Our BA Film Business and Promotion degree is a unique two-year, fast-track programme that prepares you for the business realities of film distribution and consumption in today’s rapidly evolving global film marketplace.
This course is part of Birmingham City University’s Film Futures suite, designed with industry to reflect the growing need for entrepreneurial, business-savvy film graduates for roles within the film industry around film distribution, marketing, financing and sales.
Reflecting the international nature of the film industry the course will take a worldwide perspective from the outset, looking at the international marketplace, differing international audience trends and how the industry works globally, domestically in the US, and independently in the UK.
How you will learn
Film specific modules will provide you with a thorough grounding in theory, research practices and the current and emerging industry landscape - You will view the film business from the perspectives of key professionals in the sector, looking at film industry structure, how money flows and films are financed, to the challenge of bringing desirable film products to market and engaging audiences.
You will participate in lectures, seminars, workshops and film screenings requiring you to interact with your peers, tutors and industry. Practitioners and professional academics with proven experience will teach you.
Your passion for film will be nurtured, as you are encouraged to view and interact with a diverse array of film titles encouraging appreciation of film history, culture, the scope of the international market and trends in consumer tastes and viewing habits.
Along the way, you’ll build a tangible ‘portfolio of practice’ showcasing your work and proving your professionalism. Assignments reflect real-world practices and are designed to develop the critical and strategic thinking skills necessary to exploit opportunity in the sector.
In addition to studying your specialism you’ll be working in collaboration with your peers, who’ve chosen to specialise in fast-track degrees around the digital marketing, digital art, and video games industries. You’ll work together with expert professionals and tutors on shared projects to develop, make and deliver tangible media solutions to live briefs.
Meet or beat our entry requirements and you could be eligible for an achievement scholarship worth £1,000.
*Terms and Conditions apply - some undergraduate courses are not eligible for this scheme. The £1,000 scholarship is made up of an £850 scholarship and £150 free credit to spend in an online shop.
Visit our School site for more student work and extra information.
We accept a range of qualifications, the most popular of which are detailed below.
|Typical Offers (UK students)|
At the point of application, you must have GCSE at Grade 4 (C) or above in English Language and Mathematics. Equivalent qualifications and/or experience will be accepted.
Plus, you must have achieved or be completing one of the following:
|GCE A Level/ AS Level||BBB at A Level, excluding General Studies and Critical Thinking (120 points)|
|Access to Higher Education Diploma||Pass overall with 60 credits, 45 at Level 3 and 15 at Level 2, including merit or higher in 20 credits at Level 3. Information, Communication Technology and Business subjects preferred but other subjects also considered.|
|BTEC National Diploma (12-units not including early years)||D*D* combined with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 120 UCAS points|
|BTEC Extended Diploma (18-units not including early years)||
DDM (120 points)
|BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/ National Award (6-units not including early years)||Combined with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 120 UCAS points|
|BTEC Diploma in Foundation Studies in Art and Design||Distinction|
|International Baccalaureate Diploma||
Obtain a minimum of 30 points overall. Students who do not complete the IB Diploma will be considered on the basis of their IB Certificates if they achieve a total of 15 points or above from three Higher Level subjects alongside other acceptable level 3 qualifications to meet 120 UCAS Tariff Points
|Irish Leaving Certificate||Pass the Irish Leaving Certificate with a minimum of 120 tariff points, achieved in four Higher level subjects|
|Scottish Higher/ Advanced Higher||Achieve a minimum of 120 tariff points achieved from either five Highers or a combination of two Highers offered with two Advanced Highers.|
|Welsh Baccalaureate (core plus options)||Pass plus grades BB at A-Level (or equivalent qualifications) combined with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 120 UCAS points|
|If you have a qualification that is not listed in the table please refer to our full entry requirements on UCAS.
Further guidance on tariff points can be found on the UCAS website.
In addition to qualifications applicants will also need a good portfolio.
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|
6.5 (no less than 6.0 in any bands) or equivalent.
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).|
International students who cannot meet the direct entry requirements can begin their degree studies at Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC).
Applications from mature students (21+) with alternative qualifications and/or considerable work experience will be considered on their merits.
From A/AS Level with a minimum of 2 A Levels
Award: BA (Hons)
Starting: Sep 2020
Award: BA (Hons)
Starting: Sep 2020
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. The University reserves the right to increase fees in line with inflation based on the Retail Prices Index or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament up to a maximum of five per cent.
UK and EU students applying for most undergraduate degree courses in the UK will need to apply through UCAS.
The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) is a UK organisation responsible for managing applications to university and college.
There are three ways to apply:
Our in-country representatives can help you make your application and apply for a visa. They can also offer advice on travel, living in the UK and studying abroad.
If you are applying for an undergraduate degree or a Higher National Diploma (HND), you can apply through the UK’s Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).
You can request a printed form from your school or nearest British Council office. You will be charged for applying through UCAS. Birmingham City University’s UCAS code is B25 BCITY.
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:
Why does this course appeal? What areas are of particular interest?
If you have a specific career in mind, say how your chosen course will help you pursue this goal.
Mention any work that is relevant to your subject, highlighting the skills and experience gained.
Highlight skills gained at school/college, eg summer schools or mentoring activities.
eg Duke of Edinburgh Award, Young Enterprise scheme.
You should also mention your future plans – if you’re planning to take a year out, don't forget to give your reasons. Talk about any subjects you’re studying that don’t have a formal assessment and any sponsorships or placements you’ve applied for. And don't be scared to add in details about your social, sports or leisure interests.
Get more information on writing personal statements.
*Non-EU students are not required to submit a personal statement when applying for this course.
There are no compulsory additional costs or charges associated with studying on this course. While you may choose to purchase personal copies of text books, all our key text books are available from our library or online (subject to normal library loan and online access arrangements). Courses within the School of Games, Film and Animation aim to connect students with industry locally, nationally and globally, in alignment with student aspirations. Opportunities to engage with industry in an alternative location are always promoted but are never compulsory so students can make a decision based around their individual responsibilities, lifestyle and finances.
Based on the past experience of our students, you might find it helpful to set aside about £50 for each year of your studies for stationery and study materials. All our students are provided with 100 free pages of printing each year to a maximum total value of £15.
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.
We offer further information on possible undergraduate financial support. This includes the type of loans, grants and scholarships available both from the government and from Birmingham City University.
You will have a laptop for the duration of the course pre-loaded with all relevant software required to complete assignments.
In order to complete this course you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 160 credits):
Film Industry Primer
This module reviews today’s global film marketplace, examining the scale, scope and structure of this multi-billion dollar industry. The aim is to help you navigate the current and emerging landscape for film, in a rapidly evolving industry, developing your appreciation of key players, the impact of the global market on the value chain and sustainability of the sector in consideration of social, cultural, economic and political influences.
Film Advertising and Audiences
The film business is a risky business - a look at any year’s box office flops will show how frequently a movie fails to draw an audience, recoup, let alone make money. This module focuses on the importance of understanding, targeting and engaging with film audiences, as a critical means of mitigating risk and maximising the potential for profit.
Language of Film
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.
Film Distribution: Planning Strategy
This module examines the challenges of film distribution and the importance of developing practical research, and creative and strategic thinking skills in order to successfully take a film to market. The aim is to help you navigate and evaluate current and emerging film distribution practices, appreciate the influence of film form, target audiences and marketable potential on devising strategy and develop your understanding of marketing principles and digital communications channels for tactical campaign deployment.
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. You will be tasked with completing a project over a short development / production period. This project may be set either by an academic or course industry-partner.
In order to complete this course you must successfully complete at least 20 credits from the following list of OPTIONAL modules:
Interactive Entertainment, Development and Implementation (optional)
The module is an opportunity to learn about the nature of interaction within game products and experience the challenge and thrill of developing a fun, gaming experience.
Narrative Entertainment Script and Production (optional)
The module is an opportunity to learn about the nature of storytelling, audience engagement and the variety of methods and tools a writer or communicators has at their disposal to engage, inform, excite and elicit emotional response from the audience.
Core modules are guaranteed to run. Optional modules will vary from year to year and the published list is indicative only.
In order to complete this course you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 180 credits):
This module will examine the role film festivals play in garnering critical acclaim, enabling audience access and acting as a trade hub for film, playing a part in the financing, distribution and marketing of independent titles. The aim is to unpack the culture of film festivals from the lavish, major international affairs through to grassroots events. You will examine the drivers, objectives and investment that underpins them and their strategic importance for relationship building, launching and generating PR for film.
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.
Film Business Landscape
This module looks at the film business landscape at a company level, examining structures, market share, and money flow in the film value chain. The aim is to help you navigate the complexities of film and rights ownership, understand common partnerships and appreciate the ever evolving power-shift between players as technology advances and opportunities emerge for innovation in financing, distribution, and viewing.
Film and Entertainment Finance
This module examines the intricacies of film and entertainment finance at product level, unpacking how films are made and how they raise their finance. The aim is to help you understand sources of finance, how finance and recoupment plans are put together and what it takes to attract investors to a project; the typical challenges faced by a producer.
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.
During the first year, you will study four taught modules over semesters one and two, and two project modules over semester three, which takes place over the summer.
Teaching methods may include practical sessions, lectures and group debates, featuring input from both University staff and guest lecturers from industry, providing you with a wide range of practical knowledge and insight.
These modules are collaborative and you will be working with students from different disciplines such as marketing, programming, design, production and business.
During your second year, there will be a further four taught modules, with more opportunities to learn from guest lecturers.
In addition you will undertake one project module in which you will work on a self-defined Final Major Project. In this, you will choose to write a dissertation or produce a practiced-based portfolio of work that is employment-led. Support during this module is tutorial-based.
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, and Flatpack, a Birmingham-wide experimental film festival celebrating cinematic and audio-visual invention. At the beginning of every module you will be given a project brief. Throughout the module you will then have taught sessions to help you fulfil the brief, followed by tutorials to monitor your progress and give you guidance and feedback.
For successful graduates there is a natural progression from the BA Film Business and Promotion 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. Students taking this option can gain an undergraduate and postgraduate degree within 3 years.
Alternatively, Birmingham School of Media at Birmingham City University offers a wide range of MA courses, allowing you to specialise in such areas as online journalism, social media, photography, public relations, television or event management.
Details can be found on the postgraduate section of the website.
Courses within the School of Games, Film and Animation are built upon workplace simulation and industry-standard work, ensuring you behave less like a student and more like a professional, gaining the workplace experience and attributes you need. The aim is to produce confident, work-ready graduates.
Complimenting your discipline-specific modules and industry-style briefs, you will also participate in studio modules which challenge you to respond to a live business challenge, through practical application, as part of a mixed discipline team. Your professional skills are developed as you work to deliver a solution, on target, in response to a project brief defined with one of our industry partners.
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.
Leading up to and upon graduation
At the end of your studies you’ll complete a final major project. This project may lead you to working directly with a client depending on individual aspirations. This direct contact will give you the experience, confidence and freedom to put into action all you’ve learned on your studies. 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:
During the summer term of your first 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 at guest speaker or wider regional events.
OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.
It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.
Through our courses we give you the skills and experience needed to get a head start when applying for jobs. But we offer something extra too – Graduate+.
Our unique programme gives you the chance to develop valuable skills outside of the more formal classroom learning. We award points for Graduate+ activities (including firewalking!) and these can be put towards a final Graduate+ award.
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 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.
International students who have a serious interest in studying with us but who perhaps cannot meet the direct entry requirements, academic or English, or who have been out of education for some time, can enter Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC) and begin their degree studies.
BCUIC is part of the global Navitas Group, an internationally recognised education provider, and the partnership allows students to access the University’s facilities and services and move seamlessly through to achieving a Bachelor’s degree from Birmingham City University.
Our 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.
Course Director Rebecca Tullener has a background producing digital/interactive media products from commercial video through to web development, with an emphasis on content development, project management and marketing.
Lecturer Alan McQueen is a UK independent film sector veteran, having decades of experience working across many facets of the film business from sales and distribution through to writing and production.
Xavier Mendik is Associate Professor in Film at Birmingham City University, from where he runs the Cine-Excess International Film Festival (www.cine-excess.co.uk). He has written extensively on cult film traditions, and some of his books (as author/editor/co-editor) include: Bodies of Desire and Bodies in Distress: The Golden Age of Italian Cult Cinema (2015), Peep Shows: Cult Film and the Cine-Erotic (2012), 100 Cult Films ([with Ernest Mathijs], 2011), The Cult Film Reader ([with Ernest Mathijs],2008), Alternative Europe: Eurotrash and Exploitation Cinema Since 1945 (2004), Shocking Cinema of the Seventies (2002), Underground USA: Filmmaking Beyond the Hollywood Canon (2002), Dario Argento’s Tenebrae (2000) and Unruly Pleasures: The Cult Film and its Critics (2000).
Beyond his theoretical work in this area, Xavier Mendik has also completed 5 funded documentaries that explore the social importance of a range of cult film traditions. Xavier Mendik is currently completing the feature length documentary That’s La Morte: Italian Cult Film and the Years of Lead, which draws on research outlined in this current paper.