Film Production Technology - BSc (Hons)

UCAS Code:
WP63
Attendance:
Full Time (3 years), Sandwich (4 years)
Starting:
September 2016, September 2017
Campus:

Transform your knowledge and skills within the field of film production technology with us, and discover and release your talent for video editing production, film production, film making and film editing.

Train with our expert team of industry-experienced staff, with access to world-class industry-standard facilities here at Birmingham City University. Our BSc (Hons) Film Production Technology provides an in-depth, hands-on chance to study the technologies which govern film production.

New for 2017/18

Film Production Technology

If you’re looking to start this course in 2017, it's important to know that the content and structure are undergoing a substantial review and are likely to be different to what is outlined here. We’ll publish more detailed information about the changes over the next few months. If you’re starting in 2016, the course content/structure won’t be affected by the review.

Sign up for course updatesBenefits of our new curriculum

What's covered in the course?

Delivered through a series of modules and semesters, the programme comprises of six themes:

A distinctive aspect of the course is the technology theme which offers a detailed exploration of the nature of light and sound. You will give special attention to studying image and sound capture technologies, optics and digital film production workflows. Within this theme you will have the chance to learn about the manipulation and distribution of moving images.

The design theme will expose you to the processes of design and the development of various aspects of a films concept. Within this subject area you will explore the use of visual composition and storytelling to communicate ideas to the viewer.

Within the sound production theme you will have the chance to explore the creation of sound for film. With particular attention to the manipulation and production of sound tracks, you will also learn the underlying principles of sound design.

Another of the themes, film theory, will help you develop the skills and confidence to critically watch, analyse and compare films. Through theory-based learning you will examine elements of film such as: story-telling techniques, subtext, lighting, camera perspectives, aesthetics and more.

The course also provides you with the chance to closely study industry. This theme introduces you to the film industry, providing you with an understanding of the field in which you intend to work. You’ll develop skills in project management and entrepreneurship, which will be nurtured throughout the duration of the programme.

The sixth theme of the programme focuses on production. Within this theme you will gain an in-depth experience of cinema style production. You'll be expected to produce a variety of fiction and non-fiction films. You will also have the space to learn and discover the processes of shooting within a studio and on location. This will allow you to use a variety of camera, lighting and grip equipment.

A range of assessment methods are used throughout the course including continuous assessment, in-class tests, examinations, laboratory exercises and project work.

I chose this course because, unlike a lot of film courses, it’s a Bachelor of Science degree, which means they go into a little bit more detail about the technical side of how cameras and lights and that sort of thing work. Michael Palmer

Why Choose Us?

  • The School is equipped with over 1,200 square metres of dedicated equipment, including two film/television studios, four multi-track recording studios, post-production facilities, and several hundred multimedia stations.
  • Learn from an experienced film production team with a broad range of expertise in film production and post-production.
  • With our close industry links you will be in a prime position to engage with and network with industry, and access real-life projects and career opportunities.
  • Graduates have gone on to work at companies and organisations such as ITV and the National Film and Television School, and to work on productions by Working Title, Studio Canal, RDF Television, Objective Productions, Channel 4, Red Planet Pictures and Buffalo Pictures. Popular graduate destinations include roles within film production and technology, filmmaking and production within freelance and fixed creative organisations. We also have graduates joining a number of marketing and PR companies.
  • Explore the technology of film production, including: the nature and behaviour of light and sound, optics, image sensors, microphones, correct monitoring using scopes, and the effects digital storage and manipulation have on colour, images, video and sound.
  • Our film graduates are among the most technically literate in the UK. They are able to make informed technical choices, understand technical specifications and their implications, and accurately test and calibrate equipment.
Applying for a September 2016 full time course?

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This course is open to International students

School of Computing and Digital Technology

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Visit our School site for more student work and extra information.

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Where our students go

Our students have gone on to work with companies such as:

  • Ashfields
  • Christopher Smith
  • Creative Video

And in jobs such as:

  • Film Production and Technology
  • Film Maker
  • Production Assistant

This course is accredited by:

Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET)

Entry Requirements

We accept a range of qualifications, the most popular of which are detailed below.

UK students
Essential

At the point of application, you must have GCSE at Grade C or above in English Language and Mathematics. Equivalent qualifications will be accepted.

300 UCAS tariff points from A/AS Level with a minimum of 2 A Levels

Typical Offers
UK Qualification Requirements 2016/17
GCE A Level/ AS Level BBB at A Level or 300 UCAS tariff points from A/AS Level with a minimum of 2 A Levels
Access to Higher Education Diploma Pass overall with 60 credits, 45 at Level 3 and 15 at Level 2, including with a minimum of 12 credits achieved from any Technology units awarded at Merit or Distinction
BTEC National Diploma (12-units not including early years) D*D* or combined with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 300 UCAS points
BTEC Extended Diploma (18-units not including early years) DDM - grades
BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/ National Award (6-units not including early years) Combined with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 300 UCAS points
International Baccalaureate Diploma 32 points overall
Irish Leaving Certificate 300 UCAS points - Higher Levels
Scottish Higher/ Advanced Higher 300 UCAS points
Welsh Baccalaureate (core plus options) 120 tariff points combined with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 300 UCAS points
Other qualifications
If you have a qualification that is not listed in the table please refer to our full entry requirements on UCAS.

Further guidance on tariff points can be found on the UCAS website.
EU/International students
Essential
EU/Non-EU (International) Qualifications Requirements 2015/16
IELTS 6.0 overall with 5.5 minimum in all bands
International Baccalaureate Diploma (or equivalent, including internationally accredited Foundation courses). 32 points overall
Country-specific entry requirements and qualifications.

 

International students who cannot meet the direct entry requirements can begin their degree studies at Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC).

The UCAS tariff is changing

If you're considering applying for this course to start in September 2017 onwards, it's important to know that the UCAS tariff system is changing.

UCAS tariff points – the points system most universities use to compare different qualifications – will be introducing a new system on how points are calculated.

More about the new tariff

From A/AS Level with a minimum of 2 A Levels

Unconditional Offers

Unconditional Offers

If you are a full-time undergraduate applicant for 2016/17, and show particular potential, we may be able to make you an unconditional offer if you make us first choice and satisfy certain criteria.

To be considered you must hold, or be predicted to achieve:

300 points or above from three A levels (equivalent to grades BBB or above)
or
predicted DDM profile at BTEC level

You will also be required to attend an interview.

More about unconditional offers

Stressed about exams?

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UK or EU students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
BSc (Hons) Sep 2016 FT 3 years £9,000 per year Apply via UCAS
SW 4 years £9,000 per year Apply via UCAS
Sep 2017 FT 3 years £9,250 per year Apply via UCAS
SW 4 years £9,250 per year Apply via UCAS

International Students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
BSc (Hons) Sep 2016 FT 3 years £12,000 per year Apply via UCAS
Sep 2017 FT 3 years TBC Apply via UCAS

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.

Additional costs

There are no compulsory additional costs or charges associated with studying on this course. While you may choose to purchase personal copies of text books, all our key text books are available from our library or online (subject to normal library loan and online access arrangements). If your course includes a residential study session, the accommodation costs for this are already included in your course fee.

Based on the past experience of our students, you might find it helpful to set aside about £50 for each year of your studies for stationery and study materials. All our students are provided with 100 free pages of printing each year to a maximum total value of £15.

Guidance for UK/EU students

UCAS

UK and EU students applying for most undergraduate degree courses in the UK will need to apply through UCAS.

The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) is a UK organisation responsible for managing applications to university and college.

Applying through UCAS
 Register with UCAS
 Login to UCAS
 Complete your details
 Select your course
 Write a personal statement
 Get a reference
 Pay your application fee
 Send UCAS your application

Non-EU (International) students

There are three ways to apply:

1) Direct to the University

You will need to complete our International Application Form and submit it together with scan copies of your original academic transcripts and certificates.

2) Through a country representative

Our in-country representatives can help you make your application and apply for a visa. They can also offer advice on travel, living in the UK and studying abroad.

3) Through UCAS

If you are applying for an undergraduate degree or a Higher National Diploma (HND), you can apply through the UK’s Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).

You can request a printed form from your school or nearest British Council office. You will be charged for applying through UCAS. Birmingham City University’s UCAS code is B25 BCITY.

Your personal statement

Your personal statement is a highly important part of your application. It gives you a crucial opportunity to say why you’re applying and why the institution should accept you.

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

Course choice

Why does this course appeal? What areas are of particular interest?

Career plans

If you have a specific career in mind, say how your chosen course will help you pursue this goal.

Work experience

Mention any work that is relevant to your subject, highlighting the skills and experience gained.

School or college experience

Highlight skills gained at school/college, eg summer schools or mentoring activities.

Non-accredited skills or achievement

eg Duke of Edinburgh Award, Young Enterprise scheme.

You should also mention your future plans – if you’re planning to take a year out, don't forget to give your reasons. Talk about any subjects you’re studying that don’t have a formal assessment and any sponsorships or placements you’ve applied for. And don't be scared to add in details about your social, sports or leisure interests.

Get more information on writing personal statements.

This course is not available part-time

Got any questions?

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

Loans and Grants

Financial Support

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

Year one

The first year of your programme is designed to provide you with the basic knowledge to develop your own personal flair and original interests within the field.

Assessments will be practice-based, mainly through coursework, with some written exams. Through self-directed study, group assessments and practice-based learning you will establish and develop knowledge of the practices and industry within the field of film production.

You will be introduced to the fundamental principles of the technologies used within film production. You will explore topics such as sound recording. Through the digital acquisition module you will be exposed to the principles of working with sound and light. Your studies will also focus on the capturing and editing of sound and image through a series practical exercises - which encourage both technical and creative exploration of these principles.

Alongside this you will be introduced to the basic foundations and principles of the film industry, with exploration into creative products, legal and ethical issues and the context in which the industry operates. During your first year of study you will also experience production in a controlled studio environment, allowing you to learn the basics of lighting and digital manipulation of images.

Visual Design
15 credits

The visual design module will introduce the fundamental design principles within film production technology. You will explore topics such as colour, composition, layout and photography. With consideration of these topics you will also study art direction, alongside the creation and manipulation of images.

Sound Recording for Film and Video
15 credits

This module introduces you to sound recording equipment and software. The sound recording for film and video module provides a wider understanding of the fundamental nature of sound. The module focuses on accurate sound capture and explores sound production techniques such as Foley.

Film Studies
15 credits

Within the film studies module you will have the chance to explore the history and language of contemporary film. You’ll be taught how to examine storytelling techniques, camera angles and movement, lighting and other aesthetics choices. You’ll examine these techniques in relation to the perception and meaning-making of a scene.

Film Industry
15 credits

The film industry module will introduce you to the fundamental aspects of the film industry. Your studies will focus on creative products and legal and ethical issues, with a particular focus on the context in which the industry operates.

Digital Acquisition
30 credits

Within the digital acquisition module you will be introduced to the fundamental principles of working with sound and light. You will also explore the processes of capturing and editing sound and image. This will take place through a series of practical exercises, which encourage both technical and creative exploration of these principles.

Production Fundamentals
30 credits

During the production fundamentals module you will be exposed to industry-standard practices. You will experience the thrill of production within a controlled studio environment, exploring the fundamentals of lighting and digital manipulation of images.

Year two

Your second year of study begins to take a more in-depth, specialist focus on technology. You will be encouraged to establish and nurture your own creative flair and personal interest within the field. While you will still study through the delivery of modules we will encourage you to seek professional opportunities, whether that is through networking or work experience.

You will begin to focus more in-depth on the production aspects of film, and you will also be exposed to the environment of studio production. You will work within a controlled studio environment, gaining experience through work with your peers and industry-experts.

Your modules will explore topics such as narrative design, production techniques, advanced film studies and moving image technology. The experience you gain through teaching will provide you with the chance to produce motion graphics, combining visual elements using compositing tools. You will also begin to study narrative design and the production of concepts which will aid you in your final year and further afield. You will begin to consider your final year project while continuing to learn and develop skills and knowledge which will support you in this.

Narrative Design
15 credits

During this second year module you will discover and learn the creative processes that are involved in developing exciting film concepts. In addition to this you will gain essential knowledge and insight into the screen writing process.

Production Techniques
15 credits

You will be introduced to advanced digital film production techniques, exploring and experiencing the process of film production as well as the responsibilities of different departments. During the module you will develop more advanced cinematography skills and gain experience of executing team productions.

Advanced Film Studies
15 credits

This module will introduce you to film analysis and narrative, interpreting cinematic metaphors and recognising subtext. The module explores films from a sociocultural perspective; you will learn the methods for researching (and understanding) core themes of academic debate.

Professional Practice
15 credits

Throughout the duration of the programme we aim to develop your employability skills and professional awareness. The professional practice module presents you with the opportunity to research specific areas and roles within the film and visual effects industry. You will be expected to formulate and develop your own action plans to enter the industry.

Image Technology
15 credits

Within the image technology module you will explore the analysis and manipulation of digital images.  Through your studies you will learn techniques for testing the technical and perceived qualities of image and sound. The skills you learn within this module will enhance your creative flair and talent.

Production and Distribution Technology
15 credits

The production and distribution technology module is designed to provide you with the skill to learn and explore the role of the DIT (Digital Image Technician). You will research into digital film production workflows and methods of digital distribution, advancing your knowledge of practices which are used within the film industry.

Studio Production
15 credits

Focusing on studio production, you will experience the organisation and protocols of working within larger crews in a controlled studio environment. You will gain a complete production experience from pre-production: casting, production design and production scheduling. In addition to this you will demonstrate your organisational and time-keeping abilities, following and adhering to production schedules.

Post-production and Video Manipulation
15 credits

The post-production and video manipulation module provides an understanding of post-production techniques for digital media production. You will gain experience of producing motion graphics and combining visual elements using compositing tools.

Year three

Your final year of study accumulates all the information, work and skills you have developed throughout the course. We will support you in your professional development, preparing you for a successful career within film technology production. Your final year studies will cover topics such as sound mixing and film production planning.

You will be expected to produce a media technology project, in which you will demonstrate skill and knowledge in a specific area of film. This will allow you to develop in-depth, specialist knowledge and confidence in a specialist area relevant to the course, and directly related to industry.

You will develop your critical analysis skills; you will be expected to make critical judgements about your own and others' work. You will be expected to work within small groups during your Film Production and Direction module. Within this module you will produce a high quality short film (of a standard to be submitted to a film festival), drawing upon and demonstrating the skill and knowledge that you have acquired throughout the duration of the programme.

Your knowledge of, and skills in, electronic film production will be complemented with the skill to communicate ideas and information. You will hone your skills and knowledge into your own area of interest and you will plan for your professional career.

Pre-visualisation
15 credits

The final year pre-visualisation module explores the latest methods of visualising film production and post-production widely used in the film industry. Using 3D modelling and animation software you will construct and edit virtual versions of scenes before you even shoot them, blocking out scenes and exploring production ideas in 3D to allow for a more informed production process.

Sound Mixing for Film and Video
15 credits

This module is a deeper exploration of the principles and techniques of music and sound design for film and video production. Within the sound mixing for film and video module your studies will focus on the overall composition, mixing and mastering of a sound track.

Digital Media Technology Project
45 credits

In your final year you are required to undertake an investigation into a topic of interest, presenting your findings through a dissertation. This provides you with the opportunity to develop in-depth knowledge and skills in a specialist area relevant to the course. This project will accumulate all that you have learnt throughout the duration of the programme, demonstrating your academic and professional ability.

Film Production Planning
15 credits

Working in small groups you will apply production management techniques to design, plan and organise the production of a complete short film. During this module you will be expected to discuss and pitch production plans and ideas.

Film Production and Direction
30 credits

Representing the pinnacle of your production experience, you will work within a small group to produce a high quality short film (of a standard to submit to film festivals). This module will allow you to demonstrate your creative ability, talent and skill, through applying your own personal creative flair. In addition to this, you will be exposed to the collaborative nature of film making.

Course Structure

The degree programme ensures that students do not study a wide range of academic, technical and creative subjects in isolation. All theory is applied practically in a number of projects during the three-year course.

Learners have plenty of opportunities to develop and demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the subject, as well as acquire lifelong skills that are necessary to working in a team.

Students study in depth the theory and practice of electronic film production and the process of communicating ideas and information, as well as design principles in film production. They also critically assess new technology and develop commercial and business skills.

This academic expertise is coupled with practical skills, such as producing high quality images and audio for digital film production; capturing and manipulating content, designing title sequences and incorporating layers of sound and music; and producing and designing DVDs with full interactive media.

As well as demonstrating skills in the use of sophisticated acquisition equipment and online editing, they develop critical analysis skills, make critical judgements about their own and others’ work, and identify good practice.

The development of transferable skills is also central to the course, enabling students to be ready for the workplace upon graduation. They will have developed business acumen and management skills by planning and undertaking a variety of tasks and projects, work to deadlines and budget within a team, as well as taking responsibility for their decisions.

Students will learn from an experienced film production team with a broad range of expertise in film production, 3D modelling and animation, visual effects production, and compositing, including award winners and nominees.

Teaching breakdown

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32 Time in lectures, seminars and similar MidnightBlue
68 Time in independent study RoyalBlue

Assessment breakdown

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6 Written exams DarkOrange
94 Coursework FireBrick

Student studies

Alice Barlow, graduate of the Film Production Technology undergraduate degree course at Birmingham City University, was the winner of the School of Computing and Digital Technology prize at her graduation ceremony in 2014.

This course is accredited by the following organisations:

Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET)
Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) - full IEng

This programme is accredited by the Institution of Engineering and Technology, an internationally respected benchmark. We have been recognised as an institution which provides ideal preparation for aspiring professional engineers.

With our industry links, our fantastic team of staff alongside world-class facilities we are committed to providing you the best training possible. We are a quality provider of provider of engineering education, our accreditation ensures that we continually improve and develop the programme in response to good practice and industry need.

Study and work abroad

If you are interested in undertaking part of your studies abroad, the Erasmus scheme may be of interest to you. It allows higher education students to study for part of their degree in another European country.

It is open to undergraduates in their second year (or above) and offers a unique opportunity to enhance your CV and experience new cultures. If you study with us you will have access to an Erasmus co-ordinator, who can provide information about which institutions we have links with.

Find out more

Further Study

After finishing the BSc (Hons) Film Production Technology degree you will be equipped with the skill and knowledge to undertake further study. The University has a range of either taught (MSc) or research (PhD) postgraduate courses. 

Trips and visits

Throughout your course you will be have several chances to gain hands-on industry experience, through creative festivals, events and much more. As a student of Digital Technology you will receive the opportunity to undertake trips through the Live Sound Society.

The Live Sound Society is an extra-curricular student society developed to offer students practical employability skills. The Live Sound society offers sound reinforcement and production for music and corporate events, sometimes backed up with videography. This year, students will engineer around 10 festivals and 20 other concerts varying in size from the third stage at Shrewsbury Folk Festival and the Real Ale stage at Acoustic Festival of Britain with around 1,000 people in the audience and a stage at Valefest, the 'largest student-run festival in the UK', to smaller pub beer garden festivals. Each requires client liaison skills and the ability to plan, set up and operate sound and lighting systems in often high pressure environments.

To reinforce these skills, students have also organised trips to trade shoes including PLASA Focus and to manufacturers like Midas, a leading mixing desk manufacturer, for specialist training.

Student stories Andrew Bond

Mentored by one of the UK’s most Respected Actors

When BSc (Hons) Film Production Technology student Andrew Bond started his studies at Birmingham City University, little did he know that it would lead to him being mentored by one of the UK’s most respected actors.

He was chosen by Idris Elba, star of ‘Luther’ and ‘Mandela’, as his protégé for Samsung’s ‘Launching People’ project, which searched for the brightest young talent in the fields of food, film, music and photography.

Enhancing employability skills

The development of transferable skills is central to the course. You’ll finish the course ready and well-equipped for the workplace. Throughout the programme you will develop business acumen and management skills, you will do this through planning and undertaking a variety of tasks and projects. You will learn how to work to deadlines, and adhere to budgets within a team. You will learn how to take control and responsibility for your decisions.

You’ll get a broad range of skills and academic expertise, enhancing your employability skills once you start out in the industry. You will be technically literate, you will have the confidence and knowledge to make informed technical choices, you’ll understand technical specifications and you will understand the implications and be able to accurately test and calibrate equipment.

This course will give you the ability to identify problems and solutions, with the knowledge and confidence to critically evaluate your own work, as well as work within the field.

You will have knowledge and skill in the planning, shooting and post-production of a range of digital films in a single camera production environment. You will be familiar with the use of industry standard practice, protocols, workflows and equipment. This will include a mix of factual and fictional productions, filmed both on location and in a studio, working in a variety of different size crews.

You will be well-equipped to embark on a career within the broad field of film and video production or in supporting industries such as casting agents. The knowledge you learn through teaching, in addition to industry experience gained through the opportunities presented to you, will help you in developing a broad and authentic knowledge of industry.

The School of Digital Media Technology also hosts a monthly networking event for creative professionals: Creative Networks. The event is a collaboration between screen-based and sound media industries across the West Midlands and regularly attracts 100 to 200 attendees, providing an excellent opportunity for meeting professionals from across the region.

Placements

Benefitting from our links, students are encouraged to engage with industry and develop their professional experience throughout their degree, creating and sharing their own productions, working on commercial productions taking place within our media centre, and working for and with local production companies crewing film productions.

Full details can be found on the School placements page.

OpportUNIty

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.

Firewalking

BCU Graduate+

Through our courses we give you the skills and experience needed to get a head start when applying for jobs. But we offer something extra too – Graduate+.

Our unique programme gives you the chance to develop valuable skills outside of the more formal classroom learning. We award points for Graduate+ activities (including firewalking!) and these can be put towards a final Graduate+ award.

More about Graduate+

Graduate jobs

Recent graduates from the school have gone on to work for companies including: Working Title, BBC, ITV, RDF Television, Objective Productions, Channel 4, Sky, Buffalo Pictures, Red Planet, Dolby UK and Talkback Thames.

The skills and knowledge you'll gain throughout the programme will allow you to tackle various jobs within the field. You'll have experience of using industry-standard large sensor digital camera rigs, with follow focus, matte box and interchangeable lenses.

The careers available to you after this course are vast and exciting. You will be skilled to take on a number of roles, including: film producer, film director, first assistant director, producer, production manager, production assistant, editor, camera operator, director of photography, lighting technician, production sound mixer and much more!

You may also choose to take on freelance or fixed roles, such as: unit manager, location manager, sound assistant, boom operator, screenwriter, script editor, script reader and film distributor – the list really is extensive! Throughout the course we will help you to nurture your own creative flair and personal interests, and guide you towards a working professional role.

International Students

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:

As an international student on this course you will benefit from studying alongside a diverse range of students, all with different backgrounds and experience. In addition to this the course is led by tutors with international experience. You will have the chance to draw upon the diverse cultures and wealth of experience from your fellow students, learning new skills and sharing your own knowledge.

As an international student you will benefit from studying in close proximity to the UK’s diverse and continuously changing creative industries, and you are encouraged to engage and regularly network with these industries. Through practice-based teaching you will develop an in-depth understanding of digital media technology practices within the UK and further afield.

You have the chance to earn while you learn, taking on various roles through the University’s in-house employment scheme: OpportUNIty. You will also be able to access personal and academic support services, as well as help and advice tailored specifically for you. Through an international orientation and welcome week you will be able to adjust to life within the UK, preparing you for your studies! 

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

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

Popular home countries

Our students come from around the world but our film production and technology course is most popular with international students from:

Our Facilities

We are constantly investing in our estate and are currently in the process of spending £260 million on new learning facilities.

Here at Birmingham City University, the School of Computing and Digital Technology is equipped with a multitude of professional, dedicated equipment. With world-class facilities including: two film and television studios, four multi-track recording studios, post-production facilities, and several hundred multimedia stations.

We have cutting edge facilities available to support the course and research that goes on in the School, including the purpose-built Media Centre at The Parkside Building, DMT Lab, Cisco Academy and Recording studios and concert halls at Birmingham Conservatoire. We also have several PC and Apple Mac computing suites with the latest industry standard applications and tools for audio, video and multimedia application development and content creation.

As a student of the School of Computing and Digital Technology you will be able to take advantage of a comprehensive range of state-of-the-art technology and equipment to prepare you for working within industry. Our four fully digital, interconnected TV studios can be used within a variety of contexts, including audio-recording. Alongside this with have several broadcast-standard edit and dubbing suites.

As the programme is taught in partnership with the Birmingham Conservatoire you will have access to a wide-range of musical facilities including six studios, a Recital Hall and the 520-seat auditorium Adrian Boult Hall. We have a range of studios, mix rooms, recording spaces and a vast range of recording equipment ready for you to use.

Film and television

You will have access to four fully digital, interconnected TV studios, along with broadcast-standard edit and dubbing suites.

Multimedia

An Apple Mac sound lab, electronics and fully equipped multimedia labs are all part of the technology and multimedia experience on offer.

Birmingham Conservatoire

Facilities and partner venues at the Conservatoire including six studios, a Recital Hall and the 520-seat auditorium Adrian Boult Hall.

Sound and music

Discover the full range of studios, mix rooms, recording spaces and a vast range of recording equipment.

Mathew Randall

Programme Leader, Film and Image

Mathew Randall is the Programme Leader for the BSc (Hons) Film Production Technology and BSc (Hons) Film Technology and Visual Effects course.

Mathew has been working with computer graphics since the mid 1990s and has been involved in moving image production for over 10 years. Coming from an academic background in multimedia, he has extensive experience in real-time computer graphics and rendering, designing and developing user interfaces, games, systems for visualising data and signals, video systems for concerts and festivals, interactive sonic and video installations and real-time generative art.

Since 2010 Mathew has been drawing on his experience in computer graphics to work in visual effects production. He has experience and expertise: Image Acquisition for VFX, 3D Modelling and Animation, Matchmoving and Compositing.

As Programme Leader he believes BSc undergraduate courses in film or VFX demand a broad set of skills from its students, as the courses cover a fusion of technical, creative and business skills. “One day a student might be analysing films or developing a character within a script, the next they are using advance post-production tools or designing a conforming process to facilitate editing of 4k RAW footage. All the while they are developing their own personal plan to develop their career in the film industry”.

“We challenge and inspire our students to develop a broad range of skills, not just to meet the demands of employers, but in the interest of giving our graduates careers with more autonomy, allowing them to move around different parts of the film industry or use these skills in related industries.”

Michael Bickerton

Lecturer

Michael Bickerton is a lecturer on the BSc (Hons) Film Production and Technology course.

Since 1997, Michael has been involved with Moving Image production as well as lecturing on a range of Moving Image courses (including the highly successful UK Film Council's Introduction to Screenwriting courses in the West Midlands Region).

Prior to his current responsibility as Course Director for Birmingham City University's BSc Film Production & Technology course, he previously taught in an Ofsted rated 'outstanding' further education college and is determined to bring this experience to make the BSc Film Production & Technology programme a leading course within this discipline.

"My vision for the BSc Film Production & Technology is to make it the best option for vocational, technically focussed undergraduate film training in both the region and the country."

"It's a real challenge, but the course is fast moving towards that goal. We have an excellent team with a collective experience in the Moving Image industry of over 100 years. We have top quality delivery of lectures and workshops, brilliant resources (including State-of-the-art HD cameras and a film set designed by a BBC Art Director), exemplary pastoral care for students to receive and a regular industry networking event."

Michael has international freelance experience in a wide range of production areas with a good working knowledge of many production software packages and practical operations on-set equipment. He still runs his own micro-budget production company that has produced short and feature length micro budget digital films for cinema release and for television broadcast and is continuing this with his newly acquired infrared and stop motion photography techniques.

"My desire to learn more never ceases and since starting at Birmingham City University in 2008, I have continued to develop my knowledge and skills in many areas of digital film production technology. I trust my enthusiasm for the topic rubs off on students. If a student graduates with more knowledge than me then I feel I've been successful"

Michael is keen to get further involved with the local Birmingham Film community. Michael is also a member of the Media and Film Education Forum, hosted by Screen West Midlands, which shares ideas and best practice, as well as develops collaborative projects between different people in the creative sector.

Valentina Ippolito

Lecturer

Valentina is a Lecturer at the School of Digital Media Technology.

She holds a Master’s Degree in Documentary by Practice from Royal Holloway University.

Valentina has been involved in teaching a variety of media modules such as Content Acquisition, Screen Studies, Digital Editing and Documentary Production.

She is also an active filmmaker: her main areas of research focus on the following themes:  The representation of women and babies in prison, Women’s self- representation of sexuality and gender roles and Cinematic biographies.

Her films have been screened at international venues including Italy, Holland, Slovenia and the United States. Her filmography includes: Babies Behind Bars (Rome, 2007), Ladies Room (Oxford, 2007), and Interview with Lina Wertmüller (New York, 2005).

Valentina has recently directed two educational videos for the West Midland Fire Service, to raise awareness of the issues surrounding both domestic and road safety.

Stephen Gordon

Senior Lecturer

Following graduation, Stephen worked as a freelance journalist for three years to complete an NCTJ qualification.

Subsequently gained experience in magazine publishing, graphic design, audio-visual production, corporate video production, and technical theatre; he is also teaching and training around these areas.
 

Stephen Gordon is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Digital Media Technology.

He has worked for five years at the University, teaching video production on various courses.

Giving students the skills needed to work in the industry is central to how Stephen Gordon works. Keen to maintain his handle on the world of video production, he keeps in regular contact with those working in the field, looking at new technological developments and how they are being applied in the field.

But he also encourages his students to develop their own contacts and embark on projects that are not only useful for their CVs, but are commercially viable and help to enrich the creative community in the region.  A former Freelance Script Writer and Director of Corporate Videos, he moved into academia and teaching when he was invited by Sutton College (the University) to teach a group of students and challenged them to produce a video over a couple of weeks.

“It was the first time I’d tried to teach those skills I had been using. I found it very rewarding.”

His experience with corporate work made him the ideal point of contact for the West Midlands Centre for Constructing Excellence, which first asked him three years ago if his students would collaborate on a video project for its annual awards.

It wanted to add video shots of the companies shortlisted in the Celebrating Construction awards, which honour the high quality work by builders (and demolition firms) across the region.  The project was so successful that it was repeated for the following two years. Stephen’s experience in carrying out such work proved vital to the success of the project.

“I liaised with client and student, showed them what should be done, did two or three of them with them, and explained how to co ordinate the project. But then it was down to the students to contact the representatives of the companies and negotiate all the work times and so on.”

This experience of working in a real-time, paid-for project has all-round benefits for the University, which is outsourcing its expertise, for the students, who are gaining valuable experience and for the business client, which is getting a high-quality product at a reduced cost.

“The client was happy as they had something of excellent quality they wouldn’t otherwise have achieved for their budget and the students had a set of experiences that were really very valuable for when they went out into the world of work.”

As a result, several students went on to form their own fledgling corporate production company.

Other successful business collaborations include working with the world-renowned Royal Shakespeare Company, when students were invited to film a workshop it was holding with school children, and at Birmingham City University, when visiting lecturers or special guests have been filmed.

Those students who have volunteered to work on those sorts of outside projects have found themselves in a strong position when they apply for jobs after graduation, having developed key creative, organisational and business skills.

“Those that have experience on their CV seem to get the jobs first.  Partly it is because they have developed a good level of maturity in their approach to work and with dealing with people.  But they’ve also had the opportunity to develop their contacts, which is crucial.”

Jay Patel

Senior Lecturer

Jay is a Lecturer in the School of Digital Media Technology. Jay had been involved with the delivery of ERDF projects such as Regional Innovation Network, Media Vault and MarketMaker. Since the successful completion of these projects he has moved in the teaching. He currently delivers a variety of modules such as Audio Visual Technology, Moving Image Technology and Mathematics for Media.

Static System Group - Electrical Engineer
Design, develop and maintain fire, panic and nurse call systems for custodial and hospital buildings.

Codemasters Software Company - Technical Support Manager
Managing the Technical Support team on a daily basis ensuring bugs or compatibility issues with hardware are fully tested and rectified. Setting up of cheatlines for games in different territories. Jay was also involved with platinum titles such as Colin McRae Rally, Micro Machines, TOCA Touring Car and Brian Lara Cricket.

Technology Innovation Centre - Senior Consultant
Taking responsibility of individual projects, commercial or ERDF funded and ensuring they are delivered to the highest quality. Projects included SMEs to large organisations such as the Museums Libraries and Archives (MLA). This involved setting up of a Digital Asset Management system for their digital archives and ensuring information is available on all platforms. Additionally, bespoke training was delivered to a host of stakeholders.

Birmingham City University - Senior Lecturer Delivering modules across the university's courses and at different levels. Module coordinator for Introduction to Website Design, Further Website Design and Digital Asset Management.

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