Course overview

If you want to expand your understanding of moving image beyond conventional film, then our MA Experimental Film course at UCA Farnham will give you the knowledge, insight and tools to create exciting new work.

This one year, full-time course will support your development as a creative moving image expert, expanding the boundaries of your thinking and practice and advancing your visual and research interests.

Led by internationally renowned staff and inspired by an exciting range of prominent visiting artists and theorists, you'll work with both 16mm equipment and digital techniques to produce the stylised films and moving image pieces you really want to make. Along the way, you'll build a deeper understanding of global perspectives on experimental film as you study the ideas, methods and works of some of the leading proponents of the craft.

You do not need to have prior formal filmmaking training to undertake this course – we welcome students whose creativity demonstrates visual, intellectual and emotional engagement, and who are open to experimental and unexpected ways of thinking. 

Please note, the MA course is suspended for September 2023 entry.

Course entry options

Select from the options below to find out more about the different study options available for this course:

Accredited by:

British Film Institute (BFI) logo

British Film Institute (BFI)

The BFI is a charity and the UK’s leading organisation for film and moving image. It promotes and supports British film from newcomers to established makers, and cares for the BFI National Archive, the world’s largest film and television archive.

ARRI logo

ARRI

ARRI is a leading designer and manufacturer of camera and lighting systems for the film, broadcast, and media industries. The ARRI Certified Film School accreditation is awarded to institutions that meet rigorous standards of technical excellence, creative education, and professional development.

What you'll study

What you'll
study

The content of the course may be subject to change. Curriculum content is provided as a guide.

For our students coming from a non-UK educational background, UCA has launched an Integrated International Pre-Masters year. On this course you’ll prepare for postgraduate study with a mix of online and face-to-face learning that will give you the study skills required to complete a Master’s, and you’ll also improve your English for academic study.

Practice & Context: History of Experimental Film
You will be introduced to the key work, ideas and debates in experimental film, linking these filmmaking and critical practices to contemporary issues in visual and material culture.

You will learn the critical, analytical and evaluative skills needed to prepare you for the development of your major project and to start to situate your practice and your filmmaking voice.

As part of this unit, you will research a topic in experimental film practice that speaks to your personal interests and enhances your understanding of both your practice and its contexts. You’ll present your findings as a portfolio of visual research work that aims to support the development of your practice.

The specific content of lectures, seminars and workshops will vary from year to year in order to reflect changes in subject approaches and discourses. A variety of artists and teachers will contribute to the teaching of the unit to ensure that you are exposed to current debates and practitioners.

Making Techniques
You will be challenged to develop your curiosity, knowledge and technical ability within your own filmmaking process. A series of practical workshops will offer opportunities to explore various methods and approaches used in contemporary practice.

You will produce short experimental works exploring using both analogue and digital forms. Developing your skills in research and development will be a part of this unit, requiring documented evidence to be presented alongside your films in the form of a reflective research journal or blog.

Project Development & Distribution
This unit is built around the creative, organisational and technical processes of the first steps in developing your major practical project. You will embark on this with a project proposal and development plan.

You will also be expected to research and evidence an understanding of dissemination strategies for contemporary moving image media working with people and institutions outside of the university. Your research experience of onsite and online events, festivals, street art and gallery installations, will enable you to refine your projects contextual setting and contemporary site.

Final Major Project
In this unit, your investigation and interrogation of critical discourse, practice and research will contribute to the formulation of your major project, continuing from Project Development & Distribution. Your voice as an artist and filmmaker and the context your work creates are the key attributes of your final project.

You will be expected to reach beyond the current boundaries/notions of ‘experimental film’ and look forward to developing technologies and dissemination strategies in the pursuit and realisation of your project. Developing agility and versatility alongside your practical skills, continuing to develop your reflective practice with an informed and decisive approach. This practice will address the intellectual, aesthetic, social and technical processes involved.

The unit will also prepare you with learning and skills development around your preparation for a career in the creative industries, exhibition of the final work will be undertaken in a venue/setting appropriate for the form, ending the course being confident in your position as a filmmaker and artist.

Fees & financial support

Fees &
financial support

Tuition fees - 2023 entry

UK students:

  • Integrated Pre-Masters course - £10,500
  • MA course - £10,500

EU students:

  • Integrated International Pre-Masters course - £10,500 (see fee discount information)
  • MA course - £10,500 (see fee discount information)

International students:

  • Integrated International Pre-Masters course (30 weeks) - £17,500
  • Integrated International Pre-Masters course (15 weeks) - £8,750
  • MA course - £17,500

Further information
For more detailed information about our course fees and any financial support you may be entitled to please see our fees and finance pages.

The fees listed here are correct for the stated academic year only. Costs may increase each year during a student’s period of continued registration on course in line with inflation (subject to any maximum regulated tuition fee limit). Any adjustment for continuing students will be at or below the RPI-X forecast rate.

Financial support

There are lots of ways you can access additional financial support to help you fund your studies - both from UCA and from external sources.

Discover what support you might qualify for please see our financial support information

UCA scholarships and fee discounts

At UCA we have a number of scholarships and fee discounts available to assist you with the cost of your studies.

You'll find everything you need to know for your level of study on our scholarships page.

Additional course costs

In addition to the tuition fees there may be other costs for your course. The things that you are likely to need to budget for to get the most out of a creative arts education will include books, printing costs, occasional or optional study trips and/or project materials.

These costs will vary according to the nature of your project work and the individual choices that you make. 

Facilities

Filmmaking facilities include purpose-built film studios with dedicated technical support from industry specialists. Sound editing and mixing suites which include software such as Avid Media Composer, Symphony Nitris and Pro Tools. Digital media suites with Macs and PCs with latest programs for film editing, and an on-campus media store with good supply of digital HD cameras as well as 16mm and super 16mm cameras and high-end sound recording equipment to hire.

View 360 virtual tour

Film studio, UCA Farnham

Editing suite, UCA Farnham

Film & Media centre, UCA Farnham

Library, UCA Farnham

Entry & portfolio requirements

Entry & portfolio
requirements

MA course

  • A good honours degree or equivalent qualification in a related discipline

and/or

  • Relevant work experience, demonstrating your ability to study at postgraduate level.

Consideration will also be given to applicants who can make a strong case for admission in relation to a particular project and can demonstrate their potential to satisfactorily complete the course.

Portfolio requirements

For this course we will need to see your portfolio for review. We’ll invite you to attend an Applicant Day so you can have your portfolio review in person, meet the course team and learn more about your course. Further information will be provided once you have applied.

MA course

The entry requirements for this course will depend on the country your qualifications are from, please check the equivalent qualifications for your country:

Any additional entry requirements listed in the UK requirements section, e.g., subject requirements, work experience or professional qualifications, also apply to international applicants applying with equivalent qualifications.

Portfolio requirements

For this course we will need to see your portfolio for review. We’ll invite you to attend an Applicant Day so you can have your portfolio review in person, meet the course team and learn more about your course. Further information will be provided once you have applied.


MA course with Integrated International Pre-Masters course

  • A recognised bachelor degree or 3 year diploma with a strong portfolio in a relevant subject.

Any additional entry requirements listed in the UK requirements section, e.g., subject requirements, work experience or professional qualifications, also apply to international applicants applying with equivalent qualifications.

Portfolio requirements

For this course we will need to see your portfolio for review. We’ll invite you to attend an Applicant Day so you can have your portfolio review in person, meet the course team and learn more about your course. Further information will be provided once you have applied.


English language requirements

To study at UCA, you'll need to have a certain level of English language skill. And so, to make sure you meet the requirements of your course, we ask for evidence of your English language ability, please chcek the level of English language required:

Don't meet the international entry requirements or English language requirements?

You may be able to enter the course through the following entry pathways:

Apply now

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