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Study Filmmaking Degree in the UK

ACAlpina ChariOct 13, 2023

Filmmaking Degree in the UK

The United Kingdom has a rich and diverse film history that spans over a century. From the early pioneers of cinema to the contemporary masters of storytelling, the UK has produced some of the most influential and acclaimed films and filmmakers in the world. Whether it is the iconic James Bond franchise, the magical Harry Potter series, or the visionary works of Alfred Hitchcock, Christopher Nolan, and Ridley Scott, British cinema has shaped and inspired generations of audiences and filmmakers alike. Pursuing a filmmaking degree in the UK is not only a rewarding and exciting experience but also a timely and relevant one. As the world faces unprecedented challenges and changes, there is a need for creative and critical voices that can reflect, question, and imagine new possibilities through the medium of film. 

The UK film industry is also thriving and resilient, with a record 6.27 billion GBP film and high-end television production spend in 2022, as well as a growing recovery in box office revenues and cinema admissions after the impact of the pandemic.  The UK also offers a variety of educational opportunities for aspiring and established filmmakers, from prestigious film schools and universities to innovative courses and workshops. Studying filmmaking in the UK can provide access to state-of-the-art facilities, cutting-edge technology, diverse talent, and cultural heritage. Moreover, studying filmmaking in the UK can also foster a deeper understanding and appreciation of British film culture, history, and identity. The BFI Filmography, for instance, is a comprehensive and accurate living record of UK cinema from 1911 to 2017, which can serve as a valuable resource for film students, researchers, and enthusiasts.

If you are interested in being a filmmaker, there is no better time than now! Find out the best film schools, programs, tuition, and more. 

Overview of Filmmaking Degree in the UK

No. of Universities  50+
No. of Programs  100+
Duration of Programs  Bachelors: 2-3 years

Master’s: 1 year

Degrees Offered  BA, MA
Tuition Fees (2023/24) 22,000-35,000 GBP

Why Study Filmmaking Degree in the UK? 

Film History and Heritage: The United Kingdom has a rich cinematic history, with a legacy of influential filmmakers, iconic film locations, and a significant contribution to the global film industry.

 World-Class Institutions: The UK is home to many renowned film schools and universities with strong film and media programs. The best universities in the UK for filmmaking are known for their high-quality film education.  

Industry Connections: Many UK film schools and programs have strong connections with the film and television industry. Students often have opportunities to network with industry professionals, attend workshops, and gain practical experience through internships or collaborations.  

Diverse Curriculum: UK film programs often offer a diverse and comprehensive curriculum that covers various aspects of filmmaking, from scriptwriting and directing to cinematography, editing, and sound design. This diversity allows students to explore their interests and develop a well-rounded skill set.  

Access to Equipment and Resources: Many UK film schools provide access to state-of-the-art equipment and facilities, including studios, editing suites, and post-production facilities. This hands-on experience is crucial for developing practical skills.  

Film Festivals and Screenings: The UK hosts numerous film festivals, such as the London and Edinburgh International Film Festivals. These events allow students to showcase their work, gain exposure, and connect with industry professionals.  

Global Perspective: UK film programs often incorporate a global perspective on cinema, exposing students to films and filmmakers from around the world. This broadens their understanding of different cultures and cinematic traditions.  

Career Opportunities: The UK film industry is a significant contributor to the economy, offering a wide range of job opportunities in film production, post-production, distribution, and exhibition. A degree in filmmaking from the UK can open doors to various career paths, including directing, producing, screenwriting, cinematography, and more.  The UK also offers post-study work visas for students to stay back and find work after completion of their degree. Additionally, international students can work and study at the same time during their stay.   

Best Filmmaking Programs in the UK

London Film School 

The London Film School (LFS) is one of the world’s leading postgraduate film institutions, offering MA, Ph.D., and Workshop programs in filmmaking and screenwriting. LFS was founded in 1956 as the London School of Film Technique by Bob Dunbar, Gilchrist Calder, and Donald Alexander. It was the first film school in the UK and one of the first in the world. It has been based in Covent Garden since 1966. LFS is widely recognized as a center of excellence in film education and research. It has a strong international reputation and attracts students from over 60 countries. It is a member of CILECT, the International Association of Film and Television Schools, and NAHEMI, the National Association for Higher Education in the Moving Image. LFS offers a two-year MA Filmmaking program that covers all aspects of filmmaking, from script to screen. Students work on at least six films during the course, exploring different genres, formats, and styles. The program is taught by practicing film professionals and industry experts, who provide mentoring and feedback. The program also provides access to state-of-the-art facilities and equipment, such as Super 16mm film cameras, Arri Alexa digital cameras, sound studios, editing suites, and screening rooms. 

Program Name  Duration of Study  Tuition Fees (2023/24)
MA Filmmaking  2 years  65,638 GBP (Total Tuition)

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London Film Academy 

The London Film Academy is a UK film school situated in Fulham, London. It was founded in 2001 as a non-profit making trust by Anna MacDonald and Daisy Gili, who are still the co-founders and joint principals of the academy. The academy has a reputation for being an inclusive and diverse institution, with students from over 50 countries and a staff of over 40 nationalities.  The MA filmmaking program is a two-year course that covers all aspects of filmmaking, from script to screen. Students work on multiple projects, including a graduation film, and have access to industry-standard equipment and facilities. The academy has also received recognition and awards for its student films at various festivals and competitions, such as the Cannes Film Festival, Raindance Film Festival, BAFTA Student Film Awards, and more. 

Program Name  Duration of Study  Tuition Fees (2023/24)
BA (Hons) Filmmaking  2 years  22,000 GBP
MA Filmmaking  1 year 22,500 GBP

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National Film and Television School 

The National Film and Television School (NFTS) is a prestigious institution that offers education and training in film, television, and games. It was established in 1971 and is based at Beaconsfield Studios. The NFTS was founded as the National Film School by the British Film Institute (BFI) in 1971. The NFTS is widely regarded as one of the best film schools in the world. It has won numerous awards and accolades, including the 2018 BAFTA for Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema and the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education. The school is also a member of CILECT, the international association of film and television schools. The NFTS also awards more scholarships and bursaries to British students than almost any other educational institution in the UK. These include awards from BAFTA, Netflix, Warner Bros., Channel 4, and BBC Films. The School regularly collaborates with leading organizations such as Aardman Animations, Sky Studios, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Disney+, and Amazon Studios to provide masterclasses, placements, mentoring, and commissions for its students. 

Program Name  Duration of Study  Tuition Fees (2023/24)
MA in Film and Television 2 years 26,000 GBP

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MET Film School 

The MET film school is a leading film, television, and online media school that offers undergraduate, postgraduate, and short courses across various craft areas. The school has campuses in London, Berlin, and Leeds. The MET film school was founded in 2003 by Jonny Persey, Luke Montagu, and David Howell. The school is based in Ealing Studios, the oldest continuously working film studio in the world. The school also operates MetFilm Production, MetFilm Sales, MetFilm Features, and ScreenSpace, which are involved in producing, distributing, and financing films and online content. The MET film school is known for its industry-focused and hands-on approach to teaching film and media. The school has strong links with the film and television industry and provides its students with access to professional equipment, facilities, mentors, and opportunities. 

Program Name  Duration of Study  Tuition Fees (2023/24)
BA (Hons) Practical Filmmaking  3 years  61,000 GBP (Total Tuition)
MA Film and Television Production 1 year  23,500 GBP

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Goldsmiths, University of London 

Goldsmiths, University of London is a public research university that specializes in the arts, design, humanities, and social sciences. It is a constituent college of the University of London and has a campus in New Cross, London. The Screen School is a film school that offers a range of MA programs in filmmaking, script writing, film and screen studies, and media arts. It is part of the Department of Media, Communications, and Cultural Studies at Goldsmiths. The Screen School was established in 2016 as a new initiative to provide a next-generation film school that gives critical context and empowers students to be at the cutting edge of new work and new developments in the fast-changing sector of screen media. The Screen School has a strong reputation for its innovative and interdisciplinary approach to screen media, combining theory and practice, creativity and criticality, and exploring the social, cultural, political, and aesthetic dimensions of film and screen studies. Some of the notable alumni of the Screen School include filmmakers such as Steve McQueen, Sam Taylor-Johnson, Asif Kapadia, Lynne Ramsay, Andrea Arnold, Rungano Nyoni, and Joanna Hogg. The filmmaking program at the Screen School is structured around four pathways: Directing Fiction, Directing Documentary, Producing, and Screen Documentary. Each pathway is designed to equip students with the skills, knowledge, and experience to pursue their chosen career in the screen industry.

Program Name  Duration of Study  Tuition Fees (2023/24)
MA Filmmaking  1 year  26,840 GBP

Admission Requirements for Filmmaking Degree in the UK

Bachelor’s Degree in Filmmaking:  

  • A high school diploma or equivalent qualifications.  
  • Many filmmaking programs require a portfolio that showcases your creativity and filmmaking skills. This portfolio may include short films, screenplays, or other relevant creative work.  
  • A well-written personal statement that explains your passion for filmmaking and your reasons for wanting to study it at the university. 
  • If English is not your first language, you may be required to provide proof of English language proficiency through tests like IELTS (6.0-7.0) or TOEFL(90-100).  

Master’s Degree in Filmmaking:  

  • A relevant bachelor’s degree is typically required. Some programs may accept students from various backgrounds, but a background in film, media, or a related field is often preferred.  
  • You will need to submit your academic transcripts from your undergraduate degree.  
  • A strong portfolio that demonstrates your filmmaking skills and creativity is crucial for a master’s in filmmaking application.  
  • If English is not your first language, you may be required to provide proof of English language proficiency through tests like IELTS (6.0-7.0) or TOEFL(90-100).  
  • Many master’s programs require letters of recommendation from professors or professionals who can vouch for your qualifications and potential in the field.  
  • A well-written personal statement that outlines your career goals and reasons for pursuing a master’s degree in filmmaking.  
  • Some programs may require an interview as part of the admission process to discuss your goals and aspirations in filmmaking. 

Career Opportunities for Filmmaking Graduates in the UK 

Filmmaking graduates in the UK have a wide array of career opportunities to explore in the dynamic world of the film and media industry. They can work as directors, cinematographers, film editors, screenwriters, or producers. The industry also offers opportunities in film marketing, distribution, and film festivals, enabling graduates to engage with diverse aspects of film promotion and exhibition. Moreover, positions in the rapidly evolving field of digital media, including web content creation and streaming platforms, are on the rise, allowing filmmakers to adapt their skills to the digital age. Film education and academia are other avenues for those who wish to teach or conduct research. Overall, a filmmaking degree equips graduates with the creative, technical, and storytelling skills to thrive in a multifaceted industry. 

According to Glassdoor, the average salary for a filmmaker is 38,611 GBP per year in the UK. However, this can vary widely depending on the type and budget of the film. For example, a filmmaker working on a Hollywood blockbuster can earn way more than a filmmaker working on an independent or documentary film.

Conclusion

In conclusion, a filmmaking degree in the UK can be a valuable and rewarding investment for those who are passionate about the art and craft of cinema. A filmmaking degree can provide the necessary skills, knowledge, and experience to pursue a career in various aspects of the film industry, such as directing, producing, editing, cinematography, sound design, and more. A filmmaking degree can also open up opportunities for networking and collaboration with other filmmakers, as well as access to funding and distribution channels. However, a filmmaking degree is not a guarantee of success or income in this competitive and dynamic field. A filmmaker must also have a strong portfolio, a creative vision, a hard-working attitude, and a willingness to adapt and learn from feedback and challenges. A filmmaker must also be aware of the market trends and audience preferences, as well as the legal and ethical issues involved in filmmaking. Moreover, you need to be careful while selecting a program and a film school, due to the sheer abundance of options in the UK. As such it’s important to make an informed decision considering factors such as living expenses, scholarships, student visa, etc Find out more about the variety of filmmaking degrees in the UK at Gyanberry. Book your free video call appointment now!

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Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, there are scholarships available for filmmaking degrees in the UK. They are mainly offered by governmental institutions, while others by private organizations and universities.

The average annual tuition fee for a filmmaking degree in the UK is around 22,000-35,000 GBP for international students. 

Filmmaking graduates in the UK have a wide array of career opportunities to explore in the dynamic world of the film and media industry. They can work as directors, cinematographers, film editors, screenwriters, or producers. The industry also offers opportunities in film marketing, distribution, and film festivals, enabling graduates to engage with diverse aspects of film promotion and exhibition.

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