Whether you are an aspiring filmmaker or screenwriter, BA Film is a single degree course with a variety of pathways that meets the interests and ambitions of diverse students united by a passion for film.
At Middlesex, we offer a unique degree experience in Film, not only because the course is designed to be flexible, accommodating very different kinds of film students, but also because it encourages, indeed requires, collaboration between students with different interests, skills and knowledge, which is great preparation for working professionally in the film industry. If you want to be part of a great community of people striving to be the best and to develop your passion for film, come to Middlesex.
After your first year, you can follow pathways in producing, directing, editing, sound, cinematography, art direction or scriptwriting, or you may prefer not to identify yourself closely with any of the pathways but rather use BA Film as a means of gaining an excellent all-round education in the theory and practice of film. In your final year you will choose your own final project, meaning you can write and direct your own film as part of the degree if you wish.
Half of your first year of study is dedicated to practical film-making and you will learn the foundations of film production and post production. The other half of your first year focuses equally on storytelling for screen narratives and film aesthetics.
Half of your second year is again dedicated to production, with a focus on producing and directing. Here you will work in all stages in the film-making process in a variety of production roles, from conception and development to post production. The rest of the year depends on your own interests. You can choose to continue studying the practice of screenwriting, begin to work on documentary films, or improve your skills in cinematography, sound design, editing or art direction. At the beginning of Term 2 students declare a specialisation from among producing, directing, screenwriting, cinematography, sound design and art direction, and from that point forward receive additional tuition in their chosen area.
In your final year, you choose the nature of your own final project. The scope for this project is very broad so you can develop a practical film project in any area that excites you: for example, you might choose to write and direct a short film; act as cinematographer on a number of your course mates’ films; or develop a portfolio of projects as producer, editor, sound designer, or art director. You will also continue your investigations into film theory, ideology and aesthetics – subjects that will inform your filmmaking and screenwriting practice. You will also benefit from wider preparation for employment in the film industry, including gaining a greater understanding of finance, distribution and marketing.
The module explores different ways in which stories are told on screen, focusing on screenwriting, but also examining how these considerations affect other creative aspects, including direction, sound and image, and how these interrelate to maximum effect. It will also examine the ways in which these elements apply to non-fiction and experimental cinema. You will learn to analyse existing films in narrative terms, and to use these exemplars to develop your own work. This module will complement the theoretical and stylistic work in the other Year 1 modules, as well as laying groundwork for more advanced level screenwriting modules, up to and including the Major Project.
This module considers how filmmakers communicate in image and sound, and through performance. Influential film styles and movements, as well as distinctive filmmakers, will be studied in ways that develop skills in close analysis and open up ideas for creative work. Formal analysis of extracts of film will be contextualised in relation to wider issues of film aesthetics, film history and spectatorship. Skills in creative pre-production practices, such as story-boarding and generating lighting plans and sound design strategies, will be developed, providing a direct practical application of the study of aesthetics.
The module explores the basic elements of planning, production and post-production techniques employed in most film forms. Driven by a hands-on practical approach, both in workshops and through a number of small group and individual projects, the module enables you to gain disciplined practical experience of camera, sound, lighting, editing and pre-production planning. You will also be introduced to key aspects of directing, producing and art direction. A strong emphasis on teamwork and the development of personal behaviour skills will be introduced in this module as a precursor for all subsequent film-making modules and practices on the three years of BA Film.
This module further explores the various elements of planning, filming and editing techniques that were introduced in previous modules, as well as the soft skills that make up the professional practice aspect of film-making. This module is also dominated by a hands-on practical approach, which will be employed in workshops along with a number of small group projects, to enable you to gain more discipline in your film-making practice. In addition, you will be expected to participate in the production of a significant group film project at the end of Term 2.
In a workshop environment, you will explore the many creative and practical duties and responsibilities of both producer and director, as well as the nature of the working relationship between the two, and among the rest of the crew. Practical team-based assignments consolidate the acquisition of key skills. In Term 2, you will declare your specialisation from among the six film-making pathways (producing, directing, art direction, cinematography, sound design, editing) and, in teams, produce either a documentary or fiction film developed in the the Screenwriting and the Documentary Film modules, while also playing secondary roles on other teams’ films.
This module examines documentary film and film-making practices through formal and theoretical frameworks and through practical application. In conjunction, with select screenings of feature-length and short documentaries, key aspects of and approaches to the documentary form will be explored. You will acquire an understanding of documentary film development and production processes, and put these into practice in the making of a short documentary. You will also prepare a detailed treatment for a second documentary film which is eligible to be made in the Producing and Directing module.
This module explores the study and production of film from the dual perspectives of style and theory. In workshops you build on your practical skills in camera operation, lighting, sound recording, picture and sound editing, and art direction. In screenings and seminars, you will study in detail the theory and practice of filmmakers with a body of work recognised to have made a substantial contribution to the development of film form. The module emphasises, in both its theoretical and practical strands, the development of a personal vision and its application to your own film-making work.
Further developing knowledge and skills acquired in the Screen Storytelling module, you will consider what kinds of stories and narrative structures are amenable to the short film form. In lectures and workshops you will learn about screenwriting craft – format, style, dialogue, action and narrative focus – and write a short dramatic screenplay which is eligible for production in the Producing and Directing module.
During this module, you will demonstrate the culmination of your learning and journey through the programme. Working in your specialist role, you will develop the skills, additional experience and project management ability to produce a substantial short film, a show-reel of multiple works in a particular craft role, or an extended script project. You will develop your project ideas and techniques in a workshop environment in which professional practice is emphasised. You are guided through your major project in group sessions and a series one-to-one tutorials with your assigned project supervisor – a member of staff specialising in the relevant field.
Developing further work on theories already encountered, together with the introduction of theories of film not previously encountered, this module identifies key theoretical ideas underpinning critical and creative practices which warrant elaboration. In particular, work will build on the idea of the filmmaker as a theorist engaging with the world, and on practice as a way of thinking about and interrogating film. You will be required to locate your Major Project within a set of objectives that can then be elaborated through study in film theory.
This module focuses on career development and employability, and strategies for you to pursue a future in the film-making industry. The choices made in the parallel module Major Project , will help to provide a focus for your work on this module. Throughout the module, you develop an entrepreneurial portfolio which will include a completed CV and website, and at least one social media profile such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Twitter which will assist in finding employment. Additionally, you have the choice of pitching a business idea, undertaking a ‘mock’ job interview or completing a work placement/internship in a production-related environment.
You will generate stories then use professional writer’s research methods in order to develop your characters and the milieus in which your dramas unfold. You will consider the link between narrative structure and meaning though case studies of produced screenplays. You will apply this understanding as you develop your story arcs. Links will be made between produced screenplays and genre and industry expectations; and your own screen stories will be developed in response to these expectations.
The module focuses on technical upskilling and aesthetic approaches to the art and crafts of cinematography, production design/art direction, sound and editing, providing specialist workshops for each role, as well as some shared workshops. The workshops and activities are designed to prepare you for your work on your Major Project. Craft Skills students will work closely with producers and directors in the development of graduation films on which craft students will perform their specialist role.
Some workshops will be shared and some specialist workshops will be staged for each role. Producing students will develop competencies in funding, project management, risk assessment, scheduling and ethical issues arising out of their projects. Directing students will develop competencies in the creative development of cinematic ideas, interpreting scripts/treatments, visual and aural design, staging, working with actors and heads of departments. Shared workshops will focus on, for example, developing a shared strategy for the project; the relationship between the two roles in project management; negotiation and mediation processes.
You can find more information about this course in the programme specification. Module and programme information is indicative and may be subject to change.
Our students are successful. Graduates of this course have gone on to a wide range of careers, including writers, editors, sound technicians, directors of photography, camera assistants, directors and designers. Some have gone on to work at major institutions such as the BBC, while others have set up their own small businesses, attracting both commercial work and funded commissions. Some have become music video producers and others are freelancers representing a range of special professions within production and post-production.
We help you to establish yourself in the industry in all kinds of ways, including supporting your submission of work to film festivals (some of our students' work has been screened at Cannes) and supporting your writing, whether critical journalism or screenwriting.
There are an array of jobs in the industry, from production, post-production, distribution and exhibition, and many entry points.
The facilities, studios and workshops at our £80 million purpose-built Art, Design and Media School on campus in North London are recognised as among the best in country. With a wide range of digital media, equipment, software and library facilities on-site you'll benefit from unique levels of access to both the latest forms of technology and traditional tools with expert support to help you develop your work.
These facilities include:
Studio and location filming equipment including:
Digital Media Workshops featuring:
BA Film graduate, freelance cinematographer
We had the opportunity to try our hand at a number of production roles and to use a variety of equipment and post-production software. After a few months on the course I found, to my surprise, that a lot of my classmates wanted me to be the cinematographer on their shoots. I have always had a fascination for the visual style of films, so I embraced the chance. I gained a lot of experience working with various cameras on both documentary and fiction films.
Read the full interview with Elvina on the Education UK website
BA Film graduate
During my time on the BA Film degree at Middlesex I built up a lot of confidence, mastered different technical skills and learned to view films differently. During my second year I wrote and produced a short film called Last Dream, which was a huge challenge. I never imagined myself as a director or a producer, even though I wanted to be one. But now it's a realistic goal. I am now planning to start writing a script for my first feature film.
BA Film graduate
It was a showreel I created in the Film and Innovation module that started me experimenting with digital software. For my dissertation I continued this process, exploring sound design through an experimental piece called Chromasy, a virtual sound sculpture. I also worked as a sound designer for other people's dissertation projects.
I intend to carry on working as a freelancer in sound design and filmmaking, whilst continuing to produce my own projects. Since being on the BA Film course I have developed my presentation skills and portfolio to a level where I now feel comfortable talking to clients about my work.
BA Film graduate
The main thing that changed for me over the duration of the course was the belief in my own creative abilities. I came to the course thinking I was not an ideas person but the course has brought my creativity to the surface and given me the courage to express myself.
My future plans are to start a small production company providing a quick turnover film service for music videos, corporate films, promos, adverts etc. This will provide me with the funds I need to make my own creative projects. I want to make social awareness films and put them out free on the Internet. My next film, Sedated, is currently in pre-production. The film will explore the various factors that keep the population sedated and apathetic to unacceptable social conditions.
BA Film graduate
During the course I came up with a concept for a video that I also filmed and edited, and co-directed with my good friend Wiktoria Wachowiak. It was great to work on a paid project that really interested me and we had a really amazing time. I gained experience and confidence during my three years at Middlesex. I now have a deeper understanding of films, working in the film industry and the business side of things. I want to develop my own music videos, doing mostly rap, grime, trap, dubstep, hip-hop videos, and punk-rock videos.