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Film Distribution and Marketing - MA

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....

Studying with us in 2021/22 and 2022/23

The University has put in place measures in response to Covid-19 to allow us to safely deliver our courses.  Information about the arrangements for the 2021/22 academic year can be found here.  

 

Should the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic continue in the 2022/23 academic year or subsequent years of your course, any additional and/or alternative arrangements put in place by the University in response will be in accordance with the latest government public health advice, pandemic-related/health and safety legislation, and the terms and conditions of the student contract.

  • Level Postgraduate Taught
  • Study mode Full Time
  • Location City Centre
  • School School of Games, Film and Animation
  • Faculty Faculty of Arts, Design and Media

Overview

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). 

This course is open to International students.

What's covered in this 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 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

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 multiple opportunities for practical work during the course. In the past students have been involved in helping producers market their films, do an in-depth project with leading distribution companies, carried out research for the BFI, travelled to the Cannes film festival and taken part in internships either at the festival or in the UK. Please bear in mind any offsite activities are subject to current conditions imposed by the COVID-19 epidemic.
  • Previous graduates have gone on to work with leading UK companies such as Hanway, Disney UK, Studio Canal, Mubi, Premiere PR, Think Jam, Kaleidoscope, GFM, WestEnd Films and others, as well as internationally at Entertainment One, The Match Factory, Deluxe NY, Warner Brothers International and as independent producers and distributors.
  • Lecturers and tutors are professionals currently working in the industry. You will receive extensive support in developing employability skills, including CVs and online profiles.

Similar Courses

Entry Requirements

Essential Requirements 
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

Extra information for International (non-EU) students 
Essential

English - IELTS 6.0 overall with 5.5 minimum in all 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

International Students

Entry requirements here

 

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.

Fees & How to Apply

  • International students

Award: MA

Starting: Sep 2022

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 1 year
  • £10,000 per year
  • Full Time
  • 18 months (including Professional Placement - see below*)
  • £11,000 per year

Award: MA

Starting: Sep 2022

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 1 year
  • £16,300 per year
  • Full Time
  • 18 months (including Professional Placement - see below*)
  • £17,930 per year

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.

Access to computer equipment

You will require use of a laptop, and most students do prefer to have their own. However, you can borrow a laptop from the university or use one of our shared computer rooms.

Printing

You will receive £5 print credit in each year of your course, available after enrolment.

Field trips

All essential field trips and associated travel costs will be included in your course fees.

Access to Microsoft Office 365

Every student at the University can download a free copy of Microsoft Office 365 to use whilst at university and for 18 months after graduation.

Key software

You will be able to download SPSS and Nvivo to your home computer to support with your studies and research.

Key subscriptions

Subscriptions to key journals and websites are available through our library.

Free access to Rosetta Stone

All students can sign up to the online learning language platform for free through the Graduate+ scheme.

Excess printing (optional)

Once you have spent your £5 credit, additional printing on campus costs from 5p per sheet.

Placement expenses (optional)

If you choose to undertake a placement, you'll need to budget for accommodation and any travel costs you may incur whilst living or working away from home.

Field trips (optional)

This course includes the option of additional trips that may enhance your experience, at extra cost.

Accommodation and living costs

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.

*Professional Placement option

The Professional Placement version of the course is optional and is offered as an alternative to the standard version of the course.

This will allow you to complete a credit bearing, 20 week Professional Placement as an integral part of your Master’s Degree. The purpose of the Professional Placement is to improve your employability skills which will, through the placement experience, allow you to evidence your professional skills, attitudes and behaviours at the point of entry to the postgraduate job market. Furthermore, by completing the Professional Placement, you will be able to develop and enhance your understanding of the professional work environment, relevant to your chosen field of study, and reflect critically on your own professional skills development within the workplace.

You will be responsible for finding and securing your own placement. The University, however, will draw on its extensive network of local, regional and national employers to support you in finding a suitable placement to complement your chosen area of study. You will also benefit from support sessions delivered by Careers+ as well as advice and guidance from your School.

Placements will only be confirmed following a competitive, employer-led selection process, therefore the University will not be able to guarantee placements for students who have registered for the ‘with Professional Placement’ course. All students who do not find a suitable placement or do not pass the competitive selection process will be automatically transferred back to the standard, non-placement version of the course.

Personal statement

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:

Your passion and motivations

Studying a postgraduate course usually means you want to specialise in something. So what’s driving you?

Why this course?

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.

What makes you a good postgraduate candidate?

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.

Relevant academic or work experience

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.

Course in Depth

Modules

In order to complete this course you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.  

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: 

Employability

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.

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. 


Employment

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.


Paid Internships

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.

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 a leading film distribution company in London.

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

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. 

International Students

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.

Facilities and Staff

Parkside and Curzon Buildings
NTI-facilities-2
NTI-facilities-3

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.

Our staff

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. 

More about Eugenio

Alan McQueen

Specialist Lecturer Film Business

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'.

More about Alan

Rebecca Tullener

Course Leader BA (Hons) Film Business and Promotion / Interim Course Director BA (Hons) Digital Marketing

Rebecca has a commercial background in web, graphic design and video production, joining Birmingham City University back in 2003 to deliver on European funded projects supporting small businesses with screen-based technologies. The role involved strategizing and overseeing the development of websites and branded content. Rebecca went on to run a video production unit, Notion Studio, as a producer/studio manager for 3 years and worked with Birmingham Central Library to develop a digital library of early print materials for the creative sector.

Rebecca has been instrumental in developing the School of Games, Film and Animation’s course portfolio, supporting the writing and launch of new courses at postgraduate and undergraduate level, from our initial Games programmes, through to Film and Marketing provision.

Rebecca’s main areas of teaching are:

  • Film business and marketing topics
  • Professional/Academic Skills

More about Rebecca