Media Production with Integrated Foundation Year BA (Hons)

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This is a four-year version of our popular BA (Hons) Media Production course, with an integrated foundation year. Get practical training in TV and radio. Pitch to industry professionals and go on air on award-winning radio. Join a course which best prepares you for a career in the industry.

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Discover your specialism, or become a master of all trades. On this practical based course, you’ll undertake a series of projects, making full use of the University’s TV studios, radio studios and editing suites. Work alongside BBC Newcastle Journalists, take a placement with Made in Tyne & Wear or volunteer on internationally award-winning Spark Sunderland; all based in our dedicated Media Centre.

Supported by our experienced experts, you’ll connect with industry; develop and pitch ideas to industry practitioners and take 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 & Wear and various production companies.

In your final year, you’ll produce a major piece of work in your chosen medium. This involves pitching and developing proposals and delivering a finished piece to professional standards. You’ll also choose one of three routes which will lead your final degree title – so you can show off your specialism. Choose from:

  • BA (Hons) Media Production
  • BA (Hons) Media Production (TV)
  • BA (Hons) Media Production (Radio)

Why us?

  • Best new university for media production in The Guardian University league tables 2018
  • Present or produce your own radio show, or work behind-the-scenes on Spark – our internationally award-winning community radio station
  • Take up work placements, live briefs or career-boosting throughout strong link with industry partners
  • 96.7% of our BA (Hons) Media Production graduates are in employment, further study or training within six months of graduating, according to DLHE 2016/17 (based on full-time, first degree, home leavers)
  • Inspirational graduate stories including BAFTA winners and Royal Television Society award-winners;  Amazon Prime Original producers, BBC Radio 1 presenters, and E4 voice talent
  • Get involved with our internationally award-winning community radio station Spark, which broadcasts 24 hours a day, 365 days a year
  • Study in our purpose built media centre, a base for Made in Tyne & Wear and BBC Newcastle
  • The University of Sunderland was ranked 12th in the Courses and Lecturers category of the Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2019

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 year, you will then move onto the Media 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 presentation.

You will undertake small group work, one-on-one tutorials, workshops, lectures, computer-based learning and independent learning. An ongoing personal development planning tool will help you reflect on your learning and make the most of your educational experiences.

We encourage you to take a work placement module. Developing relevant experience of work is an integral part of the course, and throughout your time at Sunderland, you will be encouraged to continuously liaise with the TV and Radio industry with work experience placements and industry-run master classes.

Assessment methods include portfolios of practical work, essays, reports, group work, seminar presentations and self-evaluation.

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 (national level 4):

  • Introduction to Media and Cultural Studies (20 credits)

Get an introduction to key concepts in Media and Cultural Studies consisting of three units: Language Studies, Media Studies and Cultural Studies.

  • Formats and Storytelling (20 credits)

Look at the concepts and techniques used to develop a format for TV, radio or the internet.

  • Introduction to Audio and Radio Production (20 credits)

Learn the key techniques of audio production in a multi-platform environment.

  • Introduction to Television and Radio Broadcasting (20 credits)

Learn practical skills to produce live programmes for both TV and radio, working in teams in our industry standard studios.

  • Media Production Skills (20 credits)

Explore and consider multi-platform content and post-production techniques required to produce edited video content ready for distribution.

  • Starting Your Media Career (20 credits)

Prepare yourself for studying and working in the media industry. Create a personal portfolio website to showcase your work to future employers.

Year 2 (national level 5):

  • Media Studies 1 (20 credits)

Develop the concepts and approaches introduced in MAC101 through an analysis of non-fictional television texts and discussion of a range of perspectives on media consumption.

  • Shoot, Edit, Share: Self shooting online video (20 credits)
  • Developing Your Media Career (20 credits)

Learn a range of skills needed to create and manage content across digital platforms, including using social media, websites, online video and podcasts.

Optional modules (choose one):

  • Radio Production (20 credits)
  • Live Radio and Commercial Production (20 credits)

Further optional modules (choose up to two):

  • The Moving Camera (20 credits)
  • Experimental Digital Film Practice (20 credits)
  • Scriptwriting (20 credits)
  • Video Documentary (20 credits)
  • Digital Video Effects (20 credits)
  • Digital Fictional Film 2 (20 credits)
  • Television Studio: Production Development (20 credits)
  • Podcasting (20 credits)

Final year (national level 6):

  • Media Project (40 credits)

Produce a major piece of work in the genre of your choice working in a team or on your own.

For Media Production (TV):

  • Science Fiction & Fantasy Television (20 credits)
  • Documentary Production 2 (20 credits)
  • Moving Camera 2 (20 credits)
  • Television Studio Format Factory (20 credits)

For Media Production (Radio):

  • Popular Music Cultures (20 credits)
  • Radio Drama (20 credits)
  • Radio Documentary and Feature Production (20 credits)
  • Radio Broadcasting (20 credits)

Alternative optional modules for Media Production:

  • Media Studies 2 (20 credits)
  • Cultural Theory and Popular Culture 2 (20 credits)
  • Body and Culture: Ethnographic Approaches (20 credits)
  • Media, Place and Mobility (20 credits)
  • Film, Horror and the Body (20 credits)
  • Hitchcock (20 credits)
  • Film & Feeling: Music, Performance, Genre (20 credits)
  • Screenwriting for TV and Film 2 (20 credits)
  • Advanced Digital Post Production (20 credits)
  • Digital Fictional Film 3 (20 credits)
  • The David Puttnam Media Centre has a 203-seat cinema with 7.1 surround sound facility.

    We also have a live Sky feed and off-air recording facility, including DVD and Blu-ray recording, plus an extensive footage archive/library.

    The cinema is used for film screenings, critique, lectures, live broadcast screenings and student film nights.

  • 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
  • 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
  • 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. Spark has a target audience of 15 to 24 year-olds and broadcasts 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

  • 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.

    Get experience with Made in Tyne & Wear, based in the Media Centre providing placements to students and jobs to several of our graduates.

  • 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 2019, the foundation year will be £4,500.

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.

The Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St Peter's by night


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.

Career destinations

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.

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

Work experience

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

You will also undertake a number of practical assignments, which can include live briefs from clients outside the University. You will build up a portfolio of work, to show future employers.

In your second year, there is a compulsory work placement that involves spending time with a media organisation such as the BBC, Tyne Tees Television or one of the region’s production companies. We help you find a suitable placement.

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.

External links

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 a record of winning 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, filmmakers, radio producers, presenters and independent film producers, who will share their experience and encourage you to build your network.

Award-winning radio

You have the opportunity to be actively involved in Spark Sunderland, the 24/7 community radio station based in the campus Media Centre.

Spark has won many awards including:

  • Finalist Certificate for Best Student Radio Station category in the 2017 New York Radio Awards
  • Silver award for Best Student Radio Station in the 2016 New York Radio Awards
  • Bronze award for Best Student Documentary in the 2016 New York Radio Awards
  • Bronze award in the Best Student Radio Station category in the 2015 New York Radio Awards
  • Gold award for Best Student Radio Drama in the 2015 New York Radio Awards
  • Bronze award in the Best Student Radio Station category in the 2015 Student Radio Awards

We also have links with Community Media Association, Community Radio and The Royal Television Society.

Meet the students

  • I got a lot out of my course and I'm still enjoying the benefits now.
    Adam Ferrari, Broadcast Media Production graduate

    Adam Ferrari

  • The tutors are genuinely inspiring.
    Alexander moore course

    Alexander Moore

  • Since leaving I've worked on a range of productions from The Bill to Top Gear to Where the Heart Is.
    Nick-Payne, Broadcast Media Production graduate

    Nick Payne

Meet the team

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