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Filmmaking at UCA

Our MA Filmmaking degree course will give you the tools to enhance your creative and technical skills as an independent filmmaker - and the opportunity to specialise in an area of the industry you really wish to focus on.

While this degree fully prepares you to succeed in the film industry as a whole, you’ll be able to choose one of five pathways – cinematography, directing, producing, editing and sound design – to focus on.

Taught within the supportive structure of our Film School at UCA Farnham, the course allows you to experience the rigours of filmmaking by reflecting the realities of current film practice and collaborate with your peers on a slate of short films.

At UCA, you'll also benefit from access to a fantastic selection of cutting-edge facilities, including digital and 16mm cameras, advanced sound recording equipment, a purpose-built film studio and high-quality post-production suites.

Our graduates have gone on to work on Oscar-winning movies and box office hits. They have also worked on major TV programmes and with leading media companies and started their own successful companies.

Course entry options

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

Accreditations, partners and industry connections

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 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

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.

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.

Your launch week is all about gaining a clear understanding of what it takes to work collaboratively through a series of workshops, fully preparing you for your year of studies. 

The Craft of Filmmaking
Covering producing, directing, camera, lighting, sound, editing, post-production and health and safety, this unit is designed to provide you with a comprehensive introduction to the key craft skills, techniques, and practices used in filmmaking. You’ll demonstrate your knowledge through a combination of practical work and written assignments, including a final project where you will create your own short film.

Optional units

Depending on your pathway choice, you can choose one of the following options:

The unit covers the fundamental concepts and techniques of scriptwriting, including story structure, character development, dialogue and formatting. You will learn how to develop your own unique voice as a writer and how to create engaging narratives and relatable characters. You’ll also cover formatting and industry standards for script submissions, and the role of the script in the entire filmmaking process.

In addition to investigating the various tools and techniques used by contemporary cinematographers, you will study the technical and aesthetic evolution of cinematography, the principles of cinematography, camera movement, lighting, colour theory and health and safety. 

You will investigate the art, craft and techniques of directing for fiction films, engage in practical exercises to develop your skills and analyse the work of notable directors. Subjects taught include script analysis and interpretation, film grammar, visual storytelling, and working with actors and the crew. 

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

Opportunity Week
The 48-hour Film Challenge is a filmmaking competition where in teams, the filmmakers have just 48 hours to write, shoot and edit a short film. The week will begin with teams randomly assigned a genre, a character, a prop and a line of dialogue that must be included in the film. They present their idea on Tuesday, and have Wednesday and Thursday to write, shoot and edit their short film. On the final day, the films are screened for a panel of judges, who will award prizes for the best films in various categories.

Film Production (non-fiction and fiction)
You’ll learn about the different roles and responsibilities of the production team and how to manage each stage of production: pre-production, production and post-production. The unit will also cover the technical and logistical aspects of film production, such as budgeting, scheduling, assembling cast, crew and equipment, risk assessment, and health and safety.

Optional units

Depending on your pathway choice, you can choose one of the following options:

In this unit, you will investigate each stage of the contemporary film production process, including development, pre-production, production, post-production and distribution. You’ll also learn about the financial and legal aspects of film production, including budgeting, scheduling, contracts and health and safety.

Editing and Post-Production
In addition to investigating the tools and techniques used by contemporary editors, you will study technique of film editing, current editing software, workflows, use of sound and music, colour grading, and health and safety. The unit will also cover the role of the editor in each stage of the production process.

Sound Design
You’ll gain a broad understanding of the intricacies of sound design in this unit, including sound recording, Foley, editing, mixing, current recording and post-production tools, and health and safety. The unit will also cover the role of sound design in each stage of the production process.

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

Final Major Project
The Final Major Project is the culmination of your course, where you will conceptualise, research, develop and produce a short film or a feature-length screenplay. For this, you will work in teams and in specific production roles. Starting with an intensive research and development phase, the unit continues with pre-production, production, and post. Each team’s work will be given a final screening, where the team will give a presentation.  

Course specifications

Please note, syllabus content indicated is provided as a guide. The content of the course may be subject to change in line with our Student Terms and Conditions for example, as required by external professional bodies or to improve the quality of the course.

Fees & funding

Fees & financial support

Tuition fees

  • 2024/25 entry: £12,500

Tuition fees

Tuition fees

  • 2024/25 entry (MA): £18,500 (£18,000 for May 2024 entry)
  • 2024/25 entry (Integrated International Pre-Masters course - 30 weeks): £17,500
  • 2024/25 entry (Integrated International Pre-Masters course - 15 weeks): £8,750

Please note: the fees listed here are correct for the stated academic year only. For more detailed information about our course fees please see our fees and finance pages

UCA scholarships and fee discounts

At UCA we have a number of financial support information available to assist you with the cost of your studies.

Current UCA students and alumni may be eligible for a tuition fee discount.

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 scholarships and fee discounts.

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. Please see the Additional Course Costs section of your Course Information for details of the costs you may incur.


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 Studios, UCA Farnham

Film Studios, UCA Farnham

Film Editing suite, UCA Farnham

Lecture Theatre, UCA Farnham

Career opportunities


This course prepares you for a career within the field of fiction film production and also equips you with a range of versatile skills that open up a broad variety of career paths.

Our graduates have gone on to work as directors, producers, editors, cinematographers, sound designers, screenwriting, production design and on VFX. Additionally students undertaking this course might include work in archives, curating or distribution.

Among the productions our graduates have gone on to work on include:

  • Bohemian Rhapsody
  • The Dark Crystal (Netflix)
  • Gravity
  • Harry Potter
  • The Dark Knight
  • Mission Impossible
  • Skyfall
  • Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Rush
  • Total Recall
  • Fast & Furious 6

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

Explore our Gradshow

Each year, we’re privileged to be able to share our graduates’ incredible work with the world. And now’s your chance to take a look.

Visit the online showcase
Ana Pico

"This course has given me the resources and the knowledge to start my film career. From developing a script to shooting a professional short film, it's given me an extensive overview of all the elements of filmmaking and I've found inspiration everywhere, sharing the creative environment with people from different backgrounds and cultures. It’s been fantastic and I couldn’t be more proud to belong to the UCA family."

Ana Pico

Entry & portfolio requirements

Entry & portfolio

MA course

  • A good honours degree or equivalent qualification in 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.

Portfolio requirements

For this course we will need to see your portfolio for review. You can either submit a digital portfolio or request an in-person portfolio review with the course team. 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

You will be required to submit a portfolio for review. Further information on specific portfolio requirements and how to submit your portfolio will be sent to you after we have reviewed your application.

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

You will be required to submit a portfolio for review. Further information on specific portfolio requirements and how to submit your portfolio will be sent to you after we have reviewed your application.

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 check 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

Please use the following fields to help select the right application link for you: