Skip to content | Accessibility Information

Filmmaking

BA (Hons)
Filmmaking
3 years (full-time)
UCAS PW32

Filmmaking is a practice-based course with an art school ethos designed to help students express their ideas and stories though moving image and sound. The programme fosters an environment in which inquiry and independent thinking enable students to become creative practitioners exploring filmmaking and it’s possibilities as an expressive medium.

Special Features

  • Opportunities to experience a range of filmmaking practices, working either as an individual artist film maker or undertaking a role in a film production team.
  • The staff team are all practising film makers and artists who specialise in drama, documentary and experimental filmmaking.
  • The course has developed its own on-line cinema, now with over 1000 student films to watch at www.cfv.mmu.ac.uk/olc
  • Students and graduates have regular success at regional and national film festivals.

Course Content

The course will introduce you to self-directed learning, research and technical skills and engage with different filmmaking approaches. Working collaboratively there is an appreciation of the multidisciplinary aspects of filmamking through Factual, Fiction and Artistic Film.
The course will help you identify themes, structures and issues to communicate through ongoing film practice, with an emphasis on experimentation, creativity and innovation. This allows the discovery of strengths towards specialist roles of director, editor, cinematographer, sound designer, production designer and producer and other individual pathways within filmmaking disciplines.
The staff team are practising filmmakers who specialise in drama,  documentary and experimental filmmaking. The course has developed its own on-line cinema, and student films are entered into national and regional film festivals and students are encouraged to develop their professional practice as filmmakers at every opportunity.

Year 1

In the first year students are introduced to self directed learning, research and technical skills and engage with different filmmaking approaches. Working collaboratively there is an appreciation of the multidisciplinary aspects of filmmaking through Factual, Fiction and Artist Film.

Film Art

You are introduced to the building blocks of creative filmmaking practice through a range of techniques and an awareness of the moving image in an art and design context. In this unit you encounter key approaches towards documentary and artists film modes, in which the real world provides subject matter, content and meaning. The unit encompasses critical investigation into form, authorship, style, storytelling, and issues of observation, towards production of a film using documentary or artists documentary methodologies and a relationship to montage principles.

Film Storytelling

You are introduced to different forms of film storytelling and narratives in the area of screen drama, through the development of ideas to script and then realised in a creative collaborative practice to make a film. Film practices include directing, storyboarding, scriptwriting, cinematography, editing and sound design.

Unit X

This unit provides an opportunity to explore collaborative and interdisciplinary art and design practice by undertaking work alongside students from Design/Art programmes within Manchester School of Art. The unit covers set project(s) which encourage collaborative, interdisciplinary practice and shared experience. You will engage in lectures and talks from key research staff and students, tutorial group meetings and presentations. The set projects will vary from year to year and are designed to be responsive to creative opportunities.

Contextualising Practice 1

You are allocated to one of four pathways addressing programme-based clusters of cognate practice areas. Lectures, seminars, guest speakers, visits around cultural contexts and professional issues.

Contextualising Practice with Language 1

You are allocated to one of four pathways addressing programme-based clusters of cognate practice areas. The unit includes lectures, seminars, guest speakers, visits around cultural contexts and professional issues.

Year 2

During the second year the curriculum will help students identify themes, structures and issues to communicate through film practice, with an emphasis on experimentation and discovery. This allows the discovery of strengths towards specialist roles of director, editor, cinematographer, sound design and producer and individual pathways.

Exploration

In this unit you will explore a personal perspective through filmmaking in order to make a negotiated duration film in either screen drama, factual or artist moving image filmmaking.

Narrative

In this unit you explore cinematic narrative structures as well as the forms, purposes and the meanings they create within the wider context of film language.  You will conduct an investigation into narrative structure in film; this will lead to a generation and development of ideas and the creation of a short film centred on narrative strategies.  You will research cinematic narrative structure in general and investigate, in further depth, a particular narrative structure designated at the project brief which will form the basis of the film's narrative strategy. You will also explore and consider the short film form and narrative structure in the context of their own practice.  Films made for the unit can be screen drama, documentary or artists' moving image. You may work independently or in production groups of creative collaborators. Working in specific craft roles within a group you will individually research the specific practice, methods and skills associated with that role.

Contextualising Practice 2

Delivery of critical, historical and professional issues to enhance your development within practice-based clusters. Delivery to clusters of cognate practice areas. Content consists of selected thematic options in critical and historical areas plus cluster-wide professional and employability issues, facilitating and enhancing the development of both studio-based work and identity as a practitioner.

Contextualising Practice with Language 2

Delivery of critical and historical issues to enhance the student's development within practice-based clusters.  Content consists of selected thematic options in critical and historical areas facilitating and enhancing the development of both studio-based work and identity as a practitioner. Modes of delivery include lectures, seminars, tutorials, guest speakers, visits and placements.

Thematic

In this unit, you find your voice through the production of a five minute film which reflects real world situations.  You are encouraged to see film-making as a vehicle for communicating complex and challenging subject matter which expresses and communicates a particular theme. You can choose to reveal your theme as a documentary, screen drama or artist film and will investigate visual styles and story-telling to articulate your viewpoint effectively. You will pay attention to your film craft, in particular your attitude towards the quality of your outcomes, and the balance which is struck between film technique and content.  The film-making cohort will be expected to support each other through collaborative assistance.

Unit X

This unit explores collaborative and interdisciplinary art and design practice.  You will have the opportunity to engage in a range of external facing learning opportunities which will encourage collaborative, interdisciplinary practice and shared experience; this may take the form of spending time outside of the university and working within the creative community and the public domain.

Year 3

In the final year students develop contextual and craft skills to a professional standard in documentary, screen drama or artist film. These elements are then fostered to make their final degree film in preparation for the world of work and/or further study.

Major Film

This unit will concentrate on the creation of a film drawing upon work undertaken during the research and development unit where ideas, genre, visual style, theme and plot are investigated and tested. You will undertake filmmaking practice through pre-production, production and post-production. There will be an emphasis on independent study, management and organistion of film productions. You will address your film craft, in particular their attitude towards the quality of their outcomes. You will be expected to support each other through collaborative assistance.

Research and Development

This unit focuses you on a period of research to ensure the elements of your film are carefully designed and planned before production. The nature of your research will be linked to the area you choose to focus on.  The genres of documentary, screen drama, and artist film each vary in approach and possess their own distinctive developmental processes.  A series of tutorials will guide you through the early stages of your study and you will establish a methodology around a theme (in many cases guided by a script). You will identify specific roles and strengthen craft skills through a series of self-initiated testing, idea exploration and content development. The detail and depth of your research will have a direct impact on the quality of your finished film. Working both on your own and collaboratively, the research will be practice-based though it will also engage in theoretical approaches, critique and philosophical engagement.

Contextualising Practice 3

Programme of research and critical analysis of cultural and professional issues related to a student's individual practice interests.

Contextualising Practice with a Language 3

Programme of research and critical analysis of cultural and professional issues related to a your individual practice interests. A negotiated project focused around an individually defined area appropriate to your aims and ambitions.

Minor Film

You will make a film in a specific area of filmmaking practice such as documentary, screen drama or experimental filmmaking. You will draw upon work undertaken during the research and development unit where ideas, genre, visual style, theme and plot are investigated and tested, processes and a methodology established. You will undertake filmmaking practice through pre-production, production and post-production. There will be an emphasis on independent study, management and organisation of film productions. You will address your film craft, in particular your attitude towards the quality of your outcomes. You will be expected to support other students on the course through collaborative assistance or work independently as artist filmmakers.

Unit X

On the third year Unit X, there is a student authored final project leading to a showcase of finished work. The unit includes a brief generated by the student, which leads to the presentation of a significant body of final work. Collaborative and interdisciplinary work can be incorporated into the project in relation to the professional context and ambition of the student.

Assessment

End of unit assessment and final work exhibition at the annual Faculty show.

Placements

There are no formal placements however you will have the opportunity to undertake work based learning projects during the course, and seek work experience through the many independent film and television production companies throughout Manchester. Work experience and work based learning is optional, and the setting up is considered part of the learning associated with professional development.

You can find further details about the curriculum in the Programme Specification Document

Course News

Four students from the BA (Hons) Filmmaking course have recently seen independent success

Tom Ainsworth Short Film Awards

Tenure (2013)

Tenure, directed by Tom Majerski, has won the Audience Award.

Soldier (2013)

Soldier, directed by Sofie Ronje, James Johnson, Stephen Pilling, Camille Ullana, has won the Jury award.


Festivals

s'HE (2013)

s'HE, directed by Artur Rabinski, Amy Nash and Natasha Moane has been selected for the BFI Flare: London LGBT Film Festival 2014.

Rosie, directed by Ami Bevilacqua, has been selected for the London International Documentary Festival 2014.


More award winning films.

Staff


Graduates

Graduates of this course can go on to study the MA in Filmmaking and/or be founders of independent production companies, directors, editors, cinematographers, sound designers, producers, scriptwriters, production designers, and artists and documentary filmmakers.

Making an Application

How to Apply

Apply through UCAS.

We will ask you to provide a Digital Portfolio to support your application.

If you meet our criteria we will invite to you an Interview and ask you to show us a Portfolio of your work.

You will be notified of our decision through UCAS.

Entry Requirements

UCAS Tariff Points/Grades Required

280 at A2 or equivalent (such as BTEC National Extended Diploma DMM at Level 3 or Advanced Diploma). If applying using Foundation Diploma in Art and Design a minimum of a Merit is required depending on other level 3 qualifications.

Learn more about MMU's Foundation Diploma in Art and Design.

Specific GCSE Requirements

GCSE Grade C or above (or acceptable alternative) in English Language

Non Tariffed Qualifications

A relevant Level 3 Access to HE Diploma will be considered for entry to this course.

International Baccalaureate28 Points

International Students

A minimum IELTS score of 6.0 with no element below 5.5 is required.

Check our MMU International site for further information if you are applying with non-UK qualifications.

Fees

UK and EU full-time students:£9,000.

Non-EU full-timeinternational students: £11,000

See Money Matters for further information and advice.