MA in Filmmaking

  • Length
    1 year full-time
  • Department
    Media and Communications

Course overview

If you want to be a filmmaker this is the place to learn, gain experience and make films you will be proud to have on your show reel.

As a student on one of the six pathways you'll develop your specialist skill. In addition, you'll also have a range of short optional modules in other production areas of your choosing to give you the kind of flexibility that the industry now expects. The options include script and project development, web drama, online content, and social activist filmmaking, alongside more traditional media such as camera and editing skills. 

Our filmmaking facilities and scheduling are geared around fiction production, as this is a major opportunity that the learning on the programme provides. The ethos of the course is “form follows function.” Your study and practice throughout the year will equip you with the most appropriate means of telling your story in order to connect with an audience.  

Filmmaking is a team activity. Every student is required to work closely with others as part of a creative team to produce their final project. All the programmes also have good contacts and connections with students in the other specialist areas your productions might require, such as music composition, hair and makeup, set design, scriptwriting and of course acting talent.

Filmmaking is very demanding; it requires a lot of commitment, imagination and teamwork. You will be fully stretched on these programmes.


This MA has six pathways you can follow: 

The programmes also retain close links with MA Scriptwriting.

The filmmaking programmes are located within a large and very lively Media and Communications Department that is also home for a range of practice MA programmes in radio, journalism and scriptwriting for example.

There is also a range of theory MAs and strong research tradition, with the Department coming top in the entire country on research intensity. This makes for a very stimulating and creative environment. 

The questions we ask

Where is cinema going? Where is TV heading? How and where are people going to watch moving images? What do new audiences want these to look and sound like? What new platforms are on the horizon? How are the traditional craft skills relevant to the digital age?

These are the kinds of questions we’re interested in. And we don’t explore them alone. Our annual Olive Till Memorial debate features world-renowned industry speakers including directors Danny Boyle, Gurinder Chadha and Paul Greengrass, and producers Tessa Ross and Tim Bevan, so you get the best kind of insight while you’re here.

The processes we use

We offer advanced skills training to film school standards. You will work within a building with studio and rehearsal spaces, screening rooms and up-to-date camera, lighting and sound equipment, plus sound and edit suites. And we now have the Curzon Goldsmiths as our on-site cinema so you can showcase your work to the public.

The approach we take

We encourage you to meet filmmakers, work with others, and exchange ideas. The programme includes regular Master classes where students from all the programmes and others come together to learn about current industry trends, new opportunities and ideas with leading figures of the UK film and television industries. But filmmaking is not only about these industries, it also offers a wealth of transferable skills for students interested in all media platforms, including web drama, video games, art gallery installations of all types, interactive mixed media and live performance and music videos.

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Postgraduate Media enquiries

Modules & structure

All programmes include: 

  • Masterclasses
  • Pitches 
  • 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. 

There is also a choice of short modules, such as: 

  • Screen Adaptation
  • Principles of Editing
  • Media Law and Ethics
  • The Short Script
  • Politics of the Audio Visual
  • Social Activist Film Making
  • Contemporary Screen Narratives
  • Representing Reality
  • Visual Story Telling
  • The Current Landscape of the UK Media Industries 

In addition students are encouraged to “audit,” (that is, attend but not be assessed on) any other lecture course in the Department – in so far as their timetable allows.

Industry mentorships

We have very good relationships with all sections of the media industry and facilities houses, as well as an Industry Advisory panel chaired by Stewart Till, CBE, former chair of Creative Skillset. You will be advised and supported to identify a suitable industry mentor with a relevant individual or company. Many of these relationships develop into fruitful work and creative opportunities for the future.

For full module information, refer to the individual pathways.

Download the programme specification for this degree to find out more about what you'll learn and how you'll be taught and assessed.

Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.


We are ranked:
27th in the world for communication and media studies**
1st in the UK for the quality of our research***

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 – 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

**QS World University Rankings by subject 2016
***Research Excellence Framework 2014, Times Higher Education research intensity subject rankings

Skills & careers

From Steve McQueen to Sam Taylor-Wood, Goldsmiths graduates go on to shift the public perception of what makes film matter. And our MA filmmaking graduates are creating award-winning work including Best Cinematography at the NAHEMI Encounters International Film Festival and Best Documentary at the Exposures Film Festival.

The best advice we can give you is to make the most of your time with us. For a whole year you have access to the best in the field: highly qualified, industry-active and award-winning staff and guest speakers. And you can benefit from an invaluable 12-month mentorship with an individual or company within the industry while you’re here.  

Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths

Student work

Aftermath, a Team3Films production
Happy Anniversary, by Prototype Film Company
True Love, a Team 3 final project

Student profiles


"I am treated with a lot of respect when people know that I am a Goldsmiths graduate!"

"I like writing and directing the most. Writing is very primal, it’s between you and your computer or paper. While writing you can become very close to your film, and know it intimately. While directing, you get to realise what you have written. It’s extraordinary to work with artists in front of the camera and from behind the camera, travel through many ups and downs and stay true to your vision… It’s true that while writing you are directing, and while directing you are writing! 

My advice to graduates looking to break into the industry would be to just keep at it! Giving up is not an option. And there are crazy times when nothing works out and there are piles of rejections, and people laugh in your face or behind your back or both! But that time is a gift - you have to use that time constructively to work on your skills and learn along the way. And this I will not say as a matter of advice, instead I want to share it from the bottom of my heart, that you have to keep knocking on those doors. It may hurt, it may hurt a lot, but keep knocking. Because one day, one of those doors opens! 

The MA at Goldsmiths helped me immensely! Our course convener Robert Smith is largely responsible for this. He worked extremely hard for us and with us. He took us to many different places - from Working Title to The UK Film Council, from distributors and exhibitors to lawyers and independent producers. He made sure we worked hard as well. Tammy Riley Smith - our teacher on the core course was extraordinary. Both of them encouraged us to write our cinema. This fantastic exposure taught me how to put together an international co-production. Robert encouraged us to go to various film festivals where we could participate and pitch our projects, however scared we were. In this field, like any other, you need someone to advise you, someone you can talk to on creative and pragmatic levels, and Robert has been there for me and that has helped me a lot! 

I think the most important thing has been the exposure and freedom Goldsmiths gave me. I learnt many things here. But I also worked in Goldsmiths’ library for three years, during my student days and after. And I am most thankful for that. I made wonderful friends, read a lot, saw a lot of films. It was at Goldsmiths that I started developing my first feature length film ‘Liv & Ingmar’. I am immensely grateful for what Goldsmiths has given me.

I am treated with a lot of respect when people know that I am a Goldsmiths graduate! They look up to this institution, for many reasons. In the force of the current circumstances, I just hope that we do not lose what is good about this place… It takes decades, even centuries for a tree to grow and blossom, but it takes an hour to axe it down… we must not forget that!"


"The course not only helped me develop creative projects, but provided me with the skills to raise funds for my second short and first feature film."

"The MA gave me enough confidence to go forward within the film industry. The course not only helped me develop creative projects, but provided me with the skills to raise funds for my second short and first feature film.

'Prime Time Soap', a feature film project developed at Goldsmiths, was selected to by the Berlinale Talent Campus (2007) and is now a feature film co-produced by my company Cria Films and Universal Productions. 'Prime Time Soap' won Best Screenplay at Rio de Janeiro Int'l Festival (2011), Best Film at Torino GLBT Int'l Film Festival (2012), Best Film (audience award)/Best Actresses at Queer Lisboa Int'l Film Festival (2012) and was officially selected for Seattle Int'l Film Festival, Glasgow Internationall Film Festival, Human Rights Art and Film Festival (Australia), Jameson Dublin Int'l Film Festival among others.

I'm about to shoot a short film, and I'm also developing three features: 'The Samaritan' (awarded with the Step by Step Media Plus Europe Script Development Fund and one of 12 projects selected by the Talent Market at Berlinale), 'Idol's Fall' and 'The Hand of Creator' (project developed with Deborah Osborn through Goldsmiths)."

Odilon studied the MA in Feature Film, which is now called MA in Filmmaking.


"Each film we created together progressed technically, aesthetically and thematically, and our screen storytelling abilities matured."

"Film cannot be taught from books. The only way to really understand the medium of cinema is by doing it.

This year I had the opportunity to work on several short films that provided me with the necessary skills and capabilities to make a success of our graduation film. The challenge of directing these short films early in the year was key to cementing a good working relationship with my team.

I had the pleasure of watching my team evolve and grow dramatically in the short space of a few months. Each film we created together progressed technically, aesthetically and thematically, and our screen storytelling abilities matured. Most importantly, we learned that filmmaking is not about one single element. Over the past year, I feel we have grown and developed sufficiently to be able to thrive in any professional film environment."

See more profiles for this programme

Entry requirements

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.

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.

Please note that unless you are exempted (Please check your status with our Admissions Team: overseas students require an English language qualification of IELTS 7.0 in order to be considered for a place on the MA Filmmaking programme. 

If you have not yet achieved IELTS 7.0, we advise you to sit your IELTS exam at the earliest opportunity and to submit your application immediately after receiving your result. The annual IELTS deadline for the programme is April 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.

Equivalent qualifications
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 7.0 (including 7.0 in the written test)

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. Please apply on the page for the pathway you're interested in:

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
  • 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?

          Please see our guidance on writing a postgraduate statement

  • 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)

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 October for students wanting to start the following September.

Application deadline: 30 June

We may consider late applications if there are vacancies. Applications are considered in batches from February onwards so we would advise you to apply as early as possible.

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.

Selection process

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 the Directing Fiction pathway of MA Filmmaking tends 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.

Additional Costs

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.

Find out more about funding opportunities for home/EU applicants, or funding for international applicants. If you're applying for funding, you may be subject to an application deadline.

The Department of Media and Communications offers three fee waivers for MA Filmmaking. Find out more on our departmental funding page.

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