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MA Filmmaking

Course overview

Start date

September 2018

Subject area

Arts and Digital Industries





On campus

Course summary

Our innovative and strikingly diverse course will equip you to integrate the theory and practice of film, video and new screen media at an advanced level.

Learning about documentary, fiction, artists’ film and multi-channel installation alongside students from all around the world, you will explore the many ways in which moving images can be authored.

Out students traditionally produce outstanding films on a course that has proved ideal for graduates of film studies, cultural and media studies, humanities and social sciences, as well as art and design. 

You will learn in a creative, collaborative environment which draws upon the research of leading film practitioners, theorists and historians and takes advantage of our great links to the film industry and art world. 

Contact us

If you have any questions, talk to a member of our Applicant Enquiries team on +44 (0) 20 8223 3333 or email

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Specialist equipment

You will learn in our unique Moving Image Studio – a state-of-the-art platform for developing, presenting and examining the work of UK-based artists, filmmakers, scholars and organisations working with the moving image. 

Industry experts

You will work with renowned filmmakers and artists in a studio environment and experience at first-hand the full range of skills, techniques and procedures used in the film and creative industries.

Great resources

You will benefit from using our advanced production and post-production facilities in film (both 16mm and Super 16mm formats), HD video and sound, all delivered by expert technical instructors.

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What we're researching

Our research in the field of Communication, Cultural and Media Studies received outstanding marks in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, the six-yearly national evaluation of higher education research.

An impressive 33 per cent of our work was officially classified as ‘world-leading', while a further 47 per cent was rated as ‘internationally excellent’.

Our flagship Moving Image Studio is a platform for developing, presenting and discussing the work of UK-based artists, filmmakers, scholars and organisations working with the moving image.

Through research funded by the British Academy, Dr Valentina Vitali, Reader in Film Studies and a distinguished film historian, has written one of the first academic publications to document key neglected areas of the Hindi film industry.

Valentina explores the relationships between history, economics and film aesthetics and also has keen research interest in Mexican and Italian cinema, as well as exploitation films, film as history and image-based work by women.

Dr David Chapman's current practice investigates the sonic mediation of the natural world and the durational exploration of place and environment through audio-visual installations. He has a wider research interest in the operation of sound in relation to the moving image.

Dr Jill Daniels is an award-winning filmmaker. She has been making documentary films since 1989 and her work has been shown all over the world. Her research interests and film practice focuses on memory, place and subjectivities in experimental documentary films.

Dr Lindsay Hallam’s main research area is horror cinema, having recently written about the occult in Italian horror, ecological concerns in Australian exploitation films, and the convergence of horror cinema with new digital and online media.

The focus of Dr Johannes Maier's work is a critical engagement with televisual forms and his films are often collaborations with individuals working within large institutions such as interpreters at the European Commission or picture editors at the BBC. His work has been shown regularly at international film festivals.

Making a difference

UEL is one of the UK’s leading modern research universities. In the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF), 17 per cent of our overall research submission was classified as ‘world-leading’ for its quality and impact – almost double our previous REF score. A further 45 per cent of our work was considered ‘internationally excellent’.

Elena Carmen Cojocaru

MA Filmmaking

The MA Filmmaking course has taught me how to fully deliver my creative vision in documentary and fiction by experimenting with cinematic and sound design techniques when approaching both. The course has provided a highly supportive environment in which I can make mistakes and learn from them, which is a testament to the dedicated teaching team.

Entry requirements

Minimum 2.2 Honours in Humanities, Social Science or Art/Design related subject, with preference to Film, Media and Arts

We would normally expect you to have Grade C in GCSE English and Maths. 


(Including European Union)

We accept a range of qualifications from across the world. Please see our country pages for information on specific entry requirements for your country.

Overall IELTS 6.0 with a minimum of 6.0 in Writing and Speaking; minimum 5.5 in Reading and Listening (or recognised equivalent).

As an inclusive university we recognise that applicants who have been out of education for some time may not have the formal qualifications usually required for entry to a course. We welcome applications from those who can demonstrate their enthusiasm and commitment to study and have relevant life/work experience that equips them to succeed on the course. We will assess this from the information provided in your application (particularly your personal statement) and may ask you to attend an interview or submit a piece of work to help us decide on your eligibility for the course. Our pre-entry Information Advice and Guidance Team are able to provide further advice on entry requirements and suitability for study.

You can speak to a member of our Applicant Enquiries team on +44 (0)20 8223 3333, Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm. Alternatively, you can visit our Information, Advice and Guidance centre. Please click here for details.

What you'll study

  • Practice/Thesis (core)
  • Moving Image Research Methods (core)
  • The Context of Moving Image Production (core) 
  • Media Production (core)
  • Audiovision (core)

How you'll be assessed

We assess you via your presentations, work screenings, essays, research projects and a practical thesis. If you would like to present a written thesis you must seek agreement from the course team by the end of May in the year of study (the topic must be agreed by the Course Leader). There are no exams.

Course specification

How you'll learn

You will be based in the Moving Image Studio – our flagship research and production centre within UEL’s School of Arts and Digital Industries at our Docklands campus. 

Within its vibrant creative environment, there’s no better way of understanding the intricate processes of moving image production than learning from the experience and excellence of practising filmmakers and video artists.

So not only will you be taught by leading filmmakers, who will offer support and expert supervision, but you will also have the chance to gain rare insights from visiting filmmakers from across the globe. 

Recently, for instance, our students have heard from Peter Strickland, the Berlin Festival Golden Bear-winning director, and Leonie Benesch, star of the Palme d’Or-winning film, The White Ribbon.

Our production facilities are extremely advanced and are all delivered by technical instructors and Apple Mac accredited trainers.

You can use our state-of-the-art Black Box studio, along with production facilities in film (16mm and Super 16mm formats), HD Video, Sound, multimedia and web design.

The ethos of the course is to explore the many ways in which moving images can be authored, from formal innovation in the gallery and political discourses in the documentary, to new ways of narrative telling in drama and new media platforms. 

All of this is taught in a dynamic, collaborative environment and with great links to industry, the art world and theory-practice research.

What you'll learn

A major strength of this course is its diversity. Unlike other MA film courses, this course enables you to look at the different ways of making film and learn a mix of crafts.

Our course encourages you to experiment with how ideas are formed, how concepts are developed and how images are created. You will also interrogate how meanings are constructed in film.

You will complete five or more projects, gain skills in project management, learn to self-author and distribute and, as the culmination of your studies, produce a substantial thesis film.

The Narrative Cinema module gives you a grounding in scripting, crew dynamics, production planning and practical filmmaking skills in the production of a short fiction film.

The Moving Image module looks at a wide range of experimental approaches to moving image work and explores a range of film technologies, including16mm film, green-screen and multiscreen installation.

Documentary Cinema looks at both historical and contemporary approaches to documentary film practice and prepares you with the practical skills required in producing a documentary.

The Audio Vision module seeks to develop a wide understanding of the role of sound in moving image work and to develop your skills in sound design.

Documentary Cinema looks at both historical and contemporary approaches to documentary film practice and prepares you with the practical skills required in producing a documentary.

Your thesis project will be your chance to realise an ambitious, high production value, festival-ready film.

Your future career

Our graduates emerge well prepared to thrive in the cultural and creative industries in areas such as film and TV production, contemporary art, new media platforms, teaching and doctoral research.

Some of our recent MA students have taken on key roles in the film industry, film journalism and film festivals. Others have progressed to practice-led PhD research or have found employment in London's vibrant production and post-production film and TV culture.

Among the success stories are Ahmer Naqvi, who has gone to Bollywood where he now works as an assistant director, and Elena Cojocaru, who has become a freelance video editor.

Elena believes the course’s wide range of partner organisations and its productive collaborations with Film and Video Umbrella, Shooting People and the BFI benefited her career. 

“I've found that being part of an academic community of independent filmmakers and mov-ing image artists, as well as having London as a cultural backdrop, has been creatively and professionally rewarding,” she says. 

Other graduates have gone on to further academic success. Matthew Hawkins became co-founder of London’s Edge of the City Film Festival and is now a lecturer in film at Coventry University, while Sam Talefaird is pursuing a practice-led PhD with the London Film School and Exeter University.

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Our international team travel overseas regularly to meet prospective students and attend recruitment fairs. Our academics also give regular lectures overseas and are happy to speak to prospective students. In addition, we have a large worldwide network of advisors who can provide guidance and support with applying to study at the University of East London.

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