- Options: MA Feature Filmmaking, PG Dip Feature Filmmaking, PG Cert Feature Filmmaking.
- School of Creative Industries
- Campus or location
- Paintworks - Bristol
- Course length
- MA full-time three trimesters (one calendar year); MA part-time six trimesters; PG Dip full-time two trimesters; PG Dip part-time four trimesters; PG Cert full-time one trimester.
Entry requirements for our postgraduate courses vary. We are generally looking for a good honours degree or equivalent.
Some courses also require an interview or the submission of a portfolio of work.
Please contact our admissions team for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org.
An industry-focused education in low budget feature filmmaking for documentary or fiction.
- Get the chance to make a feature film as part of your Master’s degree.
- Taught by active industry professionals with feature film experience.
- Learn about traditional and emerging routes to distributing your film.
This MA in filmmaking will give you an industry-focused education in the business and practice of modern, low-budget feature film production.
Modern filmmaking is collaborative, and we’ve tailored the course for aspiring writers, directors and producers. We’ll help you develop your skills for a career working on feature-length documentaries or fiction.
“...The MA in Feature Filmmaking at Bath Spa University gave me the right tools to kick-start my professional career in filmmaking with the constant support of my tutor... plus very well chosen industry mentors."Gustavo Contreras, Feature Filmmaking graduate
What you'll learn
We teach you how modern filmmakers make feature-length projects, while offering you practical experience of trying to make them yourself.
The course is designed to produce graduates with:
- A range of professional contacts
- A showreel
- A fully developed feature film project
- The knowledge to get ahead in the film business.
We cannot guarantee that your feature film project will get made, although we are confident that many students will achieve this. Your success in academic terms will not depend on your project’s completion.
This is an industry facing course; you’ll build and develop your creative and associated business skills. We believe filmmakers need a clear understanding of business and financial issues to achieve their full creative potential.
This module will introduce and explore practical and creative approaches to low-budget feature production. It gives an overview of the issues and challenges, and develops key skills. Each student will refine their project during this module by learning and applying various strategies and techniques of feature film production. This module will offer you a clear and imaginative approach to low budget filmmaking, including writing low budget and script development as well as introductions to budgeting/ scheduling, casting and low budget film financing.
To compete in the global film business low budget practitioners must understand the historical development of business systems, procedures and models that influence the contemporary global film business. This module will also include contemporary analysis of the film funding policies and structures of European nations, as well as distribution strategies and mechanisms. Students will be able to navigate the different systems for low-budget, commercial and cultural film production, so that they are able to understand and adapt to the future demands and needs of the industry.
This module gives students the ability to further develop/rework/alter their main project in the light of the insights into low budget cinema techniques and how the international film business operates. Industry-standard software such as Final Draft and Movie Magic will be taught during this module.
The British Film Institute has identified distribution and marketing (the process of finding audiences) as the key issues for UK feature films. It is these areas that determine whether they will make a return on investment. This module will give students a thorough grounding in the theory and practice of contemporary marketing as applied to film. The module will introduce traditional marketing theories and strategies regarding communications, consumer behaviour, direct and customer relations marketing. It will then update these approaches with a focus on digital marketing techniques. Crowdsourcing sites such as Kickstarter will be explored, enabling filmmakers to engage with audiences while the film is yet to be made.
In this module students will turn greenlit projects into a feature-length production, building on the insights they have learned during the course. The projects will normally need to be completed to an "off-line" standard. It is expected that most productions will involve a maximum 18 days for principal photography. The projects will then go into a period of editing of 10–12 weeks to arrive at a version of the film that is suitable for screening to distributors and agencies to seek further completion funding. Students whose projects were not greenlit must continue to develop their project by working on their script, shooting a trailer and casting actors, whilst also developing their skills by working on a greenlit project.
This course includes or offers the following modules. Please check the course handbook or definitive programme document for full details on which modules are core, required or optional.
How will I be assessed?
You’ll be assessed in a variety of ways, including scriptwriting, production folders, audience building strategies and a feature film project.
You’ll need to demonstrate, through coursework, a detailed understanding of how micro budget features are made. You’ll also submit a portfolio of project work that shows a creative mastery which matches your grasp of the film business. Your final mark for the feature component of the assessment will depend on the creativity of your work, your commitment to the project and demonstrated ability in your role.
How will I be taught?
You’ll be taught through a combination of intensive workshops and seminars. You’ll build on the your previous filmmaking experience and current professional practice.
This filmmaking Master’s degree is hosted by Artswork Media, Bath Spa University’s media production business that offers experiential learning opportunities and professional development.
Work placements, industry links and internships
Previous visiting lecturers have included:
- Producer Elizabeth Carlsen ("Carol", Palm D’Or nominee 2015)
- Producer Rebecca O’Brien ("Sweet Sixteen", "The Wind That Shakes The Barley")
- BAFTA and Sundance prize-winning documentary director Kim Longinotto ("Dreamcatcher")
- Producer Michelle Eastwood ("In Our Name", BAFTA-winning short film "Hesitation")
- Writer/Director Brian Welsh ("In Our Name", "Black Mirror", "Mayday", "The Escape Artist")
- Film London Senior Executive and Producer Olivier Kaempfer ("Appropriate Behaviour", "Borrowed Time")
- Producer Farah Abushwesha (Founder of BAFTA Rocliffe New Writing Forum, author of "Rocliffe Notes").
We assume you’re committed to working in the film industry as a creative filmmaker. Through this course, you’ll use low budget feature film to prove your skills as a long form filmmaker.
This experience may lead some producers and directors into work on other films, TV drama or drama documentaries. Producers will build up a series of skills, contacts, and experience that will allow them to develop subsequent projects with greater industry support.
Other students may wish to pursue academic work as lecturers or practitioners. Another potential career route open to graduates will be to use their subsequent project as part of a creative PhD at Bath Spa. Other careers can involve working with arts organisations like the BFI, Creative England or regional screen agencies such as Film London.
Facilities and resources
Where the subject is taught
Paintworks offers a large production office, modern edit suites with the latest software, lights and video cameras including the Sony F3 (used on Spike Lee’s "Red Hook Summer" and "This is England '88") and Canon 7D (used on Lena Dunham’s SXSW award winner "Tiny Furniture").
You’ll have access to our postgraduate campus at Corsham Court.
UK and EU students full time
|2021/22 entry||Published Jan 2021|
|2022/23 entry||Published Jan 2022|
UK and EU students part time
Fees shown below are for part time study over two years, although some courses may be available over longer periods.
|Year 2||Published Jan 2021|
|Year 1||Published Jan 2021|
|Year 2||Published Jan 2022|
|Year 1||Published Jan 2022|
|Year 2||Published Jan 2023|
International students full time
|2021/22 entry||Published Jan 2021|
|2022/23 entry||Published Jan 2022|
“It's heaven to be making FINDING CLIVE, my first feature film, at Bath Spa University. Rob Brown, the Senior lecturer, and his faculty are incredibly supportive in helping me prep for the shoot and I'm so looking forward to using their top spec edit, grading and sound suites to finish up the film.”Deva Palmier, award-winning Writer/Director and Feature Filmmaking graduate
Interested in applying?
What we look for in potential students
You must have a script or treatment which - in our opinion - is ready to enter pre-pre production at the point of interview. If you have a film-related undergraduate degree and/or experience screening your short films at international film festivals, we encourage you to apply.
How do I apply?
Ready to apply? Click the "apply now" button in the centre of this page.
Need more guidance? Head to our how to apply webpages.
Interview and portfolio guidance
Along with your application, you should also submit a two to three-page synopsis or treatment of the plot of your intended film project (of 80 minutes or longer), covering the beginning or exposition (act one), middle or rising action (act two) and end or falling action (act three) of the plot of the film. If you need further clarification, please contact the Course Leader, Rob Brown.