BA Film & TV
The BA (Hons) Film and TV programme embraces the demands of the contemporary film and TV industries, looking forwards to future developments yet steeped in traditional filmmaking techniques. Building on close industry connections, the course aims for students to develop the technical, creative and professional skills necessary to forge careers in film and television.
UWTSD Swansea’s BA Film & TV programme is creative and practice-based, centred on key creative and theoretical principles that will serve students long after they graduate. Like Film & TV itself, the course is a blend of creative thinking and hands-on filmmaking, underpinned by engaging and stimulating lectures, seminars and tutorials.
The course has evolved to place greater emphasis on the philosophy and applied practice of storytelling for the screen. This has helped our student film productions win awards for fiction and non-fiction at many festivals and awards ceremonies, including the Royal Television Society Wales Student Awards, Screentest: The National Student Film Festival, Cardiff Mini Film Festival and Ffresh.
As you can see, the programme is not about teaching technology, something you can do online for free. Instead, we believe a film school is about the development and visualization of ideas. Lectures, seminars and tutorials address the “Why?”, both nurturing and challenging students as they develop their creative abilities.
The use of film and tv technology is provided by our excellent technical demonstrators within daily workshops that support the production process by addressing the “How?”. These workshops provide instructions in equipment operation and practice for location and studio filmmaking using industry standard equipment from Canon, Red, Sony, Dedo, Kino Flo, Manfrotto, Rode, Sennheiser, Litepanelsetc. This is an approach that we believe will better support and strengthen the student’s learning experience, with creativity and ideas driving the student production process.. Our students have worked on a variety of film and tv shows such as Sherlock (2012), Atlantis (2013), Fury (2014), Guardians of the Galaxy (2014), Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation (2015), The Collection (2016), The Grand Tour (2016), Bang, (2017) Will (2017), Overlord (2018) and many more.
In terms of broadcast TV, the programme has a strong relationship with Wales’ newest TV station, BAY TV (Freeview Channel 8 and Virgin Media 159.). Although partially funded by the BBC, BAY is an independent broadcast television company who has established a studio and broadcast facility within Swansea College of Art UWTSD. This is an amazing opportunity for our students, allowing them not only work on live studio shows, but also to research and to pitch concepts for potential TV productions.
Students learn primarily through lectures, seminars, workshops and tutorials, and there is an emphasis on the teaching and acquisition of key skills. The modules Film & TV Production 1 and Post Production 1 introduce key concepts and begin developing craft skills in these areas. In addition, a module in Scriptwriting provides an understanding of storytelling for the screen as well as the craft of writing in this form. In Visual Studies for Film & Digital Media, students learn fundamentals of visual grammar including composition, lighting, mise en scene, together with important underlying ideas that will inform your practice. Having two semester-long Creative Practice modules allow students to create their own pieces of work under the guidance and supervision of Faculty staff. Two semester-long Contextual Studies modules provide students with wider knowledge of relevant philosophical, historical and theoretical themes that feed into students’ practical work.
While the continuing teaching and acquisition of keys skills remains important, students will be expected to take greater responsibility in directing their learning as their knowledge increases. The modules Film & TV Production 2 and Post Production 2 continue the development of key skills in these areas through a mixture of lectures, seminars, workshops and exercises. A module on Entrepreneurship gives students an understanding of business and professional issues related to working in the film and TV industries. The Commercial & Commissioned Filmmaking module, gives students the opportunity to make works such as music videos, title sequences, fashion films, idents and advertisements and gain an understanding of these different forms. Having two semester-long Creative Practice modules allows students to create their own pieces of work under the guidance and supervision of Faculty staff. Two semester-long Contextual Studies modules provide students with skills in research practices, in preparation for dissertation work and the major project in the third year.
Students will continue to work increasingly under their own direction, discussing the development and creation of projects with advice and guidance from Faculty staff. In the first semester, the Advanced Film & TV Production module, students will work on projects that are aimed at industry, such as creating a short film targeting festivals, a teaser for a film or TV project or live briefs for student awards, while honing their specialisms. In addition, students will commence their Major Project, work originated by them, with support and guidance from Faculty staff. Also in the first semester, students will write a Dissertation related to their practical work. In the second semester, students continue and complete their Major Project and write a Critical Review, reflecting on their work.
We are also one of the few UK Film Schools that offer our students the opportunity to run a film festival. The Copper Coast International Film Festival is a UWTSD student-run film festival that attracts interest from around the world, giving an insight into the wider film market and an understanding of what it takes to make an award-winning film. The 2017 festival received over 2000 entries!
The course has excellent facilities and equipment for film & television production and post-production. For location production, students can use a wide range of HD, HD DSLR, XD-CAM and 4K camera kits, including Canon and RED cameras, with prime lens kits, along with Kino, Arri and Dedo lighting kits and sound recording equipment. Professional camera sliders, shoulder rigs, track & dolly and Steadicam systems can also be used to create fluid camera movements.
For post-production, computers across the Faculty are equipped with industry-standard film and television production software including Adobe Creative Suite (including Premiere, Photoshop, After Effects), ProTools and DaVinci Resolve. These editing systems deal with uncompressed high definition footage in real time. In addition, many computers are equipped with other industry-standard film and television production software including Final Draft, MovieMagic Scheduling and MovieMagic Budgeting. The department also has large plasma and 3D LED screen TVs and digital projectors for screenings.
Feedback on project work takes place throughout the course in the form of frequent tutorials (both individual and group), seminars and critiques. This process is integral to the course and provides a continuous verbal commentary to the students on their practical work and associated research throughout the development of all of their projects.
Final assessment in the form of visual portfolio, exhibition, research/ideas book/blog, or presentation is used at the end of each module to provide the students with a formal mark.
All assessment is based on 100% coursework. Students are expected to demonstrate their understanding in the form of practical project work. All practical work is project-based. Historical & Contextual Studies is also assessed on coursework in the form of essays and constitutes 20% of your coursework during years 1 & 2, with the dissertation constituting 25% of your final year marks.
Students have the option to sit an additional examination to gain Avid Media Composer Certified User certification.
We are interested in creative people that demonstrate a strong commitment to art and/or design and therefore we welcome applications from individuals from a wide range of backgrounds. To assess student suitability for their chosen course we arrange interviews for all applicants at which your skills, achievements and life experience will be considered as well as your portfolio of work.
Our standard offer for a degree course is 120 UCAS tariff points. We expect applicants to have a grade C or above in English Language (or Welsh) at GCSE level, together with passes in another four subjects. Plus we accept a range of Level 3 qualifications including:
- Foundation Diploma in Art and Design, plus one GCE A-Level in a relevant academic subject
- Three GCE A-Levels or equivalent
- BTEC Extended Diploma in a relevant subject, with minimum grades of Merit
- International Baccalaureate score of 32
- Other relevant qualifications can be considered on an individual basis
Qualifications are important, however our offers are not solely based on academic results. If you don’t have the required UCAS points then please contact the courses admissions tutor or email firstname.lastname@example.org as we can consider offers to applicants based on individual merit, exceptional work, and/or practical experience.
See our Interview Guide for more information.
We have strong links to Bay Studios, which is Europe’s largest independent production studio. This is where they film Da Vinci’s Demons.
Many of our graduates now work across various areas of the film and TV sector around the world.
Students can take an editing exam to become an Avid certified user, a qualification that has led directly to previous graduates gaining employment opportunities in the film and TV industries.
One month after graduating from the Digital Film & Television Production course in 2013, Laura O’Callaghan had already landed herself a job on a popular TV show in Cardiff. She is currently working as a floor runner on ‘Stella’, a Sky1 show written by and starring Ruth Jones of Gavin & Stacey. The series was filming its third series, which went to air in early 2014.
Since graduating from the university in 2012, Josie Morgan has worked on several feature films including Mission Impossible 5 and Fury.
Siri Vålberg Saugstad graduated from the Digital Film & Television Production course in 2012, and is now working as a news photographer and editor at Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) in Oslo.
Eoin McLoughlin graduated from the course in 2011. Since then he has progressed into full-time work in the film & television industry, first for Swansea-based Vibe Video Production and now as a freelance camera assistant, working on BBC dramas Casualty and Atlantis. He recently worked at the Welsh independent film The Crow.
Richard Waters earned his higher diploma in Ireland before transferring to Swansea to complete his degree. In 2013, Richard directed The O’Briens that won the 2013 Newport Beach Film festival in LA.
Ewan Donaldson graduated in 2012 and now works as a Multimedia Officer at Swansea City Football Club, creating films and other content for the club.
'The facilities and opportunities for real life work experience have enabled me to develop my understanding and skills as a filmmaker’ Samuel Hinton
"Paris was a great opportunity to put into practice previously taught skills and use them in a real-time scenario. The Paris trip was always going to be a challenge but one that was embraced and conquered. The team managed to get a good amount of quality interviews from a cross section of the population in Paris" Nick Perry 1st year DFTP
“The Paris trip was a great learning experience where we had a say in all part of the production. Taking part in the production from day one made it easier to analyse and see where we made mistakes and how to do better next time. For me the Paris trip was the best experience from this year.” Kristiane Korneliussen 1st year DFTP
Our students have access to a diverse range of equipment and resources, which in most cases are sufficient to complete their programme of study. We provide the basic materials necessary for students to develop their practical work within our extensive workshop and studio facilities. However, it is likely that art and design students will incur some additional costs to extend their investigation of their personal practice. For example, purchasing their own specialised materials and equipment, joining in optional study trips, and printing.
During your time with us you will have the opportunity to study abroad with the Erasmus exchange programmes currently running with Universities in Norway, Barcelona and Sweden.
Students can also take up the opportunity to study a semester in the USA and Canada.
For more information please click here.