Film and Media with Integrated Foundation Year BA (Hons)

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This is a four-year version of our popular BA (Hons) Film and Media course, with an integrated foundation year. Study film and the fascinating world of the media. Get skilled in critical analysis and build your independent judgement. Mix academic research with practical application, developing the skills to join an exciting industry.

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Course overview

Love film and fascinated by all aspects of media? – study both in tandem.

In the first year – the foundation year – you will study 4 modules; a subject-related module, a numeracy skills module, a study skills-related module and a foundation project module. After completion of this foundation year, you will then move onto the Film and Media honours degree course.

This distinctive course offers an impressive range of topics, with more emphasis on history and analysis, you’ll study modules in film, media and cultural studies. You’ll cover elements including film analysis, film theory, TV genres, scriptwriting, the study of mass media, and cultural representation.

Study the areas that most appeal to your own imagination and interests and balance theoretical subjects alongside practical based modules in media production. Utilise our fantastic facilities and equipment in our dedicated media centre, including production studios complete with green screen and camera systems and our own 200-seat cinema.

Get experience. Take a work placement; get involved with award-winning Spark Sunderland; write for Sunderland’s daily paper, The Sunderland Echo; or work alongside BBC Newcastle Journalists in our mediaHUB, home to student-run websites covering sport, news, entertainment and fashion.

Throughout your studies, you’ll be guided and supported by our experts. You’ll work with academics at the Centre for Research in Media and Cultural Studies and study alongside scriptwriters, film makers, radio producers, and independent film producers. Many of the key books you'll learn from have been written by the staff who teach you.

In your final year, you can choose to develop your expertise in academic research through a written dissertation or produce a feature length screenplay or TV drama script as your major project.

Build transferable skills and gain experience, essential for securing future employment. Open job opportunities such as teaching, consultancy, TV and film production, radio, PR, journalism and advertising.

 

Why us?

  • Our Media and Film Studies courses are ranked 15th in The Guardian University league tables 2018
  • 100% of our BA (Hons) Film and Media graduates are in employment or further study within six months of graduating, according to DLHE 2015/16 (based on UK students)
  • The course provides an excellent foundation for studying film and media at masters level
  • We are a University that is nationally recognised for supporting learners particularly from non-traditional backgrounds and many students come to us with no formal qualifications but with valuable work experience
  • ‘World-leading’ research in Media Studies, according to the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF)
  • You can write a feature-length screenplay as an alternative to a final year dissertation
  • All students studying on-campus undergraduate media courses can take up a CV-enhancing work placement

Course structure

Teaching and assessment

Teaching methods include lectures, seminars, group work and e-learning. We encourage you to develop independent study skills.

As well as assessments that count towards your degree, there are also ongoing assessments for feedback and consolidating your learning. Assessment methods include essays, reports, written coursework, projects, presentations and exams.

Foundation Year

The Media, Humanities and Creative Industries Integrated Foundation Year includes four modules: 

  • Essential Study Skills (20 credits)
  • Maths (20 credits)
  • Foundation module (40 credits)
  • Project (20 credits)
  • Subject Specialism (20 credits)

 

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

Year 1 (national level 4):

  • Introduction to Media and Cultural Studies (20 credits)
  • Introduction to Film Studies (20 credits)
  • History of Cinema (20 credits)

Optional modules (choose at least three):

  • Contemporary Cinema (20 credits)
  • Celebrity Cultures (20 credits)
  • Introduction to Digital Media Cultures (20 credits)
  • Making of Popular Culture (20 credits)
  • Television Cultures (20 credits)
  • Introduction to Radio (20 credits)
  • Introduction to Video Production (20 credits)
  • Introduction to Screenwriting (20 credits)
  • Media Histories (20 credits)

Year 2 (national level 5):

  • Media Studies 1 (20 credits)
  • Film Theory and Criticism (20 credits)
  • Academic Research Skills (20 credits)

Optional modules (choose at least one):

  • American Film and Society (20 credits)
  • European Film and Society (20 credits)
  • British Cinema (20 credits)
  • Animated Film (20 credits)

Further optional modules (choose up to three):

  • Cultural Theory and Popular Culture 1 (20 credits)
  • Sexual Cultures (20 credits)
  • Video Documentary Production (20 credits)
  • Radio Production 1 (20 credits)
  • Live Radio and Commercial Production (20 credits)
  • Television Studio: Production and Development (20 credits)
  • Multiplatform Media Production 1 (20 credits)
  • Scriptwriting (20 credits)
  • The Moving Camera (20 credits)
  • Placement 1 (10 credits)
  • Placement 2 (10 credits)

Final year (national level 6):

  • Media Studies 2 (20 credits)
  • Dissertation (40 credits)

Optional modules (choose at least one):

  • Film Studies Special Topic (20 credits)
  • Film and Feeling: Music, Performance, Genre (20 credits)
  • Film, Horror and The Body (20 credits)
  • Hitchcock (20 credits)

Further optional modules (choose up to four):

  • Cultural Theory and Popular Culture 2 (20 credits)
  • Science Fiction and Fantasy Television (20 credits)
  • Body and Culture (20 credits)
  • Popular Music Cultures (20 credits)
  • Media, Place and Mobility (20 credits)
  • Screenwriting for Film and TV 2 (20 credits)
  • Researching Sound (Radio and Film) (20 credits)
  • TV Studio Format Factory (20 credits)
  • Radio Drama (20 credits)
  • Advanced New Media Production (20 credits)
  • Practical Project (40 credits)

The David Puttnam Media Centre,
Sir Tom Cowie Campus,
St Peter's Way,
Sunderland,
SR6 0DD

54.911899,-1.372815

  • 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
  • We have four journalism suites, each with Apple Mac workstations with industry-standard software including NewsCutter, Burli and ENPS.

    Our mediaHUB, a bustling newsroom and home to a team of BBC Newcastle journalists, is responsible for our suite of websites and provides a variety of experiences. Made in Tyne & Wear are just downstairs, offering placements to students and jobs to several of our graduates. 

    Learn in our 203-seat cinema and 7.1 surround sound facility. Access two broadcast-quality production studios complete with green room and changing facilities and equipment such as Steadicam rigs, track and mini crane.

    Go on-air in one of five radio studios, including a larger radio drama studio and a transmission suite for Spark, our award winning student-run community radio station.

    Media facilities
  • The mediaHUB is a bustling multimedia newsroom on the top floor of our David Puttnam Media Centre where you will get a real taste of life as a working journalist.

    BBC Newcastle have a team of journalists based here, and they are joined by visiting journalists from organisations such as Trinity Mirror (Newcastle Chronicle, Journal) and Johnston Press (Sunderland Echo).

    The mediaHUB runs websites covering sport, news, entertainments and fashion, provides the content for news bulletins on our award-winning radio station Spark, and is responsible for writing and editing Spark magazine.

    The ground-breaking workspace is designed to be a professional environment and even has a cloud filled sky line, funky colour scheme and a shed for a meeting room. It includes plenty of workstations each with industry-standard software including NewsCutter, Burli and ENPS, and a Sky feed with two 40” plasma screens. The whole space is managed by an ex-Sky Journalist, who is on hand, with her team to point you in the right direction.

    The mediaHUB

Facilities

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)
OR
2. Demonstrable evidence of appropriate knowledge and skills acquired from at least three years of post-school work experience.

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

The Foundation Year will be £4,000. 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 three years.

In addition, you will receive free travel across the Tyne and Wear region, and you may be eligible for means-tested scholarships if you are from a low-income household.

Register with StudyPLUS and enjoy up to £200 worth of books and university study essentials.

If you are a full-time UK student you will 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.

This information was correct at the time of publication.

Student in the Sunderland Futures department

Employment

This degree provides an excellent foundation for a wide range of careers in the media and elsewhere. Examples of possible sectors include TV, radio, new media, journalism, marketing, PR, advertising, and more.

Career destinations

Recent graduates from Sunderland have gained jobs with employers such as BBC (including Radio 1), Channel 4, Sky TV, MTV, The Guardian, I Daniel Blake, Capital North East, regional newspapers and PR companies.

You could choose to continue your studies on one of our Masters degrees such as MA Film and Cultural Studies, (Film and Television or MA Journalism.

Work placements

We actively encourage students 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.

In Year 2 there is a work placement opportunity with a media organisation such as the BBC, Tyne Tees Television or one of the region’s production companies. You can also choose to undertake a number of practice modules that involve practical projects.

All students studying on-campus undergraduate media 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.

Practical experience

Many students get involved in Spark Sunderland, a community radio station based at the University. Students are responsible for all news-gathering, programme production and advertising. Spark has won many awards including four golds at the Student Radio Awards 2012, and holds the Nations and Regions Award for Best Radio Station in the North-East.

Work alongside BBC Newcastle Journalists in our mediaHUB, home to student-run websites covering sport, news, entertainment, fashion and Spark online magazine.

Sunderland's daily newspaper, The Sunderland Echo, has a weekly page called 'On Campus' that is written entirely by students at the University. It’s an opportunity to find and research your own stories, take photographs, meet deadlines and see your name in print.

Throughout the course, we invite guest speakers to run workshops and master classes that allow you to relate your learning to real-life opportunities.

Meet our academics

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