Film and TV Production - MA

2025/26 Part-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 dates:

September 2025

January 2026

Overview

Advance your skills and build your career in film and television production.

Summary

The overall aim of the MA Film and TV Production programme is to enable students
to develop the advanced screen production, leadership and research skills required to
facilitate the next generation of film makers, producers and researchers.

The MA Film and TV Production addresses strategic developments in the screen industry and prepares graduates for positions in the national and international screen industries. To meet the needs of prospective and existing employees, it is delivered in full-time and part-time modes.

This programme aims to build upon your existing skills and knowledge of media production,
audiences, and culture. The course is designed to help hone your research, technical and
craft skills, building an industry-relevant portfolio of work and developing culturally engaged
and thoughtful production work that engages in the ‘politics of making’. This is an inclusive, forward-thinking programme, creatively applying theory and practice, open to broad conceptions of storytelling and interdisciplinary approaches to film and TV production.

This MA is ideal for students who see themselves as change-makers, thinking critically and
reflectively, and conscious of the social, cultural and political implications of the media
artefacts they produce. You will be self-directed and motivated, but also keen to be part of a research and creative community, helping to build not only a media industry, but a media culture. You will be an active participant in a practice-led, postgraduate programme that is
regionally distinctive and internationally significant. As you progress through the course, you
will develop sustained independent and critical enquiry in concert with practice that
experiments with form, conventions, languages, techniques and practices in the field.
You will be assessed through activities and outputs linked to recognised industry standards.
You will undertake learning activities across Northern Ireland, including seminars, industry
events, historical, theoretical and innovative research, technical workshops and professional
skills development.

MA in Film and TV 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 to screen industries and culture and their potential work within it. Students will engage with skills that are in global demand, such as production management, virtual production, virtual reality, postproduction, and fiction production.

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.

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 practice-based fields such as directing, producing, and screenwriting for film and tv.

Semester 1: Underpinning Knowledge and PG Certificate

The course structure has been designed to enable students to understand and establish
skills in film and television at postgraduate level. This begins in semester 1 with FTV705
Contemporary Screen Culture which aims to develop the informed, contextualised and
reflexive approach to production which underpins level 7 study. Alongside this, the core
essential craft skills of cinematography and editing are developed in FTV700 Dramatic
Filmmaking. And finally, FTV708 Visual Storytelling aims to give students an understanding
of the vital role visual storytelling plays in the realisation of film and television projects.
Therefore, by the end of semester 1 all students will have developed an understanding of
contemporary screen culture; the visual storytelling methods to develop content to engage
audiences; and the cinematography and editing skills exemplified in their first production
work on the course. This suite of modules combine as the Postgraduate Certificate in Film
and TV Production and give students the underpinning knowledge and skills to succeed in
semester 2.


Semester 2: Facilitating Choice and PG Diploma
The semester 2 modules have been developed to facilitate choice. The suite of available
modules are based on staff research specialisms which coincide with cutting-edge, industry facing priorities. The compulsory semester 2 module FTV702 The Business of Film and
Television fosters enhanced employability skills alongside an understanding of sustainable
career building in the screen industry. The module focuses on keys aspects of filmmaking
and entrepreneurship and the negotiation of these in industry contexts.
There are four optional modules in semester 2: students will choose the two that best suit
their own development path and trajectory into the Final Project Practice. Students with
advanced knowledge of screenwriting can choose to do an advanced screenwriting project,
the outcome of which can become the Final Project Practice in Semester 3. Students can
choose to do FTV703 Virtual Production to understand how this nascent technology will
directly impact upon and realign industry conventions such as production design, visual
effects, mise en scene and cinematography both in film and television. Alongside this they
may choose either FTV704 Social Documentary Practice or FTV707 Immersive Storytelling.
Students who chose to study FTV704 Social Documentary Practice will engage in the study
and production of non-fiction storytelling that aims to develop their understanding of the
social, cultural, and environmental issues and the power that documentary film wields in
engaging these. FTV707 Immersive Storytelling offers students the chance to engage with
the aesthetics of immersion that result in cinematic VR outputs.

This suite of semester 2 options offers students a chance to tailor their MA experience from
the cutting-edge, industry-facing VP or the forward-looking immersive aesthetics of VR, to the social and cultural powers at play in documentary practice, or a combination of these,
depending on the modules selected. The resulting 60 credits combined with the 60 credits
from semester 1 make up the Postgraduate Diploma in Film and TV Production.

Semester 3
The exit trajectory for MA Film and TV Production students is through the Semester 3 Final
Project Practice module that aims to enable students to develop in depth an area of study
of their own choice, resulting in a production-based outcome. And while the production based
outcome will be a culmination of the skills developed and deployed throughout the
programme, it will be developed through the concept of practice-based research,
appropriate to level 7 study. This marriage between practice and research appropriately
facilitates exit trajectories back to film and TV work while accommodating potential PhD
scholars. The Final Project Practice is a 60 credit module that, when combined with the 120
preceding credits, brings the MA Film and TV Production Award.

Attendance

Full-time: three semesters (one calendar year in total) for MA or two semesters for PGDip and PGCert. There are two points of entry through the academid year: September and January.

Start dates

  • September 2025
  • January 2026

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.

Attendance and Independent 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 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, 20, or 40 credit modules (more usually 20) and postgraduate courses 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. Teaching and learning activities will be in-person and/or online depending on the nature of the course. 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 assessments. This feedback may be issued individually and/or issued to the group and you will be encouraged to act on this feedback for your own development.

    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, the assessment timetable and the assessment brief. 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. The module pass mark for undergraduate courses is 40%. The module pass mark for postgraduate courses is 50%.

  • 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 Master’s 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 from the academic year 2022-2023.

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. Laura Aguiar

Dr. Murat Akser

Dr. Jennie Carlsten

Dr. Gerard Gibson

Mr. Alan Hook

Dr. Victoria McCollum

Dr. Michael McKnight

Prof. Declan Keeney

The University employs over 1,000 suitably qualified and experienced academic staff - 60% have PhDs in their subject field and many have professional body recognition.

Courses are taught by staff who are Professors (19%), Readers, Senior Lecturers (22%) or Lecturers (57%).

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 and learning support staff (85%) are recognised as fellows of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) by Advance 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 from the academic year 2022-2023.

Belfast campus

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Modules

Here is a guide to the subjects studied on this course.

Courses are continually reviewed to take advantage of new teaching approaches and developments in research, industry and the professions. Please be aware that modules may change for your year of entry. The exact modules available and their order may vary depending on course updates, staff availability, timetabling and student demand. Please contact the course team for the most up to date module list.

In this section

Year one

Dramatic Filmmaking

Year: 1

A practical module in directing, camera and editing on location. You will shoot, edit, and direct their own creative film work. This module provides the confidence and technical skills needed to make new work and enhance employability at the same time.

Contemporary Screen Culture, Theory and Practice

Year: 1

This module develops the informed, contextualised and reflexive approach to production which underpins the MA course. You will develop your understanding of the historical formation of screen culture, and of contemporary theoretical and critical ideas and debates around film and television production. We will explore the concept of the metamodern as we discuss the particular cultural, political and aesthetic conditions which influence contemporary screen practice.

You will examine your own subjectivity, ethical positions, working methods, and processes, while producing work that experiments and engages with the hybrid and fluctuating aesthetics of contemporary film and television production; and you will develop your ability to contextualise your work within a time of economic, social, political and environmental crises and change.

Year two

The Business of Film and Television

Year: 2

This module aims to prepare you for the challenges of the film and TV business today, build your industry contacts, extend your entrepreneurial skills and develop greater commercial acumen. It aims to embrace creative individual problem-solving skills alongside necessary business and negotiation skills.

Final Project Practice

Year: 2

The dissertation / major project module is an opportunity to develop either an extended written research project of circa 4000 words or an advanced creative practice output (dramatic short film 7-10 minutes) of significant scale and ambition that will be critically reflected in the context of media theory and analysis. This module happens over the summer months and is not a taught class rather it is an opportunity for students to bring together everything they learned in the two taught semesters to inform a new creative film or television output under close supervision of an allocated member of staff.

Visual Storytelling

Year: 2

Storytelling is crucial human cognitive skill. It surrounds us in all media and every level of culture. It helps define our identities and enables us to make sense of our lives. Every aspect of our cultures is shaped by storytelling, and is linked to improved individual wellbeing (Koenig Kellas, 2017). Recent academic study reveals that visual storytelling is as important as the linguistic tradition and perhaps as ancient (Weissener, 2014), dating back at least 35,000 years (Marchant, 2016). In addition to its obvious cultural role in mediated narrative, visual storytelling helps shape economies (Kurnoff, 2022), architecture (Poulin, 2012), cartography (Roth, 2020) ambient digital media (Linn & Cilds, 2020) and helps patients improve their health (Drew et al, 2010). This modules enables you to gain the necessary skills to develop and deploy visual storytelling in your Film and TV practice.

Advanced Screenwriting

Year: 2

This module is optional

The module teaches you to develop writing skills across a range of formats and screenwriting practices and provides a challenging and supportive arena in which work can be critiqued and workshopped. Through a combination of lectures, screening and workshops, you will explore different ways of generating and researching ideas, along with different approaches to genre, dramatic structure, characterization, and point of view.

Virtual Production

Year: 2

This module is optional

This module situates virtual production as a highly valuable narrative technique using both dialogic lectures and practical workshops. You will gain an understanding of the techniques historic roots, the necessary visual awareness and technical skills in the practical deployment of virtual production in screen narrative. It situates virtual production as a technological advancement of long-established environment visualisation for the screen, a culmination of historic antecedents including the academically neglected Phantasmagorie, early immersive exhibitions of travel, disaster and horror found in the fairground and midway, the optical trickery of glass and matte painting, front and rear-projection, blue-screen, green-screen and chroma-key

Social Documentary Practice

Year: 2

This module is optional

The module offers a critical understanding of the art of documentary filmmaking and will equip you with the technical skills and critical thinking abilities to create compelling, engaging and informative documentary films.

During the module, students will be paired with civic partners and together will produce a short documentary film to raise awareness about a social, cultural, or environmental issue.

By the end of the module, you will have acquired proficiency in all aspects of the documentary filmmaking process, including concept development, research, interviewing techniques, sound, camera, editing, and ethics and legal considerations.

The Social Documentary Practice module will show you how documentary films can foster deeper connections with the regional arts, heritage and voluntary sectors and contribute to positive placemaking.

Immersive Storytelling

Year: 2

This module is optional

This module will explore advances in immersive cinematic and audio storytelling to help you experiment with form, composition, direction and audience focus. The module will explore key themes such as immersion and presence, as well as provide theoretical and practical frameworks to employ in the making process, which will include how approaches to spatial audio are employed in the form to help create and sustain immersion alongside the 360-degree cinematic images.

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 second-class honours degree or equivalent or demonstrate their
ability to undertake the course through the accreditation of prior experiential learning APEL).
A portfolio of practice work is required under APEL entry.
(i) a second-class honours degree or better in any Film Production/ Studies, Cinematic Arts,Media Production, Photography and Video, Animation, Visual Arts or cognate subject from aUniversity 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; or
(ii) an equivalent standard (normally 50%) in a Graduate Diploma, Graduate Certificate,
Postgraduate Certificate or Postgraduate Diploma or an approved alternative qualification;

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.

Apply

Start dates

  • September 2025
  • January 2026

Fees and funding

2025/26 Fees

Postgraduate fees are subject to annual review, 2025/26 fees will be announced in due course.

See our tuition fees page for the current fees for 2024/25 entry.

Scholarships, awards and prizes

Bursaries and scholarships may be available for international applicants based on annual fiscal and budgetary considerations.

Additional mandatory costs

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

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.


For more information visit

Disclaimer

  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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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