Film & Television Production BA (Hons)
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Course code: P320
This degree programme offers a combination of theory and practical work across all areas of Film and TV production focussing on practical units in the television studio, location filming, sound & vision, scriptwriting and film production management.
Why study this degree at University Centre South Essex?
- FREE limitless, local cinema tickets
- More individual attention. Compared to degrees elsewhere, you will have more opportunities to spend with your lecturers, with 13 hours contact time each week and with a standard group size of 20 or less. This allows greater availability of film-making and post-production facilities which creates a nurturing environment for your creative development
- Overseas trip at no extra cost. During your degree you will have to opportunity to join an oversea trip, which typically includes destinations such as Hollywood and New York. These will be funded directly from your fees and clearly inform units in years Two and Three, by trip itineraries that include film studio and production company workshops. There is often a series of smaller trips that include industry events in the UK and Europe
- Optional workshops in business and an optional teaching qualification. All at no extra cost
- Longer Film Project. Available in Year Three, this is an exciting opportunity to collaborate with students on other programmes on a project for exhibition at the Southend Film Festival which will carry an accreditation with IMDB
- Professional Development. The degree will include appearances by guest speakers and workshops from professional practitioners, including an Industry Week. Work placements are encouraged and clients typically offer ‘live’ projects for students to work on – most recently at Studio Canal. Recentgraduates currently work as creative practitioners and in post-production with companies such as Framestore, working on filmsincluding Gravity (2013) and Spectre (2015)
Scriptwriting, Television Studio Production, Cinematography, Sound Design, Social Media Impact, Production Management, Film Projects and more.
You will need a minimum of 64 UCAS points from one or more of the following:
- At least two A-levels
- UAL Extended Diploma in Creative Media Production
- BTEC/UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma/Diploma/Subsidiary Diploma/Certificate
- BTEC National Award/Certificate/Diploma
- Access to Higher Education Diploma (minimum 15 credits at merit or above)
- International Baccalaureate
- AQA Baccalaureate
- Progression Diploma
- Advanced Diploma
You are expected to have a GCSE English and Maths at grade C (old specification) or Grade 4 (new specification) or above OR a Level 2 equivalent such as functional skills qualification.
Year one units
Ideas Factory will provide you with an opportunity to generate ideas from initial concept through the stages of script and screenplay construction, aligned with visual storytelling, storyboarding and other creative elements. These skills are intended to dovetail with production units at level 4 and aid creative development at levels 5 and 6.
Historical and Contextual Studies
The unit explores cultural and historical factors that have shaped identity in, through and around creative media industries. This will include regulatory, ethical and legal frameworks that both liberate and constrain creative practice in areas such as film, popular art, TV, games, animation and music. It encourages you to develop independent research skills and initiate inquiries into contextual and cultural factors that influence an area related to your own areas of specialism.
This unit will provide you with an essential introduction to the principles that underpin recording sound for studio and location, in terms of capture, mix and master. It will developing your understanding of contemporary developments in creative audio technology. This is an opportunity to research, explore and experiment with sound in relation to imagery that will converge with elements from Ideas Factory in terms of scriptwriting and visual story-telling. Your creative work with enhance Production and aid creative development in years two and three.
The aim of this unit is to introduce a range of creative approaches specific to media production, including skills associated with TV Studio, filming on location and digital editing. This will enable you to embrace a wide range of knowledge and skills in order to prepare them as multi-skilled practitioners that are equipped to operate across a range of increasingly integrated disciplines across creative media industries. This will underpin the effective creation of the digital production projects that follow in years two and three. It will equip you with a vital opportunity to embed location and studio production skills within your emerging portfolio of professional practices. Other units in year one will complement these skills associated with, for example, scriptwriting, visual storytelling, sound and lighting and also situate practice within historical and contemporary contexts. This unit will also incorporate differentiated skills workshops to account for a range of previous experience amongst the cohort.
Year two units
The unit is designed to encourage the application and integration of sophisticated production and post-production techniques as employed in a real world environment. Through assembling a body of production project work, including elements of client briefs or work placements, this unit will encourage the application of production skills developed in Production and Ideas Factory. Key aspects include, planning, casting, technical direction, script editing and post-production. Creative Portfolio offers an opportunity to further develop the portfolio of skills needed to complete Social Media Impact, Production Management and Final Project.
Film and Television Studies
The aim of this unit is offer an essential survey of the context within which Film and TV is constructed, produced, exhibited, theorised and received. It will also facilitate an understanding of key critical and historical debates within Film, TV and Cinema Studies. This unit is intended to complement and inform creative and practical units throughout the programme and operates as a bridge between theory in year one; such as Historical and Contextual Studies and the Dissertation/Research Project in year three.
Cinematography will provide you with an opportunity to develop your skills and techniques introduced on location in year one. This unit will encourage development in the techniques required to underpin the effective creation of location production projects. It will provide you with a vital opportunity to hone location production skills and to encourage professional specialisation within their emerging portfolio of professional practices. Cinematography offers an opportunity to further develop the portfolio of skills needed to complete Project (level 6). It is directly informed by Production and also Sound Design, and complements Creative Portfolio and pays forward to Digital Title Sequencing.
Social Media Impact
Social Media has been described as Web 2.0 in that its users collaborate and share in building brands. This unit will foster the curation of a creative professional presence within Social Media, through a combination marketing and creative identity. Creative, technical, and academic work developed in year one and year two units will be (re-) packaged and presented within a personal marketing campaign that is in effect an on-line curriculum vitae and creative calling-card. This will pay forward to form a cornerstone for professional development in year three, adding velocity to prospects for employment and future study.
Year three units
Dissertation / Research Project
This unit aims to provide you with an opportunity to offer critical analysis within an independent area of research that draws upon theoretical and practical material developed on the degree programme. You have the option to complete a traditional Dissertation or alternatively an Action Research Project or a Feature Script. The intention is to encourage you to explore links with your Final Project in terms of experimentation with technical and creative approaches to television and film production. This will also encourage progression to both post-graduate study and/or working within the creative media industries.
This unit aims to provide you with time to hone your skills in planning for projects in year three and beyond. It is intended to encourage reflection upon lessons learned across years one and two of the degree programme, by integrating research, theory and practical experimentation. It will build upon Social Media Impact, by creating promotional material, such as an Electronic Press Kit as part of an emerging professional profile. Key elements will include, scouting locations, a pre-production log and evidence of reflection upon test footage and visual experimentation. Also for development will be proposal documents and pre-production work as part of a fully-prepared plan for Final Project.
Digital Title Sequencing
The aim of this unit is to develop skills in digital titling platforms for media artefacts specific to television production. It includes skills in authoring title design material for delivery in digital content domains. This is last in a series of three units designed to offer a broad experience in digital post-production. Production (year one) includes introductory skills in editing while Creative Portfolio (year two) offers more advanced editing techniques. The evolving skills and techniques in these three units are designed to add professional quality to the Final Project. Digital Title Sequencing also directly underpins the effective expansion of digital portfolio material previously produced in year two.
The aim of this unit is to provide a framework including support and resources for the student to produce an extended body of images as defined in a proposal for Production Management. This body of work should show an advanced level of practice conceptually, aesthetically and technically. It should consolidate the learning delivered during the programme to good effect, synthesizing aspects of film, television and cultural studies, together with practical elements. It should culminate in a sophisticated outcome, reflective of the content and spirit of the programme.
Work placements are encouraged throughout the duration of the course. However there is particular emphasis on this aspect during year two in relation to unit Creative Portfolio. In this unit you will be able to submit work generated by your engagement in work-related practice, for instance, work placements and live client briefs. You will be assisted in developing appropriate work experience opportunities, however the emphasis is on you to secure them, as a demonstration of your increasing independence as a creative practitioner.
Timetables are normally available one month before registration, though we endeavour to let you have an outline as soon as possible. Please note that while we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week. Typically, year groups are expected to attend lessons for 13 hours a week, spread over two and a half days. We expect students to build upon timetables sessions through independent study, for at least a similar period. This should involve research and experimentation, developing concepts and scripts and thinking. There are evening and weekend facilities available within the Campus or close by at the Forum, here in Southend.
You will benefit from our outstanding links with industry, recently including James Esposito of Underground Films, Lennox Brothers and ESG Media.
You will get involved with live briefs throughout the duration of the programme, including corporate work and client projects. In year three, we encourage you to find work placements, acquire a teaching qualification and create a feature film.
End of year show
Your end of year show or film project will be screened as part of Southend Film Festival. In the lead-up to this, you will also benefit from workshops, such as those offered at the BFI London Film Festival to learn how to set-up your own event.
You will benefit from the opportunity from one or more field trips, typical locations include:
- Los Angeles
- New York
- BFI London Film Festival
- Visual Arts Festival
- BVE at the ExCeL in London
- Live TV productions including Pinewood and ITV
- 14 hours per week over two and a half days
- Programme has a split of three parts practical to one part theory
Teaching & Learning
You are taught through a combination of lectures, seminars and workshops, which enable you to discuss and develop your understanding of the disciplines associated with Film and Television Production.
Currently, you will primarily use Adobe Creative Suite and other related programs and with access to various facilities including computer areas, including outside normal teaching hours. As more powerful and versatile cameras and film-making equipment become available our equipment is updated on a regular basis.
In year two you typically have around 13 hours contact time per week, typically consisting of:
- Six hours of short lectures and seminars
- Six hours of practical workshops (including one-to-one tutorials when necessary)
- One hour of specialist tutorials in practical, research and writing techniques
A similar pattern continues in years two and three, but you will be encouraged to show increasing self-reliance and independence. As you progress you will spend more time on location and experimenting with.
Units are delivered through a variety of methods of teaching and learning. These will include:
- Technical demonstrations of industry-relevant filming equipment. These are designed to provide an essential induction to both the television studio and location filming – including effective use of lighting and sound to support the development of essential creative skills
- Small group teaching – for studio based group sessions and also for research and writing
- Peer Review – to encourage creative development, especially prior to assessment deadlines
- Individual and group tutorials - your tutor / lecturers will ask key questions regarding your planning and project work-flow and offer advice and suggestions regarding future development
- Independent research and professional practice - during each unit you are expected to show how you have responded to suggested directions and peer review regarding the direction of your projects and assignments
- Computer-based workshops, skills in post-production platforms and also professional development via ‘working day’ simulated briefs
When not attending lectures, seminars and workshops or other timetabled sessions you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. Typically, this will involve reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking research in the library, preparing coursework assignments and presentations. A range of excellent facilities, including the library, the Learning Resource Centre and the Forum, supports your independent learning. You are also expected to develop your own scripts, concepts and production projects by experimenting with cameras, recording and filming equipment. All of you activities should have a focus on finding links between theory, experimentation and practice.
Assessment & Feedback
Coursework is assessed in a range of different ways in order to accommodate a variety of learning styles and aptitudes including:
- Film and TV products
- Portfolio and sketchbook submissions
- Group presentations
- Written essays
- Research folders
You will be required to create films and other moving image material together with relevant and integrated research. There are no examinations, but we do include simulated working days as part of your professional and creative development.
You will receive formative feedback as part of your one-to-one sessions with your unit lecturers. You will also receive summative feedback on all formal assessments undertaken by coursework. Feedback is intended to help you learn and you are encouraged to discuss it with your unit leader, tutor and lecturers. Feedback can be given in a range of different ways in order to accommodate a variety of learning styles and aptitudes including group peer review, recorded verbal and written feedback.
We aim to provide you with feedback within 20 working days of hand-in (for al formal studio based coursework assessment). For the third year Dissertation Unit you will receive feedback and grades at the same time as your Final Project.
£8500 per year
Fees are per academic year for Home/UK students.
The following course-related costs are included in the fees:
- Students are given a printing allowance, which is currently set at £120.00 per year
- Third Year students will exhibit their work at an industry event such as the Southend Film Festival. Reasonable, related costs will be covered by the Faculty of Higher Education, but there is a limited budget
- An overseas trip is included in your course fees. The terms of this trip varies from year to year but links directly to unit content and assessment
This programme has both a practical production and cultural theory focus and therefore offers good preparation for post-graduate study or training.
Graduating students leave with the ability to work in their own production teams that are able to produce short films. A number of recent graduates continue to create films for festivals and competitions; recent successes include an award in the Virgin Film Competition. Students from each graduating cohort pursue successful careers in media companies including:
- Channel 4
- Advertising agencies
- Regional film companies
- London & Hollywood post-production companies
Others continue their education at Master of Arts level and/or enter the teaching profession.
Graduates have gone on to set-up their own production companies, including Tunnel Shark. A recent graduate has gone on to work on Gravity for Framestore, and another is the producer for Moon and World of Warcraft.