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BA Film, Television and Digital Production course units


Media Arts course units

The Bachelor of Arts in Film, Television and Digital Production has a modular structure, which means you take 12 course units across your degree - four a year. Some units are compulsory while others are elective giving you versatility and choice.

All units are assessed upon completion. The final degree classification is determined on your performance in eight units in Years 2 and 3. You must pass your first year units in order to progress to Year 2. You'll be assessed by a combination of written papers, extended essays, assessed course work and a portfolio of practical work.

This degree uses a range of teaching methods including lectures, seminars, tutorials and workshops. Work placements are also encouraged as part of the programme. In your first year you'll be provided with a comprehensive grounding in the practical and theoretical areas, laying the foundations for more advanced study in your second and third years.

What you'll learn

Our BA in Film, Television and Digital Production approaches the study of media, from a perspective which is based on understanding, critically evaluating, acquiring and using an audio-visual language. You'll explore and examine the nature and role of the modern communications media, learning to relate specific content to relevant forms, in the process of translating factual and symbolic material into audio-visual communication. The degree is designed to provide an equal 50/50 split between Media Theory and Media Practice.

Media Theory

This is concerned with critical approaches to film and television. A broad range of options in Years 2 and 3 will allow you to specialise in a particular area of Film and Television Studies. In in Year 3 to undertake a dissertation.

Media Practice

This is concerned with the acquisition of the necessary skills and abilities to create and produce media texts, such as screenplays, short films or video installations.

All of these strands are inter-related. The Syllabus provides an overview of the main strands and gives some indications of the range and diversity offered by the course unit structure.


MA1051 Film and Television History (compulsory) - This will introduce you to film and television history spanning the past 100 years from the advent of cinema to modern technologies.

MA1052  Introduction to Critical Theory and Textual Analysis (compulsory) - You’ll cover Theories of Ideology,  Television, National Cinemas, Gender and Psychoanalysis as well as Film and Analysis on this two-term course. 



MA1007 Media Practice (compulsory) - You'll cover the acquisition and use of an audio-visual language, the provision of technical expertise and examine the relationship of specific contents to relevant technical forms. You'll also participate in a multi-camera studio-based dramatic exercise.



MA2051 Women's Cinema - You’ll be introduced to women’s cinema, what it is, and the importance of gender politics to an understanding of film. The focus is on films from the 1980’s until the modern day.

MA2052 Documentary -  Each week, you’ll examine a single film whose construction highlights a particular issue and will discuss it in conjunction with a selected written text. This course examines the ideas that both audiences and filmmakers use to discuss documentaries. 

MA2054 Psychoanalysis and Cinema - This course outlines key Freudian concepts and uses these to analyse individual films. You'll study films such as Citizen Kane (1941, Orson Welles) and Rebecca (1940, Alfred Hitchcock).

MA2055 Inter-war Modern European Cinema - On this course, you'll be  introduced to the most important movements of European film history between 1914 and 1939 including Soviet Montage and Surrealism.

MA2057  Film Theory: Hitchcock & Point of View - The central concern of this course is point of view in narrative films, using Alfred Hitchcock films as case studies.

MA2059 European Modernism and Avant-Garde Film - On this course you’ll be introduced to the neglected field of Avant-Garde film making and its development in Europe during the 1920s and 1930s.

MA2061 Hollywood Star Performances - You can study acting and performance in popular cinema, including that of stars in Hollywood films, on this course.

MA2064 TV Genre - This course introduces you to theories of genre in television, such as sitcoms, soap operas and news, as well as different approaches that have been used to study genre in television.

MA2065  Modern European Cinema - You’ll explore the development of modern cinema in post-war Europe, with a focus on major directors such as Jean-Luc Godard and Andrei Tarkosvy.

MA2066 Post Classical Hollywood - This course gives you the opportunity to study the American commercial film industry since 1945, with emphasis on the change in mode of production after the collapse of the studio system in the 1950s.

MA 2072 Cultures of Celebrity - On this course, you’ll acquire an historic, psychodynamic and sociological understanding of the production and consumption of celebrity through mass media.

MA2076 Contemporary Chinese Cinema - You’ll be introduced to the history, formal complexities and cultural politics of the contemporary cinemas of mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

MA2077 Beyond BollywoodThis course provides a critical overview of the history, aesthetics and cultural politics of cinema in India, which produces the highest number of films in the world. You’ll focus on the Hindi cinema of Bombay (Mumbai) known as Bollywood.


MA2003 Directing Screen Fiction - This unit is concerned with developing practical skills associated with Screen Drama Production. You'll also develop location production practices.

MA2004 Screen Documentary - You'll develop practical skills linked to Screen Documentary Production on this course.

MA2005 Screen Writing - On this course you'll develop screen-writing skills as it provides the underlying concepts and principles of this art form, while giving you a chance to put them into practice.

MA2006 Producing Film and TV - This course is concerned with introducing you to the basic concepts of the Producer's role, the elements involved in production and how a Producer contributes to the creative process.

MA2012 Moving Pictures - In Moving Pictures, you'll learn how to interpret stories and translate them into images, in a multidisciplinary course embracing art and technology.

MA2013 Transmedia - Transmedia is the process of using multiple media to tell more complex, immersive stories that take full advantage of an increasing range of digital, creative tools. This course is a broad introduction to this concept and will help you create a personal, unique portfolio.

MA2020 Contemporary Media Art - This course will give you a basic understanding of the processes and techniques employed in the creation of contemporary art, with an emphasis on digital technology. You'll work in a group to create your own piece of contemporary art either in the video studio, digitally or a combination of both.

MA2022 Creative Sound Design - You'll learn how to use the proprietary sound design software and then apply these skills creatively in project-based work.



MA3054 Modern European Cinema - In the first term of this course, you’ll look at East and West German cinema from 1945 until the present day covering the rubble films of the 1940s, East Germany’s anti-fascist films and reunification comedies. During the second term, you’ll examine the response of radical French and French-language film makers to the political and social transformations in France.

MA3056 Avenues & Alleyways - On this course, you’ll study how the city is represented in silent films, how cities are built in films, how urban desires, fears and phobias are presented in films between 1945 and 1980 and fantasy cities.

MA3058 TV Fiction - This course focuses on forms of television fiction over the 50 year span of surviving material. Programmes from both the UK and US will be studied, including Dynasty, NYPD Blue and Footballers’ Wives.

MA3059 Self-Representation - You’ll explore the conception and representation of self-identity in filmic media (including video) since the invention of the camera.

MA3061 Dissertation (compulsory)  - The course will start with a five-week lecture course introducing you to more advanced research methodologies and consolidating the theoretical approaches already learnt throughout your degree.  You’ll then be expected to write an 8,000 to 10,000 word dissertation, with guidance from a supervisor.

MA3062 Research Project (compulsory)  - You’ll have a five-week introduction about compiling a research project. You’re assessed by a 500 word proposal (5 per cent), a Critical Study of 5,000-6,000 words (85 per cent) and an Evaluation of 1,000 words (10 per cent).

MA3064 Television Histories - On this course, you’ll take a historical approach to the analysis of television programmes. It asks how and why television has changed historically and introduced various ways in which television’s history has been written.

MA3065 Film Aesthetics - This is a course for the advanced study of film, film interpretation and evaluation as well as the philosophical and theoretical issues that relate to these issues. Questions, such as can films be works of art? and how do we apply ideas about individual creation to a mass art form? will be answered. 

MA3069 Material Procedures: Mediating British Modernism 1914 - 1945

MA3071 Contemporary British Cinema - This course critically examines key issues and themes in contemporary British cinema, including its relationship with Hollywood, representations of the past, costume drama and representations of class, gender and race, to name just a few.

MA3073 Critical Problems in Modernisms and Modernity - This course examines ideas of time and space and new media  (film and radio) in high modernism. 

MA3074 Cinephilia (from 1915 to the present) - Cinephilia is the name given to a particular kind of love for cinema, notably that of the Cahiers du Cinèma critics in the 1950s and 1960s – many of whom would go on to become the major filmmakers of the French New Wave.

MA3075 Melodrama

MA3076 Transnational Cinemas: Issues and Identities


MA3003 Directing Screen Fiction - On this course, you'll work at the head of a small production team who will develop, shoot and produce a short film project. All aspects of the director's processes will be addressed through practical workshops, lectures and individual and group tutorials.

MA3004 Screen Documentary - You'll be able to produce your own extended screen documentary project. It can be an individual or group project.

MA3005 Screen Writing - This course gives you the opportunity to specialise in screen-writing. The assessment is submission of a screen play.

MA3006 Producing Film and TV - The main concern of this course is with developing practical and conceptual skills associated with producing and researching programmes.

MA3012 Moving Pictures - Third year Moving Pictures works on refining the interpretative art of cinematogrophy and story telling. You finish the course with two more short films for your portfolio.

MA3013 Transmedia - On this course, you'll focus on moving image production for integrated multi- platform distribution with a range of coursework options designed to encourage you to develop specialist skills in your preferred production roles.

MA3020 Contemporary Media Art - You'll have the opportunity to produce contemporary art works that are experimental in nature, while gaining knowledge about the processes and techniques employed in producing contemporary art works.

MA3022 Creative Sound Design - This course expands on the practical skills and techniques of sound design learnt during your second year.



Pre-term reading list

John Berger Ways of Seeing (Penguin, 1990)

Pam Cook and Mike Bernink The Cinema Book (BFI, 1999)

*John Gibbs Mise-En-Scẻne: Film Style and Interpretation (Wallflower Press, 2001)

Jostein Gripsrud Understanding Media Culture (Hodder Arnold, 2002)

Eric Hobsbawn Age of Extremes: The Short Twentieth Century 1914-1991 (Abacus, 1995)

Sidney Lumet Making Movies (Bloombury, 1996)

David Mamet On Directing Film (Faber and Faber, 1992)

Walter Murch In the Blink of an Eye – A Perspective of Film Editing (Silman James Press, 1995)

*A.L Rees A History of Experimental Film and Video (BFI, 1999)

Deborah Thomas Reading Hollywood(Wallflower Press, 2001)

Lynne Truss Eats, Shoots and Leaves(Profile Books, 2004)

Mike Wayne Theorising Video Practice(Lawrence and Wishart, 1997)

Items marked with an asterisk will be essential reading during the first year of your degree.

Please also try to watch as many films as possible before starting your degree. Try to watch one silent film, one black and white film, one European film and one film from outside Europe and North America.


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