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Film and Screenwriting with a Foundation Year - BA (Hons)

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

Do you have a passion for writing, creating and filmmaking? This Film and Screenwriting with a Foundation Year course will provide you with the skills and knowledge to start your career in the creative film industry....

  • Level Foundation
  • Study mode Full Time
  • Location City Centre
  • Award BA (Hons)
  • Start date September 2025
  • School Birmingham School of Media
  • Faculty Faculty of Arts, Design and Media

This course is:

Open to International Students

Overview

Do you have a passion for writing, creating and filmmaking? This Film and Screenwriting with a Foundation Year course will provide you with the skills and knowledge to start your career in the creative film industry. You’ll explore fundamental skills such as academic and screenwriting writing, researching, collaborative practice and producing media to prepare you to start the first year of the BA (Hons) degree.

About the Foundation Year

The Foundation Year course option enables you to study for our BA (Hons) degree over an extended full-time duration of four years by including a Foundation Certificate (year one of four). The Foundation Certificate provides a broad study programme that underpins the follow-on degree. To progress to the next year of your degree, it is necessary to achieve a pass in all of the modules of the Foundation Certificate.

This course is open to International students.

What's covered in this course?

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

You will gain an understanding of cinema and television conventions and screenwriting genres (such as romcom, thriller, science fiction and horror case studies You will also be introduced to other international traditions that range from European cinema and television to smartphone filmmaking and beyond.

Focusing on the aesthetic and creative aspects of film and television screenwriting, you will consider storytelling techniques, narratology and screen adaptation.

Modules such as Film Primer and Film Entrepreneurship provide core skills relevant to the film industry. You will have opportunities to work on established film festivals that are associated with the course and have access to film collections that will enrich your course of studies.

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.

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. Booking isn't open yet for this event, register your interest and we’ll email you as soon as booking goes live.

Next Open Day: 28 September 2024

Register interest

Entry Requirements

These entry requirements apply for entry in 2025/26.

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. Learn more about 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 2025

  • 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 2025

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees

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.

Personal stationery and study materials (optional)

For this course it would be useful to have an SD card, an external hard drive and some headphones. 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 you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits):

Year one

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

Year two

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

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

Year three

In order to complete this course you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 80 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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As part of your Foundation Year you will be studying alongside Media, Journalism, Music Industries and PR students and you will be taught by staff from these disciplines.

Film as a subject requires skills from (and a critical awareness of) a wide range of media forms. By interacting with staff from different disciplines and working on projects across a wide variety of media, you will have the opportunity to develop a broader skillset going into your degree- ultimately making you a valuable team member for filmmaking and screenwriting projects, or a more informed film critic.

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.

The Birmingham School of Media also has an established and inclusive research culture that promotes dialogue and collaboration between staff and students. The Birmingham Centre for Media and Cultural Research (BCMCR) in the School of Media welcomes visiting researchers from across the world and holds regular research seminars which mix presentations from staff, PG students and speakers from a range of our collaborative partnerships. BCMCR welcomes all students to research seminars, which are free to attend.

Employability

The BA (Hons) Film and Screenwriting course is located within the Birmingham School of Media, 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.

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

When you join Birmingham City University, the first thing you will notice is the high standard of our campuses.

With an investment of over £400 million across our buildings and facilities, we are committed to giving you the very best learning environment to help shape your experience.

State-of-the-art facilities

You will learn in our state-of-the-art facilities - including the £62m fully-digital Media Centre - located on the City Centre Campus. You will enjoy access to extensive studio and workshop space including four TV studios, six radio studios and broadcast-standard edit suites, as well as cutting-edge equipment and software.

Facilities include the largest TV floor of any university in the UK, a ‘green screen’ and a BOLT JR+ high-speed camera robot.

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

Ross Hawkes

Ross leads the journalism pathway. He was previously a sports writer, sub-editor, page designer, news reporter, web editor, features writer and editor, before leading Trinity Mirror's digital programme in the Midlands. He also founded and currently runs award-winning hyperlocal website, LichfieldLive, which has been used an example of...

More about Ross

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