Film Production

BA (Hons)

2018 entry

As a creative arts university, we have built an enviable reputation in the film world – producing over twenty Oscar and BAFTA winners. Our high-profile alumni network has contributed to multiple global movie successes, including Star Wars, Godzilla, James Bond, Harry Potter, Mission Impossible, Lilting and Pride.

We believe in learning through doing, which is why this course is 75% practical and 25% theoretical. From the very beginning, you’ll become part of a close-knit creative team, making films exactly as you would in the film industry.

This team ethos will help you fully explore the different aspects of filmmaking and establish yourself in a key specialist role, such as producing, production design, screenwriting, directing, cinematography, editing or sound.

Our Film course has leapt an impressive 19 places in The Guardian's 2017 university league table.

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Length of study:

Three years full-time


September 2018


UCA Farnham

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Course overview:

At UCA, we offer one of the few courses where you can still combine the latest digital techniques with traditional filmmaking. We have a long tradition of training aspiring filmmakers on 16mm. This has a proven effectiveness for developing visual literacy and fostering the discipline and planning that will help you excel.

You’ll graduate from this course with a strong portfolio of work, with sought after specialist skills and the practical filmmaking experience employers really want.

The experience of studying film with like-minded people in a specialist arts environment will fuel your creativity and give you a wide network of invaluable contacts for your future career.

The course is 75% practical and 25% theory.

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Register for an Open Day to find out more about this course in person.

Course content - 2018 entry

In the first year, you'll be introduced to the University and the technical workshops and facilities available to you. On the course you’ll learn the technical and conceptual skills that will give you a solid foundation from which to explore your areas of specialist activity.

Please note, syllabus content indicated is provided as a guide. The content of the course may be subject to change.

Course modules

  • Encounters

    This unit allows you to explore the practical, theoretical and ethical problems associated with the representation of people or places using digital media. During this unit you'll develop research skills and an understanding of the application of still and moving image production processes. Working in a small group you'll undertake research leading to the production of a short film which presents a portrait of an individual, a group/organisation or a place. Working as an individual, you'll undertake research leading to the production of a digital online photographic portfolio which represents a portrait of an individual or a place.

  • Stories for the Screen

    You'll explores the practice of screen storytelling focusing particularly on the role of the screenwriter. It addresses the fundamental question: how do we, as filmmakers, go about telling our stories on screen? At the core of this unit are writing workshops, through which you will gain a foundation in the skills needed to work with screenplays effectively, whatever role you seek to perform in the filmmaking process. You'll also be challenged to make a short film, rotating roles within a production group in order to explore the translation of a script to screen.

  • Screen Craft 1

    The unit will familiarise you with a basic knowledge and understanding of production and postproduction practices and develop your understanding of the function and structure of film narrative. Working within a group, you'll be involved in creating an imaginative non–sync narrative film. You'll see the project through an entire production process, beginning with the development of story and script, creating characters through writing and working with actors, and creating an appropriate story world through camera, production design and sound.

  • Screen Studies 1

    You'll be introduced you to a range of fundamental concepts essential to the understanding of international moving image history and theory. Through exploration of a range of narrative and non-narrative moving image forms from around the world you will gain a historical overview of their development. You will also be introduced to some of the key theoretical approaches used in analysing moving image texts that also takes into consideration their specific contexts of production and consumption.

The second year focus is on finding your own specialist way of working and you’ll be encouraged and supported to start working more independently. During this year you may also have the opportunity to complete an industry work placement or even study abroad.

Please note, syllabus content indicated is provided as a guide. The content of the course may be subject to change.

Course modules

  • Screen Craft 2:1 - Production Roles

    You'll consider the different roles on a film production and choose one to specialise in through a series of workshops and small project work. The areas of specialism for you to choose from may include: Screenwriting, Producing, Directing, Cinematography, Editing, Sound, Production Design and Visual Effects.

  • Screen Craft 2:2 - Short Film Production

    This unit will provide you with the opportunity to take on responsibility for a production role that you have learnt about in Screen Craft 2.1: Production Roles in the production of a short fiction film to a given brief. You'll be required to take on a specialist role whilst making a fiction production and further develop your technical skills in this area.

  • Creative Documentary

    You'll examine storytelling within the documentary form, which will encourage you to undertake a documentary journey that reveals unexpected realities. Through collaborative working, you'll gain confidence in understanding the stories and kinds of storytelling that are appropriate to documentary filmmaking.

  • Screen Studies 2

    Providing a cultural, critical, theoretical and historical overview of the ways in which selected filmmakers from a variety of international contexts have responded to real-life events. A selection of fiction and non-fiction moving image texts that take real-life events as their starting points will be explored and a range of relevant theoretical and interpretative approaches will be employed to analyse their production and consumption.

  • Study Abroad (optional)

    This optional unit will allow you to spend a period of time in an overseas educational institution.

The third year will see you achieve a greater level of independence with self-managed research, study and practice, resulting in a final major project and a written dissertation.

Please note, syllabus content indicated is provided as a guide. The content of the course may be subject to change.

Course modules

  • Filmmaking Portfolio

    You'll develop your knowledge and technical skills in film production to a level that will enable you to work creatively and professionally at the end of your course. The unit offers you an opportunity to define your intended area of film practice and to find crew roles in short film productions which will support your chosen field. This is a portfolio unit in which you will work on more than one project and through an ‘Individual Learning Agreement’ negotiated with the unit leaders, you will balance two or more roles in order to fulfil the weight of production work required by this unit.

  • Extended Research Project

    Emphasising the personal development of critical writing in consultation with teaching staff, this unit aims to offer a supportive opportunity for the research and completion of an independently generated and illustrated Extended Research Project.

  • Projections

    This final unit of your course is designed to encourage you to reflect on your learning throughout the course. In preparing for the world beyond University you'll need to polish your CV and your online presence and develop your confidence in presenting yourself both online and in person. You'll also prepare your previous project work for presentation at screenings and festivals by developing a festival strategy and all associated promotional materials.

Please note, syllabus content indicated is provided as a guide. The content of the course may be subject to change.

Course modules

Course staff

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International study

Find out more about studying in the UK, or studying part of your course abroad at one of our partner institutions (study abroad option not available on all courses).

Course connections

On this course, you'll be exposed to a world of opportunities

Our industry connections include:

  • Avid
  • Kodak
  • Envy
  • The Royal Television Society
  • The Guild of Television Cameramen
  • Tangram Post Production
  • Warp Films
  • Working Title
  • BBC
  • Picture Productions
  • Paramount Pictures
  • ITN
  • Mainframe
  • Big Minded TV.


We've hosted a number of visiting lecturers, including:

  • Alex Garland, novelist, screenwriter, film producer and director with titles including The Beach, Ex Machina, Dredd, Sunshine and 28 Days Later
  • Barrie Vince, editor of Get Real, A Private Function and Moonlighting
  • Gustavo Costantini, Argentinian sound designer, musician and Professor of Sound Design at the University of Buenos Aires
  • Joe Martin and Danielle Clarke, director and producer of documentaries Win a Baby, Going Straight, Scientologists at War and Britain's Young Soldiers
  • Julie Noon/One World Media, Julie made Syria's Torture Machine, The TA and the Taliban, and Cooking in the Danger Zone
  • Philip Ilson, directs the London Short Film Festival
  • Sean Bobbitt, cinematographer of 12 Years a Slave (amongst many others).


As well as coursework, our students are supported in external projects and have made professional level film work for organisations including:

  • Alive & Well
  • London Life
  • Royal Marsden Hospital
  • Sailability
  • The March Foundation
  • Who Needs Heroes.


Our students have undertaken work experience on such features as:

  • Lilting
  • Snow White and the Huntsman
  • Thor: The Dark World
  • Anna Karenina
  • Game of Thrones.

Our graduates have worked in various roles on big budget productions, including:

  • James Bond
  • Mission: Impossible
  • Rogue Nation
  • Star Wars: Episode VII
  • Thor: The Dark World
  • Fast & Furious 6
  • Anna Karenina 
  • Pride.


A number of our graduates are working for range of high-profile organisations, such as:

  • The BBC
  • ITV
  • Channel 4
  • RSA Films
  • The Challenge Network
  • Roast Beef Productions
  • Art4noise
  • Channel 5
  • E4
  • Splice Media
  • Blindeye Films
  • Flex Film
  • Passion Pictures
  • Seventh Art Productions.



The types of roles our graduates go on to achieve include:

  • Director
  • Editor
  • Producer
  • Production designer
  • Camera operator
  • Sound designer
  • Location manager
  • Location sound recordist
  • Independent film maker
  • Screen writer
  • Distributor
  • Exhibitor
  • DIT operator.


You may also like to consider further study at postgraduate level.

How to apply - 2018 entry

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Entry requirements - 2018 entry:

As a leading creative arts university, we want to attract the best and most creative minds in the country – so we take a balanced approach to candidate assessment, taking both individual portfolios and exam results into account. 

That’s why your portfolio is an especially important part of your application to study with us – and we can help. Our academics can offer you expert advice on how to showcase your creative work and build a portfolio that will make your application stand out. More advice on how to create an exceptional portfolio is also available here.

Entry requirements

Along with your portfolio, the standard entry requirements* for this course are:

One of the following:

  • 112 new UCAS tariff points (equivalent to 280 old UCAS tariff points), see accepted qualifications
  • Pass at Foundation Diploma in Art & Design (Level 3 or 4)
  • Distinction, Merit, Merit at BTEC Extended Diploma (Level 3)
  • Merit at UAL Extended Diploma (Level 3)
  • 112 new UCAS tariff points from an accredited Access to Higher Education Diploma in appropriate subject
  • 27-30 total points in the International Baccalaureate Diploma with at least 15 IB points at Higher level.

And four GCSE passes at grade A*-C and/or grade 4-9 including English (or Functional Skills English/Key Skills Communication Level 2).

Other relevant and equivalent Level 3 UK and international qualifications are considered on an individual basis, and we encourage students from diverse educational backgrounds to apply.

*We occasionally make offers which are lower than the standard entry criteria, to students who have faced difficulties that have affected their performance and who were expected to achieve higher results. We consider the strength of our applicants’ portfolios, as well as their grades -  in these cases, a strong portfolio is especially important.

Your portfolio

For this course we’ll ask you to attend an Applicant Day and bring your portfolio for assessment. Further information on how to compile a portfolio and the specific requirements for examples of work to be included will be provided on the Applicant Portal after you’ve applied.

More portfolio advice

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