MSc Factual Television


Program Description

There’s never been a better time to start a career in TV in Scotland. Channel 4’s new creative hub in Glasgow, the new BBC Channel and increased quotas for out of London production mean the Scottish television industry is thriving.

This MSc Factual Television gives you the tools you’ll need to create factual content for broadcast. Developed with industry and taught by experienced practitioners, this course is focussed on practice: growing ideas, developing proposals and making programmes.

You’ll learn how to develop factual content, how the modern television industry works and how issues of editorial and ethics affect programme-makers today.

Hands-on experience is at the heart of everything we do in production at Stirling. Our courses mirror professional practice in the industry: teaching includes masterclasses, workshops and pitching panels with experienced practitioners.

The course will cover core areas of factual TV:

  • Programme development
  • Documentary
  • Factual formats
  • Specialist factual

During this course, you’ll explore ethical issues of representation, consent, trust and editorial control while learning about the business of factual content.

You’ll build up your practical skills with a series of creative challenges:

  • Developing ideas in response to industry briefs.
  • Pitching ideas.
  • Getting feedback from staff and visiting experts.

You’ll also develop and produce filmed pieces as part of the Documentary module.

Alongside practical projects, you’ll develop essential career skills through an industry experience module. You’ll be supported in researching and securing a placement, developing your own network of contacts, and making the first steps towards work.

Top reasons to study with us

  1. Our close partnerships with the industry offer excellent opportunities for networking and industry experience.
  2. 96% of our postgraduate leavers are in employment or further study within six months of graduating (DLHE 2016/17).
  3. We’re ranked 3rd in Scotland for Media and Film Studies (The Guardian University Guide 2020).
Flexible learning

If you’re interested in studying a module from this course, the Postgraduate Certificate or the Postgraduate Diploma then please email Graduate Admissions to discuss your course of study.


University of Stirling Communication, Cultural and Media Studies research was ranked first in Scotland for research impact in the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014), with 70% of our research classed as 'world-leading' or 'internationally excellent'. The (SMRI) enjoys an international reputation for the quality of its work, regularly attracting a diverse array of international visitors. The SMRI has a purpose-built research facility for the use of its members. Current research is focused on:

  • Cultural Creativity
  • Film and Television
  • Journalism
  • Media and Communications Policy
  • Public Relations
  • Sport Media
  • Digital Media
  • Media Archives and Cultural Memory

Course details

Our MSc Factual Television covers:

  • Development
  • Factual Formats
  • Documentary
  • Specialist Factual
  • The Business of Television

You’ll gain in-depth knowledge of professional broadcasting. You'll develop as insightful programme-makers through project-based learning and critical analysis of editorial and ethics. You’ll build a broad range of development and production skills and techniques.

Both the module content and the range of visiting lecturers will reflect current practice. The course explores:

  • Commissioning
  • Developments in television and online platforms
  • The regulatory, commercial and ethical aspects of production

You’ll have plenty of opportunities to apply your learning through developing both programme ideas and film work.


Developed to mirror professional practice in the industry, teaching will include masterclasses, workshops and pitching panels with experienced professionals. You’ll receive one-to-one supervision from our dedicated, enthusiastic and industry-experienced academic staff.


Assessment will include development projects and filmed pieces.

Course director

Professor Dario Sinforiani
+44 (0)1786 467528

Fees 2020/2021

  • Home/EU £7,000
  • Overseas £16,950
Last updated Nov 2020

About the School

At the University of Stirling, being the difference is in our DNA – providing education with a purpose and carrying out research that helps to shape society.

At the University of Stirling, being the difference is in our DNA – providing education with a purpose and carrying out research that helps to shape society. Read less