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Course starts: 19 September 2022Apply now
There’s never been a better time to get into content creation – we’re watching, listening, making and broadcasting more media than ever before. This course will give you the practical skills to join this expanding industry and make engaging content for TV, radio, podcasts, social and online.
Taught by experienced experts, using fantastic facilities, you’ll develop and pitch ideas to industry practitioners and undertake placements to build your network. Our students have taken advantage of our relationships with BBC, Capital FM, Sunderland AFC, Tyne Tees Television, Made in Tyne and Wear, and various production companies as well as our very own internationally award-winning Spark Sunderland.
Graduate with a degree that shows off your specialism. In your final year you can choose from: BA (Hons) Media Production, BA (Hons) Media Production (TV) or BA (Hons) Media Production (Radio).
This is a practical based course with a 70/30 split. The majority of teaching and assessment is based on skills, coursework and content creation, often in groups. The rest may be presentations, essays, critical evaluations, self-review and reports.
The first year is all about building your skills. You’ll be introduced to the studios, the equipment, relevant software and the various roles within TV and radio. This prepares you to concentrate on content creation in the second year, while you explore roles and specialisms. By your final year, you’re ready to delve into the discipline you love, take on your preferred role, pitching and developing proposals and delivering a finished piece to professional standards.
Work experience is an integral part of the course, and throughout your time with us, you'll be encouraged to continuously liaise with the TV and radio industry with work experience placements and industry-ran masterclasses.
If you study this course on a part-time basis, you will typically complete 40-80 credits in a year, rather than the 120 credits of full-time students. All modules are taught during the daytime and you will be studying alongside full-time students.
The Creative Industries: Arts, Design, Performance, Media Production Integrated Foundation Year includes five modules:
Some modules have prerequisites. Read more about what this means in our Help and Advice article.
Focus on the basic concepts, procedures and techniques employed in a modern television studio. Gain and introduction to a wide variety of production roles (vision mixer, floor manager, camera operator, director, lighting director, etc.), and produce a short multi-camera studio programme for a specific audience. Discover new and exciting virtual production techniques and explore how this can be used in real-time to fundamentally transform traditional production methods, from planning to the production itself.
Learn the key skills of storytelling through workshops on narratives and formats and use those skills to inform your work and your professional development. Work on the production of an independently written short script as well as a treatment and pitch. Learn how to develop an idea through to treatment stage, and finally into scripts suitable for short films, TV/streaming service, radio, or podcast. Cover genre, narrative structure, plot lines and character development and learn how to format a script for various forms. Develop your critical awareness in relation to your own work and that of others and develop your analytical skills and understanding of conceptual issues in relation to scriptwriting and the finished product.
Gain an introduction to the procedures and techniques of single camera video production. Learn the technical practices and creative skills required to produce a video. Originate, develop, script, shoot and edit a production of three minutes in length, working in a production crew.
Sound: Recording and Mixing (20 credits)
Develop the skills needed to competently record and mix audio with the appropriate hardware and software. Consider how sound operates as a standalone element, how it affects the listener and how it interacts and informs other types of media such as film and television and online. Evaluate the roles of practitioners within the industry.
Sounds and Visions: Broadcasting Histories, Texts and Contexts (20 credits)
Trace the evolution of broadcasting from its technological beginnings in the nineteenth century through its institutional birth in 1922. Explore significant historical, regulatory and institutional developments in relation to radio and television. Look at various broadcasting contexts, from the creation of public service models of broadcasting through to the arrival of commercial competitors, and at the relationship between various mediums and platforms and their respective audiences.
Introduction to Radio and Podcast Production (20 credits)
Produce a range of work that introduces you to the core skills of radio and podcast production. Develop a range of skills including studio operation and playout software, podcast production, interviewing, and scripting for live radio. Build up a portfolio of work, which will feature the production of a podcast and a live radio programme on our community radio station. Work with others as well as independently to help you develop confidence and skills in the fast-moving and expanding industry.
Devise, develop and deliver a short documentary in groups. Analyse the documentary form and further develop production skills such as planning, organisation, production management, camera, lighting, sound, digital workflow, and post-production techniques.
Develop contextual, practical and critical skills you’ll need to survive in the screen and audio industries. Focus on mapping your employment journey through different industry sectors and make media content about this via a podcast and digital content. Set up work placements and make professional contacts in the creative industries. Learn about essential legal, ethical, compliance and diversity issues. Meet key industry and University services such as BBC Careers Hub; ScreenSkills, mandy (and other directories and agencies), North East Screen; the University’s Enterprise Centre, Sunderland Futures, the Digital Incubator and Faculty initiatives Media Hub, Spark platforms and the Sunderland Creatives Agency.
Interrogating Factual Media (20 credits)
Develop a critical understanding of the role and importance of fact-based media output across multiple platforms, from broadcast content to diverse internet-based publishers. Gain analytical and evaluative skills through analyses of media discourses impacting upon public knowledge and the effective functioning of democracy while exploring a range of relevant contemporary topics and theories. Complete the module with a robust understanding of the interplay between the construction of media messaging, their communicative value and effectiveness, and the public’s response.
Learn about the power of telling stories in sound, producing two creative audio productions – a documentary and an audio drama. Research ideas, record interviews and sound effects, and produce soundscapes and creative sound design for documentary and podcast production. Explore the inherent creativity of audio/radio drama production from script to final mix studying the use of dialogue, acoustics, music, sound effects and sound design.
Develop concepts and techniques used in multi-camera studio production and gain an introduction to live video streaming and social formats. Work as a part of a team to produce a live studio-based production based on a genre of your choice (chat, quiz, debate, magazine, children’s show, arts programme, current affairs, music programme, etc.) Research, devise plan, script and broadcast this 10-minute programme live via video streaming at a pre-determined time. Learn more advanced techniques in studio lighting, multi camera production, studio sound and lighting. Produce an individual treatment and proposal for an original TV format of your choice.
Expand the post-production knowledge and skills that you have acquired at Stage 1 with a primary focus on Avid’s Media Composer, Pro Tools and Adobe’s After Effects. Develop an understanding of visual editing, motion graphics/video effects and audio from a dramatic/artistic perspective and then focus your skill sets on crafting a fully realised video project. Finish, check and deliver a project after critically assessing its strengths and weakness.
Develop your understanding of moving cameras, their images and the impact of those images on screen. Explore and learn to control moving camera equipment including Steadicams, Track and Dollies, Jib-arm, and sliders in order to create professional moving compositions.
Explore the key ideas behind the medium of podcasting and develop the practical and professional skills needed to produce your own podcast series.
Develop a critical understanding of the industrial links between Advertising and Branding and Quality Television Drama (and many other types of media) in terms of their historical development and production. Gain analytical and evaluative skills by examining the current issues and debates about the impact of media on society. Finish the module with a robust knowledge of the intertwined concerns of creating content, creating profit and the necessity for analysis of media output and industrial systems to maintain a healthy, democratic society.
Produce a major piece of work across the academic year, bringing together all of the skills you’ve developed so far. Work individually or in groups to produce a piece of work that demonstrates your skills, ideas and ambitions. Produce a factual entertainment documentary for a television audience, a series of videos for social media, drama, podcasts, or a radio documentary. Pitch any idea you like before working with tutors to develop your ideas through to production.
Develop skills and knowledge to prepare you for working in the screen and audio industries. Produce work that responds to live brief in film, video, podcast, or radio. Conduct some research work into the media industries to help you explore and evaluate the opportunities for finding work.
Work in small groups and find a client to create a high-end corporate video project. Demonstrate your technical ability in creating professional visuals effective audio levels/mixing/score, and professional editing/grade. Produce a video that showcases your development over the three years of your studies. Create a video showreel of your best work from this module and upload it to an online platform, highlighting your professionalism and technical ability.
Build and develop the key skills used in the production of a narrative podcast documentary. Learn you the skills needed to record interviews, prepare scripts, and mix a documentary podcast of up to 15 minutes.
Explore one of the major growth areas in media production – audio drama. Listen to audio drama podcasts and radio dramas before you letting your own imagination take over as you begin to explore the unique world of audio drama by making your own production. Learn about audience for audio drama, distribution platforms as well as practically studying scriptwriting for audio drama, the creative use of acoustics, how to direct a cast and performance techniques, sound effects recording, sound design and mixing.
Factual Entertainment (20 credits)
Focus on the genre of Factual Entertainment, one of the most widely consumed formats of television production today, and which encompasses several types of non-scripted non-fiction programming via a variety of popular and accessible formats. Develop the skills you need to produce your own contribution to this hugely popular genre and working in small groups you will produce either a 10-minute documentary of your choice, or you can work on a live industry brief to create a pilot (or taster tape) for an original factual entertainment format of your own devising.
We don’t currently display entry requirements for United States. Please contact the Student Admin team on email@example.com or 0191 515 3154.
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.
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.
The annual fee for this course is £9,250 if you are from the UK/Ireland/EU settled/pre-settled.
If you are a full-time UK/Irish/EU settled/EU pre-settled student you may be eligible to receive financial support to cover your fees for the full four years. UK and EU settled students may also be eligible to receive a maintenance loan.
Please note, this course is not available to international students.
Learn more about settled status, pre-settled status, special discounts, visa requirements and Common Travel Area (CTA) agreements for the Republic of Ireland applicants 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.
This degree prepares you for careers in TV, radio, video and new media industries. Your training in communication, teamwork and creativity will be highly relevant to roles in many different businesses and in the public sector.
Recent graduates from Sunderland have gained jobs with employers such as the BBC, Channel 4, Sky TV, Capital North East, I Daniel Blake, MTV and professional production companies.
We actively encourage you to gain relevant work experience while at university. In every year of your course, you'll be guided and encouraged to gain meaningful experience that will fit around your studies.
You'll undertake a number of practice modules throughout your course, which can include live briefs from clients from outside the University. Get the opportunity to gain production experience with independent production company Fulwell 73 and build up a portfolio of work to show future employers.
We frequently invite guest speakers to run workshops and master classes, allowing you to relate your learning to real-life experience.
We encourage you to take part in competitions; our students have won awards from organisations such as the Royal Television Society.
Throughout your studies, you’ll be guided and supported by our experts. All of whom are working or researching in media. You’ll study alongside scriptwriters, film makers, radio producers, presenters and independent film producers who will share their experience and encourage you to build your network.
Our staff and students consistently win big at the Royal Television Awards.
RTS winners 2020
RTS winners 2019
Creative Industries Week gives everyone in the Faculty of Arts and Creative Industries the opportunity to participate in a range of projects, workshops, talks, industry visits and career events. This exciting week encourages interdisciplinary working, broadens your experience to build your confidence and helps develop your career path.
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