Film studies and creative writing BA (Hons)

A student reviewing a script
UCAS Code
P39W
Mode of Study
Full-time, Full-time sandwich with work placement
Duration
3 years full-time, 4 years sandwich with work placement
Start Date
September 2022, September 2023

Apply through Clearing

To start this course in 2022 complete this short application form, call us on +44 (0)23 9284 8074 or go to our Clearing section to chat with us online.

Our Clearing hotline is open from 9.00am to 5.00pm Monday to Thursday, and 9.00am to 4.00pm on Fridays.

Overview

Blend your love of film with your passion for writing on our BA (Hons) Film Studies and Creative Writing degree course. 

You’ll explore theories and genres of film and writing through history, study how they might evolve in the future, and experience the craft of filmmaking both as critic and creator. This unique combination will support and prepare you to write short stories, create scripts, and produce screenplays.

From your second year, you'll collaborate more widely and chose modules such as filmmaking, editing, and having your scripts brought to life on the main stage of the New Theatre Royal by fellow performance students.

You'll develop skills on this degree course that will set up for a career in the creative sector, particularly the film industry. Other career paths include journalism, scriptwriting, marketing, public relations and teaching.

Course highlights

  • Take part in Portsmouth's annual Comic Con for the latest developments in creative writing and literature, popular culture, fan communities, and technology – course lecturers and students are panellists
  • Get the opportunity to shadow theatre professionals and have your work performed on stage thanks to our links with Portsmouth's New Theatre Royal and other local theatres
  • Deepen your learning from an experienced teaching team of published novelists and journalists, prestigious magazine editors, scriptwriters, academic researchers, and performance poets
  • Build your writing portfolio by contributing to our course blog The Eldon Review and hyperlocal news zine Star & Crescent
  • Gain valuable professional experience by taking an optional placement
  • Experience another culture and way of learning by studying abroad for a year or a single semester
  • Boost your lingual abilities by learning a language with our extra-curricular Institute-Wide Language Programme – and earn credits for it
TEF Gold Teaching Excellence Framework

Entry requirements​

BA (Hons) Film Studies and Creative Writing

Typical offers
  • A levels – BBC–BCC
  • UCAS points – 104–112 points (calculate your UCAS points)
  • T levels – Pass (C or above in the core)
  • BTECs (Extended Diplomas) – DMM
  • International Baccalaureate – 25

You may need to have studied specific subjects – See full entry requirements and other qualifications we accept

Selection process

Applicants may be required to submit a portfolio of written work.

For more information on how to put together a portfolio, read our Creative Writing courses portfolio guide.

English language requirements
  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.

See alternative English language qualifications

We also accept other standard English tests and qualifications, as long as they meet the minimum requirements of your course.

If you don't meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

Note that from 2023 the name of this course is BA (Hons) Screenwriting.

Typical offers
  • A levels – ABB–BBC
  • UCAS points – 112–128 points (calculate your UCAS points)
  • T levels – Merit
  • BTECs (Extended Diplomas) – DDM–DMM
  • International Baccalaureate – 25

You may need to have studied specific subjects – see full entry requirements and other qualifications we accept

Selection process

Applicants without relevant qualifications will be requested to provide a portfolio to support their application.

For more information on how to put together a portfolio, read our Creative Writing courses portfolio guide.

English language requirements
  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.

See alternative English language qualifications

We also accept other standard English tests and qualifications, as long as they meet the minimum requirements of your course.

If you don't meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

How to prepare for this course

Here are two ways you can get ready for all the exciting writing you'll be doing over the next three years.

A man reading a book in an expansive library

Reading books

We have some recommended titles you can check out:

  • ‘The Writer’s Journey’ (Christopher Vogler)
  • ‘The Seven Basic Plots’ (Christopher Booker)
  • ‘From the Beast to the Blonde’ (Marina Warner)
  • ‘The Creative Writing Handbook’ (edited by Steve Earnshaw)
  • ‘Save the Cat’ (Blake Snyder)

All of these appear in module reading lists on our Creative Writing courses, so buying them could be worthwhile – or you could wait until you can access them in our University Library or on our Moodle pages after starting this course.

A woman writing in a book with a mobile and coffee cup beside her

Writing

Write every day; don’t throw any of it away.

Writing's the easiest and most important way to prepare for a creative writing course. The more you write, the more you’ll:

  • discover your voice
  • hone your technique
  • become more self-reflective

You don’t have to pen a major publication or a future blockbuster screenplay either. You can start small by keeping a diary, journal, or setting up your own blog, and adding entries to those. 

Facilities and specialist equipment

A man holding a Sony camcorder
A pile of script pages with Courier font

Writing and scripting software 

Pen film, TV and stage masterpieces using industry-wide scriptwriting software such as Celtx and Final Draft.

A man sitting in a studio space

White Swan Building

Our drama and theatre hub was developed in partnership with Portsmouth’s esteemed New Theatre Royal. It has all the spaces and equipment you need for stage and performance productions: from rehearsal to final act.

Explore Building

A group of students on computers in a room

Open Access Suite

Our open-plan space includes PCs and Macs equipped with Adobe Creative Suite and other professional software.

Explore Suite

Female student reading in the library

University Library

Our University Library is home to not only publications you'll need for your studies but also rare archives and special book collections that will help kindle your writing fire.

Explore Library 

Watch Lisa van Hees' Film Industries and Creative Writing short story
/Kore/ [Excerpt]

'Kore' is a short story written by 2021 Film Industries and Creative Writing graduate, Lisa van Hees, for her dissertation. It's a response to her research that revealed the lack of female friendships in young adult fiction.

'Kore' takes place at a university in Berlin. Briar, Neva and Ren – its main characters – are modern inspirations of Persephone, Athena, and Artemis: three key goddesses in Greek mythology whose myths have inspired stories for centuries. Lisa uses these archetypes to play with the reader's knowledge and trigger associations.

Lisa often experiments with subtext, meaning, and allusion. By examining the process through careful research of her own artefact, she can apply that knowledge to her future works.

Credits

  • Written and edited by Lisa van Hees
  • Cinematography by Lester Kamstra

Careers and opportunities

Alongside critical awareness and creative ability in film and writing, you'll also develop project management skills applicable to any career path you pursue. Your burgeoning screenwriting skills will enable you to work in other creative media besides film, television, and the stage, such as video games and graphic novels.

You can also continue your studies to postgraduate level or take further teacher training to work in education.

Graduate areas

Areas graduates from our Creative Writing courses have worked in include:

  • creative writing (prose, poetry, script)
  • advertising and marketing
  • arts and events management
  • local and community broadcasting
  • teaching
  • stand-up comedy
  • travel industry

Graduate roles

Roles graduates from our Creative Writing courses have gone onto include:

  • novelist
  • poet
  • playwright
  • teacher
  • copywriter
  • journalist
  • theatre manager
  • editorial assistant

Ongoing careers support

Get experience while you study, with support to find part-time jobs, volunteering opportunities, and work experience. You can also venture into freelancing, or set up and run your own business with help from the University Startup Team.

Towards the end of your degree and for up to five years after graduation, you’ll receive one-to-one support from our Graduate Recruitment Consultancy to help you find your perfect role.

A woman wearing headscarf and neck scarf smiling to camera

From studying African films in 'Transnational Cinema' to writing my own modern myth in 'Telling Tales', this course has really helped me prepare for a career in the creative industries.

Beverley Wambalaba, BA (Hons) Film Studies and Creative Writing student

Placement year (optional)

Between your second and third year, you can complete an optional work placement to gain professional experience and enhance your skills. It's also a great incentive for employers once you graduate.

You can work for a company, organisation or agency, or you can go self-employed and start your own business with fellow students or by yourself.

Whatever you decide – or even if you just want some employability advice – our exclusive Creative Careers team can support you every step of the way.

Placement experiences

Placement students on our Creative Writing courses have worked in a variety of roles in commerce, publishing, entertainment, and education. Others have chosen to work for themselves.

Among these experiences are:

  • Digital content creator at the head office of a major retailer
  • Trainee editorial assistants at The London Magazine and Star & Crescent
  • Writing and publishing novellas and poetry collections as a freelancer
  • Content writer for a Brixton music promotion company
  • Teachers in schools

What you can do on a placement year

If you're thinking of doing a placement but not sure what role to take or where to go, we can steer you in a direction that fits your aspirations.

Check out our Creative Careers team's blog to find out where fellow film, media and communication students have interned during their studies.

Read our blog post

What you'll study on this BA (Hons) Film Studies and Creative Writing degree

Each module on this course is worth a certain number of credits.

In each year, you need to study modules worth a total of 120 credits. For example, 4 modules worth 20 credits and 1 module worth 40 credits.

Modules

Year 1

Year 2

Placement year (optional)

Year 3

Core modules

All modules below are worth 20 credits each.

  • Film, Genre and Adaptation
  • Professional Writing
  • Spectacular Hollywood
  • Telling Tales
  • Tips, Tricks, Techniques
  • Writing for the Film and TV Industries

Optional modules

There are no optional modules in this year.

Core modules

All modules below are worth 20 credits each.

  • British Cinema
  • World and Transnational Cinema

Optional modules

All modules below are worth 20 credits each.

  • Comic Book Industries
  • Creative Writing and Critical Thinking
  • Creative Writing for Comedy
  • Creative Writing for Film
  • Engaged Citizenship through Interdisciplinary Practice
  • Film, Media and Communication Study Exchange (60 credits)
  • Finding Form - Fiction
  • Finding Form - Non-Fiction
  • Finding Form - Speculative Fiction
  • Finding Form - Writing for Performance
  • Press and Public Relations
  • Production: Camera and Editing
  • Production: Short Film-Making
  • Professional Experience
  • Researching Genre
  • Student Enterprise
  • Transmedia Narratives and Strategies
On this course, you can do an optional work placement year between your 2nd and 3rd years to get valuable experience working in industry. We'll help you secure a work placement that fits your situation and ambitions. 

Core modules

All modules below are worth 40 credits each. You choose either one or the other.

  • Dissertation (Creative Writing or Film and Media)
  • Practical Video Project

Optional modules

All modules below are worth 20 credits each.

  • Fact and Fiction
  • Fan Fiction
  • Gender, Sexuality and Cinema
  • Marketing Movies
  • Media Fan Cultures
  • Researching Animation
  • Studying Comedy
  • Travel Writing
  • Writing and Producing Magazines
  • Writing Project (With Publishing)

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 modules may not run every year. If a module doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.

 

Exchanges and study abroad

In your second or third year, you can choose to study abroad at one of our partner universities in Europe, Asia, Australia or North America. All classes are delivered in English and you'll still be able to get both your tuition fee and maintenance loans. You may also qualify for a government travel grant.

Find out more about studying abroad

How you're assessed

You’ll be assessed through:

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

You’ll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark.

You can get feedback on all practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future.

Teaching

Teaching methods on this course include:

  • workshops
  • seminars
  • lectures
  • one-to-one tutorials
  • practical performance sessions

How you'll spend your time

One of the main differences between school or college and university is how much control you have over your learning.

We're planning for most of your learning to be supported by timetabled face-to-face teaching with some elements of online provision. Please be aware, the balance between face-to-face teaching and online provision may change depending on Government restrictions. You'll also do lots of independent study with support from staff and our virtual learning environment, Moodle. Find out more about how our teaching has transformed to best support your learning.

Term dates

The academic year runs from September to June. There are breaks at Christmas and Easter.

See term dates

" The University ... was a perfect choice thanks to the Film Industries and Creative Writing course's combination of not only how films are made, but also the craft behind how they're written, which is something that isn't really available back home. "

Lisa Van Hees, BA (Hons) Film Industries and Creative Writing 2021 graduate

Read Lisa's story

Supporting your learning

Types of support

Your personal tutor helps you make the transition to independent study and gives you academic and personal support throughout your time at university.

You'll have regular contact with your personal tutor in learning activities or scheduled meetings. You can also make an appointment with them if you need extra support.

In addition to the support you get from your personal tutor, you’ll also have access to a Faculty student support advisor. They can give you confidential, impartial advice on anything to do with your studies and personal wellbeing and refer you to specialist support services.

You'll have help from a team of faculty academic skills tutors. They can help you improve and develop your academic skills and support you in any area of your study.

They can help with:

  • improving your academic writing (for example, essays, reports, dissertations)
  • delivering presentations (including observing and filming presentations)
  • understanding and using assignment feedback
  • managing your time and workload
  • revision and exam techniques

If you need support with software and equipment or you want to learn additional skills (including skills not covered on your course), our creative skills tutors provide free workshops, activities and one-on-one tutorials. Skills you can learn include life drawing, film camera operation and video production.

Computing support staff are always available to give technical support in the Faculty's computer suites during normal working hours. There's also some support available from 5.00pm to midnight at busy times of the year.

As well as support from faculty staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University’s Academic Skills Unit (ASK).

ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:

  • academic writing
  • note taking
  • time management
  • critical thinking
  • presentation skills
  • referencing
  • working in groups
  • revision, memory and exam techniques

Our online Learning Well mini-course will help you plan for managing the challenges of learning and student life, so you can fulfil your potential and have a great student experience.

You can get personal, emotional and mental health support from our Student Wellbeing Service, in person and online. This includes 1–2–1 support as well as courses and workshops that help you better manage stress, anxiety or depression.

If you require extra support because of a disability or additional learning need our specialist team can help you.

They'll help you to:

  • discuss and agree on reasonable adjustments
  • liaise with other University services and facilities, such as the library
  • access specialist study skills and strategies tutors, and assistive technology tutors, on a 1-to-1 basis or in groups
  • liaise with external services

Library staff are available in person or by email, phone or online chat to help you make the most of the University’s library resources. You can also request one-to-one appointments and get support from a librarian who specialises in your subject area.

The library is open 24 hours a day, every day, in term time.

If English isn't your first language, you can do one of our English language courses to improve your written and spoken English language skills before starting your degree. Once you're here, you can take part in our free In-Sessional English (ISE) programme to improve your English further.

​Course costs and funding

Tuition fees (2022 start)

  • UK/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £9,250 a year (may be subject to annual increase)
  • EU students – £9,250 a year, including our Transition Scholarship (may be subject to annual increase)
  • International students – £16,200 a year (subject to annual increase)

You won't pay any extra tuition fees to another university for taking part in a study/work abroad activity if you choose to do it for the whole academic year. During a year abroad you'll only have to pay a reduced fee to the University of Portsmouth.

Funding your studies

Find out how to fund your studies, including the scholarships and bursaries you could get. You can also find more about tuition fees and living costs, including what your tuition fees cover.

Applying from outside the UK? Find out about funding options for international students.

Additional course costs

These course-related costs aren’t included in the tuition fees. So you’ll need to budget for them when you plan your spending.

Costs breakdown

Our accommodation section shows your accommodation options and highlights how much it costs to live in Portsmouth.

You’ll study up to 6 modules a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each module.

You can borrow most of these from the Library. If you buy these, they may cost up to £60 each.

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

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.

If you take a placement year or study abroad year, tuition fees for that year are as follows:

  • UK/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £925 a year (may be subject to annual increase)
  • EU students – £925 a year, including Transition Scholarship (may be subject to annual increase)
  • International students – £1,800 a year (subject to annual increase)

You may need to buy items such as DVDs and MiniDV tapes to use on practical units, which cost approximately £20–£30.

You’ll need to cover the material costs for individual project work, which usually costs £50–£100.

Apply

How to apply

You can still apply for this course to study with us in September 2022 by using Clearing.

Once you have your exam results:

If you're not ready to apply yet, why not learn more about how Clearing works, book a call-back for results day. or sign-up for our Clearing updates and visit days.

Our Clearing hotline will be open as follows:

  • 9am - 5pm Monday to Thursday
  • 9am - 4pm Fridays
  • Thursday 18 August (A and T level results day) 8am - 8pm
  • Friday 19 August 8am - 7pm
  • Saturday 20 August 10am - 3pm

To start this course in 2023, apply through UCAS. You'll need:

  • the UCAS course code – P39W
  • our institution code – P80

If you'd prefer to apply directly, use our online application form.

You can also sign up to an Open Day to:

  • Tour our campus, facilities and halls of residence
  • Speak with lecturers and chat with our students 
  • Get information about where to live, how to fund your studies and which clubs and societies to join

If you're new to the application process, read our guide on applying for an undergraduate course.

(Note that from 2023 the name of this course is BA (Hons) Screenwriting.)

How to apply from outside the UK

See the 'How to apply' section above for details of how to apply. You can also get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region.

To find out what to include in your application, head to the how to apply page of our international students section. 

If you don't meet the English language requirements for this course yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to abide by our Student Contract (which includes the University's relevant policies, rules and regulations). You should read and consider these before you apply.