Study options

Master's Programme in Film and Television - Cinematography

In Master’s Programme in Film and Television, major in Cinematography, the student deepens his/her vocational competence to achieve a greater mastery of the overall artistic, production and technical entity of his/her professional area in various film, TV and advertising productions.
Film_Cinema

Degree:

Master of Arts (Art and Design)

Application period:

1.12.2020 – 4.1.2021

Language of instruction:

Finnish
English
Swedish

Duration:

2 years, full-time

Eligibility:

Relevant Bachelor's degree

Field of study:

Art and Design

Credits:

120 ECTS

Organising school:

School of Arts, Design and Architecture

Tuition fees:

For non-EU/EEA citizens, €15000/y (Master’s studies)

The application period has closed

Applying to master’s programmes

Study objective

In Master’s Programme in Film and Television, major in Cinematography, the student deepens his/her vocational competence to achieve a greater mastery of the overall artistic, production and technical entity of his/her professional area in various film, TV and advertising productions. A student of cinematography has a wide-ranging mastery of artistic means of expression, cinematography methods and challenging technical concepts, equipment and work methods. In addition, the student becomes familiar with both the cinematographer’s changing role and also the use of new artistic and technical working methods and technologies along with innovative research connected with them.

The goal of education is to reinforce the student’s personal strengths and development in line with personal artistic vision, deepen cooperation skills with others responsible for artistic film work, and provide the skills needed for independent research work.

Language of instruction

The language of instruction in the Master’s Programme in Film and Television, major in Cinematography is Finnish. However, part of the courses are taught in English. The degree can be completed in English.

Career opportunities

A cinematographer with an MA is able to work as the person with artistic responsibility in demanding drama, documentary and advertising films. A graduate of the major in Cinematography is able to work as a cinematographer in a feature-length drama film, documentary film, television or advertising film.  Cinematographers also work as instructors in the field at universities of applied science and media institutions.

Although the goal of education is to primarily produce professionals with strong personalities for the film industry, it also encourages students to apply for further studies and lifelong learning.

Cinematographers are mainly employed as freelancers in film, television and audiovisual productions. Cinematographers are also suited to work in various phases of digital post-production and effects work and in designing and realising virtual scenography.

Recommended minor subjects for students of cinematography include directing, film editing, graphic design, digital and virtual scenography and digital modelling.

Education content

During the education, the student’s personal vision is strengthened with a focus on artistic-technical cinematography competence and cooperation skills.

The job description of a cinematographer is reinforced and deepened in extensive master’s study modules and workshop exercises, both in Finland and internationally and by means of courses on vocational technology and artistic expression. The education is mainly based on practical learning by doing, work in small groups, personal guidance and dialogue-based interaction. During the studies, the student is introduced to all phases of preliminary planning in cinematography and artistic and production cooperation in film and television productions.

Studies in the master's programme include departments joint courses (30 ECTS) which are obligatory. These courses deal with entrepreneurial and working life skills, analytical skills, and provide research skills.

For further details on the education content, see the study guide for the academic years 2020-2022.

Internationalisation

Students are encouraged to complete part of their studies in international exchange programmes or internships. International visiting teachers and students enrich the teaching and help students network.

Students’ internationalisation and networking are supported by participation in domestic and international festivals, where students gain a deeper understanding of and learn more about the profession of cinematographer. The major in Cinematography also focuses on cooperation between different film schools and student exchange at the workshop, course and student meeting level.

Study option-specific Admission Procedure and Evaluation Criteria

Applicants meeting Aalto’s general eligibility criteria for Master's studies will be evaluated and ranked according to the evaluation criteria that has been decided in advance for each study option. The applications to Master’s Programme in Film and Television – Cinematography will be evaluated based on the following criteria.

Phase I

Artistic and/or design practice

Assessed area

Demonstrations of artistic and/or design work or assignments.

Previous experience in the professional field of filmmaking, TV-drama or documentaries or previous education to be able to understand and use film- and digital camera equipment, lit scenes, take care of cinematic continuity and to work with camera- and film crews.

Admission requirements

 

We are intensively looking for applicants who can handle basic technical work, group work, cinematographer's basics of artistic planning and technical management - and all these in different stages of filmmaking process. Yet, it is possible to start in our MA programme even without actual previous BA studies in any film school. But in that case, we are looking for a clear presentation of professional career, portfolio with work examples that needs to fulfill also artistic expectations.

 

Portfolio is required from all applicants to evaluate applicant’s experience and artistic insight to the cinematographer’s studies or work.

Method of demonstrating competence

Portfolio

 

 

Relevance of previous studies

Assessed area

Content and quantity in relation to the applied study-option specific requirements

Admission requirements

 

Ability to understand and use film- and digital camera equipment, lit scenes, take care of cinematic continuity and to work with camera- and film crews.

Basic understanding of different phases of pre-production, filming and post-production. In order to cope in MA level, chosen applicants should have at least basic education or experience of all those fields, since in MA level we are focusing to deepen the skills that applicants have learned already during their BA studies.

Method of demonstrating competence

Transcript(s) of records, degree certificate(s)

 

Suitability

Assessed area

Applicant’s further suitability to the study option, motivation, and commitment for studies/communication skills

 

Admission requirements

 

Motivation letter to explain your reasons for applying for this major and your particular interest(s) including possible research questions of interest in the field in question. In addition, the plan must specify your goals and expectations for the studies to be completed at the School of Arts, Design and Architecture. Describe your strengths and interests, artistic vision, aspects related to the work and creative goals.

Method of demonstrating competence

Motivation letter

 

Other areas of competence

Assessed area

Work experience and other required knowledge (achievements

Admission requirements

 

CV that explains applicant's accurate status in presented works.

To evaluate the role and experience in the field or during previous studies.

Method of demonstrating competence

CV

 

Phase II

Suitability

Assessed area

Applicant’s further suitability to the study option, motivation, and commitment for studies/communication skills

 

Admission requirements

 

During the interview phase we are checking the general understanding of group work, filmmaking process and ability to analyse visual arts in general.

Method of demonstrating competence

Interview

 

Evaluation process of the applicant

The applicants will be first evaluated based on Aalto’s general eligibility requirements. Applicants meeting the general eligibility criteria for master's studies will be evaluated and ranked according to the evaluation criteria that has been decided in advance for each study option.

The selection process for applicants who meet the general eligibility criteria comprises of two phases. 

Phase I

In Phase I, the applications are evaluated based on the following criteria

  • Artistic and/or design practice
  • Relevance of previous studies
  • Suitability/Motivation letter
  • Other areas of competence

Only the applicants who are ranked highest in the preliminary evaluation will be invited to phase II in the selection process.

Phase II

In Phase II, the evaluation is based on the following criteria:

  • Suitability/Interview.

Part of the applicants are invited to Phase II. The invitation to Phase II will be send to the applicants at latest 7 days in advance.

During the interview in Phase II we are checking the general understanding of group work, filmmaking process and ability to analyse visual arts in general.

After the evaluation conducted in Phase II, the best applicants will be selected based on the joint evaluation from Phases I and II.

Study-option-specific documents requested

The documents requested from all applicants are listed on the Aalto University website (https://www.aalto.fi/en/study-at-aalto/applying-to-masters-programmes). In addition, applicants to this study option are requested to provide the following study-option-specific documents:

Portfolio

Electronic portfolio that includes three (3) work samples accessible online via hyperlinks and both a written and visual portfolio to present the work.

Maximum size for the portfolio is 1.0 GB. Name the file Portfolio-lastname-firstname.pdf. If your portfolio contains password protected video links, include the password(s) in your portfolio. If a portfolio is not uploaded to the online application form by the deadline, the application will be rejected.

The applicant uploads the electronic portfolio to the application system as one PDF file before sending the application. The portfolio should contain work related to your artistic expression, and showcase your prior scientific, professional and/or artistic activity on a broad scale. The list of works must include at least the name and/or theme, method of production, format, size, purpose and year of production, while also specifying where and when the works have been exhibited performed or published.

Motivation letter

The motivation letter should explain your reasons for applying for this major and your particular interest(s) including possible research questions of interest in the field in question. In addition, the letter must specify your goals and expectations for the studies to be completed at the School of Arts, Design and Architecture. Describe your strengths and interests, artistic vision, aspects related to the work and creative goals.

The maximum length of the motivation letter is 4000 characters.

CV

Applications must include the applicant’s CV indicating personal data, educational background, work experience, exhibitions, publications and articles, awards and grants, study trips and positions of trust.

Language of the application documents

The application documents must be submitted in Finnish (Swedish) or English.

The application period has closed

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