You are here

BA (Hons) Digital Film Production

Apply now through Clearing

Call our Clearing Hotline on 01473 338352 or apply using our online form.

University buildings
UCAS code: 
P300
Institution code: 
S82
Location: 
Ipswich

Duration: 

Three years full-time.
Four and a half to nine years part-time.

Typical Offer: 

112 UCAS tariff points (or above)
BBC (A-Level), DMM (BTEC).

 

If you don’t meet the above entry requirements, we may still be able to consider you. If you’re interested in applying, call our Clearing Hotline to discuss your suitability for study.

  • Get year-round access to a high-standard of film kit, including Canon DSLR, Sony FS5, Blackmagic and ARRI ALEXA Mini LF cameras.
  • Learn post-production with industry-standard software AVID and ProTools.
  • Access our dedicated film facilities, including a large film studio, film editing lab, colour grading suite and 5.1 audio studio with foley room.
  • Benefit from small class sizes, exceptional one-to-one tutor support and professional practice opportunities throughout the course.

Introduction

With a contemporary curriculum, our BA (Hons) Digital Film Production combines the main elements of production, screenwriting and film theory. Taking a holistic and practical approach we also offer opportunities to explore the professional aspects of filmmaking.

To succeed in this competitive but hugely inspiring industry, we give you the necessary creative, technical, critical and entrepreneurial skills.

Darkroom (2016) dir. Leonard Kitts - Level 6 Fiction.

Unlike many other university courses, we put a lot of emphasis on production and post-production sound. You explore it in a creative way, learning how to edit dialogue and apply sound effects, for instance.

Throughout the degree you work with industry-standard software and equipment, ensuring you are fully prepared to enter into this profession. See Facilities and Resources further down this page for information about our studios and supply of equipment.

Our course is designed to reflect the real world; we provide opportunities for industry placements within the creative industries at organisations such as the BBC and at a variety of local production companies. You can also sharpen your skills by producing films for clients; students have worked with Suffolk County Council, Suffolk Shorts and the National Trust to name just a few.

Craftsman from University of Suffolk Film.

You will be taught by experienced teachers who remain active as practitioners and scholars of international renown. This is further augmented by masterclasses by recognised specialists in direction, artist-filmmaking, cinematography and documentary. In recent years, Christopher Andrews, Emily Richardson, Nick Gordon-Smith, and Holger Mohaupt have provided invaluable insight into their own careers and achievements, inspiring our next generation of filmmakers.

As a result of our comprehensive course content and teaching, you will graduate with a full repertory of production and post-production skills, combined with a critical appreciation of many forms of filmmaking. This will prepare you for an ever-changing and competitive global workplace.

Course modules

In the first year, you are introduced to both practical and critical approaches to your work and you start to develop your own professional portfolio.

In the second year, you further develop critical and analytical skills and conceptual and audio-visual creativity, resulting in the making and production of short films.

In your final year, there is a stronger focus on negotiated elements of work including a critical dissertation or research project and an independent short film project where students choose a genre. You also undertake our Professional Practice module.

Below is an overview of each module – more information can be found here.

Full downloadable information regarding all University of Suffolk courses, including Key Facts, Course Aims, Course Structure and Assessment, is available in the Definitive Course Record.

Digital Film Production: Introduction Part One (Mandatory)

This module introduces creative digital filmmaking practice and is designed to encourage a flexible, informed, imaginative and reflective approach to practical work. Above all, this module introduces students to the basics of camera, lighting, sound and post-production, so that good working practices are established in order to aid the student’s progression over the three-year course.

Digital Film Production: Introduction Part Two (Mandatory)

This module reinforces and develops key filmmaking skills learnt in Digital Film Production: Introduction Part One, with a greater emphasis on the creation and realisation of a single project. Throughout the module students will be encouraged to adopt an ‘ideas-led’ approach to filmmaking, drawing and building upon their work in the Developing Screen Ideas module.

Film Studies One: Analysis and Issues (Mandatory)

This introductory module is designed to stimulate the student’s intellectual curiosity. It will develop the student’s critical knowledge and skills base in ways which complement and inform their conceptual and practical work. The first six weeks focusses on the critical analysis of mise-en-scene, cinematography, sound and editing. In the second half of the module students investigate issues of race and representation, with particular reference to mainstream American cinema.

Film Studies Two: Film History (Mandatory)

This introductory module is coupled with and follows directly on from Film Studies One, and as such continues to develop students' critical knowledge and skills base in ways which complement and inform their conceptual and practical work. The module introduces Film History as an academic discipline, provides the student with a toolkit of concepts for the close analysis of a range of film texts and genres and sets the student on the path of historical and contextual enquiry through the study of a diverse range of films from around the world.

Audio One: Production Sound (Mandatory)

During this module students learn the fundamentals of recording sound for picture and the role of the sound mixer in film production. By shooting their own short films, students learn how to shoot both single-system and double-system footage and how to log, synchronise and edit that footage. 

Developing Screen Ideas (Mandatory)

This module introduces students to the developmental process in filmmaking and is fundamentally concerned with the generation of ideas and the creative processes involved in their realisation. Initially, students explore key concepts and practices in screenwriting, critically analysing narrative structure, story types and themes, conflict, action, character, dialogue, genre and style. This critical study is complemented by screenwriting tasks on action, character, dialogue and genre, which will be included in students’ portfolios.

Researching Film: Theories and Methods (Mandatory)

The module addresses theoretical and critical approaches to the study of film texts and provides a preparation for students’ own independent research at Level 6 when formulating their research proposal for the Dissertation.  Focusing on a range of film theories, approaches and methods which have been influential in the development of Film as a field of academic study, it will enable students to examine various ideas, assumptions and procedures and try them out on a diverse range of films.  
 

Screenwriting: The Ten Minute Short (Mandatory)

This module explores the theory and practice of writing for the screen, specifically the ten-minute short.  Students will engage with key practical manuals and critical studies of the screenwriting process and study a range of globally diverse shorts.  The culmination of this work will be the production of a ten-page screenplay which will be put forward for selection to be made in the level five Digital Film Production: Drama module in semester two.

Avant-garde and Experimental Film (Mandatory)

This module enables students to explore alternatives to mainstream cinema which have attracted the label avant-garde, experimental, underground or alternative. Building on work done in previous critical and practical modules and also complementing the concurrent Level 5 ones, the module aims to expand students’ theoretical, critical, practical and creative horizons by engaging them with a range of work and filmmaking modes which may be unfamiliar.

Digital Film Production: Documentary (Mandatory)

This module develops the Level 4 digital film work by deepening students’ engagement with the medium through practical engagement with the many different forms of documentary story-telling. Analysis of contrasting examples from the practice across several continents in combination with short exercises will culminate in the production of a documentary short film to be made in small groups.

Digital Film Production: Drama (Mandatory)

Students work in small crews to produce ten-minute short films based on the screenplays written in the Screenwriting: The Ten-Minute Short module. Students develop their understanding and knowledge of narrative based drama and the possibilities and limitations of the short film form.  Students are encouraged to be innovative in their use of the form and produce both conceptually and visually creative content. 

Audio Two: Postproduction Sound (Mandatory)

This module forms an introduction to the key concepts, methodologies and techniques of audio postproduction for film. In the first assignment, students design a soundtrack for a short animated film extract using Pro Tools software, applying level balancing, stereo imaging, equalization and reverb to tracks that they have imported and synchronised to picture.  Their second practical project requires them to: write, shoot and edit a short, ‘sound driven’ film. By putting this film through audio postproduction students are suitably equipped to record, edit and engineer the soundtracks for their own and each other’s films during the remainder of their studies and beyond.

Dissertation (Mandatory)

This year-long module represents the culmination of students’ critical development on the course. It provides an opportunity for students to explore a chosen area of Film Studies. They design and carry out a sustained and coherent piece of independent research in an area of scholarship that they wish to pursue.

Digital Film Production: Final Project (Mandatory)

This module is the culmination of students’ conceptual, practical and creative development on the course. Students are expected to critically evaluate the ideas generated in the Level 6 Development and Pre-production: Final Project module, in order to select the most original and physically feasible concept for a film which they will make independently on digital film. 

Professional Practice (Mandatory)

This module provides an opportunity for students to undertake professional digital film work for clients and/or a work placement. Through the wide variety of opportunities available, students develop the knowledge and skills that underpin their own creative, professional and personal self-development. Building on Level 4 and 5 production modules, this module prepares students for professional life after graduation and establishes the skills and resources needed to develop a sustainable practice and work in either a self-employed or employed capacity.

Development and Pre-production: Project (Mandatory)

This module builds on students’ knowledge of the development and pre-production processes in filmmaking and is fundamentally concerned with the generation of ideas and the creative and practical processes involved in their realisation. Students develop ideas for a short drama, documentary or experimental film, choosing which one(s) they wish to progress and produce as their final project in semester two.

Career opportunities

Because of our excellent standards and practical experience with our industry partners such as BBC, ITV and independent production companies, our graduates are prepared to take on exciting industry jobs. In fact, some go on to work for big names such as Warner Bros. and Pinewood Studios

To heighten your employability, we strongly encourage you to gain professional experience throughout your degree – during holidays for example.

Since our course modules cover all key aspects of film, you leave university with a host of transferable skills. So you have the option of a pursuing a career in film or a job in the broader broadcast landscape.

What our students say

Kate McCoid, a graduate currently building her film career, says:

“I had enrolled at another university for another course, but realised it wasn't for me. The University of Suffolk handled everything smoothly and within a week I was enrolled with them. I knew I wanted to study Film and the course covered a variety of areas.

“To me, the most appealing part was that it combined practical and theory. I enjoyed sound, film history and screenwriting the most. I had underestimated the importance of sound in film, and the knowledge of film history has helped me shape my own films through influence and inspiration. I think screenwriting should be a module every film student learns it is essential.”

Student profiles

I convinced myself that I needed to try something new at University.  I studied Film in college but had been put off by poor experiences.  I moved to Coventry University to study Events Management, only to realise I had made a huge mistake.  A friend of mine had recently joined U...

Fees and finance

2020-21

  • Full-time tuition fee: £9,250 p.a.
  • Part-time tuition fee: £1,454 per 20 credits (Please contact the Infozone for further information)
  • International tuition fee: £13,330 p.a.

Further Information                                       

At University of Suffolk, your tuition fees provide access to all the usual teaching and learning facilities that you would expect. However, there may be additional costs associated with you course that you will need to budget for. 

Entry requirements

Staff

Senior Lecturer and Course Leader in Digital Film Production and Screenwriting

Senior Lecturer in Digital Film Production

Lecturer in Digital Film Production

Lecturer in Film

Lecturer in Film

Facilities and Resources

As an undergraduate we provide you with industry-standard software such as Avid Media Composer and Pro Tools in our dedicated edit suite.

Based in the Arts Building, you also have access to our large multipurpose production studio, used for shoots, skills workshops, masterclasses, and showcasing students’ work.

In your second and third years, you are welcome to use our sound booth and wide-ranging stock of equipment such as DSLR cameras, lighting and audio equipment and grip gear including jib arms and shoulder braces.