BA (Hons) Film & Screen Arts


Program Description


BA (Hons) Film & Screen Arts is a practice-based film programme that encourages the development of contemporary filmmaking, exploring the craft and aesthetics of the moving image through a broad range of approaches and applied techniques within a global and cultural context. 

By studying both collaborative and independent approaches, students have the opportunity to create the narrative, documentary, and experimental forms of art as well as screen-based installations, video art and other emerging film formats using new technologies. 

BA (Hons) Film & Screen Arts provides opportunities to conceptualise and make film media from idea to display, and students are free to develop a wide range of projects beyond traditional film including screen-based installations, site-specific cinema and/or video art.

Led by a team of practising artists, filmmakers, media designers, and cultural scholars, all aspects of student learning are underpinned by a rigorous critical and cultural understanding of the medium in its many contemporary forms. 

Specialist techniques explored through the course include cinematography, production design, scriptwriting, screen direction, sound production, set-building, lighting design, editing, visual effects, internet film and video, social media production and experimental image-making.

Hands-on, technical skill is facilitated by student access to a large library of professional film and video-making equipment housed in our Multimedia Lab.

Studio spaces dedicated to pre-production, production and post-production allow students to explore the team-based, collaborative nature of filmmaking and to build their digital literacy and professional skills throughout the course.

Our Fabrication Lab, Materials Lab and Print Lab allow student-led exploration of both the physical and digital aspects of contemporary screen media. 

Unique to an independent art and design college, the interdisciplinary curriculum allows students to engage with areas of practice that intersect with the film arts including, Fine Arts, Photography, Commercial Photography, Fashion Media & Marketing, and Costume through regular all-school workshops and lectures. 

Recent graduates of the course have participated in many leading international film festivals and galleries, including the Institute of Contemporary Arts, Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, Edinburgh International Film Festival, London Short Film Festival, Aesthetica Film Festival, Slamdance (USA), New York Tribeca Film Festival, Raindance International Film Festival, Encounters Film Festival, Cornwall Film Festival, and work in independent freelance practice, film production, television and advertising as cinematographers, directors, production designers and editors.

Core specialisms include:

Filmmaking, directing, lighting, cinematography, camera operation (analogue, video and digital), concept design, production design, art direction, editing, post-production, green-screen technology, title design, soundtrack design, audio recording, writing, film exhibition, film programming, media theory, film history, documentary, fashion film, dance film, narrative, experimental, location-based video projection, video art, music video, mobile media, social media and screen media installation.

Recent contributors to the programme include:

  • Ed Turner, Production Designer
  • Matt Brandon, Producer
  • Peter Sorg, Cinematographer
  • Sarah Smithers, Director of Photography
  • Robin Wright, Wildlife filmmaker
  • Jack Willis, Camera operator
  • Ed Turner, Production Design
  • Luke Sims, Videographer
  • Lindsay Knight, Fashion Filmmaker
  • Kevin Johnson, Actor
  • Anna Navas, Film Programmer
  • Ewa Banaszkiewicz and Mateusz Dymek, Independent Film Directors, My Friend the Polish Girl
  • Tony Hill, Filmmaker
  • Ryan McMurray, Sound Artist
  • Amanda Bluglass, Artist Filmmaker
  • Justin Sihera, Documentary Producer, Vanishing Sail
  • Mia Bays, Oscar-winning filmmaker, Birds Eye View Film
  • Anna Smith, Film Critic
  • Larry Sider, Sound Designer, School of Sound

This course was previously titled BA (Hons) Film. The new title reflects the expanded nature of the course content. 

Please note, this programme is only available for full-time study, a part-time study offering is not available.


Year 1 (Level 4)

  • FILM101 Aesthetics and Technologies
  • FILM102 Editing and Montage
  • FILM103 Cinematic Storytelling
  • FILM104 Professional Practice
  • BAIS300 Interdisciplinary Studies
  • BCOP100 Contexts of Practice 1

Year 2 (Level 5)

  • FILM201 Screencraft 
  • FILM202 Negotiated Project 
  • FILM203 Collaborative Project
  • GCOP200 Contexts of Practice 2

Year 3 (Level 6)

  • FILM301 Research and Experimentation
  • FILM302 Creative & Professional Development 
  • FILM303 Creative and Professional Conclusion 
  • FILM304 Contexts of Practice 3

Careers & alumni

Our programme has links with NAHEMI, BFI London, the Royal Television Society and the Aesthetica Film Festival, as well as many independent filmmaking professionals, both in the UK and abroad.

Students have the opportunity to attend international film festivals, such as Rotterdam, Oberhausen and Aesthetica, where students have screened their own work as well as held panel discussions.

In recent years, we have welcomed Jan Harlan, Ben Wheatley, and Walter Campbell as part of our Visiting Filmmaker programme.

We work in partnership with Plymouth Arts Centre cinema and with local production companies.

Our strong international connections also allow our students to take a semester of study with one of our partner institutions within Europe and North America, and in turn, we welcome overseas students from those institutions to join us in our studios, creating an exciting cultural exchange.

Graduates become:

  • Independent Filmmakers
  • Commercial Filmmakers
  • Documentary Filmmakers
  • Freelance Filmmakers
  • Artist Filmmakers
  • Directors
  • Producers
  • Production Designers
  • Cinematographers
  • Scriptwriters
  • Editors
  • Post-Production Specialists
  • Sound Designers
  • Location Managers
  • Lecturers
  • Researchers

Recent Alumni:

Our BA (Hons) Film & Screen Arts programme is well-respected in the industry for producing innovative and creative film-makers. Our students and alumni, with the help of our programme leaders, technicians and tutors, are regularly picked up for screenings at prestigious film festivals – and many go on to win awards for the quality of their films.

We have a strong track record of getting our students and graduates recognised by industry and landing great jobs.

Robbie Doran (2014 graduate)

  • Graduate film 'Knives' screened for NAHEMI at Encounters Film Festival, Bristol, September 2014
  • 'Knives' also won Best Undergraduate Fiction 2014 at RTS Devon and Cornwall

Jake Tish (2014 graduate)

  • Graduate film 'Malvinas' selected for Council House Graduate Exhibition, PCC, September 2014
  • 'Malvinas' also selected for Aesthetica Film Festival 2014
  • Plus 'Malvinas' selected for inclusion in the Aesthetica Artists’ Film Archive

‘Careers & Enterprise in the Curriculum’ at Plymouth College of Art 

Professional practice is embedded within all of our programmes.  Throughout your studies, you will have the opportunity to develop the key professional, transferable skills for employability in the creative industries and potentially work in partnership with other sectors locally, regionally, nationally or internationally.

From writing and making the most of your CV to gaining industry experience, the acquisition of professional skills has been written into the programmes of study by our staff teams, who have ‘real world’ experience. They are also supported by our Industry Liaison Groups, who help inform the development of the higher education curriculum.

Our students say

Tom Kirkman BA (Hons) Film graduate

"I left school at 13 and was home educated. I travelled a lot but I wanted to study locally and have always had an interest in art and film. I opened a skateboarding shop and learned about business. Eventually, I came back into education because I was ready and they offered what I wanted. The facilities here are something I’d never get the chance to use anywhere else.

I’ve found my direction working in 16mm documentary and hand processing, so I really understand the process and medium of film. It offers ways of telling a story you can’t get with digital, however good you are at postproduction. I work with digital film for external work, though.

Because the College is relatively small, it’s very intimate and you have access to all its facilities. Tutors from all subjects are happy to help – I’ve done metalwork, silkscreen and an interdisciplinary project that fed lots of new ideas into my film practice."

Tom German BA (Hons) Film graduate

"Being here has really helped me to specify my interests. I now know what I’m into and why I’m into it. Before, I would find a film or filmmaker I liked and try to make my films look like theirs. 

I was interested in making stuff that looked good, but there was no real context behind them. Now, more of the ideas and inspiration come directly from me. I’m not afraid to do things my way."

Entry requirements

2020 onwards: A portfolio and 112 - 120 UCAS points (earned through A-levels, BTEC National Diploma, or Foundation Diploma etc).

We also welcome applications from students who do not have formal qualifications but can provide evidence of their creativity, skills and experience. You will also be required to attend an interview in person or via Skype, Google Meet or similar online platform. 

International students

Language requirements for study at Degree level

  • Trinity College London
    • Integrated Skills in English II (Level B2), minimum grade required: Reading: Pass Listening: Pass Certificate valid for two years
  • IELTS SELT Consortium
    • IELTS (Level B2), minimum grade required: IELTS overall score of 6.0 with a minimum score Listening: 5.5, Speaking: 5.5, Reading: 5.5, Writing: 5.5,
    • Certificate valid for two years

Visa requirements

  • As an international student, you will need a Tier 4 (General) student visa which you can apply for online.


Our outstanding facilities include film studios, green screen studios, sound recording and post-production studios, vocal recording booths and Foley studio space.

Our Equipment Resource Centre is comprehensively stocked with a wide range of film production technologies, including 4K High-Definition cinematography, Super 16mm film, underwater film and photography resources, professional sound design apparatus and extensive support equipment.

Our professional post-production editing facilities utilise current professional software packages including Adobe Creative Suite (Premiere Pro, After Effects, Photoshop), Final Cut Pro, Avid Media Composer and ProTools.

We have a team of enthusiastic and highly experienced lecturers and technicians, and we offer a visiting lecturer programme of internationally recognised experts from diverse film and media contexts, including writers, production designers, cinematographers, producers and editors from TV and film.

Our Careers Office provides support from a dedicated team who are purely focused on developing creative career opportunities. 

Facilities at the college include:

Animation, Film and Photography Studios

Our students make full use of our industry-standard dedicated studio spaces – including our infinity cove, green screen, and specialist sound studio (with Foley pit and vocal recording booth) – plus our stop-motion suite, our darkrooms, and plenty of individual edit suites, all up-to-date with the latest industry-standard software.

Drawing Studios

With north-facing windows, a ‘methods and process’ area, individual studio space and a specialist life-drawing studio, our impressive, open-plan, triple-height Drawing Studio is a huge space, perfect for many different activities and specialisms.

Fab Lab

Our ‘fabrication laboratory’ is kitted-out with the latest in digital design technologies – from 3D printers to 3D scanners, a vinyl cutter, CNC milling machine, CNC router and laser cutter. It adds a whole new level of opportunity for students across all creative walks of life.

Fine Art Printmaking Studios

A fantastic facility supporting fine art printmaking, our dedicated space caters for a wide range of programmes and processes. You’ll get access to a 150-year-old Columbian press, an Albion press, a historic and rare wallpaper press, and an automatic FAG proofing press, plus a broad selection of metal and wood type, vacuum screen-printing beds, and four etching presses.

Jewellery Design Studio

Housed in our fantastic new Craft, Design and Fabrication Workshops, this stunning space provides everything for contemporary and traditional techniques in jewellery design, including benches supplied with gas and oxygen, in-house metal casting resources, hand and machine-forming tools, facilities for vitreous enamelling, and a separate chemical room for etching, anodising and patternation. We also have larger metalwork equipment for welding, brazing, cutting and grinding.

Digital Print Bureau and Equipment Resource Centre

Our Digital Print Bureau offers affordable and quick print services for all our students who are looking for anything from large-format or solvent printing, to photo printing, scanning or vinyl cutting, and a wide range of finishing services. Our highly experienced Equipment Resource Centre staff can advise you on which of our 6,000 pieces of industry-standard kit – from underwater cameras to traditional large format cameras and all free to hire – will best meet your needs.

Textile Studios

With views out to sea and 35 metres of print tables to encourage experimentation, our Printed Textile Design Studios also boast a fantastic Mimaki fabric printer, digital embroidery resources, industrial sewing machines, sublimation printers, a dye lab, heat presses, a tufting gun and a Mac suite. It’s got to be one of the best-printed textile workshops in the UK.

Woods and Plastics Workshop

Alongside the latest in new technology, we value the long-standing traditions of making in wood and plastics – and have developed an excellently-resourced workshop that is open to all our students. It boasts a wide range of kit, including an impressive CNC router, plenty of saws and lathes, and strip-heaters, as well as greenwood-working facilities.

Last updated Aug 2020

About the School

Founded in 1856, Plymouth College of Art is an art school run by artists and designers for artists and designers. We are home to a dynamic, cross-disciplinary community of makers and thinkers for whom ... Read More

Founded in 1856, Plymouth College of Art is an art school run by artists and designers for artists and designers. We are home to a dynamic, cross-disciplinary community of makers and thinkers for whom making is as important as reading and writing, and where the purpose of learning is inseparable from that of living your life. A place for making things, and making things happen. For making a difference. Read less