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96 points required

Clearing 2021

There are places available on this course for 2021.

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Film and Screenwriting - BA (Hons)

September 2021 — UCAS code P3W8

This cutting edge new BA (Hons) Film and Screenwriting degree course will develop your skills across key film studies and screenwriting debates and conventions. You will be taught by noted film scholars and established practitioners, who will provide their knowledge of international film and screenwriting perspectives....

96points required

Calculate UCAS points

Clearing 2021

There are places available on this course.

Two ways to apply now

Call us 0121 331 6777

Clearing hotline opens Tuesday 10 August

Studying with us in 2021/22

It is possible that the 2021/22 academic year may be affected by the ongoing disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.  Information about the arrangements the University has put in place for the 2021/22 academic year in response to Covid-19 and the emerging variants can be found here.


Should the impact of Covid-19 continue in subsequent years of your course, any additional and/or alternative arrangements put in place by the University in response will be in accordance with the latest government public health advice, pandemic-related/health and safety legislation, and the terms and conditions of the student contract.

  • Level Undergraduate
  • Study mode Full Time
  • Location City Centre
  • School School of Games, Film and Animation
  • Faculty Faculty of Arts, Design and Media

Clearing 2021

96 points
(or equivalent) is the minimum you will need to be considered for this course in Clearing.
Use the UCAS Tariff Calculator to work out your points.

Apply nowCall the hotline

0121 331 6777

See hotline opening hours.

Please note: the entry requirements listed below are relevant for main cycle applications and may not be applicable during Clearing.

Overview

This cutting edge new BA (Hons) Film and Screenwriting degree course will develop your skills across key film studies and screenwriting debates and conventions. You will be taught by noted film scholars and established practitioners, who will provide their knowledge of international film and screenwriting perspectives.

The course is part of Birmingham City University’s Film Futures suite, designed to develop graduates with the theory, practice and industry trends that will enable them to succeed in a rapidly changing film environment.

This course is open to International students.

What's covered in this course?

The course considers a wide range of script to screen traditions from theory, practice and industry perspectives. 

Not only will you gain an understanding of Hollywood cinema conventions (from silent cinema to modern blockbuster spectaculars), but you will apply these storytelling techniques to a variety of production scenarios. As well as looking at American film and screenwriting genres (such as rom-com, thriller, science fiction and horror case-studies), you will also be introduced to other international traditions of cinema that range from European cinema, documentary to smartphone filmmaking and beyond.

A key focus of the course will be on the aesthetic and creative aspects of film and screenwriting, with consideration being given to techniques of storytelling, narratology and screen adaptation. You will have ample opportunity to collaborate with Filmmaking and Film Studies students on the production of short film projects, while modules on film festival programming and film entrepreneurship provide core skills relevant to the film industry.

How you will learn

You will be taught in a range of lectures, seminars, writing workshops and production sessions, while regular film screenings help you contextualise cinema traditions against your own script creations. 

Your formal studies will be enriched by the possibility to work on a range of external events, such as the Cine-Excess International Film Festival. This annual event attracts visiting international filmmakers, as well as hosting UK theatrical premieres on a regular basis. Having previously operated in London’s West End and Brighton, Cine-Excess has now relocated to BCU to operate as a central resource for the course.

Why Choose Us?

  • The course combines theory, practice and industry approaches to film and screenwriting, alongside training in both documentary film techniques and film festival programming.
  • You will be taught by noted film professors, cinema scholars and established screenwriters. Staff on the programme work together to ensure that you receive a balanced understanding of theory, practice and industry skilling relevant to the field.
  • You will be taught at the city centre campus, home to an impressive range of media resources, studios and edit suites.
  • You will have the opportunity to work on established film festivals that are associated with the BA. These include the annual Cine-Excess International Film Festival, which features visiting international filmmakers, UK theatrical premieres and industry mentoring sessions.
  • You will also have the opportunity to work on film projects completed as part of the Cine-Excess festival. One recent production completed by BCU students and staff was the award winning documentary Tax Shelter Terrors (2017).
  • You will have access to film collections that will enrich your course of studies. These include the Cult Film Archive, a collection of 4,000+ resources (including films, screenplays and promotional materials) that have been donated directly from leading filmmakers and distribution companies in the field.
  • We have a partnership with BFI, which offers students free access to the BFI player and research, work placement and masterclass opportunities.

Similar Courses

Entry Requirements

96 points
(or equivalent) is the minimum you will need to be considered for this course in Clearing.
Use the UCAS Tariff Calculator to work out your points.

Apply nowCall the hotline

0121 331 6777

See hotline opening hours.

Alternative options

If you do not have 96 points, you may like to look at our:

Or explore your options if you don’t have enough points for any of our courses.

Please note: the entry requirements listed below are relevant for main cycle applications and may not be applicable during Clearing.

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

Essential Requirements

112 UCAS points

LEVEL 2 QUALIFICATIONS
GCSE
  • GCSE English Language at grade C/4 or above
  • 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 National 5
  • English Language at grade C or above
  • Must have been achieved at the point of enrolment
IELTS

Minimum overall score of 6.0, with 6.0 in writing and no less than 5.5 in the remaining three skills.

Plus one of the following Level 3 (and above) Qualifications
A Level and Advanced VCE
  • BBC / 112 UCAS points
  • General Studies and Critical Thinking subject excluded
  • A maximum of 4 subjects are considered. These can be other A/S Levels (as long in a different subject) A-Levels or Level 3 equivalents.
AS and AS VCE
  • General Studies and Critical Thinking subject excluded
  • Considered with a maximum of 3 other Level 3 qualifications (AS Levels must be in different subject to A-Levels) to obtain 112 pts
Access to HE Diploma
  • Pass with 60 credits overall. At least 45 credits at Level 3 with 18 credits at merit or distinction
  • Arts, Media and Publishing subjects preferred but other subjects also considered.
  • Pearson BTEC National Extended Diploma (2016 – present)
  • Pearson BTEC Extended Diploma (QCF) (2010 - 2016)
  • BTEC Level 3 National Diploma (2002 – 2010)
DMM
Foundation Studies (Art and Design, and Art, Design & Media)
  • Distinction
  • Considered with a maximum of 3 other Level 3 qualifications to obtain 112 pts
IBO Certificate in Higher Level
  • Students who do not complete the IB Diploma will be considered on the basis of their IB Certificates if they obtain a total of 14 points or above from three Higher Level Subjects
  • Considered with other acceptable level 3 qualifications to meet 112 UCAS Tariff Points
  • 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 Diploma will be accepted
International Baccalaureate Diploma
  • Obtain a minimum of 28 points overall
  • 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 Diploma will be accepted
Irish Leaving Certificate (Highers) Pass the Irish Leaving Certificate with a minimum of 112 tariff points, achieved in five Higher level subjects. This must include English Language taken at either Ordinary Level (minimum grade O1-O4 (or A-C/A1-C3)) or Higher level minimum grade H1/H7 (or A-D / A1-D3 up to and including 2016
OCR Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma DMM
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).
T-Levels Merit overall
UAL Extended Diploma in Art & Design Merit overall
UAL Extended Diploma in Creative Media Production & Technology Merit overall
UAL Extended Diploma in Performing and Production Arts Merit overall
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 addition 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 Requirements
IELTS

Minimum overall score of 6.0, with 6.0 in writing and no less than 5.5 in the remaining three skills.

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).

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

  • International students

Award: BA (Hons)

Starting: Sep 2021

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees

Award: BA (Hons)

Starting: Sep 2021

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 3 years
  • £13,200 per year

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.

£150 free credit (home/EU students only)

For 2021 entry, all new home/EU undergraduate students will receive £150 worth of free credit to spend in a host of ways, on books and a range of learning materials.

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.

Excess printing (optional)

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

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.

Places available to start in September 2021

If you'd like to start this course full-time this September, you can apply through Clearing.


Apply nowCall the hotline

0121 331 6777

See hotline opening hours.

International and part-time students can apply online as normal using the links above.

Want to start in September 2022?

You can apply via UCAS from September 2021.

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.

Get more information on writing personal statements.

*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 you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits):

Screenwriting for Film Genres is aimed at emerging screenwriters. The course will focus on the popular, commercial end of the film industry market, paying particular attention to audiences and the demands and expectations of the marketplace.

This module provides an introductory course in film narrative and the principles of storytelling. The emphasis is on developing an understanding of narrative cinema. To do this the module will engage with theoretical models of storytelling and examples from narrative cinema.

This module looks beyond Hollywood and America to examine notable film movements from across the globe that influenced cinema on a worldwide scale and left an enduring legacy, continuing to shape contemporary filmmaking. The aim is to develop your appreciation of films rich cultural and social heritage, and the social drivers and rebellious characteristics of the filmmakers leading the charge. You will examine the social, political and artistic drivers behind key works, and the mastery and innovation that they display in pushing the boundaries of visual storytelling at their time of creation.

In this module you will explore the development of the film and television documentary by critically investigating the medium through a range of lectures, readings and screenings, and applying this to produce your own short documentary. We will consider different genres of documentary, such as direct cinema, mockumentary, investigative, ethnographic, docu-soap, experimental, docu-drama, reconstruction and the music documentary, as well as some of the contemporary issues facing documentary film makers. We will engage with a variety of academic debates that relate to the documentary, which include realism, representation, ethics and ideology, and the social, political, economic and technological contexts in which documentary can be critically located.

Year two

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 80 credits):

This module introduces students to the creative and critical processes involved in translating narrative from one medium to another. It gives students the opportunity to apply their knowledge of dramatic theory and form through practical work, simultaneously encouraging the development of imaginative screenwriting skills in different genres. Through historical and genre-based case studies, it provides an introduction to ideological and formal questions in the study of adaptation.

This module looks at what it takes to create, manage and draw audiences to a film festival or screening event. The aim is to develop your appreciation of the complexities of event management from establishing goals and selection through to the logistics of programming, managing budgets and executing a marketing campaign to draw audiences.

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. Within this module framework, several kinds of collaborative opportunities are available. For example, with the approval of your supervisor, you can determine a project based on your own interests; your supervisor may set you a predetermined project to enable you to work with other students in a way that is appropriate to your subject area; or there may be opportunities for you to collaborate with staff on research projects. In all cases, you must apply your subject skills to an interdisciplinary project which will be agreed in advance with your supervisor.

In order to complete this course you must successfully complete at least 40 credits from the following indicative list of OPTIONAL modules.

This module will provide students with an overview of the cultural relevancy of 1970s cinema. Initially exploring the context of the decade and the fragmented nature of film narratives at the time the module will discuss the emergence and demise of ‘American New Wave/New Hollywood’ but also explore further the style, substance and aesthetics of the varying sub-genres of the time as well as the cultural and creative impact they had on both cinematic presentation and other aspects of the media industry.

This module offers an introduction to some of the ongoing academic debates on media fandom and subcultures. This is a broad-ranging topic, and as such in this module it will be primarily be considered from an audience and reception perspective, including your own. You will have opportunities to interrogate your own fan and/or subcultural identity in class and your own participation in fandoms and subcultures will form a part of class discussion and analysis.

The module introduces you to the key debates related to the discipline of the ‘superhero’ film, which has emerged over the last decade to become a dominating factor in all elements of film and media theory.

This module serves to give you a strong foundation in the art of screenwriting. Through detailed examination of screenplays and through writing your own, you will gain an understanding of the structural principles behind the particular skill of writing for the screen. The module aims to provide you with the conceptual tools to examine critically your own creative practice, provide an insight into the work of the professional screenwriter, and introduce you to structural storytelling paradigms. You will critically analyse extracts from film and TV, and you will learn how to present and pitch your own film project to encourage your understanding of the market for film scripts.

Core modules are guaranteed to run. Optional modules will vary from year to year and the published list is indicative only.

Year three

In order to complete this course you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 80 credits):

This module critically evaluates horror narratives in their cultural, historical and generic contexts across both visual and audio traditions, and asks you to analyse how debates in this area impact on creative and production practices in the field.

The purpose of the module is to enable you to undertake a sustained, in-depth and theoretically informed research project exploring an area that is of personal interest to you. It is important that we can support you appropriately, so you will be guided towards choosing a research topic which is relevant to your discipline and in which your lecturers have expertise. The outcome may take the form of a written dissertation or a practice-based portfolio.

In order to complete this course you must successfully complete at least 40 credits from the following indicative list of OPTIONAL modules.

This module builds on previous film textual analytical skills and theoretical studies undertaken at previous levels of the course and applies them to the critical, historical and theoretical study of Bollywood cinema (aka popular Hindi cinema) and related cultural industries. This is an option module for all students with an academic interest in the analytical and theoretical field of reading films closely, and will prepare students who wish to develop expertise and knowledge in areas that focus on historical and contemporary issues of culture, diaspora and globalization.

The module introduces you to the key debates related to the study of global cinema traditions, which have emerged over the last twenty years as a distinct aspect of critical interest within film and media theory.

This module builds on the work you have been producing at previous levels of your course by encouraging you to develop innovative and entrepreneurial solutions to recognise professional challenges. It will explore the concept of enterprise in relation to film, exploring what it is like to work as a freelance worker in the contemporary film business. Through a range of teaching approaches, which include interactive lectures, field trips, and guest speakers, you will investigate the techniques, processes and practices of innovation and enterprise.

This module provides an opportunity to engage with and consider films that explore the perspectives and experiences of minority groups in western societies. The module will consider the intersectional barriers faced by those attempting to work within the film industry (both historically and in the current context) as well as the ways in which technology has democratized the form. The core consideration of this module will be who has been excluded from mainstream cinema, or had their work overlooked, and how in the current context this can be addressed. Further to this we will also focus on experimental film and video work and how non-mainstream contexts may provide an alternative place for film practitioners to explore their ideas.

In Writing Short Films, we build on the fundamentals of screenwriting and direct them towards writing the kind of short film scripts that you can produce yourself and might serve as your industry break in. You will also collaborate and make a short film for your assessment, either as a group project or individually. The ethos of the module is to serve as a crash course in screenwriting, film production, smartphone filmmaking and editing.

Core modules are guaranteed to run. Optional modules will vary from year to year and the published list is indicative only.

During the first year of the BA (Hons) Film and Screenwriting course, you will be introduced to core debates across film and storytelling techniques through modules such as Film and the Principles of Storytelling. This unit presumes no prior knowledge of either film studies or screenwriting techniques, and your introductory skilling in these areas will be further expanded through the Screenwriting for Film Genres module, which considers script to screen traditions across a range of Hollywood film formats. Further modules such as The Language of Film allow you to identify key film styles and techniques on screen, while Documentary: Theory and Practice offers you the opportunity to create your own short films based on documentary techniques in the field.

As well as being able to undertake a range of optional modules around topics such as Foundations of Screenwriting, Screen Fandoms and Cinema of the Seventies, this second year of study also provides a dedicated module on Festival programming, which outlines the key industry skills associated with the staging of cinema events.

During the final third year of study, your knowledge of film and screenwriting techniques will focus on both specific film genres and national cinema traditions. A module on Horror Narratives considers literary and cinematic versions of the fantastic, while optional modules on Global Cinema Narratives and Reclaiming the Frame consider issues of film genre within global contexts. In addition to these national considerations, an optional module on Film Entrepreneurship allows you to assess key business practices that are relevant to the current cinema industry. As the culmination of your final year of study you will also undertake the Major Project module, which allows you to produce a feature film screenplay or carry out an independent study of an aspect of cinema theory, film practice or an industry convention that has interested you as a result of your studies on the BA (Hons) Film and Screenwriting course.

Classroom projects

During your studies there will be practice-based opportunities to engage with a regional film festival such as Cine-Excess, an annual international film festival and conference on global cult film cultures. You will also be able to access film collections such as the Cult Film Archive during the course of your studies.

Further study

For successful graduates there is a natural progression from the BA (Hons) Film and Screenwriting to the MA Film Distribution and Marketing, focused on nurturing entrepreneurial producers and distributors, or the MA and MSc Future Media focused on exploiting digital media and marketing opportunities through emerging technologies and advertising agency techniques.

Alternatively, Birmingham School of Media at Birmingham City University offers a wide range of MA courses, allowing you to specialise in such areas as Multiplatform and Mobile Journalism, Data Journalism, PR, Event, Festival and Exhibition Management and Media and Cultural Studies.

Details can be found on the postgraduate section of the website.

Employability

The BA (Hons) Film and Screenwriting course is located within the School of Games, Film and Animation, which has an excellent track record for graduate employment. Within the School, the majority of graduates going into media-related roles. The course builds upon the School’s employability driven reputation, by opening avenues for students interested in potential careers in screenwriting, film journalism, communications, marketing & PR, advertising and teaching film/media studies.

As well as gaining course-specific skills, you could also gain broader tools through our Graduate+ programme, which will help enhance your employment options by helping with careers development, employability activities, volunteering and part-time work experience.

Allied with this course-specific experience, you will also have access to a range of support staff and services from the University’s Careers Service, who can help with:

  • Reviewing CVs, covering letters and application forms
  • Career planning and decision making
  • Preparing for interviews and assessment centres
  • Developing portfolios
  • Networking with employers
  • Advice about self-employment and entrepreneurship

Placements

During your second year, you will have the opportunity to work as part of a mixed discipline team to respond to a brief, as part of an in-house placement element of the course.

In addition to this, there are regional opportunities for visiting and volunteering at film festivals, such as Cine-Excess, and Flatpack, and for networking with producers and distributors who function as guest speakers at such events.

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 Students

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

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

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

The UK remains one of the world's leading study destinations

The UK remains one of the world's leading study destinations for international students.

The first-class experience offered by universities are reflected in the world’s largest survey of international students. International students are more likely to recommend the UK than any other leading English-language study destination.

Facilities and Staff

Parkside and Curzon Buildings
NTI-facilities-2
NTI-facilities-3

Our School of Games, Film and Animation is based in the Curzon Building, a £63 million development, located on our City Centre campus.

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

Our staff

Andy Conway

Course Director Film Studies

Andy is a screenwriter and novelist with 30 years’ experience of the writing industry. He has worked as a screenwriter on many films, both produced and lost in development hell, for over 20 years, and ran the Shooting People Screenwriters’ Network for ten years. He also co-founded the West Midlands Screenwriters’ Forum, and the independent publishing collective, New Street Authors.

More about Andy