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

Film Production

UCAS codePP31

full time3yrs

placement option1yr

Informed by current industry practices and techniques

Course Overview

Why take this course?

We are an exciting and rigorous digital film production course. We strive for independent thinking, creative excellence and professionalism in the production of digital short film making. If you are looking for a career in film, television or video production then this course is for you!

The curriculum is highly creative, with 80% being practice-based and 20% theoretical. We focus on fiction and documentary forms of digital storytelling enabling you to develop skills in key areas such as researching, producing, directing, scripting, cinematography, sound recording and editing.

What will I experience?

On this course you can:

  • Learn how to develop, write, produce, direct, shoot, edit and promote short films for all platforms
  • Gain key practical techniques of filmmaking and operational skills using industry standard filming equipment, hardware and software
  • Take workshops and masterclasses to develop advanced skills including scriptwriting, directing actors, cinematography, sound design, producing and post-production
  • Learn editing skills within curriculum and optionally become an Avid Certified User

Visit our blog to find out more about the course, the team and what you might experience as a student on this course.

What opportunities might it lead to?

BA Film Production is a 'Pick the Tick' course accredited by Creative Skillset. Working with industry, Creative Skillset accredits practice-based degree courses that most effectively provide students with the skills and knowledge required by employers in the Creative Industries.

You will gain a comprehensive understanding of many key roles required for the digital production process. By the completion of your studies you will be a prepared, skilled and thoughtful practitioner with the expertise to fulfill a range of industry-related jobs.

Our students’ short films are regularly submitted and selected for International film festivals.  We host an annual screening event of our graduation films in London’s British Film Institute, to an invited guest list of industry contacts.

The Film and Broadcasting section is also accredited with Avid to offer a certified user editing course (The Avid MC101/MC110) that is industry recognised and respected. In addition, BA Film Production has forged educational relationships with ARRI, Sennheiser, Movie Magic Software, Filmlight, The Farm, and the Guild of Television Camera Professionals. 

Here are some routes our graduates have pursued:

  • Development 
  • Research 
  • Production
  • Post-production
  • Script writing
  • Camera department
  • Sound department
  • Broadcasting
  • Locations
  • Digital Imaging Technicians (DIT)
  • VFX


Ceejay Foster-Walters, BA (Hons) Television and Film Production student 2015

My course has shown me how to make successful films with meaning, teaching us the essential skills we need and preparing us for the professional world.

Ceejay Foster-Walters, BA (Hons) Television and Film Production student 2015


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

In the first year, you will work in teams on a broad range of digital storytelling formats. There’s also focus on practical skills and craft units providing a firm introduction to the whole production process including camera work, lighting and sound.

Core units in this year include:

  • Editing for Film and Video
  • E-Portfolio
  • Film Studies: Film, Form and Narrative
  • Film Representation
  • Film Storytelling
  • Shooting Techniques

Year two

Core units in this year include:

  • Film Fiction
  • Documentary Film 

Options to choose from in this year currently include:

  • Cinematography
  • Film Sound Production 
  • Directing
  • Script writing
  • Producing
  • Underwater Filming
  • Workflow and Post Production
  • Creative Music and Effects for TV and Film
  • External Live Brief
  • Professional Experience 
  • Student Enterprise

Year three*

This emphasis in Year 3 is on the Focus of skills; academic reward; self-marketing; and employability.

You will have the chance to showcase your practical skills by making a digital fiction or non-fiction short film of up to 20 minutes in duration. Following this main project, you’ll then round off your studies by completing an independent written project allowing you to develop your own critical question around film/TV. You will also complete units that focus on Marketing your film project, and also marketing you as an employable individual.

Core units in this year include:

  • Graduate Film (up to 20 min final project film)
  • Graduate Film Package (Marketing: Electronic Press Kit & Research of your film)
  • Dissertation Research Project
  • Self-Promotion (Advanced Film Industry Skills – Employability: Industry contact hours & Employability: Self Promotion; Business presentation; Blogs; CV etc)

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.


You will experience a variety of teaching through lectures, seminars and hands-on workshops.

However, independent study and self-motivation is also an essential part of your studies. We aim to encourage you to read from our numerous resources, take out university kit or use computer workstations in your own time to enhance your learning.

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: 26% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, 74% studying independently and 0% on work placement
  • Year two students: 17% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, 83% studying independently and 0% on work placement
  • Year three students: 12% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, 88% studying independently and 0% on work placement


Due to the practical nature of this course, assessment is extremely varied and includes:

  • Essay and report writing
  • Video essays
  • Film production artefacts
  • Group projects and presentations
  • Pitching
  • Production files
  • Practical assessments – live 'client-based' projects that emulate real-world practice
  • Workshops and supervised work sessions
  • Masterclasses
  • Tutorials
  • Production meetings

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: 8% by written exams, 40% by practical exams and 52% by coursework
  • Year two students: 8% by written exams, 28% by practical exams and 64% by coursework
  • Year three students: 0% by written exams, 28% by practical exams and 72% by coursework

Tutor's view


Ben Thompson
Course Leader

We believe in creativity and professionalism in the artistry, craft, and production of short film and television practice. Our curriculum directly responds to new technologies, practices and techniques of filmmaking. We stress the importance of high production values in terms of cinematography, sound and editing. We nurture new talent to become multi-skilled industry practitioners aware of current techniques with a critical understanding.

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Facilities & Features

Specialist Filming Equipment

You will have access to a wide range of technical resources including industry-standard professional filming equipment that includes:

  • Arri Alexa cinema camera systems – used in a variety of motion pictures, television programs and commercials
  • Sony FS7 - 4K Super 35mm Exmor CMOS sensor
  • Canon EOS C300 Super 35mm Digital Cinematography cameras
  • Canon 5D / 7D  DSLR cameras
  • Sound Devices 633 - 10 channel field recorders with Timecode
  • Tascam multi-track location audio recorders
  • Zaxcom digital radio camera 'hops'
  • Micron Explorer radio mics
  • Ambient Timecode slates
  • Avid Media Composer editing facilities
  • Foley and ADR Sound Studio
  • Multi-Camera TV Studios

We are accredited with Avid to offer certification in Avid Media Composer.

TV Studios

We have purpose built TV studios that allow the production of all types of television and film work. The studios are fully equipped enabling you to get loads of practical experience and ensure you are working to an industry standard.

CCI Channel

Our student-run TV channel, CCI Student TV, will also enable you to regularly contribute content that is screened live over the internet and around the University. You can submit your work or even be part of the presentation team.

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


You may need to spend £50 - £100 each year on a variety of materials, such as CDs, and DVDs. We also recommend that you acquire the most recent version of Avid accreditation text. This costs around £50 - £80.

For the optional Student Enterprise unit, there is a cost of approximately £20.

For the optional diving skills units: The Underwater Filming and Media unit is available if you have not dived before. It consists of
a PADI Open Water course, combined with the Underwater Filming and Media course, and costs around £800 for tuition, transport and diving costs.

The Underwater Filming and Media B unit is available if you already hold a PADI Open Water certificate (or equivalent). It consists of a further diving course (e.g. PADI Advanced Open Water), combined with the Underwater Filming and Media Course, and costs around £700 for tuition, transport and diving costs.


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Careers & Opportunities

Career prospects

Career prospects
Where next?

This course is designed for those who want a career in television or film. By the completion of your studies you will be a prepared, skilled and thoughtful practitioner aware of the practices, protocol, techniques and technology involved in filmmaking and television production, with the expertise to fulfill a range of industry-related jobs in the UK or elsewhere.

Roles our graduates have taken on include:

  • runners
  • camera assistants
  • junior/editing assistants
  • sound recordists
  • junior researchers
  • personal or production assistants
  • junior/production coordinators
  • 3rd / 2nd assistant directors

When established, our graduates go one to have successful staff or freelance careers – as researchers, production managers, producers, directors, camera operators, gaffers, cinematographers, production designers, sound and editors.

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.

University of Portsmouth
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Winston Churchill Avenue
Portsmouth PO1 2UP

T: +44 (0)23 9284 8484