Bournemouth University

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BBC joins BU to launch Production Masters

4 March 2010

Charles Elder in a production studio

BU-BBC link results in first Masters level qualification aimed at production managers.

BU’s renowned Media School and the BBC Academy have jointly launched a new Masters programme aimed specifically at providing the first industry-recognised qualification for those involved in production management.

The programme will be delivered through a combination of face-to-face sessions with leading academics and industry professionals complemented by online study supported by staff in the BU-based Centre for Excellence in Media Practice (CEMP).

The new programme has developed following the BBC’s recent production review which sought to define job competencies and training requirements for staff across the corporation as well as to raise the profile and status of those working in the production management community.

“This is a very exciting and important partnership for Bournemouth University and the BBC,” said Jon Wardle, Director of the CEMP. “This is the first MA programme the BBC has delivered and it’s the first one BU has worked with a media company to support and deliver.

“It brings together the expertise of the Media School in developing and delivering exciting and professionally-orientated masters programmes with the cutting edge expertise and professional practice of the BBC,” Wardle continued. “This partnership is a glimpse of what can happen when Universities and media companies work together. I hope it’s the first of many collaborative MA programmes.”

A large number of BBC production staff will be eligible to study on the programme for free, building credits which could lead to a professional postgraduate certificate, diploma or full Masters degree. Those who work at the heart of producing creative content for the corporation, including production managers, co-ordinators, executives and heads of production are all potential candidates to fill the programme’s first intake of 30 places this Spring.

Angela Roberts, Manager of the BBC Academy’s College of Production, told the BBC’s Ariel magazine that ‘significant operational experience and enthusiasm’ was an essential requirement for those wishing to apply. She also emphasised the importance of the full support needed from line managers.

Claire Astbury, production executive for BBC Comedy North is a keen supporter of the scheme. “It’s about time that the backbone of content creation was accorded proper attention and respect,” she says. “It has always been the less glamorous side of programme-making but it’s even more crucial now that we can offer the right levels of support to our content-making colleagues.”

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