MA

Social Impact Documentary Filmmaking

MA Social Impact Documentary Filmmaking teaches the theory and practice of impact filmmaking, aimed at students who are committed to political activism and social change through documentary arts.

This practice-led course provides students with the tools, resources and mentorship, to actively contribute to social transformation using film, media and technology. All phases of Documentary production are taught, including: impact research strategies, producing, directing, camera operating, sound recording and editing.

Programme Overview

  • Research, shoot and edit your own documentary and social impact films
  • Taught by working industry professionals and supported by mentors from the documentary field
  • Free access to equipment and facilities outside of class time
  • Connect with our documentary partners, including, the Bertha Foundation, DocHouse and BritDoc
  • Students pitch their major documentary projects to a panel of industry professionals at the end of the MA programme
  • Progression: Graduates are open to a range of Documentary production routes and opportunities, such as: academic research, commissions from international NGOs, and factual broadcast work in the independent television sectors.

Programme Facts

DURATION:
1 year

START:
October 2020

FEES:
UK/EU £9,900 per year
+ £500 REGISTRATION FEE

International £17,450 per year
+ £500 REGISTRATION FEE

Student Story

MA Social Impact Documentary Filmmaking

The fact that we can mix practical and theoretical aspects so that the things we learn throughout the week we could just apply to directly when we're in the studio. I have tried different roles and scenarios. What I want to do ultimately is direct.

Devika Ghandi,

MA DIRECTING FICTION, PARIS

Course Outline

CREATIVE DOCUMENTARY PRODUCTION 1: TECHNICAL FOUNDATIONS

MODULE1

Introduction to the creative, practical and technical aspects of documentary production. This hands-on production module tackles the practical, technical and aesthetic aspects of professional documentary filmmaking. Lectures and seminars will examine narrative structures, documentary conventions and industry-standard best practice. Students will engage in short-form filmmaking exercises through idea development, pre-production, production through to post production.

BEYOND THE DOCUMENTARY: CREATING SOCIAL IMPACT

MODULE2

This module will provide students with advanced critical and practical skills in understanding the relationship between research methods and social impact filmmaking. The module explores how compelling documentary narratives and well-crafted outreach plans serve as a catalyst for change, and alter entrenched belief systems and behaviours.

CREATIVE DOCUMENTARY PRODUCTION 2: BEYOND LINEAR STORYTELLING

MODULE3

This module challenges conventional approaches to filmmaking and explores the experimental tradition of using film and media as an alternate channel for creative expression, political dissidence, artistic experimentation, environmental protest and technical exploration.

THE BUSINESS OF DOCUMENTARY

MODULE4

Through an understanding of the funding channels for documentary production, students will be able to effectively research, develop, structure and pitch their ideas with potential markets and audiences in mind. This module will also explore the legal framework and ethical standards relevant to documentary filmmakers, both in the UK and internationally.

POSTGRADUATE PROJECT: DOCUMENTARY PRODUCTION OR FEATURE DOCUMENTARY PROPOSAL

MODULE5

Students choose one of two Pathways. 

Pathway 1 offers students the option to focus on advanced research, leading to the production of a non-feature length final documentary project. This may take the form of a documentary series, a short- form high-impact project or any other form of experimental filmmaking that suits the nature of the project’s intended impact. 

Pathway 2 offers students the option to focus on advanced impact research, and the development of a social impact feature documentary project bible. Students create a documentary development package, including a research dossier that justifies the rationale and appropriate impact indicators, a synopsis, treatment, draft budget, distribution and audience engagement strategies and visual supporting materials.

Entry Requirements

  • You will need at least a 2.2 honours degree, in a relevant field, or equivalent industry experience.
  • International students need IELTS 6.0 overall (no less than 5.5 in any band) or equivalent.
  • Applicants for this course will be invited to attend an interview.
  • All applicants must submit a visual portfolio with their application.

Are you an International student?

Fees

Understanding the costs and financing options open to you as you plan your studies will help you to make a wise investment in your future career.

UK/EU

£9,900 per year

(£9,900 / DEGREE) + £500 REGISTRATION FEE

International

£17,450 per year

(£17,450/ DEGREE) + £500 REGISTRATION FEE
  • Tuition fees cover

Actors costs, shooting kit and Production budgets for module exercises. This does not include your Graduation Film for which you will need a budget of approximately £500.

  • Student Loans are available for UK/EU students

of up to £11,222. EU students may also apply for funding from their country of domicile where applicable.

  • Scholarships available

Including scholarships for International Students.

  • Additional costs

A Production hard drive for your work, travel expenses, and Graduation Film budget.

Are you ready to Tell Your Story?

Our Tutors

Fiona lloyd-Davies

“Through my films and images, I try to give a voice to those who frequently go unheard who show us the power of resilience and the human spirit at its best, having endured the worst.“
Fiona has been making documentary films, writing and taking pictures about human rights issues in areas of conflict since 1992, and has worked all over the world from Bosnia, Iraq, Pakistan, to the Democratic Republic of Congo. She’s won a number of awards including two Royal Television Society Awards and has worked for the BBC, Channel 4, ITN, and Al Jazeera throughout her career.

Fiona Lloyd-Davis,

DOCUMENTARY FILMMAKING TUTOR