Why I chose to study MA Film & Television online
01 November 2023
Hi, I’m Rich Scott, and I’m studying Falmouth’s online master’s in Film & Television. I first became interested in filmmaking back in the early nineties. I remember loving Tim Burton's Batman and was struck by how different it was from the Adam West version – the idea of interpreting things differently really captured my imagination. I was initially drawn to Michael Keaton’s performance in the film, but I started to realise there were all these people behind the camera doing things.
I went on to study cinema at university up in Scotland, which I loved, and then moved down to London for a little while to work in television. I worked a for a post-production house called Arena P3 on shows like Big Brother and Total Wipeout. It was such an eye-opening experience – there was so much to learn! After a few years, I went back up to Scotland to teach at Ayrshire College and that’s where I’ve been for 14 years. As a further education lecturer in film and television, I felt like it was important to do a master’s because I believe in continuous education, and I wanted to update my academic and technical skills.
I’d been looking for a course for a while and I hadn't really found anything that caught my eye. Then, completely coincidentally, I watched Mark Jenkin’s film Bait and was really impressed by it; I love analogue filmmaking, so I started doing some research into Mark's work and came across Falmouth University as a result.
The online delivery is a pleasure to take part in and I really look forward to logging on and getting stuck in.
After I discovered the online master’s in film and television, I joined one of the course introduction events and was struck by how lovely and experienced the lecturers were – I thought it was too good an opportunity to miss.
One of the things I was excited about when I first joined the course was learning about the latest technical developments in the industry. While I certainly have increased my knowledge of the practical side of filmmaking, the thing that I’m enjoying the most is academic side of things, which is a revelation!
I had my initial concerns about studying online but they were quickly blown away. The online delivery is a pleasure to take part in and I really look forward to logging on and getting stuck in. The online learning platform facilitates an excellent sense of community and, whether via forums or the weekly webinars, it's incredible to see what everyone else is working on.
Because of the flexible nature of the course, people come from different backgrounds and have lots of diverse interests, so you get to hear a wide range of perspectives. There have also been in-person trips to Berlin and Edinburgh, which have been great fun.
The lecturers have been fantastic and supportive. They all have different specialisms and I feel like I am continually learning something new. The masterclasses by industry figures are equally interesting and provide an excellent resource.
The online library is fantastic and vast, but one of the things that might intimidate people is the idea that you enrol and then you've got to navigate it all on your own, and there's nobody there to help. But it's not like that at all; not only do you get specific chapters to read from books that are all provided, but the actual learning environment itself is efficient and easy to navigate. You can use it on your mobile phone, desktop or tablet, and it's not overloaded like some learning environments.
I'm really enjoying the process of learning again, and it has emphasized to me the importance of education and how it can change people's lives for the better.
I am just about to start my Final Major Project. I’ve chosen to look at the contemporary analogue filmmaking practice within the folk horror revival. I’ve also been selected to present my work on this subject matter at an academic conference in January, which is both exciting and a little scary – so I’m lucky to have the support of the lecturers.
One of the benefits of doing a master's is that you can you carve out the time for yourself to find your specialism, and I’m enjoying it so much that I have spoken to some of the lectures about the potential of doing a PhD, which would have seemed crazy to me a few years ago!
I'm really enjoying the process of learning again, and it has emphasized to me the importance of education and how it can change people's lives for the better. The whole experience of being on the course has just been an absolute treat.