Film and Television Production MA

Postgraduate ( full-time, part-time)


January, September

Intermediate awards: PG Cert, PG Dip

Course duration: three trimesters full-time or 24 months part-time (September starts); 17 months full-time (January starts).

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Develop as a producer/director of factual programmes and enhance your creative skills and technical knowledge. With talks by industry professionals, and access to a broad range of equipment, you’ll create a portfolio of work that will help you stand out from the crowd.

Find out more about teaching options and studying during COVID-19 in the Entry requirements section, below.

Full description


Our course will prepare you for a career in TV or in the broader media, and help you to decide which areas of the industry attract you the most. Although the emphasis is on directing and producing, you might choose to move into cinematography, production management or even television programme sales once you graduate. You might also develop a particular interest in observational documentary, natural history films or science programming, and decide to follow a career in these fields.

Here at Cambridge School of Art, you’ll gain specialist skills that will be useful for traditional, experimental and creative documentary making, or films for education, training, public relations, current affairs, marketing and campaigning. Our course will prepare you to forge a portfolio or freelance career, and give you the ability to make high-quality content for broadcast, web, film festivals or cinema.

Find out more about the faculty's employability support.

Modules & assessment

Core modules

  • Film and Television: Research and Context
    On this module you will explore the relationship between research and filmmaking, including key methods of research in filmmaking, both academic and industrial. These methods will include: research methodologies and techniques (how to ask productive research questions; where to go and how to find materials relevant to your studies); identification and research of a suitable subject for a film; an understanding of context in the media world textual analysis of form and style in a variety of factual films and TV programmes; critical analysis of the arguments offered by a range of texts. As a focus around which to organize the development of your skills, you will also analyse the work and methods of several well-known factual filmmakers. Alongside the lectures, you will make two versions of a film that explores a subject of your choosing. You will be encouraged to experiment and push yourself beyond your usual practice. Your filmmaking will be a journey of self-discovery and reflection. For the research design process, you will write a pitch, identify key research milestones, deliver one version of the film and evaluate it, before producing a final version. Group critiques and peer reviews will allow you to discuss the ongoing progress of your projects. You will be assessed by a portfolio of work including a written pitch, a developmental workbook, both versions of the film and a written reflective commentary (2,000 - 2,500 words).
  • Visual Storytelling
    This module will help you better understand visual storytelling and develop skills essential to successful contemporary factual programming. You will employ documentary and film language to write programme treatments and storyboard ideas, culminating in pitches. You will also explore basic technical skills, enhanced through additional workshops and masterclasses, to facilitate practical film making. You will make two short productions (under ten minutes), learning to effectively plan and prepare, find and develop ideas, and ultimately film subjects and locations. You’ll operate as an individual practitioner to develop directorial experience, technical filming skills and to carry out the post production process. You’ll learn to reconcile a number of potentially conflicting pragmatic and conceptual issues. Formative assessment will include collective film reviews, peer assessment, pitching sessions and tutorials. Summative assessment will be formed of 2 films, accompanying paperwork and a reflective commentary; and submission of a record of budget and schedule for a programme series.
  • Understanding the Audience
    This practical and theoretical module will introduce you to the critical role of the audience in the conception and design of factual programming. You’ll develop and apply an understanding of the ways in which knowledge of specified audiences influences programme content and style. You’ll explore qualitative and quantitative audience research, and examine audience antecedents. You'll also analyse the different ways in which audiences watch programmes and how the programmes in turn affect the viewers, the audience being understood to be one of the principal variables at the root of programme making. Scheduling will be used as a key to understanding how the television industry works and current developments in viewing habits will also be assessed. You will explore successful models of programming and work towards an analysis of the ways in which the content, narrative structure and creative elements of such programmes achieve their address. In teams you will pitch for and produce two programmes in accordance with two briefs: first in the TV studio and then on location. Your summative assessment will comprise: (i) the production of your two programmes and your reflective commentary of the process; (ii) an essay comparing two factual television programmes in terms of the nature of their intended audience, the intended effects of the programmes on that audience and the ways in which aspects of the programmes’ design achieve their address.
  • Master's Research Assignment: Film & Television
    This module forms the major critical analysis element of the MA. You are invited to choose a topic related to your area of study, as the basis for a written research essay/dissertation or a video essay supported by a critical analysis. This analytic video essay explores its topic through a combination of audiovisual material, including soundtracks and voiceovers, still images, clips from films/videos and written text, including captions, subtitles, credits and bibliographic material. Either approach to this critical analysis should demonstrate an awareness of current critical debate in the subject, through appropriate reference to relevant examples both from visual practice and critical writing. Subjects may be thematic and issue-based, or may focus upon the critical analysis of a particular body of work. It is expected you will use the module to investigate the use of critical analysis as an aspect of your own creative development, by investigating issues as and preoccupations for which you feel a particular affinity or concern, and you use the research essay/video essay as an instrument of enquiry into the debates, conventions and values which define your own field of practice. Introductory lectures will explore the use of different modes of critical method and conventions of film and television research, and the production of critical writing/filmmaking as an aspect of individual creative and professional practice.
  • Master's Project: Film & Television
    This module represents the culmination of learning on the MA FTVP degree and provides an opportunity for you to create a whole "film package". This will be a film/films of approximately 20 minutes' duration at a professional standard. This can be one programme or a series of shorter programmes. The exact duration and nature of the film/s will be agreed in the context of your own evidence-based case for the markets you are seeking to enter. This is your "calling card" to the industry and hence extensive study time is allocated, making it worth 60 credits. This substantial piece of audio-visual work, or collection of shorter audio-visual materials, must be produced to full professional standards and with accompanying documentation. Your work must demonstrate in-depth research into the subject, a well-developed and planned storyline, and a high level of practical expertise in filming, sound recording and post production. You will be required to prepare a verbal pitch and a written proposal, and identify broadcast slots or other routes to market. You will produce a basic business plan for your project, which includes a schedule and budget. In this way, you will bring together the essential requirements for a successful production: knowledge of audiences, a clear and feasible communicative objective for such audiences, and the capacity to realise such an objective in creative audio-visual form.


Modules are subject to change and availability.

You’ll demonstrate your learning, and ensure you’re developing the knowledge and skills to complete the course, through:

  • producing and directing films of different lengths and styles
  • working in a team on a TV studio production
  • written production analyses and reflective commentaries
  • essays
  • filming schedules and budgets
  • film pitches
  • your final Masters Project: this film is your 'calling card' for the industry

Your assignments are usually submitted at the end of each term. You’ll also be assessed informally and given feedback during the term to help you achieve to the highest level. Feedback could be on a film, a presentation or group participation; it will be given by your tutor and your fellow students.

Where you'll study

Your department and faculty

Using our creative expertise and industry connections in Cambridge and beyond, we create experiences that entertain, educate, inspire and improve lives.

At Cambridge School of Creative Industries, we believe in the importance of experimentation and risk-taking to create experiences that entertain, educate, inspire and improve lives.

Whether writing bestselling fiction, creating challenging documentaries or sharing a piano with people on the autism spectrum, the expertise of our staff goes far beyond teaching. Their research produces significant funding success, leading to important publications and international conferences.

Where can I study?

Lord Ashcroft Building on our Cambridge campus

Our campus is close to the centre of Cambridge, often described as the perfect student city.

Explore our Cambridge campus


We organise specialist lectures and workshops run by film industry professionals, where you’ll learn about up-to-date practices and get invaluable advice. Our past speakers have included Ben Wheatley (Free Fire, Sightseers), Mandy Chang (Storyville), Sean Bobbitt (Cinematographer, 12 Years a Slave, The Place Beyond the Pines), Peter Strickland and Nic Knowland (Director and Cinematographer, Berberian Sound Studio), Cilla Ware (freelance drama director of Silk, Spooks, Primeval), Kathy Lee (Film Editor: Abuelas, A Letter to Dad), and Larry Sider (Sound Designer, The Piano Tuner of Earthquakes, Mirrormask).

You’ll also get first-hand experience of the industry at informal work placements throughout the course and benefit from our close links with Cambridge Arts Picturehouse, where we hold regular student and industry events.

Specialist facilities

For your production and post-production work you will get access to:

  • A full range of HD and SD location cameras (including Steadicam), lighting and sound equipment
  • An industry standard fully equipped HD TV studio with full lighting rig
  • Scenic backdrops for current affairs, magazine programmes, and dramas
  • A film studio with overhead lighting, tracks, dollies, green screens, and flats
  • The complete Adobe Creative Cloud software suite including Premiere Pro, After Effects, Audition and Speed Grade

You'll also be able to receive access to, and full training in, all our creative industries facilities.

Fees & funding

Course fees

UK students starting 2021/22 (per year)


UK students starting 2021/22 (part-time, per year)


International students starting 2021/22 (per year)


International students starting 2021/22 (part-time, per year)


Important fee notes

The part-time course fee assumes that you're studying at half the rate of a full-time student (50% intensity). Course fees will be different if you study over a longer period. All fees are for guidance purposes only.

Additional costs

Estimated cost of materials 
£250 over three years

Portable hard drive 92 TB

Optional field trip to Sheffield Documentary Festival

How do I pay my fees?

UK students

You can pay your fees upfront, in full or in instalments – though you won't need to pay until you've accepted an offer to study with us.

How to pay your fees directly

International students

You can pay your fees upfront, in full or in two instalments. We will also ask you for a deposit of £4,000 or a sponsorship letter. Details will be in your offer letter.

Paying your fees

Funding for postgraduate students

It’s important to decide how to fund your course before applying. Use our finance guide for postgraduate students to learn more about postgraduate loans and other funding options.

We also offer a range of ARU scholarships, which can provide extra financial support while you're at university.

Students taking up a place on this course are eligible to apply for the Mark Wood CBE Art and Design Scholarship, which recognises and encourages excellence. Read more and download the application form.

International students

As well as a number of scholarships, we offer an early payment discount. Explore your options:

Entry requirements

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Interview and portfolio

You will be required to attend an interview of around 20 minutes, during which you will evidence your discussion with a portfolio or, if you are resident outside of the UK, an e-portfolio.

For more information on how to prepare and submit your portfolio please visit our portfolios and interviews page, or go straight to the detailed guidance for MA Film and Television Production portfolios.

Important additional notes

Whether you're studying entirely online or through a blend of on-campus and online learning from September 2020, you'll need a computer and reliable internet access to successfully engage with your course. A small number of our courses require additional technical specifications or specialist materials. Before starting the course, we recommend that you check our technical requirements for online learning. Our website also has general information for new students about starting university in 2020-21.

Our published entry requirements are a guide only and our decision will be based on your overall suitability for the course as well as whether you meet the minimum entry requirements. Other equivalent qualifications may be accepted for entry to this course, please email for further information.

Due to the national lockdown all universities in England, including ARU, are only able to provide face to face teaching on campus for a limited number of courses.

Teaching options when not in a lockdown

In response to the COVID-19 global pandemic all our students can choose to either study face to face on campus or online only, and students are able to change their mode of delivery at given dates throughout the trimester.

For on-campus teaching, we offer at least four hours face-to-face teaching related contact time per week for our undergraduate full-time courses, supported by online learning using our established online learning systems. The number of contact hours vary course by course, and you can contact us for further information. The provision offered is subject to change due to the possibility of further Government restrictions, however we remain committed to delivering face-to-face teaching and ensuring a COVID-19 secure environment.

In the event that there are further changes to the current restrictions that are in place due to the pandemic, we may need to move some courses online only at short notice to remain in line with Government guidelines and ensure the continued safety of our students and staff.

National lockdown (from 5 January 2021) 

View the impact of the current restrictions

International students

We welcome applications from international and EU students, and accept a range of international qualifications.

Whether you're studying entirely online or through a blend of face-to-face and online learning from September 2020, you'll need a computer and reliable internet access to successfully engage with your course. Before starting the course, we recommend that you check our technical requirements for online learning.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you'll need to make sure you meet our English language requirements for postgraduate courses.

Check the standard entry requirements for IELTS requirements for this course.

Improving your English language skills

If you don't meet our English language requirements, we offer a range of courses which could help you achieve the level required for entry.

We also provide our own English Language Proficiency Test (ELPT) in the UK and overseas. To find out if we are planning to hold an ELPT in your country, contact our country managers.

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Get more information

UK & EU applicants

01245 68 68 68

Enquire online

International applicants

+44 1245 68 68 68

Enquire online