Write, develop and make original films and high-end TV, on this highly practical course. Learn from tutors who have worked for the BBC, ITV, Netflix and Disney, and who are still active in the industry today.
You will be taught by tutors who are still successful in the film and TV industry today. They have worked on feature films, TV dramas, promotional videos and sports broadcasts
You will work with the best digital cameras, just like those used for Hollywood blockbusters
There’s the option to work with traditional celluloid film (35mm), which is what most blockbuster productions use. Few UK film degrees offer this
Our film students have a track record of winning high-profile industry competitions, such as the Royal Television Society Awards and the NAHEMI Kodak Student Commercial Awards
You will have many opportunities to gain experience on real film and TV sets, plus we offer a career-making six-month placement with Malta Production Hub.
Top10for Media and Film Studies**The Guardian University Guide 2023
For ambitious and creative film-makers
Explore the most exciting and challenging areas of contemporary film and high-end TV-making on a course designed to get you noticed in an intensely competitive industry. If you aspire to make big-budget productions for cinemas or small-screen streaming platforms like Netflix and Amazon, this course will suit you. You’ll need to be highly creative, passionate and dedicated.
This degree is based on our long-established and successful BA (Hons) Film Production, and has been updated and renamed to be relevant to the media industry of the 2020s. We recognise that students today will want to make productions for streaming platforms just as much as for the big screen, so our course content has been updated to reflect this. We also give you the chance to experiment with other forms of media-making — such as apps, web video, podcasts and other digital content — so that you are prepared for the ‘multiplatform’ nature of the media industry today.
How 'Sweet Sensation' helped launch Omar's film career
While studying with us, Omar directed an advert that won an industry award and has now gone on to work for Netflix.
In the below video, Associate Professor, Christine Parker, answers some of the most frequently asked questions about Film and Photography at the University of Derby. You can also watch exclusive subject content by signing up to Derby on Demand.
From raw talent to real deal
Through a blend of practical projects and more traditional teaching, you’ll develop the creative, technical and theoretical expertise needed to work within the moving image sector. We’ll cover these key areas:
Screenwriting and directing
Cinematography, sound and editing
Production, including 1st assistant directing
Film history and theory
You’ll work on a series of productions in a variety of on-set and post-production roles. The length and complexity of these productions will increase as you move through the course.
We are one of the few film courses in the UK which teach you to use both RED and ARRI cameras (high-spec digital cameras that the film industry use) as well as traditional celluloid or ‘35mm’. By the end of your final year, you will have built up an impressive portfolio of work that will help you gain employment or get accepted onto postgraduate programmes.
We’ll also make sure you leave with a great understanding of the film and television industry so you know how to create products that get seen by an audience. Plus, you will develop the professional skills you’ll need to deal with clients, commercial briefs, audiences and markets.
Launching a production company
Four film graduates launched their business while studying and now create content full time.
As well as developing your technical, commercial and professional abilities, we’re also focused on helping you develop as an artist. You will be challenged to think beyond conventional ideas about media content, and explore how you can push and break boundaries. We’ll encourage you to experiment and see failures as a learning opportunity, as you develop your own unique voice.
Experience real film and TV sets
Thanks to our high-profile teaching team, you’ll get plenty of opportunities to work on real film and TV sets, for instance as runners and crowd marshalls. In addition, final year students get the chance to compete for a six-month placement with a production company in Malta, which is one of the most popular locations for films outside of America. This is potentially a career-making opportunity, and has led to some phenomenal successes.
Mari Olan spent a five-month placement at Malta Film Studios and worked on a variety of film projects, including acting as Second Assistant Director on a major film production.
Showcase your work. Win awards.
All our students get the chance to showcase their work in festivals and competitions. In 2019, our students took home three top prizes from The Royal Television Society Awards, including The Sir Lenny Henry Award for Excellence. While in 2020, student Omar Soomro won his category at the NAHEMI Kodak Commercials Awards.
The culmination of the course is the opportunity to screen your work at our prestigious film premiere evening held at Quad: the Derby arts centre which celebrates visual arts, film and media. Part of our annual Degree Show, the evening begins with a VIP reception which offers you vital networking opportunities. In previous years the screening has attracted guests of honour such as the Editor-at-Large for Empire magazine Nev Pierce, Director John Stevenson (Kung Fu Panda) and legendary British cinematographer Robin Vidgeon. It could also be a springboard to national exposure for your work.
My exchange experience: An internship in Malta
Mari Olan successfully applied for work experience at Malta Film Studios, one of the largest production facilities in the world. She worked as a 2nd Assistant Director, and towards her dive license at weekends!
All Art and Design, Film, Photography and Music courses are based at our Markeaton Street site where industry-standard, purpose built studios and labs provide a modern and creative space for our students. Markeaton Street encompasses Chandos Pole Street which is home to our Fashion and Textiles courses and Britannia Mill is home to Fine Art, Illustration and Interior Design studio spaces. Our Theatre students learn from professionals at the professional producing and learning Derby Theatre in the heart of Derby city centre.
Markeaton Street is a 15 minute walk from Kedleston Road, and is serviced by regular site shuttle buses.
The Film department at Derby promotes individual and group filmmaking which is necessary for both freelancing and industry work. I graduated with a First Class Honours as an award-winning filmmaker and have gone on to work internationally.
Study trips to places like Prague, New York, Portugal and Malta.
How you will be assessed
It’s 100% coursework. This usually includes tasks like:
Making films and other media
Writing reflective journals or essays
Keeping production folders of concepts and developments
Who you'll meet
Every single member of our teaching team is actively involved in the film and television industry. They include:
Barry Squires: A Focus Puller for the film and broadcast industry, who has worked on Peter Kay’s Car Share and for CBBC children’s drama, BBC Match of the Day and BT Sport
Nigel Douglas: A BAFTA-winning producer/director with extensive broadcast television experience, including on This Life, Holby City and Bad Girls
Russell Cherrington: A filmmaker and music video director specialising in 8mm, 16mm and 35mm film, with experience working in Hollywood with Seraphim Films
Stephen Watson: A Cinematographer and Digital Cinema Production Consultant, who has worked on British cult classic Dead Man’s Shoes and on numerous commercial and promotional films for clients such as Disney Junior Channel, Channel 4, ITV and Warp Films
Tom Craig: Programme Leader for this course and also a writer, producer and specialist in film financing. Working with the Malta Film Commission, he has helped finance over thirty short films, features and documentaries
Film and TV Studios
Our Markeaton Street site has a dedicated film and television studio space for teaching and student projects - and experienced technicians who provide support.
Every year students from the School of Arts celebrate their time at University by showcasing their work at an end of year Degree Show at Markeaton Street and across the City of Derby. The Show usually runs throughout June. It is a fantastic opportunity for potential employers, friends, family, industry and members of the public to see exciting creations by the next generation of artists, designers, creators and makers from Derby. The Show takes the form of:
Your personal academic tutor will work with you to help you get the most out of your time at university. Having someone to talk to about your academic progress, your university experience and your professional aspirations is hugely valuable. We want you to feel challenged in your studies, stretched but confident to achieve your academic and professional goals.
As a Programme Leader and Senior Lecturer in Film Theory and criticism, Tom Craig teaches across a wide variety of modules on the BA (Hons) Film and High-end Television Production. He has substantial experience in Film Finance, production mentoring, script supervision, and project development. He is the Creative Director of Big Brain Films.
These are the typical qualification requirements for September 2023 entry.
What we're looking for
GCSE Maths and English Grade 4/Grade C (or above) or equivalent qualification
Access to HE
Pass Access to HE Diploma with 60 credits: 45 at Level 3 with a minimum of Distinction: 15, Merit: 24, Pass: 6
Offers will be made initially based on your application, including predicted grades and/or grades you have already achieved. You may be given the opportunity, within your offer letter, to submit a portfolio. If you submit a strong portfolio we will make you an unconditional offer, to reflect the quality of your work and your potential.
This course will prepare you for a range of specialist careers, in moving image production or in the wider creative industries. For example, graduates from our previous Film Production degree have gone on to work as:
technicians in sound, lighting and grips
production personnel such as production assistants and runners
independent personnel such as script writers, directors of photography, editors, art directors, cinematographers, animation specialists, producers and directors.
Many of our graduates have achieved success as feature film directors and music video artists. They have worked on major film projects such as Assassin’s Creed and 13 Hours while others have worked for the BBC, ITV, MTV, Disney and leading music labels.
You'll also build up a range of transferable skills, useful for any career. For instance, you’ll have great oral and written communication skills, be able to manage projects, and be good at identifying and finding relevant source materials.
We also provide support for graduates starting out in the creative industries in the form of Banks Mill, an innovative space for creative and digital industries located in a landmark building within the heart of Derby city centre.
Like most universities, we operate extended teaching hours at the University of Derby, so contact time with your lecturers and tutors could be anytime between 9am and 9pm. Your timetable will usually be available on the website 24 hours after enrolment on to your course.
Additional costs and optional extras
We’re committed to providing you with an outstanding learning experience. Our expert teaching, excellent facilities and great employability prepare you for your future career. As part of our commitment to you we aim to keep any additional study costs to a minimum. However, there are occasions where students may incur some additional costs.
Please also note that due to the current Covid-19 situation, if your course offers fieldtrips, the location of these may change or be cancelled. If this happens, you will be communicated to in advance and we will do our very best to seek out other practical opportunities to ensure your experience is not affected.
The information provided on this page is correct at the time of publication but course content, costs and other individual course details do change from time to time and are updated as often as possible, so please do check these pages again when making your final decision to apply for a course. Any updated course details will also be confirmed to you at application, enrolment and in your offer letter.
Included in your fees
Participation in Degree Show screening at QUAD
Here at Derby, we provide excellent learning resources, libraries and specialist laboratories and studios.
There will be occasions when you will be expected to attend exhibitions, screenings, performances and festivals. You will need to budget for these over each academic year
Two study visits (one in year 1 and one in year 2).
Optional costs not included in your fees
Additional course related publications (approx. costs £100)
Final year project costs (costs determined by student, on average are £200-£600)
We provide full details of all course fees, but extra costs may include field trips (approx. cost £200-£400)
Additional expenses incurred by students (average £50 a head) are usually covered by fund raising e.g. crowd funding (training provided for this as part of professional practice)
Please note: Our courses are refreshed and updated on a regular basis. If you are thinking about transferring onto this course (into the second year for example), you should contact the programme leader for the relevant course information as modules may vary from those shown on this page.