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MA in Filmmaking (Directing Fiction)

Course overview

The MA Filmmaking (Directing Fiction) is the premier place to develop your skills as a director, working on a range of projects from personal ‘essay’ films to large-scale shoots with professional actors and feature crew. 

This Masters, a pathway of the MA Filmmaking, will enable you to gain a full understanding of how to collaborate on all stages of filmmaking, from scripting and pre-production through shoot, post-production and marketing/exhibition of your work. It will build your skills and confidence in expressing your unique vision and conveying it to your team.

What we offer

The programme is housed in a new purpose-built media facility equipped with state-of-the art teaching spaces including film and photography studios equipped with Arri lighting and Greenscreen, Avid Media Composer, Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere Film Editing, Animation, Digital Special Effects, Pro Tools Audio Postproduction and Foley suites.

We have extensive production facilities and informal rehearsal and meeting spaces where you can discuss and collaborate with scriptwriters, actors, producers and your shoot team.

We also have established relations with casting directors, agents, production designers and other professionals who will both advise you and provide their skills to enhance your productions.

You work on at least one film per term in your specialist role, culminating in a major production towards the end of the degree. In addition to your specialist area, you attend classes in related disciplines such as Film Directing and Editing and collaborate with students across specialisations on film projects. This framework is designed to stimulate collaborative practice by providing you with a breadth of filmmaking knowledge combined with a high level of expertise in your chosen filmmaking discipline.


Our students say...

"The course gave the opportunity to delve into practical movie directing projects together with talented mentors and international peers on a daily basis."

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


Expert guidance

Experienced tutors enhance the flow of your individual research, experimentation and artistic achievement. The guests have all provided expert guidance at Goldsmiths. 

  • Gillies Mackinonn (Above Suspicion; The Village)
  • Asif Kapadia (The Warrior; Senna)
  • Danny Boyle (Trainspotting; Slumdog Millionaire)
  • Gurinder Chadha (Bend it Like Beckham; Bhaji on the Beach)
  • Stephen Frears (The Queen; Dirty Pretty Things)
  • Sally Potter (Orlando; The Man Who Cried)
  • Michael Winterbottom (Wonderland; 24 Hour Party People)
  • Alan Parker (Angel Heart; Mississipi Burning) 

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact the Department of Media & Communications

Modules & structure

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:

  • Masterclassess
  • Pitches
  • Role-plays
  • 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.

Screen Lab

You will also advance your collaborative skills by working in teams with fiction and documentary producers and directors and sound and edit 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 moving-image 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 Cinematography specialism, you will undertake three short courses to enhance your other skills and critical approaches. Options include:

Module title Credits
  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
  Experimental Media - Media Arts pathway 30 credits
  Filmmakers Make Theory 15 credits
  Film Producing Fundamentals 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 15 credits
  Practical Law for Film-makers 15 credits.

Download the programme specification, relating to the 2017-18 intake. If you would like an earlier version of the programme specification, please contact the Quality Office.

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

Department

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

If you are passionate about fashioning an exciting career for yourself as a cinematographer in an environment that promotes innovative filmmaking, this course is for you.

Skills and careers

On completing the programme you will be equipped to enter the global job market, armed with an enhanced understanding of your practical, intellectual and creative capacities as a cinematographer.

Possibly the most important skill we furnish you with is the rigorous discipline of working collaboratively under pressure as part of a creative team on challenging projects. 

In addition to your practical filmmaking skills, we enable you to develop a variety of transferable intellectual, organisational and communication skills to equip you for a broad range of employment opportunities across the arts and media landscape (film, television, online, the creative arts, advertising and related hybrid forms).

Our graduates

Recent alumni are active in the film, media and cultural industries around the world as:

  • directors of photography
  • cinematographers
  • camera operators
  • lighting designers

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

Vanessa

"The course gave the opportunity to delve into practical movie directing projects together with talented mentors and international peers on a daily basis."

"Learning processes flourish through hands-on engagement and interaction between people. The course gave the opportunity to delve into practical movie directing projects together with talented mentors and international peers on a daily basis.

This provided me with the right environment to advance my filmmaking skills and develop my own creative fingerprint as a director."

Sabina

"I have improved my ability to communicate my tangled ideas, while trying to transcend all barriers of language and culture within my team."

"Studying filmmaking at Goldsmiths has been the experience that made me realise something life-defining: a career in film is not going to be easy, yet I'll never imagine myself doing anything else.

As a director, I have improved my ability to communicate my tangled ideas, while trying to transcend all barriers of language and culture within my team. In terms of the experience accumulated here, there have been some invaluable lessons: I’ve had the opportunity to work with highly skilled actors, musicians and film professionals. I’ve successfully directed children and shot under very difficult circumstances.

After all the emotional roller-coasters and logistical hardships I've managed to successfully overcome, alongside the highly skilled people in my team, all the difficulties of making a short film, from script development until promotion.

This resulted in film projects that I will always be proud of and that represent the starting point of my career."

Marcus

"We can all be proud of what we achieved in the making of our film."

"Creative ideas and solutions arise in situations of pressure and challenge; in situations where people have the possibility to step up, express themselves and feel that their contribution is important.

Our team was determined and ready to overcome problems together and find solutions whenever needed. We conquered the challenges that were placed in front of us, and we can all be proud of what we achieved in the making of our film."

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.

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 from February onwards 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 with a 7.0 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
  • 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)
  • 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.

References

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 this 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.

Scholarships

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

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