BA (Hons) Film Industries - University of Portsmouth
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BA (Hons)

Film Industries

UCAS codePP30

full time3yrs

placement option1yr

Explore international film culture from blockbusters to independent shorts

Course Overview

Why take this course?

Film Industries takes a fresh and dynamic approach to the study of film, from Hollywood blockbusters to Vimeo shorts, from international film culture to Nickelodeon and Netflix. It gives you the critical tools to understand film’s historic influence, its pioneers and moguls, its auteurs and its audiences.

It also provides insights into working practices, business models and creative roles within the industry today. Film Industries offers opportunities to acquire skills in screenwriting, video production and film journalism, among other things. 

What will I experience?

On this course you can:

  • Explore the present, past and possible future of films, including: Hollywood cinema, European film cultures and World cinema, promotion and censorship, film post-cinema, stardom and fandom, documentary and animation
  • Develop skills in scriptwriting, film journalism, marketing and applied research
  • Develop video production skills

What opportunities might it lead to?

On completion of the course, you will have well-honed communication and research skills, as well as subject-specific knowledge, industry insights and excellent transferable skills. Here are some routes our graduates have pursued:

  • film marketing
  • scriptwriter
  • advertising journalist
  • film reviewer
  • video producer
  • PR and communications officer


Jasmine Richards , Film student 2016

Throughout my degree, my writing and editing abilities have improved dramatically. I have also developed my skills in analysing and researching which proved very useful during my placement year.

Jasmine Richards , Film student 2016


Film, Media and Performing Arts

Find out what our students say about studying at Portsmouth, including:

  • The creative atmosphere that encourages students to explore their own interests and ideas
  • The excellent facilities which you will have access to
  • The lively mix of creative practice and critical understanding, ensuring that knowledge and learning is stimulating, cutting-edge and relevant to the wider world

Browse all courses in Film, Media and Performing Arts

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Structure & Teaching

Year one

Your first year is an introduction to the study of film and the beginning of your training in the skills and techniques you’ll be using throughout your course.

Core units in this year include:

  • Film, Genre and Adaptation
  • Screen Research
  • Screening Europe
  • Spectacular Hollywood
  • Understanding Film Production (1)
  • Writing for the Film Industries

Year two

This year allows you to start to specialise in the areas that interest you most. Choose to focus on specific areas of film history or culture and begin to develop practical abilities relevant to the film industry.

Core units in this year include:

  • Adaptations
  • World and Transnational Cinema
  • Critical Hollywood

Options to choose from in this year currently include:

  • Production Introduction - Script and Shooting
  • Professional Experience
  • Student Enterprise
  • Study Abroad
  • Marketing Movies
  • Transmedia Narratives and Strategies
  • UK Film Industry Post, Present and Future
  • Researching Genre in Film and Television

Year three*

The final year offers you a broad range of options to choose from. Depending on your interests, you also have the choice between a dissertation or undertaking a practical video project that boosts your professional production skills.

Options to choose from in this year currently include:

  • Comedy Culture and Form
  • Film Journalism
  • Gender, Sexuality and Cinema in the Hispanic World
  • Media Fan Cultures
  • Researching Animation
  • Practical Video Project
  • Documentary Screens
  • Researching Animation
  • The Entertainment Industries 

We use the best and most current research and professional practice, alongside feedback from our students, to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.

Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional units may not run every year. If a unit doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative unit.

*This course is also available as a 4-year sandwich (work placement).

Placement year

Between the second and third years of study you will have the option to undertake a work placement year. There are two exciting options for the placement year:

We offer a range of salaried professional placements as part of your degree.  You can gain invaluable work experience to help you prepare for your graduate employment.  The University can provide you with advice on how to secure a work placement that matches both the needs of your degree and your future career plans, as well as giving you useful links and contacts.

Interested in running your own business instead? We also offer students the chance to start-up and run their own company for a year as an alternative to the traditional work-based placement. Students who choose this option often start-up their companies with fellow, like-minded students, working together, as a bona fide operation, in an attempt to build a successful venture. The Faculty and University provide mentoring and support throughout the year.

To find out more visit our Employability and Enterprise page.


The greatest feature of our course is that it allows for your intellectual freedom and choice. By attending workshops, seminars, lectures, one-to-one tutorials and practical performance sessions, you’ll develop a range of skills that will be tailored to your planned career path.

The time you spend in teaching activities may depend on the units you select. As a guide, students on this course last year typically spent their time as follows:

  • Year one students: 27% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, 73% studying independently and 0% on work placement
  • Year two students: 25% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, 75% studying independently and 0% on work placement
  • Year three students: 9% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, 91% studying independently and 0% on work placement


Assessment takes many forms on the course enabling you to demonstrate the variety of your skills and talents. Here’s how we assess your work:

  • essays
  • presentations
  • video productions
  • film scripts
  • reports
  • a research portfolio
  • examinations
  • dissertation/project

The way you’re assessed may depend on the units you select. As a guide, students on this course last year were typically assessed as follows:

  • Year one students: 0% by written exams, 3% by practical exams and 97% by coursework
  • Year two students: 3% by written exams, 12% by practical exams and 85% by coursework
  • Year three students: 0% by written exams, 10% by practical exams and 90% by coursework

Tutor's view


Dr Christine Etherington-Wright
Film Industries

We had three criteria in mind when designing this course; it had to be interesting, substantial and, above all, useful. Film culture has changed radically over the last twenty years and we have to move with the time. So our course deals with the modern realities of films, looking at the people who make them and the people who watch them. Film Industries also packs in many sought-after skills, including market analysis, scriptwriting, video production and applied writing.

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Facilities & Features

Screening room

Watch movies in our purpose-built 80 seater screening room, with high quality surround sound and cinema-style seating.

Box of Broadcasts

Box of Broadcasts is the British Universities Film & Video Council’s on demand TV and radio service for education. As a student of Film Industries you will have access to 2 million broadcasts dating back to the 1990s, you can record from over 65 free-to-air channels and create your own clip compilations, search programme transcripts and more.

Creative Careers Centre

As part of your degree, you will have the opportunity to take a placement year, either in industry or by setting up your own business. The Creative Careers Centre provides a comprehensive service to both students and employers, which includes coordinating the advertising and recruitment for placement and internship positions.

University Library

Modern, comfortable and a great learning environment, our library offers a wealth of information including 400,000 books, DVDs, maps and thousands of online ejournals and newspapers. Many electronic resources are available anywhere, 24/7 and our friendly staff are always on hand to help.

Budgeting for your studies

There are extra costs associated with studying, which you will need to consider when planning your expenditure.

Recommended texts:
If you wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow from the University Library, the average price is £50-£60. You may be studying up to 6 units a year, each with a standard recommended text.

General costs:
We recommend that you budget £75 a year for costs of photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.

Final year project:
If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose to develop.

Other costs to consider

There may be costs for items such as DVDs and MiniDV tapes for use on practical units of approximately £20 - £30. Material costs for individual project work may cost between £50 - £100.

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Careers & Opportunities

Career prospects

Career prospects
Where next?

On graduating you’ll possess sharp communication and research skills as well as subject-specific knowledge and the transferable skills employers want.

Some of our alumni have gone on to work for big names such as the BBC, Warner Bros and Universal Pictures International, while others continue to study. Whatever your career plans this course will ensure you have the versatility and employability to take on a range of job opportunities.

Roles our graduates have taken on include:

  • sound and vision engineer
  • film/video producer
  • advertising journalist
  • assistant publicist
  • PR and communications officer

Work experience

Work experience
Employment boosting opportunities

Here at the CCI’s Creative Careers Centre we are committed to improving your employability. Whether it’s placements, self-employed placements, internships, short-term work experiences, freelancing opportunities and volunteering, we will help you find valuable and relevant work experience to complement your degree. The experienced team is always on hand to offer advice on everything from producing high-quality applications through to preparation for a company assessment day.

Career planning

Career planning

To make sure you take the right steps on your career path, we’re here to give you help, support and advice throughout your study. Even after you’ve graduated, we continue to give you support for up to five years.

Employers tell us that they want graduates to be able to demonstrate certain skills when they come out of university. Our courses take account of this. We make sure we prepare you for employment through work-related learning, projects, placements and working in simulated environments that are designed to prepare you for the working world.

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Apply now or visit us

Apply for 2018 entry

To apply, you'll need this course's UCAS code, which is at the top of this page, and the University of Portsmouth institution code – P80.

Apply now

After you apply, we'll invite you to an Applicant Experience Day where you’ll get to speak to lecturers and meet your future classmates.

Open Days for courses starting in 2019

Come to an Open Day and explore our course facilities, tour the campus and have a look around our halls of residence.

Book your Open Day

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to our terms and conditions as well as the University’s policies, rules and regulations. You should read and consider these before you apply.

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