Creative Development Projects
Drama Production for TV, Film and Digital Media
Salford School of Arts, Media and Creative Technology
In a nutshell
Whether for the big or small screen, drama continues to excite new generations of audiences and with the growth of video on-demand services, the genre evolves in ways we may never have imagined. This new universe of fictional content production is innovative, exciting and attractive to those wanting to start a career in drama production as it offers endless opportunities for collaboration and creativity.
Our MA Drama Production for TV, Film and Digital Media course offers the opportunity to learn more about where you can fit within that industry. Whether your specific interest is in directing, producing or writing, you will hone your voice as a visual storyteller, learning about the development and commissioning process as well as the more technical aspects of production and of course you will learn more about where your skills and talents are most effective.
Our modules are ideally designed to allow you to learn about yourself through your studies and practical projects, whether it’s collaborating with fellow students or with industry experts who regularly come into work alongside the cohort. In fact, you will benefit from a range of industry engagement and live brief opportunities, working alongside established writers, producers and other professionals currently working on commissions for ITV, BBC and Netflix. You will work on real-world projects with feedback from clients and broadcasters and take part in bespoke workshops to develop your own ideas.
This master’s degree in drama production has filmmaking at its core. You will be expected to work on several short film productions over the year, collaborating with students both on and outside the course, as well as working alongside professionals and establishing long term connections. You will receive expert guidance from working directors, writers and filmmakers who will provide you with the concepts and techniques that are key to the fiction form.
In addition to quality teaching and a wealth of opportunities, this course has an enviable reputation for producing award-winning films. Many graduates have gone on to work for BBC, ITV independent production companies in the UK and internationally. What’s more, you’ll be located at the heart of one of the country’s most reputable media hubs, where you’ll join a vibrant community of practising creatives.
- Specialise in the areas in the roles of television drama production and filmmaking that interest you.
- Become a better writer, producer and director through workshops, masterclasses and lots of practice.
- Gain industry advice from major broadcasters in how to build your career.
- Learn from award-winning television practitioners who will help you transition to working in the TV and film industry.
- Be taught by academic staff with extensive, first-hand experience of the media industry.
- Gain real-world experience of the broadcast industry by working on live briefs and media projects.
This is for you if...
You want a professional career in drama production within television, film or digital media.
You want to develop your skills as a visual storyteller and understand the foundations of great drama production.
You want to build your connections and professional network in order to enhance your employability.
All about the course
So, what does a master’s in drama production involve? Throughout this MA course, you’ll learn by collaborating with your cohort and others outside the degree, as well as outside the university, to produce different types of films and scripts. You will have the opportunity to specialise in a particular role and try your hands at other aspects of production. You will work alongside peers, directors and producers from industry you will learn the stages of production; how to find a good story, how to whet the audience’s appetite and how to keep them on the edge of their seats. Most importantly, you’ll learn how to find your voice and to tell the stories that are unique to you.
You’ll learn to analyse and critique the growing body of work in this field, before developing innovative approaches to your own work. Through a series of lectures, seminars and tutorials, you’ll hone your specialism by pitching your ideas to panels of academic staff and industry experts – helping you to gain the hands-on experience you’ll need to launch your professional media career.
Learning from those who have a wealth of real-world experience in the industry, you’ll have access to a variety of resources that will enable you to embark on your own research or practical project. These projects are designed to showcase the techniques and skills you’ve learnt throughout the course, as well as your ability to produce original work within the field of contemporary media practice.
Interested? Find out more about what each module involves in our course breakdown below.
The Creative Development Projects (CDP) module offers you a chance to develop skills appropriate to your programme of study within an atmosphere and philosophy of innovation and experimentation. The module is built around programmes of lecture/seminars and workshops in which you develop your creative and critical skills through applied theory and practical work. You may work in production teams.
Media Theory and Practice
A series of lectures aims to develop your appreciation and engagement with critical approaches to contextualising and informing your practical creative work. The lectures examine the theory and practice of media production and contextualise the contemporary broadcasting and film environment.
Through a series of lectures, seminars and tutorials that aim to develop your specialisms, the module will set live briefs from real industry clients and broadcasters. You will examine the practice and theory of media production readying you for pitching your ideas to a panel of academics and industry practitioners and developing creative and critical skills through applied theory and practical work.
Advanced Production Practices
A series of lectures, seminars and workshops aim to develop production craft specialisms in readiness for production in semester two and three if appropriate. The module will examine and enhance the practice and theory of media production advancing your creative and technical skills. Where appropriate this would provide opportunities to prepare you for your final Major Practice Research Module.
Choose one module from:
Major Project: Practice Research Project
This is an opportunity to demonstrate both the theoretical and practical skills that you’ve gained over the two previous semesters. You will demonstrate your creative, technical and critical skills through self-directed practice and research that demonstrates original and innovative work within the field of contemporary media practice.
Major Project: Dissertation
This is an opportunity to demonstrate the theoretical skills that you’ve gained over the two previous semesters. You will demonstrate your creative and critical skills through self-directed research that demonstrates original and innovative work within the field of contemporary media practice.
Please note that it may not be possible to deliver the full list of options every year as this will depend on factors such as how many students choose a particular option. Exact modules may also vary in order to keep content current. When accepting your offer of a place to study on this programme, you should be aware that not all optional modules will be running each year. Your tutor will be able to advise you as to the available options on or before the start of the programme. Whilst the University tries to ensure that you are able to undertake your preferred options, it cannot guarantee this.
What will I be doing?
Before embarking on your MA Drama production for TV, Film and Digital Media course, you’ll be provided with a timetable that will provide a breakdown of your scheduled lessons, as well as giving you plenty of time to explore your independent research interests.
Based at our innovative MediaCityUK campus, this programme will be taught through a combination of seminars, workshops in storytelling and production practice, the study of broadcast and editorial guidelines, independent research, collaborative project work and film screenings.
The aim is to support your learning with an effective blend of theory and creative practice and to encourage ownership of your learning through self-directed projects.
This MA drama production course in TV, film and digital media is taught through a combination of seminars, workshops in storytelling and production practice, the study of broadcast and editorial guidelines, independent research, collaborative project work and film screenings, in order to give you as much real-world experience possible.
Methods of assessment will depend on the module and elective pathway you choose. However, they may include creative projects portfolios and productions, live briefs, critical reflections, presentations and essays.
Each module has its own assessment package which is structured appropriately to reflect the module content. Practical-based modules are assessed by project and a reflective critical evaluation.
BE A PART OF A CREATIVE, SUPPORTIVE COMMUNITY
All our Film TV and Radio courses. are delivered by the Salford School of Arts, Media, and Creative Technology. Our focus is to ensure that you have the skills you need to pursue your dreams, and we encourage our students, past and present, to collaborate with each other and achieve great things.
Each year - through the Create Student Awards – our School rewards the incredible achievements and successes of our final year and postgraduate students.
Whatever you choose to study with us, you’ll be mentored and supported by experts. And once you graduate, it won’t end there. You’ll join a thriving alumni network across Greater Manchester and beyond, meaning you’ll be supported professionally and personally whenever you need it.
Our MediaCity facilities are industry-standard, so much so that they are used by our industry partners themselves.
When you study with us on this MA Drama Production for TV, Film and Digital Media degree, you’ll learn from our experienced tutors and demonstrators, who’ll teach you how to use our facilities. These include:
Equipment stores - cameras, lighting kits and mics – they’re all essential to media production. But don’t worry, you won’t need to spend thousands of pounds to get the set-up you need – we have a fully equipped equipment store available for you to use and take out industry-standard kit.
TV studios - our TV studios have been used by the BBC for a variety of broadcasts, such as the Olympics and Christmas music concerts, and they’re equipped with the same audio-visual systems used by ITV and Sky too.
The studios have green screen facilities as well as basic props so you can design and build sets for a range of projects.
Green screen facilities - these allow you to create effects such as those you see on weather reports and incorporates a camera system and 3D graphics software.
Audio production - we’ve got all the hardware and software you need to make sure you’ll know just how to create, edit, mix and master audio for film and television. Our main studios feature Avid S6 consoles – a similar set-up to those at our MediaCity neighbours, such as Dock10 and ITV.
MakerSpace - bring your designs to life using 3D scanners and printers, power tools and a range of art and craft materials.
Stop-frame studio – we have animation booths equipped with industry-standard lighting, grip, software and cameras and learn just what it takes to make your ideas and storyboards a reality.
Computer Suites and Editing Studios – our computer suites are equipped with the latest industry-standard software. You’ll learn from our experienced demonstrators, who’ll teach you the skills needed to turn your concepts into a reality.
I have been a filmmaker and television director for over twenty years and have experience in the industry across multiple genres. My background in both single and multi-camera production has seen me lead global output for the BBC at the London Olympics and write and direct US films and commercials.
From starting as a runner on Russell T Davies’ ITV period drama The Grand, a trainee director scheme in 2000 led into multi-camera studio work, (Sky, BBC, MTV) before moving on to single camera work in promos and commercials. As a drama writer and director, I have won funding from the BFI, and awards in festivals across the world, including LA Comedy Festival which led to writing contracts in Hollywood and around the US.
I continue to work in television, primarily directing at the BBC and have recently returned from 18 months travelling in Africa for the BBC training new filmmakers and producers.
Simon Stanton-Sharma, MA Television Drama Production Stream Leader/Lecturer
What about after uni?
If you’ve always wanted to work in drama production in film or television this MA Drama Production for TV, Film and Digital Media course will open up a range of exciting career opportunities. There are literally hundreds of roles within a television drama production, from development to casting to commissioning and this degree builds a foundation for those careers. With the knowledge, practical skills and confidence gained throughout their degree, many of our recent graduates have gone on to secure professional roles in a variety of areas, including producing, development, commissioning, directing, writing and advertising.
But with a degree from Salford, the possibilities don’t end there. Graduates of this course have also forged successful careers in broadcasting, with roles including camera operators, editors and sound assistants, while others are currently employed by the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and a range of independent media companies across the UK.
Graduates showing strong academic and research skills can pursue a further academic research path through our doctoral (PhD) programmes on a full-time or part-time basis subject to a satisfactory proposal.
To develop your skills and employability, there are opportunities on our media production courses to work on live briefs and gain valuable work experience. Previous students have worked with:
- Sky Drama
- Bad Wolf Films
- BBC Writersroom
- BBC Natural History Unit
- Nine Lives Media production company
- Sumners Post Production Facility House
- BBC Fast Train, BBC Academy, BBC Red Nose Day and BBC Turn Up the Talent
- Sheffield Documentary Festival, Salford Media Festival, One World Media Festival
- The following prominent speakers have delivered guest lectures:
- Joe Godwin (Director of BBC Childrens)
- Steve Hewlett (Media commentator / Guardian Columnist)
- Tony Palmer (Documentary filmmaker)
- Jackie Priddle (Aardman Animation Producer)
- BBC Stepping Out and Audience Research Team
What you need to know
To gain a place on this MA Drama Production for TV, Film and Digital Media course, you’ll have to submit a personal statement and meet our entry requirements when you apply.
Within your personal statement (up to 4000 characters), we’ll want to understand:
- what motivates you and where do your interests in television, film and media creation lie; whether that’s scriptwriting, filming, producing or editing, for example?
- What have you been involved with in the past and what did you do?
- Are you a creative thinker and how do you develop ideas?
- do you have any knowledge of the industry for drama; are there any projects that inspire you?
- why do you want to work in the film and TV sector?
- and why the University of Salford and this MA Drama Production for TV, Film and Digital Media is the right choice for your future goals.
You are not required to have worked in or studied television or film before; many of our students come from unrelated degrees. But we do want you to have a passion and enthusiasm for watching content and setting yourself up for a career in the media.
For some applicants, you’ll be asked to provide us with a portfolio of work and potentially take part in an informal group seminar discussion or interview– either live or on camera – to demonstrate your skills.
At the moment though, we’re reducing the number of people we have on our campus. We understand that due to current circumstances you may not have access to your entire collection of work. If this is the case, please provide us with any pieces of work you do have, and they will be taken into consideration as part of your application. Once you’ve made your application to study with us, we’ll contact you and let you know the next steps.
Want to find out more about our MA Drama Production for TV, Film and Digital Media course? Why not sign-up for an Open Day.
Standard entry requirements
You should have a second class honours degree, 2:2 or above, with an appropriate amount of media production, technology and design experience.
International applicants will be required to show proficiency in English. An IELTS score of 7.0, with a written element of 8.0 and no element below 6.0, is proof of this.
We accept qualifications from all around the world. Find your country to see a full list of entry requirements.
Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL)
We welcome applications from students who may not have formal/traditional entry criteria but who have relevant experience or the ability to pursue the course successfully.
The Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) process could help you to make your work and life experience count. The APL process can be used for entry onto courses or to give you exemptions from parts of your course.
Two forms of APL may be used for entry: the Accreditation of Prior Certificated Learning (APCL) or the Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL).
|Type of study||Year||Fees|
|Full-time home||2022/23||£8,280per year|
|Full-time international||2022/23||£15,345per year|
|Part-time||2022/23||Part time fees are calculated on a pro rata basis|
|Full-time home||2023/24||£8,550per year|
|Full-time international||2023/24||£15,750per year|
|Part-time||2023/24||Part time fees are calculated on a pro rata basis|
You should also consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.
Scholarships for International Students
If you are a high-achieving international student, you may be eligible for one of our scholarships. Explore our international scholarships.