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Media Production - BA (Hons)

Currently viewing course to start in 2024/25 Entry.

Launch your media career with our BA (Hons) Media Production degree. Our industry-focussed programme is designed to develop critically thinking, innovative content creators for television, radio, podcasting, online, social media as well as new and emerging platforms ensuring you have the skills and attitude needed to adapt and change in line with industry....

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

This course is:

Open to International Students

Overview

[00:00:07] Speaker 1 It's a really exciting time to study Media in Birmingham. Firstly, the BBC is coming to Birmingham in 2026 and here we have a multi-million pound campus right in the heart of this city. As a media student, you'll have access to all of these amazing facilities and your tutors will be able to teach you how to use them in line with industry best practices.

[00:00:31] Speaker 2 My favourite facility personally is Hires and Loans because I can just hire equipment, whatever camera I need, whatever lights I need. Literally everything that relates to media is there.

[00:00:43] Speaker 3 We have four professional studios campus. Spaces like these normally cost thousands of pounds a day to rent. So it's perfect that we have them right on our doorstep.

[00:00:52] Speaker 1 The campus is located right in the heart of Birmingham's Creative Quarter, which means that there are lots of opportunities for students to take up work in creative sectors after graduation.

[00:01:04] Speaker 3 You should definitely study Media because it offers you so much new opportunities to learn new skills. It's been perfect to have lecturers with industry experience as they give us the confidence and the knowledge we need to go into our careers. BCU gave me so much confidence, which I didn't have before.

[00:01:22] Speaker 2 I was a presenter. I also worked as a camera operator just to feel how it feels to be in that specific role. And what kind of responsibilities do you have on you.

[00:01:34] Speaker 1 Studying media at BCU is a really exciting prospect because you will be joining a really diverse and creative community with a support network of staff who are totally committed to ensuring that your learning needs are met at university.

Launch your media career with our BA (Hons) Media Production degree. Our industry-focussed programme is designed to develop critically thinking, innovative content creators for television, radio, podcasting, online, social media as well as new and emerging platforms ensuring you have the skills and attitude needed to adapt and change in line with industry.

Supported by an experienced team of award-winning tutors with industry and academic experience, students will learn technical and editorial approaches to enable them to tell compelling stories for a range of audiences across multiple platforms. We’ll help you to become ‘industry-ready’ as you learn from guest speakers and industry experts giving you the chance to make useful contacts and get a head start with work placements and other opportunities to gain professional skills.

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.

This course is open to International students.

What's covered in this course?

Through research-led teaching, you will create media content in our industry-standard television and radio studios, learning about all the important roles as you go. Working collaboratively, you will learn how to record audio and shoot and edit video, along with developing the technical and personal skills needed to operate our studios effectively. You will also learn how to develop and pitch your own ideas, a necessary skill in today’s competitive industry, whilst becoming aware of sustainability and ethical issues affecting the media landscape.

There will be opportunities to make traditional content such as magazine shows, documentaries, drama, adverts whilst also exploring new ideas in social media and experimental content. When you work in our enviable complex of six radio studios, you will be getting to grips with how to operate the studio, present a show, record interviews, create podcasts and use digital technology to edit and mix sound. As you progress through the course, you will put together music radio shows, short features and podcasts, with the option to run a live radio station at the University. This is a truly stimulating course, which will immerse you in the editorial and practical aspects of programme-making and content creation.

I’d definitely recommend coming here to Birmingham City University to study. Not only have you got these fantastic facilities, but you’ve also got lecturers and tutors that have been in the industry for many, many years and know exactly what they’re talking about. You also get hands-on time, which you don’t get everywhere, as well as time in the studios, which really got me where I am today.

Ben Stones, Producer, Station Sound, BBC Radio 1, 1Xtra, Radio 2, BBC 6 Music and BBC Asian Network

Why Choose Us?

  • Work on a live production from the very start! You’ll produce content in radio and television, reaching audiences across Birmingham.
  • Learn in our £62 million Parkside building, home to our industry standard television and radio studios.
  • Our broadcast-quality digital radio studios are supported by the latest audio production tools and are used by media companies who also work with our students as guest lecturers and on their joint projects.
  • You’ll be taught by award-winning academic staff who continue to work in industry, and have an accomplished track record in television and radio production.
  • You’ll have the opportunity to enhance your industry awareness by getting 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.
  • Top 15 for Communication and Media Studies graduate prospects (Complete University Guide 2024).

    Open Days

    Join us for an on-campus Open Day where you'll be able to meet us in person, hear from our trailblazing academics and explore our innovative £400m facilities.

    Next Open Day: 23 March 2024

    Book Now

    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.

    UK students
    Essential

    112 UCAS tariff points.

    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 requirements 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 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 Higher/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 or above in Digital Production, Design and Development or Media, Broadcast and Production
    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

    6.0 overall with no less than 5.5 in each band.

    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

    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: BA (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: BA (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.

    Media consumable items (mandatory)

    This course requires the use of consumables, including 2 SD cards (£20) and an external hard drive (£60).

    Excess printing (optional)

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

    Books (optional)

    All module key texts will be in the University library, but in limited numbers. You may 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.

    Field trips (optional)

    This course includes the option of additional trips that may enhance your experience, at extra cost.

    Production costs (optional)

    For some production work you may wish to hire venues, equipment or performers which will have associated professional fees.

    Personal stationery and study materials (optional)

    Based on the past experience of our students, you might find it helpful to set aside about £30 for each year of your studies for your personal stationery and study materials.

    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

    First Year

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

    Second Year

    In order to complete this course, you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 60 credits):

    In order to complete this course, you must successfully complete at 20 credits from the following indicative list of CORE Faculty modules.

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

    Professional Placement Year (optional)

    In order to qualify for the Professional Placement Year, you must successfully complete the following Level 5 module:

    Final Year

    In order to complete this course, you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 40 credits):

    In order to complete this course, you must successfully complete one module from the following list of CORE-OPTION modules (worth 40 credits)

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

    Download course specification

    Download now

    All staff at the School are established media professionals who bring with them a range of expertise. They are able to recognise and respond to the rapidly changing demands of the media, ensuring that the course remains relevant to the industry.

    The School maintains close contacts with a variety of media organisations including Global Radio, Sky, BBC, and visiting tutors and guest speakers regularly hold master class sessions to enhance and enrich students’ learning.

    Student work

    Our students produce a range of professional quality work in both television and radio, including dramas for festivals, documentaries, music and promotional videos.

    One successful video project involved time-lapse photography illustrating different aspects of Birmingham life. The resulting video presented Birmingham as a vibrant and exciting place to live and work.

    Yassmine Benalla produced a radio documentary that retraced her family’s Moroccan roots. She travelled to Casablanca and Marrakesh in an effort to discover what her life would have been like if she had been born in Morocco instead of the UK. As a fluent speaker of Arabic, Yassmine translated the stories of the young women she met and investigated the challenges they face. Yassmine received the Silver Award in the Best Student Documentary category of the New York Radio Festival in the 2016.

    “My documentary was initially something I’d made for coursework – but it turned out to be something that a lot of industry people were interested in. So it has definitely been encouraging and made me think about the possibilities of radio, and what I can do in the future. It’s confirmed things for me – and let me know that this is something I can really do.”

    Take a look at the showreel below for a glimpse of what some of our incredible students have created in their time at Birmingham School of Media, featuring the best in TV, journalism, radio and more. 


    Trips and visits

    We organise a number of trips, masterclass and workshops with inspirational professionals. For example last year we took a group of students to the Royal Television Society masterclasses in London, as well as taking students on educational trips elsewhere within the UK and abroad.

    Employability

    Enhancing employability skills

    The aim of our BA (Hons) Media Production course is to prepare you for a career in the fast-paced world of media and broadcasting. Thanks to our outstanding facilities and our reputation for producing work-ready, highly skilled graduates, our students are readily sought after.

    As well as your industry-specific skills, you will also develop a range of transferable skills, which will boost your employability, while your network of contacts – from work experience/placements, masterclasses and guest lectures – will be invaluable when you begin to look for employment after graduating.

    Placements

    You’ll undertake a two-week placement in your first year and a three-week placement in your second year. Although you’re expected to find the placements yourself, you’ll receive as much support as you need from staff, and you’ll also have opportunity to apply for one of the several placement schemes we operate with the BBC and Sky. We operate an electronic jobs noticeboard, which includes many opportunities, and there are frequent masterclasses from companies that offer placements.

    More about our placement opportunities

    Our Graduates

    Ella Stone Media Production graduate profile_employability tab

    Ella Stone, graduated in 2019
    Creative Producer at Global

    I’m in a team of eight who make the adverts for all Global owned radio stations across the nation - Capital FM, Radio X, Heart FM, Smooth Radio...the list goes on! My day will involve casting voices, contacting writers, editing music, directing and editing voices and eventually producing the adverts. Connections are a huge part of the industry, so I started early and did placements with Capital FM, Free Radio and Gem 106 while I was at university. They helped me gain contacts and experience in live, running radio stations and confirmed that it was the industry I wanted to be in.” 

    Find out more about Ella's role

    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:

    Facilities & Staff

    Our Facilities

    We are constantly investing in our estate and are currently in the process of spending £260 million on new learning facilities.

    Our cutting-edge facilities, including the largest University TV studio, are housed within a purpose-built Media Centre at The Parkside Building, part of our City Centre Campus.

    There are four TV studios within the Media Centre, including a large green screen studio, with Milo. Three of the studios are able to do live multi-camera production and all studios (TV and radio) can be interconnected. It’s taken 22km of wire to make that happen! The Media Centre is fully digital.

    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 A’s Gallery Suite #1

    Studio A’s Gallery Suite #1 (TV) is where production, lighting, camera control, graphics and Autocue are controlled. Sony Broadcast have supported us in the development of the Media Centre, meaning we have professional standard Sony monitors and three of their new full-HD digital vision mixing desks– some of the first examples in the UK.

    Studio A’s Gallery Suite #2

    Studio A’s Gallery Suite #2 (TV) is an audio gallery where the sound for the studios and the communication for interconnection are controlled. This gallery is also professional standard thanks to Studer audio and a multi-layered ProTools desk. The desk allows for the three audio galleries to be used as independent sound studios or dubbing theatres. Each desk can control up to 120 sound sources in six banks of 20 channels. The desk alone cost £50,000.

    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)

    The Media Centre 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. The Media Centre has a further 20 Avid machines in the post-production teaching suite on Level 0.

    Dubbing Suites (TV)

    parkside dubbing suites

    The Media Centre 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

    Vanessa Jackson

    Associate Professor

    Vanessa Jackson is a former BBC series producer and now an associate professor in the Institute of Media and English at Birmingham City University. She teaches television production to undergraduates as well as working on employability and enterprise activities.

    More about Vanessa

    Sam Coley

    Course Leader MA Media Production and Associate Professor (International)

    Sam Coley is an Associate Professor (International) for the Faculty of Arts, Design & Media at Birmingham City University. He is also Award Leader for the MA Media Production at Birmingham School of Media, where he teaches a range of undergraduate and postgraduate audio production modules.

    More about Sam

    Dave Harte

    Deputy Head of English and Media and Associate Professor in Journalism and Media Studies

    Dave Harte is Associate Professor in Journalism and Media Studies. He researches the emerging trend of local community ‘hyperlocal’ news websites and has published widely on the subject. Within the School of Media he leads on teaching and learning initiatives and teaches modules on Journalism Studies, Social Media, and Alternative and Community...

    More about Dave

    Dr Sarah Wood

    Head of English and Media

    Sarah Wood holds degrees from JMU, the University of Liverpool, and Birmingham City University, where she gained her PhD. Her research interests are in feminism and science fiction. She has an article on Octavia Butler forthcoming in FEMSPEC and is working on further studies of Butler as well as of Nalo Hopkinson and slave narrative.

    More about Sarah

    Neil Hollins

    Lecturer in Radio Production

    Neil began his radio career in the late 1980s at Birmingham commercial station BRMB (now Free Radio). Prior to his move to BCU in early 2013, Neil was the Station Manager at 107.5 Switch Radio, a community radio station in north east Birmingham where he co-ordinated a ten year programme of restricted licence broadcasts – ‘RSLs’ - and a variety of...

    More about Neil

    Hilary Weston Jones

    Lecturer in Professional and Academic Development

    Hilary specialises in embedding employability within modules across all years and supporting students with securing work placements. Having spent 24 years working as a Television Production Manager (BBC and Independents), Hilary teaches and mentors students within this area.

    More about Hilary