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Media Production with a Foundation Year - BA (Hons)

Currently viewing course to start in 2024/25 Entry. Switch to 2025/26 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 Foundation
  • 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

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. 

About foundation courses

This four-year programme has been specifically designed to allow students who do not initially meet the entry requirements for a three-year degree, to undertake additional level 3 study designed to ensure they are successful on their chosen degree programme.

After successful completion of your foundation year, you will have the flexibility to switch (should you wish to change direction) onto a several of related undergraduate media degree programmes.

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.
  • Gain invaluable insight, and contacts from your two (or more) industry placements.
  • You’ll have the opportunity to make media abroad on a specialised field trip, or choose to study with an overseas partner.
  • 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.

Similar Courses

Open Days

Join us for an on-campus Open Day where you'll be able to learn about this course in detail, chat to students, explore our campus and tour accommodation. In the week before the event, we’ll post you an event programme to plan your day and find your way.

Next Open Day: 29 June 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.

Essential requirements

80 UCAS tariff points

If you have a qualification that is not listed, please contact us.

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
  • 4 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.

Excess printing (optional)

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

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

You are not required to submit a portfolio for this course.

Course in Depth

Foundation Year

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

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 a student 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.  

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

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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. 

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 year one and a three-week placement in year two. 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

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. 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 (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.

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

Ellie Tomsett

Senior Lecturer

Dr Ellie Tomsett is a Senior Lecturer in media and film. Before teaching in Higher Education, Ellie worked in the UK film education sector. During this time she delivered training to teachers, youth workers and professional filmmakers across the country and organised filmmaking and theory activities for large organisations such as The BFI, The...

More about Ellie

Robin Kay

Lecturer

Robin is a Lecturer in Media and Communication with a New Media specialism. He has a background within the music industry having worked for several notable record labels and industry organisations including: Ministry of Sound Recordings, Defected Records, Sanctuary Records and PRS. He has extensive experience within education and teaches creative...

More about Robin

Dave Harte

Interim Head of English and Media

Dave Harte is Associate Professor in Journalism and Media Studies. His research is focused on local and community journalism, and he has published widely on these topics.

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

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