Film Distribution - PgCert

Distance Learning
September 2018
Online Learning
£2,970 for UK/EU Distance Learning 2018 entry (view all fees)

Our PG Certificate Film Distribution course is designed for working students and budding entrepreneurs eager for a career in the film business. As a one-year, part-time distance-learning course it offers you the chance to study Film Distribution as you pursue your career goals.

This course is part of Birmingham City University’s Film Futures suite, designed with industry to reflect the growing need for entrepreneurial producers and distribution experts. You will gain a postgraduate certificate qualification equivalent to core modules from the full-time MA Film Distribution and Marketing course.

What's covered in the course?

You will be taught by a team including Oscar-nominated producer, Lee Thomas, and film industry expert, Eugenio Triana. You'll develop the strategic skills needed to apply new and emergent models of film financing to market and engage audiences in a competitive, fast changing, global entertainment business.

This course examines old and new business models spanning all aspects of the film development cycle. It embraces advances in technology, digital communication channels and opportunities to monetize content across a variety of platforms outside traditional cinema.

You will receive tuition through structured learning packages comprising of recorded materials, self-study tasks and practical exercises. These participatory exercises will engage you deeply with the material and connect you with your peers through active research and asynchronous discussion.

Live video conferences are scheduled with industry tutors to pick up on key topics and enable real-time discussion between tutors and students. These are recorded to accommodate the variable schedules of a working and international student group.

As modules progress there is a greater emphasis on you self–managing your time as the structure is loosened while you apply your learning to research and completing your assignments.

You will be given the option to respond to assignments in the context of your real professional industry practice or in response to set challenges around positioning, market interest, budgets/film finance and the international film marketplace, to form strategic business proposals.

Why Choose Us?

  • The course has been developed with film distribution companies, digital communication experts and film producers to ensure it provides the skills and knowledge needed for distributing films in the UK and overseas.
  • There are opportunities to connect with other students and industry practitioners from across the sector.
  • Lecturers and tutors are professionals currently working in the industry.
  • You will receive support in developing employability and life-long learning skills.
Visit our open day

Postgraduate Open Day

Our next Postgraduate Open Day will be on Saturday 4 November 2017, between 12 and 3pm. Come along to find out more about our courses and see our facilities.

Book your place now

This course is open to International students

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New £10,280 postgraduate loans

You may be able to take advantage of the government’s plans to make loans of up to £10,280 available for postgraduate study.

More about postgraduate loans

Entry Requirements

UK students

PG Certificate Film Distribution is open to applicants who are enterprising, agile thinkers who can demonstrate an interest in film and developing marketing and distribution strategy.

You must be a graduate with a 2.2 degree or above. If you do not have a degree, you may be accepted if you can demonstrate equivalent experience and / or qualifications.

You may have existing qualifications in:

Film / production

Business studies


Multimedia / digital content creation


Media and communications

And/or you may have work experience in the sector, such as:

Freelance filmmaking / production

Working as a runner, production coordinator

Producing /Directing

International (non-EU) students also require the following:

English - IELTS 6.5 (no less than 6.0 in any bands). We do also accept students who have TOEFL or Pearsons.

For information on equivalence scores and pre-sessional language courses please visit English Language provision

International Students

Entry requirements here


Please note, it is not a requirement to have previous experience working in the sector or to have studied a film related undergraduate programme, as the course will provide a thorough grounding in the fundamental principles and basic core knowledge of film marketing and distribution.

Interview process

Shortlisted applicants will then be invited for an interview at NTI Birmingham or for EU/International students via Skype or telephone.

UK or EU students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
PgCert Sep 2018 DL 9 months £2,970

If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form instead.

International Students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
PgCert Sep 2018 DL 9 months £4,000

If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form instead.

You will need to apply online direct to the university for this course. A link to the form will be available soon as well as details of the course fee. We'd like to send you an email once the link is available to save you checking back - just sign up for an update.

The University reserves the right to increase fees broadly in line with increases in inflation, or to reflect changes in government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament.

Get up to 20 per cent off your tuition fees

We offer discounts on our fees to help you with your financial costs which could give you either 10 or 20 per cent discount on your tuition fee.

Find out more and see if you are eligible

Personal statement

UK / EU students are required to submit a personal statement as part of their application for this course.*

Your postgraduate personal statement is going to shine a light on your personal experience, academic success, personal skills and any other factors that will support your application for further study.

Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:

Your passion and motivations

Studying a postgraduate course usually means you want to specialise in something. So what’s driving you?

Why this course?

Show that you’ve researched the course offering. What is it about this particular course that appeals to you? Is it the lecturers? The modules? Etc.

What makes you a good postgraduate candidate?

Tutors want to know that you can handle postgraduate study, so show them how your undergraduate experiences or work life has equipped you for a more advanced level of study. Key areas to address are research and group work but this can vary depending on your chosen course.

Relevant academic or work experience

Add anything relevant that relates back to your chosen course and shows how your skills will contribute towards your learning. What extra-curricular activities have you taken part in? What awards have you won? What employment or voluntary experience do you have that has helped you develop transferable skills? How do these specifically relate to the course you are applying for?

You should also mention your future plans and how a postgraduate qualification fits in. Try to look beyond your postgraduate study – do you plan to jump straight into a specific career or follow your studies with a research degree? Lastly, use plain, professional English and, where possible, utilise the language of your chosen industry.

Get more information on writing personal statements


*Non-EU students are not required to submit a personal statement when applying for this course.

Additional costs

This course is delivered 100% online. You must have easy access to a personal computer with a secure, reliable Internet connection to participate.

There are no compulsory additional costs or charges associated with studying on this course. As a distance learner you have access to an extensive digital library providing access to a range of eBooks, journals and research databases. In addition to this, you will be supplied with a hard copy of the primary course textbook as part of your fee. While you may choose to purchase hard copies of additional texts, key readings associated with your study will be available from our library or online (subject to normal online access arrangements).

As aspirational film industry practitioners we expect students to regularly watch films. Occasionally we may suggest a case-study film to facilitate your self-directed study or group discussion and debate. While participation is encouraged, the purchase and viewing of such a title is not compulsory. Based on the past experience of our students, you might find it helpful to set aside about £70 to cover the cost of purchasing or viewing such films, general stationery and study materials.

View additional costs for this course

This course is available part-time

If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our pdf application form instead.

Interviews are normally conducted at University House (home to NTI Birmingham) but can be done over Skype if it's more suitable for the applicant.

For general information about applying to study at Birmingham City University, please head to to the University's general How to Apply section.

Got any questions?

Search our Frequently Asked Questions for a range of information about our courses and studying here.

Financial Support

We offer further information on possible postgraduate financial support. This includes the type of loans, grants and scholarships available both from the government and from Birmingham City University.

Did you know that you will soon be able to apply for a postgraduate loan of up to £10,000 for some courses and options?

Postgraduate loans

PG Cert

Film Audiences and the Distribution Landscape

This module will be an introduction to the structure of the film industry: how it is organized, its different players and how business models have evolved over the last 100 years. It will point to how these structures might change in the future or are already changing.

If you have no previous background in the film industry this module will provide you with grounding in the business models, which facilitate the funding, communication and distribution of film products. It will also introduce the working practices of the studios, and how these differ from the independent film sector.

The Film Value Chain

This module will give you a deep insight into the skills necessary for a career in film distribution. It will cover all aspects of the sector from learning the intricacies of finance, to a close look at contracts, audience research and the landscape of distribution.

Course Structure

This course is based on a 9-month calendar year. The content and approach of the curriculum is informed by current industry business practices and processes. Learning will simulate real world practices and foster the practical application of skills with a strong emphasis on business strategy, analytics and monetization.

Modules are structured so that taught materials and collaborative exercises are front-loaded to be flexibly completed by you each week to suit your own schedule. During these weeks, there will be between four and five hours worth of taught, structured activity which will include watching screencast lectures, completing practical exercises, participating in forum discussions with your peers and contributing to group research.

Live video conferences are scheduled during each module to reinforce learning, connect the group and engage with industry.

As modules progress there is a greater emphasis on you self-managing your time and independent study while you apply your learning to research and completing your assignments. Students are offered one-to-one tutorial opportunities during this period.

Assignments are coursework based and designed to reflect work you would be doing in industry, with assessments around individual proposals, pitches and film packages, all with an emphasis on critical evaluation. If you are working in industry in parallel to your studies you will be given the option to respond to module assignments in the context of your real professional practice.

There are no residential periods of study, requiring travel to the UK.

Hours in the classroom

There will be around 4 to 5 hours of structured work packages per week. In addition to this there will also be around 8 hours of directed and self-directed study each week.

Further Study

After completing the PG Certificate in Film Distribution you may be interested in continuing your study and gaining a Master's award with our MA Film Distribution and Marketing course.

Enhancing employability skills

This course is specifically designed to prepare market-ready, entrepreneurial graduates that are able to meet the challenges of the new film distribution and funding environment.

Our intention is that students will play a key role in production teams of the future in emerging roles such as Producer of Marketing and Distribution. The course's strong emphasis on commercial awareness, market awareness and technological innovation in the sector also provides students with the opportunity to pursue careers in a wide variety of positions and company types.


OpportUNIty Student Ambassador

OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.

It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.

Graduate Jobs

In distribution, you could work as a distributor, marketing and publicity manager, marketing assistant, publicist or publicity assistant. In the production field, you could work as a producer, packaging consultant, producer’s assistant or assistant producer. Alternatively, you could work in sales as a sales agent, sales assistant, delivery manager or assistant or a marketing manager or assistant.

Birmingham City University is a vibrant and multicultural university in the heart of a modern and diverse city. We welcome many international students every year – there are currently students from more than 80 countries among our student community.

The University is conveniently placed, with Birmingham International Airport nearby and first-rate transport connections to London and the rest of the UK.

Our international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:

Additional Information

Our School is popular with students from across the globe.

Students are attracted by the industry-focused, practical nature of the course. The opportunity to see how the industry works and find out more about distribution, festivals and pitching, gives you a better idea of how to break into what is often a difficult industry to enter.

Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC)

International students who have a serious interest in studying with us but who perhaps cannot meet the direct entry requirements, academic or English, or who have been out of education for some time, can enter Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC) and begin their degree studies.


BCUIC is part of the global Navitas Group, an internationally recognised education provider, and the partnership allows students to access the University’s facilities and services and move seamlessly through to achieving a Bachelor’s degree from Birmingham City University.

Learn more about BCUIC

Gamer camp course facilities
NTI students
NTI foyer
Gamer camp Mindugas Play

The New Technology Institute (NTI) is a part of Birmingham City University's City Centre Campus at University House.

We help you learn a specific discipline such as digital marketing, programming or art and put that discipline into practice by offering flexible teaching space, dedicated development studios and open access work areas for group projects, as well as course-specific facilities.

Gamer Camp

  • Dedicated games development studio space.
  • Apple and Android target devices.
  • One high spec PC for game development per code and art student and high spec laptop per business student. As a Gamer Camp student you have your own PC and desk in a games development studio.
  • Wacom Cinetiq graphics tablets for selected art roles, such concept, GUI and character.
  • PlayStation 4 development and test kits. We were one of only five universities in Europe to receive PS4 Dev at launch.
  • PlayStation VITA development and test kits.
  • Perforce Source Control.
  • Hansoft Project Management software.

Two-Year Fast-Track

  • High spec PC laptop (Games Development, Digital Art and Design and Production) for the duration of the course.
  • MacBookAir laptop (Digital Marketing) for the duration of the course.
  • Dedicated studio space for projects.

Future Media and Film Futures

  • Access to dedicated studio space including iMac computers to deliver projects with external clients.
  • IMDB Pro.

Additional Information

All Distance Learners have access to:

  • Birmingham City University’s electronic library
  • Stock image library with industry standard media assets
  • Microsoft Office 365

Distance Learners within the locality of Birmingham can also utilise the onsite library, open access study areas and production studio facilities available on campus.

Our £180 million production studio resources at Parkside Media House include:

  • Three broadcast quality multi camera TV studios of varying sizes, each with dedicated control rooms and local master control rooms, two with dedicated 5.1 audio galleries. Autocue is available throughout.
  • A Green Screen studio, equipped with a motion control rig, MILO.
  • Full details at

Our Staff

Film Producer and Senior Lecturer Lee Thomas is the primary industry tutor for all distance-learning students. He leads or hosts the live video conferencing sessions during the course. These provide you with the opportunity to connect with a number of other industry tutors and guests, as well as other students.

The distance-learning course is managed by Course Leader and Lecturer Rebecca Tullener, who has a background working across the digital/interactive media landscape in production and management, and now specialises in Education.

Rebecca Tullener Photo

Rebecca Tullener

Course Director BA Film Business and Promotion and PG Cert Film Distribution (distance learning)

Rebecca has 15 years of experience working across the digital/interactive media landscape producing printed artefacts, websites, commercial video, e-marketing plans and managing copy-writers, artists, designers, developers and video production staff.

Rebecca has delivered on key European funded initiatives in Birmingham School of Media and NTI focused on content creation and supporting local enterprises to use screen-based media technology. Rebecca’s held numerous roles at the university as Content Developer, Producer, Studio Manager and Project Manager and has led 50+ web development and commercial video production projects with local businesses, including the development of a digital image bank in collaboration with partner Birmingham Central Library to improve creative practitioner access to the library’s early fine print collection.

Read Rebecca's full profile

Lee Thomas

Senior Lecturer in Film Distribution and Marketing (for Distance Learning Mode)

Lee has produced and executive produced over 20 short films and 15 feature films in the past 15 years including Michael Winterbottom's Silver Bear winning The Road to Guantanamo; Debbie Isitt's top box office hit Nativity and Penny Woolcock's controversial hip-hop musical 'One Day'.

His first feature Crush, starring Andie MacDowell, was released in all major territories and was distributed in the US by Sony Picture Classics. As creative producer Lee has developed feature ideas with Film 4 (First Look Deal), the MEDIA Programme (Slate Deal), BBC Films, UKFC, Warner Brothers, Glasgow Film Fund, and Creative England.

Between 2004 and 2010 Lee was Head of Production and Development at SWM, the regional screen agency for the West Midlands.

He has also produced animatronics special effects for Jim Henson's Creature Shop, and production managed Japanese car and fashion commercials shooting in Europe.

Before studying producing at the National Film and Television School Lee directed and produced documentaries, music videos and interstitials for Space Shower TV and Asahi TV in Japan.

Lee is a Skillset Mentor and a visiting tutor at the NFTS.

Eugenio Triana

Course Director MA Film Distribution and Marketing

Eugenio Triana is the course director for Film Futures, the Marketing and Distribution course for Birmingham City University. He has worked in all areas of the film industry and his personal interest is in new developments in technology for film production and distribution. 

Frank Mannion

Senior Lecturer Film Distribution and Marketing / Movie Producer, Swipe Films

Frank Mannion runs the award-winning production, sales and distribution company, Swipe Films. The company has built up a valuable library of over 25 films, winning over 100 awards at major festivals around the world, including the Cannes and Sundance Film Festivals.

Frank Mannion's movies include:

  • 'Get Lucky' starring Luke Treadaway and Emma Atack (in production, co-financed by Universal Pictures)
  • 'Saving Santa' starring Martin Freeman, Noel Clarke, Joan Collins and Tim Curry (in production)
  • 'Jackboots on Whitehall', starring Ewan McGregor, Rosamund Pike, Tom Wilkinson and Timothy Spall (released by Sony Pictures)
  • 'Grand Theft Parsons', starring Johnny Knoxville, Michael Shannon and Christina Applegate (released by MGM in the US and Lionsgate in the UK)
  • 'In Prison My Whole Life' with Colin Firth, Mumia Abu Jamal, Mos Def and Noam Chomsky
  • 'Osama', winner of the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Film
  • 'The Cat's Meow', starring Kirsten Dunst, Joanna Lumley and Eddie Izzard, directed by Oscar winning director, Peter Bogdanovich
  • 'Love Live Long', written and directed by the Oscar nominated Mike Figgis
  • 'Exiles', starring Romain Duris and directed by Tony Gatlif, winner of Best Director at the Cannes Film Festival
  • 'Frankie', starring Diane Kruger
  • 'Strings', starring James McAvoy and Catherine McCormack
  • 'Down to the Bone', starring Vera Farmiga, written and directed by Debra Granik. Winner of 2 awards at the Sundance Film Festival.

Alan McQueen

Specialist Lecturer Film Business

Alan McQueen has spent the last 30 years working with the most important and influential UK film companies. He started his career in the film and home entertainment industry in 1983 with MSD Holdings. He then joined Palace Pictures, headed by Nik Powell and Steve Woolley. Palace Pictures were the most inventive, influential and important independent film company in the UK. Alan worked on such titles as 'Nikita', 'The Killer', 'Jean de Florette', 'Manon des Sources', 'Cinema Paradiso', 'The Evil Dead', 'Tatie Danielle', and many others.

Alan then set up Fox World Cinema, an adjunct of 20th Century Fox designed to sell and distribute art house and world cinema titles from a collection of independent distributors including Artificial Eye and Electric Pictures. They released such classics as 'Tokyo Story', 'Heimat', 'Delicatessen', 'Three Colours Trilogy', 'Clerks', 'Hidden' and hundreds of other titles.

Alan was also involved in forming the independent theatrical, video and DVD company Downtown Pictures, which quickly established itself in the UK theatrical market place with such titles as 'Gods and Monsters', 'Summer of Sam and Orphans'.

Alan then formed production company Mushroom Cloud Productions developing a number of projects before re-joining the home entertainment industry as Sales Director for World Cinema Ltd. They sold and distributed DVD for Tartan Video, Artificial Eye, C'Est La Vie DVD, Soda Pictures, TLA, Tyrone Productions, Pathe (World Cinema) and Yume Pictures.

Alan's love of writing has seen two novels published ('The Summervale Volunteers' and 'The Self Preservation Society'). 'The Summervale Volunteers' is being written as a TV series with BBC writers Richard Kurti and Bev Doyle on writing duties.

Alan has written and developed a number of screenplays, including 'The Mexican Spitfire', 'Them!', 'Index Finger in the Sock Drawer', 'Spirit of the Game', 'Footfingers' and 'The Brassiere Brigade'.

Alan recently produced 'Fathers of Girls', a documentary feature about Adam Ant, starring Ray Winstone and directed by Jack Bond.

Projects developed and owned or co-owned include, 'Coming Up' (to be directed in 2013 by Jessie Grace Mellor), 'The Foreigner', 'Outlaws', 'The Brassiere Brigade', and 'A Silent Bark'.

Read Alan's full profile

Pip Piper

Lecturer in Film and Live Project Tutor

Pip has been producing films for over 15 years from corporate to music videos to documentary and feature film.

His debut feature film 'The Insatiable Moon', which he produced with Tim Sanders (Lord of the Rings / Whale Rider) and shot in NZ in late 2009, won Best Foreign Film at Moondance in the US and Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor at the NZ film awards.

Pip's latest documentary film 'Last Shop Standing', released in September 2012, has received wide critical acclaim and is being distributed across the globe. Pip is CEO of the Producers Forum, a members based film organisation focused on development, networking and campaigning.

UK prospective students:

UK enquiry form

+44 (0)121 331 5595

EU / International prospective students:

International enquiry form

+44 (0)121 331 5389

Already applied?

Email the applications team

+44 (0)121 331 6295