Develop your skills in the technology of film production at the School of Computing and Digital Technology.
Our BSc Film Production Technology course focuses on the science, technology and processes which underpin filmmaking. With state-of-the-art facilities and our expert team of staff, you’ll develop a strong understanding of the technology within the film production industry, to support and enhance the creative filmmaking process.
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.
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 science of light and sound. You will study the technologies behind image and sound capture, storage and processing, lighting, optics and digital film production workflows. You will also learn about the manipulation, post-production and distribution of moving images.
The next 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.
The design theme will expose you to the processes of design and the development of various aspects of a film's 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.
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
Our next University-wide Open Day will take place on Saturday 8 October 2016. Come along to find out more about our courses and see our facilities.
Please note: we are currently reviewing our entire course provision for 2017/18. Details will be included in your registration email.
Visit our School site for more student work and extra information.
Our students have gone on to work with companies such as:
When Josh Birch enrolled on a BSc (Hons) Film Production Technology course, he wasn’t sure of where the career path would take him. A year on after graduating, he has worked around the world and done some incredible filming.
We accept a range of qualifications, the most popular of which are detailed below.
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
|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|
|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/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).
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.
From A/AS Level with a minimum of 2 A Levels
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)
predicted DDM profile at BTEC level
You will also be required to attend an interview.
|BSc (Hons)||Sep 2016||FT||3 years||£9,000 per year||Apply via UCAS|
|BSc (Hons)||Sep 2016||SW||4 years||£9,000 per year||Apply via UCAS|
|BSc (Hons)||Sep 2017||FT||3 years||£9,250 per year||Apply via UCAS|
|BSc (Hons)||Sep 2017||SW||4 years||£9,250 per year||Apply via UCAS|
|BSc (Hons)||Sep 2016||FT||3 years||£12,000 per year||Apply via UCAS|
|BSc (Hons)||Sep 2017||FT||3 years||£12,000 per year||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.
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.
There are three ways to apply:
You will need to complete our International Application Form and submit it together with scan copies of your original academic transcripts and certificates.
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.
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.
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.
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:
Why does this course appeal? What areas are of particular interest?
If you have a specific career in mind, say how your chosen course will help you pursue this goal.
Mention any work that is relevant to your subject, highlighting the skills and experience gained.
Highlight skills gained at school/college, eg summer schools or mentoring activities.
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.
Search our Frequently Asked Questions for a range of information about our courses and studying here.
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.
The first year of your programme is designed to provide you with the basic knowledge to develop a fundamental understanding of the key technologies and sciences within the film production industry.
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 a strong knowledge of the practices within the field of film production.
You will explore topics such as sound recording, digital acquisition, production fundamentals, visual design, film industry and film studies.
In the digital acquisition module you will be exposed to the scientific principles of working with sound and light. Your studies will focus on capturing and editing sound and images and through a series of practical exercises, you will develop both technical and creative skills. You will also experience production in a studio environment, allowing you to learn the industry standard practices and principles of lighting and digital acquisition of images. Alongside this you will be introduced to the basic foundations and principles of the film industry, with further exploration of logistical, legal and ethical issues in filmmaking.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Your second year of study will take a more in-depth, specialist focus on film production technology. You will develop and enhance your knowledge of the underlying scientific principles of film production and use these to enhance and further develop your own creative flair. Complimenting your programme of study, the second year will present many opportunities for industry networking, professional engagement and work experience.
Through practical taught sessions you will focus on the in-depth technical production aspects of film via different production practices and environments. Your modules will explore topics such as moving image technology, production techniques, narrative design and post production. The latter of these will teach you the skills for creating production quality motion graphics, therefore becoming proficient in the industry standard production software. You will also study cinematic narrative design and advanced production concepts.
The second year of study will prepare you for your final year and further afield. You will begin to consider your final year media technology project, which will showcase your technical ability in Film Production Technology.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
Your final year of study accumulates all the information, experience and skills you have developed throughout the course and offers you an opportunity to apply them in a practical setting. We will support you in your professional development, preparing you for a successful career within film production technology. Your final year studies will cover topics such as pre-visualisation, film production planning and sound mixing, as well as two larger projects - a group-based short film and an individual technology project.
This year of the course also focuses on honing your critical analysis and personal development skills. The group projects encourage developing idea communication, individual responsibilities and teamwork skills, while the dissertation will enable you to take a scientific approach to a technical problem in a chosen area.
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
|32||Time in lectures, seminars and similar||MidnightBlue|
|68||Time in independent study||RoyalBlue|
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.
The course is accredited by the Institution of Engineering and Technology, ensuring it remains fresh and relevant, as well as boasting the best industry contacts.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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: 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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Our students come from around the world but our film production and technology course is most popular with international students from:
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 and Cisco Academy at Millennium Point 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.
You will have access to four fully digital, interconnected TV studios, along with broadcast-standard edit and dubbing suites.
An Apple Mac sound lab, electronics and fully equipped multimedia labs are all part of the technology and multimedia experience on offer.
Facilities and partner venues at the Conservatoire including six studios, a Recital Hall and the 520-seat auditorium Adrian Boult Hall.
Discover the full range of studios, mix rooms, recording spaces and a vast range of recording equipment.
Jay is a Lecturer in the School of Digital Media Technology. Jay has been involved with the delivery of ERDF projects. Since the successful completion of these projects he has moved into teaching. He currently delivers a variety of modules such as Audio Visual Technology, Moving Image Technology and Mathematics for Media.