University of the Arts London

Course Introduction

Direct and produce your own film in a high definition professional environment on this highly regarded course. The emphasis is on strong ideas and the development of specialist skills in production, directing, camera operating, sound recording and editing. You will benefit from the extensive industry experience of our tutors, which includes BBC and Channel 4 broadcast, gallery and festival screenings. This course is taught at London College of Communication, at Elephant & Castle, part of University of the Arts London.

**What can you expect?**

• Get to grips with the entire documentary film making process on this comprehensive course, which blends theory with practical experience. The digital revolution means new ways of directing, producing and showing documentary films in broadcast, independent and online media. You will learn the entire process – taking on the roles of producer, director, camera operator, sound'recordist and editor.

• You can expect to be grounded in documentary direction, camerawork and editing ' the key artistic and technical skills for a successful production team. Each year students take their work from London College of Communication onto the competitive British and international documentary filmmaking circuit.

• You will enhance your career prospects gaining valuable skills, vision and opportunities including guidance on pitching for funding and commissions.

• MA Documentary Film explores the traditions of international documentary film while offering modern documentary production facilities at LCC. Training includes shooting and directing on high'definition cameras and editing in Adobe Premiere.

• Practice is integrated with the theory so that filmmaking is critically and conceptually analysed within the historical and practical context of documentary film.

• The course culminates in you making a short documentary film (15'20 minutes). From identifying characters, stories and locations to shooting and editing with a particular visual style, you will be the complete author of your work.

• Artistic, investigative, observational and activist film ideas are all welcome. These can be developed for the context that suits your work best – from broadcast to independent or gallery exhibition.

**Work experience and opportunities**

Graduates go into a range of film'making options such as production and academic research. Alumni of this course have also gone on to associate producer roles and commissions in broadcast and independent sectors. Alana McVerry is a producer at VICE after making documentaries for the BBC; Leila Hussain is making short documentary features all over the world for CCN; Anahi Aradas has made films for BBC World and Victoria Burns won a Mead Fellowship to make a one'hour observational documentary on the Elephant & Castle Shopping Centre.

**About London College of Communication (LCC)**

The LCC experience is all about learning by doing. As an LCC student, you’ll get your hands dirty and develop your skills in outstanding technical spaces. Our facilities are at an industry standard and include photographic and television studios, darkrooms, 3D workshop, prototyping lab, gallery spaces, printing studios, and newsrooms.

Our courses are industry focused and you’ll be taught by an inspiring community of experienced academics, technical experts, and leading specialist practitioners within our Design School, Media School and Screen School.

We offer a range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses in subjects such as journalism, advertising, Public Relations and publishing, photography, film, television and sound, graphic communication, illustration and visual communication, animation, games, design management, branded spaces and interactive and information design.

Course Modules

Modules include: (20 credits) documentary process and practice; documentary history and theory; documentary practices: Taster film and pitch and critical context; documentary practices: Ethics and methodologies; documentary practices: Taster film and pitch and critical context; (60 credits) major project.

Start Date:


Duration & Attendance Qualification Tuition fees Fee type
1 year
Full Time
MA £8,500 Home Fees
1 year
Full Time
MA £17,920 Overseas Fees

Qualifications required:

  • Applicants should have a keen interest in documentary films and a keen desire to make their own documentary films. A portfolio is not essential but many applicants send links to documentary work they have already made. Applicants should know what kinds of documentary interest them and why they have an ambition to deepen their involvement in documentary film study and production. A 1st degree is desirable but not essential. If applicants do not have the required qualifications, but do have professional experience, they may be eligible to gain credit for previous learning and experience through the Accreditation of Prior and Experiential Learning (APEL) through professional experience or a combination of courses and work experience. Experience is assessed as a learning process and tutors will evaluate that experience for currency, validity, quality and sufficiency. An awareness of and interest in current developments in documentary film is expected. Knowledge of film and media history and theory is not a requirement but candidates are expected to be interested in studying such questions. The application should be accompanied by an original documentary film idea (essential) and a short showreel (if available) of existing documentary film production work, with a clear note of the applicants role in each production. Applicants who 1st language is not English require IELTS 7.0 (or equivalent).