This practical MA has three pathways in Film, Documentary and Scriptwriting, so you can focus on what you’re passionate about. You'll join a diverse range of students with interesting stories to tell in a supportive and creative community. You can choose to specialise in film-making, documentary-making or scriptwriting, and under the mentorship of your tutors, you will gradually build the practical, aesthetic and technical skills needed to develop an original creative project. This could be a short film or documentary, or a script for a full-length film, television series, or play. This MA also ensures you build up the commercial awareness and interpersonal skills you will need to succeed in the industry. For instance, we’ll cover pitching technique and how to articulate and sell your ideas. You will explore the wider, more complex problems posed by content production as well, and develop theoretical understanding so you can appreciate the context (historical, social, commercial, environmental, international) of your own and others’ creative work. Throughout this MA, you will get the opportunity to engage with industry professionals. Your tutors are high-profile film-makers and scriptwriters in their own right, and they use their connections to ensure you benefit from masterclasses and Q&As with other prominent directors, writers and producers. If your interests are in research and academia, you can choose to undertake an advanced research project instead of the creative project. For this, you will conduct a major, extended, in-depth critical review of the theoretical and historical dimensions of your practice. This can be good preparation for further study, such as practice-based doctoral research.
On the Film or Documentary pathways you'll study modules such as: Research Methods - You will be introduced to the relationships between theory, practice, and research in the context of production in your chosen platform and you will use a range of research methodologies that you can apply in the development of your practical work. Practical Content Production - This module is focused on learning key skills in screenwriting, directing, cinematography, editing and sound. You will test a range of capabilities and theoretical approaches and you will develop analytical skills to contextualise your proposed work and take part in a range of practical hands-on workshops. Creative Project in Film or Documentary - You will work on complex, independent or team-based practical projects in specific roles to further enhance your professional skills. You will learn to pitch and present your work in an industry framework and engage with existing material to develop your aesthetic sensibilities and to strengthen your own practice. You will use professional equipment appropriate to your craft and will be supported throughout the creative process receiving constructive feedback throughout. There is an emphasis on collaboration and peer support as well as industry expertise. On the Scriptwriting pathway you'll study modules such as: Research Methods in Scriptwriting - You will culturally contextualise your work and will attend theory sessions that serve to develop your academic research and writing skills through the engagement with film and screen content. Practical Content Production in Scriptwriting - You will cover the key disciplines of film and screen production: writing, directing, cinematography, sound, and editing, culminating in a series of tutor supported studio or external practical content making. You will participate in several on-set roles and reflect on your performance throughout the creative practical production period, with a view to helping to shape future ambitions in the industry. You will begin to shape and structure your story and develop characters, whilst being supported to find your original voice and unique selling points for your project. Advanced Research Project - You will be able to conduct a major, extended, in-depth critical review of the theoretical and historical dimensions of your artistic or photographic research alongside the development of your practice. Forming the culmination of your programme of study, it will be appropriate to those who have discovered that their creative interests and strengths lie primarily in the theoretical and historical aspects of artistic research and who may be considering applying to undertake practice-based doctoral research.
There are a variety of ‘summative assessments’ towards the end of each module, including: your creative practical project (a film, documentary or script) or advanced research project, academic writing, self-assessments through reflective journals or essays proposals, and presentations. As well as the summative assessments, we will be assessing you regularly during teaching sessions and one-to-one tutorials, checking that you understand theories and concepts and providing feedback. This is called ‘formative assessment’ and it does not affect your final grades.
How to apply
For international students you will need to have qualifications and experience that are at the same level as for a UK student applying for the same course. If English is not your first language, you'll also need an IELTS score of 6.0 or equivalent.
We aim to attract well-motivated students who wish to further their study in a stimulating and professionally orientated learning environment. For international students you will need to have qualifications and experience that are at the same level as for a UK student applying for the same course. If English is not your first language, you'll also need an IELTS score of 6.0 (with 5.5 in each skills area), or equivalent. The test must be taken within the last two years leading up to the course start date and must still be valid when Visa is issued. UK and EU Entry Requirements: You will normally be expected to have an appropriate Film/Writing, or other first degree appropriate to apply for the MA (Minimum 2:2 or above), or a professional qualification of equal standing, or significant practical or professional experience gained following your initial qualification that would support your application. You should bring your portfolio to the interview normally arranged at the University or online. You will also be asked to provide a plan of how you intend to use the time on the MA to further your practice.
Fees and funding
|Northern Ireland||£7175*||Whole course|
*This is a provisional fee and subject to change.
Additional fee information
University of Derby
Course contact detailsVisit our course page