BA (Hons) Film with International Foundation Year

University Of East London

Program Overview

Some courses teach you about film-making while others concentrate on the theory and history of film. At UEL, we'll give you a thorough, expert grounding in both.


We combine theory and practice, teaching you not just how to make films and videos but throwing you into every aspect of the film world, from screenwriting to cinema history.


Each year, you'll make your own films, from fiction to documentaries. And in your last year, your final piece of work will be screened at a special show at a London cinema, attended by film industry executives.


Throughout your course, you'll get the opportunity to develop your production skills by studying modules focused on documentary, fiction, screenwriting and avant-garde filmmaking.


We'll give you the skills to work in all film-related fields. Our graduates have gone into a variety of rewarding careers, from film production to festival administration to film journalism.


Foundation year course

If you don't meet the entry requirements for a BA, you can study this course as an extended, four-year programme. You'll begin by taking a foundation year which prepares you for a successful transition to the BA degree. This means it will take you four years to complete the course full-time, and eight years to complete the course part-time.


LondonUnited Kingdom

  Course Duration

12 Months

  Tuition Fee

£ 13,740


IELTS: 4.5

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Foundation Year


Academic Development


This module will provide students with the opportunity to identify the skills, competencies and experience required for successful development to embarking on their university degree and successfully completing it and progressing on to a range of potential future career areas.


Central to the developmental process is for each student to cultivate the reflective skills, openness and self-awareness to enable themselves to assess what they are doing, identify areas for improvement, and confidently receive and give constructive feedback.


Social Media Project

The module will develop basic individual research and production skills for social media content. Students will also develop their reflection and evaluation skills. Throughout the module students will create new content for a social media account relating to their chosen subject pathway, or topic of interest. Students will also be encouraged to consider current issues and debates surrounding social media.


Ways of Looking

This module will introduce students to how meaning is made and transmitted in visual texts. Students will be introduced to the various ‘ways of looking’ (frameworks) at media, and how this is applies to current media examples. Students will be expected to conduct their own research and encouraged to consider how the ‘ways of looking’ at media can be applied to their own subject specific pathway. Students will also learn how to apply key composition and aesthetic (typography, colour, and layout) skills to their own work in the form an academic poster using industry standard software.


Narrative and Creativity


This module will provide students with the opportunity to identify the skills and knowledge necessary to create oral, visual and written narratives for all kinds of media production. This module aims to give students the theoretical understanding of narrative and creativity. Throughout the module students will be encouraged to consider how these theories shape their chosen subject. Students will be assessed on their ability to present their understanding of narrative theories and give supporting examples of how these apply to various forms of media.


Group Film Project


Students will develop fundamental digital media production skills required to make a film. Over this course of this module, students will work in groups to research and produce a short fiction or non-fiction film for online distribution. Students will also have the opportunity to reflect (critically evaluate) on their own practice in relation to the main topics covered during the module; including professional practice.


Mental Wealth: Professional Development


This module will provide students with the opportunity to identify the skills, competencies and experience required for employment and employability and how employability and industry connections are implemented in the curriculum.


You will begin to recognise the areas for your own personal professional development (including emotional, social, physical, cultural and cognitive intelligences) through taught and workshop activity.


Central to the developmental process is for each student to cultivate their reflective skills through collaboration with other undergraduate students and analysing effective approaches to industry briefs and creative problem solving.


Year 1


Aesthetics & Technologies: Practice as Research

Media Cultures

This keystone module provides you with the contextual knowledge essential to your subject area. The module will introduce a range of perspectives on contemporary media cultures and landscapes to develop competencies appropriate to your field of study and to the world of work. The module will introduce you to core study skills and practices including how to identify, access, collate and evaluate evidence, understanding academic writing conventions and how to express a range of ideas through appropriate means of communication.


Documentary 1: Documentary and Representation (Creative Writing)

The module equips students with an understanding of how to engage with a wide range of themes through documentary forms. The module provides a context for documentary practice and problematises categories of representation, notions of 'truth' and 'realism' and facilitates civic engagement and involvement with the East London community.


Narrative 1: Narrative Fiction

This module examines forms of narrative and storytelling in the context of traditional and interactive media.


Case studies from various media such as television, cinema, gaming and social media are presented.


Narrative theory, such as the conventions of plot and character development, the representation of narrative action and the use of digital media are taught, culminating in a media production piece that embodies the theories and concepts students have learned.


Professional life: Mental Wealth - Agency 1


Developing the key psychological and physical determinants of human performance is increasingly critical for successful graduate-level employment, entrepreneurship and career progression in the 4th industrial revolution.


This module will provide students hoping to work in the creative industries with the opportunity to learn and apply the full range of skills, competencies and experience required for successful progression into in a range of potential future career areas.


Students will learn about conventions and expectations in the creative industries, focussing on areas specific to their programme of study. They will also advance their own personal professional development through taught and workshop activities, and explore possible strategies to further develop their reflective skills and self-awareness.


Students will have opportunity to select an in-house microbusiness to join in the role of 'Apprentice'. In this position they will focus on the importance of research in the creative industries. Students will practice key methods including digital and other research and qualitative methods used in industry today, including trends, news coverage and customer reviews. Students will also learn the conventions of research and analysis in order to develop a pitch or proposal in response to a client brief.


Film History


This module will introduce you to the history of film, from its very beginnings to the present day. The module will chart the rise of Hollywood, as well as explore significant film movements from around the world. The module will also explore alternative histories that have often been overlooked, taking into account the work of filmmakers who have used cinema as a tool of resistance and decolonisation. This module will provide a context for you to write about and analyse this history, as well as think about your own work in relation to what has come before and use it as a source of inspiration for practice-based exercises.


Year 2


Documentary 2; Experimental Documentary


This module aims to encourage you to experiment and develop a creative and critical approach to a range of media technologies. You will build on the practical and conceptual skills relevant to media production gained in previous modules and consider your own production work in relation to both historical and contemporary media practice. You will work to produce an experimental piece that incorporates exploration of different and imaginative ways to play with documentary form and content.


Narrative 2: Advanced Narrative

This module provides the opportunity for students to develop their media narrative skills in a more advanced and professional context. Students will develop a project voicing themes of identity within contemporary culture. They will then be supported in key areas of project development and selection. Finally they will progress through all relevant stages of production. Narrative and conceptual structures will be delivered at a higher level than in Level 4 and technical support will be provided to enhance the students' craft skills relating to professional practice. The module will structure the development of key media skills as well as a deeper understanding of the creative process relating to the students' chosen narrative genre. The course will end with a peer group evaluation, enabling the students to critically reflect on their achievements a means of progression into Level 6.


European and World Cinemas

This module offers the opportunity to engage with the historicity of a cinema's aesthetics by exploring a range of national cinemas. You will be encouraged to familiarise yourselves with aspects of different national film industries, and to relate their historically specific modes of operation to the generic categories and stylistic features of the films these industries produced at different times in their history. Above all, you will be expected to engage with the history of diverse geographical areas and to consider how the films examined relate to those broader socio-cultural contexts.


Mental Wealth: Professional life: Agency 2

Best learning experiences follow a 'learning by doing' approach followed by reflection and assimilation. Building upon the competencies and skills identified at level 4, this module supports effective professional development through practical experience.


You will work on live project briefs to produce media content which is informed by appropriate research in the field of study.


Professional understandings and skills sets will be furthered through practical work enabling you to strengthen key graduate skills such as teamwork, organisation skills, digital skills, effective communication, and professionalism.


Through reflective practice, you will evaluate your ongoing progress as a learner and as a practising professional.


Internship / Study Abroad Module: Employment and Enterprise
Subject to validation.



This module introduces and develops key skills for screenwriting to professional film and television industry standards. You will be presented with a guided learning programme of increasingly challenging screenwriting exercises designed to progress your learning and storytelling voice. Scripts will be read in class and students will receive feedback from their peers in workshop groups. On the basis of the feedback, you will rewrite your material, a key aspect of professional practice. This pattern of learning will consolidate your skills, leading to the final assessed script submission and thereby the means for you to select an original screenplay to produce for your succeeding Narrative 2 group film production module.


Integrated with the screenwriting tasks are a series of lectures and supporting in-class exercises in narrative structure, short form demands, characterisation and project development related to budgetary constraints. Narrative and conceptual structures will be developed through comparisons to professional models (films and original screenplays) to provide templates for formal and presentational demands as well as content-related material.


The module will end with a peer group evaluation, enabling you to critically reflect on your achievements and research, a requisite element of your production portfolio.


Year 3


Aesthetics & Technologies: Professional Practices


The module provides an in-depth understanding of creative work cultures, and self-promotional strategies to help you establish personal branding for your own set of skills, experiences and practices. This module examines the Creative Industries and explores their organisation and institutional arrangements, their media forms, products and services, work practices and cultures. Here you will extend your skills, experience and self-awareness to prepare for a career in the Creative Industries through the application of learned skills to your career promotion and progression.


You will enhance your professional practice and self-branding skills set though a career development project which includes critical reflection and self-promotional strategies. The module provides an in- depth understanding of creative work cultures, and self-promotional techniques to help you establish personal branding for your own set of skills, experiences and practices.


Final Project: Development

  • For students to acquire detailed knowledge of the threats which journalism currently faces
  • For students to become closely familiar with journalism’s current opportunities
  • For students to engage with threat and opportunity as rehearsing journalists
  • For students to come to see themselves as the future of journalism

Final Project: Completion

The module will lead on from the development stage of your self-identified research project based on your preferred choice of production, for example a written dissertation that engages with contemporary debates in media or a complete practice project, produced through a developed programme of research supported by a verbal demonstration of the critical discourses it speaks to.


The aim of the module is to extend knowledge in the chosen field of research, to produce or write the project according to your planning and to complete and present the final research project within the given time frame. You will have the opportunity to demonstrate your skills in an accompanying project portfolio, including production folders for practice projects or reviews of existing academic literature on the written dissertation topic and a comprehensive bibliography.


Projects will be developed through subject-specific supervision and peer support.


Urban Film


The module will examine urban film as a global phenomenon, tracing both the historical development of the genre, and the mimetic flows between different national cinemas, including those of the US and Hong Kong. The course aims to critique and go beyond dominant Media and Film Studies' theories of representation by exploring the relations between cinematic form and affect, other media forms, and constructions of race, gender and national identity. The urban crime film will be explored as a particularly visceral and immediate form of cinema, within the historical contexts of modernity and postmodernity, and different national cultural identities. The module will utilise theories of the city and geo-politics to explore contemporary theoretical and political questions of the body, and identify historical changes in the cinematic construction of the body of the viewer, and "on-screen" bodies.


Mental Wealth: Professional Life: Agency 3 - Freelancing at UEL Creatives

This module is delivered as part of UEL’s creative agency, UEL Creatives, where students will work on live projects that will develop their employability skills and give them experience of working with industry.


Students can apply for a range of projects suitable to their skill-set and will be matched to at least one project as part of the unit. Working either individually or as part of a team to meet the brief set by a real client, students learn how to work as a freelancer and manage their own workload.


This will include practical information such as how to manage intellectual property as well as best practice on communicating with clients, working as a team and planning for the future.


In addition, students will be required to reflect on the experience, helping them to develop key enterprise skills including reliance and problem-solving.


Horror and Science Fiction

The module is designed to involve you with the history and theory relevant to the development of the Science Fiction and Horror cinematic genres, and its negotiation of human, non- and post-human identities. You will come to know and analyse some of the key examples of these genres, and others that exceed and revise its generic conventions and themes. One key theme you learn about is the use of the alien and the monster as a narrative carrier of the social (or the human) other. The identities of the other/s, social, sexual, political and cultural, will be investigated through an examination of the historical genre and its contemporary iterations; special attention will be given to the topics and tropes of birth vs creation, the human vs animal/alien/robot/monster, and the gendered identities of the alien/monster in many of the iconic SF and horror formative period films, as well as later film.

English language requirements

Overall IELTS score of 5.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking (or recognised equivalent).


If you do not meet the academic English language requirements for your course, you may be eligible to enrol onto a pre-sessional English programme. The length of the course will depend on your current level of English and the requirements for your degree programme. We offer a 5-week and an 11-week pre-sessional course.

International Fees Full time, 3 years
£13,740 Per year

Unsurprisingly, perhaps, it's the students who throw themselves most wholeheartedly into the many opportunities our course offers that end up landing the best positions in the competitive world of film. We have a terrific track record of success here.


One of our students recently finished her course and landed a job as a producer with a film company within the space of a couple of months. Another student returned home to Denmark where he has become a successful TV documentary maker.


Last year, we were visited by a leading filmmaker from Chicago, who set up a screening project where 16 films run simultaneously, all controlled by a single computer. He taught one of our students how to run this extraordinarily complex project and she ran it for the next three weeks when he returned to America.


After graduating, some of you may choose to continue your studies with us by studying for an MA in Film or moving on to film school.  You can take advantage of our close connections with the British Film Institute, Film London and the capital’s film festivals throughout your course.


You'll also have a great opportunity to showcase your talents when your third-year film is shown at a special screening at a London cinema attended by film industry executives.


As well as opportunities in the film and video industries, our graduates have gone on to work in a variety of other related areas in the media and culture industries such as television, advertising, journalism and teaching.

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