UCAS code: P303

Start dates: September 2024 / September 2025

Full time: 3 years, or 4 years with a work placement

Part time: 6 years, maximum 8 years

Location: Headington

Department(s): School of Arts

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Overview

In a world that is hungry for new content to watch, film is an exciting subject to study. With demand currently making it one of the largest sectors in the UK, the film industry is attracting major investment and actively recruiting.

You may want to be a film director, producer or screenwriter. Or you may want to specialise in new media or independent films. Whichever direction you take, our course will give you the direct experience and professional knowledge you need. A third year optional workplacement/ internship can help you progress your skills.

You’ll cover core skills in film production, film criticism and film history. But most importantly, you’ll learn how to apply these techniques to your own work.

A popular part of the final year is a work placement or a live project. And our strong links with the industry mean a film degree from Oxford Brookes is an ideal stepping stone for your future career.

Graduates have gone on to work on productions including Skyfall, Slumdog Millionaire, Doctor Who, Saturday Kitchen and Downton Abbey. Where could it take you?

Order a Prospectus Ask a question Attend an open day or webinar

Students setting up lighting rig

Why Oxford Brookes University?

  • Experience abroad

    Enjoy an international field trip to a major European city like Rome or Berlin. Soak up the atmosphere at a film festival, visit some studios and make your own short film.

  • Renowned lecturers

    You’ll be taught by the best in the business, including the author of the bestselling Film Studies book. Plus, get the chance to hear famous guest speakers such as Ken Loach.

  • Hybrid of theory and practice

    Explore key theories such as the fictional narrative of film and balance this with hands-on experience of production techniques. Test it all out on your placement.

  • State of the art facilities

    It’s about using the right tool for the job. From industry level cameras and professional lenses to specialist lighting kits and advanced edit suites, we have you covered.

  • Boost your employability

    Use the jobs board and get involved with live projects through Brookes Creative to network with professionals in the creative industries and help your career.

  • Free language courses

    Free language courses are available to full-time undergraduate and postgraduate students on many of our courses, and can be taken as a credit on some courses.

  • Study abroad

    You may be able to go on a European or international study exchange while you are at Brookes. Most exchanges take place in the second year. Although we will help as much as we can with your plans, ultimately you are responsible for organising and funding this study abroad.

Course details

Course structure

Throughout the course, you’ll get a good balance of practical application and film theory.

In your first year we focus on giving you a firm foundation in the creative, critical and professional skills involved in producing films. A range of modules help you explore topics such as film history, popular cinema and the language of film. As you start to make your own films, you’ll experiment with screenwriting and creative practice.

During Year 2 you’ll learn new digital research methods and examine different approaches to filmmaking. You’ll develop your critical insight and creative ability. Plus, our optional modules, including short film development, the analysis of stardom or the careers of independent filmmakers, allow you to specialise.

Your final year is when you have the option to choose between writing a dissertation or shooting a short film of your own. To give you first-hand experience of the real world of film, the year also includes a live client project or extensive work placement (or you may decide to take a whole year out between the second and third year on placement).

Student watching a tutor with a camera

Learning and teaching

We use a variety of teaching and learning activities:

Tutorials

Help you to develop ideas and track the progression of your projects. You will also get detailed feedback on your formative (developmental) and summative (assessed) work.

Skills workshops
These hands-on sessions used in the creative modules will help you develop specific abilities or techniques to benefit your practice.

Technical Demonstrations
Accessed through the School of Arts’ innovative ‘Skills Carousel’ sessions, these will teach you technical competence with a range of production equipment.

Work-based Learning
Central to your compulsory final year module, you'll have help in finding a work placement or live project. Placements are available in sectors including film/media production, journalism, exhibition, film festivals, or research.

Live Projects
An entrepreneurial alternative to work placements. Working in a group with other students to deliver a specific project or event which will often be public-facing.

Assessment

The course is 100% assessed through coursework.  All group work is supported and monitored closely to ensure fairness and maximum participation.  

This course encourages you to think and behave like a professional and you will have the opportunity to:

  • use cutting-edge digital methodologies
  • pitch story ideas
  • create scripts
  • direct short films
  • design a programme for a local independent cinema
  • organise and run our popular Student Film Festival.

Field Trips

Recent field trips have included:

  • visits to local cinemas (eg The Ultimate Picture Palace)
  • events at the London Film Festival
  • a week in New York, including the Museum of the Moving Image and NBC Studios
  • a week in Berlin during the Berlinale
  • the Cannes Film Festival in May.

A separate fee will apply to an optional field trip. Please contact our Enquiry Centre (see 'Contact us') if you would like more information about the field trip(s) on this course.

Study modules

Year 1

Compulsory modules

  • Thinking Film 1: Framing Film Analysis

    You’ll get to grips with key issues and critical concepts in film studies. Through a series of lectures, seminars and close readings of selected films, you’ll acquire the analytical tools for understanding the visual language of film. 

    We’ll focus on aspects such as editing, cinematography, sound and film style which will be analysed in close readings of films. You’ll study both contemporary films as well as film classics from the past. You’ll develop a basic understanding of critical approaches and the debates that surround these films.
     

  • Working in Film 1: Screen Industries

    Is there really “no business like show business”? This is your introduction to the study of filmmaking as a large-scale economic process and you’ll explore the factors which make the creative industries similar to or different from any other business. 

    You’ll examine the structural framework of the film industry and trace the ways in which systems of film funding, production, and distribution have evolved and continue to evolve both internationally and in the UK. You’ll discuss and analyse each stage of the filmmaking process from pre-production to distribution and marketing. You also meet professionals from the film industry who will contribute to the course.
     

  • Making Film 1: Introduction to Creative Practices

    You’ll build a foundation of knowledge of cinematic language and film grammar, and you’ll be  supported with an introductory level of technical skill training. You’ll be introduced to the technical and pre production processes of filmmaking and you’ll have the opportunity in small teams to pitch, plan, direct and edit multiple film sequences. 

    You’ll take a historic look at cinematography, cinematographers and their role – alongside the technical expertise required for basic cinematographic techniques. The skills you develop on this module will provide the basis for further practical work conducted on your degree course and future course modules. You’ll also have the opportunity to go on an  integrated field trip to explore the film culture of a European city and experience different approaches to film and cinema tradition – using links and contacts established by the Film team.
     

  • Thinking Film 2: Research Skills and Resources

    We're here to help you build your research and academic writing abilities while concentrating on the field of film studies. In this foundational module, you’ll build the skills you need to excel in academic research and writing. You'll discover established methods for effective research and a framework for crafting compelling academic papers. As you progress through this module, you'll not only sharpen your critical and analytical thinking but also learn how to express your ideas through well-structured arguments supported by relevant evidence.

    You can look forward to a series of engaging sessions designed to enhance your understanding of film studies. Our Film subject librarian will introduce you to valuable resources. You'll delve into the art of argumentation and practise your writing skills. Additionally, our film faculty will share their research and methodologies, providing you with insights and inspiration for your own academic journey.
     

  • Thinking Film 3: Popular Cinema

    Welcome to popular cinema, where you’ll focus on Hollywood productions. In this module, You’ll dive into the fascinating debates surrounding this cinematic phenomenon, challenging common notions of ‘popularity’. Popular cinema has often been dismissed as purely commercial, generic, and lacking in depth. However, we'll explore why this perception has persisted over time and equip you with the tools to analyse popular cinema within its social and historical contexts.

    Your module is in three key sections:

    1. Understanding Popularity: we will question the very concept of popularity, examining how it's measured and what it means in the world of cinema.

    2. Transnational Popularity and Stardom: delve into the global reach of popular cinema and the intriguing world of film stars.

    3. Exploring Popular Genres: finally, we'll dissect the popular genres that have captured audiences' hearts over the years.

    This module sets the stage for a deeper understanding of this vibrant cinematic landscape.
     

  • Working in Film 2: Film History, Industry and Technology

    You will take a historical journey through the dynamic world of cinema, where we'll explore how various factors like industry, policies, technology, and artistic expression have influenced this medium. Throughout this module, we'll look at the impact of significant revolutions in the film industry. We'll dive into the evolution of camera technology, the introduction of sound and colour, changes in screen ratios, special effects, and even the influence of laws and financial support. Your focus will be on the American film industry, with comparisons to European examples, spanning from the post-war era to contemporary cinema.

    By the end of this module, you'll possess valuable analytical tools to decode the complex relationship between technology, creative practices, ideology, the audience experience, reception, and the intellectual climate. Get ready to unravel the mysteries of cinematic evolution with us.
     

Optional modules

Making Film 2: Screenwriting Film and TV

You’ll learn about the fundamentals of story design and the art of screenwriting. We're here to introduce you to the world of crafting stories for the screen.

We'll dive into the essential skills, techniques, and conventions necessary to work with screenplays both creatively and critically. You'll gain valuable insights into how to transform your original ideas into compelling story structures, suitable for feature films and serial formats, whether in the realms of drama or comedy. It's all about unleashing your creativity and honing your storytelling abilities on the screen. 

Year 2

Compulsory modules

  • Making Film 3: Approaches to Filmmaking

    Explore stylistic choices in film as a way to add substance to expressive and analytic elements. Firstly, you’ll take a historical approach to film style, through analysis of the significance of practices of filmmaking. Secondly, you’ll be encouraged to apply ideas on style and general choices to your specific projects.  

    You’ll be encouraged to look both into auteurist versions of style (why do David Lynch or Godard do the things they do?) and others focused on movements or sets of ideas (“neorealism”, “dogma”, etc.). “Classical” style is defined in the early lectures as a general basic template. By challenging certain aspects of classicism (editing, composition, logic, narration) styles can become distinctive and distinctly expressive. You’ll explore and contextualise the work of influential cinematographers of the past and present and be introduced to key areas of technical and artistic advancements – through practice and the practical application of taught concepts.
     

  • Thinking Film 5: Digital Research Methods

    You’ll explore different computer or digital tools (like how you mine big data, and also how to digitally visualise data). You look at how they can be used to propose new ways of understanding and generating knowledge within film and cinema studies.

    This will help you to progress your research skills of critically analysing and solution finding in the digital sphere.
     

Optional modules

Making Film 4: Screenwriting Craft and Practice

Through this module you’ll complement and build further knowledge of the principles of story design you studied in Making Film 2: Screenwriting for Film and TV. You’ll carry out a detailed exploration of the anatomy of storytelling techniques for short/feature films and serial formats. You’ll also closely analyse screenplays and their realisation on screen. 

You’ll have the opportunity to develop your own story ideas from original conception through the various stages typical of the related industrial practices culminating in a script package. Also you’ll get to pitch for a short film (that will be produced on Making Film 5: Short Film Production in Semester 2, if undertaken). Emphasis will be placed on contemporary popular cinema and on genres. Also you’ll get to hear from and work with a professional screenwriter who’ll also contribute to the module.
 

Making Film 5: Short Film Production

You'll enhance your creative, practical, and collaborative skills in film production. Building on what you've learned in Making Film 1 and screenwriting modules, specifically Making Film 4: Screenwriting Craft and Practice, on this  module you’ll take your abilities to the next level.

Through a mix of seminars, tutorials, and hands-on exercises, you’ll have a platform to excel in short film script development and production management. Get ready to create and shoot your own original works, gaining valuable experience along the way. This module is all about putting your skills into action and honing your filmmaking craft. Bringing your vision to life.
 

 

Thinking Film 4: Star and Audiences

The use of stars is central to the view of film as mass entertainment and their appearances and their effect on the medium sometimes bring it slightly closer to art. A star is a performer with a particular mystique, a specific persona, who somehow engages with audiences in specific ways. Their qualities appear to be natural, but they are actually manufactured and marketed, and often depend more on the surrounding culture than on any personal features of individuals. Stars change with time as dreams and expectations of audiences change. 

Looking at film stars is a way of looking at film reception. You’ll examine star careers and their significance to film audiences. Also you’ll  also focus on how stars epitomise certain aspects of movies and represent genres.

Specific examples of study will include 

  • Bette Davis
  • Jane Fonda
  • Judy Garland
  • James Dean
  • Clark Gable
  • Marilyn Monroe
  • Tom Cruise
  • Ryan Gosling or George Clooney.

Independent Study In Film

This is your opportunity to conduct either a research project in a clearly defined area in depth; or a short film or screenwriting project

You’ll develop your focus for the module with guidance from your academic supervisor, before your aim and focus is approved by the module leader. It’s your chance to further progress your key research skills to build increased understanding of the film industry.
 

Working in Film 3: Festivals, Cinemas and New media

Explore the dynamic shifts in how movies reach audiences, both in public spaces and private settings. In today's digital era, film distribution, the key profit driver, faces challenges from piracy and on-demand streaming, disrupting the industry.

Film festivals play a crucial role as a marketplace where independent producers sell and distributors buy films. Beyond commerce, festivals nurture interest in films and cater to specific fan cultures, like horror enthusiasts. The exhibition sector spans various cinemas, from multiplexes to independents, incorporating innovations like event cinema, pop-up screens, and immersive experiences. You’ll look into the intricate process of how films connect with their viewers, and you’ll hear from guest speakers from festivals, distribution, and exhibition sectors. Building your knowledge of the evolving landscape of film consumption and further developing your understanding of audiences.
 

Working in Film 4: Independent Filmmakers

Dive into the world of independent film movements in the North American and British cinemas, exploring from two distinct angles: an internal aesthetic perspective and an external viewpoint.

In the first half of the module, we'll focus on the internal perspective. This involves exploring film style, examining elements like a film's arthouse credentials, its portrayal of character subjectivity, and its storytelling techniques. It's all about understanding the artistry behind the lens.

In the second half , we’ll explore the external perspective. Here, the spotlight is on the cultural, economic, and industrial facets of independent filmmaking in Britain and North America. We unravel the intricate processes of how independent films secure funding, navigate production, and carve out their space in the market. Plus, you'll discuss how these films contribute to and shape national identity. Build your knowledge and applicable understanding of the multifaceted world of independent cinema.
 

Year 3 (placement year)

Optional modules

Career Development Placement

Career Development Placement The aim of this module is to develop the professional profile and professional confidence of a student through experiential learning opportunities and engagement with external organisations by undergoing work placements, internships and industry experiences. It aims to enable students to manage their own learning and self-direction through identifying opportunities that align to their disciplinary ambitions, situating their practice in a professional context. It offers a range of options including an Enterprise Residency where students can operate as freelancers and develop ideas for a start-up business with the full support of Brookes Enterprise Support.

Year 4 (or year 3 if no placement)

Compulsory modules

  • Thinking Film 6: Film Theory

    This module is your gateway to the world of film theories and analysis methods. We're giving you an overview of various film theories and the analysis methods tied to them. With a hands-on approach it’ll help you test the validity and relevance of different theoretical frameworks.

    You’ll sharpen your sensitivity to the heuristic value (that's the practical usefulness) and the limits of film theory. This isn't just about studying theories; it's about applying them, understanding their strengths, and acknowledging their limitations.
     

  • Working in Film 5: Creative Industries

    Develop your strategies and skills, preparing for a career in the vibrant realm of the "creative industries." What does that include? Think media journalism, film festivals, education, media distribution and publicity, heritage industries, and even academic and research-based positions.

    This isn't just about learning; it's about preparing you for the dynamic landscapes of various creative fields. Whether you envision yourself in journalism, organising film festivals, shaping education, or delving into research, we’re here to offer you support to achieve your aim.
     

Optional modules

Making Film 6: Short Film Development

You'll be exploring the development and pre-production of a short film. What does that involve? Well, you'll be planning, researching, writing, and managing the production. Why? Because this is the groundwork for the exciting follow-on module – Making Film 7: Short Film Project, where your creation comes to life on film.

But don't worry, you won't be navigating this alone. You’ve got a dedicated module leader and a consulting member of staff to guide you through the process. It's not just about making a film; it's about crafting your vision from the very beginning. Prepare to embark on this filmmaking journey.
 

Making Film 7: Short Film Project

Building on your groundwork laid in Making Film 6: Short Film Development, you're now diving into the action – the Production and Post-Production phases of your project.

We've got regular supervisory sessions lined up, ensuring you receive valuable feedback to fine-tune your project as it progresses. Together, we'll structure your project through these crucial phases, and not just that – we're gearing up to create a solid plan for distributing and marketing your finished masterpiece. Let's turn your vision into reality.
 

Thinking Film 7: Dissertation in Film

This is your chance to dive deep into a specialist area of research in film. The best part? You get to shape the content. It's a direct negotiation between you and your supervisor, and of course, the module leader gives you the green light.

Your task is to craft an 8,000 – 10,000 word dissertation. What does that include? A thorough literature review, spot-on references, and adherence to the conventions of academic writing. Plus, your research will be centred around a focused problem. It's not just a paper; it's a chance to explore, analyse, and contribute to the world of film research.
 

Please note: As our courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, the modules you can choose from may vary from those shown here. The structure of the course may also mean some modules are not available to you.

Careers

Our course is designed so that you will graduate as a well-rounded professional, equipped for a variety of roles in the film and media industry.

You may decide to pursue a career in film or TV, production management, media journalism or creative writing for the screen. Or you could take up a related job such as marketing or public relations in the film industry. 

Recent students have gone on to pursue successful careers at:

  • BBC
  • Sky TV
  • Channel 5
  • Pinewood  
  • Universal Studios
  • Disney 
  • BT Sport 
  • HBO.

Graduates regularly have their works featured at film festivals across the world including the Academy Awards and various BAFTA Qualifying Festivals, such as the Festivale de Cannes, the Leeds International Film Festival and the Holly Shorts Film Festival.   

Other students decide to stay in academia and pursue a research career in their specialist field. 

Student using digital filming equipment

Our Staff

Dr James Cateridge

I teach undergraduate modules on the film industry, national cinemas and film festivals and exhibition. My postgraduate teaching is in industrial studies and film cultures.

Read more about James

Entry requirements

Wherever possible we make our conditional offers using the UCAS Tariff. The combination of A-level grades listed here would be just one way of achieving the UCAS Tariff points for this course.

Standard offer

UCAS Tariff Points: 112

A Level: BBC

IB Points: 30

BTEC: DMM

Contextual offer

UCAS Tariff Points: 88

A Level: CCD

IB Points: 27

BTEC: MMM

Further offer details

We welcome applications from candidates with alternative qualifications, and from mature students.

International qualifications and equivalences

Tuition fees

Please see the fees note
Home (UK) full time
£9,250

Home (UK) part time
£1,155 per single module

Home (UK) sandwich (placement)
£1,600

International full time
£15,950

International sandwich (placement)
£1,600

Home (UK) full time
£9,250

Home (UK) part time
£1,155 per single module

Home (UK) sandwich (placement)
£1,700

International full time
£16,750

International sandwich (placement)
£1,700

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

Tuition fees

2024 / 25
Home (UK) full time
£9,250

Home (UK) part time
£1,155 per single module

Home (UK) sandwich (placement)
£1,600

International full time
£15,950

International sandwich (placement)
£1,600

2025 / 26
Home (UK) full time
£9,250

Home (UK) part time
£1,155 per single module

Home (UK) sandwich (placement)
£1,700

International full time
£16,750

International sandwich (placement)
£1,700

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

+44 (0)1865 534400

financefees@brookes.ac.uk

Please note, tuition fees for Home students may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students in line with an inflationary amount determined by government. Oxford Brookes University intends to maintain its fees for new and returning Home students at the maximum permitted level.

Tuition fees for International students may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students. 

The following factors will be taken into account by the University when it is setting the annual fees: inflationary measures such as the retail price indices, projected increases in University costs, changes in the level of funding received from Government sources, admissions statistics and access considerations including the availability of student support. 

How and when to pay

Tuition fee instalments for the semester are due by the Monday of week 1 of each semester. Students are not liable for full fees for that semester if they leave before week 4. If the leaving date is after week 4, full fees for the semester are payable.

  • For information on payment methods please see our Make a Payment page.
  • For information about refunds please visit our Refund policy page

Additional costs

Please be aware that some courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees. Specific additional costs for this course are detailed below.

Information from Discover Uni

Full-time study

Part-time study

Programme changes:
On rare occasions we may need to make changes to our course programmes after they have been published on the website. For more information, please visit our changes to programmes page.