Introduction to Filmmaking
Salford School of Arts, Media and Creative Technology
In a nutshell
Are you a budding Spielberg or DuVernay? Or perhaps you’re an aspiring young professional with a passion for camerawork, scriptwriting, audio production, or have a desire to make your film concepts a reality through team work on a production set? Wherever your passions lie, this BA (Hons) Film Production degree will equip you with the tools you need to take your first step into the professional film industry.
Our Film Production degree course is about learning to tell engaging stories through filmmaking. You will make and edit short films using high-end camera and editing at our state-of-the-art campus situated in the heart of MediaCityUK, the country’s biggest creative media cluster.
As part of your Film Production degree, you’ll develop key filmmaking skills including directing, producing and editing, as well as writing for screen, sound design, cinematography and production design. You will also learn key theories in film analysis which will help inform, inspire and contextualise your creative output. Through your degree, you will be engaging with collaborative projects designed to provide you with the professional skills you need to launch your creative career.
This degree is designed and led by industry practitioners. As part of your learning you will have the opportunity to gain professional accreditation in multiple areas – for example at the moment we offer accreditation in AVID and Protools. Based at MediaCityUK, there is a strong emphasis on preparing you for employment and entrepreneurial endeavour, helping you to contextualise your creative output and gain experience that will provide instant value to future employers.
- Study at our state-of-the-art digital media campus at MediaCityUK, in close proximity to professional film producers and broadcasters
- Gain hands-on experience while working on collaborative film projects and developing your own work ready for public display. Choose from a wide variety of module options, from Cinematography to scriptwriting and directing
This is for you if...
You are passionate about filmmaking and want to develop your skills in any area of film production
You have a creative and professional mindset.
You want to gain the hands-on experience needed to launch a professional career in Film Production.
All about the course
So, what does our Film Production courses at university involve? You’ll begin with an introduction to a broad range of Film Production techniques, collaborating with your fellow students by working in groups to create films in a range of styles. You’ll learn how to work your concepts into compelling high-quality film stories, applying your skills in different areas of filmmaking to bring your ideas to life. Whether you choose to film on campus or on location, you’ll learn how to plan and run shoots, direct shoots, get the best out of your camera, sound and lighting kits and how to edit and grade. You’ll also learn key concepts in critical film theory and explore and analyse the evolution of film.
As your bachelor’s degree in Film Production progresses, you’ll quickly engage with the strong emphasis throughout the course on preparing for employment after graduation or engaging further in our MA in Film Production. Your final trimester is dedicated to enabling you to make a film to showcase your strengths to industry.
In the second year you build further on your filmmaking skills with longer and more challenging assignments and have the chance to develop your own creative interests with a choice of options from post production sound through to experimental filmmaking. The optional module in Professional Film Practice encourages you to start developing your professional networks and build your CV and showreel content for your own website.
In your final year you will develop your chosen specialist interests to advanced level, collaborate and innovate in producing film projects that cross traditional boundaries and work on a major project of your own choosing to create film that will be your calling card to industry. You will also be encouraged to think about challenging your learned skills and interests by staying on for another year to do the MA in Film Production.
Gain a deeper understanding of the modules we offer in our course breakdown below.
In this module you will work in teams and develop strong professional working relationships with the rest of your group. You will learn the crafts that will contribute to good Film Production. There will be class/seminar sessions that involve you working with industry standard cameras, sound and lighting kits. The aim is to make you all familiar with film making techniques and processes so that regardless of your career aim you will have a strong understanding of the roles and processes involved in film production work.
Introduction to Film Analysis
This module examines 'What is a film? What is cinema?' The module studies various aspects of film elements that engage and communicate with the audience. It introduces the concept of film form and enables you to identify and analyse its different elements of that form. As film makers you will begin to engage with wider institutional contexts and audiences. The module will develop your abilities in assessing how the various aspects of film form combine to make meaning and engage an audience.
Introduction to Film Theory
This module will introduce you to a range of theoretical and critical approaches to engaging with film and film cultures. Through this module, you will develop an awareness of different approaches to film making and how social, cultural and political landscapes affect the film maker. You will view and discuss a range of films, directors and practitioners and examine the contemporary usefulness of a breadth of theoretical approaches to writing about and engaging with film.
Cinematic Practice and Production
This module focuses on building on your single camera film making skills and knowledge from trimester one. The overall aim is to develop and extend knowledge in film production using a variety of devices and technologies. This module will also develop film techniques and creative cinematic practices for your film production work.
Introduction to Producing and Directing
This module is intended to provide you with the opportunity to develop key skills and understanding in developing ideas into a viable production project. This module is designed to enable you to gain an understanding of the requirements and practices associated with the key roles of producer, director and assistant director including management, budgeting, camera scripting/blocking and scheduling.
Storytelling for Screen
This module will introduce you to the fundamentals of narrative structure, ideas generation, research for writing, development and professional script formatting. This will equip you with the skills and knowledge needed to begin writing engaging, short film scripts. Our main focus will be on short narrative and scriptwriting, giving opportunities to develop deeper knowledge of the importance of characterisation, story structure and descriptive writing techniques.
Film Making Practice
This module is designed to enhance your filmmaking skills in a group context. Through the process of making a short film, you will learn how to operate on a professional film set, how stories develop from inception through production and post-production, and how to professionally operate higher level kit.
Following on from Filmmaking Practice, through the production of a short film, you will take on a specialist role, developing your craft in the context of a group filmmaking project. You will continue to learn how to use high-end kit, and further learn about how film sets operate to ensure high technical and creative standards.
Optional modules may include:
Global Cinema 1 and 2
These modules will introduce you to different modes of film-making and film movements relating to cultural, political and social contexts throughout the history of cinema. You will develop an understanding of how industrial, independent and experimental forms of film co-exist.
Professional Film Practice
This module focuses on building confidence and aims to help you develop strong employability skills including CV writing, developing a professional online presence, networking and professional etiquette. You will be able to build a strong portfolio of work with a view to presenting this to industry and gaining work experience.
Sound Practice for Production
In this module you will be looking at and exploring sound in film production. Looking at audio acquisition on both location and studio settings. This module provides you with a detailed and practical overview of the sound team and the tools and practices for sound production. You will learn about the range of microphones, and their differing applications, external recorders and the creative scope that is possible within the production of sound for film
This module examines how editing shapes cinematic storytelling. You will learn Avid Media Composer to build your editorial and media management skills. You will analyse and make creative picture, sound and music editing choices in class exercises and assignments using the Avid NLE. You'll participate in lively discussions on the art and craft of editing; thus you'll grow confident expressing your ideas to a room full of creatives and you'll develop the excellent communication skills required of any professional editor.
Scriptwriting for Film
This module will examine all fundamental aspects of fictional storytelling including narrative structure, character development, character types, relation of character to plot and the use of subplots. We will foster your practical skills in structure, plotting, character creation and dialogue for dramatic scripts. you'll also examine the use of the three act structure.
This module is recommended for those students intending to focus their studies on the historical, theoretical, technical, and organisational aspects of cinematography, their practical application, and the effect they have on the aesthetics of a production. Together, we will examine past and present cinematography theories, techniques, and technologies. We will foster technical proficiency with a range of camera equipment and hands on test shoots. Through this process, you will also gain an understanding of the roles and responsibilities that organise the camera department.
Producing and Directing
In this module, you will focus on one of the following roles; producer, director. By working collaboratively, you will learn about how the key producer-director relationship functions in order to tell cinematic stories. You will cover narrative and story development, pitching, casting, working with actors and distribution.
Documentary Film: Theory and Practice
You will identify and examine key social, historical and aesthetic developments in the evolution of documentary film, informing the production of a short documentary in small teams. You In this module, you will focus on one of the following roles; producer, director. By working collaboratively, you will examine a script project during the 12 week semester using organisational and visual skills. In the final three weeks, you will shoot, edit and present a short scene sequence from a screenplay. You will explore the work of documentary filmmakers in specific historical and aesthetic contexts, and apply these practices to your own work.
Production Design: Tools and Processes
This module is designed to enable you to gain an understanding of the requirements and practices associated with the art department in the production of a film. The module will focus on developing a critical overview of the role and practices of the production designer, providing a range of opportunities for you to apply your knowledge of production design to practice within the film making process.
Post Production Sound
On this module, you will develop sound acquisition skills to an advanced level and offer the opportunity to apply them, explore the relationship between sound acquisition and post production; extend your understanding of the principles of the speciality; and explore and manipulate a range of audio post production software.
University Wide Language Programme
This module provides the opportunity to learn or develop a language with the University-wide language programme.
This is a practical module, rooted in a hands-on exploration of, and experimentation with, the potential of film to generate audio-visual meaning in new, unexpected ways, outside of mainstream understandings of narrative structure, value and achievement. You will learn about the tradition of experimental film and art cinema, examining the creative process and rationale of key experimental/avantgarde filmmakers and visual artists. You will research and devise your own experimental projects – embracing chance and uncertainty, applying unconventional production and post-production approaches and tools, and exploring alternative presentation/exhibition modes.
This is a step up from all your previous academic learning at University. You have 12 weeks to write a dissertation on one of your favourite subjects in which you will have the opportunity to apply your critical understanding of Film Production and relevant contexts. This module will enable you to scope out a substantial written research project and encourage you to conduct in-depth independent research. It will give you the opportunity to develop skills of critical analysis. It will equip you with the knowledge and skills needed to construct an extensive, sustained argument informed by relevant methodologies and ethical protocols.
Final Film Project
This module entails the production of a high quality short film. With the help of your supervising tutors you will negotiate your workload to ensure you take on a major role on a film in your final trimester. This project is very much about us helping you do what you want and specialise in a filmmaking role in preparation for professional work.
You will select one of the above options for your final project and will then do either of the following Core subjects depending on which option you choose.
Film and Ideology: Contemporary Cinema- Core subject if you are doing Dissertation
This theory-based module will introduce you to a variety of critical debates that surround film ideology. The module will provide the opportunities to develop advanced knowledge and analytical tools needed to analyse particular examples of contemporary cinematic forms, styles and genres in relation to realism. The module will examine and analyse common practices as well as the main key differences between contemporary traditions of cinematic realism and explore political concerns of some contemporary cinematic in Europe and beyond.
Final Film Project: Preparation – Core subject if you are doing the Final Film Project
This module focuses on preparing you for your final year individual and group tasks. You will develop an evidence based portfolio consisting of research for your production contribution. The aim of this module is to encourage in depth research into your chosen subject matter in order to undertake the responsibilities of a major role in your second trimester film.
Final Film Project: Preparation
This module focuses on preparing you for your final year individual and group tasks. You will develop an evidence based portfolio consisting of research for your production contribution, the aim of this module is to encourage in depth research into your chosen subject matter and practices for film production in order to undertake the responsibilities of a major role in your second trimester team film product. There will be a written report associated with your work, we will try and help you make this closely related to your practice.
British TV Fictions– Dissertation Only
Exploring the wide and varied history of drama on British television, the module will impart a sophisticated understanding of contemporary British TV fictions via their historical development; analyse the changing production contexts of British television drama; and, provide students with the advanced skills required to undertake close textual analysis of TV fictions. The module provides an opportunity for students to contextualise particular examples of TV drama in terms of production, format and audience.
Lighting for Camera
This module is designed to help you develop your understanding of camera and lighting for a variety of professional scenarios. You will develop lighting and director of photography skills to a high technical level. By examining and understanding the theories and concepts of lighting, you will be able to apply these principles to practice through appropriate lighting design for a variety of genres. You will focus on formulating an understanding of light properties and how these properties can be manipulated to bring about appropriate lighting solutions to production work.
Hollywood Masculinities-Dissertation Only
This will let students explore key (transitional) representations of men and masculinity throughout Hollywood history. Beginning with an examination of the pre-code ‘mob men’, moving to representations of men (and dangerous women) in film noir and 1980's muscular hero action pics, among other key masculine characterisations, the module will analyse how the representation of Hollywood’s leading men has always been an altering document, drawn and redrawn to meet the demands of the day. Critical skills concerning gender, identity and representation theories will come to bear on one of the burgeoning, most hotly-debated areas of the film discipline.
Production Design: Design for Narrative
Film and Theory– Dissertation Only
Building upon work undertaken in Year One and Two, this module will provide you with the intellectual tools to undertake a detailed theoretical analysis of film.
Transmedia Storyworlds– Dissertation Only
The module explores the socio-cultural histories of transmedia franchises and their fictional storyworlds across TV, radio, films, comic books and videogames. Transmedia Storyworlds equips students with an advanced understanding of how industrial forces shape productions of storyworld content across a given transmedia franchise, and explores how adaptations of fictional storyworlds exploit the narrative affordances of a range of different media. The module equips students with an advanced understanding of transnational flows whereby cultures from around the world reimagine globally famous characters and storyworlds so as to establish locally specific meanings, and critically examine the ideological positions of transmedia franchises and their storyworlds.
Advanced Sound Design
This module focuses on helping you extend your sound design skills and develop sound acquisition and sound manipulation skills and knowledge to an advanced level. You will develop an understanding on how sound elements are combined to assist the narrative in creating an emotional impact on the audience. You will utilise a range of equipment and post production sound facilities to create sound to a professional standard.
Film Marketing, Distribution and Exhibition
This module allows you to explore the fields of film marketing, distribution and exhibition. As a film maker/producer you will be able to critically understand the field of exhibition and its importance to the film maker. You will also develop an understanding of the role of film festivals within the film industry and examine the importance of the process of marketing, distribution and exhibition of films in a digital age.
Directing for Fiction
This module will focus on helping you develop directing skills to an advanced level. You will explore the relationship between director, actors and crew in order to develop an in depth understanding of the role of the director. There is a particular focus on working with actors to develop blocking and performance that tells stories cinematically.
21st Century Factual TV – Dissertation Only
The module provides a framework for understanding contemporary factual television using a range of perspectives including historical, cultural, industrial, and technological. Areas of study will include television documentary (e.g. ob docs, docu-soaps), the emergence of reality TV and its ongoing impact on factual television forms and genres, transformational television (e.g. lifestyle & makeover programming), and youth TV (factual programming aimed at the 16-25 year audience demographic). The module draws on examples from British and US factual television.
This module will develop to an advanced level your knowledge of contemporary factual television, and will provide you with the opportunity to conduct specialised academic research into a factual television genre/programme of your choosing.
Advanced Editing continues the work started in Editing Film in year two. On this course, you learn AVID to a more Advanced level, and continue developing your skills in using editing techniques to tell cinematic stories. There is also a focus on online editing and grading.
University Wide Language Programme
This module provides the opportunity to learn or develop a language with the University-wide language programme.
At level 6 we will explore the creative and theoretical writing processes that will help you develop your craft. Screenwriting theory will act as a springboard to your individual writer’s journey. The module will work with you to celebrate the creative challenges and choices a writer makes in order to communicate their story. The module allows you to investigate a range of methods and approaches to the development of structure, non-linear narratives, characters, theme and dialogue. You will get to explore how and why we tell stories, which will support you to plan your script and unpack your story, characters and plotting. Ultimately the module will work with you to develop your writing and to create flexible script development processes that will support your creative career.
Please note that it may not be possible to deliver the full list of options every year as this will depend on factors such as how many students choose a particular option. Exact modules may also vary in order to keep content current. When accepting your offer of a place to study on this programme, you should be aware that not all optional modules will be running each year. Your tutor will be able to advise you as to the available options on or before the start of the programme. Whilst the University tries to ensure that you are able to undertake your preferred options, it cannot guarantee this.
What will I be doing?
As part of your Film Production degree, you’ll be provided with a timetable that will include a breakdown of your scheduled lessons with timeslots for you to explore your independent research interests. Your classes will be based at our MediaCityUK campus.
Teaching will be delivered in a variety of ways, including large group lectures, practical seminars, demonstration workshops, small group supervision and personal tutorials. The tutors on this course are largely industry experienced, industry active or leaders in their field of academic theory.
A big part of studying Film Production at university is how we assess you. There are no exams on this course, but we will expect you to produce high-quality written essays and practical coursework. You’ll work both individually and in groups to create a range of projects for assessment.
BE A PART OF A CREATIVE, SUPPORTIVE COMMUNITY
All our Film, TV and Radio courses are delivered by the Salford School of Arts, Media, and Creative Technology. Our focus is to ensure that you have the skills you need to pursue your dreams, and we encourage our students, past and present, to collaborate with each other and achieve great things.
Each year - through the Create Awards – our School rewards the incredible achievements and successes of our final year and postgraduate students.
Whatever you choose to study with us, you’ll be mentored and supported by experts. And once you graduate, it won’t end there. You’ll join a thriving alumni network across Greater Manchester and beyond, meaning you’ll be supported professionally and personally whenever you need it.
Our MediaCityUK facilities are industry-standard, so much so that they are used by our industry partners themselves.
When you study with us on this Film Production degree, you’ll learn from our experienced tutors and demonstrators, who’ll teach you how to use our facilities. These include:
TV studios - our TV studios have been used by the BBC for a variety of broadcasts, such as the Olympics and Christmas music concerts, and they’re equipped with the same audio-visual systems used by ITV and Sky too.
The studios have green screen facilities as well as basic props so you can design and build sets for a range of projects.
Green screen facilities - these allow you to create effects such as those you see on weather reports and incorporates a camera system and 3D graphics software.
Audio production - we’ve got all the hardware and software you need to make sure you’ll know just how to create, edit, mix and master audio for film and television. Our main studios feature Avid S6 consoles – a similar set up to those at our MediaCityUK neighbours, such as Dock10 and ITV.
MakerSpace - bring your designs to life using 3D scanners and printers, power tools and a range of art and craft materials.
Stop-frame studio – we have animation booths equipped with industry standard lighting, grip, software and cameras and learn just what it takes to make your ideas and storyboards a reality.
Computer Suites and Editing Studios – our computer suites are equipped with the latest industry-standard software. You’ll learn from our experienced demonstrators, who’ll teach you the skills needed to turn your concepts into a reality.
Equipment stores - cameras, lighting kits and mics – they’re all essential to media production. But don’t worry, you won’t need to spend thousands of pounds to get the set-up you need – we have a fully equipped equipment store available for you to use and take out industry-standard kit.
What about after uni?
Achieving a Film Production degree will mean you’re well-equipped with the technical and creative skills you need to work in the film and wider creative industries. Recent graduates of this course have established successful careers in many aspects of Film Production, from directing and camerawork to audio and post-production. You’ll also develop transferable skills that will serve you in other areas of broadcast and online media, as well as the digital creative sector more widely.
Graduates showing strong academic and research skills can pursue a further postgraduate path through our Postgraduate programmes on a full-time or part-time basis subject to a satisfactory proposal.
Our location at the heart of MediaCityUK means that we are ideally placed to foster links with film, TV and other creative digital media companies. You will have the opportunity to work on creative projects with media production companies, and may be offered work placements with our industry partner
What you need to know
To gain a place on this Film Production degree, you’ll have to submit a personal statement and meet our entry requirements when you apply.
Within your film production personal statement (up to 4000 characters), we’ll want to understand:
- what motivates you and what current experiences do you have in terms of film and media creation; whether that’s scriptwriting, filming cameras, and editing for example?
- how have you been involved and what did you do?
- Are you a creative thinker and how do you develop ideas?
- do you have any knowledge of the film production industry or film sector; are there any projects that inspire you?
- why do you want to work in the film and TV sector?
- and why the University of Salford and this Film Production degree is the right choice for your future goals.
As part of your application, we will need to see a portfolio of work to provide opportunity for you to share your creative practice with us. Any offers will be conditional upon our subject team having the opportunity to review your portfolio, and we look forward to viewing your work. For some applicants, you may also be asked to take part in an informal group seminar discussion or interview– either live or on camera – to demonstrate your skills.
Once you’ve made your application to study with us, we’ll contact you and let you know the next steps.
Want to find out more about our degree in Film Production? Sign-up to an Open Day or attend a campus tour.
English Language requirements
International applicants will be required to show a proficiency in English. An IELTS score of 6.0, with no element below 5.5, is proof of this.
English Language and Maths at grade C/level 4 or above (or equivalent).
You must fulfil our GCSE entry requirements as well as one of the requirements listed below.
UCAS tariff points
BTEC National Diploma
DDM including Film and TV Production
BTEC Extended Diploma
Access to HE
Pass Level 3 Acess to HE Diploma with 128 points in Media and Cultural Studies
128 AAAA Media/Film studies = Highly Desirable
Irish Leaving Certificate
128 Media/Film Studies = Highly Desirable
Pass in Diploma of at least 60%
Salford Alternative Entry Scheme (SAES)
We welcome applications from students who may not meet the stated entry criteria but who can demonstrate their ability to pursue the course successfully. Once we have received your application we will assess it and recommend it for SAES if you are an eligible candidate.
There are two different routes through the Salford Alternative Entry Scheme and applicants will be directed to the one appropriate for their course. Assessment will either be through a review of prior learning or through a formal test.
|Type of study||Year||Fees|
|Full-time home||2021/22||£9,250per year|
|Full-time international||2021/22||£15,600per year|
|Full-time home||2022/23||£9,250per year|
|Full-time international||2022/23||£15900per year|
You should also consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.
Scholarships for international students
If you are a high-achieving international student, you may be eligible for one of our scholarships.
We have a range of scholarships available for students applying for courses in 2020-2021 and 2021-2022. Our Global Gold Excellence Scholarship is worth £3,500 and our Global Silver Excellence Scholarship is worth £3,000 - both are available for students studying in our 2021/22 intakes.
We also offer the Salford International Excellence Scholarship which offers up to £5,000 discount on tuition fees. As this is a prestigious award we have a limited number of these scholarships available.
See the full range of our International Scholarships.
All set? Let's apply
Course ID W435