We chat to education lead Jamie Thomas to learn more about the structure of our innovative film masters degree programme.
Whether it’s finishing a script, producing a feature film or series, engaging with a specialism, creating an installation or launching a business, our practice-based Creative Production Film MA is for you. With absolutely no limitations to your self-directed learning experience, you’ll have total creative freedom with your chosen Masters project — including whether to study full or part time.
Ahead of our Film MA’s September 2020 launch, we caught up with education lead Jamie Thomas to learn more about the structure of the programme. FYI, you can already apply!
“We put a huge amount of trust in our students to define their own route through the programme”
How would you describe the learning process in the Creative Production MA?
There’s no one-size-fits-all curriculum in the creative arts at this level, so we put a huge amount of trust in our students to define their own route through the programme. We provide a framework for learning along with an expert supervisor and a series of workshops to help refine, explore, develop and complete the research. But the way it’s done is completely dependent on the ideas, proposals and projects the students bring forward!
What sets this course apart from other Masters programmes?
Practice is at the core of everything we do on our masters programmes! The practice informs the learning, and the learning informs the practice. It’s an iterative loop that opens up new questions, new lines of investigation and could ultimately take the project in directions that could not have been foreseen or imagined.
How does the environment of the school impact the learning experience?
The programme is housed within a dedicated teaching and learning space we call the M.A.trix! It’s an open and flexible space that our students define. We host lectures, seminars and tutorials in this space as well as invited artists, practitioners and industry specialists. At the same time our students use this space to set up and test work, conduct research, meet with peers, discuss issues or read from our growing library. It’s also a space to form new collaborations with the rest of our postgraduate community.
“Practice is at the core of everything we do on our masters programmes! The practice informs the learning, and the learning informs the practice”
How is the programme structured?
The programme follows a simple structure. In the first module, Formulate students refine their project proposal and define their research aims and methods. Most importantly, they’ll decide on the content of study and set out a study plan for the following three modules. This proposal and plan is then discussed and negotiated with the supervisor and signed off. Once signed off, the student is then ready to begin the investigation in three modules called: Investigate 1, 2 and 3.
These three modules are equally weighted and allow for three distinct investigations set out in the proposal. In the final double credit module the research is consolidated into a final project called Resolve. By the end of all this, the students will have set out some clear planning, initiated a set of investigations and pulled together the results in an engaging, high-quality piece of practical work.
As a full-time programme, the course runs in a trimester format with two modules in both Trimester A and B, and one double credit module in Trimester C. As a part-time course, the structure must be defined in the initial application process.
What does a typical week as an MA student look like?
There’s usually 8 to 12 hours a week of class time, which is usually split up into three different sessions:
Discourse – This is usually presented as a lecture/discussion series. The group will pick from a list of over 20 topics at the start of the year. These sessions are either delivered by the programme team or with external guests.
Tech Session – Demonstrations and workshops on new and emerging tools and techniques that are tailored to the group’s needs.
Supervision – Group or one-on-one sessions with the supervisor to discuss ongoing research and project work.
Outside of class time, there’s bookable time in the studios and classrooms as well as self-directed study.