Award: MA Film Production


Locations: Bristol Old Vic Theatre School - Operating on two specialist teaching sites (Christchurch Studios and Downside Road) and working on location across various venues and sites around Bristol.

Awarding body: University of the West of England (UWE)

Students who complete the course successfully will receive a masters level degree from the University of the West of England (UWE). The agreement between the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and the University of the West of England is reviewed every five years for developmental purposes and was last renewed in 2016.

Duration: 1 year (38 weeks)

Academic year: Full-time course: 24th September 2018 – 12th July 2019

“All applications are made direct to UCAS Conservatoires.”

Course Fees Term Dates Policies & Procedures

Entry requirements 2018-19

All applicants meet the University’s minimum qualifications for admission, except where age, experience and alternative qualifications are contributory factors. The selection process is entirely through interview and a previous body of work.

The Masters programme is primarily aimed at students with previous training and/or professional creative industries experience. Students would be expected to have a understanding of the process of film production and would be seeking an additional advanced level of training within the specialist area of drama production.

They should have given considerable thought to their specific area of interest prior to applying for the course (directing, editing, producing, camera, and sound) and whilst focusing during their training on a specific area will acquire a range of allied knowledge and skills across the area of film production.

Suitably qualified students or those with an extensive body of moving image work will be considered for interview

Course overview

This specialist programme will enable students to develop advanced knowledge and skills in film production, developing through the course a career specialism in directing, editing, production, camera or sound production.

The programme is distinctive as students will learn and study within the complex and immersive environment of a conservatoire drama school, with substantial access to highly talented acting students and the industry-standard facilities required of this high level vocational training. The skills and experience gained in their chosen area of specialism will enable them to seek employment in the professional film, television and independent film production industry on successful completion of the course.

The course will run for 38 weeks and recruitment will be limited to five students. Each will develop their own distinct specialism within a production team (director, editor, producer, camera, sound production) and they will work together as a unit across four of the five core modules.

These modules are:

1. Moving Image Production

2. Drama Production for the Small Screen

3. Short Film Production (Client-led Film)

4. Short Film Production (Drama)

5. Preparation for Working in the Film Industry

The fifth module is taken individually through a specialist industry placement related to the student’s designated specialism.

The overall aims of the programme are:

• To enable students to develop specific technical and project management skills in film production, primarily drama;

• To enable students to learn skills in leadership and creative problem-solving;

• To enable students to develop a specialism within the key areas of film production (directing, editing, producing, camera, sound production)

• To develop a high level of personal, social and environmental responsibility in working to professional schedules, disciplines and practice, including risk assessment and carbon emission reduction.

• To provide experience and build confidence to engage with industry professionals and develop their career management skills;

A copy of the rules and regulations governing the course is available consult the BOVTS policies and procedures page.

Module map

This module map provides a list of the modules that make up your course.

Each module is worth a specified number of credits, enabling you to cover key subject knowledge while developing your own interests.

  • Module Number: UAMN96-30-M, Module Name: Moving Image Production
  • Module Number: UAMN97-45-M, Module Name: Drama Production for the Small Screen
  • Module Number: UAMN98-45-M, Module Name: Short Film Production – Client-led Film
  • Module Number: UAMN99-45-M, Module Name: Short Film Production – Drama
  • Module Number: UAMNA5-15-M, Module Name: Preparation for work in the Film Industry

Optional Modules: There are no optional modules for this award

Interim Awards: PG Cert Film Production (60 Credits), PG Dip Film Production (120 Credits)

Credit requirements: 180 credits from the above modules for MA Film Production

Award: MA Film Production

Teaching and Learning

Students learn within a conservatoire environment in which they are regarded as professionals in training. At this Masters level in Film Production, there is an expectation that they will develop a high level of problem solving skills, engage at an advanced level of critical evaluation of their practice and acquire the creative thinking required of film makers working in a practical, complex creative and employment-focused environment.

Students are immersed in this challenging environment, which demands great attention to detail, independent thinking, and collaborative working combined with diplomatic negotiating and leadership skills.

The programme is practical and career focused. It is integrated with the school’s other programmes during productions, as well as within the professional environment. The programme features a high level of one-to-one teaching by specialist professionals.

The learning is immersive and singular in its focus on high level specialist professional employability as a main learning outcome.

The learning is intensive with students taught and supervised by teaching staff at least 30 hours per week across the 38 weeks of the programme.

Academic and Student Support

The programme is structured incrementally to develop a student’s confidence and expertise in their chosen career specialism. By working as an integrated film production team, the five students work through four film production modules exploring different genres of filming drama to specific briefs. Supported at all times by appropriate specialist staff, they are under the overall supervision of the Head of Film Production.

Each module demands that the students explore the creative, technical and logistical requirements of the project brief to meet the artistic and practical demands of the director or client. To achieve the required end point to the given project, students will need to act with initiative, often working in new and unfamiliar contexts, learning to accept full responsibility for their own individual and collective decisions.

BOVTS is a creative community within which students can explore their own ideas collectively as a gestalt; working as an effective film unit, the whole can be greater than the sum of its parts. Learning on such a programme and in such a community provides space for shared responsibility and shared (and individual) reflection within a safe professional environment.

Students are based at BOVTS’ Christchurch Studios in Portland Street, Clifton, Bristol. This site is the School’s centre for recorded media housing the Film and TV department (BOVTV) with dedicated spaces for film and audio recording, post-production facilities (video/audio editing), specialist equipment storage, teaching/rehearsal space and film production office. Students will plan and prepare for filmed projects whilst most of the actual filming will take place on location at a range of sites selected according to the specific requirement of the script and the production.

Students have access to the School’s Student Support Manager and other administrative services based at BOVTS’ Downside Road site.

As part of the Conservatoire for Dance and Drama (CDD), the School is committed to selecting, training and supporting students, regardless of ethnicity, gender, disability, age, sexual orientation or religion.

Applicants to CDD schools are chosen solely on the basis of their talent and potential to develop the skills required for their chosen profession. The School does, however, judge applicants on their suitability for a course and their potential to successfully complete the training, as the work is rigorous and requires high levels of energy and commitment.

Student Support on the programmes at the School covers a variety of areas such as support for disabled students, academic support, student finance and health and welfare.

Julia Heeley, Student Support Manager, is able to answer queries about support available for disabled applicants/students. Her email address is and she can also be reached by telephone on 0117 980 9247.

Our Academic and Student Support services team provides help in the following areas:

Support for students with disabilities including specific learning difficulties In our admissions process, we are committed to supporting students with disabilities.

Disabled students are encouraged to disclose their support requirements so that we can endeavour to meet them during the audition process and subsequent training.

The School welcomes all students regardless of disability. It is our aim to provide appropriate support so that all students are able to achieve their full potential.

Students with a disability will be provided with advice and support from the Student Support Manager. If you have a disability or specific learning difficulty we recommend you contact her either prior to starting your course or during your first few weeks at the School to discuss any support requirements you may have.

This may include support resulting from disabilities such as sensory impairment, learning difficulties such as dyslexia or dyspraxia or mental health difficulties.

We recognise that everyone is an individual and we will work with students to identify potential barriers to training and do what we can to remove those barriers. We will also make any necessary reasonable adjustments, to ensure that disabled students can train at the School.

Quickscan screening

At the School we put a great deal of emphasis on supporting students during their time with us.

We are aware that nationally there is a very high proportion of students with Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLDs) e.g. dyslexia or dyspraxia, in institutions which specialise in art, design or the performing arts.

During your first week, the School encourages all students to take a short questionnaire known as QuickScan which has proved to be a useful piece of screening software for students and staff across the CDD Schools. It takes the form of an on-line, easy to navigate, questionnaire which will help to identify your learning style and specific areas of learning strengths and weaknesses. It is used in conjunction with other indicators, including student disclosure (as part of the interview and registration process), tutor feedback on practical and written work, and students expressing their concerns and any support requirements which may become apparent during their studies.

Disabled Student Allowance (DSA)

UK students with disabilities (including Specific Learning Difficulties and long-term Mental Health conditions) can apply for the Disabled Students Allowance (DSA)

DSA usually provides support for students with the specialist equipment and tools necessary to support you with your studies, including software, hardware and study skills support. Unlike a student loan, DSA does not have to be repaid. However, it is rarely awarded in the form of financial support.

Applications are made through, Student Finance England (SFE), Student Finance Wales (SFW), or Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS).

In order to apply for DSA, Student Finance will require evidence of any impairment or disability. This may take the form of a doctor’s or specialist’s letter or, more often, a report from an Educational Psychologist (Diagnostic Assessment Report).

If you require a Diagnostic Assessment from an Educational Psychologist, the Student Support Manager can arrange this for you and can guide you through the process.

Personal Academic Support

Various staff members at the School can help in different ways if you need academic support. If you need help with the content of classes or assessment work, you can ask the relevant head of course, tutor or your pastoral care tutor for an appointment or you can ask the Student Support Manager to arrange a tutorial with the relevant member of staff on your behalf. If you make an appointment, you can prepare for the meeting and discuss your concerns away from class. Heads of courses, modules leaders and individual tutors can all help you with understanding aspects of your training and can offer overall guidance or advice about your programme of study.

Study skills (including reading, note-taking and presentation skills)

Study skills support is usually arranged for students who have been awarded support through Disabled Student Allowance (DSA). However, the Student Support Manager will be happy to arrange one to one study skills support for you if deemed appropriate and necessary.

Mental Health And Wellbeing

Schools within the CDD recognise the challenges faced by students entering higher education and that training in a conservatoire institution can place great demands on a student both physically and emotionally. The CDD has published a leaflet aimed to help students identify signs of mental distress and where to go for support: click this text to go to the CDD website in a new tab


The School has a student therapy and counselling service,¬¬ which is organised and staffed by accredited, registered psychotherapists and counsellors and is there to help with any more deep-seated personal problems on which pastoral tutors are not qualified to advise. If students wish to have an initial assessment with a therapist or counsellor, they should contact the School’s Student Support Manager. A strict professional code of confidentiality is always maintained.

Student welfare and pastoral care

We actively encourage students to develop a pro-active and positive approach to their own ‘wellness’. We are preparing professionals to enter physically and mentally challenging professions and we work to enable students to sustain a physically and mentally healthy lifestyle.

Every student is assigned a pastoral tutor who monitors they progress throughout the year in addition to having access to the Student Support Manager. All students have tutorials with their head of course, head of year or allocated pastoral care tutor in which non-teaching issues can be discussed. A confidential tutorial can be requested of any member of the full-time teaching staff on your course.

In addition, BOVTS students have access to UWE’s Student Wellbeing Service, details of which can be found at:

click this text to go to the UWE Wellbeing website in a new tab UWE Wellbeing Service, 3F Reception, UWE, Frenchay Campus, Coldharbour Lane, Bristol, BS16 1QY Tel: +44 (0)117 32 86268 E-mail:

For further information on support which the School offers, please see the Guide to Student Support which can be found at: click this text to go to the guide in a new tab

You can also find additional information for disabled applicants and students at all Conservatoire for Dance and Drama affiliated Schools here: click this text to go to the CDD website in a new tab

Teaching staff

You will be taught by an experienced teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course. The team includes the Head of Film & Television and visiting professional filmmakers either delivering master classes or acting a mentors during productions. The programme features a high level of one-to-one teaching by specialist professionals and work is realised for professional standards. Students are assessed against professional standards by subject specific specialist staff.

The learning is immersive with students taught / supervised by teaching staff at least 30 hours per week across the 38 weeks of the programme. The learning is singular in its focus on high level specialist professional employability as a main learning outcome. There is a maximum of five students accepted to this course.

The programme is practical and career focused. When required it can draw on other specialist departments within BOVTS (eg. costume department, construction department, props and design) to provide specific resources and provide students with a wider understanding of the work of other departments and programmes.

You can learn more about our staff by visiting our staff profiles Here


Students are assessed through ongoing monitoring, analysis and feedback on their classes, projects, workshops and through the assimilation of the guidance and informed judgements of an extensive range of internal and external professional practitioners and potential employers.

Assessment also focuses on the development of self-reliance, intellectual and emotional engagement and initiative in creating growth.

Written career strategy work is assessed on the basis of thoroughness of research, demonstration of assimilation and understanding and clarity, accuracy and practicality.

Fees and Funding

MA Film Production

Duration: 1 year (full-time)

Fees 2018:

  • Tuition fees for EU/UK students on a 38 week (one year) course (MA Scenic Art, MA Film Production and MA Theatre Production Management) will be £10,500
  • Tuition fees for International (Non EU/UK) students on a 38 week (one year) course (MA Scenic Art, MA Film Production and MA Theatre Production Management) will be £21,870
  • (Full-time route only)

    It is not possible to confirm fees for future academic years, as these are dependent on Teaching Excellence Framework outcomes, but the maximum increase in each year will not exceed the rate of inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

    The following course-related costs are included in the fees:

    Accommodation and living costs not included in the fees

    Industry work placement – accommodation and travel expenses will be covered.

    Sources of financial support

    If you receive funding from Student Finance you may be eligible to apply for additional benefits.

    Details can be obtained from our Student Fees home page

    available here Please see the BOVTS fees page...

    Bursaries, scholarships and prizes

    The University also provides a number of scholarships and prizes for undergraduate students, which you may be eligible to apply for. Some of these are available to students on any course (such as Conservatoire for Dance and Drama (CDD) scholarships, Hardship Fund and bursaries offered by charitable trusts)

    How to Apply

    To apply for entry to the MA Film Production programme in October 2018, you will need to use the UCAS Conservatoires.

    To apply for this course please click here: click here to apply via the UCAS website in a new tab

    Applications open on the 1 September 2017 and close on 28th February 2018.

    Please note that UCAS Conservatoires is a different application system to UCAS Undergraduate.

    Applying Through UCAS Conservatoires

    Although UCAS Conservatoires (previously CUKAS) offers many advantages, it was originally designed to handle applications for music programmes at UK conservatoires and is in the process of being adapted to meet the needs of drama applicants.

    We are working with UCAS Conservatoires and other drama schools to ensure this happens as quickly as possible but, in the meantime, you may find the following notes helpful.

    Application Codes

    • The UCAS Conservatoires Institution Code for Bristol Old Vic Theatre School is B65
    • and the Course Code for MA Film Production programme is BOV7.

    • • When applying, you will be required to 'select an instrument', please select drama production for the MA Film Production programme.
    • • In your application, you will be asked for details of your 'practical/music referee'. This should be a reference written by your drama teacher / lecturer, Head of Department, or any other appropriate person who can comment on your production abilities.

    The UCAS Conservatoires website will allow you to track the progress of your applications using a unique username and password. You will see details of audition dates and times as well as any decisions as they are posted.

    You will find guidance on using this service at or you can contact the UCAS Conservatoires Customer Service Unit on +44 (0)871 468 0 470 (Monday to Friday, 08:30 and 18:00hrs).

    Additional Guidance on How to Apply

    Registration and Audition Fees

    There is a one-off registration fee of £25 to register (for entry 2018) to use the service. The Bristol Old Vic Theatre School also charges an audition administration fee of £35 to cover the cost involved in arranging and delivering auditions/interviews. Both fees are payable through UCAS Conservatoires.

    Personal Statements

    We recommend that you pay particular attention to the information you provide in your personal statement on your application form in order to give us as full a picture as possible of your relevant experience and reasons for applying.

    Application Dates

    You can apply through UCAS Conservatoires from the 1 September 2017. The equal consideration deadline for applications to the MA Film Production programme is 15 January 2018. However our applications for this course will close on 28th February 2018.

    If you have any further queries please contact the Admissions Department to discuss:

    Deferred Entry

    We are unable to consider applications for deferred entry.

    Application regulations

    • We will only accept one application per applicant, per year.
    • We will not accept applications if you have previously applied in four or more consecutive years.
    Facebook link Twitter link

    Bristol Old Vic Theatre School Ltd, 1-2 Downside Road, Clifton, Bristol, BS8 2XF
    Admin: 0117 973 3535 | Box Office: 0117 973 3955 |

    Photos: Craig Fuller, Farrows Creative, Graham Burke, Stewart McPherson.

    Registered in England number 02430025 | Registered charity number 900280 | VAT number 520494954

    Conservatoire for Dance and drama University of the West of England