The UK’s first MA course dedicated to producing specialist factual documentaries is to launch in September 2010 as part of a joint deal between the Film Studies Department at Queen Mary, University of London and Mandrake Films.

Funded by QUEDOS, Queen Mary’s Centre for Enterprise and Development Opportunities, the course aims to give 20 student filmmakers access to university academics across a broad range of subject matter. Guided by experienced industry professionals, the students will produce short films that will be tailored for broadcast and streamed on the Queen Mary website and those of other affiliated universities.

Mandrake Films will develop a selection of the best shorts into longer documentaries for broadcast over a range of media platforms.

The Director of Mandrake, Lucy Baxter, said: “This project will encourage real communication, and mutual inspiration, between university academics and programme makers, forge strong links between education and the media industry and find the presenting talent of the future.”

The course is backed by Jerry Brotton, Professor of Renaissance Studies at Queen Mary, and the presenter of new BBC Four documentary Maps: Power, Plunder and Possession.