Film MA

Prepare for a career in film and HETV scripted drama on this ScreenSkills accredited course


With emphasis on collaboration, this course has been designed to help you embark on a career as a professional fiction filmmaker in one of the following disciplines:

  • producing
  • directing
  • cinematography
  • editing
  • location sound recording and sound design (dual discipline)

Teaching is through a combination of collaborative shared modules and modules that focus on individual disciplines. The two core practice-based modules, Creative Practice and Collaborative Techniques, complement each other, concentrating on professional practice within the framework of the industry crew structure.

Coursework consists of a large number of practical exercises, workshops and short film projects that allow students to deepen their own technical, creative and professional filmmaking skills. The course also includes academic research and reporting in your chosen discipline, and theoretical modules including critical film study. The course is approximately 60% practical and 40% theoretical.

The year's work and study culminates in a major project module in which students continue to work collaboratively, in their chosen disciplines, on one or more short scripted dramas.

This course is recognised by ScreenSkills, the industry-led skills body for the UK's screen-based industries and carries the ScreenSkills Select endorsement which indicates courses best suited to prepare students for a career in the screen industries. 

The extended deadline for submitting an application for this programme is 30 June 2023. Whilst applications may be still be submitted after this date, there is no guarantee it will be reviewed for September 2023.

Typical entry point to this course is in September. Please enquire for more information.

Due to extremely high demand for our programmes starting in September 2023, we are no longer accepting applications from international applicants for this programme. We’re sorry that you won’t be able to join us in September.

Film students working with a camera on set

Mode of Study:




1 year

Course details

Screen Academy Scotland is an active filmmaking hub in the culturally vibrant city of Edinburgh. It offers great scope for collaboration, with some 350 or so students at undergraduate and postgraduate level engaged in diverse film activities. Students can also draw on support from tutors who themselves have significant experience in the industry.

The Screen Academy is a professionally-equipped facility and we expect student work to aspire to a level that is close to industry standard. As it's one of only three film academies in the UK accredited by ScreenSkills, the film industry’s skills body, it gives our graduates significant credibility in the industry.

This course will advance your knowledge of your chosen specialist area as well as giving you a rounded understanding of other film making disciplines. The emphasis on professional skills will help maximise your chance of success.

Previous graduates have had their films screened at festivals around the world, including Glasgow, London, USA, Venice, Beijing, Kolkata and Edinburgh. Many have gone on to win awards and commissions for TV and feature film projects.

Subjects include:

Trimester 1 

  • Creative Practice for Film and TV 
  • Collaborative Techniques for Film 1

Trimester 1 (optional) 

  • The Business of Screen Project Development 
  • Script Workshop 1
  • Writing and Screen Project Development 
  • Moving Image Design (editors and cinematographers only) 

Trimester 2 

  • Creative Practice for Cinema 
  • Collaborative Techniques for Film 2 
  • Critical Film Study 

Trimester 3 

  • Masters Film Project 

Graduate film screening at an Edinburgh screening venue in late autumn.

Lead academics

MA Film is taught by a range of professionals from a number of specialisms.
  • Ita Jansen is an award-winning Writer & Director. She participated in development programmes such as Berlinale Talents and Torino Film Lab. Her films have screened among others at Slamdance, Zinebi, The London Short Film Festival, Washington DC shorts, and many others. Her feature drama In Times of Rain had a theatrical release in Mexico and was broadcasted multiple times by the Mexican National broadcaster Canal 22.
  • David Lumsden is an award-winning fiction & commercials Director based in Scotland. His work has been screened to audiences at film festivals around the world. Alongside his fiction and commercial projects he has also directed broadcast documentaries, made for TV films, and behind the scenes content for feature films. His work has received awards from Scottish BAFTA New Talent, Roses Creative Awards & The Christopher Johnson Movie Viral Award.
  • David Byrne has over 30 years experience in the TV and film industry in every role in the camera department; on feature films, HETV drama, commercials, documentaries and industrial / corporate projects for BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Sky and other non-UK channels. Previous teaching includes courses for Kodak and Technicolor staff.
  • Kieran Gosney is an editor with 10 years experience in documentary and drama. He edited the award-winning feature documentary Time Trial, as well as The Guardian and The Atlantic Selects short Crannog. In 2022 the documentary he edited, The Hermit of Treig, won best single documentary BAFTA Scotland, and the Audience Award at Glasgow Film Festival 2022.
We also engage a range of professional practitioners as visiting lecturers on the programme.
  • calendar

    How you’ll be taught

    This is a one-year full-time course starting in September and is split into three trimesters. Coursework consists of a large number of practical exercises, production of short scripted drama films, lectures, workshops and seminars.

    Delivery of practical film-making skills is undertaken with an industry focus, and by academics and visiting lecturers who specialise in relevant professional practices.

  • note and pen


    Assessment is continuous throughout the year and is predominantly based upon submission of creative practical work, documentation of research and critical reflection, essay assignments, and oral presentations. Students being assessed as heads of department on the creative practice module films are expected to share production costs.

  • library


    Students at the Screen Academy have access to a complete range of professional production and post-production equipment and industry software including Arri Alexa Mini LF; Arri Alexa Classic; Black Magic cameras; Super 16 mm; 35 Avid Media Composer suites; Avid Symphony Online and Black Magic Resolve Online; Pro-Tools, a fully equipped dubbing facility with Atmos, along with Movie Magic Scheduling and Budgeting, and Final Draft.

    We are an Avid Learning Partner and have staff trained as ACIs (Avid Certified Instructor).


"The course teaches you a huge variety of film production techniques, not only in your specialisation, but also in other areas."

This course is recognised by ScreenSkills, the industry-led skills body for the UK's screen-based industries and carries the ScreenSkills quality-mark for the purposes of indicating courses best suited to prepare students for a career in the screen industries.


Study modules mentioned above are indicative only. Some changes may occur between now and the time that you study.

Full information is available in our disclaimer.

I've learnt so much from my tutors, fellow students and guest lecturers. I'm inspired by the work we are creating and know I've made the right decision.

Entry requirements

What are the entry requirements for Film?

The entry requirement for this course is a Bachelor (Honours) Degree at 2:2 or above in any discipline. Applicants are required to submit a portfolio alongside their application. You can find our portfolio guidance below.

Please make it clear in your application which of the five specialisms you are applying for: directing, producing, cinematography, editing or location sound recording and design. There are limited spaces for each pathway to ensure a balance of technical disciplines within the course.

Note on Portfolio

On your application form, please include links to your film portfolio. 

We ask that applicants share a minimum of two projects that they feel best showcases their strengths and skills in their chosen specialism. Each project should be under 15 minutes in length and, as our MA in Film is a narrative drama course, scripted drama films should be a priority. As part of your portfolio, you should also include a written description of your role on each project.

All files must be clearly labelled with your name and we recommend checking that the links work on other devices. Please note that scripts and other production materials should not be submitted as part of your portfolio.  

We do consider applications for producing without a portfolio if you have a relevant background in arts administration, business or finance. We will not consider any other applications without a portfolio.

Can I make an appointment with an advisor to discuss further about the admission process?

If you want to get more information on the admission process, please get in touch with the postgraduate admissions team by submitting an enquiry form above.


If your first language isn't English, you'll normally need to undertake an approved English language test. The English Language requirements for this programme are IELTS (Academic) with 6.0 with no individual component score less than 6.0. For guidance on the acceptability of other English Language tests please contact

This may not apply if you have completed all your school qualifications in English, or your undergraduate degree was taught and examined in English (within two years of starting your postgraduate course). Check our country pages to find out if this applies to you.

Our entry requirements indicate the minimum qualifications with which we normally accept students. Competition for places varies from year to year and you aren't guaranteed a place if you meet the minimum qualifications.

We welcome applications from students studying a wide range of international qualifications.
Entry requirements by country

Please note that international students are unable to enrol onto the following courses:
  • BN Nursing/MSc Nursing (Pre-registration) (Adult, Mental Health, Child, Learning Disabilities)
  • BM Midwifery/MM Midwifery
  • All Graduate Apprenticeship courses.

See who can apply for more information on Graduate Apprenticeship courses.

We’re committed to admitting students who have the potential to succeed and benefit from our programmes of study. 

Our admissions policies will help you understand our admissions procedures, and how we use the information you provide us in your application to inform the decisions we make.

Undergraduate admissions policies
Postgraduate admissions policies

The course has been exciting, extremely challenging and has advanced my skills immensely. In terms of editing, my knowledge of technology and the art of cutting has expanded.

Fees & funding

The course fees you'll pay and the funding available to you will depend on a number of factors including your nationality, location, personal circumstances and the course you are studying. We also have a number of bursaries and scholarships available to our students.

Tuition fees
Students From 2023/24 2024/25
Scotland, England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and Republic of Ireland £6,930 tba
Overseas and EU £17,090 tba
Please note tuition fees are subject to an annual review and may increase from one year to the next. For more information on this and other Tuition Fee matters please see Frequently Asked Questions about Fees Click this link for Information of Bursaries and Scholarships
The University offers a 20% discount on Postgraduate Taught Masters programmes to its alumni. The discount applies to all full-time, part-time and online programmes. The discount can only be applied to year one of a full-time Postgraduate degree, any additional years are exempt from the discount. For part time Postgraduate degrees the discount will apply to years one, two and three only and any additional years will be exempt from the discount.
Please note that the tuition fees liable to be paid by EU nationals commencing their studies from 1 August 2021 will be the Overseas fee rate. The University offers a range of attractive Tuition Fee bursaries to students resident in specific countries. More information on these can be found here.

Please note:

The discount for Edinburgh Napier alumni can only be applied to year one of a full-time Postgraduate degree, any additional years are exempt from the discount.

For part time Postgraduate degrees the discount will apply to years one, two and three only and any additional years will be exempt from the discount.

Please read our full T&C here

This course has given me confidence in my own abilities and moulded me into someone who is more career conscious, focussed on building upon my strengths and learning from my mistakes.


  • Director
  • Assistant Director
  • Producer/Production Management
  • Location Manager
  • Cinematographer
  • Editor
  • Assistant Editor
  • Location Sound Mixer
  • Sound designer
Close up of a camera