This course provides the opportunity for you to develop as a thinking practitioner of film-making or television programme-making, someone who is able to innovate while questioning and interrogating existing values and traditions. The emphasis is firmly on practical film-making and television production work, underpinned with contextual theory throughout, engaging with contemporary issues and emerging trends in film and television production, as well as established film/television theories and practices.
The first two semesters of study provide a range of modules which will allow you to develop your film/television “craft skills” – this may include work with camera, lighting, sound, editing, directing and producing – while working on short film/TV projects of your own devising. There will be opportunities to collaborate with other students, and you will be encouraged to make contact with, and work with, contributors (e.g. interviewees, actors) from outside of the university. You will also develop your skills as an academic researcher by carrying out research which feeds directly into your film projects.
The course culminates in the Masters Project, where you will be the key creative leader of a film or television production, taking on the role of producer or director.
In a typical week, a full-time student on this course will have up to ten hours of class time which will be a mixture of lectures, seminars, tutorials and practical workshop sessions. Most course modules will blend these different teaching methods within a given timetabled session, so there will be plenty of variety.
In lectures, you will typically be given ‘food for thought’ in relation to your own project ideas. In workshop sessions you will get to practice film-making techniques related to your own project work needs. In seminars you will share ideas and discuss with tutors and fellow students. In tutorials you will have one-to-one or small group discussion about your works in progress.
The general flow of the course for a full time student is to start with production skills, research skills and scriptwriting in the first semester. In the second semester you move on to a small personal project which will combine all that you have learned from these three areas. In the final semester, you bring it all together in a personal film/TV production project which is seen as the culmination of your studies.
Part-time students experience exactly the same course modules and course content, but necessarily broken down into smaller groups of modules.
The course is built upon negotiated production work, which means you get to propose and develop your own ideas for film and television. The teaching staff are experienced with production across documentary, drama and social action production, and will guide you according to your ambitions, skills and needs.
There is always the opportunity to work on ‘live’ project briefs, which can be used as the basis of a module project, or alternatively as an extra-curricular experience which informs your development on the course and allows you to network with students on related courses.
The course is taught in the School of Media, which houses a three-camera live television studio, fifteen editing suites with Premiere Pro, After Effects, Final Cut Pro X and other professional software packages, and a sound-recording/foley production suite. It also has an equipment store from which you can borrow all the camera, sound, lighting and other equipment you need to produce your work.
Who will teach you on this course?
The course teaching team includes four active doctoral or postdoctoral researchers – Adam Kossoff, Tracy McCoy, Phil Nichols and Gavin Wilson – whose interests include documentary film, social action video, screenwriting and adaptation, and cinematography. They are all qualified higher education teachers, and have many years of experience of teaching at undergraduate and postgraduate level. They are also experienced film and programme makers.
Our students and graduates have a track-record of success in competitions and festivals, such as the prestigious Royal Television Society Student Awards, the Midland Movies awards, and the Business Disability Forum's Technology Taskforce Film Festival.
Film-maker and editor Andrew Webber has had his films screened at international festivals in the UK, Jamaica and West Africa. He says, “The University has been extremely supportive, through my studies and after graduation.”
Niki Gandy has pursued a teaching career, and now teaches photography and art in a High School. Calling herself a “proud graduate” of our related undergraduate course, she says, “I chose it for its practical content and which helped furnish me with numerous transferable skills necessary to forge my career in teaching. Almost a decade on, my lecturers continue to provide me with support and guidance - I feel certain that my relationship with the university will continue for many years to come.”
Actor and director Brian Duffy, creator of TV series Small World – a comedy series about a group of deaf flatmates which has been shown on TV and online – says, “Studying at the University of Wolverhampton helped me with networking and organisation – especially as filmmakers came to Wolverhampton for Deaffest, the UK’s leading deaf film and arts festival. My lecturer could also sign which was a great help and a huge weight off my shoulders – I could talk to her one-to-one. That’s something I never had the pleasure of pre-university.”
Lauren Shinner has been working in media production ever since graduating. She says, “My time at the University was invaluable, I wouldn't be where I am today without it. The tutors were always helpful and push students to do their best with plenty of support and understanding and the course prepares you well for your prospective career. I've gone on to work as a video editor in education, ran my own media business and have done videos for high end charities and new bands, and am now working in media in another area. Without my degree, none of this would have been possible.”
The course will be useful for anyone seeking to advance their career in media production, arts/media management, or other leadership roles in related creative industries. In media production, this may involve developing your career in specialist areas such as directing, producing, editing or cinematography.
The skills you gain fall into three areas. First, there are the creative and technical skills that are essential for film-making: script writing, camera, lighting, sound, editing. Second, there are skills related to directing a film and managing a production. Third, there are academic skills which relate mainly to research, communication and presentation.
We are currently working towards accreditation from Creative Skillset.