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Postgraduate study

Course overview

The MA Filmmaking course gives you the opportunity to develop originality, creativity and innovation in filmmaking. In addition to knowledge and skills in the area of filmmaking you also focus on researching, creatively producing and presenting film projects in a professional environment.

You learn how to professionally present, package and pitch your work in a commercial working environment. You develop critical skills in reviewing and researching industry output and using this knowledge in relation to your own work. You develop an advanced critical awareness of your own creative strengths, professional practice and career strategy within the fields of filmmaking and film production.


Course details

Course structure

Core modules

Anatomy of a Film

You deconstruct and analyse all aspects of films and animations that make up the visual language used to influence the audiences understanding. You will be expected to analyse and critically discuss many genres and formats including short film, feature film, and both live action and animation. This module also introduces you to other relevant concepts and associated theories such as psychoanalytical theory, film theory, as well as establishing a social, cultural and intellectual context for production work.

Critical Approach to Filmmaking

You examine the medium of film, considering its specific qualities as an art-form and the particular ways in which it engages its audience. You also focus on the aesthetic strategies of film in contrast with other arts, its relationship with reality, and cinema-audience engagement. Aeas such as talent/performer, genre and auteur theories, social and political contexts, gender and ethnicity issues, and the influence of technology are also considered.

Directing Talent

In this module, you investigate role of the director, from the process of casting for roles, inspiring actors; dealing with personality types, performance disciplines, communication, directing the physical vs directing the emotional, avoiding negative connotations, voice-work and collaborating with actors and writers to achieve dramatic goals.

Filmmaking: Masters Project

You experience independent short film production, building on the work undertaken in previous modules to create a finished artefact. This piece of work should be an original and innovative approach to style and structure in the chosen genre/subject. You demonstrate understanding and application of filmmaking methods, workflows and systems, develop and enhance facility with hardware and/or software systems needed for project creation, and establish an ability to assess the effectiveness of a film for its target audience.

You will formally present your finished work to tutors and peers in a critically reflective manner, discuss the project experience and its outcome.

In Camera Aesthetics

You look at the stylistic choices and visual variables that can be created through the camera; utilising location, production design, set-building, lighting and even choice of lens. You examine cinematographic innovation and the latest technological developments, and the relationship of these new approaches to visual aesthetics and modern production techniques.

Script Research and Development

You formulate a creative direction for the pre-production phase of their final project. You develop project ideas upon a clearly defined basis for originality and innovation. You will be supported in seminars addressing both key general production issues (eg law, ethics, and finance) and specific challenges arising in connection with individual student proposals. You will prepare a rationale and treatment drawn from research of their chosen subject with identified and confirmed contributors/participants and locations supported by clips, stills etc as appropriate.

Storytelling: Script and Pitch

You study the developing concepts for film and the craft of screenwriting, including; script formatting, style, structure, genre, plotting, characterisation and dialogue. You will begin to evolve creative concepts, create a package, explore possible funding routes, develop understanding of the business aspects of production and enhance their ability to promote themselves in a competitive marketplace.


Advanced practice (2 year full-time MA only)


The internship options are:

Vocational: spend one semester working full-time in industry or on placement in the University. We have close links with a range of national and international companies who could offer you the chance to develop your knowledge and professional skills in the workplace through an internship. Although we cannot guarantee internships, we will provide you with practical support and advice on how to find and secure your own internship position. A vocational internship is a great way to gain work experience and give your CV a competitive edge.

Research: develop your research and academic skills by undertaking a research internship within the University. Experience working as part of a research team in an academic setting. Ideal for those who are interested in a career in research or academia.


Modules offered may vary.


How you learn

There is a key focus on employability, graduate skills and real-world impact reflected throughout the course. Personal development, research and transferable skills are embedded in the academic and research-based modules and they are a major element of your master’s project. These modules also address personalised academic experience and scholarship. Technical and subject skills-based learning are addressed to ensure learning is engaging, assessed to industry standards and up-to-date,

How you are assessed

There are four main methods of assessment: project execution, critical analysis and appraisal, group and individual presentations and peer review. The project execution will be assessed according to criteria that include how a completed film meets its brief and satisfies the needs of its intended market. The group and individual presentations will include opportunities for exchanging ideas, constructive criticism and feedback. This also supports your ability to provide critical analysis of your own and others work.


Entry requirements

2.2 degree (or above) or significantly documented relevant industry experience portfolio of appropriate work of a good standard

In addition, international students will require IELTS 6.0 or equivalent.

When assessing entry requirements, we may also consider the combination of a showreel/portfolio and academic qualifications acquired during studies and/or relevant work experience.

For additional information please see our entry requirements

International applicants can find out what qualifications they need by visiting Your Country



Career opportunities

Graduates of this course would be well placed to pursue careers in filmmaking for film, television, online media, advertising and marketing and related media industries

Work placement

This course can be studied in two year full-time mode with an Advanced Practice internship.


Information for international applicants


International applicants - find out what qualifications you need by selecting your country below.

Select your country:


Useful information

Visit our international pages for useful information for non-UK students and applicants.

Talk to us

Talk to an international student enrolment adviser



2020 entry

Fee for UK/EU applicants
£6,500 a year

£4,335 a year with advanced practice

More details about our fees

Fee for international applicants
£13,000 a year

£7,500 a year with advanced practice

More details about our fees for international applicants

  • Length: within 1 year (September start), 16 months (January start) or 2 years with Advanced Practice (September or January start)
  • Enrolment date: September and January
  • Semester dates

Apply online (full-time)

Apply online (fast-track) for current students



2020 entry

Fee for UK/EU applicants
£722 for each 20 credits

More details about our fees

  • Length: Up to 3 years (can be completed in 2 years if preferred)
  • Enrolment date: September
  • Semester dates

Apply online (part-time)

Apply online (fast-track) for current students


Choose Teesside


Stand out from other job applicants with your higher level qualification, specialist knowledge and expanded networks.



Improve your project management, critical thinking, research skills, time management, presentation skills and teamwork.



The median salary for working-age (16-64) postgraduates in 2018 was £6,000 more than graduates
(DoE Graduate Labour Market Statistics 2018,



Study in our friendly town-centre campus with over £270m recently invested and another £300m over the next 10 years.


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