12 months
26300 GBP/year
12500 GBP/year
Tuition fee
Apply date
Start date


This Film Directing programme at The University of Edinburgh takes a practice-based collaborative approach to studying for an award in Film Directing (Documentary) that integrates practical film making with analysis of contemporary practice.

Visit the official programme website for more information


During the Film Directing programme at The University of Edinburgh , you will make a creative documentary or non-fiction film that defies genre definition and pushes the boundaries of narrative, using limitations in a creative way. You will develop these through group seminars and tutorials.

You will work in an integrated framework that helps you question the form of your film and enables you to find the right language for your storytelling.

We encourage ways of working that foster the exchange of ideas, with inspiration from international film making practice through:

  • the Scottish Documentary Institute (SDI)
  • support from our team of documentary practitioners.

Our tutors are top professionals currently working in the industry as:

  • directors
  • producers
  • editors
  • sound designers
  • cinematographers

We work closely with the Scottish Documentary Institute (SDI), the University’s internationally-acclaimed research centre in documentary film making. Our experience in the industry encourages us to adapt our use of technologies to the current situation, using best industry practice and safe guidelines for filming.

Graduate films do well internationally, regularly winning BAFTAs, RTS Awards and awards at international festivals. Our students and graduates have also received an Oscar nomination and an Oscar shortlist.

Career opportunities

Our students go on to a wide range of roles, including:

  • producer
  • director
  • writer
  • production or location manager
  • researcher
  • editor
  • assistant director
  • cinematographer
  • journalist

Graduates have found work directing for the BBC and making work internationally for top broadcasters and film funds.

Related fields include:

  • advertising
  • community films
  • academia
  • film development agencies


MA/MFA Film Directing has been awarded the Creative Skillset Tick, the industry kitemark of quality, following a rigorous assessment process by experts working in the Creative Industries. The Creative Skillset Tick is awarded to practice-based courses which best prepare students for a career in the industry. 

Programme Structure

This programme is project-led and delivered through:

  • seminars
  • individual tutorials
  • lectures

It integrates practical advice on filming with a contextual awareness of contemporary film practice.

Your work is initially organised around micro-films that enhance your awareness of film language and your technical skills. At the same time you will research and develop an idea which you will film in the second semester, using whatever means are available to you.

You will prepare and shoot your graduate film, backed up by camera, sound and edit workshops - alongside project support from a tutor - before it is edited and finished with input from group crits and tutorials.

Key information


  • Full-time
    • 12 months

Start dates & application deadlines

More details
  • There are four rounds of admission.


180 alternative credits


On Campus

Academic requirements

GPA admission requirements GPA
Upper Second Class

Other requirements

General requirements

Normally a UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent, in a relevant subject area. You should have technical skills in filmmaking and experience in directing.

You must submit a portfolio as part of your application.

Your portfolio should:

  • include a link to one finished film, which can be any form but must be subtitled in English

  • demonstrate technical skills in filmmaking

  • demonstrate experience in directing

Your portfolio should not:

  • include more than one film

  • be a showreel

If your submitted film is fiction you must include in your personal statement why you wish to make documentary films.

If you do not meet the academic entry requirements, we may still consider your application.

Tuition Fee

To alway see correct tuition fees
  • International

    26300 GBP/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the tuition of 26300 GBP for the full programme during 12 months.
  • National

    12500 GBP/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the tuition of 12500 GBP for the full programme during 12 months.

Living costs for Edinburgh

725 - 1167 GBP /month
Living costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.



Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

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Film Directing
The University of Edinburgh


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