MA Film

Postgraduate, Full-time

Film MA

Prepare for a career in film and scripted drama on this Creative Skillset accredited course


This course has been designed to help you embark on a career as a professional fiction filmmaker in one of the following disciplines:

  • producing
  • directing
  • cinematography
  • editing
  • sound

Teaching is through a combination of collaborative shared modules and modules that focus more on individual disciplines.  The two core practice-based modules complement each other, concentrating on professional practice within the framework of the industry crew structure.

Coursework consists of a large number of practical exercises, workshops and short film projects that allow students to deepen their own technical, creative and professional filmmaking skills. The course also includes a degree of research in your chosen discipline, and a theoretical module on critical film study.

The year's work and study culminates in a major project module in which students continue to work collaboratively, in their chosen disciplines, on one or more short scripted dramas.

This is a Creative Skillset accredited course. The Creative Skillset Tick, the industry kitemark of quality, is awarded following a rigorous assessment process by experts working in the Creative Industries. It is awarded to practice-based courses which best prepare students for a career in the industry. 

The course is studied at the Screen Academy Scotland, a Creative Skillset recognised Film Academy.

The deadline for this course has now passed. Whilst applications can still be submitted, there is no guarantee it will be reviewed for September 2019.

MA Film Shoot

Mode of Study:




1 year

Start date:


About you
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Screen Academy Scotland

Course details

Screen Academy Scotland is an active filmmaking hub in the culturally vibrant city of Edinburgh. It offers great scope for collaboration, with some 200 or so students at undergraduate and postgraduate level engaged in diverse film activities. Students can also draw on support from tutors who themselves have significant experience in the industry.

The Screen Academy is a professionally-equipped facility and we expect student work to aspire to a level that is close to industry standard. As it's one of only three film academies in the UK accredited by Creative Skillset, the film industry’s skills body, it gives our graduates significant credibility in the industry.

In addition, Screen Academy students can buy an industry pass at a heavily-discounted rate to attend screenings, master classes and networking events at the Edinburgh International Film Festival in June.

This course will advance your knowledge of your chosen specialist area as well as giving you a rounded understanding of other film making disciplines. The emphasis on professional skills will help maximise your chance of success.

Previous graduates have had their films screened at festivals around the world, including Venice, Beijing, Kolkata and Edinburgh. Many have gone on to win awards and commissions for TV and feature film projects.

Subjects include:

Trimester 1 

  • Creative Practice for Film and TV 
  • Collaborative Techniques for Film 1

Trimester 1 (optional) 

  • The Business of Screen Project Development 
  • Script Workshop 1
  • Writing and Screen Project Development 
  • Motion Graphics (editors only) 

Trimester 2 

  • Creative Practice for Cinema 
  • Collaborative Techniques for Film 2 
  • Critical Film Study 

Trimester 3 

  • Masters Film Project 

Graduate film screening at Edinburgh Filmhouse in late autumn

Lead academics

MA Film is taught by a range of professionals from a number of specialisms.

  • Tina Gonzalez comes from a post-production background and has been an editor and colourist for over twenty years. She has worked on a range of programmes from dramas to documentaries for the BBC, Granada and Sky. 
  • Susie Brown is an experienced Line Producer/Production Manager in drama, documentary and television features.  Over 30 years in the industry, she has worked in the production of film and television for BBC, C4, ITV, Polygram, Working Title and many others.
  • Gary Hall is a skilled cinematography tutor with many years of industry experience.

We also engage a range of professional practitioners as visiting lecturers on the programme.

  • calendar How you’ll be taught

    This is a one-year full-time course starting in September and is split into three trimesters. Coursework consists of a large number of practical exercises, production of short scripted drama films, lectures, workshops and seminars.

    Delivery of practical film-making skills is undertaken with an industry focus, and by academics and visiting lecturers who specialise in relevant professional practices.

  • note and pen Assessments

    Assessment is continuous throughout the year and is predominantly based upon submission of creative practical work, documentation of research and critical reflection, essay assignments, and oral presentations. Students being assessed as heads of department on the creative practice module films are expected to share production costs.  

  • library Facilities

    Students at the Screen Academy have access to a complete range of professional production and post-production equipment and industry software including Arri Alexa, Black Magic, HDCam, Super 16 mm; 16 Avid Media Composer suites, one Avid Symphony Online and one Black Magic Resolve Online, Pro-Tools, a fully equipped dubbing facility, along with Movie Magic Scheduling and Budgeting, and Final Draft. 

    We are an Avid Learning Partner and have staff trained as ACIs (Avid Certified Instructor).


Modules that you will study* as part of this course

Collaborative Techniques in Film 1 ( SCA11118 )

On this module you will gain an understanding of the methods used for the hour-by-hour production management of a crew, the interaction between sound, lighting and camera personnel, and the particular issues of working with actors on a professional set. This highly practical work will be underpinned by a series of lectures and workshops which will equip you with the ability to solve the aesthetic, practical and technical problems that the shooting of complex dramatic scenes presents.

Further information

Collaborative Techniques in Film 2 ( SCA11122 )

On this module you will be introduced to the particular collaborative problems of shooting on film, particularly with regard to focus, use of prime lenses, and tracking, and the logistical problems faced by a professional crew filming on location. This work will be underpinned by classroom based work which will help you to understand and solve the aesthetic, practical and technical problems that the shooting of complex dramatic scenes principally on film presents.

Further information

Creative Practice for Cinema ( SCA11129 )

In a series of lectures, workshops and tutorials, you will acquire the skills and prepare for advanced exercises in your chosen discipline, as well as an ambitious short fiction film project. More detailed understanding of the creative possibilities of the image and its juxtaposition will be explored. You will also have the opportunity to work with advanced professional production and post-production formats in the realisation of your projects.

Further information

Creative Practice for Film and TV ( SCA11130 )

Through a series of lectures, seminars and workshops, you will learn the technical skills and processes involved in your chosen discipline. You will acquire a grasp of the principles of storytelling through action and events, the way in which a cinematic world arises out of character and interpretation, and of the meaning of images through composition and cutting. You will prepare and undertake exercises utilising the skills being investigated to explore your own developing creative practice. These exercises include still images, photomontage, raw footage tests, moving image montage, and short film dramas.

Further information

Critical Film Study ( SCA11123 )

This module will help you explore some of the many possible areas you may wish to study. Depending
on your specialism, this may include performance, script, production, cinematography, production design, editing, sound, composition, or special effects. Over the course of the module you will learn how to develop your research skills and a range of research tools which will underpin and enhance your cinematographic practice.

Further information

Masters Film Project ( SCA11127 )

This module will provide you with an overview of the production and post production of a short fiction film as it applies to directing, cinematography, sound or editing. You will be given tutorial support in pre-production, production and post-production stages of your projects, as appropriate. The focus of the module is determined by your own project(s) and specialism(s) as they have developed over the entire programme. You will have been maintaining a reflective workbook-journal throughout the programme which will help you to site your reflection in the context of your overall career development, to refer it to your PDP, and to the critical presentation and essay you prepared for the Critical Film Study module in Trimester 2.

Further information

* These are indicative only and reflect the course structure in the current academic year. Some changes may occur between now and the time that you study.



Study modules mentioned above are indicative only. Some changes may occur between now and the time that you study.

Full information on this is available in our disclaimer.

I've learnt so much from my tutors, fellow students and guest lecturers. I'm inspired by the work we are creating and know I've made the right decision.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

The entry requirement for this course is a Bachelor (Honours) Degree at a 2:2 or above or equivalent in any degree subject, plus Portfolio.

Please make it clear in your application which of the five specialisms you are applying for: directing, producing, cinematography, editing or sound.

Note on Portfolio

On your application form please include links to your film portfolio. As well as applicants whose BA or BSc is in film, we are also interested in graduates from related disciplines. It may be in this case that you have other materials, such as art work, stills photography, scripts, or sound work, which you would like us to see. Please include links to such work on your application form.

We may consider applications for producing without a portfolio provided you have an appropriate background in arts administration, business or finance. We will not consider any other applications without a portfolio.

As we are recruiting in five different specialisms, the number of students we are able to take in each pathway will be limited due to the need to ensure a balance of expertise within the programme.

English Language requirements

If your first language isn't English, you'll normally need to undertake an approved English language test. The English Language requirements for this programme are IELTS (Academic) with 6.0 with no individual component score less than 6.0. For guidance on the acceptability of other English Language tests please contact

This may not apply if you have completed all your school qualifications in English, or your undergraduate degree was taught and examined in English (within two years of starting your postgraduate course). Check our country pages to find out if this applies to you.

Our entry requirements indicate the minimum qualifications with which we normally accept students. Competition for places varies from year to year and you aren't guaranteed a place if you meet the minimum qualifications.

International students

We welcome applications from students studying a wide range of international qualifications.
Entry requirements by country

Please note that non-EU international students are unable to enrol onto the following courses:
  • BN Nursing/MN Nursing (Adult, Child, Mental Health or Learning Disability)
  • BM Midwifery/MM Midwifery

Admissions policies

We’re committed to admitting students who have the potential to succeed and benefit from our programmes of study. 

Our admissions policies will help you understand our admissions procedures, and how we use the information you provide us in your application to inform the decisions we make.

Undergraduate admissions policies
Postgraduate admissions policies

The course has been exciting, extremely challenging and has advanced my skills immensely. In terms of editing, my knowledge of technology and the art of cutting has expanded.

Fees & funding

The course fees you'll pay and the funding available to you will depend on a number of factors including your nationality, location, personal circumstances and the course you are studying. We also have a number of bursaries and scholarships available to our students.

Tuition fees
Students from 2018/19 2019/20
Home/EU £5,850 £6,084
Overseas £13,000 £13,520

Frequently Asked Questions about Fees
Information of Bursaries and Scholarships


  • Director
  • Assistant Director
  • Producer/Production Management
  • Location Manager
  • Cinematographer
  • Editor
  • Location Sound Mixer
  • Sound designer
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