This Film degree is a practical course that teaches students to tell powerful, original stories through film. At USW, we’ve been teaching film for over 50 years, and this exciting and creative film course concentrates on storytelling through moving images.
We teach documentary and fiction story-telling, and there is a clear practical emphasis that provides professional-level training, underpinned by academic content. Course content was developed with the industry, so you’ll graduate with the creative ability and the skills to enter the workplace.
Our expertise in film making and the reputation of our alumni is acknowledged throughout the industry, and many staﬀ members are award- winning film makers who continue to work in the industry, including the BBC.
Our students benefit from industry-standard facilities at our newly enhanced Cardiff Campus, as well an on-site cinema that is available to students to screen their work, as well as hosting guest lectures and masterclasses. USW's Film degree is also part of Film & TV School Wales, which provides students with the skills and opportunities needed to work in today’s exciting TV and film industry.
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.
During the film course you can expect to study the art of creative storytelling, using digital technologies to make documentary and fiction films and commercial projects.
You can specialise in specific areas of film making, screenwriting, producing, directing, cinematography, sound and editing, so you’ll gain specialist skills to launch your career. You’ll also make collaborative final films at the end of your third year. This will be your industry calling cards and the culmination of all your hard work.
The craft skills modules have pathways in Screenwriting, Cinematography, Sound Practices, Producing, Editing, Documentary Proposal and Pitch. Documentary and Fiction directing is explored in the film practice modules
And option of one from:
Modules are subject to change.
Subject to revalidation
This course is subject to revalidation, this means it is under review as part of the University’s standard quality assurance and enhancement processes. Course and module content is indicative and may change through the revalidation process. As soon as the course is revalidated, the details will be confirmed and published on the University website. In the unlikely event the course does not go ahead as planned, or is significantly amended, we will write to inform you. If this happens, we’ll help you to find a suitable alternative course either at USW or at another provider.
Students on USW's Film degree will be taught through a blend of workshops, seminars, lectures and tutorials, as well as guest lectures and masterclasses from industry professionals.
Students on the Film degree will be assessed through a mixture of practical and written assignments. Your final film will form a large part of the final year assessment, and this is a practical task, with written elements.
As part of our Skillset accreditation, you’ll have the opportunity to access work placements during the course. We also actively encourage you to pursue your own work experience throughout the course.
Film students can benefit from industry-standard facilities, including Arri Alexa, Black magic Ursa, Sony Z5 and Z150 cameras and Aaton XTR Super 16mm cameras, Sound Devices audio recorders and mixers with a range of microphones and radio mics, LED lights, tracks, dollys and other grip equipment, a fully equipped film studio, AVID and ProTools post-production software, and state-of- the-art finishing suites for professional sound mixing and colour grading.
We also have a production suite with adobe, moviemagic and final draft producing/screenwriting software. USW Cardiff also has an on-site cinema that is available to students to screen their work, as well as hosting guest lectures and master classes.
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.
Interview: An interview and portfolio are required for this course. Your portfolio should include a showreel/examples of film work and examples of written work, both essays and/or samples of scripts. The portfolio can include photographs, artwork, design projects, paintings, storyboards etc. You will also be required to complete a task for the interview. On one side of A4 paper, write a synopsis of your best idea (fiction) for the 5-minute film that you would like to make most. You may add sample storyboard/drawings for illustration, photographs, soundscapes, or even moving images, which may indicate your stylistic approach to the task. Your synopsis should introduce your subject (what you’re really writing about), your main characters and your setting.Your synopsis should also clearly indicate how the story ends, and how the subject or characters are left resolved or clearly unresolved. Be clear, concise and keep your sentences short. We are looking for evidence of strong, imaginative ideas; clear description and communication through writing skills and illustration; an ability to explore, express and develop your ideas in the interview; and an understanding of some key aspects of cinema such as storytelling, visualisation and sound.
BCC - CDD to include a relevant art and design subject (this is equivalent to 104-80 UCAS tariff points).
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).
BTEC Extended Diploma Distinction Merit Merit - Merit Merit Pass in a relevant subject (this is equivalent to 112-80 UCAS tariff points).
Pass the International Baccalaureate Diploma with a minimum score of 29 overall including 5 or above in English at standard level
Pass the Access to HE Diploma with a minimum of 80 UCAS tariff points
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
We also welcome international applications with equivalent qualifications. Please visit the country specific pages on our international website for exact details.
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.
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.
|Kit (Uniform and Equipment)||£400||
Cost of film production materials in year 1.
|Kit (Uniform and Equipment)||£500||
Cost of film production materials in year 2.
|Kit (Uniform and Equipment)||£600||
Cost of film production materials in year 3.
|Kit (Uniform and Equipment)||
Headphones (All academic years)
|Kit (Uniform and Equipment)||
Hard Dive and USBs (All academic years)
|Kit (Uniform and Equipment)||£50||
Grad Show. Year 3
|Kit (Uniform and Equipment)||£250||
Print (All academic years)
|Kit (Uniform and Equipment)||£250||
Books (All academic years)
|Kit (Uniform and Equipment)||£1000||
DSLR Camera and Microphone (All academic years)
International Trip (All academic years)
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.
Apply directly to the University if you live outside the UK/EU.
Our graduates go on to do a whole variety of jobs within the film industry including working for BBC, S4C, Netflix, Channel 4, MTV, and many other companies all over the world. They work in feature films, TV drama, documentary, commercials, music videos amongst others. Due to our international reputation for film, graduates of this Film degree are highly regarded within the industry.
In 2016, Film graduate Asif Kapadia won an Oscar for his documentary film, ‘Amy’, having won acclaim and BAFTAs for ‘Senna’.
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.