Film and Television Production

MA

2023/24 Full-time Postgraduate course

Award:

Master of Arts

Faculty:

Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

School:

School of Communication and Media

Campus:

Belfast campus

Start date:

September 2023

Overview

Advance your career in film and television!

Summary

MA Film and Television Production is an interdisciplinary course that combines work and learning in the film, television and screen-platform formats and genres. Its aims are to produce advanced level students with a sense of social responsibility, combined with the skills and knowledge to meet the needs of the growing screen media sector. This is in line with Ulster University’s civic commitment to wellbeing and economic prosperity. To achieve this the course will deliver a range of industry-focused creative and technical and research skills, supported by theoretical and historical knowledge of screen media.

The course is focused on the staples of contemporary screen media - work in-studio and on-location; dramatic and documentary forms; coverage of live events, light entertainment, serial and feature length drama. Students will produce screen artefacts that use the effective manipulation of moving visual images and sound, including understanding relevant industry standards and how they are defined and achieved. This will be done through an understanding of key production processes and professional practices relevant to screen industries.

To complement the production skills acquired through practice, students will develop an advanced knowledge of the central role that film and television, and broader media agencies play at local, national, international and global levels of economic, political and social organisation, and the ability to explore and articulate the implications of this. They will also develop a knowledge of a range of texts, genres, aesthetic forms and cultural practices, associated with screen media, and the ability to produce close and informed analysis of these.

As students progress through the course, advancing this skills as independent learners, practitioners and researchers, they will carry out various forms of research for essays, projects, and creative productions involving sustained independent and critical enquiry. This will always be developed in concert with practice that experiments, as appropriate, with forms, conventions, languages, techniques and practices in the field. The invitation here to students is to employ production skills and academic knowledge in ways that are innovative and seek to challenge or advance existing forms and genres.

MA in Film and Television Production students will work and learn in a context that rewards their knowledge and understanding of screen production processes as intervening in the public domain and aspects of democratic participation and citizenship. In addition, students will be able to reflect upon the ways in which participatory access to the central sites of screen production and public culture is distributed along axes of social division, such as disability, class, ethnicity, gender, religion, age, location, nationality, and sexuality.

Successful graduates will have demonstrated technical skills in the various forms of screen production; the ability to think and act creatively and innovatively in the sector; critical media literacy; and a sociological imagination with regards screen industries and culture and their potential work within it. Students will engage with skills determined as scarce and in global demand in production management, virtual production, virtual reality, postproduction, live broadcast and fiction production.


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About this course

About

The MA in Film and Television is a flexible postgraduate programme which aims to produce informed, skilled and insightful film and television media creatives across a wide range of media production working in three practice-based fields: Directing, Producing, screenwriting for FIlm and tv. Students may opt to spend a short, focused period of study honing their creative film and tv skills as part of a PGCert or expanding their studies into a PGDip or Masters, this is the ideal programme for those who wish to develop, refine or refresh their professional expertise for work in the creative industries while also providing the perfect springboard for further postgraduate and/or PhD study.

Over the first two semesters, six specialism modules (20 credits each) familiarise students with the most important recent developments in their specialist pathway, training them in essential technical, research and communication skills while providing them with opportunities to put their expertise to practical use. The practice modules are devoted entirely to developing the individual's creative practice in their chosen field affording opportunities for one on one tuition. Meanwhile, the Seminar module provides a platform for contextual, aesthetic and theoretical study in their chosen discipline via group tutorial work and practice-based workshops.

In addition, module in Final/Research Project provide opportunities for students to compliment their chosen pathway through project work both in and outside the university.

For those continuing their study to MA level, the third semester Final Project (60 credits) allows the student to undertake a sustained period of self-directed, practice-based work related to their chosen specialism.

Attendance

Full-time: three semesters (one calendar year in total) for MA or two semesters for PGDip and PGCert

Start dates

  • September 2023

Teaching, Learning and Assessment

Content: The content for each course is summarised on the relevant course page, along with an overview of the modules that make up the course.

Each course is approved by the University and meets the expectations of:

- the relevant generic national Qualification Descriptor

- the applicable Subject Benchmark Statement

- the requirements of any professional, regulatory, statutory and accrediting bodies.

Attendance and Independent Study

As part of your course induction, you will be provided with details of the organisation and management of the course, including attendance and assessment requirements - usually in the form of a timetable. For full-time courses, the precise timetable for each semester is not confirmed until close to the start date and may be subject to some change in the early weeks as all courses settle into their planned patterns. For part-time courses which require attendance on particular days and times, an expectation of the days and periods of attendance will be included in the letter of offer. A course handbook is also made available.

Courses comprise modules for which the notional effort involved is indicated by its credit rating. Each credit point represents 10 hours of student effort. Undergraduate courses typically contain 10- or 20-credit modules (more usually 20) and postgraduate course typically 15- or 30-credit modules.

The normal study load expectation for an undergraduate full-time course of study in the standard academic year is 120 credit points. This amounts to around 36-42 hours of expected teaching and learning per week, inclusive of attendance requirements for lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical work, fieldwork or other scheduled classes, private study, and assessment. Part-time study load is the same as full-time pro-rata, with each credit point representing 10 hours of student effort.

Postgraduate Master’s courses typically comprise 180 credits, taken in three semesters when studied full-time. A Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) comprises 60 credits and can usually be completed on a part-time basis in one year. A 120-credit Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) can usually be completed on a part-time basis in two years.

Class contact times vary by course and type of module. Typically, for a module predominantly delivered through lectures you can expect at least 3 contact hours per week (lectures/seminars/tutorials). Laboratory classes often require a greater intensity of attendance in blocks. Some modules may combine lecture and laboratory. The precise model will depend on the course you apply for and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. Prospective students will be consulted about any significant changes.

Assessment: Assessment methods vary and are defined explicitly in each module. Assessment can be a combination of examination and coursework but may also be only one of these methods. Assessment is designed to assess your achievement of the module’s stated learning outcomes. You can expect to receive timely feedback on all coursework assessment. The precise assessment will depend on the module and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.

Coursework can take many forms, for example: essay, report, seminar paper, test, presentation, dissertation, design, artefacts, portfolio, journal, group work. The precise form and combination of assessment will depend on the course you apply for and the module. Details will be made available in advance through induction, the course handbook, the module specification and the assessment timetable. The details are subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.

Normally, a module will have 4 learning outcomes, and no more than 2 items of assessment. An item of assessment can comprise more than one task. The notional workload and the equivalence across types of assessment is standardised.

Calculation of the Final Award

The class of Honours awarded in Master’s degrees is usually determined by calculation of an aggregate mark based on performance across the modules at Levels 7.

All other qualifications have an overall grade determined by results in modules from the final level of study.

The content for each course is summarised on the relevant course page, along with an overview of the modules that make up the course.

Each course is approved by the University and meets the expectations of:

Attendance and Independent Study

As part of your course induction, you will be provided with details of the organisation and management of the course, including attendance and assessment requirements - usually in the form of a timetable. For full-time courses, the precise timetable for each semester is not confirmed until near the start date and may be subject to change in the early weeks as all courses settle into their planned patterns. For part-time courses which require attendance on particular days and times, an expectation of the days of attendance will often be included in the letter of offer. A course handbook is also made available.

Courses comprise modules for which the notional effort involved is indicated by its credit rating. Each credit point represents 10 hours of student effort. Undergraduate courses typically contain 10- or 20-credit modules and postgraduate course typically 15- or 30-credit modules.

The normal study load expectation for an undergraduate full-time course of study in the standard academic year is 120 credit points. This amounts to around 36-42 hours of expected teaching and learning per week, inclusive of attendance requirements for lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical work, fieldwork or other scheduled classes, private study, and assessment. Part-time study load is the same as full-time pro-rata, with each credit point representing 10 hours of student effort.

Postgraduate Masters courses typically comprise 180 credits, taken in three semesters when studied full-time. A Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) comprises 60 credits and can usually be completed on a part-time basis in one year. A 120-credit Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) can usually be completed on a part-time basis in two years.

Class contact times vary by course and type of module. Typically, for a module predominantly delivered through lectures you can expect at least 3 contact hours per week (lectures/seminars/tutorials). Laboratory classes often require a greater intensity of attendance in blocks. Some modules may combine lecture and laboratory. The precise model will depend on the course you apply for and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. Prospective students will be consulted about any significant changes.

Assessment

Assessment methods vary and are defined explicitly in each module. Assessment can be via one method or a combination e.g. examination and coursework . Assessment is designed to assess your achievement of the module’s stated learning outcomes. You can expect to receive timely feedback on all coursework assessment. The precise assessment will depend on the module and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.

Coursework can take many forms, for example: essay, report, seminar paper, test, presentation, dissertation, design, artefacts, portfolio, journal, group work. The precise form and combination of assessment will depend on the course you apply for and the module. Details will be made available in advance through induction, the course handbook, the module specification and the assessment timetable. The details are subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.

Normally, a module will have four learning outcomes, and no more than two items of assessment. An item of assessment can comprise more than one task. The notional workload and the equivalence across types of assessment is standardised.

Calculation of the Final Award

The class of Honours awarded in Bachelor’s degrees is usually determined by calculation of an aggregate mark based on performance across the modules at Levels 5 and 6 (which correspond to the second and third year of full-time attendance).

Level 6 modules contribute 70% of the aggregate mark and Level 5 contributes 30% to the calculation of the class of the award. Classification of integrated Masters degrees with Honours include a Level 7 component. The calculation in this case is: 50% Level 7, 30% Level 6, 20% Level 5. At least half the Level 5 modules must be studied at the University for Level 5 to be included in the calculation of the class.

All other qualifications have an overall grade determined by results in modules from the final level of study. In Masters degrees of more than 200 credit points the final 120 points usually determine the overall grading.

Figures correct for academic year 2019-2020.

Academic profile

The teaching staff on the MA Film and Television are recognised nationally and internationally as practitioners and researchers in the fields of directing, broadcast, virtual production, documentary practice. Collectively, the FTVMA lecturers at Ulster have consistently produced 4* (world-leading) and 3* (internationally excellent) research. Their contribution to REF2022 resulted in Screen Media at Ulster placing joint 1st in the UK for Research Impact. Staff on the MA program will include full time lecturers, teaching assistants, technicians and NI, UK and international professions in film and television as guest lecturers. These include:

Dr. Murat Akser

Dr. Steve Baker

Dr. Mark Benson

Dr. Declan Keeney

Dr. Jolene Mairs Dyer

The University employs over 1,000 suitably qualified and experienced academic staff - 59% have PhDs in their subject field and many have professional body recognition.

Courses are taught by staff who are Professors (25%), Readers, Senior Lecturers (20%) or Lecturers (55%).

We require most academic staff to be qualified to teach in higher education: 82% hold either Postgraduate Certificates in Higher Education Practice or higher. Most academic staff (81%) are accredited fellows of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) by Advanced HE - the university sector professional body for teaching and learning. Many academic and technical staff hold other professional body designations related to their subject or scholarly practice.

The profiles of many academic staff can be found on the University’s departmental websites and give a detailed insight into the range of staffing and expertise.  The precise staffing for a course will depend on the department(s) involved and the availability and management of staff.  This is subject to change annually and is confirmed in the timetable issued at the start of the course.

Occasionally, teaching may be supplemented by suitably qualified part-time staff (usually qualified researchers) and specialist guest lecturers. In these cases, all staff are inducted, mostly through our staff development programme ‘First Steps to Teaching’. In some cases, usually for provision in one of our out-centres, Recognised University Teachers are involved, supported by the University in suitable professional development for teaching.

Figures correct for academic year 2021-2022.

Belfast campus

Accommodation

High quality apartment living in Belfast city centre adjacent to the university campus.

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Student Wellbeing

At Student Wellbeing we provide many services to help students through their time at Ulster University.

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Belfast Campus Location

Campus Address

Ulster University,
2-24 York Street,
Belfast
BT15 1AP

T: 02870 123 456

Standard entry conditions

We recognise a range of qualifications for admission to our courses. In addition to the specific entry conditions for this course you must also meet the University’s General Entrance Requirements.

Entry Requirements

Applicants must hold a degree (with at least 2:2 Honours standard) or equivalent or demonstrate their ability to undertake the course through the accreditation of prior learning.

The specific requirements for admission are detailed below:

i) Applicants should normally hold a good honours degree in any Film Production/Studies, Cinematic Arts, Media Production, Photography and Video, Animation, Visual Arts or cognate subject from a University of the United Kingdom or the Republic of Ireland, from the Council of National Academic Awards, the Higher Education and Training Awards Council or from an institution of another country which is recognised as being of an equivalent standard.

ii) Applicants may be interviewed along with the presentation of a body of work that can take the form of, but is not limited to, a portfolio and/or showreel and proposal. Applicants must be able to satisfy the panel at interview that their work is of a standard that will allow them to deal with the intellectual and practical rigours of the programme.

iii) Applications are welcomed from diverse backgrounds however where there is a discipline shift the applicant must represent a coherent rationale for this shift and evidence prerequisite knowledge, skills and experience.

The programme is devised specifically to support continuing lifelong learning for professions in a rapidly changing field. Therefore APL (Accreditation for Prior Learning) will be considered as evidence of exceptional ability appropriate to recruitment to the programme. Applications from professionals with extensive professional, industrial and/or commercial experience but lacking recent or higher level academic qualifications will be encouraged. APL (Advanced Prior Learning) will be considered as evidence of exceptional ability appropriate to the course.

English Language Requirements

English language requirements for international applicants
The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 6.0 with no band score less than 5.5. Trinity ISE: Pass at level III also meets this requirement for Tier 4 visa purposes.

Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.

Exemptions and transferability

Studies pursued and examinations passed in respect of other qualifications awarded by the University or by another university or other educational institution, or evidence from the accreditation of prior experiential learning, may be accepted as exempting candidates from part of the programme provided that

(a) they shall register as students of the University for modules amounting to at least the final third of the credit value of the award at the highest level.

(b) no exemption shall be permitted from the Final Project

Careers & opportunities

Career options

The screen-based sector is one of the fastest growing sectors of the Northern Ireland economy. This new programme has been developed with industry partners to ensure that the provision addresses current and future skills gaps in the sector and helps to create entrepreneurial and creative graduates who can not only address current skills deficits but also develop new businesses to grow the local sector. Illustrative graduate roles include:

  • Directors, producers, showrunners
  • Screenwriters for Film, television and streaming media
  • Cinematographers and camera operators
  • Production designers
  • Vision mixers.
  • Production Management
  • Virtual Production Supervisors

Work placement / study abroad

There is no formal work placement available as part of this course.

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Start dates

  • September 2023

Fees and funding

2023/24 Fees

Our postgraduate fees are subject to annual increase and are currently under review. See our tuition fees page for the current fees for 2022/23 entry.

Scholarships, awards and prizes

A number of scholarships may be available through Ulster University Screen Academy.

Additional mandatory costs

Students may need to own/purchase items necessary to produce their practice based creative outputs.

Additional costs may be associated with your coursework/research. For example: travel and accommodation, materials, or equipment/studio hire.

It is important to remember that costs associated with accommodation, travel (including car parking charges) and normal living will need to be covered in addition to tuition fees.

Where a course has additional mandatory expenses (in addition to tuition fees) we make every effort to highlight them above. We aim to provide students with the learning materials needed to support their studies. Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals, as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. Computer suites and free Wi-Fi are also available on each of the campuses.

There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines.

Students choosing a period of paid work placement or study abroad as a part of their course should be aware that there may be additional travel and living costs, as well as tuition fees.

See the tuition fees on our student guide for most up to date costs.

Contact

We’d love to hear from you!

We know that choosing to study at university is a big decision, and you may not always be able to find the information you need online.

Please contact Ulster University with any queries or questions you might have about:

  • Course specific information
  • Fees and Finance
  • Admissions

For any queries regarding getting help with your application, please select Admissions in the drop down below.

For queries related to course content, including modules and placements, please select Course specific information.

We look forward to hearing from you.


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Disclaimer

  1. The University endeavours to deliver courses and programmes of study in accordance with the description set out in this prospectus. The University’s prospectus is produced at the earliest possible date in order to provide maximum assistance to individuals considering applying for a course of study offered by the University. The University makes every effort to ensure that the information contained in the prospectus is accurate but it is possible that some changes will occur between the date of printing and the start of the academic year to which it relates. Please note that the University’s website is the most up-to-date source of information regarding courses and facilities and we strongly recommend that you always visit the website before making any commitments.
  2. Although reasonable steps are taken to provide the programmes and services described, the University cannot guarantee the provision of any course or facility and the University may make variations to the contents or methods of delivery of courses, discontinue, merge or combine courses and introduce new courses if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Such circumstances include (but are not limited to) industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key staff, changes in legislation or government policy including changes, if any, resulting from the UK departing the European Union, withdrawal or reduction of funding or other circumstances beyond the University’s reasonable control.
  3. If the University discontinues any courses, it will use its best endeavours to provide a suitable alternative course. In addition, courses may change during the course of study and in such circumstances the University will normally undertake a consultation process prior to any such changes being introduced and seek to ensure that no student is unreasonably prejudiced as a consequence of any such change.
  4. The University does not accept responsibility (other than through the negligence of the University, its staff or agents), for the consequences of any modification or cancellation of any course, or part of a course, offered by the University but will take into consideration the effects on individual students and seek to minimise the impact of such effects where reasonably practicable.
  5. The University cannot accept any liability for disruption to its provision of educational or other services caused by circumstances beyond its control, but the University will take all reasonable steps to minimise the resultant disruption to such services.

Testimonials

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