This page provides information about the BA (Hons) Filmmaking course starting in September 2020. Please see our 2021 entry course page if you wish to apply for entry next year.
BA Filmmaking is a practice-based course giving you the creative freedom to develop your voice through the dynamic language of film.
Our learning environment incorporates a unique mix of Art and Film school philosophies, empowering students to express their ideas and stories through narrative fiction, documentary, artists’ moving image and new media. Our students specialise in original ideas from unique perspectives, with their work screening in international venues and winning awards at key industry events including the Royal Television Society and BFI Future Film Festival awards. As our students are encouraged to find and define their voice as filmmakers and artists, we never ask students to pitch for the right to make a film - if you’ve got the ideas and ambition, we’ll help you make it. If you have a passion and curiosity for the medium of film, and want to make, create and innovate in one of the UK’s leading art schools, this is the course for you.
We believe the best way to learn is to create.
Over the course you will explore key specialisms including directing, editing, cinematography, writing, sound and producing, making work collaboratively and independently in a creatively challenging but supportive teaching and learning environment.
You will explore and identify themes, stories and structures through ongoing film practice, with an emphasis on experimentation, imagination and innovation. Your practice will be supported and informed through ongoing and rigorous engagement with theoretical and historical contexts, critically underpinning your work and allowing you to expand your ideas through the histories and practices of the exciting world of film.
Professionalising practice is a key ethos, supporting your ambitions and expanding your employment opportunities, augmented by a regular programme of external speakers and masterclasses from the film, art and media world.
In the first year, students are introduced to the language, craft and art of film through experimentation, research and skills development across a variety filmmaking forms. Working collaboratively there is an appreciation of the multidisciplinary aspects of filmmaking through factual, fiction and artist film.
Watch a selection of first-year films here.
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.
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.
At Level 4, this unit encourages some collaborative, interdisciplinary practice and shared experience. There are lectures and talks from key research staff, students and external experts. Teaching will be in the form of tutorial groups, weekly meetings and presentations. The set projects will vary from year to year and are designed to be responsive to current creative opportunities.
30 credit unit. You are allocated to one of five pathways addressing programme-based clusters of cognate practice areas. Lectures, seminars, guest speakers, visits will address the historical, critical and cultural contexts of art and design practice.
You are allocated to one of five pathways addressing programme-based clusters of cognate practice areas. Lectures, seminars, guest speakers and visits will address the historical, critical and cultural contexts of art and design practice. The 15 credit option is taken when you opt to do a 15 credit Uniwide languages unit as well (mmu.ac.uk/uniwide).
The second year is a journey of exploration as students identify themes, structures and pathways to find their voice, define their practice and develop specialisms more fully as filmmakers. This allows for a discovery of strengths towards specialist roles of director, editor, cinematographer, sound design and producer as individual pathways, and towards modes of practice such as working in drama, artists’ moving image and documentary.
Watch a selection of second-year films here.
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.
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.
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. You also have the option to undertake a placement in this unit.
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.
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.
In the final year, students develop their creative, contextual and craft skills to a professional standard in documentary, screen drama, artists’ moving image or new media. These elements are then fostered to make their final degree film in preparation for the world of work and/or further study. Third-year students form their own production company to help support their ambitions for their graduation films, exhibitions and screenings, including a showcase screening programme at HOME cinema and degree show exhibition in Manchester School of Art’s Holden Gallery.
Watch a selection of third-year films here.
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.
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.
Programme of research and critical analysis of cultural and professional issues related to a student's individual practice interests.
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.
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 organisation 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.
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.
There is an opportunity to undertake an assessed work placement as part of your second-year study. Additionally, all students are encouraged and supported to form external partnerships and engage in work experience as part of their Professional Experience activities, assessed as part of the Contextualising Practice Unit.
End of unit assessment and final work exhibition at the annual Degree Show.
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—
Fascinating industry-focused events in lead up to SODA opening in 2021
A Deal With The Universe can be seen in cinemas across the country
Prizes won in Drama, Camera and Production Design at RTS North West Student Awards
Students nominated in Animation, Production Design, Drama and Camera categories
A selection of films made by students in each year of the course.
Our graduates are industry recognised for their creative ingenuity, problem-solving skills and ability to see the world differently; many go on to be industry leaders in their own right.
Recent graduates have gone on to be founders of independent production companies and editing companies, and successful freelance practitioners specialising as directors, editors, cinematographers, sound designers, producers, scriptwriters, production designers, visual artists and documentary filmmakers at film and media companies including Warner Bros, Universal Pictures, Marvel Studios, Paramount Pictures, ITV, BBC, Netflix, Heyday Films, British Council Film, Channel 4, Fox Searchlight Pictures, Walt Disney Studios, Equinox TV, Mob Films, The Gate, Vice, Media Dog, Calumet, 24-7 Drama.
Apply through UCAS.
You will be notified of our decision through UCAS.
|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 Baccalaureate||26 Points|
A minimum IELTS score of 6.0 with no element below 5.5 is required.
If you are based outside the UK and are unable to attend an interview, you will be asked to provide a digital portfolio.
There’s further information for international students on our international website if you’re applying with non-UK qualifications.
For applications to the BA (Hons) Filmmaking course for 2020 entry we may ask you to provide a digital portfolio to support your application.
Please upload a link of up to 5 minutes of your moving image portfolio that shows your creative practice.
This can be a showreel, a short 5 minute film or a 5 minute clip on a web link such as your Vimeo, YouTube page or website.
You can show us work-in-progress, so don't feel your films have to be finished or polished.
We're really happy to see work you've shot on your phone - we just want to see your great ideas.
If you'd like to add other supporting visual material (scans from sketchbooks or photographs) then please include a link to these.
Please see our general guidance on How to Submit your Digital Portfolio.
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: Full-time fee: £16,500 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).
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.
£90* plus optional £1180* — Students often choose to buy a laptop in their first year however there are PCs and Mac desktops 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.
Optional £900* — There are a number of field trips open to each cohort, these include national and international field trips.
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.
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. Third year students are encouraged to develop their online portfolios with a website also.
* All amounts shown are estimates.