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Digital Film Production - BSc (Hons)

Currently viewing course to start in 2024/25 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 Games, Film and Animation
  • Faculty Faculty of Arts, Design and Media

This course is:

Available with Professional Placement year

Open to International Students

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.


BA (Hons) Filmmaking and BSc (Hons) Digital Film Production students took part in a shoot for the documentary feature 'Somewhere in La Mancha' in studio B on the 9th and 10th of November. Utilising the new motion control rig, The Bolt, students helped capture key scenes for the documentary which explores how The Birmingham Royal Ballet and Artistic Director, Carlos Acosta produced a new version of the classic ballet, Don Quixote through one of the most challenging times, during the Covid pandemic. 

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.

Professional Placement Year

This course offers an optional professional placement year. This allows you to spend a whole year with an employer, following successful completion of your second year, 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.

If you choose to pursue a placement year, you will need to find a suitable placement to complement your chosen area of study. You will be able to draw on the University’s extensive network of local, regional, and national employers, and the support of our Careers teams. If you are able to secure a placement, you can request to be transferred to the 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.

Accredited By

This course is accredited by:

  • Athena Swan Bronze Award
  • ARRI Certified Film School accreditation

Luke Stretton

Luke always wanted to go into post-production and knew a degree would help him get there. The breadth of knowledge BCU gave him has led to him working multiple roles at Visual Effects company Bigtooth Studios, where he has worked on everything from Black Mirror to adverts for Coca Cola and Sky Sports.

Read in full

Why Choose Us?

  • We’re ranked 1st in the UK for Film Production and Photography (Guardian League Table 2024).
  • 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
  • Opportunities to enhance your industry awareness - get involved with our Curzon Street Studios team in a wide range of production and film projects, including working on gigs and commercials for professional football clubs and high-profile industry giants such as Sony, Disney and Microsoft.
  • 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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Entry Requirements

These entry requirements apply for entry in 2024/25.

All required qualifications/grades must have been achieved and evidenced at the earliest opportunity after accepting an offer to help confirm admission and allow for on-time enrolment. This can also include other requirements, like a fee status form and relevant documents. Applicants can track their application and outstanding information requests through their BCU mySRS account.

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

Essential Requirements

112 UCAS tariff points from A/AS Level

Please note: If you qualify for our BCU Accelerate scheme, you could receive an offer that is two grades below our normal entry requirements. Find out more about BCU Accelerate.

Level 2 qualifications
GCSE GCSE English Language or English Literature and GCSE Maths at grade C/4 or above. If you do not have these or are not undertaking them, we accept other Level 2 equivalents, or we may ask you to pass BCU's GCSE equivalency tests.
Irish Leaving Certificate (Ordinary Level) See level 3 entry under Irish Leaving Certificate for full details.
Scottish National 5 English Language or English Literature and Maths at grade C or above. If you do not have these or are not undertaking them, we accept other Level 2 equivalents, or we may ask you to pass BCU's GCSE equivalency tests.
Plus one of the following Level 3 (and above) qualifications
A level and Advanced VCE
  • BBC / 112 UCAS Tariff Points
  • A maximum of 3 subjects are considered. These can be other A-levels or level 3 equivalents.

T Level 

  • 112 UCAS points (Merit overall)

Accepted subjects:


  • Digital Production, Design and Development (Pearson)
  • Digital Support Services (NCFE)
  • Digital Business Services (NCFE)
  • Media, Broadcast and Production (NCFE)
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.
  • Pearson BTEC National Extended Diploma
    (2016 – present)
  • Pearson BTEC Extended Diploma (QCF)
    (2010 - 2016)
  • BTEC Level 3 National Diploma
    (2002 – 2010)
  • DMM / 112 UCAS Tariff Points
  • Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Diploma
    (2016 – present)
  • Pearson BTEC Diploma (QCF)
    (2010 – 2016)
  • BTEC Level 3 National Certificate
    (2002 – 2010)
  • 112 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)

  • 112 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)

  • 112 UCAS points

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

Scottish Higher

  • Achieve a minimum of 112 tariff points achieved in either five Highers or from a combination of two Advanced Highers plus two Highers. Where only Highers have been taken a minimum of grades BBCCC is required.
  • Where a combination of Highers and Advanced Highers have been taken you must achieve grades of CD in two Advanced Highers plus grades of CC in two Highers.

Scottish Advanced Higher

  • Achieve a minimum of 112 tariff points achieved in either three Advanced Highers or from a combination of two Advanced Highers plus two Highers. Where three Advanced Highers have been taken achieve a minimum of grades CCD.
  • Where a combination of Highers and Advanced Highers have been taken you must achieve (grades of CD in two Advanced Highers plus grades of CC in two Highers).

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

  • 112 UCAS points

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

  • 112 UCAS points

International Baccalaureate Diploma

  • Obtain a minimum of 28 points overall

  • 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.

Irish Leaving Certificate (Highers)

  • Pass the Irish Leaving Certificate with a minimum of 112 tariff points, achieved in four Higher level subjects. This must include Maths and English Language taken at either Ordinary level (minimum grade O1-O4 (or A-C/A1-C3) or Higher level (minimum grade H5/D1).
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).

Mature Applicants

Applications from mature students (21+) with alternative qualifications and/or considerable work experience will be considered on their merits.

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 (capped at 5%) or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament. View fees for continuing students.

Award: BSc (Hons)

Starting: Sep 2024

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees

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 (capped at 5%) or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament. View fees for continuing students.

Award: BSc (Hons)

Starting: Sep 2024

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 3 years
  • £16,085 in 2024/25

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 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.

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):

Year Two

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

Professional Placement Year (Optional)

In order to qualify for the award of BSc (Hons) Digital Film Production with Professional Placement Year a student must successfully complete all of the final year modules listed as well as the following module.

Final Year

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

Download course specification

Download now
Athena Swan Bronze Award
Athena Swan Bronze Award

We have successfully secured the Athena SWAN Departmental Bronze Award recognising a commitment to gender equality.

The Athena Swan Charter is a framework which is used across the globe to support and transform gender equality within higher education (HE) and research.

ARRI Certified Film School accreditation
ARRI Certified Film School

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. 

Employability

Enhancing employability skills

Engaging with industry and gaining work experience during your studies is essential if you intend to have a competitive edge when you start to apply for work after graduation. Getting work experience in film, television and the wider screen industries can be challenging, so we encourage you to take advantage of all the opportunities which may become available.

The University is eager to recognise students who have made the effort to gain this experience and stand out from the typical graduate using the following examples:

You have the option undertake an assessed Industrial Placement of 36 weeks between your second and third year, which will provide you with valuable work experience and give you the professionals skills and knowledge that will enhance your degree studies.

The second-year Collaborative Practice and final-year Production Project modules have been designed so that you can use your practical production work as a basis for the assessments in each case.

The University encourages you to enrol in its Graduate+ scheme: an extracurricular awards framework that is designed to augment the course-specific skills that you will develop throughout your degree studies with broader attributes which will enhance your employability upon graduating.

Employability

There are a range of additional opportunities for to gain industry contacts, experience and showcasing including:

  • Working as a paid crew member on one of our commercial productions
  • Working as a (usually unless for a Charity) paid crew member on the work of external production companies
  • Submitting work to International Film Festivals
  • Collaborating with other students to create work outside of that created for assessment
  • Setting up a YouTube channel

Where our students go

Our students have gone on to work on productions including:

Film
  • The Batman
  • Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore
  • Mission Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One
  • Napoleon
  • No Time To Die
TV
  • The Lazarus Project
  • Help
  • Poldark
  • Victoria
  • Slow Horses

And in roles such as:

  • 1st AD
  • 1st AC
  • 2nd AC
  • Camera Operator
  • Steadicam Operator
  • Boom Operator
  • Sound Trainee
  • Camera Trainee
  • Location Marshall

Graduate jobs

Graduates have gone on to work for companies such as the BBC, ITV, and Red Planet Pictures and work on productions for Working Title, Studio Canal, RDF Television, Objective Productions, Channel 4, Sky, and Buffalo Pictures. Students from this course have also gone study at the National Film and Television School.

The skills and knowledge you'll gain throughout the course will allow you to tackle various jobs in the film, television, and wider screen industries. You'll be experienced with industry-standard kit from Canon, ARRI, Sony, Samyang, KinoFlo, Aputure, Dedo, Senheisser, Sound Devices, Flanders, and many more.

The career progression after graduating includes roles in the Production, Postproduction, Sound, Camera, and Lighting and Grip departments. Roles within these departments include First Assistant Director, Second Assistant Director, Production Assistant, Production Manager, Assistant Editor, Editor, Camera Operator, First Assistant Camera, Second Assistant Camera, Director of Photography, Lighting Camera, Gaffer, Electrician, Production Sound Mixer and others.

You may also choose to explore non-production roles in kit rental and maintenance, crewing agencies, or exhibition, distribution and marketing among others. Throughout your course the team will help you to nurture your own creative flair and career interests, and guide you on your journey to becoming a working professional.

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. 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

Digital Film Production is based at our £62 million Parkside Building, part of our expanding City Centre Campus.

Our cutting-edge facilities include four TV studios, including one of the largest green screen studios in the UK with a three wall infinity cove – a perfect studio for Chroma key video production. The studio is often used by production companies and businesses, such as Sony and BBC, to film TV commercials, music videos and live-stream online entertainment shows. This also provides students with opportunities to support and assist with large-scale productions on campus through our Curzon Street Studios.

Studio A

At over 2000sq ft and three stories high, Studio A’s TV floor is the largest of any University studio in the UK. Studio A could easily accommodate shows like ‘Deal or no Deal’, ‘Blue Peter’, ‘The One Show’, ‘Watchdog’ and ‘Newsnight’ to name but a few.

Studio B / Milo (TV)

Studio B is a green screen studio for recording material that will then have CGI (computer-generated imagery) added to form the final image. The studio has a motion control camera, ‘Milo’, which can reproduce the same programmed move repeatedly. This allows the CGI and the live image to be synced.

Like Studio A, Studio B is three storeys high. The height allows the heat from the lights to be removed so that the studio floor remains at a reasonable working temperature. All the excess heat generated in the Media Centre will be recycled into hot water for the Parkside Building.

Studio C’s Studio Floor (TV)

Studio C is 1900sq ft, and has a separate production and sound gallery on the same floor. Like all the studios, it is built as a box within a box (to enhance the acoustics for sound recording) and the lighting has been designed so that staff and students will not have to work at height to change the lighting design, this is done through the use of lights and bars which are moved across the grid by poles.

Post-Production Suites (TV)

Parkside has four fully professional standard edit suites, based on the industry-standard Avid editing system, which is used in almost all films and the majority of UK television. Though all of the suites can edit, two of the suites are specialised for Audio Finishing and Colour Grading.

Dubbing Suites (TV)

parkside dubbing suites

Parkside has full professional standard dubbing suites. Based on a multi-layered ProTools desk, the suites can dub both film and TV projects with up to 120 simultaneous sound sources. There is an ADR (Additional Dialogue Recording) booth and the ability to record Foley (additional live sound, like footsteps). If additional Foley activity is required, for example to cover a crowd scene, then one of the radio studios or TV studio floors can be used and the sound delivered to a dubbing suite through the technical integration system.

Our staff

Dr Michael Bickerton

Course Leader

Dr Michael Bickerton is Course Leader on the BSc (Hons) Digital Film Production course. Michael has been producing and teaching film for over twenty-five years. He has international production experience and has taught on prestigious courses (such as the UK Film Council’s 'Introduction to Screenwriting').

More about Michael

Lianne Forbes

Senior Lecturer and Course Leader in BSc 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.

More about Lianne

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.

More about Jay