Film Distribution and Marketing - MA

Attendance:
Full Time, Distance Learning
Starting:
September 2017
Campus:
NTI Birmingham
Fees:
£8,900 for UK/EU Full Time 2017 entry (view all fees)

Shoot into the film industry with the world's first Master’s degree in film distribution and marketing. Available as a one-year intensive full-time course,  our MA Film Distribution and Marketing has been designed with industry to reflect the growing need for entrepreneurial producers, marketers and distribution experts.

Graduates from this course have secured roles with companies such as Koch Media (Germany), Kaleidoscope Films (UK), GFM Films (UK) and Red Arrow Media (Europe). You will have an opportunity to experience work placements during the course with previous placements including major industry players such as FilmNation (US), Sony Picture Classics (US) and The Weinstein Company (US). 

What's covered in the course?

Taught by an industry experienced team, including Oscar-nominated producer, Lee Thomas, and film industry expert, Eugenio Triana, you'll develop the strategic skills needed to apply new and emergent models of film financing and market and engage audiences in a competitive, fast changing global entertainment business.

This Master’s course, part of NTI Birmingham's Film Futures programme, examines old and new business models spanning all aspects of the film development cycle.

The course embraces advances in technology, digital communication channels and opportunities to monetise content across a variety of platforms outside traditional cinema.

During the course, you will receive intensive tuition from industry professionals before working to create and deploy strategies for projects around development and pitching, financing and pitching to investors, and distribution and marketing campaigns - all under the guidance of mentors.

As well as this, you'll get to work on real film projects ranging from low- to no-budget esoteric art house through to more commercially ambitious genres and across all stages of a film's life cycle – from development to production to distribution. During the course previous students have worked with companies including New Yorker Films, The Weinstein Company, New Wave Films, Kaleidoscope Films and the Taiwan Film Institute.

Additionally, Film Futures students will study in BCU’s new £260 million City Campus facilities. 

“I have learned so much about the industry throughout this Master’s program. It has provided me with exceptional opportunities throughout. I am very fortunate to have been a part of this program.” Matt Greenberg, Class of ’16

Why Choose Us?

  • The course has been developed with film distribution companies, digital communication experts and film producers to ensure it provides the skills and knowledge needed for distributing and marketing films in the UK and overseas.
  • There are great opportunities for internships, visiting film festivals and networking with producers and distributors. As part of your MA, you'll be provided with a work placement opportunity with a film distribution company at Cannes Film Festival, the world's leading movie market and festival. The cost of the trip is included in your course fee.
  • During the Cannes Film Festival previous students have worked for companies including GFM, Sony Pictures Classics, SC Films and Movie House Entertainment.
  • Lecturers and tutors are professionals currently working in the industry. You will receive extensive support in developing employability skills, including CVs and online profiles.
Visit our open day

Postgraduate Open Day

Our next Postgraduate Open Day will be on Wednesday 26 April 2017, between 2pm and 7pm. Come along to find out more about our courses and see our facilities. You can't book your place just yet, but register your interest and we'll send you an email when you can book.

Register your interest

This course is open to International students

NTI Brmingham

Discover NTI Birmingham

Visit our School site for more student work and extra information.

Visit the School website

Where our students go

Our students have gone on to work with companies such as:

  • Kaleidoscope Film Distribution
  • GFM Film Sales
  • Red Arrow Entertainment

And in jobs such as:

  • International Sales and Distribution Co-ordinator
  • Sales and Acquisitions Co-ordinator
  • Project Manager

Embrace New Models

Taught by Oscar-nominated producer Lee Thomas and film industry marketing expert Eugenio Triana, you'll develop the strategic skills needed to apply new and emergent models of film financing, get to market and engage audiences in a competitive, fast changing, global entertainment business.

The masters degree, part of NTI Birmingham's Film Futures programme, examines old and new business models spanning all aspects of the film development cycle.

Its programme embraces advances in technology, digital communication channels and opportunities to monetise content across a variety of platforms outside traditional cinema.

Entry Requirements

UK students
Essential

MA Film Distribution and Marketing is open to applicants who are enterprising, agile thinkers who can demonstrate an interest in film and developing marketing and distribution strategy.

You must be a graduate. If you do not have a degree, you may be accepted if you can demonstrate equivalent experience and / or qualifications.

You may have existing qualifications in:

Film / production

Business studies

Marketing

Multimedia / digital content creation

Advertising

Media and communications

And/or you may have work experience in the sector, such as:

Freelance filmmaking / production

Working as a runner, production coordinator

Producing /Directing

International (non-EU) students also require the following:
Essential

English - IELTS 6.5 (no less than 6.0 in any bands). We do also accept students who have TOEFL or Pearsons.

For information on equivalence scores and pre-sessional language courses please visit English Language provision

 

Please note, it is not a requirement to have previous experience working in the sector or to have studied a film related undergraduate programme, as the course will provide a thorough grounding in the fundamental principles and basic core knowledge of film marketing and distribution.

Interview process

Shortlisted applicants will then be invited for an interview at NTI Birmingham or for EU/International students via Skype or telephone.

UK or EU students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
MA Sep 2017 FT 1 year £8,900
DL 2 years TBC

If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form instead.

International Students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
MA Sep 2017 FT 1 year £12,000
DL 2 years £1,000 per 15 credit module

If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form instead.

You will need to apply online direct to the university for this course. A link to the form will be available soon as well as details of the course fee. We'd like to send you an email once the link is available to save you checking back - just sign up for an update.

The University reserves the right to increase fees broadly in line with increases in inflation, or to reflect changes in government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament.

Get up to 20 per cent off your tuition fees

We offer discounts on our fees to help you with your financial costs which could give you either 10 or 20 per cent discount on your tuition fee.

Find out more and see if you are eligible

Your personal statement

Your personal statement is a highly important part of your application. It gives you a crucial opportunity to say why you’re applying and why the institution should accept you.

Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:

Course choice

Why does this course appeal? What areas are of particular interest?

Career plans

If you have a specific career in mind, say how your chosen course will help you pursue this goal.

Work experience

Mention any work that is relevant to your subject, highlighting the skills and experience gained.

School or college experience

Highlight skills gained at school/college, eg summer schools or mentoring activities.

Non-accredited skills or achievement

eg Duke of Edinburgh Award, Young Enterprise scheme.

You should also mention your future plans – if you’re planning to take a year out, don't forget to give your reasons. Talk about any subjects you’re studying that don’t have a formal assessment and any sponsorships or placements you’ve applied for. And don't be scared to add in details about your social, sports or leisure interests.

Get more information on writing personal statements.

Additional costs

There are no compulsory additional costs or charges associated with studying on this course. While you may choose to purchase personal copies of text books, all our key text books are available from our library or online (subject to normal library loan and online access arrangements). NTI Birmingham courses aim to connect students with industry locally, nationally and globally, in alignment with student aspirations. Opportunities to engage with industry in an alternative location are always promoted but are never compulsory so students can make a decision based around their individual responsibilities, lifestyle and finances.

Based on the past experience of our students, you might find it helpful to set aside about £50 for each year of your studies for stationery and study materials. All our students are provided with 100 free pages of printing each year to a maximum total value of £15.

This course is available part-time

If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our pdf application form instead.

Interviews are normally conducted at University House (home to NTI Birmingham) but can be done over Skype if it's more suitable for the applicant.

For general information about applying to study at Birmingham City University, please head to to the University's general How to Apply section.

What's included?

  • £250 travel and accommodation allowance for placement activities.
  • Trip to the Cannes film festival in May after the year of enrolment.
  • Membership to the producer’s forum 

Financial Support

We offer further information on possible postgraduate financial support. This includes the type of loans, grants and scholarships available both from the government and from Birmingham City University.

Did you know that you will soon be able to apply for a postgraduate loan of up to £10,000 for some courses and options?

Postgraduate loans

Modules

Film Audiences and the Distribution Landscape
20 credits

This module will be an introduction to the structure of the film industry: how it is organised, its different players and how business models have evolved over the last 100 years. It will point to how these structures might change in the future or are already changing.

The Film Value Chain
40 credits

This module gives students an insight into the skills necessary for a career in film distribution. It will cover all aspects of the sector, from learning the intricacies of finance, to a close look at contracts, audience research and the landscape of distribution. 

Final Project
60 credits

The purpose of the module is to enable you to undertake a sustained, in-depth and theoretically informed research and development project exploring an area of personal interest. Support from staff will be given to guide you to choose an appropriate project or topic. The outcome may take the form of a written dissertation or a practical outcome with an industry company with accompanying reflective, critical and contextual material. 

You will have the choice of one 20 credit module and one 40 credit module from the following:
Film Festivals, Marketing and PR
20 credits

This module provides an in-depth look at a major crux for the film industry: film festivals. Film festivals play a part in the financing, distribution and marketing of independent films and therefore the study of them is a core part of the overall. The module will give you an understanding of the importance of film festivals to the industry, and an insight into the skills needed to mount a successful marketing and public relations strategy at a festival.

Digital Production in Practice
20 credits

This module will immerse you in the production and delivery of digital marketing assets and media planning. The centrepiece of your output is a professionally produced 30 minute self-promoting video. You'll follow emerging trends to create your own branded content and demonstrate your deployment ideas. Using state-of-the-art resources, technicians from industry and their learning to date, you will translate theory into practice to make tangible, targeted outputs for real world deployment across multiple channels.

Film Marketing , Planning and Deployment
40 credits

This module will give you a thorough grounding in the skills necessary to successfully plan and carry out a film marketing strategy. Working with leading industry agencies and their movie studio clients, the module will specifically examine the role of the distributor and the ways in which distributors market films from strategising, through to planning out budgets and implementation.

Transmedia Terrors
40 credits

This module will focus on the production of feature films, in particular within the horror genre. You’ll be exposed to financing projects and will critically evaluate horror narratives in their cultural, historical and generic contexts across visual and audio traditions. You will also analyse how debates in this area impact on creative and production practices in the field. Your delivery assignment will be a creative plan that could be the basis of financing a full feature project.

Course Structure

In-class projects are structured around the main divisions in the film industry of production, sales, distribution and exhibition. The modules for the course relate to each stage of this cycle and in the Master's by Practice module you will work through a company in the sector to cover any area or topic of your interest.

The content and approach of the curriculum is informed by, and has a strong emphasis on, digital communication production processes. As often as possible learning will simulate real world processes and foster the practical application of skills during industry set projects, looking in depth at the marketing and film financing process from idea to deployment. Underpinning practical work will be a strong emphasis on business strategy, analytics and monetisation.

At the outset of the course you will typically undertake between two and four taught sessions a week. These are generally on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, but may vary if they involve a guest lecturer from industry. As the course progresses to the Master’s by Practice element there is a greater emphasis on independent study.

Assessment will mainly be based on individual portfolios, proposals, pitches and critical evaluations.

Classroom activities

The Film Distribution and Marketing MA is highly focused on in-class exercises and practical workshops. During your time at BCU, you’ll get to negotiate the rights for a project, create posters, trailers and other marketing material and pitch your film to an industry panel. As much as possible, we will simulate the experiences and tests of the professional world.


Student work

Students during their one-year course have worked for Birmingham’s Flatpack Film Festival, run the marketing within the university for the Cine Excess cult horror festival and organised their own screening to celebrate the 25th anniversary of “The Commitments”, which drew seventy paying viewers to a live music and film event.  

During Cannes, our students are usually placed within companies in the industry, and have worked in assisting top film distributors, sales agents and production companies.

You can see what our students got up to here: 

Further study

Birmingham School of Media – part of the University – offers opportunities for students interested in taking their research interests forward into an MPhil or PhD.

Trips and visits

As part of your MA you will take part in a work placement with a film distribution company at Cannes Film Festival, the world's leading movie market and festival. You will work alongside top film professionals in Cannes as you learn more about the practicalities of buying, selling and acquiring films.

The Cannes International Film Festival is an annual film festival that previews new films from around the globe. Founded in 1946, it is one of the most prestigious and publicised film festivals in the world.

In previous years, students from the University have worked with international companies including FilmNation Entertainment and Sony Pictures Classics. Costs such as travel and accommodation are included in your course fee, although some additional costs may be incurred, depending on the placement.

Students also undertake a February one-week trip to London to visit companies such as Paramount, Warners, Vue Cinemas and UK independent film distributors and sales agents. 

Cannes Film Festival Placement

As part of your MA, you'll have the option of a work placement with a film distribution company at Cannes Film Festival, the world's leading movie market and festival.

Enhancing your employability skills

This course is specifically designed to prepare market-ready, entrepreneurial graduates able to meet the challenges of the new film distribution and funding environment, with the intention that students will play a key role in production teams of the future in emerging roles.

The course's strong emphasis on commercial awareness, market awareness and technological innovation in the sector also provides students with the opportunity to pursue careers in a wide variety of positions and company types.

Placements

There are great opportunities for internships, visiting film festivals and networking with producers and distributors. For example, Birgit Mayrhofer secured a placement in a Film Distribution role at the Weinstein Company in London.

You will also be lined up with a work placement with a film distribution company at Cannes Film Festival, the world's leading movie market and festival. The cost of the trip is covered included in your course fee.

OpportUNIty

OpportUNIty Student Ambassador

OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.

It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.

Links to industry

W have link with companies in the industry such as GFM Films, Thinkjam, SC Films, Kaleidoscope Films and Moviehouse. We have lecturers from a broad array of companies beyond this group and our students gain placements in a diverse range of companies. 

Graduate Jobs

In distribution, you could work as a distributor, marketing and publicity manager, marketing assistant, publicist orpublicity assistant. In the production field, you could work as producer, packaging consultant, producer’s assistant or assistant producer. Alternatively, you could work in sales as a sales agent, sales assistant, delivery manager or assistant or marketing manager or assistant.

Another possible destination would be working for a supplier as an advertising account manager or marketing partner. You could work at a graphic design agency, EPK (Electronic Press Kit) company, web design company, test screening company or trailer and design company, or in market research. Other graduates pursue freelance careers as a unit publisher or EPK director or producer.

International students

Our School is particularly popular with students from South East Asia. Students are attracted by industry-focused, practical nature of the course, providing the opportunity to see how the industry works and find out more about distribution, festivals and pitching, giving you a better idea of how to break into what is often a difficult industry to enter

Student experience

Chia-Hsin Liu, from Taiwan, spent 10 days at the Cannes Film Festival working for the Taiwan Film Institute (TFI). This involved helping out with the TFI’s ‘cinema booth’, which showcased the country’s latest releases, and the Taiwan Night Party, and attending to the main actors.

Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC)

International students who have a serious interest in studying with us but who perhaps cannot meet the direct entry requirements, academic or English, or who have been out of education for some time, can enter Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC) and begin their degree studies.

BCUIC

BCUIC is part of the global Navitas Group, an internationally recognised education provider, and the partnership allows students to access the University’s facilities and services and move seamlessly through to achieving a Bachelor’s degree from Birmingham City University.

Learn more about BCUIC

Gamer camp course facilities
NTI students
NTI foyer
Gamer camp Mindugas Play

The New Technology Institute (NTI) is a part of Birmingham City University's City Centre Campus at University House.

We help you learn a specific discipline such as digital marketing, programming or art and put that discipline into practice by offering flexible teaching space, dedicated development studios and open access work areas for group projects, as well as course-specific facilities.

Gamer Camp

  • Dedicated games development studio space.
  • Apple and Android target devices.
  • One high spec PC for game development per code and art student and high spec laptop per business student. As a Gamer Camp student you have your own PC and desk in a games development studio.
  • Wacom Cinetiq graphics tablets for selected art roles, such concept, GUI and character.
  • PlayStation 4 development and test kits. We were one of only five universities in Europe to receive PS4 Dev at launch.
  • PlayStation VITA development and test kits.
  • Perforce Source Control.
  • Hansoft Project Management software.

Two-Year Fast-Track

  • High spec PC laptop (Games Development, Digital Art and Design and Production) for the duration of the course.
  • MacBookAir laptop (Digital Marketing) for the duration of the course.
  • Dedicated studio space for projects.

Future Media and Film Futures

  • Access to dedicated studio space including iMac computers to deliver projects with external clients.
  • IMDB Pro.

Staff introduction

Distance learning Senior Lecturer Lee Thomas is a film producer who has produced and executive produced over 20 short films and 15 feature films in the past 15 years, including The Road to Guantanamo and Nativity! He produced the short film The Voorman Problem, starring Martin Freeman and Tom Hollander, which was nominated for an Oscar.

Campus-based Course Director Eugenio Triana has worked in both development and production roles with TV and film production companies including ITV, Celtic Films, Tiger Aspect and Apollo Media.

Lee Thomas

Senior Lecturer in Film Distribution and Marketing (for Distance Learning Mode)

Lee has produced and executive produced over 20 short films and 15 feature films in the past 15 years including Michael Winterbottom's Silver Bear winning The Road to Guantanamo; Debbie Isitt's top box office hit Nativity and Penny Woolcock's controversial hip-hop musical 'One Day'.

His first feature Crush, starring Andie MacDowell, was released in all major territories and was distributed in the US by Sony Picture Classics. As creative producer Lee has developed feature ideas with Film 4 (First Look Deal), the MEDIA Programme (Slate Deal), BBC Films, UKFC, Warner Brothers, Glasgow Film Fund, and Creative England.

Between 2004 and 2010 Lee was Head of Production and Development at SWM, the regional screen agency for the West Midlands.

He has also produced animatronics special effects for Jim Henson's Creature Shop, and production managed Japanese car and fashion commercials shooting in Europe.

Before studying producing at the National Film and Television School Lee directed and produced documentaries, music videos and interstitials for Space Shower TV and Asahi TV in Japan.

Lee is a Skillset Mentor and a visiting tutor at the NFTS.

Frank Mannion

Senior Lecturer Film Distribution and Marketing / Movie Producer, Swipe Films

Frank Mannion runs the award-winning production, sales and distribution company, Swipe Films. The company has built up a valuable library of over 25 films, winning over 100 awards at major festivals around the world, including the Cannes and Sundance Film Festivals.

Frank Mannion's movies include:

  • 'Get Lucky' starring Luke Treadaway and Emma Atack (in production, co-financed by Universal Pictures)
  • 'Saving Santa' starring Martin Freeman, Noel Clarke, Joan Collins and Tim Curry (in production)
  • 'Jackboots on Whitehall', starring Ewan McGregor, Rosamund Pike, Tom Wilkinson and Timothy Spall (released by Sony Pictures)
  • 'Grand Theft Parsons', starring Johnny Knoxville, Michael Shannon and Christina Applegate (released by MGM in the US and Lionsgate in the UK)
  • 'In Prison My Whole Life' with Colin Firth, Mumia Abu Jamal, Mos Def and Noam Chomsky
  • 'Osama', winner of the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Film
  • 'The Cat's Meow', starring Kirsten Dunst, Joanna Lumley and Eddie Izzard, directed by Oscar winning director, Peter Bogdanovich
  • 'Love Live Long', written and directed by the Oscar nominated Mike Figgis
  • 'Exiles', starring Romain Duris and directed by Tony Gatlif, winner of Best Director at the Cannes Film Festival
  • 'Frankie', starring Diane Kruger
  • 'Strings', starring James McAvoy and Catherine McCormack
  • 'Down to the Bone', starring Vera Farmiga, written and directed by Debra Granik. Winner of 2 awards at the Sundance Film Festival.

Pip Piper

Lecturer in Film and Live Project Tutor

Pip has been producing films for over 15 years from corporate to music videos to documentary and feature film.

His debut feature film 'The Insatiable Moon', which he produced with Tim Sanders (Lord of the Rings / Whale Rider) and shot in NZ in late 2009, won Best Foreign Film at Moondance in the US and Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor at the NZ film awards.

Pip's latest documentary film 'Last Shop Standing', released in September 2012, has received wide critical acclaim and is being distributed across the globe. Pip is CEO of the Producers Forum, a members based film organisation focused on development, networking and campaigning.

Alan McQueen

Specialist Lecturer / Writer and Producer

Alan McQueen has spent the last 30 years working with the most important and influential UK film companies. He started his career in the film and home entertainment industry in 1983 with MSD Holdings. He then joined Palace Pictures, headed by Nik Powell and Steve Woolley. Palace Pictures were the most inventive, influential and important independent film company in the UK. Alan worked on such titles as 'Nikita', 'The Killer', 'Jean de Florette', 'Manon des Sources', 'Cinema Paradiso', 'The Evil Dead', 'Tatie Danielle', and many others.

Alan then set up Fox World Cinema, an adjunct of 20th Century Fox designed to sell and distribute art house and world cinema titles from a collection of independent distributors including Artificial Eye and Electric Pictures. They released such classics as 'Tokyo Story', 'Heimat', 'Delicatessen', 'Three Colours Trilogy', 'Clerks', 'Hidden' and hundreds of other titles.

Alan was also involved in forming the independent theatrical, video and DVD company Downtown Pictures, which quickly established itself in the UK theatrical market place with such titles as 'Gods and Monsters', 'Summer of Sam and Orphans'.

Alan then formed production company Mushroom Cloud Productions developing a number of projects before re-joining the home entertainment industry as Sales Director for World Cinema Ltd. They sold and distributed DVD for Tartan Video, Artificial Eye, C'Est La Vie DVD, Soda Pictures, TLA, Tyrone Productions, Pathe (World Cinema) and Yume Pictures.

Alan's love of writing has seen two novels published ('The Summervale Volunteers' and 'The Self Preservation Society'). 'The Summervale Volunteers' is being written as a TV series with BBC writers Richard Kurti and Bev Doyle on writing duties.

Alan has written and developed a number of screenplays, including 'The Mexican Spitfire', 'Them!', 'Index Finger in the Sock Drawer', 'Spirit of the Game', 'Footfingers' and 'The Brassiere Brigade'.

Alan recently produced 'Fathers of Girls', a documentary feature about Adam Ant, starring Ray Winstone and directed by Jack Bond.

Projects developed and owned or co-owned include, 'Coming Up' (to be directed in 2013 by Jessie Grace Mellor), 'The Foreigner', 'Outlaws', 'The Brassiere Brigade', and 'A Silent Bark'.

Rebecca Tullener Photo

Rebecca Tullener

Course Leader Distance Learning MA Film Distribution and Marketing

Rebecca has 15 years of experience working across the digital/interactive media landscape producing printed artefacts, websites, commercial video, e-marketing plans and managing copy-writers, artists, designers, developers and video production staff.

Rebecca has delivered on key European funded initiatives in the School of Media focused on content creation and supporting local enterprises to use screen-based media technology. Rebecca’s held numerous roles at the university as Content Developer, Producer, Studio Manager and Project Manager and has led 50+ web development and commercial video production projects with local businesses, including the development of a digital image bank in collaboration with partner Birmingham Central Library to improve creative practitioner access to the library’s early fine print collection: Inspiration Bank This has since grown to include works from the New Art Gallery in Walsall and the Wolverhampton Arts and Museums Service.

Eugenio Triana

Course Director MA Film Distribution and Marketing

Eugenio Triana is the course director for Film Futures, the Marketing and Distribution course for Birmingham City University. He has worked in all areas of the film industry and his personal interest is in new developments in technology for film production and distribution. 

UK prospective students:

UK enquiry form

+44 (0)121 331 5595

EU / International prospective students:

International enquiry form

+44 (0)121 331 5389

Already applied?

Email the applications team

+44 (0)121 331 6295