Jake Thompson – MA in Film and Media

A Masters gave Jake Thompson a theoretical foundation to complement the practical film and tv skills he developed on his first degree. The course also provided further networking opportunities, and he had already secured a full-time job as a videographer on graduation.

Why did you decide to 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 at https://www.gov.uk/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 have a part-time job? How did you balance this with your study?
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 a perfect part-time job for me as it allowed me to choose my own hours, so work and study didn’t clash.

Tell us about your course
The course leans more towards theory rather than practice. It covers a wide range of specialist subjects, including modules on European Cinema, Transnational Media and WW2 Propaganda. It’s very flexible and allows you 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 do you hope to do when you graduate?
I’ve been 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?
Just go for it. There’s a lot of skills and knowledge to gain, and they’ll prepare you for future employment. Manage your time effectively – there’s a lot of work to complete and it’s very important to keep on top of it all. It’s hard work, but the long-term benefits make it all worth it.

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