Film and Television: Theory, Culture and Industry MA
Alternative attendance modes for this course
Courses start in September, unless otherwise stated
View course-specific entry requirements
In order to gain admission to the course you will need a good undergraduate degree in a related discipline from a recognised university. In exceptional circumstances we may consider candidates with relevant work experience and a lower undergraduate degree qualification. We welcome applications from mature candidates with a professional background in film, television, media, education, arts administration, or other related professional fields. We accept candidates from a range of related disciplines, and your undergraduate degree does not necessarily have to be in film or television studies.
The course requires a high standard of written and spoken English. If English is not your first language, or your secondary education was not conducted in English, you will need to certify that you have achieved an overall IELTS grade of at least 6.5, with no individual score in reading, writing, speaking and listening to English below 6.0. If you have not previously studied in English, we strongly recommend that you enrol in the University’s pre-sessional English courses.
Additionally within the UKPASS application we will request a short essay assignment to be completed; “In 400 words, describe and analyse a short sequence of no more than 3 minutes from a film or television programme of your choice. How does the sequence contribute to the overall meaning of the work it is a part of?”
Where appropriate we may conduct telephone or Skype interviews before offers of admission are made. During the interview we will be looking for evidence of interest in and capacity to communicate about film, television or other forms of moving image, as well as analytical skills and a commitment to post-graduate study.
*Subject to approval
Our innovative MA in Film and Television builds on its prestigious heritage as the longest running degree programme of its kind in the UK. We aim to equip you with wide-ranging skills, knowledge and critical awareness to meet your career aspirations in sectors in which moving images play a central role. Our curriculum incorporates an exciting variety of learning and teaching activities designed to foster your capacity for researching and rigorously analysing different aspects of film, television and moving images. You will have the opportunity to develop key skills for communicating about and with moving images across a range of contexts and platforms. You can choose to have a broad-based learning experience in film, television and moving image, or you can specialise in moving image curation and screenwriting via our suggested pathways.
The core teaching team consists of members of the University’s Westminster School of Media, Arts and Design. The course has close links with the Centre for Research and Education in Arts and Media (CREAM), the leading research centre in the UK for arts and design, whose members include internationally renowned filmmakers, film and television theorists and historians, and moving image artists and curators. We combine research-enhanced teaching with classes delivered by film and television industry and moving image art professionals, in order to make sure that you develop skill sets and the full range of critical awareness that are in demand and to deliver an exciting learning experience for you.
The course combines core and optional taught modules. The design and delivery of our taught modules draw on CREAM’s research excellence in documentary, Asian and European cinema, moving image curation, and television history. The coursework requirements for some modules are research essays or a combination of research essays and research-informed blog posts and presentations. Other modules require a broad range of research-informed professional modes of writing such as a screenplay treatment, a curatorial proposal or an exhibition review. You will also undertake a substantial piece of independent research as a major part of your MA studies. In order to provide you with the flexibility to undertake a piece of independent research suited to your career aspiration, the final project module offers you the choice between writing a traditional dissertation or completing a theoretically-informed professional project such as a curating a film programme, writing and producing a series of themed blog posts, or writing a long-form screenplay.
The following modules are indicative of what you will study on this course. For more details on course structure and modules, and how you will be taught and assessed, see the full course document.
The course is taught in two modes: full-time and part-time. Full-time Postgraduate students study 180 credits per year. For the award of MA in Film and Television: Theory, Culture and Industry, you must complete two core taught modules, four optional modules and a 60-credit final project module, for a total of 180 credits. Core modules provide you with a set of key skills for the theoretical, critical and reflective understanding of moving images. Optional modules give you the freedom to choose areas of specialisation. The course leaders can advise on which modules best fit your interests. You have the choice to pursue specialised interests through your choice of optional modules and coursework assignments. If you are not sure which optional modules to choose or fit your interests best, or which types of final project work to produce to best develop your area of specialisation, you should discuss this question individually with the course leaders and you should aim to do so early on in the academic year.
The course structure includes two suggested pathways for those wishing to specialise in film programming and moving image curation, or in screenwriting.
You will be able to choose among the following modules:
- Cinema Distribution and Exhibition (option)
- Contemporary Issues in Moving Image and Screen Studies (core)
- Documentary Aesthetics, Sites and Spectatorship (option)
- Film Programming and Moving Image Curation (option)
- Final Project (core)
- Key Concepts in Film, Television and Moving Image (core)
- Introduction to Scriptwriting (option)
- Longform Screenplay Preparation and Short Documents (option)
- Modern and Contemporary European Cinema (option)
- Researching Histories in Asian Cinema (option)
- Television Art: Aesthetics and Quality (option)
Our graduates have found employment in small- and large-scale film and television companies as filmmakers, producers, distributors, and exhibitors. Others have gone on to organise film festivals, or to work in film-related magazines and journals as well as in international arts and culture sectors. Some of our recent graduates have gone on to pursue academic careers as researchers or doctoral students at the University of Westminster and elsewhere. As the UK’s longest-running postgraduate programme in film and television several of our alumni are pioneers of the discipline of film and television studies.
The MAFTV’s core teaching team includes Prof Rosie Thomas, Dr May Adadol Ingawanij, Ian Green, Dr Margherita Sprio and Dr Julian Ross. We adopt a team-based approach to teaching with significant input from experienced visiting lecturers, industry experts, and internationally renowned researchers at the University’s Centre for Research and Education in Arts and Media (CREAM). Members of the centre include award-winning documentary filmmaker Dr Joshua Oppenheimer (The Act of Killing, The Look of Silence); award-winning television producer John Wyver; and experimental filmmakers and curators including Michael Maziere, Uriel Orlow and Sarah Pucill.
Creative Practice and Art Theory cluster
The MAFTV is part of the postgraduate course cluster Creative Practice and Art Theory. This group of Masters courses brings together dynamic and prestigious programmes in visual and sound arts. In the creative environment of the University of Westminster’s dedicated arts and media campus, our courses offer a unique combination of professional practice, critical inquiry, skills enhancement, and contextual, specialist or interdisciplinary knowledge. Several of the MAs in this group are the first of their kind in the UK, and all lead the way in establishing new avenues of practice and disciplinary thought.
Our Harrow Campus boasts wide-ranging multimedia facilities built and equipped to the highest standards. The University’s three public exhibition spaces Ambika P3, London Gallery West and Regent Street Cinema offer exciting and dynamic year-round programmes of cinema, photography and multimedia art.
Past and present students from all over the world are employed in film and television sectors: as small-scale producers and filmmakers, or working for large organisations and TV companies as script consultants, programmers, executives and film educators. Several recent graduates are involved in film festival organisation or are working in arts and culture sectors. Several of our recent graduates have gone on to pursue doctoral research in the UK and abroad, including at the University of Westminster.
Photo by Maayan Merkado-Ettedgui
After having worked in the film industry for three years I missed having time to deal with the subject of film in an academic way so much that I decided to go back to Westminster where I had done my BA (Hons). I can strongly recommend this course to anyone what has a serious interest in cinema! The choice of modules was varied, including everything from experimental films to the Hollywood studio system. And the dedication and enthusiasm of the tutors for their topics was rewarding and infectious. Through the course I discovered and learnt to appreciate new aspects of film. I enjoyed it so much that I am now looking to apply for a PhD based on my dissertation.
Kathrin Vlasta Woodtli, UK and Switzerland
Kat has worked as assistant camera on Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009) and is pursuing further research on her thesis project.
This MA course gave me the chance to get to know the contemporary film industry; not only in UK, but also globally. Semesters 1 and 2 provide a whole range of modules from very theoretical cinematic subjects to industrial business issues. I chose both sorts of modules and knowledge and also the ability to analyse and examine questions. This is very important and helpful to me in the future for studying and working.
Jiang Zhou, China
The MA in Film and Television has been the best choice for my career. I acquired a solid theoretical background in film and television while improving my writing, reading and communication skills. When I finished the MA I quickly found a job in television thanks to the self-confidence and maturity that I gained doing this MA.
Irene Martin, Spain
Irene has been working for a Spanish TV company in London since leaving the course.
Kathrin Vlasta Woodtli
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