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Documentary MA

Course fees (2018/19 entry)

Option / fee Value
Home/EU full-time annual tuition fee: £6,250
Home/EU part-time tuition fee: £34.75 per credit
International full time annual tuition fee: £14,450

Course type



Liverpool Screen School

Study mode

Full Time & Part Time

About your course

A dynamic and practical documentary programme to develop your creative storytelling and multi-media production skills. The programme will include lectures, workshops and opportunities to learn from professional media experts.  You will also be encouraged to forge contacts with media companies and undertake a professional placement to enhance your employability in this creative sector

  • Explore practical documentary making on a variety of media platforms
  • Work with award-winning documentary makers and experienced journalists
  • Study in the £38 million Redmonds Building and enjoy full access to Liverpool Screen School's state-of-the-art facilities
  • Undertake a placement with a professional media company

​You will be encouraged to be creative, innovative and professional in your approach to this degree and the work you do with media partners.

Professor Rachel McLean, Director of Liverpool Screen School​

Introduction to the School

The Liverpool Screen School offers a warm and friendly environment founded on a strong commitment to nurturing and supporting creativity while offering excellent learning resources and first-class student support.

International expertise

You will be taught by professional, experienced and enthusiastic academic staff with extensive and current practical industry experience.

The School is part of the BBC North Developing Talent Scheme and the Journalism teaching team has a growing international reputation and has formerly won contracts with the British Council to liaise with universities abroad. The team is involved in a range of international projects and is developing links with various countries. The department also has close links with local and national news organisations, including the BBC and ITV.

Staff have all worked in the industry and have years of experience in print, radio, television and online journalism. Many have an excellent record of research and publications in Journalism and International Relations.

Liverpool is a truly international city with a thriving journalism industry. The city has one of the country's largest and most successful evening newspapers (the Liverpool Echo) and a successful magazine industry. There are several television companies in the city including the BBC and Granada TV as well as Lime Pictures -  creators of Brookside and Hollyoaks.

Top class facilities

The School is based in the Redmonds Building, located in the heart of the bustling Mount Pleasant campus and Liverpool's growing Knowledge Quarter. The Redmonds Building is shared by three Schools within the Faculty of Arts, Professional and Social Studies – Liverpool Business School, Liverpool Screen School and the School of Law - making for a rich blend of student learning experiences.

As well as broadcast studios, news rooms and media production suites, you will have access to high quality lecture theatres and seminar rooms, social spaces, and the ground floor Starbucks cafe.

The Redmonds Building is only a short walk from LJMU's Aldham Robarts Library, which contains all the resources you will need for your studies. It is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Why study this course at LJMU?

Liverpool Screen School has significant links with regional media companies.

Our industry partners include the BBC, ITV Northern Lights Partnership; Nine Lives Media; Blakeway North; Lime Pictures; and the BAFTA award-winning companies Hurricane Films and LA Productions. By working closely with industry partners around Liverpool, the country's most filmed city outside London, we are pivotal in the region's thriving media industry.

You will be taught by professional, experienced and enthusiastic academic staff and practitioners from the media industry. Each tutor offers extensive and current practical industry experience in radio, television, interactive media, online journalism and documentary-making.

​An Industry Placement module will offer opportunities for students to gain invaluable work experience and develop primary industry contacts.

The programme can be studied by International students, who will have the opportunity to do a work placement in their country of origin, improving their future employability at home and allowing their final MA project to be produced there via distance learning. 

Programme outline and structure

This new practice-led masters degree focuses on documentary making on a variety of platforms, enabling you to develop the core skills required to become a successful documentary maker.

​Through the exploration of practical camerawork skills, including sound recording, editing and interviewing, you will become confident in your craft, while the journalism modules will develop your skills in storytelling, interviewing and the various journalistic principles.

You will also study and understand the laws which impact responsible journalism, including the latest media law and ethics.

​The degree is taught  by two departments in Liverpool Screen School; Media Production runs a popular and highly successful undergraduate degree which develops students to become confident and independent media developers. The Journalism department has offered undergraduate and postgraduate degrees for many years and continues to produce well-skilled graduates ready for the workplace. The collaborative nature of this degree means you will receive the best learning support, access to the latest techniques, academic research and opportunities to engage with key external partners.

What you will study on this degree

Please see guidance below for further information on what you will study.

Documentaries in Context

Gain insights into different documentary genres, media law and ethical considerations and learn how independent documentary makers fund, distribute and market their films

Craft Skills

For those with little or no filmmaking experience this module will teach basic skills in camera, sound, lighting and editing

Advanced Production Skills

Students can tailor the advanced production skills they wish to learn: for instance, focus on learning to film with drones and/or steadicams etc. There will also be the opportunity to learn digital post-production skills such as Photoshop and After Effects

Industry Placement
Gain the opportunity for work experience in a professional media company

Reflections on Professional Practice

For those already working in the professional media industry, this module allows you to reflect on your own personal and professional experiences

Media Production Practice
Specifically for professional practitioners, this module enables you to examine the context of your practice, informed by broader perspectives of the media industry and research into aspects of documentary production

Radio Documentary, including podcasting
An opportunity to learn radio documentary production, with an emphasis on advanced sound recording, interview skills and soundscaping

Interactive Documentary
Explore online media platforms through the development of compelling, tangible interfaces to create a non-linear, interactive documentary

Research/Story Development
In preparation for your final Masters documentary project, this module encourages you to identify and develop your documentary idea. You will produce a detailed research document, including production paperwork and a story treatment and deliver a professional pitch of your programme proposal to industry practitioners

Documentary Project
Over the course of this module you will demonstrate mastery of story-telling within your chosen subject area, by the production of a long-form documentary on a media platform of your choice

Further guidance on modules

The information listed in the section entitled 'What you will study' is an overview of the academic content of the programme that will take the form of either core or option modules. Modules are designated as core or option in accordance with professional body requirements and internal Academic Framework review, so may be subject to change. Students will be required to undertake modules that the University designates as core and will have a choice of designated option modules. Additionally, option modules may be offered subject to meeting minimum student numbers.

Academic Framework reviews are conducted by LJMU from time to time to ensure that academic standards continue to be maintained.

Please email if you require further guidance or clarification.

How will I be assessed?

Teaching and assessment methods vary according to the module.

Teaching includes a mixture of lectures, demonstrations, screenings and craft skills workshops. As a postgraduate student, you will have the flexibility and freedom to produce your own documentary project for a media platform of your choice.

​Assessment methods are mixed, with practical modules usually based around portfolios of work including tasks aimed at the assessment of specific skills. Any written assessments you undertake may include essays, reviews and reports. 

Staff research interests

Our academics have a rich background of research interests, published work and industry-specific experience which is incorporated into teaching on this degree.

​You will be taught by staff who input into the Journalism, Media and Communication research cluster, one of the main research areas in the Screen School.  The staff in our media production team include programme leader, Camilla Affleck, a BBC trained and highly experienced documentary maker who has produced documentaries for BBC1, BBC2, BBC3, Channel 4, Channel 5 and Sky One.

The teaching team includes Hazel Barrett, an experienced professional radio and television news journalist, other members of LJMU journalism staff and media practitioner Ian Bradley, who explores new ways in engaging audiences with interactive new media technologies and immersive ways of telling stories.

Entry requirements (Home)

Our philosophy enables us to accept a wide range of applicants.

Applications to the MA Documentary will normally be considered in the light of the applicant's ability to meet the following criteria:

1. Generally applicants should have a minimum second class honours degree.

2. Non-media graduates with no formal media experience must demonstrate a genuine interest and commitment to practical filmmaking.

3. All candidates must be able to demonstrate the ability to benefit from and contribute to the programme. Although most applicants will be graduates, the fact that candidates may not have a degree is not necessarily a bar to entry. Applications from non-standard applicants are welcomed. The Programme Leader will make a decision on whether to admit the candidate on the basis of experience.

Entry requirements (International)

​International applicants are required to demonstrate equivalent qualifications and must also demonstrate a proficiency in communicating through English, via an IELTS test with a score of 6.5 (Minimum 5.5 in each component) or equivalent.

Please check if you require an Academic Technology Approval Scheme or ATAS certificate. It can take four to six weeks to receive an ATAS certificate, so please make sure you apply as early as possible. You can find out more on the  British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) website. Alternatively, contact LJMU's  International Admissions Team for guidance. Please note: international students entering on a Tier 4 Visa cannot study part time. Students entering the UK on alternate types of Visa may be in a position to study part time. Please contact LJMU's  International Admissions Team for further details before making your application.  In order to obtain a Visa you will also need to show evidence that the money required to cover your tuition fees and living expenses has been in your bank account for at least 28 days prior to submitting your visa application. So please make sure that your finances are in place before applying. For more details, go to our  international website

For advice on any aspect of the application process, please contact LJMU's  International Admissions Team.

Application and selection

​You will  need to submit a completed LJMU online application form, together with your academic transcript or equivalent and an academic reference.

Will I be interviewed?

​No - unless the programme leader deems necessary.


6.5 (Minimum of 5.5 in each component)


58-64 (Min. 51 in each component for UKVI Purposes)

Is RPL accepted on this programme?


Please Note: All international qualifications are subject to a qualification equivalency check via NARIC.

Financial support

Financial support.

Tuition fees

All students enrolled on postgraduate taught programmes at LJMU are liable to pay an annual tuition fee. You can opt to pay your tuition fees in full at the start of each academic year or in instalments. If you need advice about how to pay your tuition fees, please email LJMU’s Student Funding Team.

Funding sources

There are many ways to fund postgraduate study for home and international students. From Postgraduate Masters Loans and Professional and Career Development Loans (PCDLs) to International Scholarships and subject-specific funding, you’ll find all of the information you need on our specialist postgraduate funding pages.

Graduate employment

A highly focused professional masters degree.

​The MA Documentary will help develop you into an adaptive, creative and self-reflective story-teller, with industry-relevant craft skills and the ability to produce documentaries for a variety of audiences, in a range of media forms.

​By linking you with regional media companies who regularly work with Liverpool Screen School and often employ our graduates, we are able to provide you with opportunities to not only develop your own documentary style but also build meaningful professional networks and projects.

International Study

International applicants are required to demonstrate equivalent qualifications to the standard requirements for entry when applying for courses at LJMU.

Students must also demonstrate a proficiency in communicating through English, for example via an IELTS tests or equivalent.

Please note: UK visa restrictions mean that international students are only permitted to study on a full-time basis.

Please contact LJMU’s International Team by visiting for more information and advice.


LJMU has launched a range of generous international scholarships for students enrolling at the University.

These prestigious scholarships take the form of tuition fee waivers and are available for outstanding international students applying for taught postgraduate programmes and research degrees.

You will need to complete an additional application form in order to be considered for these scholarships. Full eligibility criteria and the online application form are available here:

Applications for these scholarships are welcomed from:

  • new international applicants
  • current LJMU international students hoping to progress onto postgraduate study at the University
  • LJMU international alumni

The University may make changes to a programme of study or module where such changes are deemed to be beneficial to students, are minor in nature and unlikely to impact negatively upon students or become necessary due to circumstances beyond the control of the University.
Further guidance on programme changes

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