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Filmmaking

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

Filmmaking is an exciting practice based course that enables you to express your ideas and stories through a variety of principles, processes, activities and projects that help you to explore, refine and redefine your understanding of filmmaking as a creative practice.

The staff team are practising filmmakers who specialise in drama, documentary and artist film and connect their research interests and professional networks through the course curriculum. Professionalising practice is a key ethos running alongside our bedrock of creativity and exploration as we provide opportunities for students to benefit from visiting speakers and workshops by professionals from different areas of the film and moving image world and encourage students to develop their practice through engaging with external opportunities and film festivals.

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.
  • Students and graduates have regular success at regional and national film festivals.
  • You will have the opportunity to take part in Unit X, an innovative unit offered to students across Manchester School of Art that encourages interdisciplinary study and collaboration on an external-facing project.

A showreel of student films that have been selected for festivals throughout the UK and beyond. All made by students on the Filmmaking course at Manchester School of Art.

Watch more films on our Vimeo channel

Course Content

The course enables you to identify themes, structures and issues to communicate through ongoing film practice, with an emphasis on experimentation, creativity and innovation. Based within an art school environment, we encourage you to work collaboratively and appreciate the multidisciplinary aspects of filmmaking through factual, fiction and artist film. This allows the discovery of strengths towards specialist roles of director, editor, cinematographer, sound designer, production designer and producer and other individual pathways within contemporary filmmaking disciplines.

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  encourages collaborative, interdisciplinary practice and shared experience. There are lectures and talks from key research staff, students and external experts, tutorial group meetings, and presentations. The set projects will vary from year to year and will designed to be responsive to creative opportunities. The course encourages students to respond to contemporary media and as such, it is a live unit in which we discuss films, television, comics, games and the news relating to the media in any specific week.

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 will explore cinematic narrative structures: their forms, their purposes and the meanings they create within the wider context of film language. You will investigate narrative structure in film leading to the generation and development of ideas and creation of a short film centred on narrative techniques and strategies. During the unit you will select to specialise and focus on either screen drama, documentary or artists' moving image and will be provided with a pathway through the unit that interrogates your specific area of practice in terms of narrative techniques, strategies and creative choices. 

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Assessment Methods

End of unit assessment and final work exhibition at the annual Degree Show.

Assessment Weightings & Contact Hours

10 credits equates to 100 hours of study, which is a combination of lectures, seminars and practical sessions, and independent study. A three year degree qualification typically comprises 360 credits (120 credits per year). The exact composition of your study time and assessments for the course will vary according to your option choices and style of learning, but it could be—

Study
  • Year 1 25% lectures, seminars or similar; 75% independent study
  • Year 2 35% lectures, seminars or similar; 65% independent study
  • Year 3 30% lectures, seminars or similar; 70% independent study
Assessment
  • Year 1 100% coursework
  • Year 2 100% coursework
  • Year 3 90% coursework; 10% practical

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

Danielle Swindells, Joe Wilson and Thomas Payton-Greene win RTS award for their documentatry

Course News

Film Festivals and Screenings

Our students and alumni continue to have their work screened in national and international festivals and film events, most recently in the Projeccio de Curtmetrages at the Centre de Cultura Contemporania, Valencia.

Towards the end of last year one of our graduate films 'Drifting' showcased at NAHEMI Eat Our Shorts Film Festival (National Association for Higher Education in the Moving Image) at Regents Cinema, London. The film still for ‘Drifting’ was also used on all publicity for the event, which is great in further promoting our students talent.

Commissions, Competitions and Awards

Our students success in competitions and awards and in gaining commissions continues to raise the profile of the course, the most recent of these being

Three of our students were successfully awarded a Channel 4 Random Acts commission to make a short film for TV, which is a fantastic scoop for the course. This is Thomas Payton Greene, Danielle Swindells and Denice Chung all making individual films for Random Acts.

Danielle Swindells graduate film ‘Resort’ on which Tom Payton Greene and Joe Wilson worked, recently won Best Documentary at the Royal Television Society North West Student Award and is up for selection for the national awards.

A number of our final year students are currently working on a Super 16mm project for the KODAK Student Commercial Competition.


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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.

If you meet our criteria we will invite you to 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

112 at A2 or equivalent (which can include Foundation Diploma in Art & Design). A Level General Studies is not accepted.

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

Specific GCSE Requirements

GCSE English Language at grade C or grade 4. Equivalent qualifications (eg. Functional Skills) may be considered

Non Tariffed Qualifications

112 UCAS Tariff Points from Access to HE Diploma in a relevant subject with at least 45 credits at Level 3

International Baccalaureate26 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.

Frequently Asked Questions

What work should be in my portfolio?

Include a showreel of up to 5 minutes in length which demonstrates your visual storytelling and creative abilities.

What are you looking for at the interview?

During the interview we are looking for a evidence of engagement with filmmaking practice and will ask you questions about your motivation for wanting to undertake our filmmaking degree. You should come prepared with examples to talk about from your college or sixth-form work as well as other creative projects that you have undertaken in your own time.

Tuition Fees 2018 Entry

UK, EU and Channel Island students

UK, EU and Channel Island students: Full-time fee: £9,250 per year. This tuition fee is agreed subject to UK government policy and parliamentary regulation and may increase each academic year in line with inflation or UK government policy for both new and continuing students.

Non-EU international students

Non-EU international students: Full-time fee: £15,000 per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Additional Information

A degree typically comprises 360 credits, a DipHE 240 credits, a CertHE 120 credits, and an integrated Masters 480 credits. The tuition fee for the placement year for those courses that offer this option is £1,850, subject to inflationary increases based on government policy and providing you progress through the course in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study). The tuition fee for the study year abroad for those courses that offer this option is £1,385, subject to inflationary increases based on government policy and providing you progress through the course in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

See Money Matters for further information and advice.

Additional Costs

Specialist Costs

£90*  plus optional £1180* Students often choose to buy a laptop in their first year however there are PCs and Mac desktop sin on campus. There are editing suites open Monday-Friday and a number of Macs in the library that can be used for editing 7 days a week. It is recommended that all students have their own external hard drives and are responsible for managing their files.

Trips and Placement Costs

Optional £900* There are a number of field trips open to each cohort, these include national and international field trips.

Professional Costs

Optional £150* We recommend filmmaking students to set up their own vimeo channels and subscribe to relevant forums. A DBS check may be required for some locations.

Other Costs

Optional £600* Some students choose to go on international exchanges (worldwide) or Erasmus. This would involve flight costs/travel/subsistence and an application for grants. Filmmakers can also require additional costs particularly for their graduation films or if they choose to work with specific material or analogue formats (film and process costs). We encourage students to develop crowdfunding platforms. where feasible. 3rd year students are encouraged to develop their online portfolios with a website also.

* All amounts shown are estimates.