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UWE Wildlife filmmaking - any experience?

I'm currently in the final year of a Biology degree at Manchester University, and was considering an MA in wildlife documentary production at Salford. My project advisor told me I would be better considering Bristol because although Salford has MediaCity nearby and some contacts, UWE has the better industry links. I have lived near Manchester all my life and didn't intend to move away, but I really want to do this course in some capacity.

Is anyone doing/has anyone done this course at UWE (or Salford)? If so, did you find it was engaging/well linked to industry? Also, if anyone entered the course with predominantly Biology experience and the media side being a hobby, how did that go for you?
Hi Jason,My name is Annie, I graduated from the MA Wildlife Filmmaking at UWE in Bristol last year. It was a fantastic course and I'm now working in the BBC's Natural History Unit off the back of the course, with help from my film and the mentor I was partnered with from the BBC. I really couldn't recommend it more. It has brilliant networking events and you are in the perfect spot to learn from industry experts. Having a film at the end of the year is a really special opportunity to showcase your skills and have something that is truly yours. About half of my year had science backgrounds and others have natural history as a passion with filmmaking degrees, so it really varies. Please do get in touch if you need any more information Best,Annie
(edited 3 years ago)
Reply 2
Hi Jason, likewise to Annie I also completed the UWE Masters a few years ago in Bristol and could not recommend it enough. I was unsure the exact route I wanted to go on during the masters but the year provided me and all of the Masters students with such fantastic experience, mentoring, and networking opportunities through it being based in Bristol, the hub for wildlife television! As Annie said, everyone who comes onto the course comes with a varied skill set, some have edited a lot before, others may not have, some have come from a film or photography background and others from biology or zoology, and that variety is brilliant because it means you can all help each other. It is a fantastic masters and everything was amplified by it being based in Bristol and affiliated with the BBC Natural History Unit! Hope this helps! And Annie who also wrote just won the Jackson Hole Student and Emerging Film for her thesis film she made on the course so she is a great person to speak to further!Best of luck with your choices and next stages of your ambitions!Deya (@deyaward)
Reply 3
Hi Jason, my name's Tom and like Annie & Deya I did the MA at UWE. I also did my undergrad in Manchester (Zoology), I graduated in 2017 so I was in a very similar boat to you a couple of years ago - who's your project advisor out of interest?

Seconding what Annie & Deya say, I cannot recommend the UWE course highly enough. It perfectly combines practical teaching with learning the theory, getting experience and perhaps most crucially, networking. This is an industry where that kind of thing is important, and literally from day one you're in the BBC's NHU getting to know people and learning directly from actual industry professionals, working in the field. It's the best way to learn.

Before the course, my CV was very academic and I had very little experience - so in my final year at Manchester I did a Science Media and Communications final year project (are they still running those??), and for my creative piece I made a little film about peppered moth genetics. That was definitely hugely beneficial to my application, not because it was good (I'd never made one before is it was ropey AF) but because it demonstrated my willingness to try and make films - you don't need to be an expert in film and cameras etc. and have loads of experience, but just need to demonstrate you're enthusiastic and keen to learn and prepared to put yourself out there.

I can't speak for the Salford course because I didn't do it - but all I know is one of my housemates and ex-coursemates at Manchester did do it, and he had very little positive to say. He may have been unlucky or had a one-off bad experience of course, I don't know the details - but I imagine the reason his experience was so different from mine was because up in Salford, although the BBC is based there, none of this industry is - and the simple matter is that you need to be exposed to it to learn! I was also reluctant to leave Manchester, but Bristol is a fantastic place too and you'll settle in really quickly - all of us arrive on the MA in same boat and become a really tight bunch as a result.

Again please do reach out if you've got any other questions or queries - I'm on Instagram, @tomparry93
(edited 4 years ago)
Reply 4
Original post by tomparry
Hi Jason, my name's Tom and like Annie & Deya I did the MA at UWE. I also did my undergrad in Manchester (Zoology), I graduated in 2017 so I was in a very similar boat to you a couple of years ago - who's your project advisor out of interest?

Seconding what Annie & Deya say, I cannot recommend the UWE course highly enough. It perfectly combines practical teaching with learning the theory, getting experience and perhaps most crucially, networking. This is an industry where that kind of thing is important, and literally from day one you're in the BBC's NHU getting to know people and learning directly from actual industry professionals, working in the field. It's the best way to learn.

Before the course, my CV was very academic and I had very little experience - so in my final year at Manchester I did a Science Media and Communications final year project (are they still running those??), and for my creative piece I made a little film about peppered moth genetics. That was definitely hugely beneficial to my application, not because it was good (I'd never made one before is it was ropey AF) but because it demonstrated my willingness to try and make films - you don't need to be an expert in film and cameras etc. and have loads of experience, but just need to demonstrate you're enthusiastic and keen to learn and prepared to put yourself out there.

I can't speak for the Salford course because I didn't do it - but all I know is one of my housemates and ex-coursemates at Manchester did do it, and he had very little positive to say. He may have been unlucky or had a one-off bad experience of course, I don't know the details - but I imagine the reason his experience was so different from mine was because up in Salford, although the BBC is based there, none of this industry is - and the simple matter is that you need to be exposed to it to learn! I was also reluctant to leave Manchester, but Bristol is a fantastic place too and you'll settle in really quickly - all of us arrive on the MA in same boat and become a really tight bunch as a result.

Again please do reach out if you've got any other questions or queries - I'm on Instagram, @tomparry93

Hi Tom, my supervisor is Matthew Cobb. He mentioned a student who completed a peppered moth project at our last meeting actually! I'm also doing the science media and communications project and plan to make a short film related to climate change as my creative piece.
Hi Annie, I have applied for the Wildlife Filmmaking course at UWE this year, and was just wondering when you found out about your interview? I am checking the portal about 5 times a day! Thanks!
Original post by annieemoir
Hi Jason,My name is Annie, I graduated from the MA Wildlife Filmmaking at UWE in Bristol last year. It was a fantastic course and I'm now working in the BBC's Natural History Unit off the back of the course, with help from my film and the mentor I was partnered with from the BBC. I really couldn't recommend it more. It has brilliant networking events and you are in the perfect spot to learn from industry experts. Having a film at the end of the year is a really special opportunity to showcase your skills and have something that is truly yours. About half of my year had science backgrounds and others have natural history as a passion with filmmaking degrees, so it really varies. Please do get in touch if you need any more information Best,Annie
Original post by emmatubbs
Hi Annie, I have applied for the Wildlife Filmmaking course at UWE this year, and was just wondering when you found out about your interview? I am checking the portal about 5 times a day! Thanks!

Hey, I'm still waiting to hear back too! Glad to know I'm not the only one!
Original post by annieemoir
Hi Jason,My name is Annie, I graduated from the MA Wildlife Filmmaking at UWE in Bristol last year. It was a fantastic course and I'm now working in the BBC's Natural History Unit off the back of the course, with help from my film and the mentor I was partnered with from the BBC. I really couldn't recommend it more. It has brilliant networking events and you are in the perfect spot to learn from industry experts. Having a film at the end of the year is a really special opportunity to showcase your skills and have something that is truly yours. About half of my year had science backgrounds and others have natural history as a passion with filmmaking degrees, so it really varies. Please do get in touch if you need any more information Best,Annie


Hi Annie I had applied for the course this year but unfortunately didn't get a place. I don't think my application was very good but I'm not sure . Do you have any advice whether I should apply for next year
Hello everyone~I am preparing to apply for this course next year, so I was delighted to find this. Can all of you who have graduated from this course, tell me how the interview went and what kind of portfolio you prepared? Do you have any advice for us about this? p.s: i am an international student:PThank you so much!
Hiya, I am currently doing the wildlife doc production MA at Salford . If you are wanting to learn more practical/technical skills then I would suggest Salford (we also have great links in industry: talks/masterclasses from Julian hector, Lindsey Chapman and editing professionals). We also have a fantastic biology module learning animal behaviour/ecology, law and research skills (most of the reason I chose this course as I don’t have a biology background) - if you wanna ask anymore questions feel free to hit up my insta @emmatubbs.jpg :smile:
Thank you Emma~But UWE one has a partnership with BBC, is this the greatest advantage of the future in this industry?

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