BA (Hons) Film

Top in Wales for career prospects in Film Production and PhotographyGuardian League Table 2022

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. 

If you’re specifically interested in writing for film, please see our BA (Hons) Cinema course.

2022/23 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 Covid-19 pandemic, the methods and activities adopted for delivering our courses in the coming year may differ from those previously published and may be subject to change during 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. Whether you’re on-campus full time, part-time with online study, or full-time online, 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
36VA Full-time 3 Years September Cardiff (ATRiuM) B

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.


Year One - Film degree

  • Filmmaking 1: Documentary
  • Craft 1: Skills and Techniques
  • Theory 1: Film History
  • Filmmaking 2: Fiction
  • Craft 2: Studio Introduction
  • Theory 2: Film Language

Year Two - Final degree

  • Filmmaking 4: Development
  • Filmmaking 3: Experimentation
  • Craft 3: Advanced Studio
  • Theory 3: Documentary Film History and Theory (Optional)
  • Theory 3: Global Cinema (Optional)
  • Theory 3: New Hollywood Filmmakers (Optional)
  • Collaborative Project

Year Three - Film degree

  • Advanced Filmmaking 1: Specialisation
  • Advanced Filmmaking 2: Engagement
  • Advanced Theory: Dissertation (Optional)
  • Advanced Theory: Critical Report (Optional)
  • Advanced Theory: Documentary Commissioning Package (Optional)
  • Advanced Theory: Screenwriting for Fiction (Optional)
  • Industry Ready



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.

This course is industry recognised by ScreenSkills, the industry-led skills body for the UK's screen-based industries and carries the ScreenSkills Select quality-mark for the purposes of indicating courses best suited to prepare students for a career in the screen industries.


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.


We regularly revalidate courses for quality assurance and enhancement

At USW, we regularly review our courses in response to changing patterns of employment and skills demand to ensure we offer learning designed to reflect today’s student needs and tomorrow’s employer demands.

If during a review process course content is significantly changed, we’ll write to inform you and talk you through the changes for the coming year. But whatever the outcome, we aim to equip our students with the skillset and the mindset to succeed whatever tomorrow may bring. Your future, future-proofed.

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.


Applicants in the UK

Selection for this course is based on a suitable application and a successful portfolio of your work. Full details of what is required will be provided once your application has been processed.

Applicants outside the UK

Selection for this course is based on a suitable application and submission of a portfolio of your work which the Course Leader confirms is suitable for an offer to be made.

Typical A-Level Offer

BBC - CCC to include a relevant art and design subject (this is equivalent to 112-96 UCAS tariff points).

Typical Welsh BACC Offer

Pass the Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate Diploma with Grade B/C in the Skills Challenge Certificate and BB - CC at A Level with a relevant art and design subject (this is equivalent to 112-96 UCAS tariff points).

Typical BTEC Offer

BTEC Extended Diploma Distinction Merit Merit - Merit Merit Merit in a relevant subject (this is equivalent to 112-96 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 96 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


August 2021 - July 2022 Fees

  • Full-time UK:  £9000

  • Full-time International:  £13500 

August 2022 - July 2023 Fees

  • Full-time UK: 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) £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)
Field Trips £500
International Trip (All academic years)

UK students

Apply via UCAS if you are a UK 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 and EU students

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

Admissions statement

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’. 

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.