Film BA Honours | Middlesex University London
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Film BA Honours

Whether you’re an aspiring filmmaker or screenwriter, choose a course that’ll prepare you for a career in the film industry.
Code
P303
Start
October 2020
EU/International induction: September 2020
Duration
3 years full-time
Usually 6 years part-time
Attendance
Full-time
Part-time
Fees
£9,250 (UK/EU) *
£13,400 (INT) *
Course leader
David Heinemann

Why study film with us

Our course brings together the theoretical and the practical to give you everything you need to start a  career in this diverse industry. You’ll get to explore all the stages of the film-making process, covering a range of production roles, conception and development, post-production, script writing, cinematography, and direction.

The purpose-built £80 million Grove building on our north London campus houses all the facilities, studios, and workshops you’ll use during your studies and is recognised as one of the best in the country. The facilities you’ll be able to use include Avid Media Composer Edit Suites, Dedicated Recording Studio, Motion Capture Suite, Greenscreen Virtual Studio.

You’ll be taught by staff working in the film industry, with professional experience across a range of different aspect of film. This includes producers, directors, screenwriters, and more, with backgrounds covering everything from experimental film-making through to corporate film. During your time with us, you’ll learn from guest speakers. Past speakers include Ben Wheatley (Kill List, High-Rise, Doctor Who), Kim Longinotto (Divorce Iranian Style), Sean McAllister (A Syrian Love Story).

Explore all stages of the film-making process with our course

Your first year will serve as an introduction to all things film. After this, you will have the opportunity to follow different pathways like editing, directing, screenwriting, cinematography and many more. You can also choose to keep your interests broad to gain an all-round foundation in film practice and theory. Just like in the film industry, you’ll work closely and collaboratively with fellow film students on a variety of projects that’ll help you with better understanding the world of professional work.

Your second year will be focused on production, familiarising you with producing and directing as you work on all stages of the film-making process. In your third year, you’ll get the freedom to define the scope of your final project – this can be as broad as editing a coursemate’s film or creating a whole film from start to finish.

Our students frequently participate in a number of festivals to showcase their work and gain real-world experience. In 2018, our BA Film students presented their work at Aesthetica Short Film Festival in York.

A film degree can open a lot of doors and we’re here to help you find the right career path. Graduates of this course become writers, editors, sound technicians, and camera assistants. Some have joined major institutions like the BBC while others have set up independent companies, attracting commercial work and funded commissions. Ben Charles, having graduated only a few years back, has already worked on various visual effects projects, including CGI work for the most recent Star Wars film.

Get the support you need

Sometimes you’ll need a little bit of extra support during your studies and we ensure that you get it. That’s why you’ll have access to our technicians, industry professionals ready to help with your projects and provide support in specialist facilities.


Find out more

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What will you study on the BA Film?

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.

Modules

  • Year 1

    • Screen Storytelling (30 credits) - Compulsory

      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.

    • Screen Aesthetics (30 credits) - Compulsory

      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.

    • Film Production Fundamentals 1 (30 credits) - Compulsory

      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.

    • Film Production Fundamentals 2 (30 credits) - Compulsory

      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.

  • Year 2

    • Producing and Directing (60 credits) - Compulsory

      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.

  • Year 2 optional modules - choose two modules from the following:

    • Film Documentary (30 credits) - Optional

      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.

    • Film Craft (30 credits) - Optional

      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.

    • Screenwriting: The Short Film (30 credits) - Optional

      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.

  • Year 3

    • Major Project (30 credits) - Compulsory

      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.

    • Film Ideology and Aesthetics (30 credits) - Compulsory

      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.

    • Film Entrepreneurship (30 credits) - Compulsory

      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.

  • Year 3 optional modules - choose one module from the following:

    • Advanced Screenwriting (30 credits) - Optional

      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.

    • Advanced Craft Skills (30 credits) - Optional

      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.

    • Advanced Producing and Directing (30 credits) - Optional

      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. Optional modules are usually available at levels 5 and 6, although optional modules are not offered on every course. Where optional modules are available, you will be asked to make your choice during the previous academic year. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, or there are staffing changes which affect the teaching, it may not be offered. If an optional module will not run, we will advise you after the module selection period when numbers are confirmed, or at the earliest time that the programme team make the decision not to run the module, and help you choose an alternative module.

  1. Overview
  2. Teaching and learning
  3. Assessment and feedback
  1. UK & EU
  2. International
  3. How to apply
  1. UK & EU
  2. International
  3. Additional costs

Current work

For Holocaust Memorial Day 2019, BA Film students produced a short film in collaboration with Big Grange Local, Barnet Multi-faith Forum, and the residents of East Finchley.

BA Film and BA Animation students and graduates, along with their academics, have together produced a powerful and moving videos for the launch of the Violent Crime Prevention campaign for the VCPB (Violent Crime Prevention Board).

Showreels

Have a look at the videos below for more examples of the brilliant work our students are doing at Middlesex.

How can the BA Film support your career?

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.

BA Film facilities

The facilities, studios and workshops at our £80 million purpose-built Grove building 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:

  • Avid Media Composer Edit Suites
  • Dedicated Recording Studio
  • Motion Capture Suite
  • Greenscreen Virtual Studio

Studio and location filming equipment including:

  • Over 60 HD video cameras
  • Canon DSLRs Kits with prime and zoom lenses
  • Blackmagic Cinema Camera Kits
  • Matte box and Follow Focus
  • Lighting Kits
  • Sound Recorders
  • Shotgun Mics and Boom poles
  • Lapel Mics
  • Dolly Tracks
  • GlideCam

Digital Media Workshops featuring:

  • 80 iMacs and Mac Pro workstations
  • Colour Grading Monitors
  • Wacom Cintiq Monitors
  • Premier Pro
  • After Effects
  • Photoshop
  • Final Cut Pro
  • DaVinci Resolve Colour Grading Suite
  • Logic Pro
  • ProTools
  • Elvina Nevardauskaite

    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.

  • Annette Uiga

    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.

  • Ben Charles

    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.

  • Simone Scott

    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.

  • Charlie Mortas

    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.

Other courses

Television and Digital Production BA Honours

Start: October 2020, EU/International induction: September 2020

Duration: 3 years full-time

Code: TV11

Visual Effects BA Honours

Start: October 2020, September 2020: EU/INT induction

Duration: 3 years full-time, Normally 5 years part-time

Code: W614

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