If you have the ambition and drive to work in the dynamic digital media and television industries, our Television Production MA course will give you the edge you need to succeed in this highly competitive field.
This course is designed to mirror industry practice and processes, so you can expect extensive, hands-on experience as you expand your television production skills from the outset. You’ll develop a thorough grounding in television theories and gain a comprehensive understanding of the real-world challenges that exist in this rewarding industry.
You’ll be based at the Parkside Building, located on our City Centre Campus, where you will have access to industry-standard facilities and equipment. Because this MA is an entirely practical course, you will be absorbed in all aspects of programme production.
As part of your course, you’ll be required to work on your own and as part of a team to produce highly sophisticated standards of video and TV work that would not look out of place on mainstream channels. And as a professional, self-starting individual, you’ll learn how to create ideas and how to pitch, both for the programmes you want to make and for the people you need to make them for.
You’ll be supported throughout your studies by course leader Caroline Officer, an award-winning television producer, and other leading names from the industry.
In addition to undertaking a significant amount of practical work, you’ll learn the contextual theories and study the rapid development of the industry and will also complete Personal Development Planning, helping you transform into a successful and knowledgeable media professional.
You’ll have the opportunity to collaborate with other Schools at the University, producing creative and innovative content.
Our next Postgraduate Open Day will be in Autumn 2016. The date will be confirmed soon and registration will open shortly.
In the meantime, register your details and we'll contact you when more information is available.
Visit our School site for more student work and extra information.
You may be able to take advantage of the government’s plans to make loans of up to £10,000 available for postgraduate study.
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 2016||FT||1 year||£6,500|
|MA||Sep 2017||FT||1 year||TBC|
If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form instead.
|MA||Sep 2016||FT||1 year||£12,000|
|MA||Sep 2017||FT||1 year||£12,000|
If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form instead.
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.
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 specific courses. 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.
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:
Why does this course appeal? What areas are of particular interest?
If you have a specific career in mind, say how your chosen course will help you pursue this goal.
Mention any work that is relevant to your subject, highlighting the skills and experience gained.
Highlight skills gained at school/college, eg summer schools or mentoring activities.
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.
Search our Frequently Asked Questions for a range of information about our courses and studying here.
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?
Your Television Production work consists of five modules. Completion of two 30-credit modules on Television, Factual Entertainment and Enterprise, will see you attain a PgCert qualification.
By completing an additional two 30-credits on Television Documentaries and Features and Production Lab, you’ll be awarded a PgDip.
The final 60 credit is the Practice Project, and successful completion will lead to the MA qualification.
Television Documentaries and Features
These two modules focus on two main genre areas of programme making. You’ll become familiar with a broad range of popular and specialist UK focused programming, learn from a range of current industry professionals through specialist lectures and practical workshops. You will also experience the most up-to-date industry practices and will gain the skills you need to film both on location and within the television studio.
As a creative professional in the television and digital media industry, you are likely to work as a freelancer. This module teaches you the professional and entrepreneurial skills you will need to work independently and successfully in this competitive sector.
This is a shared module, which means you will work with students from some of our other media courses.
In Production Lab, you’ll work alongside students from a range of MA courses, which which can offer you the chance to develop your creative ideas across difference disciplines. For example, it could see you developing a television programme alongside mobile and online platforms. Equally, you can choose to work independently and some students find the chance to focus on solo work refreshing.
This module is excellent preparation for your final MA by Practice project.
MA by Practice Project
Using the resources of our world-class media facilities, you’ll produce an original piece of video work. There are no set criteria for this part of the course; instead, you’ll be encouraged to focus on a subject area that inspires you and encourages you to be innovative. If appropriate, you will be expected to incorporate online, mobile and social media elements in addition to your main project.
Our Television Production MA is a full-time course that takes one year to complete. There are no part-time or distance learning options. This course is fast-paced and you will hit the ground running.
The specialist modules – currently Factual Entertainment, and Documentary and Features – run as if you are in live production and you will work collaboratively with your fellow students mirroring production company structures, learning how to develop original programme ideas and pitch to strict deadlines.
The course comprises of five main modules - two specialist television modules, which are unique to this course, two appropriate and complimentary modules that are shared with other courses and an MA by Practice Project.
You will not have to sit exams; instead, the assessments are embedded in industry practice and comprise ideas development and pitch presentations, creating, shooting and editing an original short programme pilot for Factual Entertainment, appropriate for transmission on Channel 4. In your second semester, the Documentary and Features module focuses on developing content appropriate for the BBC.
Fundamental to the course is making video content and you will undertake several assignments during your studies.
Recent examples of outstanding work by Television Production MA students include filmmakers Abhinay Khoparzi and Marcelo Maia, who created race reports from the Aston Martin race season and included input from star driver Bruno Senna.
Other films include a superb documentary by Turki Alshehri on Britons converting to the Muslim faith and a Cantonese food documentary by Fenglin Li.
There are also a number of extra projects that you will have the chance to be involved with. Projects have included a two-week studio drama course with our MA Acting and Film Production BSc students, led by leading television director/actor James Larkin.
For the past three years, students have also recorded a fly-on-the-wall programme of the Faculty of Health’s annual Major Incident Simulation day.
Our students recently had the chance to go to the British Film Institute in London for a Royal Television Society day of masterclasses.
Your studies will equip you with a high level of practical skills that will help you to stand out when you look for a professional role in the television and video production sector.
It’s not just having access to world-class facilities that will help you to be a highly employable graduate; you will also benefit from our strong links with media production companies and television professionals.
You’ll have the opportunity to be involved in the annual ReThink Media conference, which is held by the University every March. You’ll be able to learn from high profile keynote speakers, which have included Google’s Frank Golding, Ralph Rivera, BBC Head of Future Media and Jonathan Perelman, Vice-President of Buzzfeed at recent events.
Our reputation for high quality television and media courses means our graduates are ahead of the game when it comes to finding successful careers in the sector. Some of our Television Production MA graduates have gone on to forge careers in mainstream media such as the BBC and Channel 4, as well as leading independent companies, including Endemol, Maverick and North One.
Another recent graduate, Rebekah Woolley secured a placement on the BBC soap ‘Doctors’, and within two days of arriving on set was offered a paid contract. She later secured the Production Co-ordinator job on the latest series of ‘Father Brown’ and then successfully applied for the Production Secretary’s role on the second series of ‘Poldark’.
Although placements are not embedded into the course, you will be fully supported if you pursue appropriate work experience through a personal professional development plan. You will be expected to do the work of finding and approaching organisations yourself because this sharpens up your job-finding skills and allows you to operate as an industry freelancer from the outset.
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.
Thanks to our methods of teaching, as well as our extensive industry links and academic staff who can draw on years of relevant industry practice, our graduates typically enjoy very successful careers in television.
Previous students have joined shows such as ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ and ‘The Voice’, typically starting as a production runner. One of our graduates was snapped up by the BBC to be Production Secretary on the period drama series ‘Poldark’ within a year of graduating from the course.
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:
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.
Our students come from around the world but our television production course is most popular with international students from:
Our cutting-edge facilities, including the largest University TV studio, are housed within a purpose-built Media Centre at The Parkside Building, part of our City Centre Campus.
There are four TV studios within the Media Centre, along with Studio B/Milo (the 'green screen'). Three of the studios are able to do live multi-camera production and all studios (TV and radio) can be interconnected. It's taken 22km of wire to make that happen. The Media Centre is fully digital.
At over 2000sq ft and three stories high, Studio A’s TV floor is the largest of any University studio in the UK. Studio A could easily accommodate shows like ‘Deal or no Deal’, ‘Blue Peter’, ‘The One Show’, ‘Watchdog’ and ‘Newsnight’ to name but a few.
Studio A's Gallery Suite #1 (TV) is where production, lighting, camera control, graphics and Autocue are controlled. Sony Broadcast have supported us in the development of the Media Centre, meaning we have broadcast-standard Sony monitors and three of their new full-HD digital vision mixing desks– some of the first examples in the UK.
Studio A's Gallery Suite #2 (TV) is an audio gallery where the sound for the studios and the communication for interconnection are controlled. This gallery is also broadcast-standard thanks to Studer audio and a multi-layered ProTools desk. The desk allows for the three audio galleries to be used as independent sound studios or dubbing theatres. Each desk can control up to 120 sound sources in six banks of 20 channels. The desk alone cost £50,000.
Studio B is a green screen studio for recording material that will then have CGI (computer-generated imagery) added to form the final image. The studio has a motion control camera, 'Milo', which can reproduce the same programmed move repeatedly. This allows the CGI and the live image to be synced.
Like Studio A, Studio B is three storeys high. The height allows the heat from the lights to be removed so that the studio floor remains at a reasonable working temperature. All the excess heat generated in the Media Centre will be recycled into hot water for the Parkside Building.
Studio C is 1900sq ft, and has a separate production and sound gallery on the same floor. Like all the studios, it is built as a box within a box (to enhance the acoustics for sound recording) and the lighting has been designed so that staff and students will not have to work at height to change the lighting design, this is done through the use of lights and bars which are moved across the grid by poles.
The Media Centre has four fully broadcast-standard edit suites, based on the industry-standard Avid editing system, which is used in almost all films and the majority of UK television. Though all of the suites can edit, two of the suites are specialised for Audio Finishing and Colour Grading. The Media Centre has a further 20 Avid machines in the post-production teaching suite on Level 0.
The Media Centre has full broadcast-standard dubbing suites. Based on a multi-layered ProTools desk, the suites can dub both film and TV projects with up to 120 simultaneous sound sources. There is an ADR (Additional Dialogue Recording) booth and the ability to record Foley (additional live sound, like footsteps). If additional Foley activity is required, for example to cover a crowd scene, then one of the radio studios or TV studio floors can be used and the sound delivered to a dubbing suite through the technical integration system.
Caroline Officer is an award-winning TV producer who had 18 years of experience across the industry before she joined the University. She has worked extensively for BBC Television and Endemol, producing and co-producing global television successes that have created celebrity chefs, gardeners and interior designers. She also successfully adapted successful television formats into live shows, developed TV show spin off merchandise and was an early producer of online interactive content for property developers and agents.