Case study

MA Film and Media — Jake Thompson

A Masters gave Jake a theoretical foundation to complement the practical film and TV skills he developed on his first degree. He secured a full-time job as a videographer on graduation

Why did you pursue a postgraduate course?

I studied for a BA honours degree in Film and Television Production at Edge Hill University, which catered more specifically towards film and television practice. I felt that for the benefit of my own career it was important to broaden my theoretical knowledge of the industry as well as the practical.

Being familiar with Edge Hill, I looked there for Masters options.

Did you take up further study immediately after your first degree?

Yes, but I've also had several part-time jobs, such as freelance camera operation work for local production companies.

How did you fund your postgraduate study?

It was mostly self-funded, however I did take out a Masters loan to help with course fees and additional living costs. I was also eligible for a reduced tuition fee rate, having taken my first degree at Edge Hill University.

Did you work while studying?

I worked for the university admissions team while studying my Masters. I was also responsible for conducting campus tours for new applicants. Working for the university was the perfect part-time job for me as it allowed me to choose my own hours, so work and study didn't clash.

What did your course involve?

The course leaned more towards theory rather than practice. It covered a range of specialist subjects, including modules on European Cinema, Transnational Media and WW2 Propaganda. It was very flexible and allowed me to tailor the research projects. I'm passionate about the music industry, and wrote my dissertation on the influence of digitalisation on traditional music industry gatekeepers, such as record labels, radio stations and modern artists.

How does postgraduate life differ to undergraduate?

There's a lot more work to do and a lot less time to do it in. Recommended readings are considered essential in postgraduate study. I found that my social life was impacted slightly because of the intense level of research I had to do. However, if you manage your time effectively, the work is easily doable, and within deadlines.

What are the advantages of further study?

I think the main advantage is career advancement. You're developing a specialised knowledge in your chosen field that will prepare you for the transition into senior positions. There's also the potential for increased earnings and networking, as the university offers a range of seminars with industry professionals and guest speakers.

What are you doing now?

I was lucky enough to land full-time work as a videographer and editor for Craig Phillips - the first ever winner of Big Brother in 2000. Working across Craig's two companies, Mr & Mrs DIY and Built 4 Entertainment, my job primarily consists of creating content for product placements, endorsements, social media platforms and producing extra videos for the company's existing clients.

What are your tips for choosing a Masters course?

Manage your time effectively - there's a lot of work to complete and it's very important to keep on top of it all. Studying for a Masters is hard work, but the long-term benefits make it all worth it.

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