Skip to main content

MA Cinematography for Film and Television

MA Cinematography for film and television showreel 2015
  • Delivery:
    Full time according to Funding Council definitions

Cinematography is at the heart of film and television production, orchestrating camera, lens, light and motion to create the visual aesthetic of the film. This course provides high-level industry staff-expertise and image capture technologies, which will enable you to flourish in the continually evolving arena of imaging for film and television.

The course will help you develop key intellectual and practical skills that meet, or challenge and exceed, current industry practice and expectations. It seeks to develop in parallel; your artistic eye, your technical skills, your team-working skills as part of camera crews, and your collaborative skills working with directors.

The course is best suited to those who have some previous experience in filmmaking or photography, have a good aesthetic sense and critical eye and wish to develop these further. We would also welcome those who come with professional experience and wish to further develop their creative skills and showreel, while undertaking an immersive learning experience in the theory and practice of cinematography.

The specialist production units provide an environment in which to develop creative skills, technical proficiency in digital camera and lighting, narrative storytelling and collaborative working. The crossframework units develop critical analysis, research methods and perspectives on the changing media industry and your role within it.

This course is accredited by the British Kinematograph Sound and Television Society. You will use industry-standard technology, and learn from academic experts whose research and industry expertise will equip you to make the most of the evolving digital marketplace

Key information

Next start date:

September 2017, September 2018

Location:

Bournemouth University, Talbot Campus

Duration:

1 year

Accreditations:

British Kinematograph, Sound & Television Society

Required subjects:

Practical art & design background, such as photography, media, digital or analogue film production or art & design. However, other subjects are considered

Entry requirements:

A Bachelors Honours degree, 2:1 or above or equivalent. A show reel and an interview will be required. If English is not your first language you'll need IELTS 6.5 (Academic) or above. For more information check out our full entry requirements

Course details

On this course you will usually be taught by a range of staff with relevant expertise and knowledge appropriate to the content of the unit. This will include senior academic staff, qualified professional practitioners, demonstrators, technicians and research students. You will also benefit from regular guest lectures from industry.

Core units

  • Camera - Image, Style & Motion: Develop skills for employment in the field of digital camera operation and lighting. You'll become familiar with a range of camera, grip and lighting equipment and use these for completing projects through independent working and collaboration.
  • Narrative Constructions: Establishing a social, cultural and intellectual context for production work on the course, in combination with the other practical and professional skills taught, this unit offers a critical foundation for the effective completion of production work. You'll collectively engage with narrative theory in a critical and analytical forum.
  • Exploring Creative Camera & Lighting Techniques: Knowledge and skills necessary for employment in the field of digital camera operation and lighting. You will learn how to use a range of camera, grip and lighting equipment for documentary production, and spend most of your time in a production environment. All projects are filmed in collaboration with MA Directing Digital Film and Television students.
  • Professional Practice: An introduction to key concepts, skills and knowledge you'll need for employment in the media industries.

Option units (choose one)*

  • Masters Production Project: This is where you can create a calling card for the industry. Working with your cinematography tutor, you'll take advantage of the Media School's collaborative environment to work with writers, producers and directors to create shorts, dramas and documentaries, or even a low-budget feature film for you to light and shoot using professional equipment.
  • Masters Research Project: You can produce a practice-based research artefact supported by a written analysis, or an individual or collaboratively-written paper. The latter consists of a written investigation into an aspect of practice, supported by media artefacts.

*Please note that option units require minimum numbers in order to run and may only be available on a semester by semester basis. They may also change from year to year.

Programme specification

Programme specifications provide definitive records of the University's taught degrees in line with Quality Assurance Agency requirements. Every taught course leading to a BU Award has a programme specification which describes its aims, structure, content and learning outcomes, plus the teaching, learning and assessment methods used.

Download the programme specification for MA Cinematography for Film & Television.

Whilst every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the programme specification, the information is liable to change to take advantage of exciting new approaches to teaching and learning as well as developments in industry. If you have been unable to locate the programme specification for the course you are interested in, it will be available as soon as the latest version is ready. Alternatively please contact us for assistance.

Selection criteria

Background and experience

For MA Cinematography for Film and Television we are looking for applicants who:

  • Have engaged with filming on a practical level
  • Are flexible with time and energy levels
  • Are creative and enthusiastic
  • Can adapt to varying demands/workloads.

We’ll be selecting the candidates for this course by looking at their applications and show-reels. We will also interview applicants either at the University or over Skype for international students.

The interview will be marked on the following criteria which you can request feedback on afterwards:

  • Potential for further development
  • Professional understanding / ambition
  • Familiarity with professional editing software
  • Appreciation of editor’s role
  • Capacity for Master's level inquiry.

The show-reel is to demonstrate how you have engaged with the filming process at a practical level prior to embarking upon this course. The short show-reel of your work should exhibit what you perceive as being the best examples of your craft, along with your application form.

Wherever possible, please upload your show-reel to your online application. However, if this is not possible we will also accept the show-reel submitted on a DVD/CD.

(Show-reels should last no more than 20 minutes).

Full Entry Requirements

The normal requirements for embarking upon a postgraduate taught degree are:

  • Qualification equivalent to a UK Honours degree 2:1 or above
  • Applicants without a first degree but with significant industry experience may be considered in exceptional circumstances
  • Applicants are encouraged to provide details of relevant work experience
  • A show-reel should be submitted with the application form
  • An interview is required

If you lack the formal academic qualifications needed to enter a postgraduate or post-experience degree, there are several alternative routes to follow - some based on experience. Contact the askBU Enquiry Service for more information.

International entry requirements

If English is not your first language, you will need to provide evidence that you can understand English to a satisfactory level. English language requirements for this course are normally:

  • ​IELTS (Academic) 6.5 with minimum 6.0 in each component or equivalent.

View further information about our English language requirements.

A number of pre-sessional English and preparatory programmes are offered through our partner institution, Bournemouth University International College, and will get you ready for study at BU at the appropriate level.

You can also find further details of the international qualifications we accept, and what level of study they apply to, on our study postgraduate entry requirements page.

Careers

This degree aims to develop creative skills, techniques and collaborative approaches which will prepare you for employment in today’s evolving media industry. Through collaborative and individual production you will build up a strong and distinctive showreel, which will prepare you for entry into the industry. Future career roles could be as diverse as natural history cinematographers, television camera operators, or feature film directors of photography.

The course has been awarded accreditation by the British Kinematograph, Sound and Television Society (BKSTS) in recognition of its professionalism and industry relevance in moving image education and training.

If you want to continue your studies after achieving your Master's, you can look into our range of doctoral programmes.

No hidden extras

Please note it is recommended that all Cinematography students purchase a camera assistant’s bag and contents before commencing the course and this will cost a minimum of £400 in total.

Production Costs

The cost of making films and television programmes on the course can vary according to what the student wishes to do. For some, the costs can be very little while others may wish to spend more: how much you spend doesn't affect the assessment of your work and some good productions are often produced for very little money. The focus and attention on the course is developing your learning, and your projects are the vehicles for that to flourish. And of course the university provides all the kit and facilities you need to undertake your work.

As a student at BU we will provide many things to support you and there will also be additional costs you may encounter whilst studying at BU. The information below will help you understand our provision and what you need to budget for.

What you can expect from us

All of your teaching and assessments are included in your tuition fees, including, lectures/guest lectures and tutorials, seminars, laboratory sessions and specialist teaching facilities. You will also have access to a wide range of support and services, many of these are included on the Next Steps insert enclosed with your offer letter.

  • One set of study-related consumables such as a memory stick/ DVD
  • Materials for laboratory and field-based teaching activity
  • Support for placements (UK or abroad) and fieldwork
  • A range of student services – advisors, help desks, counsellors, placement support and careers service
  • The Library – access to a wide range of electronic resources (databases, e-journals and e-books), print and multimedia collections, subject librarians and study spaces
  • IT labs (some open 24/7), wireless network, AV equipment to borrow
  • Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) scheme
  • Disability and additional learning support
  • The BU Language Centre to help you develop/improve foreign or English language skills
  • 24 hours a day, 365 days a year security team.

Costs of living and other expenses you need to consider

  • Accommodation and living costs: view our price guide
  • Text books: remember that our award-winning library is stocked with a large range of text books for all courses, as well as online resources such as industry journals, free of charge
  • General stationery and other supplies such as print and presentation materials: the Students’ Union shops stock a wide range of stationery supplies on both campuses
  • Travel to, from and between BU campuses: our bus service operates in the local areas offering a subsidised travel rate; we also have a large number of secure bike storage compounds
  • SportBU membership: check out our student membership packages, sports events, varsity teams, information about our new facilities and more on the SportBU webpages
  • Fieldwork travel, outdoor wear and footwear (where applicable)
  • Telephone and travel costs incurred when undertaking interviews for coursework/securing placements.
  • A fee will be payable towards the cost of an Educational Psychology Assessment if this is required in connection with additional learning support. BU pays for approximately two-thirds of the cost of this assessment for UK students. For more details and current pricing please visit the Students section of the website.

Repeat Units

If you need to repeat one or more units during the course of your studies, you may be required to pay additional fees equivalent to one ninth of the tuition fee per 20 credit unit.

Financial help available from BU

We offer a range of scholarships and bursaries to students who are beginning their studies at BU. Our website also provides details on living costs, budgeting and paying your tuition fees.

Your career and development

Your career and development

Read about career and development opportunities and discover how gaining industry experience could help you.

International students

International students

We have a strong international student community. Find all the practical advice and information you need here.