The MA Media Production course gives you the opportunity to kick start or further your career in the television and radio industries. The course offers a clear progression pathway for students who have already completed undergraduate studies in television or radio.
For those who already have industry experience, or are looking to change career path, the course provides the chance to learn additional skills and apply professional media practice to your existing resume.
While this is largely a practical course that will give you the professional skills you’ll need to work in a fast-paced, real world television or radio environment, you’ll also study production theory.
You’ll develop a detailed knowledge of how both mediums work today and how they are constantly evolving. Professional practice is embedded into the course which will prepare you for a career in either the television or radio industries.
You’ll also use your academic thinking to evaluate the current state of digital media, giving you the opportunity to reflect critically on your own performance.
Throughout the course, you’ll be supported by academic staff that have vast amounts of experience in television and radio production, such as award-winning producer Caroline Officer, radio documentary producer Sam Coley and community radio researcher Siobhan Stevenson.
If you have an interest in television production you will develop a detailed knowledge of how production processes work and will be encouraged to explore online content development and distribution. The specialist television modules mirror industry approaches and therefore you will operate as a production team to complete assignments in both modules. This approach has allowed a number of recent MA students to progress seamlessly into professional production roles.
If your ambitions lie in setting yourself up as a freelancer with a focus on technical skills we will encourage you to develop your entrepreneurial and networking skills and engagement with social media platforms to establish a robust foundation to launch your professional career.
Students who follow the radio pathway will cover traditional AM/FM broadcasting, as well as digital distribution. You’ll also develop your entrepreneurial skills, engage with social media platforms, and look at how radio is used for social and economic development.
"I wanted to add academic skills to my practical skills - as up until now, everything I learnt in radio was self-taught. The supportive tutors have given me some unbelievable feedback and coming on this course has increased my employability." David Morrissey
Drop in to one of our informal postgraduate events - our staff and current students will be on hand to answer all of your questions.
Visit our School site for more student work and extra information.
If you’ve got any questions about the course, we’d love to hear from you. Please email the Course Director: Caroline Officer.
Alternatively, you can register for our next postgraduate open day.
You should have or expect to gain at least an upper second-class bachelor's degree in a relevant subject area.
You should be able to demonstrate prior experience of work in television, media production or other media related areas.
Your achievements should clearly demonstrate a keen interest in the television sector.
You are advised to read around the subject of media and to explore examples. Your application should demonstrate your ability to generate and develop ideas, as judged by the MA team.
If your first language is not English, you must have achieved an IELTS 6.5 (or equivalent)
We welcome non-traditional applications, particularly from applicants with substantial professional or production experience. It may also be possible to award module credits via APL/APEL if you can provide evidence of prior learning.
|MA||Sep 2018||FT||1 year||£5,900|
|MA||Sep 2018||FT||1 year||£12,000|
If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form and equal opportunities PDF form instead. The University reserves the right to increase fees in line with inflation based on the Retail Prices Index or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament.
UK / EU students are required to submit a personal statement as part of their application for this course.*
Your postgraduate personal statement is going to shine a light on your personal experience, academic success, personal skills and any other factors that will support your application for further study.
Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:
Studying a postgraduate course usually means you want to specialise in something. So what’s driving you?
Show that you’ve researched the course offering. What is it about this particular course that appeals to you? Is it the lecturers? The modules? Etc.
Tutors want to know that you can handle postgraduate study, so show them how your undergraduate experiences or work life has equipped you for a more advanced level of study. Key areas to address are research and group work but this can vary depending on your chosen course.
Add anything relevant that relates back to your chosen course and shows how your skills will contribute towards your learning. What extra-curricular activities have you taken part in? What awards have you won? What employment or voluntary experience do you have that has helped you develop transferable skills? How do these specifically relate to the course you are applying for?
You should also mention your future plans and how a postgraduate qualification fits in. Try to look beyond your postgraduate study – do you plan to jump straight into a specific career or follow your studies with a research degree? Lastly, use plain, professional English and, where possible, utilise the language of your chosen industry.
Get more information on writing personal statements.
*Non-EU students are not required to submit a personal statement when applying for this course.
Our courses include activities such as performance, exhibitions, field trips and production of works or artefacts which may require you to purchase specific equipment, instruments, books, materials, hire of venues and accommodation, or other items. Many of these activities are essential and compulsory parts of your learning experience.
The link below gives you an estimate of the possible costs associated with key activities on your course. Please bear in mind that these are only estimates of costs based on past student experience and feedback. The actual costs could vary considerably (either greater or lower than these estimates) depending on your choices as you progress through the course.
All our students are provided with 100 free pages of printing each year to a maximum total value of £15.
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?
Over the year you will study four modules, each of which consists of 10 class sessions in which students will be introduced to topics through lectures, seminar discussions and workshop activities. Each week students are set independent study tasks, often based upon production activities, and there are two further weeks of directed study.
There will often be guest lectures from leading practitioners in the field and we place a strong emphasis on lecturer and peer review of student presentations and work-in-progress. These sessions are supported by structured material available on the university's Moodle online system.
Many modules make significant use of new social media and students will be asked frequently to contribute to forums, write blogs, or produce podcasts to chart personal and professional development and to engage with the work of others. Your own professional development is an important element throughout the course.
The following modules are common core modules shared by all students on the Media Production course:
Narrative: From Media to Interactive Multimedia
This module will develop your ability to communicate richer narratives, developing deeper technical skills in audio, video, data and interactive storytelling alongside an exploration of the literature surrounding new storytelling forms. The module provides practical skills within a range of conceptual frameworks and aims to facilitate a flexible and adaptable skillset that provides a basis for you to critically adapt to both new and existing storytelling technologies.
Media Law and Regulation
This module focuses on key areas of media law in the UK and internationally. You’ll examine the ethical, regulatory and legal constraints under which media workers create content. Issues such as defamation, censorship, human rights law, copyright, privacy, security and contempt are covered in depth. You will develop a critical understanding of the limitations imposed by law and regulation and develop a critical perspective on key debates in media law and regulation affecting media production work.
Research In Practice
This module functions as a masters level tool kit that prepares you for the project or dissertation that you undertake in the final stage of the programme. It will also provide core methodological and project management skills applicable to both the theoretical and production practice routes of the award. This module aims to facilitate a shared skillset that aids the successful completion of the MA route project, as well as the potential for routes into PhD progression beyond.
This module will enable you to undertake an in-depth and theoretically informed research project exploring an area of personal interest.The outcome may take the form of a written dissertation or a practical outcome with accompanying reflective, critical and contextual material.
The main consideration when choosing your topic is that it must be relevant to your programme and the relevance of this topic to your future academic or professional development. You will receive one-to-one support from your supervisor, who will be familiar with your chosen topic area.
You will also choose between one of the following two modules in order to complete your degree:
Entrepreneurship in Practice
The aim of this module is to engage with diverse academic texts in order to inform your practice in relation to cultural entrepreneurship or intrapreneurship. This includes critical analysis that challenges the nature of entrepreneurship itself and asks you to consider the significant challenges facing entrepreneurs in the creative and cultural industries. You will then be required to demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of these theoretical concepts by testing them and applying them to your own media production ideas.
The purpose of this module is to enable you to develop professional attributes and subject skills through experience in the work place. The module includes supporting seminars and tutorials that will support you to critically reflect upon your learning in a professional context.
The module will help develop employability skills help you broaden your understanding of the range of creative occupations in the creative economy. Furthermore, the module will help you to develop mutually beneficial relationships with creative workers and situate yourself within professional networks.
Students that tailor their study for radio production will study the following two modules:
Community and Developmental Radio
This production module investigates radio / audio that provides social gain for audiences. There is a focus on professional practices of radio as a tool for education and behavioural change in the UK and across developing nations. You’ll also investigate the role of community based radio broadcasting. You will work both individually and in a team environment.
Radio and Audio Production
This module strengthens core radio and audio production skills such as digital editing and recording, and approaches to live studio presentation and programming. If you already possess these skills you’ll be taught more advanced approaches to suit your ability. You’ll also study in-depth audience research, theories of radio and the practicalities of making compelling audio. Online audio and use of visuals accompaniment to audio production will also be explored.
Students that tailor their study for television production will study the following two modules:
Television Documentaries and Features
This module builds your skills base by teaching you key professional editorial and technical processes. You will produce short feature stories which are then incorporated into your production of a studio based ‘as live’ magazine. If you already possess production skills you’ll be taught more advanced approaches to suit your abilities. You’ll also study in-depth audience research, the commissioning process, associated and relevant online content to compliment your core programme production.
Television Factual Entertainment
This production module builds on the production skills you developed in Television Documentary and Features. Factual Entertainment programming covers a broad range of subjects and as a production team you will identify, devise and produce an original factual entertainment format, culminating in the production of a broadcast standard pilot programme with appropriate online content.
You can study the MA Media Production full time over one year or part time over two years. This flexibility means it is suitable for those wishing to enter the industry or who are already forging a career in broadcasting and want to attain a well-respected academic qualification to complement their skills.
You will be assessed through a variety of practical course work, written critical evaluations and industry / audience analysis.
You’ll work independently and within teams on a number of projects and you’ll be expected to take full advantage of our broadcast-quality studios to produce exceptional pieces.
Your final project, worth 60 credits, is your MA by Practice or by Dissertation, so you will have the choice between cutting-edge production-based assessment or a more traditional theory dissertation assessment - or you can opt to undertake a combination of the two.
At the end of the course, you will be able to map the core knowledge of the key theoretical approaches to understanding the professional practices in television and radio production, existing intellectual challenges faced by the industry, and scholarly and professional techniques.
You will be able to work independently and in teams to produce television / radio / online content, having developed innovative research strategies to deal with complex issues in original cases.
Our students have the freedom to take control of their studies by choosing projects that reflect their particular broadcasting interests. Past production projects have included television documentaries, studio based shows, video content online channels and projects developed with external and internal clients including Aston Martin Racing, Help the Aged, Vietnamese State Broadcasting, the National Theatre and the BBC Digital production department.
Past radio production projects have included radio dramas, audio slideshows, music documentaries, podcasts and instore radio programming.
Students have also produced real world course work for the Birmingham Music Archive, the Birmingham Town Hall and the Birmingham Public Library.
The Creative Skillset Tick is the quality mark for excellence in training courses and education in the Creative Industries. It identifies the UK’s most industry-focused courses and apprenticeships enabling universities, colleges and employers to recruit the brightest talent.
Our Creative Skillset accreditation shows that we will provide you with industry-relevant skills and good links with companies and potential employers.
The accreditation also assures employers that students graduating from our course have the levels of knowledge and skills they need.
In past years students have travelled to industry organised events and masterclasses, field trips to television centres and recordings of shows. We also run many enrichment activities within the Media School including conferences, events, cross subject and School collaborations and masterclasses.
If you are interested in furthering your studies in this field we offer a range of research degrees that lead to MPhil and PhD. These include practice-based research which may involve the production and analysis of a media artefact. Your course tutor will advise you on the most appropriate route depending on your interests.
The aim of our MA Media Production course is to prepare you for a career in the fast-paced world of media and broadcasting. Thanks to our outstanding facilities and reputation for producing work-ready, highly skilled graduates who are already proficient on industry-quality equipment, our students are sought after.
You’ll have worked with guest lecturers who are working within the industry and you’ll have gained good contacts during your course, all of which will stand you in good stead when looking for employment.
It is very useful to have an idea what you would like to do when the MA has finished. Ambition is strongly encouraged. We have a very experienced professional development team who have worked in the radio and television industries and are widely networked with professionals currently working in production.
An individual professional development plan is created with the help of staff and the practicalities of achieving professional goals is covered in detail. You will create appropriate CV’s and covering letters, mock interviews are offered and actively encouraged.
You are encouraged to find a placement or work with an external client while studying on the course. This is an ideal way to build your network, an essential element of working in the short-term contract, freelance structure of the television and radio industries.
Because we work with people across the industry – both in the UK and overseas – you might be offered the opportunity to work with global professionals and clients.
Students with an interest in television production will be able to apply for established placement schemes with Sky and the BBC Drama department in Birmingham. Many opportunities are connected with production activity in and around the city. For example, we work closely with Film Birmingham who appreciate the ‘industry ready’ abilities of our students and graduates. Recent films produced in Birmingham, which included paid placements for our students, include The Girl with All the Gifts, Kingsman 2 and Stephen Spielberg’s Ready Player One. The BBC also approach us regularly with opportunities including producing original content for BBC Three online and the BBC Sports Personality of the Year show.
Some of our radio students have partnered with American student radio stations to produce award-winning programmes.
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.
A graduate of the MA Radio and Audio Production course, Rebekah was able to secure an extensive placement at Global Radio though her coursework.
Rebekah Woolley successfully secured a placement with BBC drama Doctors whilst still on the course, which subsequently lead to paid work. She has since worked as a production secretary on the BBC period drama Father Brown, series two of Poldark, and the final series of the ITV drama, Broadchurch.
The School of Media is recognised as a key centre of excellence in radio production training and education by Creative SkillSet, the UK Sector Skills Council for the audio visual industries.
Film Birmingham recognise our ability to provide industry literate students who are regularly hired for runner and location assistant roles on productions shot in and around the city.
Local media companies Maverick (Embarrassing Bodies) North One (The Gadget Show, Guy Martin) and 7 Wonder (Make My Body Better with Davina McCall) regularly offer placement opportunities directly to our students and many of our graduates have been offered entry level paid work based on their voluntary engagement with these companies.
Our radio students have had the chance to work closely with local organisations such as the Library of Birmingham and the Birmingham Town Hall venue to create real world media as part of their course work.
In 2015 three BCU graduates who studied radio were named in The UK Radio Academy’s ’30 under 30’ list – which recognises the industry’s most talented young professionals. Ben Stones, Assistant Producer for the BBC, Emma Boyle, Broadcast Journalist for Sunrise Radio, and Jay Dormer, Breakfast Producer for Global Radio were the three successful alumni who made the prestigious list.
The broadcasting industry has a wide range of career options and you’ll be well equipped with the skills required by the world’s leading media organisations.
The course provides a wide range of radio skills, across a wide range of real world roles and responsibilities. Students with an interest in television will be armed with the knowledge to potentially become a director, producer, production coordinator, production manager, researcher or drama assistant director.
Radio students could become a presenter, producer, radio social media manager, researcher, manager or music programmer.
You’ll also have the chance to take additional lessons, at no extra cost, in radio or television production, event management, PR and journalism to augment your capabilities and increase your employability.
Graduate Ben Stones is now an assistant producer for BBC Radio, working across Radio One, Radio 2, 6 Music and the Asian Network.
Birmingham City University is a vibrant and multicultural university in the heart of a modern and diverse city. We welcome many international students every year – there are currently students from more than 80 countries among our student community.
The University is conveniently placed, with Birmingham International Airport nearby and first-rate transport connections to London and the rest of the UK.
Our international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:
Students from countries such as China, Vietnam, Spain, Pakistan, Germany, Italy and Ireland have joined past MA media courses. The language of radio production is international, meaning the skills the course teaches can be employed in a variety of radio stations around the world.
Yu came from China to study on the MA Radio and Audio Production course (now MA Media Production). Yu chose to live and study in Birmingham as she felt the living costs in London were too great.
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 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.
When you join Birmingham City University, the first thing you will notice is the high standard of our campuses. With an investment of £260 million across our buildings and facilities, we are committed to giving you the very best learning environment to help shape your experience.
Birmingham School of Media is recognised as a key centre of excellence in interactive media training, television production and education by Creative SkillSet, the UK Sector Skills Council for the audio visual industries.
You will learn in our state-of-the-art facilities - including the £62m fully-digital Media Centre - located on the City Centre Campus. You will enjoy access to extensive studio and workshop space including four TV studios, six radio studios and broadcast-standard edit suites, as well as cutting-edge equipment and software.
Facilities include the largest TV floor of any university in the UK, a ‘green screen’ and the MILO motion control camera - we are one of just two universities in Europe to offer MILO technology.
An excellent team of tutors and technicians supports our production facilities. We actively encourage our students to utilise the facilities beyond the set course work to build up a varied portfolio of work.
Collaboration with students both within the School of Media and those based in other Schools is recommended and facilitated. You will have the opportunity to work with the composing students based in the Conservatoire and commission original music for a wide range of projects. Our animation and graphic design students are happy to work closely with our students to provide opening title sequences and the Film Production and Sound Engineering students help crew productions. The Arts, Design and Media faculty uniquely offers our production students the opportunity to ‘commission’ every element of television and radio production work from fellow students.
You’ll be taught by award-winning staff who have a long pedigree in broadcasting. Each member of the team draws on their personal experiences and research interests to ensure students receive practical real world advice and are kept up to date with contemporary broadcasting practices.
Sam Coley is Senior Lecturer in Radio at Birmingham City University, where he teaches radio production, online radio, documentary production, commercial production and digital audio editing. He has a background in both the UK and New Zealand radio industries and worked as Creative Director for the Northern Region of New Zealand's TRN Network.
He has worked as a radio trainer for the BBC World Service Trust and as a media consultant for CARE International and the Prison Radio Association. In 2006, 2008 and 2010 Sam travelled to Africa to work on various audio projects and research, including radio programmes and advertising campaigns designed to promote sexual health and reproduction awareness for young Ethiopians.
Sam is a radio documentary producer with an interest in the use of audio slideshows. In 2009 he produced features for BBC WM, Spin 1038 Dublin and Absolute Radio. In 2010 he was nominated as a finalist in the "Best On-line Producer" category of the UK Radio Academy's Production Awards and also worked as a freelance documentary producer for Radio New Zealand.