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Documentary Production MA, PgDip

MA Documentary Production

The Course Programme Structure Staff Profiles Why YSJ ?


Why study MA in Film Production or Documentary Production?

We value and prioritise your creativity, skill, knowledge and drive

  • We employ cutting edge facilities
  • We have links with a wide range of organisations – we bring the outside in and take your work outside York St John University
  • We utilise radical approaches to digital film and documentary production
  • You will become a maker of film and television at the vanguard of the media for the 21st century
  • We value you as an individual
  • You will work in collaboration with a team of like-minded individuals


How can I study

The MA programme is available for study in both full-time and part-time modes. 


What will I study?

The emphasis of our MA programmes is towards production. To enable you to make powerful short film and documentary work we will work with you in a supervisory role. 


Will I get any practical experience?

The MA programme is focussed around the practical production of original short film and documentary cinema and television. Practice is at the heart of the work you undertake throughout. A crucial element of both MA programmes is working within a real world context with a tangible outcome for your work. At the start you will target where your work will be screened – and the aim is to get it there. You will also play a crucial role in suggesting key visiting speakers and practitioners.


What skills will I acquire?

You will develop your skills as a writer/director (film) or a director/producer (documentary). A defining feature of our MA programme is the collaboration on each others' projects. By doing this you maintain a level of multi-skilling essential in the contemporary worlds of film.

  • conceptual skills, through the development of creative ideas
  • advanced group work skills (although we assess you as an individual)
  • written skills, through writing treatments, script development, essays, critical evaluations and production logs
  • excellent technical skills, in your use of a range of production and post-production facilities
  • your understanding of business, through the application of budgets to your production and in the development of your own company

Most importantly, you will be a creative thinker and a creative practitioner at the forefront of film.


How will I be assessed?

All production and theoretical work is a significant part of continual assessment, rather than formal examinations. You will be assessed on your production work, but always as the writer/director or director/producer.


What resources will I have access to?

Our MA programme utilises dedicated equipment.

In order to produce cutting-edge film and television, you need to use cutting-edge equipment. This degree benefits from sustained investment in new technology. You will use a range of different forms of equipment, including the latest JVC HDV camera kits, Satchler and Dado lighting kits, sound mixers, Sennheiser radio microphones, jibs, and tracking and glide cam.

Our post-production facilities are Avid systems based around a dedicated central server. We run an edit lab consisting of 20 edit stations and 13 separately sectioned edit suites. We also have two fully equipped broadcast television studios, as well as other types of equipment for specific production requirements. The Faculty of Arts also boasts a number of systems running Pro-Tools and Final Cut. You will be supported by a dedicated team of technicians.

We continue to foster links with established and emergent companies across the film and television industries, regionally, nationally and internationally. We invite industry practitioners to work with you and see your work. We work with a range of industry partners including ITV and the BBC. We also enjoy a close relationship with the Yorkshire Centre of the Royal Television Society, Screen Yorkshire, and we are involved in ventures with York’s independent cinema, City Screen. We also make sure that we are fully engaged with the independent sector. Our portfolio of external contacts is extensive and expanding. 


Can I get involved with departmental activities?

Collaboration is at the heart of producing moving images.  Film and Television Production encompasses a popular undergraduate programme and these students will work with you as crew for you to realise your projects. We are also leading on the development of a network of film makers across North Yorkshire to allow you to continue to make and distribute creative film and television work beyond the MA programme.  We host an annual screening of undergraduate and postgraduate work and your input will be central to this.


Membership of professional bodies

We have many professional partnerships and work with a range of industry partners. This includes the BBC, ITV, True North, Mezzo and Mediamill.


Degree programme information

Programme specifications »