Film and Television Production BA (Hons)

Full-time undergraduate (3 years)


September 2017


Develop your passion for storytelling. Gain the craftsmanship and skills to begin a career in the ever-diversifying film and television industry, from drama to documentary, and music promos to moving image projects.

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Full description


This course will prepare you for employment or self-employment in film and television industries and the ever-expanding field of screen content including music, dance, marketing and fashion promos, as well as drama and documentary.

We place an emphasis on creativity and storytelling, as well as solid, transferable skills such as teamwork, communication, problem solving, resourcefulness, and risk management.

You’ll also learn highly valued specialist skills such as editing, cinematography, production management, budgeting, producing and directing – invaluable as you launch a career in this highly competitive but growing and diverse creative industry.

Our recent graduates have gone on to work for the BBC, Ridley Scott Associates, Marmalade Productions, Vice, Envy Post-Production, Brand Anonymous, Sommersault Video Productions, DMED Productions (Paris) as well as securing work (and experience) on feature films such as Pride, The Theory of Everything, Kick-Ass 2, Storage 24, Berberian Sound Studio, Ill Manors; TV productions such as 24: Live Another Day; EastEnders; Holby City; and Fortitude as well as numerous commercials and music promos. Others have formed their own production companies or established themselves as freelance editors, cinematographers, production managers and even script supervisors.

Modules & assessment

Year one, core modules

  • Editing and Structures
    This module will give you a practical and theoretical introduction to editing and its role in the storytelling process. You'll apply your technical editing skills to the structuring of programmes in ways that will develop your skills in narrative, plot structure, exposition, pace, rhythm, and the grammar and syntax of various programme types. You'll learn how editing can effect viewers' perception of time, and how compression and expansion play important roles in the ways that stories are unfolded. You'll see how tension can be created through the use of editing techniques, and you'll acquire skills in combining visuals with music and effects. The module will also introduce you to Final Cut Pro, promoting a familiarity with the technology and the terminology employed by the media production industry.
  • Screen Practice 1
    This module will introduce you to the creative, practical and theoretical issues surrounding professional practices in screen production, and provide a solid grounding for your further study in later practice-based modules. You will learn to balance the creative and logistical requirements of screen production, exploring in seminars and practical workshops issues such as story structure, visual storytelling techniques and the creative use of sound and sound design, as well as crew functions and responsibilities, management of time and resources, production methods and risk management. The module will allow you to apply and bring together the craft skills you learn in other modules, working in teams towards a final short production (there will be an emphasis on the collaborative nature of film production). Your production team will present and discuss its work-in-progress with other students, from early ideas through script development to rough cut screenings and the final films. You will develop skills in critically evaluating your own and others’ work at each stage of the production, as well as developing key employability skills in teamwork, problem solving and communications. Your assessment will comprise a portfolio of work including your team's completed film and a written essay.
  • Screen Practice 2
    This module will introduce you to the discipline of producing programmes, building on the technical and critical skills you acquire in Screen Practice 1. You will focus on: planning, preparation and rehearsal (all of which are essential to make the best use of valuable filming time); the roles and responsibilities of all those engaged in production; the preparation of running orders, scripts, call sheets and floor plans; the skills of location- and studio- directing. You will have access to studios and equipment, allowing you to film both on location and in the studio. You will learn how to work in groups; the hierarchy of production roles; the contextual and broadcast landscape; how to operate specialist equipment; how to work with contributors; access; planning and preparation; research and scripting. The module will also further develop your skills in editing, camera and sound, and equip you with transferable skills such as troubleshooting, production management, negotiation and diplomacy, and peer feedback, which will enhance your future productions. By the end of the module you will have a deeper understanding of professional production practices in film and television. You will be assessed on the nature and quality of your participation in productions, the final projects, and your critical analysis.
  • Talking Pictures
    This module will introduce you to some of the key aspects of the history of art and industry, to help provide a context for your work in the medium. You will cover selected historical and critical topics in lectures, then discuss and analyse them in follow-on seminars. You ill also attend an accompanying series of weekly screenings. Along with historical knowledge, the module will develop your vocabulary for critical and analytical discussion of style and theme in screen media. Through guidance and practice, you will also develop your skills in academic research and writing. Your assessment will comprise two elements of coursework: a mid-module assignment in film or programme reviewing, and an end-of-module discursive essay from a set of prescribed topics.

Year one, optional modules

  • Cinematography
    This module will introduce you to cinematography skills, through a focus on interior and exterior location work through lectures, seminars, inductions and workshops. You'll learn how to use high-definition video cameras through fully-manual operation, developing your ability to judge exposure, focus and colour temperature and therefore optimise the performance of the camera in any given situation. In addition to learning about framing, lens characteristics and depth of field, you'll also take part in visual storytelling, using the technical possibilities offered by cameras to achieve creative ends. You will then relate this to historical and contemporary traditions within cinematography. You'll also learn to operate portable film lights safely and effectively on location and to use correction gels and diffusion materials as appropriate. The acquisition of these skills is tested through the production of two moving-image sequences involving interior and exterior location work. The first sequence you will produce individually, to ensure that your technical camera skills are in place. To facilitate lighting, you'll then work in small production teams for the second sequence, with each student taking the lead as cinematographer once.
  • Introduction to Film Production
    This module will familiarise you with celluloid-based film production within a studio shoot context. You'll then produce a short film on 16mm film, collaborating as Directors and Cinematographers and employing other group members as crew. Visual storytelling is a vital theme throughout the module and is related to the established traditions of filmmaking and the expectations that have developed in the audiences of this medium. Following an introductory lecture and seminar, you'll attend a series of technical workshops in the film studio, covering scene structure, shot types, established guidelines of film grammar, subjective perspective, exposure, lens characteristics, pre-production preparation, 16mm camera, lighting, the dynamics of the drama film crew, risk assessment policies and health and safety procedures specific to the fiction film. Group tutorials outside of scheduled teaching time will provide you with additional pre-production and production support. During these you'll produce short written analyses that identify techniques used in film productions of your choosing. The module will end with a screening and group critique.
  • Screenwriting: Introduction to the Screen
    This module will equip you with the skillbase needed to make an entry-level submission in the industry, both in schemes for new writers and relevant competitions. You'll analyse a range of television dramas, learning how story ideas are generated and developed into a workable template. You'll then progress to developing your own original idea, producing a short treatment and the first few pages of a television script as well as some supporting material. Your final submission will be divided between an analysis of a TV series of your choosing, as well as the creative practice component.

Year two, core modules

  • Documentary
    This module will focus on your storytelling skills, idea generation, research, interviewing, proposal writing, pitching and directing. You’ll build on your ability to work independently and as part of a team, improve your communication in both written and film work, and your critical practice and analysis. Documentary filmmaking requires a collaborative approach, recognising and using the talents of others. It also requires quick decision-making and agility, and the ability to draw on personal or developing experiences. The module is structured around different production projects, which explore a range of styles within the documentary form and an essay that critically evaluates a broadcast documentary. At the end of each project strand there is a critique at which each group is asked to screen and discuss their work. Through seminars, lectures and workshops you will gain a solid grounding in all aspects of documentary practice building on the affiliated practice based modules.
  • Short Fiction Film
    Whilst the feature-length fiction film remains the dominant format in cinema, priorities in television and online lie elsewhere. Television series, TV advertisements, viral commercials, YouTube and its future derivatives, networking sites all utilise the short form. The ever-growing competition for the viewer's attention requires the filmmaker to produce stories that are well told, aimed at a specific target audience, original in content and style, unpredictable but not illogical, and short. To succeed in the market the filmmaker has to be ultra efficient and this module is designed to bring you closer to this ideal. On this module you will explore a range of styles, conventions and methods of addressing audiences. Working in small production groups you devise, develop and produce short fiction films. You will receive technical support, opportunities for critical and technical discussions, briefings, critiques, reviews and tutorial support. For assessment you will submit the completed film in which you played a major role, accompanying documentation on the production planning, a production analysis and reflection on the production process and team contribution. The module will include an element of Personal Development Planning.
  • Debates and Practices
    On this module, you'll explore the links between critical studies and practice, enriching your knowledge and developing your articulacy about your specialism, as well as drawing on wider perspectives in relation to your own work. You will focus particularly on debates about contemporary practice. Your studies will be seminar-based and, where appropriate and possible, held in the studio. In discussions, you'll engage with theory and history alongside your own developing ideas about contemporary production, with an open agenda that will respond to current events, work and interests.

Year two, optional modules

  • Cross-Platform Production
    On this module, you’ll examine and experiment with means of creating and disseminating programming for contemporary media outlets, maintaining high values in terms of production and narrative. You'll engage with current debates about the nature of media, and become able to predict (to an extent), explore and potentially exploit changes in the interactive media industries, whether such changes are technical, cultural or commercial. You’ll become familiar with software used by technical directors. You’ll look at podcasting, interactive television, video-sharing websites like YouTube, online publishing. You'll examine the many business models emerging as the digital landscape expands and evolves, and consider ways in which content might be aggregated and monetised. You’ll also meet outside experts in the fields of digital production, web development, and the economics of digital delivery. You’ll work in production groups, creating programming designed for digital delivery, on which you will be assessed.
  • Directing Studies
    On this module you’ll expand and consolidate your production skills, gaining a detailed understanding of the theory and practice of directing drama. You’ll explore the multi-faceted role of the director in contemporary television and cinema. The director needs to be a technician, a craftsman, a creator, an interpreter and an efficient organiser of people. Most of all, the director has to be an effective storyteller. Working under pressure, often with limited resources and time constraints, most of all the director has to tell a cohesive story. The module will involve a series of practical camera exercises as well as working with actors on both scripted and improvised scenes. You will be introduced to various approaches to acting, learn how to effectively communicate with actors and evaluate performances. Strong emphasis will be placed on the importance of thorough pre-production, time management, and the collaborative nature of the process of shooting. During the module you will select and analyse an existing scene; prepare floor plans, shot lists and storyboards; brief and direct actors and crew; edit the shot material. You will also work as a crew member on other students' productions. Your final assessment will be based on your completed scene, two video exercises, notes and critical evaluation.
  • Design for the Screen
    You’ll determine how designers collaborate with directors, cinematographers and costume designers to visually portray character, period, place, mood and quality in order to support and develop visual storytelling for the screen. You'll also consider the responsibilities of different roles in pre-production and look at how designers communicate and document collaborative decisions, how they get information to set, and the chain of communication through the art department. During the module, you’ll give presentations, watch and discuss selected screenings covering the material, and practice using the elements of mise-en-scène for a selected script. You’ll also examine different sorts of design typologies that will assist in your visual decisions and, ultimately, your collaborations with key creative members of screen production. At the end of the module, you’ll undertake the breakdown of a script to identify design potential, manipulating the elements of design (colour, texture, scale, lens and stock choices) and the languages of genre.
  • Screenwriting: The Feature Film
    This module will build on the skills you learned in the short fiction film module. Having understood the short film format, you'll now apply your skills to the more demanding task of understanding the feature film. You'll produce a portfolio including the first act of a screenplay with evidence of analytical story structure skills, including a focused analysis of genre in a series of self-managed presentations. As a key element of this module, you'll study the work of well-known screenwriters, in particular Kaufman, Schrader, Mamet and Ball, whose work will be critically discussed as potential models. You'll also study established film-makers, including the Coen Brothers, Darren Aronofksy, Quentin Tarantino, Martin Scorsese, Charlie Kaufman, Paul Thomas Anderson and Gus Van Sant, as examples of writer directors.
  • The Role of the Producer
    On this module, you’ll focus on the creative, managerial and entrepreneurial nature of the producer's work. You’ll explore and consider the key skills required by a good producer - creative, conceptual, managerial and administrative abilities, with a developed capacity to deal effectively with finance, marketing, and distribution in traditional (and non-traditional) media. The emphasis falls on development, pitching and strategy. You will be introduced to the ways in which you can identify, develop, finance, budget, schedule, produce, market and deliver stories in UK markets. Your studies will be supported by an overview of the various regional and national funding bodies, and of the television commissioning process. Through a combination of lectures, screenings, presentations, and hand-outs, you’ll learn the skills you’ll as a producer, and will, in parallel, develop your communication and problem-solving skills. You’ll develop your portfolio which will consist of a detailed business plan (including a pitch, treatment, budget, schedule, funding, marketing and distribution) for two projects - drama and documentary. This module will also provide you with many of the transferable skills required by the industry: the identification of funding sources; the construction and presentation of business cases; the ability to negotiate in ways which build and sustain professional relationships; the ability to construct and monitor budgets.
  • Time Based Media
    In this module, you'll receive a thorough introduction to video as a Fine Art medium, while leaning heavily on your established practice to provide subject matter and direction. You'll be expected to expand your practice through experimentation with digital video acquisition, digital video editing and televisual presentation. You'll start by presenting and discussing your work to date with your classmates, to establish relevant starting points and a group dynamic. You'll also be inducted, as a group, in the use of digital video cameras and Final Cut Pro HD. Once you have gained confidence, your individual projects will be supported as needed, with the group dynamic being maintained through critiques. You'll identify and engage with the formal properties of video and explore how the additional properties might be employed to expand your established practice. For example: time, sound and screen-based presentation. You'll be supported in this by presentations and discussions of historical and contemporary time-based art. The presentation of your final work might incorporate single-screen, multiple-screen, projection and sound.
  • Business for the Creative Arts
    This module will introduce you to the practical tools needed to set yourself up in business in the creative arts, as a company, a partnership or a freelancer. You'll explore a sector of the creative industries, identifying potential opportunities within it and producing a basic business plan. Your emphasis will be on self-reflection, innovative thinking and communication skills, while the subjects that you'll cover include: the creative industries; developing and analysing a business idea; types of business model; assessing your market; ideas behind marketing; basic accounts; tax and legal issues; and planning for start-up. You'll be asked to translate these into practice by applying them to your own ideas, which will then become part of your own business plan. The module will be delivered through lectures, seminars, student presentations, critiques and workshops. Your formative assessment will involve presentations, while the summative assessment will be based on your critical evaluation of employment opportunities in a sector of the creative industries and your portfolio of work, including a business plan or employment strategy and supporting documents.
  • Anglia Language Programme
    The Anglia Language Programme allows you to study a foreign language as part of your course. You'll take one language module in the second semester of your first year in order to experience the learning of a new language. You must select a language you've never learnt before from the following: Chinese (Mandarin), French, German, Italian, Japanese, and Spanish.

Year three, core modules

  • Major Project
    The individual Major Project will allow you to undertake a substantial piece of individual research, focused on a topic relevant to your specific course. Your topic will be assessed for suitability to ensure sufficient academic challenge and satisfactory supervision by an academic member of staff. The project will require you to identify/formulate problems and issues, conduct research, evaluate information, process data, and critically appraise and present your findings/creative work. You should arrange and attend regular meetings with your project supervisor, to ensure that your project is closely monitored and steered in the right direction.
  • Specialised Practice in Film and Television Production
    On this module, you'll explore a specialist area of your practice in personal creative terms. Your project may take a number of forms, including but not limited to: a short film or video production, a fully developed script (to be produced the following semester), a multimedia presentation or an installation. At the beginning of the module, you'll formulate a detailed proposal with specific objectives, which must be agreed upon formally with your supervising tutor. Your personal exploration of ideas, your development of specialist skills and your presentation at the review and assessment will be of particular importance. Your assessment will comprise a portfolio presentation of outcomes judged against your agreed objectives. Subject to prior tutor agreement, you can include a report and detailed log book on an independently negotiated work placement as part of your assessment. This module will include the final element of your Personal Development Planning.
  • Research Project
    The Research Project will foster your independent study with the guidance of a tutor. You'll devise your own project which will reflect on/co-ordinate with/enhance your own studio work and interests, encouraging your self-reflexivity and critical distance. Seminars will give you a forum to learn from each other's research. You will also be supported by individual tutorials with a member of staff. The Research Project may include a variety of relevant topics, including reporting on your own work experience. You can illustrate it with photographs, drawings or video, discussing your approach with your assigned tutor.


You’ll show your progress through mostly practical portfolios supported by written analytical work. All your coursework will be project–based, reflecting either the technical or production skills required for the film and television industry.

Where you'll study

Your department and faculty

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Cambridge School of Art has been inspiring creativity since 1858 when it was opened by John Ruskin.

Engaging with current debates surrounding contemporary practice and with the state-of-the-art facilities, Cambridge School of Art houses light, bright studios, industry-standard film and photographic facilities, and 150-year-old printing presses alongside dedicated Apple Mac suites. Our digital art gallery, the Ruskin Gallery, exhibits both traditional shows and multimedia presentations, from national and international touring exhibitions and our own students.

We are the only university in Cambridge offering art and design courses at higher education level. A tight-knit community of artists, academics and over 900 students, we collaborate across our University, the creative industries, and other sectors. Cambridge is a centre for employment in the creative industries and there are rich opportunities for collaboration with the city’s entertainment, technological, scientific, arts and heritage industries.

Our graduates have a history of winning national and international awards and an excellent employment record. They include Pink Floyd's Syd Barrett and Dave Gilmour, Spitting Image creators Peter Fluck and Roger Law, and illustrator Ronald Searle, the creator of St Trinian's.

We’re part of the Faculty of Arts, Law and Social Sciences, a hub of creative and cultural innovation whose groundbreaking research has real social impact.

Where can I study?

Lord Ashcroft Building on our Cambridge campus

Our campus is close to the centre of Cambridge, often described as the perfect student city.

Explore our Cambridge campus


Every year we run a series of specialist lectures and workshops led by industry professionals.  In these ‘Wired’ events, you’ll learn about up-to-date industry practices and get invaluable advice. Our past speakers have included Sean Bobbitt (cinematographer: 12 Years a Slave, The Place Beyond the Pines, Hunger), Larry Sider (sound designer, The Piano Tuner of Earthquakes, Mirrormask); and Emmy Award-winning documentary director, Geoffrey Smith (The English Surgeon, Presumed Guilty

Our Creative Front Futures events, run by Creative Front Cambridgeshire, will give you a broader taste of the creative industries, allowing you to find out more about the world of film and television production and to explore other career options.

Throughout the course you’ll also get first-hand experience of the industry at informal work placements and benefit from our close links with Cambridge Arts Picturehouse, where we hold regular student and industry events.

Specialist facilities

When shooting your projects you’ll use our fully-equipped TV studio with full lighting rig; professional-standard gallery; mixer; autocue; multi-purpose scenic backdrops suitable for current affairs, magazine programmes and dramas; a large four-waller film stage with overhead lighting, tracks, dollies and green screens and sets for flats; a full range of HD and SD location cameras (including Steadicam); location lighting; and sound-recording equipment.

For post-production work you’ll get access to more than 30 Final Cut editing suites, Pro-Tools and the Adobe Creative Suite master collection.

Our team of experienced technical staff maintain and manage the facilities, and will train you on all our equipment.  

Fees & funding

Course fees

UK & EU students, 2017/18 (per year)


International students, 2017/18 (per year)


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For more information about tuition fees, including the UK Government's commitment to EU students, please see our UK/EU funding pages

Additional costs

Estimated cost of materials over the three years £1,000.

Finishing and marketing for final year projects £200.

Optional field trips £9-£100.

How do I pay my fees?

Tuition fee loan

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Most English undergraduates take out a tuition fee loan with Student Finance England. The fees are then paid directly to us. The amount you repay each month is linked to your salary and repayments start in April after you graduate.

How to apply for a tuition fee loan

Paying upfront

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If you choose not to take out a loan you can pay your fees directly to us. There are two ways to do this: either pay in full, or through a three- or six-month instalment plan starting at registration.

How to pay your fees directly

International students

You must pay your fees up-front, in full or in instalments. You will also be asked for a deposit or sponsorship letter for undergraduate courses. Details will be in your offer letter.

Paying your fees
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Funding for UK & EU students

We offer most new undergraduate students funding to support their studies and university life. There’s also finance available for specific groups of students.

Grants and scholarships are available for:

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Funding for international students

We've a number of scholarships, as well as some fee discounts for early payment.

Entry requirements

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Portfolio requirements

To help us make a decision on your application and suitability for an interview workshop, you’ll need to submit a portfolio containing the following.

1. A short analysis of one scene from a documentary or drama film (400-500 words).

  • Include the title, director and year it was made.
  • Write a brief synopsis of the film (around 100 words)
  • Analyse the storytelling techniques used in the scene. Specifically consider how the cinematography, editing and sound choices the director has made contribute to conveying the story to the audience.

2. A clear narrative represented through 10 photographic stills taken by you. These stills should be arranged onto no more than two sides of A4 in PDF format. Please ensure the PDF is no larger than 10MB. Your stills should not be annotated. When putting your visual storyboard together, the following may be useful to consider (please don't write answers to accompany your still - these should be evident in the photos).

  • What story do you want to tell?
  • What key moments do you need to identify that need to be presented visually
  • For each shot consider the narrative function e.g. introducing the setting or characters, showing a turning point or resolving the story.
  • What information should each shot provide and what framing (close-up, wide shot, high or low angle etc.) will best serve this?
  • Consider the visual variety in your framing (following a wide shot with another wide may not hold the viewer's interest
  • Consider the composition e.g. should the viewer feel comfortable (a balanced composition) or unsettled (unbalanced composition)?

3. Your portfolio should be accompanied by a letter of application (500 words) that answers the following questions:

  • Why have you chosen to study this course at Cambridge School of Art?
  • What are your hopes and expectations for the course?
  • What do you see yourself doing in the industry?
  • Why should we offer you a place on the course?
  • If you’re invited to interview, we’ll send you a letter with more information about our portfolio requirements.

    If you’re an international applicant, please host your portfolio (as requested above) online if possible and let us know the URL, or email it to us as a PDF. We’ll also accept CDs or hardcopy sent by post to our International Admissions Office, but please note that these will not be returned to you.

    For more information, please download our portfolio pack.

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    Important additional notes

    Our published entry requirements are a guide only and our decision will be based on your overall suitability for the course as well as whether you meet the minimum entry requirements. Other equivalent qualifications may be accepted for entry to this course, please email for further information.

    We don't accept AS level qualifications on their own for entry to our undergraduate degree courses. However for some degree courses a small number of tariff points from AS levels are accepted as long as they're combined with tariff points from A levels or other equivalent level 3 qualifications in other subjects.

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    International students

    We welcome applications from international and EU students, and accept a range of international qualifications.

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    English language requirements

    If English is not your first language, you'll need to make sure you meet our English language requirements for undergraduate courses.

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    Improving your English language skills

    If you don't meet our English language requirements, we offer a range of courses which could help you achieve the level required for entry onto a degree course.

    We also provide our own English Language Proficiency Test (ELPT) in the UK and overseas. To find out if we are planning to hold an ELPT in your country, contact our country managers.

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