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Home > Courses > Courses for 2017 > Postgraduate > International Television Industries
More in this section Media Arts

International Television Industries MA

UCAS code
Year of entry 2017
View 2018 entry »
Course Length
1 year full time
2 years part time
Department Media Arts »

This innovative course examines the different ways in which broadcasting is organised around the world.  It has a particular emphasis on the production techniques of British television, approaching them through a comparative international lens.

The course has regular visiting lectures from leading figures in the UK's television industry, including the department's own VIsiting Professors James Quinn (Commissioner for Sky Arts) and renowned producer, director and writer Tony Garnett. In the past, we've had visiting lecturers including Alex Graham (Executive Producer of Who Do You Think You Are), James Quinn (Documentary Commissioning Editor, Sky) and Karen Mullins (Project Manager for London Olympics, Rugby World Cup).

You'll study a major BBC drama series from conception through to scripting and production, such as the series Casualty, with time to visit the production base in Cardiff. You'll study with scholars with experience of TV industries around the world, and hear from guest lecturers from London's TV industry.

  • Take control of your own short TV or radio programme, creating something at the expected UK professional standard of such productions.
  • Make use of our exclusive 24-7 media labs and post-production rooms, complemented by our impressive range of professional location filming equipment, TV and sound studio facilities, supported by our committed and approachable technical team.
  • Becomefully conversant with the nature of television as a medium: scheduling, genres, formats – and the more up-close narrative techniques of TV series arcs and character development.
  • Learn how TV shows are traded around the world, how broadcasting is put together and regulated, and how the industry changes from place to place. Giving you practical skills and insight into media scheduling and budgeting. 

Structures of Broadcasting

You will study the main issues in the organisation of broadcasting, providing an overview of the differing markets for TV programmes and differing commission and production regimes around the world.

You will study the basic models of production and broadcasting organisation (commercial, public service, and state controlled models); network organisation; independent production etc) with specific reference to the UK, USA and China.

You will also study audience research and the impact of new digital information flows on the activity of broadcasting.

Television as a Cultural Industry

You will examine the main issues in programming. You will study the interrelation between the organisational forms of broadcasting and the programmes that they produce, as well as the issues relating to adaptation from one culture to another.

You will study issues including:

  • The major genres of TV production including drama, comedy, variety, factual/lifestyle, documentary, sport and news
  • Broadcasting and scheduling and flow
  • The everyday presence of broadcasting and its value
  • The structure the TV and radio series
  • TV in the digital age
  • The international trade in TV formats  

Production Study

You will concentrate on a single long-running British TV drama series as an example of low cost high volume quality drama production. The current study is of BBC1's Casualty. The first term will concentrate on the programme, its construction and its place in TV culture, involving close study of individual episodes and the series as a whole. This will involve 

  • Comparison with series bible and scripts
  • Background research on the production personnel, cast and writers
  • Study of the press reception and current status of the series

The second term concentrates on the production process of the series. This will involve:

  • Visits by production staff
  • Visits to the production
  • Detailed examination of the budgeting and scheduling process
  • Instruction in MovieMagic budget and scheduling software

Production Practice

This final element of the course requires you to produce a short video or radio piece to a standard equivalent to the UK professional standard of such productions. This programme will be your own creation. You will be provided with the necessary training and equipment to enable you to carry this out.

You will produce a detailed statement of intent before starting production. This will form the basis of a detailed self-assessment once the production is completed. 

Please note that although the College will keep changes to a minimum, new units may be offered or existing units may be withdrawn, for example, in response to a change in staff.

Assessment is carried out by a variety of methods including:

  • seminar presentations
  • written essays
  • research portfolios
  • project work
  • self-assessment documents

Entry criteria:

UK Upper Second Class Honours degree (2:1); or equivalent; Students with relevant professional or creative experience will also be considered. 

Submit an essay, in English, entitled 'An analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the broadcasting industry in my country'. This should be up to 2000 words in length. 

English language requirements:

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

If you require Royal Holloway to sponsor your study in the UK, your IELTS must be a UK government-approved Secure English Language Test (SELT).

International and EU entry requirements

Please select your country from the drop-down list below

Students from overseas should visit the International pages for information on the entry requirements from their country and further information on English language requirements. Royal Holloway offers a Pre-Master’s Diploma for International Students and English language pre-sessional courses, allowing students the opportunity to develop their study skills and English language before starting their postgraduate degree.

 Additional information:

  • We may also conduct a telephone or skype interview after receiving your application. 

Televsion continues to be one of the most dominant global media forms, continuing to attract huge audiences and leading creative talent around the world.

You'll leave our course understanding television in different cultures and contexts and you'll be in a perfect place to find employment in those countries where the TV industry is rapidly growing - backing up your portfolio with knowledge of how programmes are marketed and sold, and how important they are to the creative industries.

We're based near London, so you'll have privileged insight into the UK television industry. You'll have the chance to get familiar with London production businesses – we have regular guest lecturers from production and management. Students from our department have gone on to work in independent television and film production, for broadcasters like the BBC and ITV in the UK as well as international media agencies such as CCTV and Hunan, and for distributors, exhibitors, talent agencies and entertainment lawyers.

Home and EU students tuition fee per year 2017/18*: £8,300

Overseas students tuition fee per year 2017/18*: £15,800

Other essential costs**: £250 fieldwork cost for optional Cardiff studio visit

How do I pay for it? Find out more about funding options, including loans, grants, scholarships and bursaries.

* These tuition fees apply to students enrolled on a full-time basis. Students studying part-time are charged a pro-rata tuition fee, usually equivalent to approximately half the full-time fee. Please email student-fees@royalholloway.ac.uk for further information on part-time fees. All postgraduate fees are subject to inflationary increases. Royal Holloway's policy is that any increases in fees will not exceed 5 per cent for continuing students. For further information see tuition fees and our terms and conditions.

** These estimated costs relate to studying this particular degree programme at Royal Holloway. Costs, such as accommodation, food, books and other learning materials and printing, have not been included.

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