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Film Making MA

Mode Duration Attendance Start date
Full time 1 year 1-4 days a week September 2020
Part time 2 years 1-4 days a week September 2020

Choose Kingston's Film Making MA

This course will enable you to develop film production skills with digital equipment and the opportunity to use analogue equipment, as well as knowledge of the theories of contemporary cinema. The focus is placed firmly on developing clear and simple storytelling techniques that go beyond arbitrary formal categorisations of drama, documentary or genre.

The course takes its inspiration from forms of cultural production that have challenged conformity, including the work of artists, musicians, painters and performers, and the movements of Italian neo-realism and the cinemas of Africa, Latin America, South East Asia and the Middle East.

Key features

  • This course encourages you to synthesise your personal experience, critical knowledge and craft skills to express yourself through moving pictures.
  • You will be taught film making theory and practice together through practical workshops.
  • Staff on this course are practising filmmakers.
  • The course is informed by practice and research in neo-realist cinema, storytelling, participative documentary and underground cinema.

What will you study?

You will study the basic principles of film making, develop an understanding of the nature and potential of visual storytelling, and discover the importance of sound, lighting and the screenplay. You will also gain a sound knowledge of theories and ideas that can help in the interpretation of your own work and that of other filmmakers. You will produce a portfolio of moving-image projects to illustrate your technical ability in cinematography, sound recording, editing and writing/direction. At the heart of the course is an emphasis on developing visual storytelling and vivid characters through script development.

You will be able to use high-definition 4K digital cinema cameras, DSLRs and Macs running Adobe Premier and Creative Cloud to apply classical and independent principles with contemporary technology. Traditional film (8mm and 16m), cameras are also available to explore analogue forms of film making (students who wish to use our analogue cameras will have to cover their own stock and processing costs). The course focuses on the collaborative nature of the film making process and sharing stories from communities outside the mainstream. 


Film projects, production portfolios, critical analysis essays, and presentations.

Course structure

Please note that this is an indicative list of modules and is not intended as a definitive list.

Core modules

  • Film Making 1 introduces the basic principles of film making through the three phases of pre-production, production; and post-production. It is particularly aimed at students who have a high level of visual literacy but limited practical film making experience. The module utilises the tools of digital film making technology. These tools have operating systems that are broadly similar to the wide range of communication devices most students are already familiar with and this similarity is used to ease them into becoming comfortable with equipment.  Links are then identified with the classical techniques of film making that have remained consistent across the analogue and digital periods. In pre-production clarity and simplicity of describing action are fostered to communicate complex ideas with a production team. In production, focus and attention to technical detail provide quality raw material. During post-production organizational and mixing skills are developed in order to refine the raw material during the crucial editing phases. 

  • This module will build on the experience gained in the modules in teaching block 1 and provide instruction in non-fiction film making techniques at an intermediate level, drawing on classical and experimental modes of documentary practice to allow students to make a short non-fiction film in small groups.

    Practical demonstrations in documentary film making techniques will be accompanied by a series of lectures/seminars on the evolution and ethical dimensions of documentary practice and contemporary modes of non-fiction film making. 

  • This module places a direct focus upon light weight, mobile production techniques, underlining the relation between technology/budget and aesthetics. The central principle is the inherent nature of film making as a collaborative art form, providing an opportunity for the genuine expression of individual ideas and a forum for the development of unique voices.
    You will apply the skills developed in previous modules to plan and produce a substantial final film project, as a culmination of the masters programme. You will be expected to synthesise your critical viewing experience, technical aptitudes, and critical faculties in writing, filming and editing to produce a film of broadcast quality. Support will be provided through production and practical problem-solving workshops, intensive editing classes. You will be encouraged to critical reflect and self-evaluate their progress throughout the project.

  • This module foregrounds the critical importance of a clear understanding of the specific nature of writing for moving image productions. It develops an appreciation of the craft and art of presenting factual and fictional stories in a genuinely cinematic style and develops a facility in the technique of producing original and adapted screenplays.

    By analyzing the historical development of the form, an awareness of the principles of screen writing is introduced and then developed through a series of intensive group-based and individual exercises in seminars and supporting workshops. Students are taken through the various forms of screenwriting - the draft screenplay, the treatment, the step-outline, the synopsis, the script, the shooting script, the schedule and the pitch in a series of practical exercises that culminate in the submission and presentation of an original screenplay or documentary script.


    This module enables students to communicate their visual and aural ideas in a coherent manner using technology to design, capture and display sound and cinematography.

    As filmmakers we produce meaning for the viewer by creating a blend of images and sounds, which generate emotional and intellectual responses.  Clarity of communication and transmission of meaning are the two greatest challenges facing any filmmaker.  Through combining cinematography, sound, and editing we will explore the technical and historical processes that enable us to explore and produce images that viewers can perceive and understand.

    Vision – Cinematography

    We will explore the theory and practice of motion picture photography.  The term Photography is used in the most comprehensive sense to include the principles of stills photography, cinematography (moving images captured on film) and videography (moving images recorded electronically and stored on hard or soft ware of various forms including tape, memory cards, and drives).  As a result the module provides a grounding in the principles which inform the range of techniques applied in recording images of the actions and events that take place in the world and encourages students to learn through their own practice and experimentation supported by modular tutors.

    Sound – Sound Recording & Design

    We will provide practical instruction in the use of sound technology.  It will encourage the application of knowledge and experience to the production of a film sound design. This will be done by foregrounding the development of skills in using sound to tell stories and create atmosphere. The module will also explore the use of music and of sound design both practically and creatively.

     It is also our intention to spend time simply listening.  We wish to reflect on soundscapes, found sound, chance encounters with sound; as well as developing the ability to conceptualize sound for our work as film makers, from script to distribution, making the visual and aural interpretations of our sound world a much richer experience.  We will work intensely on Film Sound Design and by the end of this part of the module all participants will have a greater knowledge both theoretical and practical of the things that go bump in the night.


You will have the opportunity to study a foreign language, free of charge, during your time at the University as part of the Kingston Language Scheme. Options currently include: Arabic, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

We aim to ensure that all courses and modules advertised are delivered. However in some cases courses and modules may not be offered. For more information about why, and when you can expect to be notified, read our Changes to Academic Provision.

Regulations governing this course are available here

Details of term dates for this course can be found here

Contact our admissions team

Submit an enquiry

020 3308 9930*

*Calls cost 7p per minute from a UK landline plus your phone company's access charge. Calls to this number from mobiles are normally deductible from your inclusive minutes.


This course is taught at Penrhyn Road

View Penrhyn Road on our Google Maps

Contact our admissions team

Submit an enquiry

020 3308 9930*

*Calls cost 7p per minute from a UK landline plus your phone company's access charge. Calls to this number from mobiles are normally deductible from your inclusive minutes.


This course is taught at Penrhyn Road

View Penrhyn Road on our Google Maps
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