- Study Mode: Full Time
- Location: High Wycombe / BNU based at Pinewood Studios
- Duration: One Year
- Start Date: September 2023
Do you have a passion for film? On our MA Filmmaking course, you’ll discover how to bring stories to life, developing technical and production skills including camera work, postproduction and single camera directing techniques. You’ll be taught by experienced media professionals on state-of-the-art equipment, and study the practical skills, contemporary technical knowledge and problem-solving ability for a range of production roles.
The course is split between our High Wycombe Campus and our teaching base at Pinewood Studios, the heart of the UK Film industry, where you can get a feel for life on set and develop your skills and understanding of this fast-paced industry, all right in the hustle and bustle of a working studio.
Why study this subject?
The Creative Industries employ over 2 million people in the UK and are projected to create an additional one million jobs by 2050. In the last ten years, jobs in the UK’s Creative Industries have grown at three times the UK national average.
Increased industry demand means Film, TV and Media employers need graduates with practical skills and hands-on experience. You could turn your passion for filmmaking into a rewarding and successful career with the right teaching and hands on learning experiences.
Why study at Buckinghamshire New University?
Our MA Filmmaking is a highly vocational and hands-on course that will help develop your understanding of the creative, editorial, commercial, and practical aspects of digital film production.
This degree will enable you to gain key skills for employment in the film, tv and media industries. Not only will you learn to use state of the art equipment at our High Wycombe Campus, enabling you to smoothly transition to professional work environments, you’ll also have the chance to study at our teaching base at the heart of the UK film industry, Pinewood Studios.
The teaching team hold a hugely diverse range of industry experience, with film academics, practitioners, producers, directors and other industry professionals. Their combined experience and ongoing professional practice will enhance the taught curriculum and ensure you are learning in-demand skills.
To further enhance your education, guest lecturers from industry will be invited to share their experience and expertise. We also hold masterclass events which will give you the chance to put your knowledge into action. Furthermore, the MA Filmmaking programme provides opportunities for applied learning in real or simulated work contexts. Working in production teams on major film projects simulates real-world environments and exposes you to the complexity of collaborative working.
The course has been developed in consultation with leading film industry professionals, and underpinned with reference to industry benchmarks, to help ensure you are learning relevant skills. The course also adheres to the current findings of the UK’s industry-led skills body for the screen industries, ScreenSkills, and, as a result, the programme team have ensured that the course examines the best ways to write, produce, direct and film.
What will I study?
On this course, you will be introduced to fundamental and advanced creative camera techniques and to camera peripherals. Across the twelve months of the course, you will work together with other students across three core modules and choose from a selection of optional modules. Creative and technical areas of advanced editing and post production will be explored, including software, standards for media production delivery and workflows. You’ll also be able to gaining cutting edge insights by guest speakers on this exciting course.
You will have the option to study advanced lighting techniques for specific environments that include studio, greenscreen and location. Depending on the modules you choose, you may also study screenwriting, writing a professional treatment and freelance writing skills, as well as script and screen analysis. Other options include the in-depth practice-based study of leading industry roles, with opportunities to focus on the creative and organisational roles of the director, the producer and production manager. Studying techniques of virtual production will prepare you for a crucial, developing area of the industry.
You will initiate and create a short film each term, and collaborate with fellow students on creative production work, making all aesthetic, editorial and production decisions while solving problems like those faced by real-life production crews. Tutors will constantly assess and constructively feedback on your work. These projects mean that you will graduate with a portfolio of writing, directing, cinematography, sound recording, editing, producing and production credits.
What facilities can I use?
At both our High Wycombe Campus and teaching base at Pinewood Studios, we have all the state-of-the-art facilities and equipment you need to kick-start your career.
Our Green Screen studio, video studios and editing suites are all kitted out with the professional-standard equipment you need. Our audio-visual editing suites include Adobe Creative Cloud suite, Final Cut Pro X, Blackmagic DaVinci Resolve and Avid Media Composer. The suites are acoustically treated and sympathetically lit.
Whilst studying with us you will also use our BucksAnywhere web service, which provides access to many of the software applications you use for learning and studying. BucksAnywhere can be used from your own device or from a University owned PC or laptop, from any location.
Our extensive range of HD broadcast camera include:
- URSA Mini Pro 4.6K
- over forty Panasonic cameras (AG-HPX301E, AG-HPX371E, AG-HPX171E and AG- Panasonic HMC41E)
- Canon XF305
- Canon 5D Mark III and Canon 60D cameras
- Blackmagic Pocket Cinema 4K cameras
- Sony A7R Mark III cameras
- and additional specialist cameras (GoPro Hero 7 cameras, a GoPro Fusion 360 camera, ZCAM E2 6K camera).
We also have a four camera live broadcast set up with Grass Valley LDK6000 cameras and industry-standard EVS action replay/asset management system with two XT3 servers.
In our individual video edit booths equipped with powerful iMac Pros and our communal editing suites and teaching rooms equipped with i9Macs, you’ll get the chance to become skilled with post-production software solutions including:
- Blackmagic Davinci Resolve
- Final Cut Pro X
- Avid Media Composer
- Adobe Creative Cloud suite
We also have an extensive lighting kit, sound studios, and sound equipment including:
- Sennheiser EW 100 radio mics
- Sound Devices 302 sound field mixers
- Sennheiser ME66 condenser microphone
- XLR microphone beach box adaptors for DSLR sound recording
- Sennheiser ME64/K6 condenser
How will I be taught and assessed?
You will be actively involved in a range of learning, teaching and assessment approaches as part of MA Filmmaking. Such active approaches aim to put you at the centre of your learning, so you are involved and engaged in all aspects of your assessment and learning. Your programme will require your active participation in learning activities and engagement with your fellow students both individually and collaboratively, working and learning with other students as part of a small group. Learning activities may also occur both within and outside the classroom.
Your learning will also be supported by technology. Increasingly your tutors will be using existing and emerging learning technologies to engage you in e-learning activities. Your programme will be facilitated using a variety of media and online tools (podcasts, wikis, etc) which will allow you flexible access to a diverse range of online resources, quizzes and learning materials as well as collaborative tools with which you can engage and learn with your peers. Not confined by the time and space associated with traditional teaching methods you may take part in online discussions and learning activities from wherever you are studying. Your tutors will provide any support you may need whilst learning online. By engaging with e-learning you will also be developing skills which are essential for your learning and are also highly valued by employers. These include but are not limited to working flexibly, communication, understanding of IT, team working and creating shared understandings based on quality resources and access to global expertise.
A variety of assessment vehicles will be used as appropriate to the modules you take, including assignments carried out in your own time, in-class assignments, workshops and presentations. Assessments will be appropriate to the task, achievable, motivating and vocationally focussed, forming a constructive part of your learning process.
What are the course entry requirements?
You should have the equivalent of a British Honours degree (2:1 minimum) in a relevant subject. If you do not have any formal academic qualifications but do have experience in the industry and previous training in a relevant area, or a suitable showreel, we will consider your application on an individual basis. We are very open to those who show relevant experience useful to the degree.
We are happy to consider equivalent qualifications from anywhere in the world.
If English is not your first language an IELTS score of 6.5 or equivalent when you start the course is essential.
We welcome applications from mature students with non-standard qualifications and recognise all other equivalent and international qualifications.
This provides a guide of the modules that make up your course. You can find more information about how your course is structured on our Academic Advice section.
This course has Opportunity modules.
Opportunity modules are a key part of the BNU curriculum. You’ll choose modules in both your first and second year from a broad selection in areas such as sustainability, entrepreneurship, creativity, digital skills, personal growth, civic engagement, health & wellbeing and employment. Opportunity modules are designed to enable you to develop outside the traditional boundaries of your discipline and help you to further stand out from the crowd to future employers. Find out more.
What are the tuition fees
Home and EU, Academic Year 2022 - 2023
£10,400 per year
International, Academic Year 2022 - 2023
£15,400 per year
What are my career prospects?
After you leave BNU, you might start as a researcher, production co-ordinator, 1st AD or a freelance scriptwriter for film or tv, or write content for the web. When you leave, you’ll feel confident in working with industry standard kit and will feel prepared for your first role within the industry.