students

Department scholarship information

Further details of department specific funding.

Living costs

You can use our living costs guide to help plan your budget. It covers accommodation costs and estimated social costs.

Teaching and assessment

You’ll work with world‐leading academics who’ll challenge you to think independently and excel in all that you do. Our approach to teaching will provide you with the knowledge, opportunities, and support you need to grow and succeed in a global workplace. Find out more about our approach to teaching and learning.

Teaching format

The course involves a range of different teaching styles. Most modules will include lectures to give you a fundamental understanding of the subject and then lead on to practical work. The practical work will primarily involve workshops where you can become familiar with industry techniques and equipment, including lighting, grips, cameras (we have Red and Sony cameras as well as Angenieux and Zeiss lenses). You may also attend film screenings.

You'll also have the opportunity to attend talks, productions and festivals outside of your modules.

You'll be assigned a member of our teaching staff who will act as your personal supervisor for the duration of the course. They are there to give advice on academic matters as well as other areas of University life.


The equipment and facilities available are the highest quality found in professional film and programme making.

You'll have access to various HD and UHD Sony and Panasonic cameras, industry-standard lighting, grips and sound, as well as fully equipped sound stages, rehearsal rooms, TV studios, green screen stages, rehearsal rooms, dressing rooms, props store and workshop, and picture and sound finishing suites (including Foley and ADR).

You'll also have 24/7 access to a graduate-student-only post production suite.

Read more on our building and facilities

Teaching location

You will be based in the Department of Theatre, Film and Television on Campus East.

Most of your contact hours will be in Theatre, Film and Television, with some additional teaching on Campus East.

Course location

Our beautiful green campus offers a student-friendly setting in which to live and study, within easy reach of the action in the city centre. It's easy to get around campus - everything is within walking or pedalling distance, or you can always use the fast and frequent bus service.

Assessment and feedback

You'll be assessed throughout your course. Some modules have an early assessment that contributes a small amount to your final mark and gives an opportunity to check your progress.

Types of assessment vary depending on the module and include the following:

  • In-class tests
  • Presentations and pitches
  • Essays, draft scripts and reflective reports
  • Individual projects in which you'll use provided source material to produced finished scenes
  • Group and individual projects to explore lighting and composition
  • Blocking exercises
  • A group project working with others across the department to create a short excerpt for a film
  • 10,000 word report for your individual work.
MA Student Stein (camera operator), with actors on the set of Woodrow. Photographer: David Wu
On the set of The Technician. Photographer: James Arden

Careers and skills

A large number of graduates from this course have made striking progress in their careers since completing their course. There’s a wide variety of possible career paths open to you after completing this MA, both across industry and academia.

Career opportunities

Graduates from this masters have gone into various roles:

  • lighting and camera work
  • production (including production management)
  • film and television script development and supervision
  • editing for television and online distribution
  • directing
  • commercial distribution.

Transferable skills

While you train to be a professional in television and film you'll also develop skills that are useful in any industry. These include:

  • Collaborative working
  • Problem solving
  • Investigative research
  • Time management and organisation
  • Technical analysis
  • Critical evaluation
  • Reflective learning.

Entry requirements

Qualification Grade

You're expected to have at least a 2:1 degree, or equivalent, and evidence of professional experience or a commitment to film making.

The international equivalents of UK qualifications are shown on our country-specific pages. You can also contact the international team for guidance.

English language

If you're a non-native English speaking applicant you must provide evidence of your English language ability.

  • IELTS: 6.5, with no less than 6.0 in each component
  • PTE: 61, with no less than 55 in each component
  • CAE and CPE (from January 2015): 176, with no less than 169 in each component
  • TOEFL: 87, with a minimum of 21 in each component
  • Trinity ISE: level 3 with Merit in all components.

Full details of all acceptable tests and relevant exemptions.


You can apply and send all your documentation electronically through our online system. You don’t need to complete your application all at once: you can start it, save it and finish it later.

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Department of Theatre, Film and Television

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