Home Courses Creative Industries BA (Hons) Digital Film Production and Screenwriting
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Find your own voice, hone your creativity, and explore the art of filmmaking

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P313
3 years Full Time
Bognor Regis Campus

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Overview

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:

  • Directing
  • Screenwriting
  • Editing
  • Cinematography
  • 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.

Partnerships

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.

The Course

Gain the theoretical and practical skills needed for the industry

Year One

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.

Year Two

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.

Year Three

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.

 

Modules

This list is indicative and subject to future change.

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.

Introduction to Film Studies

This module will explore 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.

Screenwriting Structure

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
  • Basic coverage.
Assessments

You will be assessed through a short documentary film shot in a small team.

Writing the Short Film

In this module, you will develop creative skills in audiovisual storytelling through an exploratory approach to the methods, processes, styles, and structures involved in the writing and pitching of short (3-7 minute) narrative films.

You will concentrate mainly on conventional, rather than avant-garde, approaches.

Drama Craft

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.

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
  • Wonder Woman.

You will consider these characters in dialogue with critical and theoretical perspectives on adaptation.

Post Production

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.

Production Design

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.

Assessment

You will be assessed through a portfolio of work.

Production Management

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.

Short Drama

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.

In addition, you will be introduced to advanced filmmaking techniques as you adapt work written by students on the ‘Writing the Short Film’ module, giving you vital experience of working on real scripts.

Assessment

You will be assessed through a journal and a 15-minute group presentation.

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.

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.

Creative Portfolio

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.

Documentary Project

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, 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 marketplace, where films are sold by independent producers to distributors and 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 audiovisual content and festival management.

Online Porfolio

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.

Final Major Project: Screenwriting

This dissertation level project allows students to build on the practical skills and subject knowledge developed throughout the course.

It gives you the opportunity to work as autonomous writers, deepening and enhancing knowledge and understanding of your chosen subject.

Crucially, you are expected to work professionally to produce a script with high standards of content, presentation, and development.

The module aims to develop transferable skills in identifying commercial opportunities for creative practitioners.

Post Production

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.

Personal Study – Screenwriting

You will be given 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 will have the option to write a one off cinematic film or TV drama, pilot episode for a sitcom or drama series/serial.

The narrative must have a clear resolution and cannot be left open-ended on a “cliff-hanger”. It must also be an original piece of writing and not an episode for an existing TV show or sequel to an existing feature film or franchise.

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.

Resilience and the Freelancer

This module serves as an introduction to the wide range of skills required for survival in the modern creative and media industries. Self-employment is increasingly considered the norm and this module will prepare the student for a freelance career.

Advanced Cinematography

This module aims to support those who require a deeper knowledge of Digital Cinematography.

The module will cover key concepts of camera & lighting by the exploration of both theory & practice with an emphasis on applied techniques.

Film Composition: Working with Music and Composers in Film, TV and Video Games

This module introduces you to a range of advanced techniques which will help them work effectively with music and collaborate with film, GTV and Games composers in their projects.

You will learn how to analyse, describe and convey their musical ideas, and acquire key skills which will enable them to select, adapt, edit and synchronise music effectively to picture.

Teaching and Assessment

Feel the support of our experienced and expert staff

Teaching

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.

Assessment

You will be assessed through a range of assignments, including:

  • Essays
  • Examinations
  • Project work
  • Presentations
  • Seminar discussions

Experience

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

Marc

BA (Hons) Digital Film Production and Screenwriting
"The course is fundamental to gaining experience within the industry, and as such I had the pleasure of working for the BBC. Upon leaving the University, my knowledge was more than enough to set up my own media company, with a priority in corporate and wedding videos. I owe a great deal to the staff of the Media department for teaching techniques, inspiring ideas and above all believing in me."

Study Abroad

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.

Careers

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
  • Teaching
  • Local government
  • Marketing organisations

Emma

Alumna
"Without the close tutoring and support I received whilst at the University of Chichester I would not have had the confidence and skills to pursue a career in the film industry and be currently studying Production Management at the National Film and Television School.”

Further study

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
  • PGCE
  • PhD Research

Course Costs

Course Fees 2024/25

UK fee
£9,250
International fee
£15,840

For further details about fees, please see our Tuition Fee page.

For further details about international scholarships, please see our Scholarships page.

To find out about any additional costs on this course, please see our Additional Costs page.

Entry Requirements

Typical offers (individual offers may vary):

UCAS
104-112
tariff points from A levels or combination with AS / EPQ / BTEC/ Cambridge Technical.
A Levels
BBC-BCC
BTEC/Cambridge Technical
DMM-MMM
Access to HE Diploma
Pass
IB
28 points
IELTS
6.0
with no element lower than 5.5.

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