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Wildlife Filmmaking

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About this course


This exciting and unique Masters degree has been co-designed by UWE academics and producers, directors and production managers from the BBC's world-leading Natural History Unit.

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.

See examples of work produced by students on the course.

Each student will be matched with an industry mentor who, alongside their tutor, will guide them through the production of a final major project.

Applicants must be able to demonstrate a passion for wildlife and the environment 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 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. Over the years, students will produce a series of projects, on modules which have been jointly developed by UWE and the BBC. These modules are:

Creating the Story - which explores the art and science of storytelling.

Mastering the Business - will offer an introduction to the business and production of wildlife films.

Preparing the Production - guides students through the production process for their final film, exploring research and development, editorial specification and pitching.

Future Documentary -explores how to produce wildlife content for a range of different platforms.

Professional production - is 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 seminars and 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 role as guest speakers and visiting lecturers underpinning the teaching delivered on campus.

Each student will be matched with an industry mentor for the production of a final major project.

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


Full time course

FeeAmount (£)
Home/EU-Full Time-Award Fee8000
Home/EU-Full Time-15 Credit Module Fee667
International-Full Time-Award Fee11250
International-Full Time 15 Credit Module Fee938
Offshore-Full Time-Award Fee11250
Offshore-Full Time 15 Credit Module Fee938

Full time course

FeeAmount (£)
Home/EU-Full Time-Award Fee8000
Home/EU-Full Time-15 Credit Module Fee667
International-Full Time-Award Fee11250
International-Full Time 15 Credit Module Fee938
Offshore-Full Time-Award Fee11250
Offshore-Full Time 15 Credit Module Fee938

Supplementary fee information

For information about fees and funding for courses please see our fees and funding pages.

For funding options, please see our funding and scholarships information.


Entry requirements

An undergraduate degree and basic media production skills are preferred. 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.

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)

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

The application deadline for this course is 16 February 2015.

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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