Teaching and learning in 2021/22

If government restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic are required during the 2021/22 academic year, we are planning to teach through a flexible combination of online and onsite learning, in order to prioritise the safety of students and staff. For more details on changes to this course, see our planned undergraduate course changes page or postgraduate course changes page.

Course Overview

UK Fees £9,250 *
International Fees £14,400 *
Duration 3 years

* Price per academic year

Please note that due to high demand this course is not accepting any more applications for September 2021

Course summary

This three-year degree is one of the best-known film courses in the world, with an international reputation for its academic and practical teaching.

Our students’ films are shown at festivals globally and have won a host of honours and awards, including Royal Television Society Awards, a Student Academy Award and a Grierson Best Student Documentary Award.

We operate from a purpose-built studio facility in Harrow, with two large film and television studios, a set construction workshop, a 3D workshop, and extensive post-production facilities. The environment is both scholarly and creative, with all students studying film history, criticism and aesthetics alongside their practical work.

You'll learn to collaborate creatively as you develop production specialisms in areas such as writing, producing, cinematography, directing, production design, editing and sound. You'll also gain the transferable and cognitive skills necessary for lifelong personal and professional development.

We aim to develop thinking filmmakers who have something to say to, and about, the world. A very high proportion of our students go on to work in film and television, and recent work from notable alumni includes The Greatest Showman and Nocturnal Animals (Seamus McGarvey, cinematographer), Senna and Amy (Asif Kapadia, director) and No Time to Die and Skyfall (Neal Purvis, screenwriter, producer). Under the Shadow, the first feature directed by 2005 graduate Babak Anvari, was selected as the UK entry for the 2017 Best Foreign Language film Oscar and won the Outstanding Debut Award at the 2017 BAFTA Awards.

The course receives substantial support from the industry and you will gain experience of working with professional actors, negotiating with facilities houses, equipment hire companies and local authorities.

Based at the recently refurbished Harrow Campus – home to the Westminster School of Arts – you will work alongside students from design, photography, music, fashion and journalism, in a unique hothouse of creative opportunity.

Through an excellent network of industry contacts, some of whom teach on the course, and including many alumni of the course, students have opportunities for part-time work, placements and work-related learning activities.

The second year includes a core work-based professional learning module in which students may undertake a short work placement and begin to develop their industry connections and awareness.

Students may also undertake an optional year-long placement between their second and third year.

Top reasons to study with us

  • Oscar- and BAFTA-winning film alumni – graduates of this course have gone on to celebrated careers in the film industry
  • State-of-the-art facilities – a purpose-built studio facility with two large film and television studios, a set construction workshop, a 3D workshop, and extensive post-production facilities
  • Work experience with a difference – recent placements include Industrial Light and Magic, Working Title Films and positions on King Arthur, Jack Ryan and Mary Queen of Scots

Course structure

The course emphasises group work, with students participating in small-scale productions in the first year, larger groups in the second year, and substantial crews in the final third-year productions, which may include the participation of second-year students. This film practice gives students the opportunity to explore different disciplines, before finding a specialism in the second year.

Teaching of specialisms on the course is supported by input from professionals through workshops, tutorials and feedback, introducing students to specialised skill-based roles that are crucial to a professional crew and may inform their career path.

The academic side of the course is assessed through presentations and coursework essays that build in length through the levels up to a substantial research project in the final year, where you carry out in-depth exploration into an academic or practical area of your own choice.

The following subjects are indicative of what you will study on this course.

Each student will have roles in a range of documentary and fiction production projects, shooting and editing on 16mm film as well as digitally, and working in small groups. You'll be able to choose from a number of specialist screen option modules.

Subjects of study include:

  • Introduction to Film and Television
  • Constructing the Real: Documentary Filmmaking
  • Creativity and Collaboration
  • A Screen module from a range of options, including Production Design for the Screen; Visual Effects and Animation; Working with Actors

Credit Level 4

The focus is on specialist areas, including directing, cinematography, screenwriting, producing, editing and sound, to enable you to work in larger crews. You will also undertake a core work-based learning module, which will include a short work placement or alternative equivalent work-based experience.

Subjects of study include:

  • Story, Structure and Style: Critical and Creative Practices
  • Work-Based and Placement Learning
  • Cinemas of the World: Contemporary Issues and Trends
  • Contemporary Television Drama
  • A Screen module from a range of options, including: Camera and Lighting Skills; Identities: Race, Class and Gender in Film and Television; Short Form Film and Video

Credit Level 5

Between Years 2 and 3, you may also undertake an optional year-long placement. If you take advantage of this option, you’ll undertake an additional year-long industry placement year module running parallel to your work placement, and their final degree award will be BA Honours Film with Professional Experience.

You'll work on drama, documentary and commercials production, engage in a research project and develop your understanding through an Industry module, to prepare you to move into your chosen career.

Subjects of study include:

  • Research Project
  • Advanced Production
  • Understanding the Film and Television Industry
  • Advanced Screenwriting
  • Advanced Documentary Production

Credit Level 6

Programme Recognition

This course is industry-recognised by ScreenSkills, the industry-led skills body for the UK's screen-based industries, and carries the ScreenSkills Select quality-mark, which indicates courses best suited to prepare students for a career in the screen industries.

Studying film with us

Programme Specification

For more details on course structure and modules, and how you will be taught and assessed, see the programme specification.

For general enquiries about the course, please email [email protected]

To request an accessible version of the programme specification, please email [email protected]

Careers

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Join our successful alumni

A high proportion of our graduates go on to well-paid and creatively satisfying careers in a wide range of production roles.

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Industry-focused teaching

Your practical and creative development is supported by workshops and tutorials led by practising industry professionals, as well as by the course team.

90%
Graduates in work and/or further study

90% of our Film BA students are in work and/or further study 15 months after graduation.

Source: Discover Uni (Accessed November 2020)

Work experience

London is the centre of the UK’s film and television industries, so there are plenty of opportunities for students to gain work experience during their course, and doing this makes it easier to find paid work on graduating. Students undertake work experience that relates to their desired career path as part of the third year Professional Practice module, and recent placements include:

  • Art Assistant on Bohemian Rhapsody
  • VFX Production Assistant on King Arthur
  • Location marshalling on Jack Ryan Season 2 and Annihilation
  • Roles at Industrial Light and Magic, Working Title and Envy Post Production
  • Positions at Emmerdale, Broadchurch and Mary Queen of Scots
  • Runners for ESPN: Wimbledon and US Open
  • Casting Assistant at Aston Casting
  • Sound Assistant at Phenomenon Films

Industry links

Our strong industry links mean that the course is supported by professionals in the sector. Students benefit from workshops and tutorials that introduce them to different skills and specialisations, and allow them to develop these skills in an industry-style production context. As well as influencing career choices, leading professionals also tutor students on their productions.

Recent visiting professionals include:

  • Kit Fraser (Director of Photography, Eternal Beauty, Under the Shadow)
  • Louise Hooper (Director, Flesh and Blood)
  • Mick Audsley (Editor, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire)
  • Sara Dunlop (Commercials Director)
  • Paul Trijbits (Producer, Fish Tank, Saving Mr Banks)
  • Seamus McGarvey (Cinematographer, The Greatest Showman, Atonement, Anna Karenina, We Need to Talk About Kevin, Godzilla)

Job roles and graduate employment

Film and television can be difficult industries in which to gain a foothold. Our emphasis on equipping graduates with skills in entry-level roles as well as experience in Head of Department roles, allows them to gain immediate employment and opportunities to progress.

Typical entry-level roles can include:

  • Art department trainee or assistant
  • Location runner/location assistant
  • Camera trainee
  • Production assistant
  • Script reader
  • Script supervisor’s assistant
  • AD runner or 3rd AD
  • Researcher
  • Editorial trainee/ 2nd assistant editor/assistant editor

Examples of graduate employment include:

  • Assistant Location Manager on Annihilation (Saba Kia) and locations Assistant on The Nutcracker (Tara Acton)
  • Production Assistant on The Danish Girl (Behnam Taheri) and on Set Production Assistant on Spider-Man: Far From Home (Pippa Howson) and Production Co-ordinator on Yesterday (Jannika Oberg) and Downton Abbey (Aneta Chalas)
  • Director's Assistant: 2nd Unit on Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (Lois Gration) and 1st AD/2nd Unit Director on 47 Meters Down (James Nunn)
  • Central Loader on Cats (Hannah Jell) and Aladdin (Cenay Said), clapper Loader: 2nd Unit on No Time to Die (Phil Barnes), 2nd AC: Sprite Unit on Bohemian Rhapsody (Maiya Rose) and Camera Trainee on The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance (Sarah Collins)
  • VFX Production Assistant on Dumbo (Jack Lewis) and VFX Editor on Hellboy (2019) (Kieran Waller) and VFX Data Capture on Cats (Chris Upson)
  • Assistant Script Supervisor on Men in Black: International (Alice Guillot)

Other recent graduates have gone on to further study, including:

  • National Film and Television School – graduates currently doing MAs in Screenwriting, Cinematography, Editing, Commercials.
  • MA Film and Screen Studies, Cambridge University
  • MA History of Dress, Courtauld Institute
  • PhD, Film Directing, University of Liverpool
  • MA English Literature, City University
  • MFA Production Design, American Film Institute

Graduate success

This course has helped to shape the careers of some of the most influential names working in the industry today, such as:

Seamus McGarvey - Cinematographer (The Greatest Showman, Atonement, Anna Karenina, We Need to Talk About Kevin, Godzilla)
Asif Kapadia - Director, 2016 BAFTA and Oscar Winner (Amy, The Warrior, Senna)
Cinders Forshaw – Cinematographer (Poldark, The Athena, Tipping the Velvet)
Paul Trijbits - Producer (Jane Eyre, Saving Mr. Banks, This is England)
Neal Purvis - Writer (Jonny English, Casino Royale, Skyfall, Spectre)
Lucia Zucchetti - Editor (Colette, The Queen, Rat Catcher, Testament of Youth, Game Change)
Babak Anvari - Director, 2017 BAFTA Winner (Under the Shadow)

Other recent graduate credits include:

  • Cinematographer's Assistant – The Mummy, Wonder Woman, Beauty and the Beast (Jack Mealing)
  • Production Assistant – Wonder Woman (Lois Gration)
  • Cinematographer - Eternal Beauty, Wounds (Kit Fraser)
  • 2nd Unit Electrician – Spiderman: Far from Home (Greg Probert)
  • DoP – The Will Smith Bucket List (Edgar Dubrovsky)
  • Technical Assistant – Warner Brothers Television Production UK (Amanda Fox)
  • Writer/Director ‘After Love’ (BFI and BBC Films) – Aleem Khan
  • Editor, ‘The Trip to Greece’, ‘The Trip to Spain’ – Marc Richardson
  • Art Department Trainee on Spider-Man: Far From Home (Nathalie Carraro)
  • Oscar for Best Live Action Short 2016: ‘Stutterer’ – Shan Ogilvie, Producer
  • Oscar for Best Live Action Short 2017: ‘Sing’ – Kristof Deak, Writer/Director
  • 2019 Screen Daily Star of Tomorrow – Dionne Edwards, Writer/Director
  • In Competition at Cannes 2016: ‘Dreamlands’ – Sara Dunlop, Director

International Opportunities

Many of our courses offer international study and work experiences, and the University provides other global opportunities that all students can apply for - so whatever you're studying, you'll have the chance to go abroad.

Opportunities could include:

  • Taking part in semester or year-long exchanges at institutions around the world
  • Attending an international summer school or field trip
  • Developing your CV through volunteering or work placements abroad

International experience broadens horizons, boosts self-confidence, and improves global understanding, alongside being fantastic for your career.

Find out more about our international opportunities, including funding options and where you can go.

Students working and studying internationally

The film student experience

Why study this course?

“This is a highly impressive and well-thought-out course, which provides relevant and high-quality learning to its students, most of whom go on to work in the industry."

- Anthony Alleyne, ScreenSkills Select Industry Evaluator

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Acclaimed films

Our students’ films are shown at festivals globally and have won a host of honours and awards, including Royal Television Society Awards (the latest in 2021), a Student Academy Award (2011), a Grierson Best Student Documentary Award (2015).

Connected figures
Industry experience

The course receives substantial support from the industry and you will gain experience of working with professional actors, negotiating with facilities houses, equipment hire companies and local authorities.

Building
World-class facilities

We operate from a purpose-built studio facility in Harrow, with two sound stages, a set construction workshop, and extensive post-production facilities.

Open days

Join us at an open day either on campus or online or information session and get a feel for student life at the University of Westminster.

You'll get a chance to:

  • Speak to our academic staff
  • Take an in person virtual reality tour of our student halls
  • Ask us any questions you may have about student finance and accommodation
  • Find out more about the courses you are interested in
  • Meet and talk to current students about their experiences

Find an online open day

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Entry Requirements

  • A levels – ABB to AAB
  • International Baccalaureate – 128 to 136 UCAS Tariff points from the IB
  • BTEC Extended Diploma – DDM to DDD
  • BTEC Diploma – Not accepted on its own 
  • Access – 128 to 136 UCAS Tariff points from the Access course

In addition to one of the above, you should have: 

  • GCSE English Language grade 4/C – IB grade 4 Higher level, GCSE Maths Pass - IB Pass

If your first language is not English, you will need an IELTS of 6.5 overall, with 6.0 in writing and 5.5 in the other components.

We also welcome applications from students who are taking a combination of qualifications listed above. For further information, please contact Course Enquiries.

Please note: we do not accept applications for deferred entry.

Selection for the course is highly competitive. You are considered for interview on your grades (predicted or achieved), your responses to a questionnaire, and the portfolio of relevant work you can present at your interview; this could include film or video work, photographs, artwork, scripts or creative writing. We are looking for evidence of ideas, creative expression and visual/audio awareness, and for self-motivated students who will work well in a team and individually.

View more information about our entry requirements and the application process

  • International Baccalaureate – 128 to 136 UCAS Tariff points from the IB

If your first language is not English, you will need an IELTS of 6.5 overall, with 6.0 in writing and 5.5 in the other components.

Please note: we do not accept applications for deferred entry.

Selection for the course is highly competitive. You are considered for interview on your grades (predicted or achieved), your responses to a questionnaire, and the portfolio of relevant work you can present at your interview; this could include film or video work, photographs, artwork, scripts or creative writing. We are looking for evidence of ideas, creative expression and visual/audio awareness, and for self-motivated students who will work well in a team and individually.

More information

Develop specialist skills

Learn new skills

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Learn a new language

From Arabic to Spanish, you can learn a new language alongside your degree with our Polylang programme

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Develop your entrepreneurial skills

Our award-winning Creative Enterprise Centre offers industry networking events, workshops, one-to-one business advice and support for your startup projects. 

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Gain extra qualifications

We provide access to free online courses in Adobe and Microsoft Office applications, as well as thousands of specialist courses on LinkedIn Learning.

Facilities

Fees and Funding

UK tuition fee: £9,250 (Price per academic year)

When you have enrolled with us, your annual tuition fees will remain the same throughout your studies with us. We do not increase your tuition fees each year.

Find out how we set our tuition fees.

EU Qualifications Welcome Award Scheme

If you are an international student accepted on an undergraduate programme starting in September 2021 on the basis of an eligible EU qualification only, you will be awarded a tuition fee reduction which will align your fee more closely to the one for UK students. For more information, see the EU Qualifications Welcome Award Scheme.

Funding

As well as tuition fee loans, there is a range of funding available to help you fund your studies.

Find out about undergraduate student funding options.

Scholarships

The University is dedicated to supporting ambitious and outstanding students and we offer a variety of scholarships to eligible undergraduate students, which cover all or part of your tuition fees.

Find out if you qualify for one of our scholarships.

Additional costs

See what you may need to pay for separately and what your tuition fees cover.

International tuition fee: £14,400 (Price per academic year)

When you have enrolled with us, your annual tuition fees will remain the same throughout your studies with us. We do not increase your tuition fees each year.

Find out how we set our tuition fees.

EU Qualifications Welcome Award Scheme

If you are accepted on an undergraduate programme starting in September 2021 on the basis of an eligible EU qualification only, you will be awarded a tuition fee reduction of £4,500 per year, which will align your fee more closely to the one for UK students. For more information, see the EU Qualifications Welcome Award Scheme.

International student funding

Find out about funding for international students.

Additional costs

See what you may need to pay for separately and what your tuition fees cover.

Alumni

Seamus McGarvey's default avatar image

Seamus McGarvey

Film BA - 2008

Director of Photography for The Soloist, Atonement, The Hours

They made me realise that every script has a cinematographic heart and you have to think about it before you fling a camera round the set. The course put helium in my balloon and set me on a career path.

Roma O Connor's default avatar image

Roma O Connor

Film BA - 2008

VFX Producer for Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

The course was invaluable experience not only because it gave a sound technical grounding and therefore adaptability, but it also taught me to work within a team environment where every area is given due relevance, which is essential in film-making and especially in features.

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Anna Bokova

Film BA - 2008

Post Production Assistant | Nomadic Films

The main thing that the course gave me was an opportunity to explore and experiment by providing the equipment and all the necessary knowledge and support in our attempts at film-making. One of the other key skills I gained is probably patience! The fact that I had experience in directing and AD-ing definitely helped me to get jobs. People want someone who knows what they're doing on and off the set and I gained enough skills and knowledge at the University to be able to handle the job and the pressure that comes with being on set.

Teaching and assessment

Below you will find how learning time and assessment types were distributed in the past on this course, through approximate percentages taken from previous cohorts. The graphs below give an indication of what you can expect. Changes to the division of learning time and assessment may be made in response to feedback and in accordance with our terms and conditions.

How you'll be taught

Teaching methods across all our undergraduate courses focus on active student learning through lectures, seminars, workshops, problem-based and blended learning, and where appropriate practical application. Learning typically falls into three broad categories:

  • Scheduled hours: examples include lectures, seminars, practical classes, workshops, supervised time in a studio
  • Placement: placement hours normally include placement opportunities, but may also include live projects or virtual activity involving employers
  • Independent study: non-scheduled time in which students are expected to study independently. This may include preparation for scheduled sessions, follow-up work, wider reading or practice, completion of assessment tasks, or revision
Year
1
43%57%
2
49%51%
3
38%62%
Scheduled hours Independent study

How you'll be assessed

Our undergraduate courses include a wide variety of assessments.

Assessments typically fall into three broad categories:

  • Practical: examples include presentations, videos, podcasts, lab work, creating artefacts  
  • Written exams: end of semester exams 
  • Coursework: examples include essays, reports, in-class tests, portfolios, dissertation
     
Year
1
25%75%
2
7%93%
3
11%89%
Practical Coursework, including film productions

Data from the academic year 2019-20

Supporting you

Our Student Hub is where you’ll find out about the services and support we offer, helping you get the best out of your time with us.

  • Study support — workshops, 1-2-1 support and online resources to help improve your academic and research skills
  • Personal tutors — support you in fulfilling your academic and personal potential
  • Student advice team — provide specialist advice on a range of issues including funding, benefits and visas
  • Extra-curricular activities — volunteering opportunities, sports and fitness activities, student events and more

Visit our student hub

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Course Location

Harrow is our creative and cultural hub, home to most of our arts, media and digital courses. It houses state-of-the-art facilities for every discipline, including project and gallery spaces, film studios, creative labs, collaborative learning spaces, and the creative enterprise hub.

Harrow Campus is based in north-west London, just 20 minutes from the city centre by train.

For more details, visit our Harrow Campus page.

Contact us

We have an FAQs page if you are applying this year.

Or you can contact the Course Enquiries Team:

[email protected]

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Opening hours (GMT): 10am–4pm Monday to Friday

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