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BA (Hons) Digital Film Production

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Meet your lecturers, find out more about the course and view academic and social facilities at an Open Event.

University of Suffolk on Ipswich Waterfront
UCAS code: 
P300
Institution code: 
S82
Location: 
Ipswich

Duration: 

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

Typical Offer: 

2019 entry: 112 UCAS tariff points (or above)
BBC (A-Level), DMM (BTEC).

Please see Entry Requirements below.

  • Get brilliant experience with industry placements and client projects.
  • Learn your craft using industry standard software.
  • Access our wide-ranging stock of film equipment all year round.
  • Benefit from first-rate tutor support due to our small classes.
  • We put emphasis on sound – a crucial element in filmmaking.

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 studio and supply of equipment.

Our course is designed to reflect the real world; we provide opportunities for industry placements with high-profile partners such as the BBC. You can also sharpen your skills by producing films for clients, from Suffolk County Council and Haven Gateway Partnership to the Aldeburgh Doc Fest, to name a few.

Craftsman from University of Suffolk Film.

Not only that, but our visiting lecturers, who currently work in their individual specialist fields – for example Christopher Andrews, Daniel Hayes and Emily Richardson – provide invaluable insight into their own careers and achievements.

As a result of our outstanding course content and teaching, you graduate with a full appreciation of filmmaking, arming you with skills suited to a wide spectrum of careers.

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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 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 professional practice module.

Below is an overview of each module – click here for further details.

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 aims at introducing students to basic camera, 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 the conceptual and practical work being done in Video Practice and Production: Introduction, as well as students’ work in the other Level 4 modules.

Film Studies Two: Film History (Mandatory)

This introductory module is coupled with and follows directly on from Film Studies One. The module is designed to stimulate students' intellectual curiosity in the field of Film Studies. It will develop students' critical knowledge and skills base in ways which complement and inform the conceptual and practical work being done in Video Practice and Production: Introduction, as well as students’ work in the other Level 4 modules. 

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)

This Level 5 module is designed to continue the focus on textual and contextual study and the development of subject-specific and generic skills established especially in Level 4 Film Studies: Analysis, Issues and History. As with the Film Studies module, it develops students' critical knowledge and skills base in ways which complement and inform the conceptual and practical work being done in the Level 5 Video Practice and Production: Documentary and Drama.

Screenwriting: The Ten Minute Short (Mandatory)

This module explores the theory and practice of writing for the screen, specifically the 10-minute short. Students engage with key practical manuals and critical studies of the screenwriting process and study a range of globally diverse short films and published film scripts. 

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)

This module develops the Level 4 digital film work by deepening students’ engagement with the field through the study and production of a short drama. Students develop the screenplays written in the Screenwriting: The Ten Minute Short module, and work in teams to produce 10-minute short films based on these screenplays. 

Audio Two: Postproduction Sound (Mandatory)

This module forms an introduction to the key concepts, methodologies and techniques of audio postproduction for film. Building on the skills acquired in Production Sound (Level 4), students design a soundtrack for a short animated film extract using Soundtrack Pro software, and applying level balancing, stereo imaging, equalization and reverb to tracks that they have imported and synchronised to picture.

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 a work placement and 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 have the choice to develop ideas for a short drama, documentary or experimental film.

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 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. ...

Fees and finance

2019-20

  • 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                                       

  • Detailed information about Tuition Fees.
  • Find out more about Financial Support eligibility.
  • Also see Loans and Grants.
  • 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. See Course Costs.

Entry requirements

Academic Requirements

2019 entry: 112 UCAS tariff points (or above), BBC (A-Level), DMM (BTEC).

Also see How to Apply.

Non-Academic Requirements

Any offer of a place will be subject to:

  • a successful interview
  • show a portfolio
International Requirements

IELTS 6.0 overall (minimum 5.5 in all components) where English is not the students' first language.

Also see International and EU.             

Portfolio Guidance

Your portfolio is your opportunity to shine in an interview: it is your chance to show us what inspires and excites you. We encourage you to include any visual and written work in your portfolio that will show your creativity and skills in visual communication.

When compiling a portfolio applicants should consider:

  • Consider groups/bodies/projects as well as individual pieces
  • Bring a sketch/work/ideas book
  • Bring samples of written work, if possible
  • Presentation - whilst presentation is important, it is the work itself that is going to be judged. Concentrate on the content!
  • What is relevant: does your work match the course you’re applying for? 
Transferring Credit

If you have previously studied at higher education level before you may be able to transfer credits to a related course at the University of Suffolk and reduce the period of study time necessary to achieve your degree.

Staff

Senior Lecturer in Film

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.