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MA Post Production Editing

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  • Delivery:
    Full time according to Funding Council definitions

A theoretical grounding in topics such as narrative and storytelling underpins technical training in the latest software and hardware, which will give you the tools to turn your ideas into reality. You will also be encouraged to develop critical perspectives on the changing media industry and to challenge current practice, developing the analytical skills required to reflect, learn and grow as a successful editor. 

This course builds towards a final production project. This showreel will be your calling card for the industry; it will allow you to explore and develop ideas beyond industry expectations, and produce evidence of your editorial approach, style and storytelling. As an alternative, you can choose a research-based option to present at a final exhibition of work. Working in your own postgraduate base room, you will have your own cutting-edge technology at your fingertips.

You are required to have your own Apple laptop with Avid Media Composer 6.5 or above. The Faculty of Media & Communication provides further technical tools to aid your development, including extensive network support and two Avid Media Composer Finishing Suites, where you will build your realworld skills through role-play scenarios of industry practice. We’re also proud to announce our Learning Partnership with AVID, a collaboration that will ensure graduates of this course carry even greater relevance and credibility when it comes to finding employment.

You may have an undergraduate qualification in a related subject or may be able to show your suitability for this programme of study through associated work-experience or evidence of and outputs from other related activities.

Key information

Next start date:

September 2018, September 2019


Bournemouth University, Talbot Campus


1 year


The International Moving Image Society (IMIS)

Entry requirements:

A Bachelors Honours degree with 2:2 or equivalent in any subject. For more information check out our full entry requirements.

International entry requirements:

If English is not your first language you'll need IELTS (Academic) 6.5 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

  • Approaches to Editing: Gain professional, industry-standard skills in planning and completing edits under different conditions and time restraints. By working on individual projects and collaborating with students on the MA Directing Film & Television course, you'll develop creative skills. You'll also complete the AVID Media Composer 101 Editing Essentials qualification.
  • 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 realisation of production work. You'll collectively engage with narrative theory in a critical and analytical forum.
  • Developing Editing Principles & Practice: Develop industry-level thinking and practice as an editor through collaborative projects and a programme of negotiated independent practice-based research and experimentation. This unit is where you'll find your voice as an editor and explore, challenge and extend the language of montage and the professional practice of creative collaboration. There will be group discussions, critiques, workshops and screenings.
  • Professional Practice: An introduction to key concepts, skills and knowledge you'll need for employment in the media industries.

Option units (choose one)*

  • The Master's Production Project: This is where you can create a calling card for the industry, showing your editorial approach, style and storytelling ability. You'll develop a brief through negotiating with a tutor, and research an aspect of editing that links with narrative and produce edited material. This is about exploring and developing ideas beyond industrial expectations. Collaborating with MA Directing and Producing students is recommended as these courses, along with Editing, form a tight group of disciplines where collaboration benefits everyone.
  • The Master's Research Project: You can produce a practice-based research artefact supported by a written analysis, or an individually or collaboratively-written paper. The latter consists of a written investigation into an aspect of practice, supported by media artefacts. Whichever option you choose, you'll present your findings at a final exhibition.

*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 Post Production Editing.

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 & experience

For MA Post Production Editing we are looking for applicants who:

  • Have prior experience of editing or working within a post-production environment
  • Are creative and enthusiastic
  • Can adapt to varying demands/workloads.

We are looking for candidates who want to develop their craft-skills whilst investigating and furthering their understanding of the intellectual underpinning so necessary for quality work. We expect that you can already demonstrate competence within the field of editing and that you are comfortable with the terminologies and working practices found in post-production.

Selection methods

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


The interviewee will mark you on the following criteria with which you can request feedback on afterwards:

  • Potential for further development
  • Professional understanding / ambition
  • Familiarity with professional editing software
  • Appreciation of editor’s role
  • Collaborative ability capacity for masters level inquiry.


It is assumed that, prior to embarking upon this course, you will have engaged with the editing process at a practical level. Therefore, we ask you to submit a short show-reel of your work exhibiting what you perceive as being the best examples of your craft, along with your application form. Your examples should include live action drama and/ or documentary. Short form trailers and promotional pieces are also of interest. Show-reels comprising animation only are not appropriate. Show-reels should last no more than 20 minutes, as we are not able to view many long-form edits

Wherever possible, we would prefer you to submit the show-reel via a web-link on our online application form. However, if this is not possible we will also accept the show-reel submitted on DVD/CD.

Full entry requirements

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

  • A Bachelors Honours degree with 2:2 or equivalent in any subject

  • A show-reel should be submitted with the application form

  • Applicants without a first degree but with significant industry experience may be considered in exceptional circumstances
  • An interview may be 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 Future Students Enquiry Team for more information.

Please be aware students on this course are expected to have prior editing experience and submit a show reel/portfolio with their application. For more information on this please see the Selection Criteria tab.

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 a minimum of 6.0 in each component of writing, speaking, listening and reading 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.


This course will prepare you for the technical, challenging and creative world of video editing in an evolving digital marketplace. It has been awarded accreditation by the International Moving Image Society (IMIS) in recognition of its professionalism and industry relevance in moving image education and training.

Some of our Post Production Editing graduates are now undertaking roles such as*:

  • Assistant editor
  • Digital technician
  • Editor
  • Production executive
  • Video editor.

Industries worked in

  • TV
  • Production
  • Media
  • Digital.

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

*All information shown has been taken from Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) or BU institutional data unless otherwise stated.

No hidden extras

Course specific material(s) included in your tuition fee:

  • AVID Media Composer Fundamentals 1: Training and examination

Please note that it is mandatory for all students on the course to supply a laptop and certain essential software. We will send you further details nearer the start of the course and it is expected that it will cost approximately £2,000.

Production Costs

The cost of making films and television programmes on the course can vary. 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. BU provides all the kit and facilities you need.

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, and non-financial support whilst on placement
  • 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 pages.
  • Optional 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 (with or without attendance), 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.

Additional information

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Career development

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

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International students

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