Taught course

Digital Documentary

Royal Holloway, University of London · Department of Media Arts

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Entry requirements

UK Upper Second Class Honours degree (2:1) or equivalent, in Literature, Fine Art, Media or a related discipline.

Students with degrees in other subjects will also be considered, as will those with relevant professional or creative experience.

To be considered, you are asked to submit the following documents as part of your application:

  • A short documentary or an extract of a film you have made, directed or produced - no longer than 10 minutes in duration. Please send this via link on either YouTube or Vimeo

Months of entry


Course content

Documentary stories are being told in cinemas, on TV, in galleries, on tablets and on mobile phones. Whether you want to make a non-fiction feature film, podcast, or 360° project, there are boundless ways to bring your documentary idea to life. Creative technologies are constantly evolving, exposing new content to fresh audiences. At Royal Holloway we nurture a talented new generation of creative and innovative non-fiction directors, producers, cinematographers, editors and commissioners.

Whether your aim is to make a high-end feature documentary or a no budget short, this is your opportunity to receive expert advice from industry leaders who will help you shape your story and find your audience and platform. Key Skills you will learn:

  • How to develop documentary stories which are truly multi genre and multi platform.
  • How to innovate and experiment
  • Edit technique and shaping your story
  • Strategies for finding your vision and audience
  • Advanced technical skills in camera and editing for film and 360
  • Sound recording for podcasts
  • An introduction to VR
  • New contacts and ideas for raising finance
  • Pitching your idea to commissioning editors
  • Different funding routes, from traditional broadcast to DIY options
  • Advice on distribution, marketing and networking
  • Knowledge and understanding of a new world of exciting non-fiction content.

This programme is primarily run from our newly refurbished central London campus in the heart of Bloomsbury.

The MA programme is taught by:

Professor Victoria Mapplebeck , BAFTA award winning writer, artist and director. Victoria has been experimenting with the frontiers of documentary and creative technology for the last two decades. Her smartphone short Missed Call was the first commissioned film to be shot on the iPhone X and has won numerous awards including a BAFTA. Her latest VR piece The Waiting Room won The IDFA DocLab Award for Digital Storytelling and was selected for Forbe's Top 50 XR experiences of 2019.

Helen Littleboy, a Grierson and BAFTA nominated director and executive producer whose recent work includes the acclaimed and impactful BBC documentary Hospital which in 2018 won the Royal Television Society award for Best Documentary Series.

Information for international students

IELTS score of 6.5 with 6.0 in writing and no subscore below 5.5 for non-native English speaking applicants.

See our International pages for more information.

Fees and funding

See our Postgraduate fees and funding pages to find out more about funding options, including loans, grants, scholarships and bursaries.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MA
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Postgraduate Administrator
+44 (0)1784 414629