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BA (Hons) Film Production & Cinematography

  • UCAS Code:
  • Institution:
  • Delivery:
    Full time according to Funding Council definitions

Do the words "Lights, Camera, Action" get you excited? If they do then maybe a career in film production or cinematography is calling. To help set you on this star-studded path our meticulously designed Film Production and Cinematography degree, which is delivered at Wiltshire College Salisbury, offers the perfect blend of academic study and practical assignments, ultimately preparing you for work in the film or TV industries.

As well as getting the opportunity to produce, direct and edit a host of projects, from short entertainment videos and adverts to dramas and documentaries, both on your own and as part of a team, your lecturers will encourage you to evaluate and critique film and TV productions, to develop your understanding of key concepts and ideas within the contemporary media environment.

As a result, you’ll graduate with a wealth of experience in the area of film production, allowing you to go on to work in exciting various roles within the industry.

Key information

Next start date:

September 2016


Wiltshire College, Salisbury


3 years including a 4-week placement or 4 years including a 40-week placement

Relevant subjects:

All subjects considered

Entry requirements:

280 - 300 tariff points, from three A-levels or equivalent qualifications*. BTEC Extended Diploma: DDM. Applicants with relevant industrial experience are encouraged to apply. If English is not your first language you'll need IELTS 6.5 (Academic) with 6.0 in all components, or equivalent. For more information check out our International entry requirements.

*The entry requirements for this course were amended in September 2015

Course details

Year 1

  • Media Concepts and Contexts: You'll produce a self-authored, narrative film, whilst demonstrating an interest and an understanding of images, narratives and audiences as applied to film production.
  • Collaborative project: In a group you'll create a production of a narrative film through which you'll develop an understanding of a wide range of technical and production skills.
  • Introduction to production skills 1: You will learn the fundamentals of film making - sound, lighting, camera and production management. Working on location, you will work in small groups developing key production and technical skills.
  • Applied production skills: Working on location, you will apply key production and technical skills to a range of production projects.
  • Professional development plan: You will research a particular area of industry practice, with a view to developing your own individual career path.

Year 2

  • Media theory: Critical study of film form with particular emphasis on the centrality and importance of narrative. You'll be asked to focus in on one key media theory and reflect upon the implications of the theory in your practice.
  • Applied production skills 2: This unit centres on the production of an individually authored documentary or fiction film. You will develop your own creative voice and demonstrate a flair and ability for film making.
  • Research methods: Here you'll hone your research skills, drawing upon various methods to carry out your own piece of independent research.
  • Film and cinematography project: Press, media, new media and photography; you'll discover the impact of the full range of new and traditional media on the production, distribution and marketing of film.
  • Professional studies: It's intended that industry contacts will be developed by you throughout the remainder of your course and can then be used as an on-going link upon graduation.

Year 3

A minimum 4-week placement or optional 40 week placement, designed to develop your abilities and understanding of the workplace. It also provides a platform for successful entry into the workplace following graduation.

Year 3/4

  • Concept development: Development of a film project and accompanying marketing and distribution strategies. This experience will initially grow through a work placement you will undertake.
  • Graduate project: Production of a film including the implementation of marketing and distribution strategies. You will need to demonstrate knowledge of industry-standard production techniques and cinematography skills, you will also need to recruit and manage a team of people to produce a minor film project.
  • Dissertation: You'll produce a significant piece of written academic critical work, the subject matter of the dissertation will be decided through consultation with your course tutor and will relate in some way to the genre or style of the practical work undertaken throughout the course.

Programme Specification

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.

View the programme specification for BA (Hons) Film Production and Cinematography.

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.

Placement opportunities

The placement is a valuable opportunity. With the combination of a vocational/professional degree and relevant work experience to offer to an employer, you can be one step ahead in the job market.

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.

A recent report from High Fliers Research has highlighted the vital importance of work placements. The report found that more than a third of jobs for new graduates are being taken by people who have already had work experience with that employer through work experience during holidays or placements as part of a course. More than half of employers expect would-be recruits to have some kind of work experience, without which they are unlikely to be considered, regardless of their qualifications.

How long is my placement?

You will need to complete a minimum of 4 weeks work placement in your final year

Selection criteria

Background and experience

We are looking for applicants who:

  • Demonstrate both intellectual and creative abilities
  • Show an understanding of film making principles
  • Have an appreciation of cinematography
  • Possess a strong awareness of different film genres and histories
  • Demonstrate good written and oral communication skills.

Students on this course will typically have a creative background and either qualifications or experience related to film and cinematography. Students will also be media aware and have a proven ability to work creatively, in groups and individually.

We look for creative and innovative thinkers who are familiar with current film making practice and want to apply it. We would encourage applicants who are interested in new ideas, can express themselves well in writing, work well in groups and can demonstrate a wide range of interests.

Selection methods

We’ll be selecting the candidates for this course by looking at their UCAS applications and may invite you to attend an interview, where we would like to find out more. 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 this course. You can find some handy hints about filling in your UCAS form on our how to apply webpages.

If you are invited to attend an interview, you will need to bring a portfolio of your work with you to demonstrate your ability at Film Production and a written piece of work explaining your portfolio (no more than 500 words).

Full entry requirements

280 - 300 tariff points from 3 A-levels or equivalent qualifications.

Excluded subjects: This course does not accept General Studies A or AS-level but Critical Thinking is accepted.

GCSEs: This course requires a minimum of 5 GCSEs at grades A* to C, 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 askBU Enquiry Service to find out more.

Other qualifications

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 Course: BU welcomes Access to HE Diploma applicants. This course requires applicants to obtain, 24 Level 3 credits with Merit or above, including 15 Distinctions.

Advanced/Progression Diplomas: The Advanced diploma is broadly equivalent to three and a half A-levels and the progression diploma to two and a half A-levels. The diplomas are available in just a few subject areas and only some of these are suitable to gain entry onto this course. This course accepts the following progression diplomas in conjunction with other qualifications: *Creative & Media. This course accepts the following advanced diplomas: *Creative & Media. This course does not accept the following progression or advanced diplomas: Business, Administration & Finance Construction & the Built Environment Engineering Information Technology Society Health & Development Environmental and Land Based Studies Hair & Beauty Hospitality Manufacturing & PD

BTEC Qualifications

  • Extended Diploma: This course requires a minimum of Distinction, Merit, Merit.
  • Diploma: This course requires Distinction, Merit in addition to one A-level grade C.
  • Subsidiary Diploma: This course requires 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.

OCR National: We welcome applicants studying OCR National qualifications.

OCR Cambridge Technical: We welcome applicants studying OCR Cambridge Technical qualifications.

Extended Project: 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.

Cambridge Pre-U Diploma: We welcome applicants studying the Cambridge Pre-U Diploma or a combination of Pre-U subjects and A-levels.

Diploma in Foundation Studies in Art, Design &Media: A Diploma in Foundation Studies in Art, Design and Media is accepted for this course.

European Baccalaureate: Applicants are required to achieve a minimum score of 73%.

International Baccalaureate (Diploma): The International Diploma is welcomed as part of the International Baccalaureate. This course requires 30 - 31 IB points, including 5 points from each of the 3 Higher Level subjects. Please note, we do not accept the equivalent UCAS tariff points for the IB.

Diploma in Foundation Studies in Art, Design and Media: A Diploma in Foundation Studies in Art, Design and Media is accepted for this course.

Key Skills: We welcome your application if you are studying at Key Skills Level 3.

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 Advanced Diploma: The Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma is welcomed alongside A-levels or equivalent, to meet the overall course tariff.

BU International Foundation Certificate: This course accepts the BU validated International Foundation certificate.

OCR Level 3 Cambridge Technical Qualification: We welcome applicants studying OCR Cambridge Technical Qualifications.

Extended Project Qualifications: 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.

International entry 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.

A number of pre-sessional English and preparatory programmes are offered through our partner institution, Bournemouth University International College, and will get you ready for study at BU at the appropriate level.

You can also find further details of the international qualifications we accept, and what level of study they apply to, on our international entry requirements page.

IT skills

New media Information Technology is an increasingly important part of film making and some prior knowledge of relevant computer programmes would be useful. However there is no essential requirement for the course.


Film and TV production has become ever-more sophisticated over the years and you need to be versatile with a good understanding of the industry and the latest technology to get ahead. We have an excellent reputation within this competitive industry and our graduates consistently go on to work on high-profile TV and film projects.

Our graduates have worked on productions such as The Bourne Identity, James Bond, The Blue Planet, BBC and ITN News, Alan Partridge, Eyes Wide Shut, Casualty, Formula One Motor Racing, Survivor, Dark Shadows, Avengers, Dr Who, Downton Abbey, Last Tango In Halifax and many others.

81.8% of our students are in work or further study within six months of finishing their course, going into roles such as:

  • Associate, content creation
  • Camera trainee
  • Operations executive
  • Post-production runner
  • Production assistant.

Industries worked in

  • Film
  • TV
  • Media
  • Creative.

Further study

Once you have completed an undergraduate Honours degree, you can further develop your education by studying for a postgraduate degree. Please visit our Postgraduate section for further details about our range of Master's degrees.

Course statistics

The National Student Survey

The below information all comes from the National Student Survey completed by some of the students who graduated from this course last year.

  • Students agreed staff are good at explaining things - 72%
  • Students agreed staff made the subject interesting - 70%
  • Students were satisfied overall - 59%
  • Students agreed they got sufficient advice and support - 60%

52% of the course is assessed by coursework

This course is highly aligned to the professions and gives you a mix of practical assignments and academic study.

43% is scheduled learning and teaching activities

The course builds the multi-skilling theme of the Wiltshire College Salisbury ethos, and offers a combination of projects that involve you either directing small team productions or taking a variety of leading roles in larger scale films and productions. This course will develop your practical skills in film-making and experience of using industry-standard facilities with the research and evaluation of various film projects.

What our students say

Ryan Denham

The BA (Hons) Film Production & Cinematography is not so much a course, but more a film-making community.

Hear from our staff

Andrew Smith

BU delivers industry focused TV and Film courses. All our tutorial staff have industry experience with credits ranging from ‘Game Of Thrones’ to ‘Blackadder’.

What employers think

Dave Kirkwood

...he was a joy to be with. I would willingly recommend him for further work. The job would not have been possible to do without him.

Additional information

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International students

International students

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