Film Making MA

Why choose this course?

This course examines the principles of short form film-making, the potential of visual storytelling and the importance of sound, lighting and screenplay.

You will produce a portfolio to show your technical ability in cinematography, sound recording, editing, writing and direction across several short films. You will develop skills such as critical thinking, character and narrative development, and post-production. 

The course focuses on the collaborative nature of film-making and the sharing of non-mainstream stories. It is inspired by productions that have challenged conformity.

Portfolio and application advice

Mode Duration Attendance Start date
Full time 1 year 1-4 days a week September 2024
Part time 2 years 1-4 days a week September 2024
Main location Penrhyn Road

Reasons to choose Kingston University

  • At Kingston you can experience a variety of production roles, finding your specialism through practice.
  • You will use high-definition 4K digital cinema cameras, DSLRs and Macs running Adobe Premiere and Creative Cloud. There are 8mm and 16mm cameras for exploring analogue film.*
  • Our alumni include award-winning filmmakers, whose films have been shown at the Sheffield Documentary Film Festival, London Short Film Festival and London Design Biennale.

*Students may be required to cover additional costs, such as stock and processing costs.

The Art School Experience

As part of Kingston School of Art, students on this course benefit from joining a creative community where collaborative working and critical practice are encouraged.

Our workshops and studios are open to all disciplines, enabling students and staff to work together, share ideas and explore multi-disciplinary making.

Two students collaborate on a design project.

What you will study

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. The course focuses on the collaborative nature of the film making process and sharing stories from communities outside the mainstream.

You'll be expected to complete 180 credits across five modules, including a film making dissertation.


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.

Core modules

Film Making 1

30 credits

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 organisational and mixing skills are developed in order to refine the raw material during the crucial editing phases. 

Film Making 2

30 credits

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. 

Film Making 3 (Dissertation)

60 credits

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.

Film Writing

30 credits

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 analysing 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.

Sound and Vision

30 credits

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 software 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 conceptualise sound for our work as filmmakers, 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.

Entry requirements

Typical offer

We usually expect applicants to have:

  • A 2:2 honours degree in an art and design or humanities subject (film, media studies, languages, history, English, etc) or in any other subject relating to the art and craft of film making.
  • Applicants with academic qualifications in other subjects, or relevant work experience, will be considered on an individual basis.
  • A portfolio of work reflecting your experience and skills will be requested of you after the application has been submitted.

Portfolio guidance

We would like to understand more about you and your practice, as well as your aptitude and motivations for studying on this course. We will be reviewing your portfolio with four key values in mind: questioning, curiosity, technical ability, and enthusiasm. Your portfolio should demonstrate these values through your strengths, abilities and experiences in film making or related disciplines. We are looking for your potential to succeed on the course and welcome applications from those with diverse experiences or educational backgrounds.

Your portfolio should include:

  • A selection of your practical work, such as links to short films, or clips of longer works you have made (no longer than 10 minutes of a longer work).
  • If you don't have a filmmaking portfolio, we are happy to look at photography work – please see requirements below.
  • A written personal statement (up to 300 words) or a link to a video of yourself, which answers the following questions: 
    1. Which films and film makers are you inspired by and why?
    2. What kind of films do you want to make / stories do you want to tell, and why?
    3. What film making experience do you have? What are your strengths, and in which areas would you like to improve at Kingston?
    4. Which role in film making do you most want to develop and why?

Digital portfolio format requirements:

  • Moving image works should be uploaded to Vimeo, YouTube or other video-sharing platforms  please supply these links in your portfolio and make sure they are active and work on all platforms.
  • We need to know what role you played on these films, so please include the film titles and your production role at the bottom of your personal statement.
  • Photography portfolios should be 15-20 pages, landscape orientation and saved/uploaded as a print-based or interactive PDF file. Include project titles and a brief description of each project explaining your intentions and your individual involvement if presenting a group project. Ensure that images are of a high quality and at least 72 dpi.

Prior learning - AP(E)L

Applicants with prior qualifications and learning may be exempt from appropriate parts of a course in accordance with the University's policy for the assessment of prior learning and prior experiential learning. Contact the faculty office for further information.


All non-UK applicants must meet our English language requirement, which is Academic IELTS of 6.5 overall, with no element below 5.5. Make sure you read our full guidance about English language requirements, which includes details of other qualifications we consider.

Applicants who do not meet the English language requirements could be eligible to join our pre-sessional English language course.

Applicants from recognised majority-English-speaking countries (MESCs) do not need to meet these requirements.

Country-specific information

You will find more information on country specific entry requirements in the International section of our website.

Find your country:

Teaching and assessment

You'll be assessed through film projects, production portfolios, screenplays and critical analysis essays.

Guided independent study (self-managed time)

When not attending timetabled sessions, you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. This typically involves reading and analysing articles, regulations, policy documents and key texts, documenting individual projects, preparing coursework assignments and completing your PEDRs, etc.

Your independent learning is supported by a range of excellent facilities including online resources, the library and CANVAS, the University's online virtual learning platform.

Support for postgraduate students

At Kingston University, we know that postgraduate students have particular needs and therefore we have a range of support available to help you during your time here.

Your workload

Year 1: 15% of your time is spent in timetabled learning and teaching activity.

Contact hours may vary depending on your modules.

Type of teaching and learning

Type of teaching and learning
  • Scheduled learning and teaching: 264 hours
  • Guided independent study (self-managed time): 1536 hours

How you will be assessed

Assessment typically comprises short films with accompanying critical analysis essays and screenplays, film projects, production portfolios, critical analysis essays, and presentations.

The approximate percentage for how you will be assessed on this course is as follows:

  • 100% coursework, of which 75% practical

Type of assessment

Type of assessment
  • Coursework: 100%

Feedback summary

We aim to provide feedback on assessments within 20 working days.

Class sizes

To give you an indication of class sizes, this course normally enrols 35 students and lecture sizes are normally 35. However this can vary by academic year.

Who teaches this course?

This course is delivered by Kingston School of Art. You'll be taught by members of staff who are practising film making and visual artists with extensive research, which keeps your learning cutting-edge.

Learning takes place in classroom-based seminars, tutorials and lectures, alongside site visits to museums, galleries, auction houses and other creative professional environments.

Our students are encouraged to engage closely with the diverse businesses that make London one of the most important centres for the creative industries. Our industry connections mean we provide unique study opportunities, such as:

  • the chance to have your work seen by eminent members of your profession;
  • 'live' projects, site visits and placements in prestigious companies or institutions; and
  • project work and workshops with visiting lecturers and industry specialists.

Our excellent reputation means that industry leaders regularly visit our student shows to see the best of the new talent.

Fees for this course

2025/26 fees for this course

Home 2025/26

  • MA full time £13,500
  • MA part time £7,425

International 2025/26

  • MA full time £20,700
  • MA part time £11,385

2024/25 fees for this course

Home 2024/25

  • MA full time £12,900
  • MA part time £7,095

International 2024/25

  • MA full time £19,900
  • MA part time £10,945

Scholarships and bursaries

Kingston University offers a range of postgraduate scholarships, including:

If you are an international student, find out more about scholarships and bursaries.

We also offer the following discounts for Kingston University alumni:

Additional costs

Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs that are not covered by tuition fees which students will need to consider when planning their studies. Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessment and operating University facilities such as the library, access to shared IT equipment and other support services. Accommodation and living costs are not included in our fees. 

Where a course has additional expenses, we make every effort to highlight them. These may include optional field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering), security checks such as DBS, uniforms, specialist clothing or professional memberships.


Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. You may prefer to buy your own copy of key textbooks, this can cost between £50 and £250 per year.

Computer equipment

There are open-access networked computers available across the University, plus laptops available to loan. You may find it useful to have your own PC, laptop or tablet which you can use around campus and in halls of residences. Free WiFi is available on each of the campuses. You may wish to purchase your own computer, which can cost £100 to £3,000 depending on your course requirements.

Photocopying and printing

In the majority of cases written coursework can be submitted online. There may be instances when you will be required to submit work in a printed format. Printing, binding and photocopying costs are not included in your tuition fees, this may cost up to £100 per year.


Travel costs are not included in your tuition fees but we do have a free intersite bus service which links the campuses, Surbiton train station, Kingston upon Thames train station, Norbiton train station and halls of residence.

Materials and equipment

In order to help you budget, the information below indicates the materials and equipment that are not covered by your tuition fees. Please note that these are approximate costs which vary each year and with every student depending on the project.

  • Your own chosen art materials and equipment: £50 per year
  • USB drive: £25
  • Headphones (optional): £25
  • Super 8 film (optional): £100
  • Film production costs: £100-£500 depending on film

External hard drive

You will need to purchase an external hard drive (approximately £200 depending on model) that can handle high definition video, with sufficient storage and is compatible with Kingston School of Art's editing environment. 

You will need the hard drive by the second week of commencing the course. Please seek advice by email from tutors or technical staff before making your selection.


There is a wide range of facilities at our Penrhyn Road campus, where this course is based. You will have access to a modern environment with the latest equipment, including our specialist film and media labs, equipped with iMacs running software including the Adobe Creative Suite.

Students also have access to a film studio facility with backgrounds and green wall, as well as a fully equipped audio recording facility running Logic Pro and Pro Tools.

Resources in London

Kingston is just a 30-minute train journey from central London. Here you can access a wealth of film-related resources, including:

  • specialist cinemas – such as the National Film Theatre and the IMAX cinema;
  • organisations such as the British Film Institute (BFI); and
  • film festivals – including the annual Raindance Film Festival and events run by the BFI.

Links with business and industry

There are always interesting activities taking place at Kingston and exciting opportunities to take advantage of.

The range of events and lectures in Kingston School of Art enhances your studies and adds an extra perspective to your learning.

Events include:

  • graduation screening at The Curzon, Soho in 2019
  • graduation screening at the BFI in 2020
  • film screenings – Dr Mitchell Panayis' feature documentary, We Ain't Stupid, was filmed over a four-year period as part of his PhD entitled The Endz Game: The Impact of the London 2012 Olympics on the Communities of the Host Boroughs (awarded 2015). In April 2019, Mitch screened his film and then hosted a panel Q&A with colleagues from filmmaking and sociology.
Poster for a past MA Film Making event

After you graduate

This film making MA will equip you for lifelong film making and learning. It prepares you with techniques to sustain a film making practice beyond university for:

  • employment within the film industry or as an independent film maker
  • further study.

The core skills will enable you to produce films in an independent, pragmatic and accountable manner. This will enhance your employability and begin the process of making you a genuinely independent filmmaker in command of your own material.

MA film making graduates have gone on to work in the film industry in roles such as:

  • independent filmmaker
  • film festival programmer;
  • assistant editor, production design (Poldark, Prometheus & Doctor Strange);
  • key grip (BBC films and Netflix's The Crown);
  • sound recordist on independent features;
  • director (web series Mandem on the Wall and TV series Law Cats);
  • editor, producer, script reader and script editor;
  • 1st assistant camera;
  • script supervisor;
  • film festival programmer (founders of Kingston Film Festival).

Most recently, one of our graduates, Pablo Romero-Fresco, has published a book on Accessible Filmmaking, about filmmaking and translation for deaf, blind and in terms of language. He mentions the course in the acknowledgements. The Routledge publication has strong reviews from Ken Loach and Mike Dibb (director, Ways of Seeing). Pablo made his graduation film in Kibera, Kenya about a girls' football school with classmates from the course.

Mariam Majid's 2019 graduation film A Night with Noor Jehan went on to win the LGBTQ category of the Leeds International Film Festival.

Graduates have also established themselves as independent filmmakers, exhibiting their films at the East End Film Festival, Tate Britain and have had projects commissioned by the Home Office, Tate, E4 and Film London.

They've also progressed on to do PhDs in film making in the department with projects including:

  • The Endz Game: The impact of the London 2012 Olympics on the communities of the host boroughs
  • The Black Market: An application of the Sound System model to Independent Filmmaking
  • Floating Home: A Journey of Taiwanese Identity in the UK.

We have an international cohort of alumni, with graduates coming from: America, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Cameroon, Chile, China, Colombia, Cuba, Cyprus, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Lebanon, Mongolia, Nepal, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Portugal, Romania, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Thailand, Turkey, the UK and Venezuela.

What our students say

Don't just take our word for it – here's what students say about what it's like to study at Kingston University. A selection of Kingston University students spoke about the film making MA and what they gained from the course.

What our students and graduates say

For me being a student at Kingston University was one of the best experiences that I have had so far in my academic careers.

The course provided me the fundamental knowledge in understanding storytelling in film making and how important the collaboration between students and also other people who are willing to create compelling stories through film making are.

What I really liked about the course was the help and support that we had throughout the year from our teachers, the atmosphere and enthusiasm for the success of your students. With that being said one of the best experiences was how we created amazingly strong relationships with other students that are from all over the world. Having that bond with other students helped me learn more in depth whether it was by asking for help but also giving my support and knowledge where it was needed or when it was asked and that made the entire experience unforgettable.

Konstantinos Yiakoumi

Kingston's film making MA is very practical. I learned so much about cinematography, lighting, directing and so on.

It gave me film knowledge and opportunities to make films and develop my own style.

I have to say Kingston provided us with very high-level film equipment.

The film writing module gave me time to write and rewrite my screenplay. A good script cannot be good without rewriting and rethinking.

Chao Lu

I am currently on the film making MA and planning a PhD.

I am motivated by the idea that everyone should be represented in cinema. This belief guides both my theoretical enquiries and my whole approach to practice.

As a continuing student, I value Kingston's film department because I feel part of a genuine community of scholars and practitioners.

I can get support and ideas from anyone in the department, not just my supervisors. Everyone is a resource, with an eclectic and invigorating range of specialist expertise.

Freddie Osborne

Course changes and regulations

The information on this page reflects the currently intended course structure and module details. To improve your student experience and the quality of your degree, we may review and change the material information of this course. Course changes explained.

Programme Specifications for the course are published ahead of each academic year.

Regulations governing this course can be found on our website.