Digital Film Production BA (Hons)

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If you are applying for this course from outside the UK/EU, click apply now.

Course starts: 17 September 2018Apply now

If you are applying for this course from within the UK/EU, click apply now.

Course starts: 17 September 2018Apply now

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Kick start your career in film. Explore your personal creativity through practical projects. Develop technical skills, with excellent training in film, television and new media.

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Overview

Whether your interest is action, animation, documentary, horror or sci-fi, this course provides an excellent environment for you to develop your own exciting and rewarding career in film, television and new media. With a mix of practical skill and theoretical knowledge, you’ll be set to turn creativity into reality.

Develop practical production skills including camera, sound, editing, post-production, lighting, colour grading, producing and directing. Your learning experience will be greatly enhanced by our top class equipment including specialised digital cameras, Steadicam rigs, drones and professional editing software packages like Avid and Final Cut Pro.

You will increase your understanding of the history of cinema and different film genres with our theory based modules. Options include European Cinema and Contemporary Cinema. You will gather a broad understanding of many varied aspects of the film industry.

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

Students have gone on to win awards from the Royal Television Society and have seen their work used in promotional material for organisations and cities.

You will acquire transferable skills in communication, teamwork and creativity which are essential to success in the industry. This course will give you the skills and experience to move into rewarding jobs in the media.

Why us?

  • Media and Film Studies courses at Sunderland are 15th in the UK according to The Guardian University league tables 2018
  • 93.4% of our 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)
  • All our academics are working or researching in media so you’ll study alongside scriptwriters, film makers, radio producers, and independent film producers
  • A good choice of modules across the course, allowing you to specialise and explore your interests
  • All students studying on-campus undergraduate media courses can take up a CV-enhancing work placement
  • Study in our purpose built media centre, a base for Made in Tyne & Wear and BBC Newcastle

Course structure

Teaching and assessment

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 receive lectures, demonstrations, workshops, seminars, screenings, group and individual projects, and independent learning.

In the second year of the course, 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 digital film production industry with work experience placements and industry-run master classes.

According to the National Student Survey, 95% of our media students agree that staff are good at explaining things.

Assessment methods include portfolios of practical work, production files, essays, examinations, reports and presentations.

Part-time study

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 day time and you will be studying alongside full-time students.

Year 1 (national level 4):

  • Introduction to Media and Cultural Studies (20 credits)
  • Media Production Skills (20 credits)
  • Introduction to Sound Design (20 credits)
  • Introduction to Film Studies (20 credits)
  • Visual Storytelling (20 credits)
  • Digital Fictional Film (20 credits) 

 

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

Year 2 (national level 5):

  • Media and Cultural Studies (20 credits)
  • Documentary (20 credits)
  • Digital Fictional Film 2 (20 credits)
  • Experimental Digital Film Production (20 credits)
  • Film Theory and Criticism (20 credits)

Optional modules (choose two):

  • Moving Camera (20 credits)
  • Digital Effects 2 (20 credits)
  • Scriptwriting (20 credits)

Final year (national level 6):

  • Digital Fictional Film 3 (20 credits)
  • Major Practical Project (40 credits)
  • Film and Feeling (20 credits)

Optional modules (choose three):

  • Advanced Digital Postproduction (20 credits)
  • Documentary Production (20 credits)
  • Screenwriting (20 credits)
  • Moving Camera 2 (20 credits)

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

54.911899,-1.372815

  • 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
  • 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
  • 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.

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

Our typical offer is


  • GPA 3.0 or above from High School Diploma along with one of the following at the required grade - SAT I and SAT II, ACT or Advanced Placement


If your qualification is not listed above, please contact the Student Administration team at admissions@sunderland.ac.uk for further advice.

We also require three passes at GCSE grade C or above, which must include Mathematics and English Language, or an equivalent qualification, for example; a minimum of Level 2 Key Skills in Communication and Application of Number. If you have studied for a new GCSE for which you will be awarded a numerical grade then you will need to achieve a grade 4 or above.

If English is not your first language we will require an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) with an overall score of 6.0 and at least 5.5 or higher in each component: reading, writing, listening and speaking. An alternative approved Secure English Language Test (SELT) can also be considered if the applicant's element scores are equivalent to those required for IELTS.

If successful you will be required to attend an applicant day where you will have a short informal interview with an academic member of staff.

Fees and finance

Full-time fees

The annual fee for this course is:

  • £9,250 if you are from the UK / EU
  • £10,750 if you are an international student

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.

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This information was correct at the time of publication.

Student in the Sunderland Futures department

Employment

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 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 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.

In your second year, you may have the opportunity to take a work placement module. Many of our students have used this time to work for media and film companies such as the BBC, Tyne Tees Television or one of the region’s many smaller production companies.

All students studying on-campus undergraduate Digital 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.

External links

We encourage you to take part in competitions; our students have a record of winning awards from organisations such as the Royal Television Society.

Our students also submit work to, and attend, BBC North Developing Talent events. We are involved in the BBC Connect and Create Partnership and we have links to Community Media Association.

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

Meet our academics

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