Film Production

BA (Hons)

2017 entry

As a creative arts university we’ve built an enviable reputation in the film world – producing four Oscar winners, thirteen BAFTA winners and a high-profile alumni network that has contributed to many global movie successes, including Star Wars, Godzilla, James Bond, Harry Potter, Mission Impossible and Fast & Furious.

We believe in learning through doing, so 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 2017


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.

Course content - 2017 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

  • Portraits

    You'll examine portraiture in filmmaking and stills photography, referencing to cultural practice in different media and exploring the use of visual and aural imagery to evoke and describe a self-contained world.

  • Screenwriting and Screen Storytelling

    You'll explore the practice of screen storytelling from a variety of perspectives, whilst focusing particularly on the role of the screenwriter. This unit will address the fundamental question of how we, as filmmakers, go about telling our stories on screen.

  • Film History and Theory 1

    This unit will complement the practice units, introducing you to a range of fundamental concepts essential to the understanding of film language, film grammar, film history and theory.

  • First Fictions

    We'll introduce you to storytelling in fictional filmmaking. The unit will help awaken your passion to tell stories and to understand that collaboration is at the heart of creative filmmaking.

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

  • Fact Into Fiction

    You'll develop your approach to fiction filmmaking from a starting point in the research of a true-life event.

  • Film History and Theory 2

    We'll provide you with a historical overview of various codes and conventions, drawn from documentary and dramatic realism, with which reality is represented in film and television.

  • The Other Cinema

    You'll be introduced to contemporary moving image work by a range of filmmakers who work outside or against mainstream or dominant commercial cinema and television - and its modes of production.

  • 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.

  • You'll also study one of the following optional units:

    Sound Design
    Production Design.

  • 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

  • Graduation Film

    This is designed to provide you with the opportunity to synthesise skills, knowledge and collaborative working methodologies acquired during Year 1 and Year 2 of the course. You'll be expected to work with a high degree of professionalism in a key specialist area on the production of a short film.

  • Individual Practice

    This unit will give you the opportunity to synthesise your learning on the course, explore your own personal creativity and develop a portfolio of project work. This can take the form of work on the screen or in the development of high level practical skills in a key specialist area of production by collaborating with your peers. You'll produce a short film (guideline duration of five minutes) which can be made in collaboration with other students subject to approval of the Learning Agreement. You'll also receive the opportunity to submit a report on a related work placement as part of the portfolio of work.

  • Professional Futures

    This year-long unit is designed to help you to synthesise all your learning on the course and prepare you for the world beyond.

  • Dissertation

    You'll undertake a substantial period of sustained, individually negotiated research on a subject related to the contextual and/or theoretical concerns of your discipline or chosen area of practice, towards the provision of structured written argument.

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 undertaked 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 - 2017 entry

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Entry requirements - 2017 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.

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.

New UCAS tariff

UCAS has made changes to its tariff system.

Find out how these changes will affect you

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

Fees & finance

Uncover all the costs involved, as well as the grants, loans and other financial support you may be entitled to.

Student regulations

Find out more about the operation of our courses, student conduct, assessments and examinations.

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