Film Directing, MA / MFA

  • N/A
    Application Deadline
  • 21 months
    Duration
  • Tuition
    13700
    Tuition (Year)
    6150
    Tuition (Year)
  • English (take IELTS)
    Language
University rank #41 ,
The M.F.A. in Film Directing at The University of Edinburgh combines professional practice elements with workshops and tutorials, for a practice-based approach to movie and documentary directing. The Master’s degree teaches students to tell stories using film language and technical expertise, following key steps in movie production. The course includes an internship at the Edinburgh Film Festival.

About

The Film Directing - MFA programme at The University of Edinburgh takes a project-led, practice-based approach to studying for an MA in Film Directing which integrates analysis of contemporary film practice with practical film making.

Students choose to make a creative documentary or a film which defies genre definition and pushes the boundaries of narrative. We develop these through workshops and tutorials. Our students work within an integrated framework that helps them question the form of their films and enables them to find the right language for their storytelling.

The programme encourages ways of working as a film community that foster the important exchange of ideas, with inspiration from international visiting film makers through Scottish Documentary Institute and support from our team of documentary practicioners. As part of the Skillset Screen Academy Scotland we also offer mentorship within the industry and ensure that all tutors are top professionals. Many of our students already work in the industry and we aim to encourage a fresh approach to emerging technologies.

Graduate films do well internationally regularly winning BAFTAs, RTS Awards and awards at international festivals. Over the last five years students have received an Oscar nomination for an MA film made here and an Oscar shortlist for a film made by a recent graduate. We work closely with the Scottish Documentary Institute, the University’s internationally-acclaimed research centre in documentary film making.

The aim of the Film Directing programmes at ECA is to:

  • challenge boundaries, encourage original thought, and develop intellectual and critical approaches to making films
  • combine the contemporary energy and discipline of current creative approaches to film practices with the professionalism of industry practices, in order to produce innovative and grounded work
  • facilitate the interrelationship between different cultural traditions, traditional and emerging screen technologies, and classical and non-traditional cinematic genres and conventions.
  • provide postgraduate education in film making that constitutes a clear progression from undergraduate education whilst maintaining distinctiveness from industrial training- that gives scope for taking risks
  • foster filmmakers able to work and compete internationally
Career opportunities

Our students go on to a wide range of roles, including producer, director, writer, production or location manager, researcher, editor, assistant director, cinematographer, or journalist. Graduates have found work directing for the BBC and making work internationally for top broadcasters and film funds. Related fields include advertising, community films, academia or film development agencies.

Creative Skillset

MA/MFA Film Directing has been awarded the Creative Skillset Tick, the industry kitemark of quality, following a rigorous assessment process by experts working in the Creative Industries. The Creative Skillset Tick is awarded to practice-based courses which best prepare students for a career in the industry. Screen Academy Scotland is one of only 3 Screen Academies in the UK along with National Film School and London Film School.

Programme Structure

Programme structure

This programme is project-led and delivered through workshops and regular individual tutorials. It integrates practical studio work with theoretical and written studies from the Context department, including professional practice elements.

The first semester is organised round a series of micro-films which lead to a growing awareness of film language and enhancement of technical skills to creatively support filmic vision. Cinematography and sound workshops are delivered by visiting lecturers. Directorial voice is built up also through tutorials in which an idea for a graduating film is developed and evolved. Awareness of current international documentary practice is built through weekly seminars and screenings also supported by Scottish Documentary Institute. This is also to inspire students to push boundaries in their approach to narrative structure and visual language and not to get locked in conventional approaches. We want to encourage bold work that takes risks. At the end of the first semester all students pitch their films using a trailer or short excerpt from their research material. They also develop a treatment with feedback from tutorials.

Semester two is spent preparing and shooting the graduate film and is backed up with edit tutorials as well as project support from weekly meetings with a tutor. Students also receive seminars in production process including contracts.

Semester three is when the film is edited and finished with input from group crits, tutorials. Students also attend or often volunteer with Edinburgh Film Festival and the Edinburgh Pitch in order to observe and engage with key players from the international documentary world through hearing feedback from commissioning editors.

Alongside the ECA learning structure, students also have Professional Practice support and careers mentoring through Screen Academy as well as access to visiting lecturers and a pool of potential collaborators from Screen Academy Napier including the possibility of working with cinematographers, editors and producers.

MFA Duration

  • 21 months

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Full-time duration 21 months
  • Study intensity Full-time
  • Credits
    120 alternative credits
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

English Language Requirements

You only need to take one of these language tests:

  • Minimum required score: 6.5

    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

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  • Minimum required score (Grade B2): 176

    The CAE test – or the Cambridge Advanced English – is an exam for applicants who wish to get a Certificate in Advanced English. To receive the Advanced certificate, test-takers must score between 142 and 210 on the Cambridge English: Advanced test. Read more about CAE.

    Note: degree programmes and applications may require a more specific minimum score for admission.

  • Minimum required score: 92

    The TOEFL – or Test Of English as a Foreign Language – offers an internet-based test (iBT). The final, overall iBT score ranges between 0 and 120, and includes a scaled average from the four components (reading, listening, speaking, and writing). Read more about TOEFL (iBT).

Academic Requirements

You need the following GPA score:

Required score: Upper Second Class

Applicants for graduate programs must have the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree with a minimum GPA equivalent to Upper Second Class on the UK Honour scale. Admitted applicants typically have an undergraduate GPA of or better on the UK Honour scale. No exam grade should be lower than 4.5 (European grade scale) or D (American grade scale).

Your GPA (Grade Point Average) is calculated using the grades that you received in each course, and is determined by the points assigned to each grade (e.g. for the US grading scale from A-F).

Normally a UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent, in a relevant subject area. You should have technical skills in filmmaking and experience in directing.

You must submit a portfolio as part of your application. Your portfolio should:

  • include one finished film in support of your application
  • demonstrate technical skills in filmmaking
  • demonstrate experience in directing

If you do not meet the academic entry requirements, we may still consider your application on the basis of your portfolio and/or relevant professional experience.

Tuition Fee Per Year

  • GBP 13700 International
  • GBP 6150 EU/EEA

MA

  • EEA -  9500 £
  • International - 20100 £

Funding

Scholarships are available.

StudyPortals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

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