MA Film (Documentary)
This Documentary Film masters degree is all about telling human stories through film. Working with top industry practitioners and alongside BBC Wales’ training scheme It’s My Shout, you will learn the importance of storytelling, self-shooting and single camera 'guerilla' filmmaking.
Students on this documentary filmmaking masters course will also have the chance to pitch your ideas to real factual commissioners including Channel 4 and the BBC.
You will study in the heart of Cardiff, home to a thriving film and TV industry, including Seren Studios and BBC Wales, where shows including Doctor Who and Sherlock are filmed.
Industry masterclasses, guest lectures and an in-depth work experience opportunity at a Wales-based creative company will allow you to build your portfolio and network with industry professionals.
Applicants who are unsure as to which pathway they should apply for are encouraged to contact the course team for an informal discussion before making an application. Should you choose to apply for more than one pathway, your portfolio should demonstrate your interest and experience in each individual area and therefore more than one portfolio may be required.
You will study a number of specified modules, and then have the opportunity to specialise in your area of interest.
- Industry Studies – this module will give you an overview of the current film & TV production landscape in Wales, UK and beyond
- Specialist Craft Practice/Advanced Specialist Craft Practice – this module will allow you to develop their skills to industry standard in one key area of expertise
- Industry Placement – you will undertake a four-week, in-depth placement with a key Wales-based production company
- Collaborative Practice – this module will give you the opportunity to collaborate with fellow students from across the course and Faculty of Creative Industries on a short film
- Production Project– you will work with industry professionals, practitioners, staff and fellow students from across USW on a substantial film project, utilising your chosen craft skill
Students on the MA Film course will be taught via a mix of workshops, seminars, lectures and tutorials, as well as guest lectures and masterclasses from industry professionals.
Assessment will be via a series of practical assessments based around live briefs and production projects (70%), combined with written reflections and critical analysis of students’ work (30%).
Students at USW Cardiff Campus benefit from industry-standard equipment, software and studio and production facilities.
There is an on-site cinema, that is available to students to screen their work, as well as hosting guest lectures and master classes.
We regularly revalidate courses for quality assurance and enhancement
At USW, we regularly review our courses in response to changing patterns of employment and skills demand to ensure we offer learning designed to reflect today’s student needs and tomorrow’s employer demands.
If during a review process course content is significantly changed, we’ll write to inform you and talk you through the changes for the coming year. But whatever the outcome, we aim to equip our students with the skillset and the mindset to succeed whatever tomorrow may bring. Your future, future-proofed.
A minimum 2:2 Honours degree in a relevant discipline or appropriate professional qualification; or an HND/HNC and relevant experience; or equivalent international qualifications. Those without such qualifications will be considered on an individual basis, where prior experience will be taken into account.
Please provide evidence of a website or relevant digital portfolio as part of your application. This should be a link provided in the first section of your personal statement or uploaded as a pdf in section 12 of the application form.
Full-time fees are per year. Part-time fees are per 20 credits. Once enrolled, the fee will remain at the same rate throughout the duration of your study on this course.
August 2023 - July 2024 Fees
Full-time UK: £9500
Full-time International: £14950
August 2024 - July 2025 Fees
Full-time UK: TBC
Full-time International: £15850
At the University of South Wales, you’re investing in so much more than a degree. We strive to provide our students with the best possible experience, no matter what you chose to study. Whether it’s access to top of the range mac books and PCs, state-of-the-art facilities packed with industry-leading equipment and software, masterclasses and events led by industry experts, or a wide range of clubs and societies to meet likeminded people, better tomorrows start with extra perks.
Each course also has their own unique student benefits to prepare you for the real word, and details of these can be found on our course pages. From global field trips, integrated work experience and free course-related resources, to funded initiatives, projects working with real employers, and opportunities for extra qualifications and accreditations - at USW your future, is future-proofed.
As a student of USW, you’ll have access to lots of free resources to support your study and learning, such as textbooks, publications, online journals, laptops, and plenty of remote-access resources. Whilst in most cases these resources are more than sufficient in supporting you with completing your course, additional costs, both obligatory and optional, may be required or requested for the likes of travel, memberships, experience days, stationery, printing, or equipment.
|Kit (Uniform and Equipment)||£1000 - £2000||
Optional purchase of personal laptop/PC and associated software, depending on technical requirements of specialism
|Kit (Uniform and Equipment)||£1000||
Optional purchase of Digital Video Camera depending on the student’s chosen specialism and expertise
|Kit (Uniform and Equipment)||£1000||
Optional purchase of Sound Recording Equipment depending on the student’s chosen specialism and expertise
There may be the opportunity for educational trips, such as visits to studios. In the main these will be local to the area and incur no or minimal cost. Any potential trips requiring significant travel cost will be communicated well in advance (All trips are subject to change and viability in relation to student numbers)
Funding to help pay for (or cover) course tuition fees and living costs
Whilst you’re studying, you’ll have two main financial obligations – tuition fees and living costs. There’s lots of financial help available from the University of South Wales and external funding sources, that may provide loans (which have to be paid back) and grants, scholarships and bursaries (that don't).
To learn about course fees, funding options, and to see if you are eligible for financial support, visit our Fees and Funding pages.
You will graduate as a highly informed and skilled practitioner, ready to work in the film industry and make a significant contribution to your chosen specialism.
Graduates can also progress to a PhD or research degree.