Undergraduate FdA

Media Production (Taught at Salford City College)

Salford School of Arts, Media and Creative Technology

Attendance

Full-time

Course

Two year

Next enrolment

September 2022

Introduction

In a nutshell

This course is taught at Salford City College's MediaCity hub. You will be taught by industry and academic specialists with access to industry standard broadcast equipment, a multi-purpose TV studio and post-production suites.

On successful completion of the foundation degree, you can apply for further study at the University of Salford or other universities. Salford City College offers BA (Hons) Media Production

You will develop technical skills in TV and radio production and regularly engage in work placement opportunities. The course will help you to develop a wide range of industry relevant skills which will help to ensure that students are multi-skilled and well placed to pursue employment opportunities.

Unlike degrees specialising in an area such TV, Radio or VFX, this course aims to equip you with advanced skills to compete in a range of mediums but notably areas of popular employment such as: drama, documentary and studio production, content creation, marketing, events, graphic design, advertising and corporate promotions.

You will also be supported to pursue a work placement and develop your academic research and writing completing media theory and analysis. You will have access to new facilities in our Media Hub (MediaCity) where students have high spec editing suites, the latest industry software and professional grade camera, lighting and sound equipment. Alongside this, you will have use of a fully equipped TV studio with gallery, digital learning zone and photography studio with darkroom for your project’s needs.

 

"Over the two years, the course provided me with a fantastic network of contacts and opportunities with my peers and in industry. With the attentive teaching, support and group-based practical projects, you really feel part of a community of students and staff that really want you to grow. I graduate with a Distinction as a result. The benefits of this course include advanced editing with industry standard software and facilities - like Avid and Resolve. I have been trained with confidence from the experienced teachers and industry expert workshops, to ensure I leave fully prepared to start a lifelong media career"

Jack Clarke, foundation degree graduate. 

You will:
  • Build your technical and practical skills
  • Learn at Salford City College's purpose built facility at MediaCity
  • Regularly engage in work placement opportunities

This is for you if...

1.

You want to pursue a career in TV or radio production

2.

You enjoy hands-on, practical work

3.

You want to gain work experience whilst studying

Course details

All about the course

You will develop technical skills in TV and radio production and regularly engage in work placement opportunities. The course will help you to develop a wide range of industry relevant skills which will help to ensure that students are multi-skilled and well placed to pursue employment opportunities.

Many students begin their studies in media aiming to be the next Spielberg or Scorsese, but you will soon learn that the production skills alongside many transferable skills such as the art of effective communication, marketing and research is building a solid foundation for a multitude of professions.

Structure

You will be taught six modules in total, three per semester. Semester one runs from September to January and Semester two, January to May.

On succcessful completion you will be able to: 

  • Plan, produce and direct a range of products and concepts for different mediums and audiences
  • Demonstrate technical proficiency in the operation of broadcast equipment, audio techniques and post-production technologies. 
  • Identify, demonstrate and explain: film cinematography, TV production techniques, post-production workflow, sound theory and methods of marketing and self-promotion

This course is taught at Salford City College's MediaCity hub. Please check their website for details of upcoming Open Days.

Year one

Media Theory and Film Form

This module will introduce and develop your knowledge and understanding of the evolution of the media industry and its audiences, together with core media theory and film grammar.

This module is fundamental to enable you to be able to be able to read media and analyse texts, so you can plan and produce video content with purpose and convey meaning.

Module content will include:

The British media industry starting with the BBC origins as a monopoly, developing into today’s complex prosumer multi-media age.

Audience theory and the audience-text relationship.

Film theory; genre, technical, visual and audio codes, narrative and representation.

Research, academic writing and Harvard referencing

It will be delivered via in-depth interactive lectures, seminars and tutorials using a broad range of audio-visual resources. Lectures will be used to develop a breadth of knowledge whereas seminars will develop your depth of understanding, where you will deconstruct a range of texts and analyse film with peer support and class discussion. There will also be 1-2-1 tutorials to discuss essays and support your academic study with your tutor.

Introduction to TV and Broadcast Techniques

This module will provide you with the basic skills training that you need to begin creating broadcast content. You will develop an understanding across a variety of disciplines which includes the basic principles of camera setup and operation, three-point lighting setups, audio recording, self-directing for factual documentary and broadcast editing.

You will acquire these skills via project-based learning, practical demonstrations, workshops and lectures. Tutors will ensure you develop a competent understanding of broadcasting equipment technical roles within television, technologies in use in television and broadcasting and the fundamental principles of factual content creation.

Module content will include:

Research skills and implementation

Camera and audio set-ups and operation (ISO, Gain, Aperture, Shutter Speeds, ND Filters)

Mono/Stereo, Audio Levels, understanding different types of microphones and microphone placement

Health and safety within a filming environment

3-point lighting systems

Directing and sequences

Induction to Adobe Premiere Pro post-production workflow

Planning your media management

Cutting and grading a sequence

Understanding and applying a basic audio mixdown

Interview questions and techniques

An introduction to production management documentation.

Introduction to Audio and Video Editing

This module will set the editing foundations and will introduce you to DaVinci Resolve. This will allow you to perform and produce a short form edit which will encompass a range of post-production workflows. You will forge an understanding of media formats, media management, assembly editing, colour grading, audio mixing and encoding for delivery.

As part of your film making education, post-production is a vital component you must learn to be able to fully produce content. Through a series of practical workshops and tutor led demonstrations you will learn how to employ different practical audio and video editing techniques.

Module content will include: ·

History of editing 

Current professional industry standard workflows 

Visual storytelling; performance, cinematography, frame composition, sound and design to serve the narrative and the director’s vision

Media formats

Media management

Assembly editing

Colour grading

Audio mixing

Encoding for delivery

Introduction to Audio Production

This module will act as the foundation for audio production which will be utilised in other modules and built upon in later years. Audio production will allow for an introduction to radio, podcasting, experimentation of Foley and sound effects/designs.

A variety of theory and practical teaching, as well as different environments will allow you to fully immerse in audio production. The module is taught by a very experienced industry expert who will project supervise and also introduce other guest lecturers to discuss their experiences in this sector. One-to-one support will be available to help you enrich ideas generation, assist with research, scripting and troubleshooting using audio software packages.

Module content will include: 

Outline of the production houses and national production companies available

Developing an understanding of audiences and adapting to consumer needs

Introduction to techniques for sound/radio production

Podcasting for different genres

Introduction to professional standard software and hardware for recording

The role of the researcher and how to develop an idea from paper to production

Scriptwriting

Sound effects workshops and Foley

Interviewing skills workshops and sound recording workshops

Legal and ethical requirements and conventions for broadcasting

Building a news speech package

Creating a drama podcast

Content Creation

This module will allow you to develop a broad understanding of the contemporary media sector’s products and platforms and how a multitude of factors inform the creation and sustainability of a product.

The aim is to build your awareness and knowledge of the requirements and processes in this competitive industry. Lectures will be  supported by seminars which will allow you time to digest and explore new content. Implementation of research skills, working with your peers to conduct presentations, as well as proposal writing will be taught.

Module content will include:

The current media sector and different products

Cross-media institutions: British and US conglomerates

The TV industry and commissioning process

Budgeting

Research of TV genre, selecting a sub-genre

Target audience, trends and building a profile

Ideas generation on content-series synopsis

Marketing and the production process

Reach

Institution, Channel and Platform

Scheduling

Legal and ethical requirements and regulation

Research and data collection

Presentation skills and use of software

Industry talks from the same field (e.g. commissioners, television producers, content creators etc)

Multi-media Advertising Campaign

This module will be your chance to experience how an integrated advertising campaign is created. On the first day you will receive a brief from a marketing agency asking you to design and art direct a concept presentation for Film, Radio and Graphic Design.

Taught through lectures, practical exercises and group work, you will learn how a creative team in an advertising agency works with clients, to create and communicate a concept brand to a product. At the end of the module you will go head-to-head to pitch your ideas to the client who will choose their favourite concept.

You will be working with some of the world leading marketing agencies, Oliver, Sachi and Sachi and other blue-chip agencies on real live briefs for national and international brands.

Module content will include:

Understanding how a creative department approaches a client brief

Pitching and explaining concepts to clients with greater confidence

Identifying the purpose of your advertising campaign

Film production and post-production techniques for advertising

Storyboard design and application

Graphic Design workflow

Work collaboration within other creative teams

Year two

Media Ecologies

As the sole theoretical module in year two, you will be once again introduced to research, academic writing and Harvard referencing as a core fundamental to help refresh and build upon your skills from first year.

In this analytical module you will gain a broad understanding of the complexities of the news industry culminating in a critical essay. Taught through in-depth interactive lectures to build an array of knowledge supported by seminars to reflect and discuss with your peers to solidify learning.

You will examine the construction of news, regulation and ownership influences to be able to deconstruct news stories. You will also explore a range of case studies, scandals and debates to develop deep thinking and critical approaches. A variety of resources will be used in class including hard copy newspapers, news reports, social media, TED talks and online news to ensure you compare and contrast both content and platforms. Tutorials will be used for 1-2-1 academic support.

TV Drama Production

The module will introduce you to TV Drama arguably one of the most popular TV genres, developing and enriching your knowledge to effectively execute a conventional TV drama sequence. 

The module is diverse and mixes theory and practice where you will fully experiment and learn a range of production roles, as well as filming, sound, lighting, audio and editing techniques under the guidance of expert workshop-based tuition and demonstrations.

You will also be required to understand how theory informs practice, the technical differences working with fictional content over previously taught factual production and how to effectively work with scripted media whilst ensuring a balance of convention and creativity is demonstrated. There will be both individual and group work involved. Visiting industry experts who have worked in drama, will conduct talks to help develop and enhance your  knowledge and understanding.

Module content will include:

Codes and conventions of TV drama

Analysis and exploration of TV Drama opening sequences and clips.

Narrative structure, theories and techniques

Critical scene analysis in sub-genres e.g. crime drama, medical drama

Pre-Production

Production Crew Roles

Cinematography

Sound and lighting techniques

Constructing the sets/mise-en-scene

Editing Drama sequences using Davinci Resolve.

Directing

Characterisation and Emotional shift patterns.

Casting

Media Employability and Industry Placement

This module may be your first exploration into media employability, work experience and industry placements. This will offer you the core foundations and guidance for working with clients and building your own website, brand identity and networks.

The tutor will equip you with a simple yet essential toolbox that will develop throughout this module to enrich knowledge and understanding the UK creative sectors, to compete, create content and complete a placement for a company.

There will be a variety of lectures, tutorials and project supervision. Once the brief is set this module will be largely student led. Progress will then be monitored through project supervision, planning meetings and liaison with clients.

Module content will also include:

Creating a WordPress blog

Creating a media CV

Website construction.

Building a showreel

Brand identity.

Social media strategies and implementation.

Upskilling on camera and audio skills

Communicating and professional codes of conduct

40 hour work placement

Film Cinematography and Sound Design

Specialising in cinematography opens up a world of visual exploration within both the camera and lighting departments. In this module you will learn how to communicate audio-visual ideas, create a narrative voice using visual tools and develop craft skills in camera and lighting.

This practical, in-depth module will be demonstration led and give you the opportunity to serve as Director of Photography (DOP), camera operator, focus puller and clapper loader on a series of short films in an industry setting, offering hands-on insights into the world of super 8mm film cinematography.

At the start of the module you will learn the key principles of 35mm monochrome film still photography and navigate development, this will demonstrate the basic photography techniques.  

Once the film stock has been filmed, processed and transferred to a digital format, you will then edit the rushes in DaVinci Resolve and then design a creative sound design in DaVinci Resolve Fairlight application to match their picture lock. This module is also designed to critically evaluate camera acquisition workflow.

Peer to peer and small group learning will be required as well as collaboration with the photography department to use their darkroom and 35mm SLR cameras. 

Module content will include:

The history of film stock

Understanding and applying key basic elements of camera functions; shutter speed, ISO, F-stops and Lenses

The component layers of a soundtrack - dialogue, atmosphere, sound effects - their function and how the audience perceives them.

Recording, editing and mixing: Looking at the soundtrack from pre-production to the final mix.

Role production management within the camera and post-production workflow.

Lighting for monochrome and colour film stock

Multi-Camera TV production

The module will introduce you to multi-camera studio production instead of single camera techniques learnt in the first year and as such broadens your skillset. The module also allows you to fully experiment and learn a range of different production roles under the guidance of expert workshop-based tuition and demonstrations.

You are given autonomy to work in teams to produce pre-recorded content as well as being able to carry out a live programme recording in the studio.

This module will be very practical primarily taught in the TV studio to learn a wide variety of production skills, as well as creating VT content to combine to make a factual TV programme. Seminars will teach codes and conventions of a TV news based programmes and conduct small group analysis tasks to ensure students have theoretical core understanding before proceeding into production planning. As with any production project, you will be actively encouraged to conduct fieldwork and shoot on-location as part of the TV programme.

Module content will include:

Codes and conventions of factual TV programming

Production Crew Roles

The studio environment

Health and Safety

Comms and talkback TV Studio: ABC Talkback, Talkback workflow, Camera terms

Studio Camera and floor directing: Studio Camera, Unlocking the locks, Parts and Pieces, Intercom, Camera Operations, Camera Commands, Camera tips, Floor Directing, Microphone and sound checks, Floor directing the studio staff

Pre-Production and proposal writing

Prompter, graphics and VTS: Prompter, Graphics overview, DVE Keying, TX Export settings for VTS

On-location filming

Editing

Rundown and Blackmagic M/E 2 Switcher Operation

Assistant Directing and Directing: Timing Rushes, Directing, Camera Versus VTRS, Marking up a script

Camera Blocking and Set Construction

Studio rehearsals and TX Recording Assessment

Managing a Media Event

The module will act as a showcase for your final year of the foundation degree. Together with your peers, you will plan and organise an end of year event sharing your best work. The event will be a prime opportunity for you to network with industry contacts. The module will build teamworking, event planning and management, networking, interpersonal and self-promotional skills, all essential for pursuing employment opportunities in the sector.

This module will be largely student lead, seminars and visits to venues will be arranged to give your group a clear understanding of the parameters of the event. Progress will then be monitored through project supervision. You will be encouraged to use the TV studio or another similar event venue to conduct technical rehearsals and allow you to rehearse, problem solve and adapt as changes present.

Module content will include:

Identification of roles and responsibilities

Project planning- e.g. bookings- venue, crew and talent, resources, time management and tasks, prioritising workload, catering etc

Key roles and responsibilities within the team- leadership and teamwork

Legalities and health and safety requirements

Marketing, promotion and public relations

Technical requirements-studio plans

Financial planning, fundraising and managing budget constraints

Liaison with industry guests and clients

Curation, scheduling, scripting

Graphic design, sound design and audio-visual editing

Exhibition

Self-promotion and networking

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?

Teaching

You are taught through a combination of lectures, seminars, practical workshops and academic writing or portfolio activities. Seminars enable you to discuss and develop your understanding of topics covered in lectures and complete guided tasks. Workshops will be led by industry specialists who will guide you to be confident using equipment and how to direct effectively. Guided class-based activities will work on your academic skills to ensure you develop to the necessary standard to meet the demands of higher-level study. You will use industry-standard design software and have access to all our media facilities and resources throughout your course.

Independent learning

When not attending timetabled sessions, you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. Typically, this will involve developing your research and planning for projects, creating content individually or for group projects and attending any meetings for your modules.  Your independent learning is supported by a range of excellent facilities, including the library, the digital learning zone, TV studio with gallery and the photography studio.

Assessment

Percentage of the course assessed by coursework

100% written/practical

Feedback

You will receive feedback on all assessments throughout the year. Feedback is intended to help you learn and you are encouraged to discuss it with your module tutor.

Employment and stats

What about after uni?

On successful completion of the course, you could apply for further study at the University of Salford or pursue employment opportunities.

Salford City College offer a one year top up to BA (Hons) Media Production. 

A taste of what you could become

A director

A producer

A content creator

A camera operator

A video journalist

And much more...

Career Links

This course works with local, national and international companies and has productive relationships with our software and resource specialists.

Requirements

What you need to know

We are particularly interested in applicants who wish to work within the media industry in TV, film or advertising roles.

We also ask that you are willing to learn and undertake:

  • Industry-based work experience
  • Cinematography skills
  • Audio and Video content
  • Planning to deliver a project working to a live brief
  • Excellent attendance and a full-time commitment to group and individual projects
  • Theory, research and academic essay writing

The selection process will involve an UCAS application and also may involve an interview. Skype/telephone interviews are available for any applicants who are not able to attend interview at Salford City College.

Standard entry requirements

GCSE

English and Maths Grade C/4 or above

UCAS tariff points

80 points

BTEC National Diploma

Pass

How much?

Type of study Year Fees
Full-time home 2021/22 £7,500per year
Additional costs

Students will be expected to purchase a 250gb hard drive and suitable SD card to store their footage (approx £70 in total).

They will also be expected to purchase film stock.

Students will cover the cost of travel to and from local filming locations and placements.  

Student may be offered opportunity to complete industry certificated courses such as AVID Media Composer at an additional fee.

You should also consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.

Apply now

All set? Let's apply

Enrolment dates

September 2022

September 2023

UCAS information

Course ID P310

Institution S03