Something happens when you add sound to an image. And filmmaking depends upon the strength of this relationship. Ultimately it’s what makes a film work – it’s what moves your audience.
MA in Filmmaking (Sound Recording, Post-Production & Design), is housed in a new purpose-built media facility equipped with state-of-the art teaching spaces including a film studio for sound shooting, Pro Tools suites, Audio Postproduction facilities with Foley recording studios, Avid Media Composer, screening rooms and an Avid ISIS SAN network linking all teaching spaces. The new Curzon cinema provides the department with digital projection along with its weekly programme of first-run films.
The questions we explore
You'll learn the fundamental technical skills necessary to begin a career in screen sound, both as a location sound recordist and post-production sound designer. But equally importantly, you will gain an understanding of how a film’s narrative relies on the precise partnership between image and sound.
Within this MA programme you'll expand your existing knowledge of sound. Through recording and design you'll investigate what it means to listen with awareness and to translate that experience to your audience. And you'll study how sound is created, how you can manipulate its form, whether it’s natural, synthesised, digitised or analogue, and how to work with sound as a storytelling medium.
The Sound curriculum focuses on the structure of the soundtrack, deconstructing it from its beginnings in pre-production to the final mix, experimenting with the ways in which different components (dialogue, atmospheres, sound effects, music) allow an audience to engage with a film’s story. Through iterative exercises, group reviews and regular feedback, you gain the awareness and ability to construct soundtracks that interpret stories through sound.
As a sound specialist you work on one film each term, ending with a major production. You learn about related fields such as directing, editing, producing and documentary, and work with students across specialisms within Goldsmiths Screen School. As well as developing your awareness of the discipline and learning software such as Pro Tools, the Options modules provide the opportunity to learn the concepts and debates informing the wider filmmaking industry. This means you have the chance to explore your craft with other filmmakers and get used to the unique dynamics of the industry
You'll also benefit from guest lecturers who bring their professional expertise into our classrooms. Last year, specialist classes featured Oscar-winning sound recordist Ray Beckett (The Hurt Locker), film/TV sound editor Adele Fletcher (The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus) and composer Stuart Earl (The Secret Agent, Lilting).
In addition, MA Filmmaking students collaborate with composers and players from Goldsmiths’ Department of Music who offer a wide range of musical styles from classical to electronic to popular.
Pro Tools tuition is offered to all Sound Recording, Post-Production & Design pathway students giving you the opportunity to achieve Pro Tools Certified User accreditation.
This MA doesn’t just deal with technique and technology and it’s not about objective theory. We explore the space in between. Not only do we want you to acquire the skills and understanding to follow a career in professional filmmaking but also we prepare you to use your new-found expertise in the wider world of media and the arts.
Contact the department
If you have specific questions about the degree, contact the Department of Media & Communications
Modules & structure
You work in depth on at least one film per term in your specialist role, culminating in a major production towards the end of the degree. You will also lead and take part in a number of other sound-based and music-based projects in Screen Lab. This collaborative framework is designed to stimulate collaborative practice by providing you with a breadth of filmmaking knowledge combined with a high level of expertise in sound recording and design.
For two terms you will spend a full day a week in specialised contact with your specific programme convenor, plus a further day in Screen Lab working with colleagues across the programme in a Talent Campus-style project-led learning structure with:
- Exercises aimed at using your skills specialism in a variety of live shoot situations
You will also have a variety of research projects to undertake, as well as other module options.
The third term will be taken up with your final substantive project, and in writing up a process paper on your work and research over the year.
You will also advance your collaborative skills by working in teams with fiction and documentary producers and directors, edit, cinematography and music students, on a variety of projects and at least three scheduled films across the year.
You will leave the programme with a diverse portfolio of performed work that may span a variety of formats – music video, web series drama, documentary, campaign/commercial, experimental art pieces and feature-scale short fiction films.
Screen School options
As well as your Sound Recording, Post-Production & Design specialism, you will undertake three short courses to enhance your other skills and critical approaches. Options include:
|Social Activist Film||15 credits|
|Adaptation and Script Editing||30 credits|
|Archaeology of the Moving Image||15 credits|
|Camera Fundamentals||15 credits|
|Contemporary Screen Narratives in Practice and Theory||30 credits|
|Film Producing Fundamentals||15 credits|
|Experimental Media - Media Arts pathway||30 credits|
|Filmmakers Make Theory||15 credits|
|Representing Reality||15 credits|
|Sound Design Fundamentals||15 credits|
|The Ascent of the Image||15 credits|
|Visual Storytelling||15 credits|
|Doctor Holby: Writing for Existing Continuing TV Drama Series||15 credits|
|Media Law and Ethics||30 credits|
|Practical Law for Film-makers||15 credits.|
Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.
We are ranked:
1st in the UK for the quality of our research* Joint 1st in the UK for effective teaching** 8th in the world for communication and media studies***
Media and Communications
We’ve also been ranked by LinkedIn as one of the top graduate universities for media professionals, because so many of our graduates go on to find jobs in the industry.
The department includes some of the top academics in the world for this discipline – the pioneers of media, communications and cultural studies. They actively teach on our programmes, and will introduce you to current research and debate in these areas. And many of our practice tutors are industry professionals active in TV, film, journalism, radio and animation.
We also run EastLondonLines.co.uk – our 24/7 student news website – which gives students the opportunity to gain experience working in a real-time news environment.
And we run regular public events featuring world-renowned writers and practitioners that have recently included Danny Boyle, Gurinda Chadha, Noel Clark and Tessa Ross. So you’ll get to experience the latest developments and debates in the industry.
Find out more about the Department of Media and Communications.
*Research Excellence Framework 2014, Times Higher Education research intensity subject rankings
**Guardian University Guide League Tables 2017
***QS World University Rankings by Subject 2017
Skills & careers
The programme is a gateway to any career that involves sound, particularly those that concentrate on narrative storytelling. Our graduates go on to work in a range of fields from film, theatre, radio, and web design, to advertising, documentary, and animation.
Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths.
You should have (or expect to be awarded) an undergraduate degree of at least second class standard in a relevant/related subject as well as a level of practical experience from work in the arts or the media.
Experience working with sound and image and proficiency with Pro Tools (equivalent to Pro Tools 101) is recommended.
You might also be considered for some programmes if you aren’t a graduate or your degree is in an unrelated field, but have relevant experience and can show that you have the ability to work at postgraduate level.
The annual IELTS deadline for the programme is June 30th.
Because funding deadlines and requirements vary around the world, applications are considered on a rolling basis and places on the programme fill up across the recruitment cycle. For this reason, we strongly advise you to submit your completed application as early as you can.
We accept a wide range of international qualifications. Find out more about the qualifications we accept from around the world.
English language requirements
If English isn’t your first language, you’ll need to meet our English language requirements to study with us.
For this programme we require:
IELTS 6.5 with a 6.5 in writing
If you need assistance with your English language, we offer a range of courses that can help prepare you for postgraduate-level study.
How to apply
You apply directly to Goldsmiths using our online application system.
Before submitting your application you’ll need to have:
- Details of your education history, including the dates of all exams/assessments
- The email address of your referee who we can request a reference from, or alternatively an electronic copy of your academic reference
- A personal statement – this can either be uploaded as a Word Document or PDF, or completed online. Please tell us about your passion and aptitude for Filmmaking. What are your dreams and aspirations? How did your engagement with visual media develop, and how has it developed in terms of professional, voluntary and personal work?
- Examples of your recent work in a related field (eg moving image samples), preferably via a web link to your online portfolio – please upload this under 'additional' in your online application (NB the maximum file size you can upload is 20MB)
- If available, an electronic copy of your educational transcript (this is particularly important if you have studied outside of the UK, but isn’t mandatory)
- IELTS test results, at the point of application
You should emphasise your practical/theoretical experience in the arts or the media in your application.
You'll be able to save your progress at any point and return to your application by logging in using your username/email and password.
Our departmental preference is for referees to upload a confidential reference to the on-line admissions system. Please make sure to select the option for your referees to be automatically notified of the need for them to submit a reference on your behalf.
When to apply
We accept applications from November for students wanting to start the following September.
Applications are reviewed from February onwards with the first offers for places being made in early May, so we would advise you to apply as early as possible. Unless there are still vacancies it is unlikely applications received after 30 June will be considered.
We encourage you to complete your application even if you haven't finished your current programme of study. It's very common to be offered a place that is conditional on you achieving a particular qualification.
If you're applying for funding, you may be subject to an earlier application deadline. Find out more about fees, funding & scholarships at Goldsmiths.
Admission to many programmes is by interview, unless you live outside the UK. Occasionally, we'll make candidates an offer of a place on the basis of their application and qualifications alone.
Please be aware that some pathways of MA Filmmaking tend to be heavily subscribed, so please feel free to apply for more than one pathway to increase your chances of being offered a place. If you do apply for more than one pathway, please indicate in your personal statement your preferred pathway.
Find out more about applying.
Fees, funding & scholarships
Find out more about tuition fees.
The materials and incidentals budget for your film projects is likely to amount to several thousand pounds. Each team member is responsible for raising approximately £600 to cover the material costs of the three films that each team makes on the course.