- Film Language: You will investigate the fundamental components of film production, the shots and edits, from both a critical and a practical perspective. You will explore film texts and film languages from across a range of historical, social and geographical contexts, to discover the potential of cinematic language to transcend national and political boundaries.
- The Film Industries: The purpose behind this unit is to encourage you to explore filmmaking as a process of manufacturing. You will look at the organisational structures of people and businesses, and explore the historical motivations behind why the industries are arranged the way they are today. This will include world cinema markets, such as Nollywood and Bollywood to improve global awareness.
- Principles of Storytelling: In an era when people are watching cats on Youtube or sharing six-second Vines on Twitter, this unit aims to empower you with the skills to identify and utilise various tools to construct and deconstruct stories through various mediums.
- Film Language 2: In this unit you will explore some of the concepts within the language of film, including intertextuality and ideology, as well as introductions to theories of realism, structuralism and spectatorship, from both a critical and a practical perspective. You will also explore film texts and film languages from across a range of historical, social and geographical contexts, to discover the potential of cinematic language to transcend national and political boundaries.
- Creative Collaboration: You will be introduced to the process of effective collaboration through a series of exercises and workshops designed to explore and examine how creative people work together.
- Understanding Experimental Film: This unit aims to encourage you to actively question the existing language of film, and develop a culture of ‘testing’. You will learn about certain research methods and conduct an experiment into filmmaking practice.
- Film Business: During this unit you will explore film from the perspective of intellectual 'property' - the idea, the script, the film and the merchandise. You will learn about licensing, marketing, the historical development of intellectual property and contemporary issues such as piracy.
- Film Story Structures: This unit aims to address the fundamentals of film genre, and encourage you to recognise the skills and techniques that can be used to create effective storytelling in film.
Option units (choose one):
List A (semester one):
- Documentary Practice: Explore the different modes of documentary and the relationship between fact and fiction. This unit is designed to give a different perspective on the filmmaking process.
- Media Theory Perspectives: This unit aims to further develop your academic and analytical skills, relative to methodologies and approaches. These options foreground transferable ideas within media theory, and whilst they are not film specific, will encourage you to reflect upon the implications of such theories for your practice.
You will choose an option from list B and C and a third from either list:
List B (semester two):
- Production Management: You will explore the management of the production phase of filmmaking, from scheduling to budgeting via location scouting and resource management.
- Production Design: You will explore the specialist field of production design including, but not exclusively, costume, props mastering and the principles of set design.
- Directing: You will explore the principle of directing on both sides of the camera. You will explore techniques and approaches to motivating and negotiating with creative collaborators and encouraging conditions that are conducive to creativity.
List C (semester two):
- Location & Post Sound: You will explore the specialist field of location and post sound, including, but not exclusively, sound design, sound acquisition, mixing and mastering.
- Camera & Lighting: You will explore the specialist field of camera and lighting, including, but not exclusively, camera technology, grip and the principles of lighting.
- Editing: You will explore the specialist field of editing, including, but not exclusively, post-production workflow, advanced editing techniques and principles of grading.
Please note that option units require minimum numbers in order to run and may only be available on a semester by semester basis. They may also change from year to year.
You'll have the option to complete either a 4-week or optional 30-week work placement (minimum) during the course, working in a professional environment. The placement provides you with an opportunity to enhance your personal development and future employability.
- Project Development for Graduate Film: During this unit you will prepare and develop the plans for your graduate film.
- Entrepreneurship for the Creative Industries: The cultural and creative industries are increasingly dependent on new forms of economic engagement, while creative individuals increasingly expect to have ‘portfolio careers’. The aim of this unit is to explore some of the tools, skills and strategies that can be utilised to build a career as an independent producer or freelance worker in the contemporary creative industries.
- Graduate Film Project: You will have the opportunity to work together or individually to produce a film of your choice, package it appropriately and develop a critical analysis of its strengths and weaknesses.
Option units semester one (choose one):
- Industry Research Project: You will critically reflect upon a 20-day placement should you have managed to secure one.
- Understanding Distribution: Specifically focusing on film distribution, you will explore the issues around marketing, theatrical exhibition, festivals and the available platforms for filmmakers.
Option units semester two (choose one):
- Career Planning: During this unit you will learn about pitches, presentations and promoting yourself properly in front of industry.
- Film Festivals for Makers & Curators: Arguably the first step for many graduates in the marketplace will be a film festival. This unit aims to inform you of the role of the festival and the strategies for succeeding at them.
Please note that option units require minimum numbers in order to run and may only be available on a semester by semester basis. They may also change from year to year.
Scheduled learning and teaching activities
The hours below give an indication of how you can expect to spend your time during each year of this course. You will learn through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials, workshops and practical sessions. Your independent learning could include reading books and journal articles, working on group projects, preparing presentations, conducting library research and writing your assignments.
Year 1 – 30% of your time will be spent in timetabled learning & teaching activities
- Learning and teaching: 360 hours
- Independent learning: 840 hours
Year 2 – 30% of your time will be spent in timetabled learning & teaching activities
- Learning and teaching: 360 hours
- Independent learning: 684 hours
- Placement: 156 hours
Year 3 - 25% of your time will be spent in timetabled learning & teaching activities
- Learning and teaching: 300 hours
- Independent learning: 900 hours
50% of the course is assessed by coursework
- Year 1: 50%
- Year 2: 50%
- Year 3: 50%
Throughout the course you will be assessed by coursework culminating in your final year research project, but you will also undertake group work and written exams.
Programme specifications provide definitive records of the University's taught degrees in line with Quality Assurance Agency requirements. Every taught course leading to a BU Award has a programme specification which describes its aims, structure, content and learning outcomes, plus the teaching, learning and assessment methods used.
Download the programme specification for BA (Hons) Film.
Whilst every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the programme specification, the information is liable to change to take advantage of exciting new approaches to teaching and learning as well as developments in industry. If you have been unable to locate the programme specification for the course you are interested in, it will be available as soon as the latest version is ready. Alternatively please contact us for assistance.
At BU, we recognise that placements are extremely valuable and can give you a head start when it comes to your future career; therefore we now offer every new student the opportunity to undertake a work placement as part of their course.
We will provide a great deal of support to help you find the most appropriate work placement for the subject you’re studying and the career you’re interested in, which means you could be based anywhere in the UK, or even overseas.
A placement should be a highly rewarding experience for you and the employing company and we do our best to ensure that everyone involved feels that they have got the most that they can from the experience.
The benefits to you as a placement student are many. You will have the chance to:
- Put the theory learnt throughout the course into professional practice
- Enhance your study and help you decide on subject options (where appropriate)
- Learn a wide range of skills such as time management, problem solving and team work (all of these are important to succeed in any career)
- Make contacts, as it is not uncommon for our students to be offered permanent positions to return to after graduating
- Gain a real insight into how the industry operates in roles that would be almost impossible to achieve for an outsider
- Many of our students, during their placement, are given responsibilities normally associated with graduate trainees.
How long is my placement?
You will begin your placement after completion of your second year of study and can choose to complete 4 weeks or a minimum 30 week placement.
Find out more about placements and our student experiences here.
Background and experience
For BA (Hons) Film, we are looking for applicants who can:
- Demonstrate a passion for film beyond their educational curriculum
- Demonstrate examples of experience of working in a team
- Genuinely reflect on what their positive attributes are, but also what they want to come to university to improve upon.
You should be able to communicate why you want to come on this course, what appeals to you about working in this industry and why you feel you have the edge over your peers. You must have basic computer literacy, including knowledge of Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
We’ll be selecting the candidates for this course by looking at their UCAS applications, there are no interviews or selection activities needed. For that reason, make sure your application really stands out from the crowd, and leave us in no doubt as to why you should be joining BU. You can find some handy hints about filling in your UCAS form on our how to apply webpages.
Our offer making process
Our offer making will typically be based on your three main graded qualifications, including any required subjects. Additional study may be valuable for breadth of study, and we will look at a range of qualifications and subjects, including the Extended Project Qualification and General Studies, although these may not be part of our offer.
If you do not meet the criteria of your original offer, we may still offer you a place. We will review your whole application and consider all academic qualifications (including those not in the offer) and the rest of the application to see if you have the academic potential to succeed on the course. If we feel the answer is yes, we will still confirm your place.
How we'll assess your application
We look at individual applications and make a tailored offer based on your potential to succeed on the course considering a range of factors, including your academic achievements, work and other experience, predicted grades, reference and personal statement, and in some cases, your performance at an interview/selection test.
If you meet one or more of our contextual data indicators for educational disadvantage (such as being in care, living in a low participation neighbourhood or in an area with less advantaged socio-economic characteristics), your offer could be between 6-20 points below the published tariff.
Unconditional offer scheme
Our Unconditional Offer Scheme seeks to reward exceptional applicants who are predicted to achieve top academic results. The scheme is offered to applicants on all courses who are predicted AAA at A-level/triple Distinction in BTEC Extended Diploma, or above, or equivalent, subject to any course selection measures and meeting other entry criteria (i.e. required qualifications). What’s more we’ll recognise your achievement if you meet these grades with an Academic Excellence Scholarship from £1,500 when you arrive*.
We believe that unconditional offers will reduce pressure on applicants who will continue to strive to achieve the best grades possible. Excellent grades will become a part of applicants’ CVs and are also required for BU’s scholarships. International qualifications are considered in the scheme; however applicants must satisfy the English language requirements.
*Our scholarships are subject to terms, conditions and eligibility criteria, detailed on our scholarships pages.
2017 entry requirements
The new UCAS Tariff will be used for September 2017 entry.
The entry requirements for this course are 120 - 128 tariff points from 3 A-Levels or equivalent qualifications. BTEC Extended Diploma: DDM.
UCAS have created a helpful calculator so you can calculate points to use for courses starting from September 2017 onwards.
Excluded subjects: This course does not accept General Studies.
GCSEs: This course requires a minimum of 4 GCSEs grades A* - C (or grade 4 or above in the newly reformed GCSE grading) including Maths and English or equivalent qualifications.
Numeracy and literacy: We need to be sure that you can express yourself in written English and have basic numeracy skills. We look at Level 2 of the National Qualifications Framework, which includes GCSEs, iGCSEs, Key Skills and Functional Skills Level 2. If you do not have formal qualifications to this level or have alternatives, we may still be able to consider your application – please contact the Enquiry Service to find out more.
We have outlined below other qualifications that we consider for this course. If you are studying a qualification that is not listed, please contact the askBU Enquiry Service – it may be that we can still consider it.
Access Courses: BU welcomes Access to HE Diploma applicants. This course requires applicants to Pass the Access to HE Diploma (with 60 Credits - at least 45 at level 3, remainder at level 2 or equivalent). Any combination of grades to meet the overall tariff is acceptable.
- Extended Diploma: This course requires Distinction, Distinction, Merit.
- Diploma: This course requires a Distinction, Merit in addition to an A-Level to achieve the overall tariff.
- 90-credit Diploma: The 90-credit Diploma will be accepted as part of your overall tariff but it must be accompanied by A-levels or equivalent qualifications.
- Subsidiary Diploma: This course requires a Distinction in addition to two A-Levels in relevant subjects to achieve the overall tariff.
A combination of BTEC qualifications to meet the overall course tariff is also acceptable.
Cambridge Pre-U Diploma: We welcome applicants studying the Cambridge Pre-U Diploma or a combination of Pre-U subjects and A-levels.
European Baccalaureate: Applicants are required to achieve a minimum score of 75-77%.
International Baccalaureate (Diploma): The IB Diploma is welcomed as part of the International Baccalaureate (IB). This course requires 31-32 points including 5 points from each of the 3 Higher Level subjects.
Scottish Qualifications: Scottish Advanced Highers, Scottish Highers and other Scottish qualifications are all welcomed providing that your results meet the overall course tariff.
Welsh Baccalaureate: The Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma is welcomed alongside A-Levels or equivalent, to meet the overall course tariff.
OCR Level 3 Cambridge Technical Qualification: The OCR Extended Diploma or a combination of one Diploma plus one Introductory Diploma is acceptable for entry to this course.
Extended Diploma:This course requires Distinction, Distinction, Merit.
Other combinations of OCR Level 3 Cambridge Technical qualifications to meet the overall course tariff may be acceptable.
Extended Project Qualification: The grade achieved for the Extended Project may be taken into account when considering whether or not to accept a candidate who has marginally failed to meet the conditions of their offer.
Deferred Entry: We are happy to consider applicants for deferred entry.
International entry requirements
English language requirements
If English is not your first language, you will need to provide evidence that you can understand English to a satisfactory level. English language requirements for this course are normally:
IELTS (Academic) 6.5 with minimum 6.0 in each component, or equivalent.
View further information about our English language requirements.
If you do not meet the English language requirement for your degree then why not join our Pre-Sessional English course. Successful completion of our Pre-Sessional English course will meet your English language requirement, without the need to re-take IELTS.
Academic entry requirements
You can find details of the international qualifications we accept, and what level of study they apply to, on our entry requirements for non-UK students’ page.
We offer a number of preparatory programmes through the Bournemouth University International College. These courses offer you progression from High School in your home country to a Bachelor’s degree at BU.
This award seeks to generate enterprising and entrepreneurial practitioners that are not only geared up to work in industry as it currently stands, but to have an active role in shaping how it may be in future. The course is designed with optional specialisms that enable you to go deeper into areas such as production management, camera and lighting, location and post sound, editing, production design, distribution or festival administration.
Our graduates will not be limited to ‘getting a job’ in the competitive field of film production, but will have a variety of transferrable skills that ensures they are prepared for an engaging career in a constantly dynamic workplace. In fact, 87% of our graduates are in work or further study within six months of graduating.
This is a new course and therefore the DHLE figures published by Unistats are aggregated from similar Media courses at BU. All statistics shown are taken from Unistats, Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE), BU institutional data and Ipsos MORI (National Student Survey) unless otherwise stated.
Our staff are actively engaged in research and professional practice in the film sector which is integrated into the teaching of this course. Find out more about some of the staff and their research activities who will be teaching on this course below.
James began writing film and book reviews for his local newspaper as a teenager and, by the age of 22, had directed and produced a series of documentaries about nightshift workers for Channel Four. He graduated from Bournemouth University and University College Dublin with degrees in film and television production, and specialises in alternative models of film production.
He demonstrated his work by shooting, editing and then screening feature films in seventy-two hours as part of major film festivals; ‘Watching & Waiting’ was screened at Galway Film Fleadh (2008) and ‘The Ballad of Des & Mo’ was in the Audience Top Ten at the Melbourne International Film Festival (2010). In 2012, he completed ‘Saharan Diary‘, a feature documentary about the desert in Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco and Libya. He recently completed another feature project in 72 hours called 'The Confusion of Tongues' in Birmingham. He has been a guest contributor to Ted Hope’s blog ‘Hope For Film’ and has completed consultancy for international companies such as Fremantle Media and Panasonic.