School of Art, Design and Architecture

BA (Hons) Filmmaking

UCAS tariff 96 - 144
UCAS course code P313
Institution code P60

3 years

Assessment breakdown 100% coursework
Course type


Location Plymouth

Our BA focuses on nurturing distinct voices, developing creativity and building a confident collaborative skillset. We welcome students with a variety of backgrounds, experiences and talents who are united by a passion to tell stories through moving image. Inspired by the world of film you will be empowered to create unique film experiences using innovative production methods. Develop the practical, critical and creative skills and voices to make you stand out in the film and media industries.


Careers with this subject

Our course will enhance your creative and critical skills and help you to define and realise your own unique career destination. 
Plymouth film graduates work in a number of film, television and media industry roles, including Aardman Studios, BBC, ITV, TwoFour, JMP*, feature film production (Chicken Run 2), and other pre and postproduction independent filmmaking positions. Our students' films are screened and selected for national and International festivals, such as BFI Scene, National RTS Awards, Nahemi & Bristol Encounters, Birmingham Film Festival, Cornwall Film Festival and Festival Deux Cans.
Careers service
Careers advice is embedded into your academic programme through workshops, events, placements and networks, working with the academic staff teaching on your course.
We also offer materials, networks and resources online through our 24/7 portal, and a wide-range of activities, opportunities and support centrally in the Careers Service space within the Student Hub.
We are here to help you to explore, connect and succeed.

Key features

  • Practice-based. Learn the art of filmmaking by making films. Work individually and on a collaborative film set. Engage with narrative methods and experimental approaches on a course with an independent spirit and industry standards. This course develops creative and technical confidence and helps you find your own style.
  • Learn from experts. Learn from award-winning industry filmmakers, academics and technical staff with a wealth of independent, commercial and research experience.
  • Professional environment. Develop a high level of professional technical skills using contemporary industry-standard facilities, cameras and equipment, including an on-site cinema to screen your films.
  • Cinematic City. Plymouth has a rich and vibrant film history and a thriving and rapidly growing artistic and cultural identity. You will have the opportunity to work closely with Imperfect Cinema; a collective that brings filmmaking to the community through a punk spirit and ambitious vision. In addition, gain industry experience by working on live briefs and portfolio-building opportunities.
  • Impact the Industry. Graduates of our new course are starting their careers as cinematographers, creative producers, editors, script editors, runners and production assistants, working on film sets and with studios and companies such as Aardman, BBC, ITV, and Twofour. Learn transferable skills and gain the experience to join them in the ever-changing and exciting world of film.
  • Student satisfaction. The National Student Survey 2023 showed that 94% of students agreed that the course is intellectually stimulating, staff are good at explaining things and make the subject engaging. 100% of students felt free to express their ideas, opinions and beliefs.

Course details

  • Year 1

  • Explore filmmaking through production and creative research. Develop high-level technical skills and contextual awareness and experiment with a variety of storytelling forms and techniques. Examine themes such as genre and narrative and engage with some of the key debates and critical perspectives within the exciting world of cinema.

    Core modules

    • Film School (FILM411)

      This module will introduce core filmmaking foundations in technical operations, production processes and craft skills across sound, editing and cinematography. You will explore different concepts, forms and storytelling devices through filmmaking work, contextualised with analysis of contemporary and historical filmmaking examples. An underlying aim of the module is to enable you to make the transition into higher education and take greater responsibility for your own learning and development.

    • Screen Dialogues (FILM412)

      This module will introduce key concepts and contexts in filmmaking. You will explore how theory and practice interlink through the exploration of various methodologies. You will be given the opportunity to beta-test theoretical ideas discussed in the lectures through short filmmaking tasks which you will complete within your independent study time. These visual explorations will form the basis of discussion in the critical review sessions.

    • Storyteller (FILM413)

      This module provides you with the opportunity to engage in storytelling for the screen. Through short practical projects, you will experiment and develop skills and understanding on a range of filmmaking and moving image strategies. Through close analysis of contexts and methods from a practitioner’s perspective, you will acquire a deepened understanding of storytelling and narrative techniques and principles.

  • Year 2

  • Expand your creative filmmaking skills through specialised technical workshops and crew-based filmmaking production. Identify interest areas and deepen your knowledge of the craft while experimenting with emerging, alternative and contemporary approaches to film and moving image practice.

    Core modules

    • Filmmaker (FILM511)

      The aim of this module is to enable you to build a strong understanding of film production through practice. You will consider different theories about the production process and examine a variety of forms, methods and strategies whilst developing your own short projects. The area of work chosen to explore will be defined by the student and will be a negotiated project. You may undertake any form of moving image including (but not exclusively) drama, documentary, experimental, or studio-based work. Each project will be developed using industry standard protocols such as scripts, pitch documentation, pre-visualisation and pre-post-production processes.

    • Cinematic Crafts (FILM512)

      In this module you will have the opportunity to explore a number of different cinematic crafts before choosing to specialise in one or two aspects of filmmaking through practical investigation. Through a series of skill workshops, practical exercises and critical review sessions, you will reflect, develop and expand on your technical knowledge and creative filmmaking. The practical investigation process is supported with tutorials and lectures that will aim to equip you in developing your own trajectories of skill development, experimentation and creative growth.

    • Imperfect Cinema (FILM513)

      This module fosters a practice-led environment in which to explore possible definitions, methods, approaches, production models, interventions, histories, and potentials for an imperfect cinema. Experimentation, formal innovation, DIY practices, and collaboration will be encouraged. The module will conclude with a public exhibition of your work, curated and produced by the group.

    • Common Challenge: Professional Filmmaker (FILM514)

      This module offers you the opportunity to develop your understandings of professional production through practice by working thematically on a live-brief. The research and project focus will relate to UN Sustainable Development Goals incorporating an interdisciplinary agenda. This offers you an opportunity to be presented with a real-world contemporary problem, providing a challenge for you to come up with fresh, creative ideas that could comment on/or contribute to some of the issues being examined. Your film projects will develop through collaboration, interaction and the exchanging of ideas. These creative, collaborative processes will lead you to developing concepts and pitches before producing film related work in response to the thematic prompts and opportunities.

  • Final year

  • Prepare for major final productions through research and experimentation with techniques and processes, and work on a number of short film projects to support your evolving portfolio. 

    Core modules

    • Common Dissertation: Critical Practices (ADA600)

      The module engages students in situating practice through research, contextualisation and critical reflection, in relation to their final stage study and post University aspirations. Programmes can offer: a traditional dissertation; preparation for an extended dissertation; situating existing practice; or the construction of a new body of work as practice-based research.

    • Experimentation (FILM611)

      This module addresses the exciting possibilities for experimentation. It’s about thinking though creative possibilities and finding your own working methods and working methodologies; where processes are underpinned by a sense of creative enquiry, risk-taking and celebration of the unknown. The structure allows you to experience, play and critically engage with processes, technologies and aesthetics.

    • Film Production (FILM612)

      Working both collaboratively and independently, you will conceive, develop and work on a short film or the consolidation of a body of filmic work. The format, style and intended audience will be determined by your understanding of your particular film practice and specialism. After a peer reviewed pitching process, you will undertake a period of pre-production leading to the production of a substantial work, supported by critical research and reflection.

    • Beyond Film (FILM613)

      This module is designed to support your filmmaking practice, portfolio development and professional aspirations. A core focus is the opportunity to engage in a ‘live-brief’ working in partnership with professional institutions or projects outside of the University. You will refine your professional portfolio through critical reflection, individual research and feedback from your peers and tutors, supporting your specific areas of practical, conceptual and creative interest and your professional ambitions beyond University.

Every undergraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the course aims, the course structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

The following programme specification represents the latest course structure and may be subject to change:

BA Hons Filmmaking Programme Specification 6889

The modules shown for this course are those currently being studied by our students, or are proposed new modules. Please note that programme structures and individual modules are subject to amendment from time to time as part of the University’s curriculum enrichment programme and in line with changes in the University’s policies and requirements.

Entry requirements

UCAS tariff

96 - 144

Digital portfolio
Creative portfolio required. Portfolio guidelines. 
A level
A minimum of two A levels; General Studies accepted.
International Baccalaureate
28 points.
18 Unit BTEC National Diploma/QCF Extended Diploma
BTEC National Diploma modules
If you hold a BTEC qualification, it is vital that you provide our Admissions team with details of the exact modules you have studied as part of the BTEC. Without this information, we may be unable to process your application quickly and you could experience significant delays in the progress of your application to study with us. Please explicitly state the full list of modules within your qualification at the time of application.
All access courses
Pass a named Access to Higher Education Diploma (preferably Art and Design or combined), with at least 33 credits at merit and/or distinction.
T level
Merit in digital production, design and development preferred however other subjects may be considered.
Mathematics and English Language grade C.
Equivalent qualifications may be considered.
We welcome applicants with international qualifications. To view other accepted qualifications, please refer refer to our tariff glossary.  

Fees, costs and funding

Student 2023-2024 2024-2025
Home £9,250 £9,250
International £16,300 £17,100
Part time (Home) £770 £770
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per 10 credits. Please note that fees are reviewed on an annual basis. Fees and the conditions that apply to them shown in the prospectus are correct at the time of going to print. Fees shown on the web are the most up to date but are still subject to change in exceptional circumstances. More information about fees and funding.

Additional costs

This course is delivered by the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business and more details of any additional costs associated with the faculty's courses are listed on the following page: Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business additional costs.

How to apply

All applications for undergraduate courses are made through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). 
UCAS will ask for the information contained in the box at the top of this course page including the UCAS course code and the institution code. 
To apply for this course and for more information about submitting an application including application deadline dates, please visit the UCAS website.
Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office via our how to apply webpage or email

Learn from experts in their field

Graduate success at NAHEMI student film awards

BA Filmmaking graduate Catherine Otyehel's third-year film Picking Glue has won best film at the prestigious NAHEMI (Nation Association for Higher Education in the Moving Image) student film awards 2023, beating competition from film schools all over the country. 
The short film was screened at the BFI Southbank Centre in London as part of the Eat Our Shorts Film Festival – see the full running order
still from short film Picking Glue by Catherine Otyehel
Still image from Picking Glue, Catherine Otyehel 
Filmmaking students
Filmmaking student using camera
Filmmaking studio

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