I most appreciate Edinburgh Napier University’s commitment to provide its students with the best learning experience possible. This is exemplified in my mind by the layout of the libraries at Edinburgh Napier. When you walk in to any of the campus libraries, you can see students hard at work on their studies in spaces that are designed to meet students’ needs first.
Of course there are physical and electronic materials for students to access and check out but the library is more than a storage location. There are group learning spaces that encourage collaborative work and the creation of new knowledge between students, solo work spaces that allow students to deeply engage with studies, and quiet spaces that help students hear their own thoughts as they process their ideas.
I chose the masters film course at Edinburgh Napier because of its commitment to preparing students for careers in the film industry. Many film-related masters programmes focus almost exclusively on the film director’s practice as an art. Edinburgh Napier’s MA Film programme is unique in that it trains filmmakers across several specialisms, more closely reflecting film-making as it is practiced in the industry.
In addition, the course modules are taught by tutors who are practitioners in their respective fields. In seminars and one-on-one tutorials, the tutors at Edinburgh Napier are adept at fielding student questions and pinpointing areas for improvement in student projects. Because filmmaking is largely an exercise in problem-solving, it is important to have tutors who have hands-on experience with what they are teaching.
I feel like Edinburgh is a bit like the wardrobe in Narnia or the TARDIS in Doctor Who – bigger on the inside than it is on the outside. For practical purposes, Edinburgh is a small city. I am surprised how quickly I can get between radically different areas of the city. When I arrive in a different area (often just by walking for a few minutes) there is so much to do and to see that it feels like I’ve stumbled on a city within a city.
I came to the master film course at Edinburgh Napier from a job working at a university as an occasional part-time lecturer of Film Appreciation. Before coming to the MA Film course, I envisioned earning the masters and going on to earn the MFA Advanced Film Practice and returning home to look for full-time teaching work. Now that I have spent some time working with my fellow students on collaborative projects, I can say that I will want to be more involved in day-to-day film production than I originally planned. I know that I still want to teach so I am currently exploring Creative Practice PhD programs in Scotland.