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) and Sony Picture Classics (US).
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 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, 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
Visit our School site for more student work and extra information.
Our students have gone on to work with companies such as:
You may be able to take advantage of the government’s plans to make loans of up to £10,906 available for postgraduate study.
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
Multimedia / digital content creation
Media and communications
|And/or you may have work experience in the sector, such as:|
Freelance filmmaking / production
Working as a runner, production coordinator
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.
Shortlisted applicants will then be invited for an interview or for EU/International students via Skype or telephone.
Starting: Sep 2020
Starting: Sep 2020
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 up to a maximum of five per cent.
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.
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). Courses within the School of Games, Film and Animation 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.
The cost of accommodation and other living costs are not included within your course fees. More information on the cost of accommodation can be found in our accommodation pages.
The additional costs listed here are to be used for indicative purposes only and are based on the additional costs for the 2018/19 academic year. The additional costs for 2019/20 will be published as soon as possible.
For general information about applying to study at Birmingham City University, please head to to the University's general How to Apply section.
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 can apply for a postgraduate loan of up to £10,906 for some courses and options?
In order to complete this course you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits):
Film Audiences and the Distribution Landscape
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
This module gives students a deep dive 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.
The purpose of the module is to enable you to undertake a sustained, in-depth and theoretically informed research project exploring an area that is of personal interest to you. It is important that we can support you appropriately, so you will be guided towards choosing a research topic which is relevant to your discipline and in which your lecturers have expertise. 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 you should consider the relevance of this topic to your future academic or professional development.
In order to complete this course you must successfully complete at least 60 credits from the following indicative list of OPTIONAL modules.
Film Festivals, Marketing and PR
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 present module will give students an understanding of the importance of film festivals to the industry, and give them insight into the skills needed to mount a successful marketing and public relations strategy at a festival.
Film Marketing, Planning and Deployment
This module will give students a thorough grounding in the skills necessary to successfully plan and carry out a film marketing strategy. The module will specifically examine the role of the distributor and the ways in which distributors market films from strategizing, through to planning budgets and implementation.
Digital Production in Practice
It’s all about you! This module is centred around you and your personal and professional development. You will be the ‘Creative’ and the ‘Content Producer’ in the ideation, development, production and delivery of your own digital marketing assets.
This module critically evaluates horror narratives in their cultural, historical and generic contexts across both visual and audio traditions, and asks you to analyze how debates in this area impact on creative and production practices in the field.
*(40 credit option not currently available, noted in the Course Handbook)
Core modules are guaranteed to run. Optional modules will vary from year to year and the published list is indicative only.
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.
Assessment will mainly be based on individual portfolios, proposals, pitches and critical evaluations.
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.
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.
For those taking the module ‘Film Marketing Planning & Deployment’, selected students have previously been placed within companies in the industry at the Cannes Film Festival, and have worked in assisting top film distributors, sales agents and production companies..
You can see what our students got up to here:
As part of your MA you may have the opportunity to take part in a work placement with a film distribution company at Cannes Film Festival, or an alternative experience. Students have previously worked alongside top film professionals in Cannes to 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.
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.
Before their course is officially finished, Birmingham City University’s Film Distribution and Marketing students are already going on to greater things in the UK film industry. Gaining places at some of the top companies in production, distribution and marketing, the 2016/17 graduate class are maintaining the stellar history of employment for the Film Distribution and Marketing Masters.
Joseph Hewitt – Executive Assistant, Hanway Films
In July, Joseph joined Hanway Films as executive assistant after having interned for the company at the Cannes Film Festival. His masters by practice was completed while employed at the company, which consisted of mapping out a business plan for a new online distribution company.
Hanway Films is the premier sales agent and producer in the UK film industry. Their catalogue includes titles such as “The Last Emperor”, “Nowhere Boy”, “Seven Psychopaths” and “An Education”.
Upcoming projects include “Mary Shelley” (starring Elle Fanning) and the psychological thriller “The Wolf Hour” (starring Naomi Watts).
Annika Ranin – Investment Assistant, The Fyzz Facility
Annika Ranin is currently finishing her masters as a part time student in the distance-learning version of the Film Distribution and Marketing MA. This summer, she joined The Fyzz Facility, one of the largest film financing and production companies in the industry with offices both in London and Los Angeles.
The Fyzz Facility’s recent projects include Martin Campbell’s “The Foreigner” (starring Jackie Chan) and Taylor Sheridan’s “Wind River” (starring Jeremy Renner).
Cristina Martin – Sales and Marketing Assistant, Kaleidoscope Films
Cristina recently joined Kaleidoscope films after having interned for Sony Picture Classics and WestEnd Films during her time doing the course. This is the second time Kaleidoscope has hired a BCU student, after Caroline Lichnewsky of the 2014/15 graduate class.
Kaleidoscope Films is an independent UK distributor and sales agent that has been involved in projects such as Alice Lowe’s “Prevenge” and Bobcat Goldwaithe’s “Willow Creek”.
Sara Vonk – Sales and Acquisitions Assistant, Truffle Pictures
Sara joined Truffle Pictures this summer as she completed her masters by practice for BCU. She had previously interned at film production company FilmNaition (“Arrival”, “The Big Sick”) during the Cannes Film Festival.
A brand new company, London-base Truffle Pictures is currently involved in selling the rights to projects such as “The Hippopotamus” (based on the novel by Stephen Fry) and the drama “Mum’s List” (based on the memoir by St John Greene).
Konstantinos Palyvos – Acquisitions and Office Assistant, WestEnd Films
Having interned at IMG Films and Altitude Films, Konstantinos just joined WestEnd Films as their newest hire.
One of London’s most respected sales agents, WestEnd Films are currently in pre-production on Agnieszka Holland’s new project, “Gareth Jones” and the period horror film “The Banishing” from producers Robert Jones and Wayne Marc Godfrey.
Natalie Featherstone – Communications/Publicity Intern at Think Jam
Natalie joined Think Jam in the fall having gained a place in the company’s competitive six-month internship programme. Since joining, she has worked in the campaigns for “Wonder Woman” and “Atomic Blonde”, and has already made her mark with ideas she pitched having been included in the final rollout.
Think Jam is the most successful film marketing agency in the UK. They have worked with clients such as Warner Brothers, HBO, 21st Century Fox, Canal Plus and many others.
Chloe Vidal – TV Format and Sales Production, NBC/Universal
Chloe joined NBC/Universal’s TV sales division at their London offices in July on a one-year contract, as she was finishing her end of year dissertation. Previously, she had interned at UK sales agent The Little Co.
NBC/Universal is one of Hollywood’s six majors and one of the major media companies in the world.
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 a leading film distribution company in London.
For those taking the module ‘Film Marketing Planning & Deployment’, there may be the opportunity for students to be lined up with a work placement with a film distribution company at Cannes Film Festival, or another alternative experience.
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.
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.
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 the 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.
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
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.
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 School of Games, Film and Animation is based in the Curzon Building, a £63 million development, located on our City Centre campus.
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.
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.
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 Birmingham School of Media and the School of Games, Film and Animation, 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.