Write, develop and shoot original films on our highly practical BA (Hons) Film Production (Top-up) course.
You’ll explore the most exciting and challenging areas of contemporary filmmaking on a course designed to get you noticed in an intensely competitive industry. We are one of the few BA (Hons) Film Production courses in the UK which teach both RED and ARRI cameras, as well as traditional celluloid for film production.
This course explores the full potential of moving images using both celluloid and digital cinema and gives you vital hands-on experience of professional practice as you prepare for a career in this fascinating and rewarding industry. We nurture your desire to communicate with an audience and encourage you to produce highly creative work, use your imagination and make independent judgments.
- You’ll become skilled in all the stages of taking an idea from script to screen – and your work will be showcased to industry professionals through festivals, competitions and our prestigious film première evening at Quad.
- We encourage you to take risks and be experimental as you work across different genres – including drama, documentary and the avant garde.
- You’ll be taught by experienced tutors who work in the film industry nationally and internationally, winning awards and leading major film productions. They’ll give you crucial insights into how to succeed in roles such as cinematographer, producer, scriptwriter and director.
Film and Photography - your questions answered
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.
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 première 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.
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 free site shuttle buses.
Please note that our modules are subject to change - we review the content of our courses regularly, making changes where necessary to improve your experience and graduate prospects.
We use a variety of teaching methods, including:
- Practical work and production projects
- Lectures, seminars and tutorials
- Studio practice
- Film screenings
- Essay or blog writing
- Discussion groups and critiques
- Study trips to places like Prague, New York, Portugal and Malta.
How you will be assessed
The course is 100% coursework-based. This usually includes tasks like:
- Making films and other media
- Writing reflective journals or essays
- Keeping production folders of concepts and developments
- Giving presentations.
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
- Susan Brand: A film editor and documentary director with over 20 years’ experience working in the UK and US, bringing to the team industry insight gained from major broadcasters such as the BBC, CBS and HBO
- 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.
Personal academic tutoring
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.
Find out more about personal academic tutoring
You need to have an HND or Foundation degree in a relevant subject.
You need at least five GCSEs (or equivalent) including Maths and English at grade 4/C or above.
When you apply, please send us a transcript of the modules you have already studied so that we can make sure that the HND or foundation degree is compatible with the top-up programme.
Additional entry requirements
English language requirements
IELTS: 6.0 (with at least 5.5 in each skills area)
2021/22 Fees (August 2021 - July 2022)
£9,250 per year
£14,045 per year
Further information about our fees and support you may be entitled to.
Additional costs and optional extras
You’ll build the knowledge and practical skills you need for a wide variety of careers, from moving image artist to documentary and narrative filmmaker.
Our graduates have achieved success as feature film directors and music video artists. They have contributed their expertise to several major film projects such as Assassin’s Creed and 13 Hours (directed by Michael Bay). They have also worked for the BBC, ITV, MTV, Disney and leading music labels.
In line with the nature of the industry, many of our graduates work on a freelance basis. We provide support for aspiring entrepreneurs starting out in the creative industries through our incubation unit, Banks Mill. It offers studio workspace and business development activities in a vibrant and thriving community of artists, designers and makers.
– we’re ranked 15th highest amongst all UK universities and 12th for English institutions with 96% of graduates in work or further study within six months of completing their degree: HESA 2016.
If you need any more information from us, eg on courses, accommodation, applying, car parking, fees or funding, please contact us and we will do everything we can to help you.Contact us
Additional information about your studies
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.
The information below is correct for entry in the academic year September 2020 - August 2021 only. Entry for future academic years may be subject to change.
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.
Mandatory costs not included in your fees
- Additional materials (printing, stationary, portfolio sleeves, folders, USBs/hard drives etc.)
- There will be occasions when you will be expected to attend exhibitions, screenings, performances and festivals. You will need to budget for these.
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.