For more information about Feature Filmmaking at Bath Spa University, please visit the webpage using the button above.

The award
MA

How long you will study
1 year

Domestic course fees
14100

How you will study
full-time

Course starts
October

International course fees
find out

All study options

About Feature Filmmaking at Bath Spa University

An industry-focused education in the low-budget feature film-making for documentary or fiction.

  • A unique chance to make a feature film as part of a Master's degree.
  • Taught by active industry professionals with feature film experience.
  • Learn about traditional and emerging routes to distributing your film.

'Doing the MA in Feature Filmmaking at Bath Spa University gave me the right tools to kickstart my professional career in filmmaking with the constant support of my tutor, lecturers from the university, plus very well chosen industry mentors."

Gustavo Contreras, Feature Filmmaking graduate

This Feature Filmmaking course will give you an industry-focused education in the business and practice of modern, low budget feature film production.

Modern filmmaking is collaborative; 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 course is taught by several of the team behind award winning feature film 'Sixteen' including Writer/Director, Rob Brown (Course Leader).

What you'll learn

Overview

We teach you how modern filmmakers make feature length projects, while offering you practical experience of trying to make them yourself.

You should graduate with:

  • a range of professional contacts;
  • a showreel;
  • a fully developed feature film project; and
  • 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.

Modules

Development
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.

Finance
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 both 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.

Pre-Production
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.

Audience
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.

Production
In this module students will turn greenlit projects into a feature length production, building on the insights they have learnt over 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.

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.

Opportunities

Artswork Media

This Master's degree in Feature Filmmaking 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)

Careers

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
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).

Newton Park, Commons
The Commons building at Newton Park offers state of the art studio production facilities that rival those offered by commercial broadcasters.

Corsham Court
You'll have access to our postgraduate campus at Corsham Court.

Study options for this course

  • The award How you will study How long you will study Course starts Domestic course fees International course fees
  • The awardMAHow you will studyFull-timeHow long you will study1 year
    Course startsOctoberDomestic course fees 14100International course fees find out
  • The awardMAHow you will studyPart-timeHow long you will study2 years
    Course startsOctoberDomestic course fees 14100International course fees find out
  • The awardPG CertHow you will studyFull-timeHow long you will study1 trimester
    Course startsOctoberDomestic course fees find outInternational course fees find out
  • The awardPG DipHow you will studyFull-timeHow long you will study2 trimester
    Course startsOctoberDomestic course fees find outInternational course fees find out
  • The awardPG DipHow you will studyPart-timeHow long you will study4 trimester
    Course startsOctoberDomestic course fees find outInternational course fees find out

Notes about fees for this course

Fees

UK and EU students full time

Course fees

2017/18 entry £14,100 2018/19 entry Published Jan 2019 2019/20 entry Published Jan 2020

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.

2017/18 Entry

Course fees

Year 1 £7,050 Year 2 Published Jan 2019

2018/19 Entry

Course fees

Year 1 Published Jan 2019 Year 2 Published Jan 2020

2019/20 Entry

Course fees

Year 1 Published Jan 2020 Year 2 Published Jan 2021

International students full time

Course fees

2017/18 entry £14,400 2018/19 entry Published Jan 2019 2019/20 entry Published Jan 2020

'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

Entry requirements

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.

What students think about Bath Spa University

    Yasmina Van De Peer, BA (Hons) English Literature and Film Studies, Spain

    Where to start with this year? There have been so many new friends, a new life-style with freedom and no muYasmina Van De Peerm bossing me around. My year has not been easy but I would do it all again, life challenges you in many ways and this experience definitively has.

    When I arrived in September, I felt like a lost girl trying to find something that I could grasp and change my life forever. My first year in a foreign country was fantastic and thanks to the creative writing department, I will never forget my second year as I have the privilege of studying in Chicago for a full academic year! However, this has no real connection with why I chose Bath Spa University.

    I worked as an ambassador for this University and a lot parents have asked the same question, why did I choose it? After 50 parents it gets tiring- especially when I was unsure. As everyone else I want to succeed in life. I have dreamt about going to Oxford, Harvard or any well known University. But the one thing that I have learnt in life is that you can be successful and come from the smallest place in the world. The key to success requires determination to reach your goal.

    Bath Spa just felt right and it allowed me to combine my subjects [English Literature and Film Studies], be myself and it also has an inspiring and picturesque scenery. For me it was perfect.

    Johannes Gerdes, BA Business and Management, Germany

    I chose BA Business and Management as I have always been inspired by my dad who runs a world leading business. The opportunity to work for him during holidays gave me a chance to look inside a company and to experience what management, leadership and communication is all about. I wanted to widen my knowledge and hence started my Business & Management career here at Bath Spa.
    My parents always wanted to give me the opportunity to study abroad. My old school, near Bristol, where I stayed as a boarding student for the last two years, helped me to discover where most of my interests lie. In addition, friends of mine started studying here at Bath Spa.

    I would describe Bath Spa in three words as: Cultural, Wonderful, Friendly.

    In the future I hope I will be working together with my dad and widen the market to countries which haven't been discovered yet.


    Don't be afraid of university life. University is the best time in your life. You meet so many new people from different nationalities and all come together! You will settle down easily. You make friends so fast and there is always someone around to help you! Even language barriers can be fixed with a perfect Writing and Learning Centre [the English Language Unit (ELU) is also available for all international students to access where English is not their first language] here at Bath Spa. Come to Bath and experience the whole range of activities they offer and be open to new things!

    Nassos Polyzoidis, MMus Songwriting, Greece

    Even though I live in Greece, I'm familiar with many British Universities, as I work for some English Examination Boards for Music and I've attended some Summer Schools in UK over the years. Bath Spa University's reputation in Songwriting and Commercial Music was known to me for a long time. Being a guitarist and working for the RGT at the same time, I have heard stories about Bath being the birthplace of guitar magazines and other music and artistic events. I was accepted to study Commercial Music as an undergraduate student about 4 years ago, but due to some sudden accidents I have to decline my offer. After this unfortunate event, I decided to become better Musician and Songwriter, so that I can return as a postgraduate applicant. When I noticed that there was a distance learning degree, MMus Songwriting, I knew I had to do this. Meanwhile, I did my research, which only lead me to ensure my initial decision to study at Bath Spa University.


    I was attracted to this course as I was already familiar with Bath Spa University's reputation in this field. In addition to that, Songwriting isn't taught in my home county at all. I knew that only few Institutes offer Songwriting as a postgraduate degree, so I did my research over the last 3 years. During this time, I was only ensuring myself that I have to apply for this course. I really want to become a successful songwriter, and also, probably one of the first songwriting teachers in Greece, so I know that this course is best for me. I knew that the course will help me become more confident and enhance my professional skills in the field. Finally, being mainly inspired by British Songwriters, it was really important that my songwriting skills would develop a lot lyrically, which can help me open the door to an international market.


    I would describe Bath Spa University in three words as: Innovative, modern, artistic.


    Once I have my degree, I am really hoping to become a successful songwriter. Being inspired mainly by British Songwriters, I would really like to write songs for the UK and international market. In addition, I will probably become one of the first songwriting teachers in Greece. Last, but not least, as I'm already collaborating with several English musicians, I'm considering in my future plans to apply for a PhD and probably seek for more collaborations in UK, which might extend my visits there.


    My advice I would you give to other international students who want to study in the UK would depend on the ethics and societal context of each county. So, a general advice I would give is "Do not be afraid of failure, do your best and apply to the courses that you really like!"

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