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Digital Film Production - BSc (Hons)

Currently viewing course to start in 2022/23 Entry. Switch to 2023/24 Entry

Do you have a passion for film? Are you fascinated by what goes on behind the scenes of the movies and TV shows you love? Are you longing to get your hands on professional equipment and learn the craft skills you need to make your own productions? If so, Digital Film Production at BCU is well worth your consideration....

  • Level Undergraduate
  • Study mode Full Time
  • Location City Centre
  • School School of Computing and Digital Technology
  • Faculty Faculty of Computing, Engineering and The Built Environment

Overview

Do you have a passion for film? Are you fascinated by what goes on behind the scenes of the movies and TV shows you love? Are you longing to get your hands on professional equipment and learn the craft skills you need to make your own productions? If so, Digital Film Production at BCU is well worth your consideration.

This course will allow you to develop essential skills with film production technology – from script to screen. Bring your creative ideas to life using industry-standard sound, camera and lighting equipment, and learn how to apply technology and craft in the pursuit of your artistic vision. From narrative design, through selection and testing of cameras and lenses, to creating digital production workflows and using professional sound and picture finishing software including Avid Media Composer, Adobe Premiere Pro, Da Vinci Resolve, and Logic Pro, you will be encouraged to develop an extensive portfolio of work in addition to that produced for assessment.

Introducing STEAMhouse

STEAMhouse is a centre for technology, innovation, creative thinking

Our brand new £70 million pound building, STEAMhouse, will become the new home for the School of Computing and Digital Technology from the start of the 2022 academic year.

Find out more

Professional Placement Year

This course offers a professional placement year. This allows you to spend a whole year with an employer, between the second and third years of your degree, and is a great way to find out more about your chosen career. Some students even return to the same employers after completing their studies.

The University will draw on its extensive network of local, regional and national employers to support you in finding a suitable placement to complement your chosen area of study. If you do not find a suitable placement, you will be automatically transferred back to the standard, non-placement version of the course.

Please note that fees are payable during your placement year, equivalent to 20% of the total full-time course fee for that year (£1,850 for UK students).

This course is open to International students.

What's covered in this course?

The Digital Film Production degree course combines a study of audiovisual technologies and production processes, with contextual investigations and production experience. You’ll develop knowledge, understanding and skills relevant to the production of digital film content and to the wider film, television and video industries.

You’ll focus on fundamental technical concepts, including the physics of sound and light being recorded during production (and the tools and techniques required to do this), as well as the technology used to digitally store and manipulate both images and audio in post-production.

When you graduate, you will be versatile, technically literate, and creative: well-equipped to perform a variety of craft roles within film, television and video production and will bridge the gap between technology specialists and creative artists.

Birmingham City University is a great place to study - the city has ambitious plans to develop a production hub of Film and TV studios to attract productions to the region and you will be on the same campus as students on our Visual Effects, Computer Games Technology, Sound Engineering, Music Technology and Photography courses offering the chance to collaborate on creative projects.

You’ll also be encouraged to engage with industry in various ways including module assessments based on live briefs, access to Industrial Mentors for many of your modules, and the opportunity to take a 36-week Industrial Placement between your second and final years. You can also register your availability for paid work experience on corporate productions within the University and apply for entry-level crew roles which external producers sometimes require to be filled.

Liam Morgan

Thanks to securing work experience on a BBC series, Liam discovered that the TV and Film industry was perfect for him. After excelling in his course at BCU, the graduate went on to work in sports broadcasting before kickstarting his exciting career in major TV dramas and films. Liam is now excited about his future in his chosen industry, with big goals ahead.

Read in full

Why Choose Us?

  • Brand new facilities at STEAMhouse - This state-of-the-art building will become the new home for its School of Computing and Digital Technology from the start of the 2022 academic year. Based at our expanding City Centre Campus, this unique centre will give you access to outstanding facilities and teaching spaces, as well as opportunities to collaborate with people and businesses across multiple sectors and work on real industry-based projects
  • We are an ARRI certified course - The ARRI accreditation means that we are able to offer ARRI certification on students' ability to use their industry-standard ARRI Alexa Mini cameras. These cameras have been used to shoot hundreds of films, including the 2019 Academy Award winner Green Book
  • Incredible opportunities - Read about how Tayyib landed his first graduate job working on a Hollywood blockbuster film straight out of BCU
  • Outstanding facilities  - Our Centre for Digital Media Technology is equipped with over 1,200 sq m of facilities including two film/television studios, four multi-track recording studios, post-production suites, a MILO motion control rig and several editing and grading stations.
  • Knowledge of the fundamental aspects in film production  - Explore the technology and science of film production, from working with light and sound, to understanding how different production and post-production tools affect images and sound you capture
  • Highly employable graduates - Move quickly into key production roles with the combination of technical knowledge and practical production experience from your course. Our graduates have gone on to work on major feature films and high-end TV series

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Studying with us during the Covid-19 pandemic

The University has put in place measures in response to Covid-19 to allow us to safely deliver our courses. Should the impact of the pandemic continue in future years, any additional or alternative arrangements put in place by the University will be in accordance with the latest government public health advice, health and safety legislation, and the terms and conditions of the student contract.

Open Days

Join us for an on-campus Open Day where you'll be able to explore our campus and facilities in person. You'll be able to hear more about your chosen subject area in our course talks.

Next Open Day: Saturday 25 June

Book now

Entry Requirements

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

Essential Requirements

120 UCAS tariff points from A/AS Level

LEVEL 2 QUALIFICATIONS
GCSE
  • GCSE English language and mathematics at grade C/4 or above
  • Equivalent level 2 qualifications can be accepted - please see UCAS for list of acceptable Maths and English equivalents considered in lieu of GCSE
  • Must have been achieved at the point of enrolment
Irish Leaving Certificate (Ordinary Level)
  • See level 3 entry under Irish Leaving Certificate for full details
Scottish Intermediate 2
  • English Language and Mathematics at grade C or above
  • Must have been achieved at the point of enrolment
Scottish Credit Standard Grade
  • English Language and Mathematics at grade 2 or above
  • Must have been achieved at the point of enrolment
Scottish National 5
  • English language and mathematics at grade C or above
  • Must have been achieved at the point of enrolment
Plus one of the following Level 3 (and above) Qualifications
A level and Advanced VCE
  • BBB / 120 UCAS Tariff Points
  • A maximum of 3 subjects are considered. These can be other A-levels or level 3 equivalents.
Access to HE Diploma
  • 60 credits overall. Minimum of 45 credits at level 3. The remaining 15 credits can be taken either at level 2 or 3.
  • A minimum of 12 credits achieved from any Technology Units awarded at Merit or Distinction.
  • Pearson BTEC National Extended Diploma
    (2016 – present)
  • Pearson BTEC Extended Diploma (QCF)
    (2010 - 2016)
  • BTEC Level 3 National Diploma
    (2002 – 2010)
  • DDM / 120 UCAS Tariff Points)
  • Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Diploma
    (2016 – present)
  • Pearson BTEC Diploma (QCF)
    (2010 – 2016)
  • BTEC Level 3 National Certificate
    (2002 – 2010)
  • 120 UCAS points
  • Considered with one A-level or an equivalent level 3 qualification
  • Pearson BTEC National Foundation Diploma (2016 to present)

  • Pearson BTEC 90-Credit Diploma (QCF) (2010 - 2016)

  • 120 UCAS points

  • Considered with two A Levels or equivalent level 3 qualification(s)

  • Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate
    (2016 – present)

  • Pearson BTEC Subsidiary Diploma (QCF)
    (2010 - 2016)

  • BTEC Level 3 National Award
    (2002 - 2010)

  • 120 UCAS points

  • Considered with two A-levels or an equivalent level 3 qualification(s)

Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate - Skills Challenge Certificate (first teaching September 2015)

  • 120 UCAS points

Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma – Core (awarded until 2016) ESW/KS Combined component

  • 120 UCAS points

International Baccalaureate Diploma

  • Obtain a minimum of 28 points overall and pass one of the following subjects from Group 4 at Higher Level (Computer Science, Chemistry, Design Technology, Physics)

  • For students who do not already hold a GCSE in Mathematics at Grade C/4 or above grade 5 in Maths (Standard Level) from the IB Diploma will be accepted

  • For students who do not already hold a GCSE in English Language at Grade C/4 or above Standard Level English Language (not literature) English A - Grade 4 or above or English B - Grade 5 from the IB will be accepted.

T- Levels
Level 4 qualifications
Certificate in Higher Education (Cert HE)
  • Pass with 120 credits at level 4
  • Must be in a related pathway.
  • May be considered for advanced entry onto the second year of the degree. Subject to satisfactory comparability of modular content at level 4. A transcript will be required.
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.
Additional information for EU/International students
Essential

Please see your country page for further details on the equivalent qualifications we accept.

In additional to the academic entry requirements listed above, international and EU students will also require the qualifications detailed in this table.

EU/Non-EU (International) Qualifications  
IELTS

6.0 overall with 5.5 minimum in all bands

If you do not meet the required IELTS score, you may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English courses. Please note that you must have a Secure English Language Test (SELT) to study on the pre-sessional English course. More information.

International Baccalaureate Diploma (or equivalent, including internationally accredited Foundation courses).

1. For students who complete the full IB Diploma: a total of 14 points or above from three Higher Level Subjects.

2. Students who do not complete the IB Diploma will be considered on the basis of their IB Certificates.

Students must have grade 5 in Maths (Standard Level)
AND
English Group A - Grade 4 or above,
OR
English Group B and Ab Initio - Grade 5

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).

Additional Requirements

As part of the application process you will be invited to attend an applicant visit day where you will undertake a short one-to-one interview with an academic member of staff. This is your chance to show us how passionate you are about the subject and it will help us make a decision on your application.

This will provide you with more information about the School and your course. In addition, it will give you a chance to meet and our staff and students to gain a better understanding of what it is like to be a student here.

Fees & How to Apply

Please select your student status to view fees and apply
  • UK Student
  • International Student

UK students

Annual and modular tuition fees shown are applicable to the first year of study. The University reserves the right to increase fees for subsequent years of study in line with increases in inflation based on the Retail Prices Index and the additional costs we incur each year to deliver our courses, maintain and develop our infrastructure and provide a range of support services, or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament. View fees for continuing students.

Award: BSc (Hons)

Starting: Sep 2022

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Study Year (2022/23) £9,250
  • Placement Year £1,650

Professional Placement Fees

Full-Time courses with a Professional Placement incur a fee during the placement year. The costs for those years when you attend the university for study, and the cost for the placement year are shown here.

International students

Annual and modular tuition fees shown are applicable to the first year of study. The University reserves the right to increase fees for subsequent years of study in line with increases in inflation based on the Retail Prices Index and the additional costs we incur each year to deliver our courses, maintain and develop our infrastructure and provide a range of support services, or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament. View fees for continuing students.

Award: BSc (Hons)

Starting: Sep 2022

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 3 years
  • £13,500 in 2022/23
  • Full Time
  • 4 years with Professional Placement
  • Show fees

Professional Placement Fees

The fee for your first year of study at the university is shown above. Full-time courses with a Professional Placement also incur a fee during the placement year. The fee for your placement year will be the same as the tuition fee that would be payable for your third year of study.

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

Access to computer equipment

You will require use of a laptop, and most students do prefer to have their own. However, you can borrow a laptop from the university or use one of our shared computer rooms.

Printing

You will receive £5 print credit in each year of your course, available after enrolment.

Field trips

All essential field trips and associated travel costs will be included in your course fees.

Access to Microsoft Office 365

Every student at the University can download a free copy of Microsoft Office 365 to use whilst at university and for 18 months after graduation.

Key Software

You will be able to download SPSS and Nvivo to your home computer to support with your studies and research.

Key subscriptions

Subscriptions to key journals and websites are available through our library.

Free access to Rosetta Stone

All students can sign up to the online learning language platform for free through the Graduate+ scheme.

Free Adobe Creative Cloud licence

Students studying on this course can request a free licence to install the entire suite of applications on up to two personal devices, including access to Photoshop, Premier Pro and After Effects.

LinkedIn Learning

Free access to LinkedIn Learning, which offers over 5,000 in-depth and bite-sized courses.

Project materials (mandatory)

This course includes project work that requires you to develop and produce a portfolio or collection. You'll be expected to provide the materials for use in your individual major projects; costs will vary depending on the materials selected.

Specialist equipment (mandatory)

This course requires the purchase of specialist equipment, including a high-capacity portable hard drive, headphones, SD card reader and small torch. 

Excess printing (optional)

Once you have spent your £5 credit, additional printing on campus costs from 5p per sheet.

Books (optional)

Some modules may suggest that you purchase a key textbook. All module key texts will be in the University library, but in limited numbers. Many students choose to purchase a copy.

Placement expenses (optional)

If you choose to undertake a placement, you'll need to budget for accommodation and any travel costs you may incur whilst living or working away from home.

Accommodation and living costs

The cost of accommodation and other living costs are not included within your course fees. More information on the cost of accommodation can be found in our accommodation pages.

Guidance for UK students

UK 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

  1. Register with UCAS
  2. Login to UCAS and complete your details
  3. Select your course and write a personal statement
  4. Get a reference
  5. Pay your application fee and submit your application

Guidance for International students

There are three ways to apply:

1) Direct to the University

You will need to complete our International Application Form and Equal Opportunities Form, and submit them 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.

Personal statement

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

The personal statement 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.

Worried about Personal Statements?

If you've got no idea where to start or just want to check you're on the right track, we’ve got expert advice and real examples from our students to help you nail your personal statement. You can even download our ultimate personal statement guide for free.

Get personal statement advice

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

Course in Depth

Year One

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits):

This module will develop understanding of key digital film production processes. You will be introduced to the tools of production, including sound recording equipment and video cameras. Through the application of a ‘flipped’ curriculum you will be encouraged to become an independent learner with an approach to production work that will be ‘hands on’ from the start. This creative and technical module is designed to provide you with the knowledge and skills to follow a path of further study in practical filmmaking.

This module will develop your skills, knowledge and experience of key techniques within visual design industry – more specifically the art and craft of visual communication, visual design and digital asset creation.

This module will develop your understanding of audio visual acquisition technologies for digital film production. The module addresses how images and audio are captured using sound and video recording equipment in a film production environment. You will understand the physical properties of sound and light and how these impact on the technology and use of film capture equipment.

A great deal of film production takes place in dedicated studios or sound stages. This generally involves large teams of people working in departments within a specified hierarchy. This module introduces you to production in a controlled environment, covering both the studio equipment and working practices within a studio. You will gain practical experience through which you can familiarise yourself with the specific roles that different crew members play in the production process.

This module will introduce you to the technology, techniques and practical considerations involved in sound production for film and other visual media. The aim of the module is to familiarise you with the variety of possible procedures undertaken in the incorporation of sound with visuals to create a unified audio-visual experience.

This module will develop your understanding of audio visual technologies in production. The aim of this module is to provide you with the knowledge and appreciation of fundamental principles and practices of audio visual technology.

Year Two

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits):

With your crew working as an independent production team, this module seeks to develop your existing skills and further prepare you for the world of professional production. It provides an opportunity to collaborate in a negotiated screen project that will typically be (though not confined to) a single-camera drama or documentary. Designed to give you a real-world experience, you will be adopting industry-standard practices to complete your work and will be guided by industry practitioners. However the suitability of the project - and your involvement in it - is key. This will be determined by a proposal-review-approval system, where the production team (or ‘company’) will seek development advice from a team of Executive Producers in order to plan, produce and exhibit a moving image production.

This module investigates the process of screenwriting and provides opportunity for you to explore this process in preparation for your final year production. Furthermore, it contributes to development of the wider key skills required for employment, through in-class activities, assessments and background research.

The program on which this module is delivered combine the study and usage of audio visual technologies and content management systems utilized in the creation of a range of content which can be delivered to a variety of platforms. As the Film and Television industries have moved to filebased workflows, new roles and practices have come into existence to manage data in reliable and consistent ways, and ensure the safe replication, storage and migration of the ‘digital negative’. This vital link between production and post is currently filled by increasingly skilled and knowledgeable crew members, for whom the title Digital Image Technician has been officially recognised.

The module is an opportunity to learn and critically reflect on the skills of collaboration by enabling you to create an interdisciplinary project with students from complementary disciplines, or with academic staff. Collaboration is a vital employability skill within the Creative Industries and this module allows you to develop these skills, making use of University facilities and with the support of academic staff.

This module focuses on the post production element of filmmaking. Specifically areas concerning editing techniques, compositing, audio finishing, colour correction and grading to aid narrative. You will learn both the technical skills of audio and video editing as well as the grammar and structure that belong to the art in order to become better storytellers.

This module will explore the fundamental concepts involved in conducting technical engineering research. It will explore the international standards and theories underpinning engineering testing and analysis. From this module you will gain knowledge to distinguish and appraise technology and understand current technical limitations, thus underpinning studies for your final year technology project and enhancing your routes into technical employment.

Year Three

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits):

Acting as an independent production team, this module seeks to develop these skills and further prepare you for the world of work. It provides opportunity to collaborate in a negotiated screen project that can range from a single-camera drama production, through to a small-scale film festival. However, the suitability of the project is key. This will be determined by a proposal-review-approval system, where the production ‘company’ will seek advice and development from an executive team in order to plan, organise and produce an artefact.

The purpose of the module is to enable you to undertake a sustained, in-depth and research informed project exploring an area that is of personal interest to you. In agreement with your supervisor, you will decide upon your topic which will take the form of a practical outcome (artefact) with accompanying contextual material. The main consideration when choosing your topic is that it must be aligned to the programme you are studying, and you should consider the relevance of this topic to your future academic or professional development.

At this level, you will be expected to work independently but you will receive additional one-to-one support from your supervisor, who will be familiar with your chosen topic area. As you progress on the module, extra support will be available and this may take the form of group seminars, workshops and online materials that will help to develop your project. 

The aim of this module is to transfer and and develop your existing skills into a Virtual Production workflow. Virtual Production is an approach that uses real-time tracking and game engines to perform post-production in real-time during the production phase and has been used in many feature films including The Lion King, The Mandalorian, Avatar, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Guardians of the Galaxy, War of the Planet of the Apes and Game of Thrones, as well as numerous high-end television shows. Virtual Production is frequently referred to as the future of a certain type of filmmaking.

As you prepare to graduate and apply for work in your chosen field within the screen industries the importance of a strong Portfolio and/or Show Reel cannot be overstated. You will engage with a selection of live industry briefs to create work that meets the client's specifications and from which sections of the finished productions can be used to augment the portfolio you will have been developing since Year One. Each week a professional from the industries with which your course is aligned (or one closely adjacent) will give a guest lecture / presentation detailing a particular sector - or role within a sector - for your consideration as a possible professional future. There will also be the potential for micro-placements following successful graduation.

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Employability

Enhancing employability skills

Engaging with industry and gaining work experience during your studies is essential if you are going to be taken seriously in the job market. Getting work experience in film production can be challenging, so we encourage you to be agile and help you engage with a board range of opportunities available.

The University is eager to students who have made the effort to gain industry experience and stand out from the typical graduate, and thus it offers for you to get extra awards and recognition for your work

You have the option undertake an assessed sandwich year between your second and third year, which will provide you with valuable work experience and give you the real-life skills you need.

The second-year Collaborative Practice and final-year Production Project modules have been designed so that you can use your work in as a basis for the module’s assessment.

The university has a Graduate+ programme, an extracurricular awards framework that is designed to augment the subject-based skills that you’ve developed throughout the programme with broader employability attributes, which will enhance your employability options upon graduating.

Placements

There a range of opportunities for to gain industry experience, examples of activities our student have done include:

  • Working as a runner on one of our commercial productions 
  • Working crewing agencies
  • Working part-time for a production company
  • Doing a placement year between the second and third year of the course
  • Submitting work to crowdsourcing competitions and film festivals
  • Collaborating with other students and local on productions
  • Setting up a YouTube channel
  • Working directly clients
  • Organising and running events.

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

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.

International

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! 

Facilities & Staff

Our Facilities

As a student in the School of Computing and Digital Technology, you will have access to our labs, software, professional sound studios, computer games labs and industry-standard facilities to develop your practical skills in audio, video and multimedia application development, content creation and more.

We are currently undertaking a £340 million investment programme in our facilities, including a major expansion of our City Centre Campus. This includes our brand new £70 million development, STEAMhouse, which will be the new home to Computing and Digital Technology students. This state-of-the-art centre will give you access to outstanding facilities and equipment, as well as opportunities to collaborate with businesses across multiple sectors and work on real industry-based projects.

Our facilities in Millennium Point have undergone a £6.5million investment with a new maker area, engineering labs/equipment and IT equipment.

Thanks to our partnerships with Cisco, Microsoft, Oracle, Juniper, SAS and LPI you will have access to the latest technology and facilities that reflect advanced professional practice. Our students also have access to software such as the Adobe Suite including Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator.

Computer Labs

System Labs

Our embedded systems laboratories are used to develop real-time systems, such as specialist hardware training and development resources, and industrial-standard software development and simulation tools. These include:

  • Schematic capture and printed circuit board (PCB) design software – ORCAD
  • Analogue and digital circuit design and simulation software – PSpice
  • Graphical microcontroller software – Matrix Multimedia Flowcode
  • Microcontroller development board – PIC Microchip
  • E-block microcontroller training kit
  • FPGA & CPLD development board
  • Robotics design and development
Software Development and Computer Programming

There are a number of open access, software development and computer programming laboratories that can be used to develop systems and programmes, including:

  • Software development environments for modern programming languages - Visual Studio
  • Computing programming languages – Python, C#, ASP.NET, PHP, Unity
  • Operating systems – Linux, Windows and macOS
  • Database management systems – MySQL
  • Neural network simulators
  • Computer architecture simulators – RISC
  • Application development software – iPhone, Android Studio
  • Integrated development environments – Netbeans / FPGA /CPLD
  • JAVA programming – BlueJ.
Network Labs

Our industry standard kit can be accessed by students who are at home or anywhere on the globe – remote access – 24/7 (NETACAD)

The laboratories are well-equipped for all our computer networking courses, as well as specialist areas for practical work such as: Voice-over internet protocol (VoIP), Security technologies, Forensic and ethical hacking technologies, wireless and mobile technologies, Internet of Things (IoT), Cybersecurity and software Defined Networking including NFV.

Forensics Room 

Our successful development of forensic computing has led to a specialist forensics laboratory that is fully equipped with essential hardware and software for this sensitive area of study.

Industry standard forensic hardware and software is available for analysis of PC’s and mobile phones.

Some of the features of the lab includes: fingerprint readers and recognition software development kits, facial recognition cameras and software development kits and more.

Games Lab

Our state-of-the-art computer games lab is home to a PS4 Development Kit and has Xbox One Console Development ability. We have a Nintendo Switch Development Kit in procurement and HTC Vive, Oculus CV1 and VR development facility.

The Games Lab is a key feature during our Games Jam and society events. All students can join our computer games societies and use our facilities if interested in gaming.

Digital Technology Facilities

We operate well-resourced high-spec computer labs which are fully equipped with up-to-date, industry standard software for the design and development of advanced multimedia applications.

Our facilities include: Sophisticated graphics software packages for image manipulation and editing; these provide a full range of drawing, editing and image composition tools. Web animation and Rich Internet Application development tools. 3D software for Rendering, Modelling, Games and Animation, and design and graphics software including Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign.

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

Sound Studios in Millennium Point

The Orchard

The Orchard is a 40-seat mac lab designed to support teaching of audio and mac-specific software. The lab features a recording booth as well as high quality audio monitors and video projector.

Sound Studios

Our studio facilities feature mixing consoles by manufacturers such as SSL and Audix, monitoring by PMC and Genelec, and a host of software and outboard hardware effects commonly found in high-end commercial recording studios. As well as acoustically designed spaces to record and mix, we have a dedicated mastering suite featuring the acclaimed PMC IB1S monitors.

In the live rooms you will find a useful range of stock instruments including drums and cymbals, guitars, basses, a tuned piano and a range of instrument amplifiers.

Mix Rooms

Our mix rooms are smaller rooms, useful for one or two students to work on projects that do not require the space afforded by our larger studio facilities. These include a Foley studio for recording of footsteps and other sound effects that are added to media. We also have a room where live desks can be set up, allowing students to explore workflows outside of a gig setup.

Microphones

We pride ourselves on an extensive microphone collection that any commercial studio would be proud of. From the classic Neumann U87, Royer 121 or Coles 4038 to staples like the AKG C414 or C451, you will find a very usable range of sounds to explore.

Live Sound Equipment

Students have access to an extensive set of live sound equipment with mixing consoles by Midas, Digidesign and Yamaha and a range of PA systems including a D&B Audiotechnik line array. Backed up with an excellent set of microphones chosen for their success in the live environment, and other production equipment such as lighting, the gear is used in a variety of destinations around the university or offsite at gigs and festivals.

The Royal Birmingham Conservatoire

Royal Birmingham Conservatoire’s £57 million teaching and performance facility is the first of its kind in the digital age and is the perfect fusion of traditional and contemporary.

Featuring 9,000 sq m of purpose designed teaching, rehearsal and state of the art performance space, it offers unrivalled opportunities for our students. The audio and video digital infrastructure is designed to enhance and support live performance and to allow students to experiment with new technologies.

Read more about the Conservatoire of the Future

Curzon Street Studios

Curzon Street Studios has a number of world-class TV studios suitable for shooting commercials, films and video productions, both big and small.

Studio B boasts the largest fixed green screen in the UK, with a three wall infinity cove. The studio has been used for filming TV commercials, TV promos, music videos, web presentations and the live-streaming of online entertainment shows. Studio B offers pre-rigged lighting for green screen as well as access to the lighting rig with a hoist controller at ground floor level.

Black cyclorama and matting are also available to create a black studio. The green studio also houses our MILO motion control rig which is the most used motion control rig in the world, the Milo’s versatility, portability and high accuracy makes it the ideal choice for live action shooting and table top work.

Curzon Street Studios boasts six digital radio studios. All studios have been acoustically designed to provide ideal recording environments for both live and pre-recorded audio production and are fully soundproofed.

Our post production system has been designed to enable content to be produced, managed and distributed digitally. We offer a custom built central technical area that allows seamless interaction between all our studios and edit suites.

Learn more about what Curzon Street Studios has to offer

Makers Space

The Level 4 Makers Space is a bright communal space in Millennium Point in which students find support in building their electronic projects (i.e. Raspberry Pi or Arduino boards based).

The Makers Space is equipped with a laser cutter, 3D printers, and a variety of electronic components like motion, proximity, humidity sensors, and many more.

This space is widely used by students, including first year students who use the space to help build their gadget ready to be presented at Innovation Fest. Experienced technicians are on hand to provide support. The support extends to all other levels including Final Year, Ph.D., and KTP projects.

Student have access to high spec laptops with the latest media software for all their module needs, making the level 4 Makers Space the ideal area for the development of their project. Computer enthusiasts will enjoy our mini collection of vintage Apple computers.


Computing and Digital Technology facilities

Our staff

Stephen Gordon

Course Leader

After graduating from Birmingham Polytechnic, Stephen worked as a freelance journalist and scriptwriter for corporate video production. Since joining BCU in 2006, he has designed and delivered modules across a range of Undergraduate and Postgraduate courses, and currently teaches all but one of the practical production modules on the Digital Film...

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Lianne Forbes

Senior Lecturer and Course Leader in Visual Effects

Lianne has 14 years of high-end VFX film industry experience. Her focus is on forging strong links between the University and industry. She plans to develop student awareness of industry practices and produce more opportunities for them to engage with industry professionals. Her VFX career has spanned over 5 countries, working with award-winning...

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Michael Bickerton

Lecturer

Michael has been producing and teaching film for over twenty years. He has international production experience and has taught on prestige courses (such as the UK Film Council’s Introduction to Screenwriting). He is a member of BECTU, GTC, and is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

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Jay Patel

Senior Lecturer

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.

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