Filmmaking: Documentary

MA - UCA Farnham - 2019

Our MA Filmmaking: Documentary course will allow you to undertake cross-disciplinary work between new media, photography and film, positioning the course in response to new trends and discourse within creative documentary practice. 

Your outcomes could be in photography, film, interactive or web-based formats - and we'll encourage you to exploit recent developments within the industry.

With so many routes available in the development of your final project, students could complete their MA by presenting work in photography, film, interactive or web-based formats - and we'll encourage you to exploit recent developments within the industry to ensure your work understands, challenges and addresses social, political and historical contexts of your chosen subject area.

The course aims to develop you as a thinking practitioner with an eye for groundbreaking content, with a focus on developing skills to help you to manage your career in a freelance industry, should you so desire. You'll learn to analyse and synthesise knowledge and understanding of your subject area on our course, and demonstrate your critical and reflective practice through exploration of social and political news, research based projects and dedicated practice development workshops alongside independent study.

Tutorials, lectures, workshops, seminars and critiques support the development of your research and practice. As part of the course, you'll be expected to undertake some form of professional practice such as a work placement. Many of our graduates have gone on to celebrate success in freelance positions, with some going on to work with companies such as The BBC. 

This course has changed it's name and has previously been titled MA Documentary Practices.

Length of study:

One year full-time


UCA Farnham

Start month:


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Entry year(s):


Entry requirements:

Honours degree, normally 2.1 or above, and/or relevant work experience

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Course details

  • Term 1

    You'll be introduced to the University and the technical workshops and facilities available to you. The first term includes a range of lectures and seminars and you’ll start to explore your creative practice.

    Research and Critical Approaches: Documentary
    This explores the contemporary and historical contexts of media production. Current theories about media, communication and digital cultures will be examined through questioning ideas around representation, time, technologies and storytelling.

    Skills and Development: Documentary
    Allows you to further your knowledge and technical ability within your own documentary practice. Through a series of practical workshops and lectures, you'll cover pre-production and research, budgeting and scheduling, self-shooting and sound recording, interviewing techniques, editing and web based production.

  • Term 2

    During term two you begin developing your MA project, evaluating and testing out the aims of your proposal over a sustained period of self-directed study.

    Work undertaken in this unit should build on the research questions you initiated and explored in the skills and development unit. This is the period within which you'll undertake the majority of your production work in gathering material for your documentary practice. Within this unit, you may decide to undertake a number of separate 'tasks' with a coherent set of aims or a single project spread across the unit. Throughout the unit, you'll be encouraged to critically reflect on the development of your project.

  • Term 3

    In the third term of the course, you'll apply the knowledge gained through your research to create a final body of work.

    Project Delivery and Professional Context: Documentary
    This allows you to reflect on the work that you've produced so far, and resolve it into a form that allows for completion and delivery of your documentary practice.

  • Fees and additional course costs

    The course fees per year for 2019 entry are:

    • UK and EU students full-time - £9,250
    • International students full-time - £17,500 (standard fee)
    • International students full-time - £16,800 (full early payment fee)

    The fees for 2020 entry have not been confirmed but will be listed here as soon as possible.

    Additional course costs
    In addition to the tuition fees please see the additional course costs for 2019 entry.

    Further information
    Find out more about our course fees and any financial support you may be entitled to:

    These fees 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.

  • Fee discounts and scholarships

    To support all of our current students and our recent UK and EU alumni to progress to the next level of study, we have developed a new range of fee discounts across a range of courses.


Our film facilities include a purpose-built studio 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 programmes for film editing as well as general design work. On campus media store with good supply of 16mm, super 16mm, digital HD video cameras and high-end sound recording equipment to hire.

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Course connections

On this course, you'll be exposed to a world of opportunities

  • Careers

    This course prepares you for a career within the specialised field of documentary practice, and also equips you with a range of versatile skills that open up a broad variety of career paths. Broadcasters and film funds worldwide have commissioned alumni from related UCA courses such as Film Production.

    Graduates have gone on to work in a range of roles within the industry, such as:

    • Directors
    • Producers
    • Editors
    • Researchers.

    Potential careers for students undertaking this course might include work in archives, curating or distribution.

  • Further study

    You may want to undertake further study or research to specialise even more.

How to apply - 2019 entry

I am a UK or EU citizen ...

I am not a UK or EU citizen ...

When to apply:

You can apply throughout the year but we recommend you try and apply as early as possible so you have time to arrange accommodation and visas, if required.

More information:

Go to our how to apply pages

Entry requirements

UK entry requirements

  • An honours degree or equivalent qualification in the subject or a related discipline


  • 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.

International entry requirements

To view the equivalent entry requirements for your country please select it in the list below.

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Non-UK equivalent qualifications

English language requirements

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

You may be able to enter the course through the UCA International College

Learn more about the UCA International College

Your portfolio

For this course, we'll require an online portfolio for assessment. Further information on how to compile a portfolio and the process for submission of your work will be provided on the Applicant Portal.

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