MA Film and Television

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Awards available MA
Programme length One year full-time;
two years part-time
Location of programme Clifton campus
Part-time study available Yes
Open to international students Yes
Start date September 2017

Programme overview

This programme offers an exciting combination of both film-making practice and textual and historical approaches to the study of film and television. As a student on this innovative programme, you will be taught the skills of film production, working intensively in small groups to explore aesthetic possibilities and gain insights into the craft and industry of screen media. You will also engage with critical perspectives and develop high-level research and analysis skills.

Optional units offer the chance to specialise in different areas of practical film-making and to gain a greater understanding of specific areas around the history and aesthetics of film and television. At the dissertation stage, you will have the opportunity to undertake a placement in creative industry, to undertake an in-depth study of film and television by means of a traditional dissertation, or to produce a mixed-mode investigation through film practice, either individually or in a team, supervised by one or more academic advisers.

The University of Bristol has more than 40 years of experience in this field and the programme draws on the expertise of world-leading scholars, expert practitioners and industry professionals. The Department of Film and Television hosts a series of research seminars and industry masterclasses that are targeted to enrich your studies. Facilities include a 200-seat cinema, production studio, animation and edit suites, seminar rooms and sound rooms.

Bristol is an excellent city in which to study film and television, with its varied cinema, television and digital media spaces, such as the Arnolfini, BBC Bristol, The Cube and Watershed Media Centre. Bristol's Harbourside is home to an array of film festivals, including the Encounters Short Film and Animation Festival, the Slapstick Festival, and the Afrika Eye Festival.

Fees for 2017/18

Full-time fees


Part-time fees


Fees quoted are per annum and subject to annual increase.

Alumni scholarship

University of Bristol students and graduates can benefit from a ten per cent reduction in tuition fees for postgraduate study. Check your eligibility for an alumni scholarship.

Funding for 2017/18

For further information on funding, please see the Faculty of Arts funding pages for funding and studentship opportunities.

Further information on funding for prospective UK, EU and international postgraduate students.

Programme structure

The programme has been designed to develop skills and knowledge cumulatively, while allowing you the opportunity to tailor your learning to your specific areas of interest.

In the first semester, you will be taught skills and techniques of formal analysis and practical film-making, providing the foundation for optional units across the year, such as Writing and Directing, Screen Histories, Television Forms and Making Short Fiction. Other options include Translation for Subtitling (Chinese-English), Screen Style and Aesthetics, and Making Short Fiction.

In the second semester, you will gain knowledge of research methods relevant to the dissertation stage, which includes the opportunity to undertake a placement in the film/TV industry, write an extended essay or produce a piece of practice (normally a short film) accompanied by individual written reflection.

Teaching Block 1

  • Core units
    • Screen Forms and Analysis
      In this lecture/seminar unit you will develop your skills of screen analysis, and explore how key concepts relate to a range of film and television forms.
    • Production Technologies and Techniques
      This practical unit will teach you technical skills of digital film production to allow you to proceed to work in creative film projects.
  • Optional units
    • Writing and Directing for Film and Television
      This unit will introduce the craft, conventions, and creative processes involved in writing and directing for the screen. Each student makes several short films, and produces a short fiction or documentary script.
    • Screen Histories
      This unit will offer a close investigation of a key aspect of screen history, such as a particular period (eg silent cinema), a central feature of film culture (eg stardom), a technological or industrial context (eg the uses of colour) or a genre (eg fantasy films, documentary, television drama series).
    • Film Theory
      In this unit you will explore the work of key film theorists and theoretical approaches to cinema and related media.
    • Screening Nations
      This unit examines how films relate to national and transnational contexts of production and reception.
    • Authorship in Film and Television
      In this unit you will explore notions of authorship and how creative control is manifested in exemplary works of television and film.

Teaching Block 2

  • Core units
    • Screen Research Methods
      This core unit provides a foundation for the dissertation stage by exemplifying key methods for approaching the study of film and television.
  • Optional units
    • Screen Style and Aesthetics
      This unit investigates issues in screen aesthetics through detailed examination of how film and television works employ the facilities of their particular medium to shape meaning.
    • Making Short Films
      In this unit you will develop creative skills and work in small groups to script, prepare and realise short films.
    • Translation for Subtitling (Chinese-English)
      This unit will develop your ability to translate the subtitles of movies and TV programmes effectively.
    • Television Forms
      In this unit you will undertake the critical study of television, its programmes and contexts by focusing on how a particular genre has developed over time.
    • Contemporary Film
      This unit allows you to examine key trends and changes in cinema from the last decade, including the impact of new technologies and developing cultural contexts.

Dissertation Stage

  • Options for dissertation
    • Practical Work and Written Element
      If you choose this option you will be supervised in the production of a piece of practical work such as a short film, screenplay or video essay. The study is directed to explore aesthetic possibilities and/or investigate critical questions, which are reflected upon in the written element.
    • Written dissertation
      For this option you will design and produce an in-depth written study – for instance, of a particular film or set of films, or a particular topic in film and television studies – guided by an academic supervisor.
    • Industrial Placement and Written Element
      For this option you can undertake a work placement of up to 150 hours with a company in the film and TV industry. You will be assigned a mentor at the company and an academic supervisor who will help you develop your written reflection. Placements in the past have included working as part of a film festival jury, serving as a runner on a film shoot, and working on the production floor of a TV show.

Entry requirements

An upper second-class honours degree (or international equivalent). Evidence of commitment to (but not necessarily experience in) film and TV production and/or study.

See international equivalent qualifications on the International Office website.

Application method Online application form
English language requirements Profile C
Further information about English language requirements
Admissions statement Read the programme admissions statement for important information on entry requirements, the application process and supporting documents required.


Graduates of film and television at Bristol have taken up careers as film-makers, programme researchers, senior academics and broadcasting executives.

How to apply
Application deadline:

1 August 2017.

International students

Find out more about becoming a student at Bristol, and the support we offer to international students.

I chose Bristol because of its outstanding academic reputation. It's reassuring to be taught by people who truly love their subject - their passion becomes contagious.


REF 2014 results

  • 34% of research is world-leading (4 star)
  • 50% of research is internationally excellent (3 star)
  • 15% of research is recognised internationally (2 star)
  • 1% of research is recognised nationally (1 star)

Results are from the most recent UK-wide assessment of research quality, conducted by HEFCE. More about REF 2014 results.

Get in touch

Postgraduate Admissions Phone: +44 (0) 117 331 8443 Email:

Faculty of Arts
University of Bristol
3-5 Woodland Road
Bristol BS8 1TB


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