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Master of Arts Screen: Directing

AFTRS-Australian Film Television and Radio School

About the Course

A director is a storyteller who brings together the strengths of fellow practitioners in cinematography, screenwriting, editing, composing, sound design, animation and performance to craft a whole screen experience for an audience. In our digital world, the skills and capabilities demanded of the director are increasingly complex. The MA Screen: Directing course, which is unique in its structure, offers you the opportunity to master your directing skill-sets through a series of intensive workshops, cross-disciplinary collaborations and mentorships.


Throughout your first year, industry practitioners will contribute to the coursework program, providing insights into their practice. In small, cross-disciplinary groups, you will collaborate with your Masters colleagues 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.


You will be provided with space, time, support and resources to evolve your process and practice of your own creative work. Through collaboration, which is a fundamental and crucial part of your working life as a director, you will have the opportunity to work with other highly skilled creatives including cinematographers, writers, producers, designers and editors across several workshops and projects to realise your vision. These multiple opportunities will facilitate the development of ongoing working relationships, which are valued hallmarks of the AFTRS vision and culture.


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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