Documentary Film Production – MA


Why study this course?

Our Documentary Film Production MA is an innovative practical course taught in the heart of London’s creative hub. With a strong industry focus, this course offers an inspiring gateway into contemporary documentary filmmaking.

Supported by award winning tutors, you’ll develop a portfolio of innovative films, learning how to devise, shoot and edit documentary through a series of hands-on practical workshops. You’ll create cinematic content using RED, Canon and Blackmagic cameras and capture interactive VR content using 360 cameras. Refine your skills as a researcher and gain insights into how to conduct an engaging interview and prepare material for post-production. Then bring it all together to create cutting edge films that tell dynamic stories for new audiences. 

You can choose to attend a one year intensive full-time course or on a part-time basis over two years.

More about this course

You’ll benefit from our excellent teaching facilities and resources, including our new film studio and our dedicated post-production suites. You’ll have access to world-class BBC and BFI film archives as part of our membership of Archives for Education, plus the opportunity to undertake BAFTA Albert sustainability training, leading to Albert graduate status.

Course leader Robb Horsley is a filmmaker with award-winning documentary credits, both in the UK and internationally. He is joined by senior lecturer Suzanne Cohen, a highly-experienced documentary specialist who was named Educator of the Year at the 2018 Into Film awards, and lecturer Louis Heaton who has worked as a director and producer for projects commissioned by Channel 4, BBC and Discovery Channel.

Under their guidance you’ll expand your knowledge and gain valuable insight into practical and theoretical concepts of documentary filmmaking. This will help you to develop your ideas into viable projects that appeal to both the audience and commissioners.

You’ll learn about the commissioning process and how the industry works, giving you the skills and knowledge to forge an exciting career in film and TV. You’ll go on exciting field trips, which have included visits to Royal Television Society masterclasses, Pinewood studios and the ARRI VR stage. Gain insider knowledge and insight from guest speakers who have included BAFTA award winning director of Surviving 9/11 – Arthur Cary, BBC commissioning editor Hamish Fergusson, and CEO of Milk and Honey productions Lucy Pilkington.

There are nearly three-million creative jobs accounted for in the UK and more than a third of these are based in London. There’s a huge amount of both large-scale and small-scale film and TV production in the city, plus lots of related professional work that surrounds and supports it.

We welcome applicants from a wide-range of backgrounds including graduates from film and media, journalism and other creative courses. We also encourage applications from graduates who come from different academic backgrounds and have a strong interest in developing their skills as a documentary filmmaker.

Accreditation of Prior Learning

Any university-level qualifications or relevant experience you gain prior to starting university could count towards your course.

Modular structure

The modules listed below are for the academic year 2022/23 and represent the course modules at this time. Modules and module details (including, but not limited to, location and time) are subject to change over time.

Year 1 modules include:

Film Production: Techniques for Non-Fiction (core, 20 credits)

Major Projects (core, 60 credits)

Representations of Reality (core, 20 credits)

The Factual Storytelling Business (core, 20 credits)

Interactive Documentary (alternative core, 20 credits)

New and Emerging Technologies (alternative core, 20 credits)

Digital Journalism (option, 20 credits)

Interaction Design (option, 20 credits)

Work Related Learning (option, 20 credits)

Where this course can take you

This Documentary Film Production MA will prepare you for work in a wide range of professions within the film and creative industries. Some of the senior roles our graduates have taken up include:

  • Director
  • Producer
  • Cinematographer

Successfully completing this course is also an excellent gateway into a wide range of production roles, such as:

  • Researcher
  • Assistant Producer (AP)
  • Shooting AP
  • Editor
  • Digital Content Creator