Course spotlight: MFA Craft Editing

MFA software
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Ravensbourne University London has long been a centre of excellence for screen and video editing. We teamed up with professional craft editing online course, Inside the Edit, to offer a remote, online Masters-level video editing course that was packed with workshops, one-to-one tuition, masterclasses and more.

The fully-remote course, which ran from 2021 to 2022, offered students from across the world the opportunity to fast-track their careers and enhance their existing practices.

The course was aimed at professional screenwriters, editors, independent filmmakers, creatives and storytellers. It enabled students to develop their existing skills from foundation to intermediate and professional level.


We caught up with MFA Craft Editing graduate Ciara Cecil to discuss how the course has helped her achieve her career goals.

Could you tell me a bit about what you've been doing since you've graduated?

I am currently working as a freelancer, and I managed to secure a good job during the course, which I then continued once it finished. That job then led me on to another role.

At the moment it’s a quiet period for me, so I’ve got two weeks of not that much and then I’ll be on another job.

I have my own remote setup at home, but because of the nature of working freelance, I spend a lot of time working in other people's offices too.

Can you tell me about the nature of the work?

The job that I secured while I was working on the course was a TV series called The Brickies on BBC Three, working as an edit assistant.

One of the main reasons that I was hired for this job was because I was local. I’m based in York, and so it was really convenient for me as this was where the production company was based too.

In this role, I was managing all the machines and organising the projects for the other editors. In the end, one of the main editors that was working on the project wasn’t up for the task and so I took on a number of his episodes.

When the project was complete, the edits would arrive back in the office. If there were extra notes from the BBC, then I would make these additional edits too.

I ended up editing full episodes for the series, and as a result becoming a finishing editor too. In the end it was really great experience, but it definitely threw me in the deep end.

I also got to work on a second series because the BBC recommissioned it. For the second series, I finished the six episodes myself. Most of the other editors didn’t finish their episodes in the weeks that they were given, so I was staying on to finish everyone else’s work.

This involved doing a lot of the organisation work at the beginning and then finishing editing at the end, so that it was all packaged up for the online process.

What initially appealed to you about Ravensbourne and the MFA Craft Editing course?

At the time, I didn’t have all the experience that I felt that I needed. The main reason for doing the course was to get a proper qualification in the field I was working in.

I didn’t know much about Ravensbourne other than the fact that it was a respected university in the arts.

I had a really close friend of mine who had completed the course, and she spoke really highly of it.

I knew that I couldn’t dedicate a full three years to a Masters course, because I had bills to pay. The fact that the course was a year-long was a big selling point for me. It was also part-time, which suited me well. It was also all online, which meant that I didn’t have to be in London.

I also already knew Paddy, the programme director, because I had already done his Inside the Edit course and I also listened to his podcast. He seemed to know exactly what he was doing.

Inside the Edit podcast

Before I started the course, I was feeling a bit self-conscious because I was charging a day rate, and although I could have charged more with my experience, I always felt that my lack of formal training was a bit of a disadvantage when it came to proving my worth.

In the industry, the vast majority of people don’t have any training and just learn on the job. I think the course was a way of proving to myself that I was qualified enough.

Do you feel that the course has helped you achieve your professional goals?

Yes, I think I’m a lot more confident now and a much better editor too. The course was supposed to enable you to jump years ahead in your career, because you would learn things that would take so long to figure out for yourself. In reality, there are things that I learnt that I don’t think I would have ever worked out for myself!

These insights I can now use in my day-to-day work, and that has helped enormously. There are creative skills that I learnt on the course that I now use every day in my work.