University of the West of Scotland

Undergraduate Programme Specification

Session: 2020/21

Last modified: 30/06/2020 16:15:03

Named Award Title:BA (Hons) Filmmaking & Screen Writing Single

Award Title for Each Award: BA (Hons)  Filmmaking & Screen Writing
BA  Filmmaking & Screen Writing
Dip HE  Filmmaking & Screen Writing
Cert HE  Filmmaking & Screen Writing

Awarding Institution/Body: University of the West of Scotland
Language of Instruction & Examination: English
Award Accredited By:ScreenSkills
Maximum Period of Registration:
Mode of Study:Full Time
Part Time
Campus:Ayr

School:School of Business & Creative Industries
Programme Leader:Andrew Jarvis

Admission Criteria

Candidates must be able to satisfy the general admission requirements of the University of the West of Scotland as specified in Chapter 2 of the University Regulatory Framework together with the following programme requirements:

SQA National Qualifications


Grades B, B, B, B @ Higher including English and/or Media Studies.
At least two other subjects required at intermediate level or standard grade.

C, C @ Advanced Higher, subject areas as for Higher.

For entry to Level 7 at Epitome College: Diploma in Media Technology, (Malaysia) or appropriate equivalent qualification. Entry is managed by collaborative partners.


or GCE


Grades C C @ A level from cognate or related areas, including 3 at least at GCSE


or SQA National Qualifications/Edexcel Foundation


There is an opportunity for Direct Entry at Level 8 and Level 9 for students with an appropriate Media/Communication HNC/HND award, with the level of entry and/or credit awarded being subject to the content of the HN programme. Students should speak to the Admissions Officer within the School.


Other Required Qualifications/Experience


Where English is not the first language, applicants will be required to demonstrate competence in line with Regulation 6.6


Further desirable skills pre-application


General Overview

 

Introduction to the Programme

BA (Hons) Filmmaking & Screen Writing students learn how to make films, and study cinema as art, culture and commerce. The programme is highly distinctive in its offer of a balance of practice and theory that allows students to develop industry-accredited skills whilst pursuing their passion for cinema.

 

The programme is designed to produce graduates with specific knowledge and skills concerning filmmaking, cinematic storytelling, and film culture. It provides a subject-focused learning experience whilst also developing students’ transferable skills of content production, information processing, and professional communication. The programme has an explicitly international curriculum concerned with a trans-national cultural form and a globalised industry, which is explored in local, regional and national contexts throughout the four years of study.

 

Key Features of the Programme

The first year of the programme prepares students for success by introducing essential skills concerning digital filmmaking and creative writing. Technical skills are developed in modules covering digital video production, sound recording and editing. Creative writing skills are developed across a range of production contexts. Students also undertake critical studies that complement practical filmmaking by encouraging the close, detailed analysis of how films are constructed and how a wide variety of films tell stories through techniques of narrative organisation, cinematography, editing and sound.

 

In second year students further develop their creative skills in the contrasting contexts of drama and documentary production, at this level students also benefit from specialised teaching in scriptwriting. Skills of critical analysis, research and writing are developed in film studies modules, with a specific emphasis on genre study, and on innovation and creative achievement. This level also acts as a secure and coherent means of articulation for applicants with advanced standing who wish to undertake a three-year degree course.

 

Year 3 allows students to bring together skills that have been developed in previous years and engage in more ambitious filmmaking and scriptwriting projects. Students will be encouraged to develop skills and understanding concerning film-related business planning, employment law and key aspects of intellectual copyright. Modules will address content development, pitching, product marketing and promotion. A key aim of this level is to develop students’ awareness and understanding of the professional contexts in which filmmaking creativity is exercised, and student creative work simulates industry practice. A core module covering enterprise and entrepreneurialism further enhances students’ knowledge and skills concerning employability in the creative industries. Students at this level also have the opportunity to engage with sophisticated theorisations of films and filmmaking and develop knowledge and skills concerning research procedures in preparation for Honours-level research. Further opportunities to develop professional and communication skills are enabled by students choosing to undertake work experience with an appropriate organisation.

 

Central to studies in Year 4 (Honours) is the integrated creative research project for which students develop a folio of creative and critical work that provides evidence of a high standard of achievement in areas such as scriptwriting and directing, and theorisation and analysis. The emphasis here is on creative and critical specialisation, enabling a close and deep engagement with areas of personal, intellectual and professional interest. A range of optional modules provides further opportunities for students to dwell in specialist areas of interest, completing a rich undergraduate experience whilst opening the door to professional employment or further study.

 

Graduation, Progression and Further Study

The combination of specific filmmaking skills, general communication skills, enterprise awareness and professionalisation ensures that students are prepared for suitable employment in the creative industries. Graduates have found employment in technical areas such as camera, sound, and editing, as production assistants, and as directors. Many graduates continue to work independently as filmmakers and increasingly they set up their own production companies. Some graduates chose to look beyond the creative industries and find graduate-level careers where they can use their skills of research, analysis and presentation. In addition, an honours degree at 2:1 level or above in Filmmaking and Screen Writing is a suitable qualification for progression to a wide range of postgraduate opportunities in Film, Media and Cultural studies. There are also many postgraduate courses in practical film production and screenwriting that are available to graduating students.

Students that leave at the end of level 9 to enter employment have the option of continuing to study on a part-time basis in order to graduate with Honours. The 60 credit Creative Research Project module and the core 20 credit Producing Skills module are amenable to incorporating professional experience and knowledge, and optional modules may be chosen to suit the circumstances and skillset of the individual.

 

Learning, Teaching & Assessment

BA (Hons) Filmmaking & Screen Writing engages students in enquiry-based learning in which personal and creative interests are explored and developed in relation to the discipline and rigour of professional and academic contexts and processes. For example, at level 7, the module An Introduction to Film and Television Production uses the core area of practical digital filmmaking as a vehicle for students to formulate research questions and to collect and consider information prior to its formulation in writing – treatments, scripts, production diaries – and images – films, storyboards – all of which is done within goal-oriented groups.

 

This process reoccurs throughout the four years of the programme on practical and theoretical modules in which students explore a wide range of materials and sources, drawn from a range of academic and non-academic sources. There is an integrated approach with a balance between theoretical contextualisation and practice activity alongside the development of both analytical and practical skills in media production.

Learning and teaching methods include: lectures, screenings, demonstrations, tutorials, group and individual project work, multi-media and ‘e’ learning, and screen practice. A very strong emphasis is placed on students using digital technology across all modules and developing digital expertise and literacy to a professional standard in specific skills areas where appropriate. Students are encouraged to engage in the pedagogical and professional use of social media including, for example, participation in autonomous collaboration platforms such as forums embedded in the Moodle VLE, Googledocs, and Facebook groups. There is a mixture of large and small group and individual learning and teaching situations including tutor-led, student led and independent learning sessions.

 

The principle of student engagement with their own learning and ‘learning from work’ is manifested in opportunities that students have to discuss their work with visiting industry professionals during regular master-classes and pitching sessions, formative assessment is often enhanced by the participation of creative professionals. At an advanced level students work closely with academic supervisors and benefit from a one-to-one approach concerning research projects and creative projects. Students determine their own areas of advanced study and practice with the benefit of expert guidance and thus embody the University’s commitment to a ‘learning democracy’. This blend of methods, from essay-writing to group presentations, to extended investigation and creative production, encourages students to work in flexible, creative and independent ways, showing self-discipline, self-direction and reflexivity which in turn challenges students to initiate, develop and realise distinctive and creative work within various forms of writing and audio-visual production.

 

Teaching on the programme is informed by the research activity of module tutors who offer expertise based upon backgrounds in creative practice, academic research, and creative practice as research. Students are encouraged to become research-minded in the first modules they take at level 7, including filmmaking modules (as discussed above) and in film studies modules which encourage individuals to theorise their own perspectives on the making and consumption of creative artefacts. This research-mindedness connected to creative practice is further developed in modules such as Documentary Studies (level 8) and Critical Studies in Film (level 9), which encourage students to discover the value of research for practice and to engage in creative practice as research. At level 10, the 60 credit Creative Research Project module provides students with an opportunity to fully integrate their creative and critical interests and skills.


Graduate Attributes, Employability & Personal Development Planning

Employability is developed throughout the course beginning at level 7 where students gain an insight into the various roles and responsibilities that are common to the film and television industries. At this level and throughout the programme, the key strands of digital filmmaking and screenwriting provide specific teaching designed to develop students’ technical, creative, organisational and entrepreneurial skills. Level 9 in particular is designed to provide students with both advanced technical and creative skills, and knowledge and awareness concerning employment and self-employment in the creative industries.

 

More generally, students have a wealth of opportunities across all learning contexts to develop key skills of information processing and presentation, and equally important soft skills of interpersonal communication and self-promotion.

 

Students benefit from visits by speakers from the creative industries and by going out on placements or on class trips to relevant employment sectors, and by participation in student film festivals. Students are encouraged at the earliest stages to promote themselves to the industry by entering work into competitions and festivals and all Honours students submit work for the Showcase which draws industry professionals whilst encouraging students to think of themselves as active participants in a professional creative culture.

 

The principle of PDP is introduced within core modules as additional hours during level 7 trimester 1, along with study and core skills development.  Thereafter PDP is embedded within the core modules of the programme at all levels and specifically built on through additional hours in named core modules.  Although PDP is linked to learning outcomes at every opportunity it is predominantly formative but may also draw on assessed activities.  The aim is not only to encourage students to develop skills such as numeracy, language, study skills, employability and analytical thought but also to raise their self awareness and confidence through a process of critical reflection and planning.

 

Modules that have been identified as specific vehicles for PDP and which will have an additional hours allocation are: level 7, Cinema Aesthetics, Creative Writing ; level 8, Film Genre, Introduction to Scriptwriting; level 9, Digital Video Filmmaking A, Critical Studies in Film; level 10, Creative Research Project : Film.

 

The programme is fully aligned with institutional priorities around the development of graduate attributes and with the institutional policy on personal development planning. The mapping of programme and module learning outcomes and employability-integrated assessment ensures the visibility of graduate attributes, employability and citizenship competencies. Personal development is embedded and explicitly signposted in the curriculum, with students provided with regular opportunities to capture and evaluate progression and development, stimulating reflection, self-regulation and a more constructive engagement with employability. It is recognised that personal development planning is an essential component of lifelong learning and continuing and professional development. To support this activity, all students are provided with access to personal development planning tools and enabled to develop a personal e-portfolio across the programme.

Work Based Learning/Placement Details

The School offers a Work Related Learning module which is an option within this programme at level 9 offering students the opportunity of a relevant work experience and application of learning and theory in practice.

This credit-bearing module offers the student two ways to achieve credit.  In each case, a notional 70 hours of the total 200 student effort hours are derived from one of the following two routes:

 

1. Employment Based Work and Learning

The student works in an environment that is relevant to their programme of study in order to meet the module learning outcomes.  Employment will normally be organised by the student but some opportunities will be made available via the School including a few offered in co-operation with partner institutions overseas. If the student is already working part time in an area related to their programme of study then, with the approval of the School and in agreement with their employer, they may be able to use that work experience in order to meet the learning outcomes.

Regardless of the method of identification of WBL, the experience must be selected and/or approved based on the University criteria for placement setting and will be governed by a tripartite agreement between the Student, the Employer and the University.  This agreement will define the learning outcomes for the experience and confirm elements of support and commitment from all parties. The agreement will be signed by each party prior to commencement of the experience.

 

2.Supervised Project Work/Industry Brief

The students apply to complete a University based project or a project description set to University standards.  Most opportunities will be promoted by the School e.g. special projects for the community or industry.  Supervision in this instance is normally provided by a member of academic staff and although much of the work may be for an external client and involve site visits, the preparation and supervision of the project is normally internal to the University.

Engagement and Attendance

In line with the Academic Engagement and Attendance Procedure, Students are defined as academically engaged if they are regularly engaged with timetabled teaching sessions, course-related learning resources including those in the Library and on Moodle, and complete assessments and submit these on time.


Programme structures and requirements, SCQF level, term, module name and code, credits and awards ( Chapter 1, Regulatory Framework )

A. Learning Outcomes (Maximum of 5 per heading)

Outcomes should incorporate those applicable in the relevant QAA Benchmark statements

Knowledge and Understanding

A1Understand the differences between subjective approaches to films and filmmaking techniques and objective approaches based upon evidence, research, and logical analysis.
A2Demonstrate knowledge of a limited number of key terms and concepts commonly used within the discipline of film studies.
A3Understand the ways in which key techniques of digital filmmaking construct meanings and affects.
A4Demonstrate an awareness of the significance of different approaches to writing across a range of creative, and professional contexts.

Practice - Applied Knowledge and Understanding

B1Demonstrate and apply essential skills, techniques and practices common to digital film and photography production.
B2Apply writing skills across a range of creative contexts.
B3Apply fundamental analytical techniques and concepts that have been established as legitimate and effective within the field of film studies.

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills

C1Gather, organise and deploy ideas and information in order to formulate arguments cogently, and express them effectively in written, oral or in other forms.
C2Use standard applications to obtain a variety of information and data when conducting research into film culture and filmmaking techniques.
C3Use correct formatting techniques for presenting scripts, and for presenting academic essays.

Generic Cognitive Skills - Problem Solving, Analysis, Evaluation

D1Use a range of processes to address defined and/or routine problems and issues within new and familiar contexts
D2Present and evaluate arguments, information and ideas relating to critical analysis and creative practice.
D3Generate, develop, and evaluate creative project ideas.

Autonomy, Accountability and Working With Others

E1Demonstrate initiative and independence in carrying out defined activities at a professional level.
E2Work productively in a group or team, showing abilities at different times to listen, contribute and lead effectively
E3Deliver work to a given length, format, brief and deadline.

Core Modules
SCQF Level Module CodeModule NameCreditTermFootnotes
123
7BROA07004Introduction to Film & TV Production20      
7FILM07002Cinema Aesthetics20      
7FILM07006Introduction to Script Writing20      
7FILM07008Creative Filmmaking Practice20      

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

Footnotes

Optional Modules
SCQF Level Module CodeModule NameCreditTermFootnotes
123
7FILM07007Creative Writing20      
7FILM07004Cult Films & Fan Cultures20      

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

Footnotes

Criteria for Progression and Award

To progress to L8, students must meet the criteria outlined in University Regulation, Chapter 3 (3.13).

For information on progression with credit deficit please refer to University Regulation, Chapter 3 (3.13).

Those students entering the programme at SCQF level 7, and who successfully achieve 120 credits at SCQF level 7 (including all cores) can exit with Cert HE in Filmmaking & Screen Writing should they choose not to progress to the next level of the programme.

For information on the award of distinction please refer to University Regulation, Chapter 3 (3.25).


B. Learning Outcomes (Maximum of 5 per heading)

Outcomes should incorporate those applicable in the relevant QAA Benchmark statements

Knowledge and Understanding

A1Demonstrate an understanding of particular film forms, genres and styles and the ways in which they organise understandings, meanings and effects.
A2Show knowledge of short fiction and documentary formats in relation to filmmaking practice.
A3Show knowledge of general techniques of writing for the screen for fiction and factual formats.

Practice - Applied Knowledge and Understanding

B1Use a range of skills and techniques associated with digital filmmaking and screenwriting to make successful creative products.
B2Use a limited range of appropriate theories and concepts as scholarly underpinning when critically analysing films and filmmaking.
B3Adopt appropriate working practices of professional organisation and ethical conduct when engaging in creative activity.

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills

C1Assimilate, synthesise, and convey complex information to a range of audiences and for a range of purposes, both in critical and creative contexts, and through a variety of specific stages.
C2Use a range of software applications for scholarly and creative practice tasks.

Generic Cognitive Skills - Problem Solving, Analysis, Evaluation

D1Evaluate complex arguments, information and ideas relating to films and filmmaking.
D2Examine assumptions critically in light of evidence.
D3Remain critically self aware, through continual monitoring and assessment of their own abilities and realistic reflection of their potential and achievements.
D4Respond positively to feedback while maintaining confidence in their own creative and scholarly work.

Autonomy, Accountability and Working With Others

E1Exercise autonomy and initiative in some of tasks at a professional level.
E2Take on a degree of managerial or supervisory responsibility for the work of others in defined areas of work.
E3Work effectively as part of a team and to monitor and evaluate the progress of their own and others’ contribution in carrying out defined tasks.
E4Respond to ethical and professional issues in accordance with professional codes of practice and in relation to a critical awareness of the specific culture of production.

Core Modules
SCQF Level Module CodeModule NameCreditTermFootnotes
123
8FILM08003British Cinema20      
8FILM08002Film Genre20      
8FILM08007Script Development20      
8FILM08006The Short Film (documentary)20      
8FILM08004The Short Film (Fiction)20      

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

Footnotes

Optional Modules
SCQF Level Module CodeModule NameCreditTermFootnotes
123
8BROA08002Broadcast Drama20      
8FILM08005Cinematic Creativity20      
8FILM08008Documentary Studies20      
8BROA08004Studio Production20      

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

Footnotes

Criteria for Progression and Award

To progress to L9, students must meet the criteria outlined in University Regulation, Chapter 3 (3.13).

For information on progression with credit deficit please refer to University Regulation, Chapter 3 (3.13).

Those students entering at SCQF level 7 or SCQF level 8, and who achieve at least 240 SCQF credits of which a minimum of 90 are at least SCQF level 8, including all cores, can exit with DipHE in Filmmaking & Screen Writing, should they chose not to progress to the next level of the programme.

For information on the award of distinction please refer to University Regulation, Chapter 3 (3.25).


C. Learning Outcomes (Maximum of 5 per heading)

Outcomes should incorporate those applicable in the relevant QAA Benchmark statements

Knowledge and Understanding

A1Demonstrate a critical understanding of major theoretical perspectives used in film studies, and an understanding of significant research strategies concerning film and cinema.
A2Show detailed knowledge and understanding of key aspects of digital filmmaking production techniques and advanced screenwriting techniques and theoretical contexts.
A3Show knowledge and awareness of key issues concerning business organisation, management, and the law relating to filmmaking practice and professional activity.

Practice - Applied Knowledge and Understanding

B1Use the principle skills of filmmaking and screenwriting variously related to research, design, production, and post-production.
B2Demonstrate a limited range of specialist skills concerning advanced filmmaking and screenwriting creative practice.
B3Practice in a range of professional level contexts and respond appropriately to demands of the project concerning the brief, form, content, deadlines and ethics.
B4Practice effective methods of research in both critical and creative contexts.

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills

C1Use a range of communication and presentational skills and software applications for scholarly and creative practice tasks.
C2Deliver formal and informal presentations about specialised topics to a range of audiences.

Generic Cognitive Skills - Problem Solving, Analysis, Evaluation

D1Assimilate and synthesise complex information and analyse and evaluate ideas, concepts, information and issues across a range of professional, scholarly, and creative contexts.
D2Identify and analyse routine professional and technical problems and issues, and draw on a range of sources when assessing and responding to them.

Autonomy, Accountability and Working With Others

E1Exercise autonomy and initiative in some of tasks at a professional level.
E2Take on a degree of managerial or supervisory responsibility for the work of others in defined areas of work.
E3Work effectively as part of a team and to monitor and evaluate the progress of their own and others’ contribution in carrying out defined tasks.
E4Respond to ethical and professional issues in accordance with professional codes of practice and in relation to a critical awareness of the specific culture of production.
E5Demonstrate critical self-awareness, in relation to their professional and personal development, and have the capacity to realistically reflect upon their achievements and career plans.

Core Modules
SCQF Level Module CodeModule NameCreditTermFootnotes
123
9FILM09004Critical Studies In Film20      
9FILM09002Digital Filmmaking A20      
9FILM09003Digital Filmmaking B20      
9FILM09007Producing Skills20      
9FILM09001Screen Adaptation20      

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

Footnotes

Optional Modules
SCQF Level Module CodeModule NameCreditTermFootnotes
123
8BROA08004Studio Production20      
9MUSC09007Work Related Learning20      
9BROA09001Writing Serial Television Drama20      

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

Footnotes

Criteria for Progression and Award

To progress to L10, students must meet the criteria outlined in University Regulations, Chapter 3 (3.13).

For information on progression with credit deficit please refer to University Regulations, Chapter 3 (3.14).

Those students who initially enter the programme at SCQF levels 7, 8 or 9 and who achieve at least 360 credits with 200 in the subject area of which a minimum of 90 are at least SCQF level 9, including all cores, can exit with the BA Filmmaking & Screen Writing, should they decide not to progress to the next level of the programme.

For information on the award of distinction please refer to University Regulations, Chapter 3 (3.25).


D. Learning Outcomes (Maximum of 5 per heading)

Outcomes should incorporate those applicable in the relevant QAA Benchmark statements

Knowledge and Understanding

A1Demonstrate detailed knowledge and understanding of one or more creative specialisms associated with digital filmmaking and/or screenwriting.
A2Demonstrate critical and detailed understanding of the principal theories, concepts, protocols and terminology associated with research into films and film culture.
A3Show In-depth knowledge and understanding of filmmaking as professionalised creative practice in relation to employment opportunities in the creative industries.

Practice - Applied Knowledge and Understanding

B1Execute research into a screen-related topic which uses complex knowledge and sophisticated theorisations in accordance with procedures and principles of professional level research and presentation.
B2Consolidate, extend and apply creative skills and practices to an advanced level in one or more specialist areas of creative practice, leading to the production of professional level creative work.
B3Apply professional, technical and formal choices which realise, develop or challenge existing practices, and which contribute to career development and employability.

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills

C1Make formal presentations about specialised topics to informed audiences.
C2Communicate with professional level peers, senior colleagues and specialists

Generic Cognitive Skills - Problem Solving, Analysis, Evaluation

D1Demonstrate originality and creativity in production contexts, and balance this with the demands of form and audience.
D2Respond effectively to relevant creative, practical, ethical, legal, technological and business issues arising out of the production context.
D3Demonstrate a critically reflective and evaluative attitude towards their knowledge and their own creative practice in a way that confirms their sense of professional identity.

Autonomy, Accountability and Working With Others

E1Exercise autonomy and initiative in professional level activities, and be able to provide informed judgements and solutions to problems and issues.
E2Take responsibility for the work of others and for a range of resources.
E3Work effectively with qualified practitioners.
E4Work with others to bring about creative thinking and innovation.

Core Modules
SCQF Level Module CodeModule NameCreditTermFootnotes
123
10JOUR10004Creative Research Project60      

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

Footnotes
Students at the UK campuses will also have the opportunity to select their optional modules from the wider University catalogue following academic guidance.

Students may choose two from all level 10 subject cluster options. Particularly suitable optional modules are indicated below:

Optional Modules
SCQF Level Module CodeModule NameCreditTermFootnotes
123
9FILM09006Collaborative Filmmaking Practice20      
10BROA10001Producing Factual Formats20      
10BROA10003Podcasting20      
10FILM10001Asian Cinema20      
10FILM10003Motion Graphics - Film & TV20      

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

Footnotes

Criteria for Award

The award of BA (Hons) Filmmaking & Screen Writing is awarded to students who have at least 480 credits of which a minimum of 200 Point are at SCQF Levels 9 and 10, and of which a minimum of 90 are at SCQF Level 10.

Honours Classification will be awarded in line with the University Regulations, Chapter 3 (3.20 – 3.24).


Regulations of Assessment

Candidates will be bound by the general assessment regulations of the University as specified in the University Regulatory Framework .

An overview of the assessment details is provided in the Student Handbook and the assessment criteria for each module is provided in the module descriptor which forms part of the module pack issued to students. For further details on assessment please refer to Chapter 3 of the Regulatory Framework.

To qualify for an award of the University, students must complete all the programme requirements and must meet the credit minima detailed in Chapter 1 of the Regulatory Framework.

Combined Studies

There may be instances where a student has been unsuccessful in meeting the award criteria for the named award and for other more generic named awards existing within the School. Provided that they have met the credit requirements in line with the SCQF credit minima (please see Regulation 1.21), they will be eligible for an exit award of CertHE / DipHE or BA / BSc in Combined Studies.

For students studying BA, BAcc, or BD awards the award will be BA Combined Studies.

For students studying BEng or BSc awards, the award will be BSc Combined Studies.



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