Wildlife Filmmaking

* Please note there are no vacancies on this course for September 2014 *

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About this course


This exciting and unique programme has been co-designed by UWE academics and current and former producers, directors and production managers from the BBC's world-leading Natural History Unit to identify the future skills requirements for multi-platform broadcasters and their support.

We aim to produce graduates with skills and understanding suitable for entry level posts in wildlife, natural history and specialist factual programming (including conservation, environmental, adventure, expedition and travel). Above all students will develop storytelling skills and learn how to make intelligent and surprising programmes that will captivate audiences and inspire them to engage with the natural world.

This course will provide a distinct and bespoke learning experience. More than half of all the teaching (practice and theory) will be delivered by current and former NHU production personnel - the very best in the business and arguably the world.

See examples of work produced by students on the course.

Each student will be matched with an industry mentor who will act as an adviser for the student's professional development and guide them through the production of a final major project.

Applicants must be able to demonstrate a passion for their field and a strong desire to tell stories about the world.

A vibrant and innovative media hub, Bristol is the global centre for natural history filmmaking, home not only to the BBC's Natural History Unit but many other independent companies and filmmakers working in the field.

Local organisations such as the Bristol Natural History Consortium and Wildscreen provide further expertise, networks and research in the areas of wildlife, conservation and sustainability and the course will draw on these to enrich your learning and skills development.

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The programme is practical and production-based. Students will conceive, research, plan, make and deliver a series of projects, which will introduce and develop key understandings and frameworks, practices and skills.

UWE and the BBC have jointly developed modules, which include:

Creating the story - genre and storytelling, research and fieldwork and science understanding.

Mastering the business will offer an introduction to professional skills, mapping the industry and broadcast ethics. 

Preparing the production - research and development: building the editorial specification and pitching.

Designing the experience will be underpinned by multi-platform practice, future-casting, audiences and technology.

Professional production - how to apply professional skills in a final major project.

The programme culminates in an extended 3-6 month production module, where each student will undertake their own creative project enabling them to showcase their portfolio of skills.  This bespoke module will be largely self-directed, supported by tutorials and sessions with an industry mentor. 

UWE believes this award will offer the highest quality training across practical filmmaking and multi-platform programme-making while considering the potential of future technologies and their relationship to creative innovations in media production and broadcasting. 

Learning and Teaching

The main teaching delivery will take place in workshops with an average contact time of 18 hours a week focused around the University's new, multi-million pound Creative Media Centre at its Bower Ashton campus.

This encompasses studio facilities for news, television production and creative filmmaking as well as a post-production facility with sound and picture editing and grading suites and a dubbing theatre. There is an extensive range of location filming equipment including specialist camera kit.

And as Bristol is a leading UK centre for digital, multi-platform innovation, content development and delivery, students will also have access where appropriate to the recourses and expertise of the Digital Cultures Research Centre and the region's leading media innovation lab, the Pervasive Media Studio, based in the city's Watershed Media Centre, plus the wider resources around the interlinked concerns of wildlife, conservation and sustainability such as Wildscreen and the Bristol Natural History Consortium.

For more details see our glossary of teaching and learning terms.

Special Features

Study facilities

Investment in a new Media Hub at Bower Ashton campus will support studies in broadcast journalism, filmmaking and creative media.

Find out more about the facilities and resources UWE has to offer.

BBC collaboration

Our collaboration with the BBC offers unique opportunities for students to learn from professional wildlife filmmakers at the top of their industry who are able to share the knowledge and experience amassed in the BBC's world-renowned Natural History Unit. They will play a central role in delivery specialist knowledge as guest speakers, visiting lecturers and instructors underpinning the teaching delivered on campus.

Each student will be matched with an industry mentor who will act as an advisor and guide them through the production of a final major project and beyond into the world of work.

On campus postgraduate students in the Department of Creative Industries have access to an excellent range of resources and a strong team of technical support staff, including our Media Centre and specialist library.

Careers/further study


FeeCost (£) / per year
Full-time home / EU7,750
Part-time home / EU (per 15 credits)646
Full-time offshore10,750
Part-time offshore (per 15 credits)896
Full-time International10,750
Part-time International (per 15 credits)896
Full-time International (per 15 credits)896

Supplementary fee information

For further details regarding fees and entry requirements please contact programme manager Susan McMillan


Joining instructions

For students starting this course in September 2014, view your joining instructions. For more information about joining the University, please see our New Students pages.

Entry requirements

An undergraduate science degree and basic media production skills are desirable but not essential. Highly motivated individuals already engaged in developing a portfolio of relevant experiences and activities (e.g. volunteer work, conservation experience, wildlife or travel filmmaking, writing, photography, adventure activity) will also be considered.

Applications from international students are actively encouraged to help broaden the cultural perspective and create essential networking links for the future.

In addition to the general UWE application, candidates should submit with their application:

  • A  programme idea for a one hour wildlife documentary (on a single side of A4)
  • A list of 10 television programmes; both wildlife and others that you have watched and enjoyed.  Be prepared to discuss some of these programmes in depth if selected for interview.

Short-listed candidates will be invited to interview (telephone interviews will be conducted for international applicants). They will need to bring/provide a show reel or concise portfolio of previous work. This may include audio, film, video, photography and writing.

How to apply

For more information about joining the University, please see our New Students pages.

For further information

Accreditations and partnerships:

British Broadcasting Corporation

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