The first year of your course is taught in conjunction with Journalism and Media Production students. You’ll be introduced to research techniques and how to create a factual story using sound and moving images that emotionally and visually engage the audience. You’ll also find out how to record and edit a radio package suitable for broadcast or podcasting and photography to accompany it. You will research, write and make an individual short moving image project of your choosing that tells a compelling story as a work of fiction or a factual piece. You’ll also learn to develop your own online presence, this platform becoming the home of your content that you produce and the blogs that you write. You will be introduced to the history and development of the media in order to develop your critical and analytical skills.
Finding and Writing Stories
Whether you want to be a programme maker or a journalist you will need to understand how to identify and find interesting stories that people will engage with. Whether it is for a fiction production, a documentary or current affairs, in print, online or TV, telling a story in a thought-provoking way is how you will engage with your audience.
You will develop further your research skills in identifying stories and interviewees in order to record, write and edit a package to disseminate across several media. Possessing these skills will enable you to take part in making television programmes or in telling longer, more complex stories further on in your degree.
Getting it out there!
Content producers, whether it is for mainstream television, internet productions or professional newsrooms, are increasingly adopting a 'digital first' approach to publication, meaning that they consider their web content and presence before concerning themselves with the printed page or TV or radio output. This unit aims to give you a head-start in terms of developing, producing and managing content for the digital environment.
This unit enables you to undertake an individual three-minute narrative project that you devise, research, produce, direct and post-produce yourself for a specific audience. The project can be in any genre, e.g. factual, fiction, drama documentary, or experimental, but must be a piece of moving image work which has a clear narrative arc and is made on location.
This unit provides you with a historical overview of the development of television, journalism and other media. We will not only trace the development of different forms of media, but also look into different formats, audiences and their behaviours. A particular focus will be made on new and emergent media technologies and how they are changing professional media production practices and audience behaviours.
In your second year you will have the opportunity to work in the multi-camera television studio to remake a scene from a TV soap or comedy sitcom which will be filmed, recorded and edited live. You will also work in groups to make a fiction or drama documentary production on location. Additionally, you will elect to either develop your writing skills, or choose to specialise in a particular area of production as a director, producer, camera operator or editor. Your practical work will continue to be underpinned by the development of your theoretical knowledge and you will look at the cultural and social theories that inform debates around the media today.
The use of the ‘studio’ environment in mainstream television production has been a staple of the industry – ‘mass-producing’ content within a controlled environment in an economic and managed way. It is important that as a content creator and producer you understand the function of and the way that a television studio works – how does a multi-camera team operate? How do you cut a ‘live’ programme? How does a studio director work? What does a floor manager do? Are there conventions that the environment dictates? How can this model of production inform the future developments of the independent online studio and its content?
This unit introduces you to the processes and protocols that you will need for making a production on location. Working in groups in production roles you will develop an original fiction script or concept for a short film or comedy drama series for a specific audience. You will contribute to the development, pre-production, production and post-production of the project and will need to engage with re-purposing the finished film for distribution across different media platforms. You will be asked to develop a social media strategy to disseminate your finished work with the aim of generating ‘hits’ and developing an online audience.
The Story unit offers you the opportunity to explore craft elements shared by various types of screenwriting, including structure, characterisation, dialogue and formatting, and the opportunity to put these elements into practice by writing their own short screenplay.
Or Production Specialisms [Elective]
You will undertake a personal research project looking at and critically evaluating the work of a particular director, producer, camera operator or editor and how their careers have evolved. You will produce a short piece of practical work that reflects and demonstrates a range of techniques and skills that you have researched, for example you might choose to recreate a scene from a film of a chosen director or cinematographer, or experiment with editing techniques.
TV, Media and Society
This unit will introduce you to a range of cultural and social theories that have informed and shaped the production, consumption and studies of media content, including television, journalism, films, music, literature and radio. You’ll also learn how to use theoretical concepts to analyse and critique media texts and the impacts they have on society from different perspectives.
Study Abroad (Optional)
This optional unit will allow you to spend a period of time in an overseas educational institution.
In your final year you will have the opportunity to produce a substantial body of practical work. You’ll research and develop a treatment or proposal for a project of your choice – this might be for a feature script, or for a niche internet studio, a documentary or factual idea. You’ll work to realise your project on your own or in a group. Supporting your practical work will be the professional planning unit which helps to prepare you to work as a television or media professional. You’ll also undertake a major piece of research and writing with your dissertation where you can look in depth at an issue or theoretical concern.
Final Project: Research & Concept
In Final Project: Research and Concept you may elect to either work in a group or as an individual to research an area of interest and to develop a concept for a television or internet programme or series. You’ll each pitch an outline idea to your peers and tutors before gaining a green light to develop the concept further.
Final Project: Realisation
You’ll undertake a substantial and sustained body of work through the realisation of the project that you researched and developed in Final Project: Research and Concept. If you’re working in a group, you’ll undertake a production role of your choosing and contribute to the realisation of the project. If you undertake an individual project, you’ll realise the project, depending on its parameters, as agreed with your tutors.
The Dissertation consists of a substantial period of sustained, individually negotiated research on a subject that is likely to be related to the contextual and/or theoretical concerns of your discipline or chosen area of practice, towards the provision of structured written argument.
Professional Planning: TVMP
Professional Planning supports you in preparing you to find work as a television or media professional and will give you an understanding how to negotiate the working environment. You will research job opportunities, update your CV and develop or enhance your online presence and further understand the requirements for working as a freelancer, such as tax returns and accounting. You will also be introduced to and practice interview skills.
This course offers the opportunity to study abroad for part of your second year. To find out more about studying abroad as part of your course please see the Study Abroad section:
We have connections through the teaching staff on this course to well-known production companies and publications such as:
- Sky News
- BT Sport
- And other independent production companies.