Online Film Degree and Diploma Program Overviews

Research online film courses and programs. Find out what you can learn in these courses and what you'll need in order to participate in online learning to determine if it's right for you.

Essential Information

Online programs in film typically focus on filmmaking and the critical analysis of productions. Students can pursue bachelor's or master's degrees in film. Some schools allow online students to pursue a concentration in areas such as cinematology, producing, writing, editing or directing. Examples of film programs available online include:

  • Bachelor of Fine Arts in Motion Pictures and Television
  • Bachelor of Arts in Film and Media Studies
  • Master of Fine Arts in Motion Pictures and Television

Fine arts programs usually require applicants to submit a portfolio of their work. Applying to a master's program requires a bachelor's degree. Bachelor's programs usually take four years, while master's programs take three.

Online programs in film typically have similar coursework as those held on campus. Some can be completed totally online, while some follow a hybrid format. Students may need to visit their campus to use specialized equipment if their program is geared toward filmmaking or production.

Course Topics

Courses in film teach students to use content, form and structure to tell a story through visual media. Specific courses found within online film degree and diploma programs include:

  • Successful Storytelling
  • Storyboarding
  • Motion Picture Language
  • Directing Actors for Film and Television
  • Screenwriting
  • Unit Management Production
  • Foundational Aspects of Cinematography
  • Production Design Concepts

Online Learning Considerations

Most online programs in film utilize a seminar-style virtual classroom that allows professors to interact with students in real time, although assignments and coursework can be completed on a more flexible basis. Although distance learning film programs provide students with the knowledge and background to create works of film, students themselves are expected to apply that knowledge toward their own creative endeavors. This could be accomplished through creating their own pieces of work or working as an intern for a business in the industry.

Career Information

Film programs offered in both on-campus and online formats provide students with the technical prowess and educational background necessary to work in a variety of areas of the film industry. An online degree in film, combined with supervised industry experience, can prepare individuals for a variety of career options in the film arena. Some possible positions include:

  • Director
  • Producer
  • Screenwriter
  • Production manager
  • Associate producer
  • Production designer
  • Production assistant
  • Director of photography
  • Location manager

Degrees in filmmaking can be pursued at the bachelor's or master's levels; some are completely available online while some require a hybrid format. The various specializations offered prepare students for a wide range of roles within the film industry, from director to screenwriter.

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