Film Production with Integrated Foundation Year BA (Hons)

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This is a four-year version of BA (Hons) Film Production with an integrated foundation year. Develop your career in the film industry. Study the genres you’re passionate about. Work with industry-standard equipment and technology, and in a variety of different roles. Graduate with a range of transferable skills, experience and knowledge of the industry.

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If you want to work in the film or TV industry then this course could be right for you. Whether your interest is in filmmaking, documentary production, directing, cinematography, scriptwriting or editing, this course provides an excellent environment for you to develop your own exciting and rewarding career. With a mix of practical skills and theoretical knowledge, you’ll be set to turn creativity into reality.

You will work on a range of projects and develop your skills in areas including screenwriting, camera, sound, editing, lighting, colour grading, producing and directing. Your learning experience will be greatly enhanced by our highly experienced and skilled lecturing team, and first-class equipment including specialised digital cameras, sound recording equipment, Steadicam rigs, drones and professional editing software packages such as Avid Media Composer and Adobe Premier Pro.

We encourage you to take full advantage of our creative and business services, which prepare you for careers in the film and broadcast industries. Supported by our experts, you will have the opportunity to engage with industry through work experience with a number of broadcasters and film shoots.

Why us?

  • Our students have gone on to win awards from the Royal Television Society and Sunderland International Short Film festival and have seen their work used in promotional material for organisations and cities
  • Develop your skills in one of 70 workstations with state-of-the-art editing and post production systems
  • Get hands-on in our broadcast-quality production studios complete with green room

New Sunderland Culture logo

A city brimming with creative potential

Offering a year-round programme of exhibitions, events and performances, Sunderland Culture brings big-name artists from the worlds of contemporary visual arts, glass, ceramics and performance to the city, alongside showcasing the best and most exciting local talent. There is a huge range of opportunities for students to visit the venues, take part in events and get involved in the programme. Learn more about Sunderland Culture.

Course structure

In the first year – the foundation year – you will study five modules; a module about the foundations of art, design, performance and media production, an essential study skills module, a foundation project module, practical numeracy skills, and an introduction to creative practice module. After completion of this foundation, you will then move onto the Film Production honours degree course.

Our teaching methods develop subject-specific knowledge and transferable skills that enhance employability. These include skills in communication, analysis, research, teamwork, writing and presentations.

You will be taught via lectures, demonstrations, workshops, seminars, screenings, group and individual projects, and independent learning.

Assessment methods include portfolios of practical work (short films, documentaries, advertisements, music videos, showreels, scripts etc), production files, essays, examinations, reports and presentations.

Foundation Year

The Creative Industries: Arts, Design, Performance, Media Production Integrated Foundation Year includes five modules:

  • Foundations of Art, Design, Performance and Media Production (40 credits)
  • Essential Study Skills (20 credits)
  • Foundation Project (20 credits)
  • Practical Numeracy Skills (20 credits)
  • Introduction to Creative Practice (20 credits)


Some modules have prerequisites. Read more about what this means in our Help and Advice article.

Year 1:

Core modules:

  • Film Production Skills (20 credits)
  • Sound: Design and Production (20 credits)
  • Screenwriting (20 credits)
  • Introduction to Film Studies (20 credits)
  • Short Film Production (20 credits)
  • Factual Film (20 credits)

Year 2:

Core modules:

  • Filmmaking for Film Festivals (20 credits)
  • Documentary Production (20 credits)
  • Guerrilla Filmmaking (20 credits)
  • Film Theory and Criticism (20 credits)

Optional modules (choose two):

  • Experimental Digital Film Practice (20 credits)
  • Shoot, Edit, Share (20 credits)
  • Scriptwriting (20 credits)
  • Moving Camera - Steadicam (20 credits)
  • Digital Effects (20 credits)
  • 360 VR Production (20 credits)
  • Sound Design in Practice (20 credits)
  • Post Production (20 credits)

Final year:

Core modules:

  • Practical Final Project (60 credits)
  • High End Video Project (20 credits)

Optional modules (choose one of the following):

  • Video Documentary Production 2 (20 credits)
  • Advanced Digital Fictional Film (20 credits)

Optional modules (choose one of the following):

  • Film and Feeling: Music Performance and Genre (20 credits)
  • Film Studies Special Topic (20 credits)
  • Film, Horror and The Body (20 credits)
  • Film Stars and Stardom (20 credits)
  • Science Fiction and Fantasy TV (20 credits)

More about BA (Hons) Film Production with Integrated Foundation Year at Sunderland

Discover more articles
  • Develop your skills in one of our 70 workstations with state-of-the-art HD Edit systems, including Final Cut Pro, Avid Media Composer and Premier Pro. You'll also use DaVinci Resolve for colour correction.

    You’ll also access our digital audio postproduction area with voiceover booths.

    Digital editing
  • Get hands-on in our two broadcast-quality production studios complete with green room and changing facilities.

    You’ll access four Steadicam rigs plus dolly, track and mini crane. Our field camera systems, comprises Blackmagic Ursa, Blackmagic Ursa Mini Pro, Blackmagic 4K Production Camera and the Canon EOS 5D Mark III, with associated location kits, lighting, field monitors and audio mixers.

    Film facilities
  • We’ve got thousands of relevant books and e-books, with many more titles available through the inter-library loan service. We also subscribe to a comprehensive range of print and electronic journals so you can access the most reliable and up-to-date academic and industry articles.

    Resources which will be particularly useful for Journalism and Media studies include:

    • Lexis, which provides full-text newspaper articles as well as access to legal information
    • JSTOR (short for ‘Journal Storage’), which provides access to important journals across the humanities, social sciences and sciences
    • Archival Sound Recordings with over 12,000 hours of recordings
    • British Universities Film and Video Council (BUFVC), which provides resources for the production, study and use of film and related media in higher education and research
    • Screen Online (BFI), which is an online encyclopaedia of British film and television, featuring clips from the vast collections of the BFI National Archive
    Library Services - journalism and media
  • Map and directions


The David Puttnam Media Centre is a thriving place to study and experience media. Rub shoulders with BBC Newcastle and Made in Tyne & Wear, who are both based in the building. Volunteer with award winning Spark Sunderland, write for one of our suite of websites or edit Spark Magazine in our mediaHUB. Get hands on in TV and Radio Studios, Journalism and Digital editing suites. Learn from experts in this centre of excellence for training.

Entry requirements

The Integrated Foundation Year is specially designed to support you where you have just missed the grades required for direct entry onto a three-year degree, or if you have relevant work experience and are now looking to broaden your subject knowledge but want more time to develop study skills before starting your degree.

Entry requirements are provided for guidance only and we may offer you an entrance interview which will help us determine your eligibility for your chosen degree. This enables us to consider making you an offer if you are perhaps a mature student who has been out of education for a period of time, or you have gained significant knowledge and skills through employment rather than traditional education.

Eligible entry qualifications:

1. Normally a minimum of three Level 2 qualifications (NVQ, GCSE or equivalent ), including Maths and English at grade C or above** and a minimum of 40 UCAS tariff points from Level 3 qualifications (e.g. A or AS Levels, BTEC certificates/diplomas, access courses or equivalent)
2. Demonstrable evidence of appropriate knowledge and skills acquired from at least three years of post-school work experience.

Find out how many points your qualifications are worth using the UCAS Tariff calculator.

If you are unsure of whether you think you might be suitable for the course, please contact us!

** If you have studied for a GCSE which has a numerical grade then you will need to achieve a grade 4 or above. Equivalent alternative qualifications are also accepted, such as Level 2 Key Skills in Communication and Application of Number. If you have not achieved a grade C in Maths and English we may be able to work with you to ensure that you are able to gain these in the first year of the course, depending on your experience.

If English is not your first language, please see our English language requirements.

For more information about Integrated Foundation Year programmes, including more detailed module information, please see our Help and Advice articles.

Fees and finance

If you join us in September 2020, the foundation year will be £5,000.

For the following three years, the annual fee will be £9,250 but you will receive £1,250 cash-back in the first and final year of the full-undergraduate course.

In addition, you may receive free travel across the Tyne and Wear region and a University of Sunderland StudyPLUS Card loaded with additional offers up to the value of £200, plus a bundle of study skills books worth £80.

If you are a full-time UK student you may be eligible to receive financial support to cover your fee and maintenance loan for the full four years.

Please note, this course is not available to international students.

If you are not sure whether you qualify as a UK, EU or international student, find out more in our Help and Advice article.

Take a look at the Your Finances section to find out about the scholarships and bursaries that may be available to you.

Use our scholarships calculator to see what you may be entitled to.

Scholarships calculator

This information was correct at the time of publication.

Student in the Sunderland Futures department


This degree prepares you for careers in the film and TV industries. Your training in communication, teamwork and creativity will be highly relevant to roles in many different businesses and in the public sector.

Career destinations

Our students have gained placements or graduate roles with employers such as BBC Radio 1, Capital FM, Channel 4, Heart FM, Metro Radio, Sky TV, BBC Sport, MTV, ITV Studios (Coronation Street), Talk Sport, The Guardian, Jamie Oliver Productions, Lime Pictures, Absolute Radio, BBC Radio 6 Music, I Daniel Blake, BBC World Service, regional newspapers and PR companies.

You could also choose to continue your studies with a Masters degree at the University of Sunderland, such as MA Media Production (Film and Television) or MA Film and Cultural Studies.

Work experience

We actively encourage you to gain relevant work experience while at university. In every year of your course, you will be guided and encouraged to gain meaningful experience that will fit around your studies.

You will undertake a number of practice modules throughout your course, which can include live briefs from clients from outside the University. You will build up a portfolio of work to show future employers.

All students studying on-campus undergraduate Film Production courses can take up a CV-enhancing work placement, a University-led industry initiative, or a professional and business development boot camp. By the term placement, we mean we are offering you a taste of the industry which might last anything from two days to four weeks on a part-time basis.

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