Master of Arts Screen: Cinematography

AFTRS-Australian Film Television and Radio School

About the Course

Cinematographers are at the centre of visual storytelling for the screen. To become a great cinematographer requires mastery of screen language, leadership and the ability to collaborate and reflect on visual storytelling. In this course you will undertake deep craft learning through small group mentoring, seminars and collaborative practice designed to extend your cinematic story skills.


Through intensive practical workshops and cross-disciplinary exercises, you will master screen language and leadership and hone your ability to collaborate and reflect on visual storytelling. You will critically evaluate the theory, techniques and technologies of cinematography and apply it to visual expression across diverse screen story forms. Industry practitioners will contribute to the coursework program, providing insights to their practice. In small, cross-disciplinary groups, you will collaborate with your fellow students to develop an adaptable, creative skill-set and a shared vocabulary for cinematic storytelling. In your second year, you will embark upon a funded creative project using AFTRS’ extensive production facilities to realise your vision. You will learn to document and analyse your process through research workshops leading to a four-week professional placement at the end of your degree.


AFTRS MA Screen: Cinematography is the only full-time masters coursework program in Australia. The cinematography department is committed to maintaining the excellence we have established over 40 years of teaching cinematographers. This excellence is built upon the quality of our teachers and the closeness of our industry links, which will continue to generate significant industry opportunities, networks and recognition for you. Our graduates dominate the Australian cinematography awards at State and National levels and two of our graduates have won Oscars.


The two-year MA Screen combines high-level discipline training with shared subjects that allow students to develop a flexible, multi-faceted skill set and a deep knowledge of cinematic storytelling. The ongoing cycle of practical, industry-led collaborations enables students to test their skills and apply creative thinking in real-world environments. The course culminates in a major creative work.

The course is an intensive career accelerator designed to fast track students to head of department positions. Key features include:

  • One-to-one mentorships.
  • Taught by world-class industry practitioners.
  • Award-winning international guest speakers.
  • 4-week professional placement tailored to your goals.
  • Real world collaborative exercises to develop lasting partnerships.
  • Funding for an individual screen project.
  • Small class size - maximum of 6 places per discipline.
  • 3-days face-to-face teaching with 2 days free to pursue individual projects or work
  • Scholarships available.
  • FEE-Help approved.

AFTRS has a long and successful history of postgraduate study. It is consistently rated as one of the top 15 film schools in the world by industry publication The Hollywood Reporter, the only Australian education institution on this list. AFTRS works closely with industry to ensure its courses are relevant and future-focused. Our graduates are sought after by industry across the country and around the world and have won and been nominated for a slate of Academy, Golden Globe, Emmy, BAFTA and AACTA awards.


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