BA Filmmaking


Read more about this program on the school's website

Program Description

Watching films has become China’s national pastime. There is a thirst for stories that hold audiences spellbound, and you can now learn how to tell them.

Have you ever sat in a cinema and thought, 'I want to tell stories like that!’? Have you ever wanted to work on real film productions with real movie stars? If you have the passion to communicate your thoughts and your stories on the big screen, this programme is for you.

The BA Filmmaking is a practice-based programme that fosters creativity, entrepreneurship and innovation. You will learn to make films both for the small screen and for cinema consumption.

Your practice will include notions of the creative producer, directing for both documentaries and drama, storytelling, cinematography, sound design, and editing, as well as marketing films worldwide.

Why Should I Study Filmmaking at XJLTU?

  • Learn in an industry-standard, purpose-built film school building operational from 2020, with world-class facilities including high-end cameras, a fully functional digital media lab, a television studio, motion capture facilities, a sound stage and even a cinema;
  • Study project-management and other international film and television industry-standard software;
  • Learn from award-winning international staff and industry professionals;
  • Gain practical experience through industry work experience opportunities, and the chance to create your own films and work on live projects;
  • Earn two degrees: an XJTLU degree from the Chinese Ministry of Education, and a globally recognised degree from the University of Liverpool, a member of the Russell Group of leading UK universities.

Practice-Based Interdisciplinary Learning

Taught by a mix of international and Chinese talent from academia and the film and television industries students will be taught in a syntegrative way where theory, practice and industry meet in the classroom and on location. The thinking will be strong as will the craft skills and knowledge of the developments in the industry at a local, national and international level. The School has an ambitious plan to develop international partnerships within both education and industry. There will be opportunities for other film students to spend a semester on an exchange, co-productions between the SoFTA film school and others in China and internationally.

XJTLU will also offer the filmmaking students the opportunity to work with like-minded students from other parts of the University. The innovative teaching practice promoted by the University will create an environment where students can benefit from the expertise and practice of other disciplines whilst specialising on their own training. The collaboration will be a core component of the new degree programme and could see the filmmaking students work with students from Industrial Design (including special FX model work), Architecture students (projects such as ‘Cityscape’ where students from filmmaking and architecture collaborate on a short visual piece of work about a local building), China Studies students to identify historical or local stories to be dramatised or made into documentaries. The potential is great.

A Complete One-Stop Shop for Filmmaking

Students will also be taught using state of the art equipment ranging from RED and Arri Alexa camera systems to allow 4/5k shooting potential, AVID Media Composer editing systems, DaVinci Resolve software for colour grading, Protools for post-production audio, After FX and 3D Studio Max for special FX, professional dubbing and sound recording facilities, 4k rushes review facility, viewing cinema. The students will also have access to professional grip equipment, drones, jibs and jimmy jibs, track and dolly. All equipment used will be industry standard and in line with current industry practices.

The projects originated will be a mix of location and studio-based. The studio facilities will allow both drama and variety show production on both multi-camera and single-camera formats as well as motion capture and green screen special FX work.

A Unique Offering Within A Unique Learning Environment

The film industry in the 21st century is global, collaborative and requires specialist training in a specialist environment, exactly what is being offered on the BA Filmmaking programme at XJTLU.

Knowledge and Skills

By the time you graduate from BA Filmmaking, you will have:

  • an awareness of your potential as a content creator, with the ability to take your knowledge, specialist skills and understanding into the world of work;
  • advanced and specialist skills in filmmaking, including specific knowledge of production techniques, research and creative processes within your area of specialisation;
  • the ability to use theoretical understanding to inform practice, and practice to inform theory;
  • high-level skills in critical thinking and communication, with the capacity for both self-reflection and working collaboratively;
  • an entrepreneurial mindset, with the ability to think like an entrepreneur in marketing yourself and your projects.


The facilities available to students continue to be developed on the South Campus. At the moment the students have access to facilities in the current humanities building including a digital training lab, lecture theatres, computer labs and meeting rooms. These rooms will continue to be utilised after the new facilities are completed. The new purpose-built building will be in place before the first cohort of BA Filmmaking students begins their second year within the School.

The new facilities are based on good practice and modelled on international film schools. The building will have a mix of creative, professional and public spaces to allow the synergy of the filmmaking students with students from other disciplines, industry practitioners and the local community.

The facility will also have a creative zone where students can come together and propose projects to be carried out alongside their degree studies or as part of their work placement or ALA. This part of the facility will also be attractive to the local creative industries as they look for collaborative opportunities. The building will also house lecture and teaching facilities with theoretical and practical training taking place on the same site. It will facilitate every stage of a developing filmmaker’s journey from theory, idea development, planning, shooting, post-production and screening.

The building design will have a wonderful visual presence within the campus and become a focal point of Suzhou as it develops as a filmmaking location. The specific spaces range from medium and large shooting studios to offer indoor controllable locations and the space for green screen FX, model work and motion capture experimentation. There will be individual edit suites and finishing suites to allow basic post-production through to professional graded and dubbed output ready for cinematic display. The building will also have specialized space for performers to allow rehearsal and teaching of actors as well as filmmakers. There will be production meeting spaces to allow the development and management of content ideas as well as a 250 seat cinema for viewing of student work both local and international as well as the screening of both Chinese and international cinema classics to student audiences.


Year One

UK degrees are three years long whereas in China they are four, therefore we do accept students with certain qualifications directly into Year Two, which is the start of the main academic programme. Most students, however, enter into Year One, which provides you with a range of interesting modules, language classes and core skills for your degree.

Year Two

Year Three

Compulsory modules:

Optional modules:

Year Four

Compulsory modules:


Graduates from this programme are well prepared for positions such as producer, director, screenwriter, content producer, advertising creative, cinematographer, sound designer, post-production editor, and digital media entrepreneur. Graduates may pursue employment in a large media company, or be entrepreneurial and start up a company of their own.


International students

RMB 88,000 per academic year.

Early bird discount

All international who accept their offer by 1 May 2020 will automatically qualify for an RMB 8,000 early bird discount

Join a free Chinese language course

We now offer a free summer Chinese language course for all undergraduate and postgraduate students starting their degree in September 2020.

Choose from a two-week, four-week or six-week language course.

Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan students

RMB 88,000 per academic year.

Early bird discount

All Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macao students who accept their offer by 1 May 2020 will automatically qualify for an RMB 8,000 early bird discount.

Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan students who apply to XJTLU through the Joint Entrance Examination on the governmental online application system (Education Examination Authority of Guangdong Province) will automatically qualify for an RMB 8,000 early bird discount.

Mainland Chinese students

RMB 88,000 per academic year.

Entry Requirements

International students

Entry into Year One

We welcome applications from high-quality candidates in all subjects with appropriate high school or equivalent qualifications. Students will normally be expected to have a high standing in their high school performance with a minimum ‘B’ average in all subjects as well as relevant subjects.

Entry into Year Two

Students who have completed A-levels or International Baccalaureate (or equivalent) will be considered for entry into Year Two, different programmes have different subject-relevant requirements.

  • A-level: BBB
  • IB Diploma: 30 points
  • Advanced Placement Tests/Subject SATS--High school diploma with a GPA of 3.0 or above, plus:
    • Redesigned SAT: 1280+ (students that took the SATs previous to 2016 will require 1800+) or ACT: 27, and 2 AP examinations: 4+ or 2 SAT subject tests: 600+ or
    • 3 AP examinations: 4+ or
    • 3 SAT subjects: 600+

Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan students

Students from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan may apply with the following:

  • A minimum grade of 400 on the Joint Entrance Examination to Chinese Universities for Overseas Chinese Students and Students from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, or
  • General Scholastic Ability Test (GSAT) ranking of at least the top 50 per cent for 4 subjects, including English and Maths. For detailed information see information in Chinese.

English language requirements

For international applicants, if you are a non-native English speaker, or if you have not previously studied in English, you must have satisfactory English language skills to study at XJTLU. Various English qualifications are accepted:

Year One entry

  • IELTS: 5.0
  • TOEFL: 62 (iBT)

Year Two entry

  • IELTS 6.5
  • TOEFL: 90 (iBT)

English qualifications are not required for students from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan who take the Joint Examination or the GSAT.

Students who are entering into Year One with less than IELTS 6.0 or equivalent in their English proficiency will take 10 credits EAP, and students with IELTS 6.5 or above will take five credits EAP.

"We want to be one of the world’s top ten film programmes, with graduates capable of telling strong, powerful stories – stories that are ripe for cinematic release. We invite you to be part of this journey."

Garrabost Donald Jayalakshmi
Programme Director

How To Apply

The BA in Filmmaking is a dynamic and international programme that aims to nurture your creative talent. For that reason, the admission process for this programme requires candidates to present evidence that reveal their creative abilities and their commitment to the field of filmmaking. For the portfolio, we would like you to supply us with one of the following artefacts:

  • 5 photographs which follow a theme/ tell a story and are personally important to you.
  • 1 to a 3-minute video which means something special to you.
  • A short animation piece that you have made and would like to talk about during the interview.
  • 3 to 5 Drawings/ sketches/ paintings that you have done that reveal your creative instinct.
  • Web design interest that you can demonstrate through 3 to 5 web pages that you have produced.
  • A piece of creative writing (by which we mean short story, a poem, or even the chapter of a novel) that you have produced – no word limit, but please keep it fairly short. If this is in a language that is not English, you have to translate it.
  • Music/ song that you have composed – 3 minutes.
  • Any other creative media artefact that you think demonstrates your creativity.

For the essay component:

  • Please write 500 words (+/- 50 words) on the topic: What my artefact means to me.

After we study your portfolio, you will be invited for an application interview. We will discuss, amongst other topics, your portfolio and what inspired you to produce it, your favourite films and TV shows and the reasons why you like them, and what career trajectory you might have in mind.

All applicants interested in filmmaking need to also go through the regular XJTLU application process. Mainland Chinese candidates, please visit the how to apply page.

International applicants should submit their application via our online application system:

  1. Click/tap the apply link
  2. Create an account or log in to your existing account
  3. Complete your application

Once your application account is successfully created, enter all the information required in the application form carefully and make sure the information you provide is correct, complete and up to date. Upload the required documents to the corresponding fields.

You may log-in to view your application form at any time.

For further details of how to successfully apply to study at XJTLU, please visit the how to apply page.

Note: This programme is subject to final validation from the University of Liverpool.

Last updated Apr 2020

About the School

Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University (XJTLU) is an international joint venture university founded by Xi’an Jiaotong University in China and the University of Liverpool in the United Kingdom in 2006. ... Read More

Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University (XJTLU) is an international joint venture university founded by Xi’an Jiaotong University in China and the University of Liverpool in the United Kingdom in 2006. Read less