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What are the differences between an MFA and an MA in film directing in the UK and are there better options?

Ayoxo

Member
I would be done with my undergraduate degree a year from now and i plan to move to the UK as an international student to do an Masters in film directing through a scholarship. My intention to do this is not to get any connections from the film school but more so because I want to be surrounded in that learning space by people with the same interests.

I know the general consensus is to get out there and start making movies but tbh Im not ready to start living life as a hustling director in my crazy country. So i just feel that spending a year doing a masters in a film school, being in that learning space gives me the time and experience I need before I'm ready to delve into that world of hustling to make movies if that makes any sense.

Is this what an MA or MFA is. I've seen people say that MA in directing are for those that want to teach and there's no much practical work. That's not what I want. What I want is to be in a learning space where I can gain practical experience in directing for like a year or two maximim. Also are there other options I can take?
 

Jacobbbb

Member
Hi. Just read this. An MA can be both. It's course specific. Specifically, an MA is say Film Studies would be an area if you wanted to teach. It wouldn't be practical, just learning based. A practical MA would be Directing, Film Production and any area of filmmaking. And there are MA courses for that.

The National Film and Television School (NFTS) is the biggest and most prestigious in the country. They offer MAs in Directing Fiction, Animation, Screenwriting, Television Directing and Producing, Producing etc. London Film School also offer practical MA courses in filmmaking. They are the oldest film school in the UK. There are individual universities that offer Practical Filmmaking MAs. They are normally titled Film Production etc. I'm about to start a 1 year MA course at Met Film School in London for Directing. So yeah, MAs are course specific. And most in Directing are practical. My course is 70% practical. MA courses tend to range from 1 year to 2 years.

Unlike in the US when it comes to Filmmaking courses, it's really specific. So instead of a Film School course offering a course where you learn the basics of pretty much everything, the Film Schools here focus on the areas of interest in filmmaking such as Directing, Producing, Cinematography, Editing, Screenwriting etc.

So yeah. Hopefully that helped. And good luck in your search 👍
 

Ayoxo

Member
Hi. Just read this. An MA can be both. It's course specific. Specifically, an MA is say Film Studies would be an area if you wanted to teach. It wouldn't be practical, just learning based. A practical MA would be Directing, Film Production and any area of filmmaking. And there are MA courses for that.

The National Film and Television School (NFTS) is the biggest and most prestigious in the country. They offer MAs in Directing Fiction, Animation, Screenwriting, Television Directing and Producing, Producing etc. London Film School also offer practical MA courses in filmmaking. They are the oldest film school in the UK. There are individual universities that offer Practical Filmmaking MAs. They are normally titled Film Production etc. I'm about to start a 1 year MA course at Met Film School in London for Directing. So yeah, MAs are course specific. And most in Directing are practical. My course is 70% practical. MA courses tend to range from 1 year to 2 years.

Unlike in the US when it comes to Filmmaking courses, it's really specific. So instead of a Film School course offering a course where you learn the basics of pretty much everything, the Film Schools here focus on the areas of interest in filmmaking such as Directing, Producing, Cinematography, Editing, Screenwriting etc.

So yeah. Hopefully that helped. And good luck in your search 👍
Thanks a lot for clarifying. Also if it's not too much, can you give me the details of your application process into Met film school?
 

Jacobbbb

Member
Application process. Ok. My mind's quite fudgy on the details but here's what I remember from the application. They do ask for inspirations. They ask about what you could bring to the school and why you want to attend the school. They also ask about what things you either have done or ideas you have in the future. Also, I don't know if this is a question or it's something I just answered with but what you're interested in, what intrigues you about film, what do you want to explore in your films etc. There is a section where you can provide visual samples. At MET, no matter what course, you can put forward scripts, vimeo/youtube links etc. I put both but I don't personally think I got in by this merit. On the email where they put me forward for the interview, the vimeo link didn't work so I don't think my visual material was a major reason for my entry. The scripts maybe but defo not the film.

In the application as well, it was I think a strength to outline some weaknesses for yourself. I was very open about my lack of experience directing others and directing in general. The interview really strays away from the broad stuff and focuses on Why MET? What do you feel you can bring to the table? Basically, in the interview, it's much more MET focused. Anyway, I hope that helped.
 

Ayoxo

Member
Application process. Ok. My mind's quite fudgy on the details but here's what I remember from the application. They do ask for inspirations. They ask about what you could bring to the school and why you want to attend the school. They also ask about what things you either have done or ideas you have in the future. Also, I don't know if this is a question or it's something I just answered with but what you're interested in, what intrigues you about film, what do you want to explore in your films etc. There is a section where you can provide visual samples. At MET, no matter what course, you can put forward scripts, vimeo/youtube links etc. I put both but I don't personally think I got in by this merit. On the email where they put me forward for the interview, the vimeo link didn't work so I don't think my visual material was a major reason for my entry. The scripts maybe but defo not the film.

In the application as well, it was I think a strength to outline some weaknesses for yourself. I was very open about my lack of experience directing others and directing in general. The interview really strays away from the broad stuff and focuses on Why MET? What do you feel you can bring to the table? Basically, in the interview, it's much more MET focused. Anyway, I hope that helped.
Thanks alot for the help. Just want to ask a few more questions because I also want to apply and it's very informative from someone that has gone through that process.

1) If you say your visual samples weren't accessible and this obviously wasn't what made you a strong candidate, what do you now think are the things you had or did in your application that made them accept you?

2) I'm assuming the portfolio you gave them was some scripts(how many scripts and how many pages?) and one short film. What do you think is enough and acceptable as a portfolio? 1 good short film and 1 good script? 2 short films and 1 script? I want to start working on mine

3) What was your resume/CV like before you applied? Reason I'm asking is because most resume samples I've seen are filled with people that have done things while the only thing I can say I've done in my resume is that I finished with a psychology degree and maybe directed a crappy short film. I don't know if that would affect my application

Really appreciate the help
 

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