Film and Media BA (Hons)

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Course starts: 17 September 2018Apply now

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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.

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 UK according to 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 at masters level in film and media
  • '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.

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)
  • 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)


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

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,


  • 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 with full HD projection and a 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 FM our award winning student-run community radio station.

    Media 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 112 UCAS points from a minimum of two A Levels or equivalent (e.g. 1 x AVCE double award).

We accept a maximum of 6 points from Level 3 Key Skills qualifications.

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

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

If you are studying a HND or Foundation Degree you may be able to enter onto the final year of our degree courses. For more information, please contact



Fees and finance

The annual fee for this course is:

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

Please note that part-time courses are not available to international students who require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK.

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


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.

  • I’ve really been encouraged by the staff to find my own style.
    James corker course

    James Corker

Meet our academics