Established and Innovative Practices
Salford School of Arts, Media and Creative Technology
In a nutshell
Times are changing in film production. The processes we’re used to no longer correlate with budgets, production techniques or distribution methods, but the machine hasn’t evolved along with its component parts.
The film industry needs artists who can adapt to changing production environments; practitioners who have the ability to invent new paradigms in storytelling. If your interest in film production extends beyond the standard, and into a cutting edge, practice-based approach by way of emerging workflows and frontier technology, then this is the course for you. You may have just finished a media production degree, have an abiding interest in telling stories and scriptwriting, or already be working in the film industry but want to gain more experimental or academic experience.
Studying at Salford’s campus in MediaCity places you in the heart of the UK’s thriving media industry. Here, you will employ a rigorous process of artistic self-analysis and reflection, while developing as a versatile and nimble filmmaker - through a discipline that views perceived limitations as opportunities for creative expansion. You will develop skills in all aspects of film production and collaboration, working on practical projects and learning from industry professionals.
You will be encouraged to engage with radical new ideas of how filmmaking processes can be led by technology, the artist, in-house teams or by economic forces that reflect the future of film production – leaving the past behind.
- Be taught by specialist staff and industry professionals
- Study at our MediaCity campus - one of the UK's leading media hubs
- Use state-of-the-art, industry-standard kit
All about the course
This course delivers comprehensive training linked to traditional production skills, such as directing, scriptwriting and cinematography, but it also brings these skills together with the latest industry developments. In this way, it incorporates the latest technological trends and responds to current industrial opportunities while preparing you for as yet unimaginable horizons – nurturing a creative attitude defined by professional confidence and productive playfulness.
You will become grounded in Practice as Research (PaR) as an approach to rethinking practical and academic work. By challenging your existing knowledge and experience, this programme will equip you with the skills necessary to become independent thinkers, original filmmakers and creative leaders.
MA Film Production is made up of three core 60-credit modules, taught over a 12-month period, delivered via lectures, practical studio sessions, and workshops provided by teaching staff in Film Production, other relevant programmes at MediaCity and beyond. Formal curricular teaching will be enhanced by industry-led masterclasses and seminars.
This module is about interrogating established conventions and examining the future use of technology and the emerging landscape of film production. The aim is to enable you to understand and develop rigorous practices of communication and storytelling. You will identify problems and opportunities within your own work allowing you to explore where your creative potential lies.
The module will be structured around storytelling, technical and socio-cultural challenges. You will produce a range of short pieces (films, scripts or video essays) and develop methods to address your chosen challenge, thereby consolidating your understanding of existing creative technical tools and practices.
Collaboration and Co-creation
This module challenges previous learning by exploring new and unfamiliar filmmaking processes. Through techniques and strategies around gaming, re-framing, exploratory problem solving, and "serious play", you will explore and identify cinematic and story-telling material at granular levels, ultimately resulting in the production of a feature-length film.
The focus on process allows time for the form and shape of the product to emerge, and thwarts efforts to prematurely draw the contours of a piece and lock them in, to the detriment of the process and the film.
Major Project - Practical Project and Portfolio
This gives you an opportunity to draw on your learning experiences to establish a research question, which is investigated via a practical project.
It is a substantial piece of work including a portfolio containing evidence of the development of your idea (which will have been outlined in your application to the programme). You will demonstrate how it evolved according to challenges and experiences in previous modules.
The project could be a film (short or cinema length), a series pilot, gallery installation or appropriate alternative project devised by you in consultation with lecturers. You can run the project solo or take on a role in a collaborative project.
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?
As part of our Film Production master’s programme, you’ll be provided with a timetable that includes a breakdown of your scheduled lessons. Alongside this there will be time for you to explore your independent research interests.
You are taught through a combination of lectures, seminars and practical sessions. Seminars enable you to discuss and develop your understanding of topics covered in lectures in smaller groups. In addition, you have timetabled meetings with your personal tutor.
You will use industry-standard filming equipment, software and edit facilities and have access to high spec computers throughout your course.
When not attending lectures, seminars and other timetabled sessions you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. We advise you should approach your studies as you would employment i.e. spending as many hours a week as you can beyond class time with independent learning time. Typically, this will involve reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking research in the library, preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing pre-production work.
Assessment methods include practical exercises, written work and a range of coursework assessments such as essays, reports, portfolios, presentations, demonstration of research strategies and your final year major project. The grades from formal assessments count towards your module mark.
You will receive continual formative feedback on all practical and theoretical activities through the module, and on formal assessments delivered at the end of the semester. Feedback is intended to help you learn and you are encouraged to discuss it with your module tutor.
SALFORD SCHOOL OF ARTS, MEDIA AND CREATIVE TECHNOLOGY
All our Film, TV and Media 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 Film Production course, you’ll learn from our experienced tutors and demonstrators, who’ll teach you how to use our facilities. These include:
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 MediaCityUK 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.
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.
The people teaching on your course will have extensive experience of making films by scripting, filming, producing, directing, editing and/or performing.
Beth McCann – Beth lectures in screenwriting and is a script consultant for writers and a wide range of organisations. Outside of the University of Salford, Beth runs a hub for new and emerging writing talent.
Dr. Pavel Prokopic – Pavel lecturers in Film Production and has interests in film practice and philosophy. He specialises as a director and cinematographer and has comprehensive skills and understanding related to all key aspects of the creative process, especially from the perspective of an experimental filmmaker and self-shooting director. He has written and directed several dramas and experimental projects and worked as a director/producer on a research project (The Living Room of the Future) with BBC R&D. He has also taken part in various artistic residencies and collaborations,
Dr. John Zibell Jr. – John has trained and worked professionally as a director, an actor, and a scholar of cinema, theatre, and performance art. He holds a PhD in Performance Studies specializing in training of the mediated body. Both his dissertation and doctoral Practice as Research works focus on image and montage as models of consciousness in 20th century performance and training practices.
Tom Kirby – Tom’s work has been a blend of both research and practice. He has worked in the industry as a documentary director with films screened at a range of international festivals. He has also worked as a camera assistant and operator on a range of projects from BBC documentaries, to independent feature films.
What about after uni?
Upon graduating you will become agile, highly adaptable, fast-thinking decision-makers and team players, ready to explore a variety of career paths within the film industry both as an independent filmmaker or in-house practitioner.
The MA will provide subject specific knowledge and, through a practice as research approach, you may choose to develop your academic skills through PhD study and beyond.
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.
This new programme has been developed with industry in response to the increasing local, national and international demand for graduates with an eye on the future of film industry trends. It builds upon the established success and reputation of existing courses in Film and Media Production as well as the strong regional industry partnerships that have been developed over many years.
The course will be of benefit to those seeking employment with local and national companies, others who want to set up their own independent production companies and benefit from visiting specialist lecturers and professionals.
It is widely recognised that young professionals, newly entering the industry, are rarely given the opportunity or time to pursue specialist research with a practical approach. Industry leaders acknowledges a gap in the industry for such training and experience and believe this course will benefit the ‘trade’ in the long run.
The companies connected to this course include BBC Research & Development; online streaming platform paus.tv; Bolton Film Festival; individual independent film makers with an interest in the future of film.
What you need to know
The film industry needs artists who can adapt to changing production environments; practitioners who have the ability to invent new paradigms in storytelling.
If your interest in film production extends beyond the standard, into a modern practice-based approach and into emerging workflow and frontier technology, then this is the course for you.
You may have just finished a media production degree, have an abiding interest in telling stories and scriptwriting, or already be working in the film industry but want to gain more experimental experience.
To apply for this Master's in Film Production course, you’ll need to prepare three documents:
1 - A Personal Statement.
We’ll want to understand:
- What motivates you and what current experiences do you have in terms of film and media creation; whether that’s scriptwriting, filming cameras, and editing for example?
- How have you been involved and what did you do?
- Are you a creative thinker and how do you develop ideas?
- Do you have any knowledge of the film production industry or film sector; are there any projects that inspire you?
- Why do you want to work in the film and TV sector?
- Why this degree at the University of Salford is the right choice for your future goals.
2 – A Portfolio of Work
This portfolio can be films, photography work, scripts, podcasts, etc. In the portfolio, do please clearly label what roles you undertook on the project so the tutors can know what to look for.
3 – A Project Proposal
Your proposal document should be around 1-2 pages long and outline a potential project, such as film, a series pilot, gallery installation or appropriate alternative format which is linked to your specialist field. It should also include why you feel this exploration is significant to the development of your practice.
Then what happens?
Following the receipt of all these materials you will be invited to an interview with some of the tutors of the course, to discuss your work, your ambitions, and your project proposal. Also, it is a chance to meet the tutors and ask any questions you might have.
Once you’ve made your application to study with us, we’ll contact you and let you know the next steps.
Standard entry requirements
A 2:2 (with a portfolio) honours degree or above
International applicants will be required to show a proficiency in English. An IELTS score of 6.5 (with no element below 5.5) is proof of this.
We accept qualifications from all around the world. Find your country to see a full list of entry requirements.
Alternative entry requirements
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||2023/24||£9,360per year|
|Full-time international||2023/24||£15,750per year|
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.