BA (Hons) Cinema

Film – how it’s written, promoted, distributed, exhibited, analysed and enjoyed – will be central to your studies on this BA (Hons) Cinema degree. You will analyse and debate the forms and functions of film and cinema, develop your creative writing skills in screenwriting modules, and position yourself as a ‘cinema creative’.

This cinema and film degree is taught in the heart of Cardiff, a city with a thriving film and TV industry. It’s home to Pinewood Studio Wales and it’s where the BBC films many of its drama shows, including Doctor Who and Sherlock.

You’ll study alongside filmmakers from our new Film and TV School Wales, and benefit from industry events on and off campus such as talks by filmmakers and industry professionals and visits to studios and festivals.

Please note this course replaces BA(Hons) Film Studies in 2019. If you are interested in a practical film degree take a look at our BA (Hons) Film course.

2020/21 update: Blended learning approach for USW courses.

[Update excludes online-only courses].

The wellbeing and health and safety of our students and staff is paramount to us. We are committed to delivering all of our courses and services as safely as possible. Due to the pandemic, the methods and activities adopted for the coming year may differ from those previously published and may be subject to further change through the course of your study if such change is necessary due to public health concerns, health and safety guidance or in response to Government Guidelines. USW is committed to providing you with a fantastic student experience and a wealth of support, and you can hear how students have benefitted from this approach here: Learn more about blended learning.

UCAS Code Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
P303 Full-time 3 Years September Cardiff (ATRiuM) B
UCAS Code Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
P303 Full-time 3 Years September Cardiff (ATRiuM) B

In Year One, you will develop the skills to analyse and debate film and cinema. You will practice your creative writing skills in screenwriting, reflect on the industry and your role in it, and begin to develop as a ‘cinema creative’ through a diverse portfolio of written, oral and audio-visual work.

In Year Two, you will explore local, national and global production and exhibition, as well as develop your screenwriting skills further. A placement in the second semester, in conjunction with Film Hub Wales, is an important part this year. You will work supporting an arts venue or cultural event and responsibilities may include research, marketing, programming or education. This will be an excellent opportunity to broaden your knowledge of film and media, as well as gain valuable skills for employment.

Year Three allows you to study advanced modules in theory and practice, and studies in audiences and fandom will further your knowledge in the exhibition sector. You will also complete a final major project in screenwriting or analysis, and curate your own cinema event.

There is also the option to be part of an overseas film-related trip on this cinema and film degree. Past destinations have included Paris, Berlin and Rome where students have visited the French Film Museum, the German Museum of Film and Television, Babelsberg Studios, and Cinecittà, and attended events such as the Berlin Film Festival.



Year One - Cinema degree

  • Employability for the Film and Cinema Industries
  • Film Analysis
  • What is Cinema?
  • Cinema and Power
  • Hybrid Cinema
  • Storytelling

Year two - Cinema degree

  • Exhibition and Audiences
  • British Film and TV Industries
  • Global Cinema
  • Film Conference
  • Professional Practice (Exhibition)
  • Screenwriting

Year Three - Cinema degree

  • Advanced Screenwriting for Fiction
  • Major Project (Cinema)
  • Cinema Dissertation
  • Cult Cinema and Fandom
  • First-person filmmaking


The course will be taught using a combination of lectures, screenings, seminars, workshops, practical activities and site visits. It is expected that students will attend formal classes for 12 hours a week, spread over three days, and work placement hours will be arranged in agreement with students.

There will also be the opportunity for additional masterclasses, screenings, events and professional networking at our Cardiff Campus, and at some of the many media-related festivals and events held in Cardiff.


Assessment is via coursework and includes essays, presentations, screenplays, short films, podcasts and blogs. There are no exams.


You will undertake a short placement in the second year of your studies. This will be in conjunction with Film Hub Wales and secured with the support of film and media academic staff, as well as USW’s Careers and Employability team.

The placement can be geared towards your interests, working to support an arts venue or cultural event, which could include research, marketing, programming and education. This will be an excellent opportunity to expand your knowledge of film and media, as well as gaining skills for the workplace.


Our newly enhanced USW Cardiff Campus has industry-standard facilities, including an on-site cinema and an intimate screening room, which also host regular guest lectures and masterclasses.


Dr Lesley Harbidge, Cinema Course Leader
Daryl Perrins, Senior Lecturer
Dr Deirdre Russell, Lecturer
Nigel Orillard, Lecturer
Steve Johnson, Lecturer

The entry criteria below shows the qualification range within which the University will make offers. Most offers we make are at the top of the range, but we take all aspects of an application into consideration and applicants receive a personalised offer. Combinations of qualifications are acceptable and other qualifications not listed here may also be acceptable.


Typical A-Level Offer

BCC - CDD to include a relevant art and design subject (this is equivalent to 104-80 UCAS tariff points).

Typical Welsh BACC Offer

Pass the Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate Diploma with Grade C/D in the Skills Challenge Certificate and BC - CD at A Level with a relevant art and design subject (this is equivalent to 104-80 UCAS tariff points).

Typical BTEC Offer

BTEC Extended Diploma Distinction Merit Merit - Merit Merit Pass in a relevant subject (this is equivalent to 112-80 UCAS tariff points).

Typical IB Offer

Pass the International Baccalaureate Diploma with a minimum score of 29 overall including 5 or above in English at standard level

Typical Access to HE Offer

Pass the Access to HE Diploma with a minimum of 80 UCAS tariff points

Additional Requirements

GCSEs: The University normally requires a minimum 5 GCSEs including Mathematics/Numeracy and English at Grade C or Grade 4 or above, or their equivalent, but consideration is given to individual circumstances

International Entry Requirements

We also welcome international applications with equivalent qualifications. Please visit the country specific pages on our international website for exact details.

English Requirements
In general, international applicants will need to have achieved an overall IELTS grade of 6.0 with a minimum score of 5.5 in each component.

However, if you have previously studied through the medium of English IELTS might not be required, but please visit the country specific page on our international website for exact details. If your country is not featured please contact us.

Full-time fees are per year. Part-time fees are per 20 credits. Once enrolled, the fee will remain at the same rate throughout the duration of your study on this course.

Find out how to pay your tuition fees in full or by payment plan.

This course is eligible under the Enhanced Learning Credits scheme for Ex-Armed Forces personnel.

International Scholarships are available for self-funding international students.

August 2020 - July 2021 Fees

  • Full-time UK and EU:  £9000

  • Full-time International:  £13200 

August 2021 - July 2022 Fees

  • Full-time UK and EU: TBC

  • Full-time International: TBC

Additional Costs

Students have access to a wide range of resources including textbooks, publications, and computers in the University’s library and via online resources. In most cases they are more than sufficient to complete a course of study. Where there are additional costs, either obligatory or optional, these are detailed below. Of course students may choose to purchase their own additional personal resources/tools over and above those listed to support their studies at their own expense. All stationery and printing costs are at a student’s own expense.

* Obligatory

Item Cost
Kit (Uniform and Equipment) £300
Print (All academic years)
Kit (Uniform and Equipment) £450
Books/AV material (All academic years)
Field Trips £1800
Local, National & International Trips (All academic years)

UK and EU students

Apply via UCAS if you are a UK/EU residing applicant, applying for year one of a full-time undergraduate degree, Foundation Year, Foundation Degree or HND and you have not applied through UCAS before. If you are applying to study part-time, to top up your Foundation Degree or HND, or to transfer to USW from another institution, please apply directly

International students

Apply directly to the University if you live outside the UK/EU. 

Admissions statement

This cinema and film degree will give you valuable training in communication, and the wide range of skills taught may prepare students for careers in screenwriting, journalism, exhibition, research and education.

Our Careers and Employability Service

As a USW student, you will have access to advice from the Careers and Employability Service throughout your studies and after you graduate.

This includes: one-to-one appointments from faculty based Career Advisers, in person, over the phone or even on Skype and through email via the "Ask a Question" service. We also have extensive online resources for help with considering your career options and presenting yourself well to employers. Resources include psychometric tests, career assessments, a CV builder, interview simulator and application help. Our employer database has over 2,000 registered employers targeting USW students, you can receive weekly email alerts for jobs.

Our Careers service has dedicated teams: A central work experience team to help you find relevant placements; an employability development team which includes an employability programme called Grad Edge; and an Enterprise team focused on new business ideas and entrepreneurship.

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