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Develop your screenwriting and digital film production skills
Our highly-practical BA (Hons) Digital Film Production and Screenwriting degree develops your theoretical knowledge, practical skills, and provides you with industry experience as you study a course driven by storytelling and on-set practice.
Explore a variety of areas, including:
- Production design and management
- Sound recording and design
Take part in practical filming projects
Underpinned and driven by on-set practice, you will be involved in everything from developing the creative brief, to writing, shooting, and editing real-time projects with our team of professional directors, producers, animators, and screenwriters.
Throughout this process, you will experience shooting on location, post-production, marketing, and opening night as you share your final work.
Experience real-world professional practice
Throughout your degree, you will consider real-world issues such as audience needs and effective team working, whilst engaged on production activity that emulates professional practices. This may include working with actors or pitching project ideas to a panel of tutors and filmmakers.
Enhance your employability
You will have opportunities to contribute to production-based staff research projects and multi-camera live event filming, have the opportunity to attend the ‘Encounters’ short film festival, and build professional online portfolios and job search packages tailored to your ambitions.
Deepen your screenwriting practice
Taught by industry professionals, with guest lecturers and visitors, this degree offers you continual opportunity to engage with current figures in the field of screenwriting.
The degree is designed to support you to find your voice and develop the confidence to display your best stories and ideas, as well as the skill and determination to succeed in a competitive but rewarding industry.
Learn from expert and experienced staff
Our team of dedicated, high-qualified professional film practitioners and current industry figures, including award-winning directors, producers, actors, writers, editors and composers from across animation, film, TV, and games.
Join our collaborative community
Throughout your degree, you will collaborate with students across the Department of Creative Industries to gain an exceptional understanding of production practices and technology application, enhancing your vital employability skills.
As part of the Department of Creative Industries you will benefit from our industry partnerships with companies including HyperX, DXRacer, Twitch, ARRI, and AVID, and be able to access to industry standard software such as Nuke, Maya and Houdini.
Gain the theoretical and practical skills needed for the industry
In your first year, you will gain a solid groundwork of functional, technical, and contextual knowledge of digital film production, as well as begin to develop your core screenwriting skills and apply them to short film frameworks.
Your second year introduces you to wider digital film productions aspects, as you learn to apply your newly-acquired knowledge and skills to practical film projects and contexts.
You will also look to apply your development as a screenwriter to wider genres, styles, and forms, as you learn to create iconic and memorable characters for the screen.
In your third year, you will work towards your final major project, which acts as the culmination of your degree. This could take the form of a final creative portfolio of film and script work.
In addition, you will look to develop your employability skills as you develop an online portfolio of work, learn the business of film production, and engage with the industry through film festivals and other professional events.
Select a year
Digital Film Operations
This module is designed to provide a foundation ‘toolkit’ of practical skills to aid understanding of current creative media industries.
You will be introduced to a range of technical and procedural skills including audio, video, photography, web, and digital design.
These skills will develop your understanding of the processes involved in the manufacture and delivery of audio-visual presentations within the creative industries.
Digital Graphics and Motion Graphics
This module provides a foundation for you to develop a range of professional, technical, and procedural skills in the field of digital design and motion graphics.
You will discover a range of production practice and processes typically involved in the manufacture of audio-visual motion graphic artefact, and develop your practical skills and conceptual understanding of digital design and motion graphic construction and manipulation.
Green Screen and Compositing
In this module, you will investigate the role chrome keying plays in the field of multimedia and digital film production. You will engage with chroma keying concepts as an essential part of the practice of creative digital media, and explore core module concepts and their practical applications through exercises and briefs.
Introduction to 3D Art
This module serves as a foundation for developing a range of technical knowledge and procedural skills in the core concepts of 3D computer graphics using the appropriate industry-standard software.
Introduction to Film Studies
This module will explore and problematise Hollywood films and independent US cinema as textual and cultural products,. You will place these in a context that traces their aesthetic and formal development to gain a firm grounding in film studies.
Post Production 01
This module aims to introduce you to, and provide a foundation for all you in the specialised skills involved in, all aspects of Post Production. Theoretical learning is combined with practical and technical exercises through a series of workshops. You will study the basic application of all Post Production specialisms. This module will develop your understanding of and deepen your theoretical, technical and practical knowledge of Post Production workflows.
This module explores the importance of dramatic structure during the screenwriting process. You will be guided through the multitude of choices when considering how to identify, control and utilise structure during the planning and execution of film narrative.
Sound and Vision
This module engages you in fundamental practice and principles of camera and microphone operation. You will learn about camera setup and preparation, camera audio setup, connectivity and microphone preparation, eyepiece function and the graticule, tripod and safe practice, safe camera handling, white balancing and exposure, basic picture composition and shot types, audio metering, monitoring and level adjustment, microphone placement, method and discipline of camera craft, in-camera shot sequencing and basic coverage. You will be assessed through a short documentary film shot in a small team.
Writing the Short Film
This module aims to develop creative skills in audio visual storytelling through an exploratory approach to the methods, processes, styles and structures involved in the writing of short (3-7 minute) narrative films. It will concentrate mainly on conventional, rather than avant-garde, approaches. It aims to develop transferable skills in pitching.
3D Animation & Visual Effects (VFX) for Games
This module provides an opportunity for you to familiarise yourself with the world of animation and visual effects in the context of contemporary computer games design.
You will explore boundaries of the many disciplines within the field of animation and visual effects and their specific place in production workflows.
Through practical workshops, you will be introduced to industry standard software with which you will engage for the duration of your studies as they develop original games concepts.
This module explores the key concepts and practices of digital cinematography.
The role and responsibilities of the cinematographer within the production team are defined and you will investigate relationships between cinematic content and visual forms.
Directing Actors: Single Camera
This module is an opportunity to explore the craft of directing actors, as you focus on the relationship and communication established between director and actor.
You will consider the distinctive styles and approaches used in the forms of cinema and TV drama, as you learn to apply this to your own work.
This module builds on the “Script to Screen” module and explores the drama techniques that apply primarily to drama production.
You will investigate topics including teamwork, cinematography, art direction and set construction, directing and sound design.
This module will develop your awareness in audio visual technology and production health and safety.
Field and Location Recording
During this practical module, you will develop the skills and specialist techniques required for recording sources in the field as well as actor dialogue and sound on set and location for film and TV productions.
You will work alongside peers and professionals to record dialogue and sound during the department’s commissioned short film.
Iconic Screen Characters
You will examine a range of iconic screen characters from film, television and gaming such as Batman, the Joker, Dorothy Gale, Ripley, Sherlock Holmes, Mary Poppins, Super Mario, Dracula, Lara Croft, James Bond, Spider-Man, Harry Potter, Bugs Bunny, Superman, or Wonder Woman. You will consider these characters in dialogue with critical and theoretical perspectives on adaptation.
Motion Capture and Motion Tracking Technologies
On this module, you will develop your professional, technical and procedural knowledge of the core concepts of motion capture and motion tracking technologies. You will explore a range of practices and processes involved in the manufacture of a motion capture and motion-tracking artefact.
Motion Capture Suit Technologies
The aim of this module is to develop a significant body of knowledge of a typical film and multimedia motion capture pipeline, from setting up cameras and capturing data, through to editing and transferring data to industry standard animation packages. This module offers the opportunity to develop a range of professional technical and procedural knowledge.
The module explores the editors’ craft in more depth. You will engage with non-linear media manipulation as an essential part of the film production process with the main emphasis on the construction of meaning. A mixture of exercises and briefs are used in order to investigate the effect of editing on programme structure, pace, content and form, and on the relationship between sound and image in cinema.
This module will give you a solid foundation to the main areas of Production Design from concept initiation to realisation. You will investigate elements of art direction, mood boards, props and make-up (including prosthetics) and explore how to decipher aspects such as design metaphor, colour scheming, and spatial awareness. This module will explain the aesthetic, narrative, and technical facets of the craft. You will be assessed through a portfolio of work.
This module addresses operational areas in filmmaking, as embodied in the role of the production manager. You will deepen your specialist theoretical knowledge and skills in areas that are vital to successful drama filmmaking through thorough analysis, planning and application. It introduces you to the knowledge and skills required primarily for the pre-production phase of filmmaking, whilst touching upon filming and post-production.
Psychology in Screenwriting
This module will principally examine the academic writings by Professor of Psychology William Indick, in his book “Psychology for Screenwriters”. Exploring the psychology behind story and characterisation, this module will explore psychologists Freud, Jung, Erik Erikson, Alfred Adler, Rollo May and Joseph Campbell in relation to character and narrative development for screen-based content.
SFX Pyrotechnics: Practical and Digital
This module develops your understanding of the practical application of Special Visual Effects as used in the film & high-end TV industries. You will be guided through the planning, practical acquisition and digital enhancement of SFX as applied by industry, with a concentration on risk assessment, safety, workflows and conceptual awareness.
This module builds on your knowledge from the Drama Craft module and explores recent technical developments in the fast-changing landscape of the media and creative industries. You will be introduced to advanced filmmaking techniques as you adapt scripts from Writing the Short Film. You will be assessed through a journal and a 15 minute group presentation.
Sound Design, ADR and Foley
Sound content and dialogue for films and TV are often recorded after filming by sound designers, ADR recorders and Foley artists, because extraneous noise on set or location can make original sounds unusable. You may also need to create sounds for productions set in the far future, on imaginary remote planets, or featuring creatures such as dinosaurs or monsters. In these productions, crews design entire ‘sound-worlds’ and ‘characters’ to match movements and interactions with surfaces and objects in these worlds. This practical double module explores the creative processes and core techniques that underpin and define these important career pathways
Writing the TV Bible
This module introduces you to the process of development when creating a long form TV Drama series. Throughout the module, you will contribute to the creation of a Drama TV “Bible”, a package of materials that is used to inform writers, producers and directors of a show’s particular production criteria. The module will give you the opportunity to explore the industrial context of such documents and how to generate story ideas for such shows. It aims to develop transferable skills in packaging and selling creative work. Included in the Bible there will be individual episode outline documents. These will be exclusively developed by individuals within the group and will form a percentage of the overall personal final grade.
Writing the TV Script
This module aims to introduce you to the process of development when creating a long form drama script. Taking an original idea from concept to final draft, sessions will explore structure, style, theme and character, with attention to format. Emphasis on strong dialogue will be a key element to script development, whilst the difference between story and plot will be explored. The importance of a ‘pilot’ episode will be recognised and what elements must be included when establishing a show’s selling point. You will also discover key pitching ideas on how to promote their script.
This practical module builds upon key skills acquired in the Sound Engineering and Music Production, Mastering Music, and Sound Design, ADR and Foley modules and explores the complex technical and creative post-production processes involved in ‘dubbing’ or ‘mixing’ sound and music for film and TV.
Business of Production
This module explores business practise in our ever-evolving film and TV industry.
With a focus on how to establish and run a film / TV / digital production company, this module is designed to prepare you for professional, working life in the creative screen industries.
You will develop a professionally focused ‘toolkit’, enhanced by theoretical and practical knowledge of the requisite skills base the contemporary screen production industry demands.
This module aims to provide a foundation knowledge of non-commercial campaign writing and give you the chance to study alternative career paths post-graduation.
Exploring event and online content, the module will look at how to convey a client’s intent through narrative awareness.
The module aims to inform and instruct writers on the opportunities for screenwriters in business, looking at recruitment campaigns, social awareness campaigns and company in-house communications.
You will be expected to enhance their career prospects by producing creative artefacts that align your skills with their commercial and professional objectives.
The module aims to develop transferable skills in balancing creative and strategic career objectives.
Directing Actors: Multicamera
This module will introduce you to the hands-on production methods of TV production. With a focus on how to create and deliver a multi-camera, studio-based TV show, this module is designed to prepare you for professional, working life in the broadcast industry.
During this module, you will be given the opportunity to create a short documentary from concept to completion.
Guidance on pre-production will include advice on narrative structure, ethical consideration, risk assessment, research techniques and scheduling.
This will be followed by training in practical production and camera skills for documenting reality and the experiences of real people.
Post-production will navigate editing disciplines including modifying and refining narrative structure in the light of coverage acquired in the production phase and awareness of technical processes and standards.
Final Major Project: Production
This dissertation-level project gives you the opportunity to work as part of a production group, adopt a specialist role and to enhance their knowledge. You are expected to work professionally with an industry focus to produce a short drama film with high production values. It aims to develop transferable skills in creating, analysing and evaluating projects.
Industry and Pitching
This module aims to introduce you to an industry landscape of film promotion and pitching. The importance of being able to verbally sell work will be navigated and honed. You will explore what Industry is currently seeking when commissioning work and how best writers can convey and sell their ideas. The module will look at contemporary commissioning platforms, writer’s competitions and literary agents, noting how writers are currently networking their projects. Students will be invited to devise a pitching strategy both written and verbal for two original projects and complete a live pitching experience.
Industry, Engagement & Film Festivals
This module offers you the opportunity to learn about the dynamic and rapidly changing ways in which films are consumed in the public arena. Festivals are a key element of the filmmaking market place, where films are sold by independent producers and bought by distributors. But they also offer audiences the opportunity to experience a rich variety of cinema, such as animation, shorts and documentaries. This module will encourage you to engage with the world of the film festival, the industry networking opportunities they offer and apply analysis to both audio-visual content and Festival management.
Motion Capture Face / Feature Tracking Technologies
The aim of this module is to develop a range of professional, technical and procedural knowledge and an understanding of the core concepts of optical motion capture in the context of the Film, TV and gaming industry. It explores both software and hardware solutions and will explore rig setup, image capture, 2D/3D data processing.
Online Editing, Grading & Deliverables
This module will introduce you to the range of skills you need in the online environment of the post production industry. You will gain some experience of the essential role the Online Editor and Colourist. You will receive a grounding in the competencies required to work within the industry as an industry professional and be assessed through a portfolio.
In this module, you will be expected to enhance your career prospects by producing an online portfolio that aligns your skills with your commercial and professional objectives. It aims to develop transferable skills in balancing creative and strategic career objectives.
Personal Study – Screenwriting
You will have the opportunity to undertake a major ‘original’ screenplay and will be given the freedom to choose the genre, style and form of the project. You have the option to write a one off cinematic film or TV drama, pilot episode for a sitcom or drama series/serial. Integral to the module will be the process of developing story ideas from Treatments, Step Outlines and Premise through screenplay drafts to final draft of the screenplay, which should be presented as a professionally formatted and fully complete screen narrative.
Teaching and Assessment
Feel the support of our experienced and expert staff
You will be taught by a range of experts in digital film production and screenwriting including professional filmmakers, experienced screenwriters, and expert practitioners, with extensive and successful careers in the industry.
This course is 75% practical to help you develop the skills you will need in your career through on-set work, placements, and experience with industry standard software.
Smaller class sizes to help your development
Our commitment to smaller class sizes allows you to feel more confident to discuss your ideas in a supportive environment and allows your tutors get to know you and how best to aid your development.
Classes include lectures, seminars, skills sessions, technical classes, and practical workshops. You will need to complete independent study outside scheduled teaching and will take on practical individual and group work throughout your degree.
You will be assessed through a range of assignments, including:
- Project work
- Seminar discussions
Discover industry standard software and equipment
Discover our £35 million Tech Park
Our Bognor Regis Campus boasts the £35m Tech Park and brings together science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics courses on one state-of-the-art site.
- 300sqm film studio
- 80 square-metre green screen stage for motion capture and Chroma work
- Professional standard postproduction facilities and recording studios.
- Idea labs
- Animation labs
Explore the opportunity to study part of your course abroad
As a student at the University of Chichester, you can explore opportunities to study abroad during your studies as you enrich and broaden your educational experiences.
Students who have undertaken this in the past have found it to be an amazing experience to broaden their horizons, a great opportunity to meet new people, undertake further travelling and to immerse themselves within a new culture.
You will be fully supported throughout the process to help find the right destination institution for you and your course. We can take you through everything that you will need to consider, from visas to financial support, to help ensure that you can get the best out of your time studying abroad.
Prepare for a wide range of careers within digital filmmaking and screenwriting
This BA (Hons) Digital Film Production and Screenwriting degree prepares you for a range of careers and is particularly suited for roles in film production companies, TV production studios, radio outlets, newspapers, PR firms and advertising agencies.
You could pursue a career in:
- Commercials and advertising
- Film, production, writing, cinematography, and postproduction
- Television, researchers and journalists
- Management training
- Public relations
- Local government
- Marketing organisations
You could decide to continue your studies to postgraduate level.
Postgraduate study options available at Chichester include PGCEs and Masters degrees:
- MA Screen Acting
- MA Composition for Film, TV and Games
- PhD Research
Course Fees 2023/24
Typical offers (individual offers may vary):
Access to HE Diploma
Frequently asked questions
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