Course specification and structure
Undergraduate Course Structures Postgraduate Course Structures

UEFFIPHM - BA Film, Photography and Media Extended Degree (with Foundation Year)

Course Specification

Validation status Validated
Highest award Bachelor of Arts Level Honours
Possible interim awards Preparatory Diploma, Preparatory Certificate
Total credits for course 480
Awarding institution London Metropolitan University
Teaching institutions London Metropolitan University
School The Sir John Cass School of Art, Architecture and Design (The Cass)
Subject Area The Sir John Cass School of Art, Architecture and Design
Attendance options
Option Minimum duration Maximum duration
Full-time 4 YEARS 8 YEARS
Part-time 8 YEARS 8 YEARS
Course leader  

About the course and its strategy towards teaching and learning and towards blended learning/e-learning

The purpose of the Film, Photography and Media foundation–year programme (studied at NQF level 3) is to prepare for subsequent progression onto a CASS undergraduate degree in film or photography at the CASS (see section 14 below). Success in passing the level 3 programme thus completes the first of four years of an extended degree of study, affording progression onto designated CASS courses and, where relevant course specific entry requirements are met, serve as adequate basis for progression onto other CASS degrees.

The course is based around four equally weighted, year-long modules (30 credits each), which are likely to be embedded in each other, so that students have the experience of a unified delivery. The organisation of the modules sets up a pattern of learning that will be repeated in subsequent years in all CASS undergraduate courses. Two of the modules are project based and develop complementary skills in parallel. These are the Project (AA3001) and Workbook (AA3003) modules. The third module, Techniques (AA3002), engages a range of skills in all of the specialisms covered by the course. The fourth module, Critical and Contextual Studies: Foundation (CP3010) will familiarise the student with the critical skill of ‘reading’ a range of visual, auditory, material and technological aspects and with techniques of how to communicate ideas through a range of writing and presentation studies. Part-time students take Project and Techniques module in one year and Workbook and Critical and Contextual studies in the other.

The course is organised in three sequential stages:

Stage 1 introduces and establishes a common ground of new experiences, values and practical skills in the areas of film, media and photography. It lays the foundation for the course and serves as a base from which more independent work can be developed.

Stage 2 is more open ended, interpretive with longer projects and more choice. It encourages students to apply, reinforce and develop effective practices from Stage 1 and establish a personal perspective and sense of direction in the topics of their choice.

Stage 3 helps the student to undertake a sustained and focused study, increase their subject area knowledge, test their commitment and produce and organise a coherent body of work. At this stage, all modules should be mainly focused in the path of specialism the student wants to pursue in the rest of the extended degree.

The predominant mode of delivery of the course throughout the three stages is the project. These vary considerably in aim, structure and duration. The students’ responsibility for implementation and development increases as the course proceeds. The project teaching and learning is supported through taught exercises, workshop demonstrations, handouts, briefs, lectures, tutorials, displays of work, ‘crits’ and presentations, portfolio preparations, essays, library research, seminars, visits and web based learning.

Throughout the course, there is an emphasis on learning cross-disciplinary and transferable skills and a disciplined, experimental approach to visual enquiry. The course promotes flexibility, questioning and independence and is designed to be supportive of individual responses, initiatives and lines of inquiry. Students have timetabled access to the Faculty provision of studios, the full range of workshop facilities, lecture and seminar spaces, computer suites, libraries and related facilities. Students will also be encouraged to participate in Faculty organised open lectures, exhibitions, and range of events.

Course aims

The course aims to provide a foundation year of studies in a range of Film, Photography and Media skills and subject knowledge. The course is both diagnostic and preparatory. It enables students to identify their skills and interests and prepare for a specific undergraduate degree path within the CASS. The course introduces a spectrum of practical, conceptual and experimental skills that are common to the creative disciplines, as well as their application within specific contexts. The content of the course is focused on the production of creative work that reflects independent and disciplined thinking, skill in execution and communication.

Course learning outcomes

On successful completion of Level 3, students will be able to:

Knowledge and Understanding
1. Produce self-motivated, enquiry-based creative work;
Subject Specific Practical Skills
2. Demonstrate technical skills in the use of a range of media, technologies, materials, processes and equipment;

Transferable Skills
3. Communicate effectively in visual, oral and written forms appropriate for undergraduate-level study;
4. Use independent and productive research in the development of their work;

Cognitive Intellectual Skills
5. Evaluate, develop and plan their next stage of learning at university and/or work in the creative industries.

Principle QAA benchmark statements

The subject benchmark statements for Communication, Media, Film and Cultural studies (Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education, 2008) apply.

Assessment strategy

Each of the four modules carries specific assessment criteria that between them articulate the students’ range of achievement as well as their strengths in their chosen field of specialism. Students are assessed on project work, project related studies and the development of practical skills through submitting a comprehensive Portfolio of work. Critical and Contextual Studies are assessed through a Journal that includes a range of short exercises, written work and an essay and can be seen as part of the final Portfolio.

Summative assessment for all the modules occurs at the end of the course and details achievement in student performance in relation to the learning outcomes for each module. Formative feedback is provided for all the modules on a regular basis and is focused on encouragement and improvement. It appears in a number of different formats, from informal suggestions or responses to specific items of work in progress, to formally recorded feedback at class presentations or ‘crits’. Written feedback and diagnostic grades are provided at two decisive stages of the course delivery. This feedback specifically addresses areas for improvement towards the final submission at summative assessment.

Course specific regulations

In CASS Level 3 and all other CASS UG courses, the following faculty-wide regulations shall apply:

As a condition of progressing from level 3 to 4, level 4 to 5 and level 5 to 6, students are required to have gained 120 credits per level, that is, by achieving pass marks (40%) in all four modules in the preceding level of study.

Part-time study is defined as 60 credits per year. Consequently, in part-time mode, the duration of study for a 360-credit degree will be 6 years (and an extended degree, 8 years). The pattern of study in CASS degrees shall be as follows:
Year 1 – AA3001 & AA3002
Year 2 – CP3010 & AA3003

Modules required for interim awards

Progression to Level 4 is subject to a completion and pass (40%) of all core modules:

AA3001 Project
AA3002 Techniques
AA3003 Workbook
CP3010 Critical and Contextual Studies: Foundation

Arrangements for promoting reflective learning and personal development

The course is diagnostic and preparatory, aiming to embed reflective learning and personal development. It does this in a number of different ways:

The main outcome of the course is contained in the student’s portfolio. This contains an edited and organised version of all the work that the student has undertaken during the course. It is used both for the purposes of assessment and, in various versions, to apply for jobs or courses. Building the portfolio is a continuous enterprise. Every project, practical or intellectual exercise can be represented in the portfolio but also has to contribute to the document as a whole and in its parts. Students learn to reflect on their work both as a specific item and in the context of their own developing profile in their portfolio.

The main method of learning on the course is the project. The two project based modules (AA3001 Project and AA3003 Workbook) help students to distinguish and develop their particular skills, interests and abilities. There are a number of projects set during the year, each of which addresses different criteria, and the student gains increasing responsibility for their definition, direction and development as the year progresses. Students learn to evaluate their project work against that of their peers through frequent interim presentations, pin-ups or ‘crits’ as well as tutorials.

AA3002 Techniques enables students to hone their range of practical skills as well as begin to understand how the techniques and technologies of making and representing are also tools for thinking and understanding.

A tutorial system is organised to monitor student progress and provides advice and assistance throughout the year. It is an important means of guiding students to meet the aims and objectives of the course. Tutorial reviews and critiques provide for independent examination of project results, the impact of lectures and the development of personal work and ideas. Through discussing work of a complementary, extended or diverse nature, project work can be developed in an independent way and by discussing relationships between diverse course inputs coherence can be maintained.

Arrangements on the course for careers education, information and guidance

The course is organised around and embeds a range of processes, facilities and opportunities designed to prepare students for and make effective decisions about the development of their career in the practical disciplines of film, photography and media. The course actively develops a wide range of transferable skills and thoroughly integrates personal development, review and presentation in a variety of modes. The diagnostic nature of the course enables students to identify their strengths and interests whilst the project/portfolio output allows them to demonstrate their skills and abilities. The course integrates ‘Taster’ introductory sessions that allow students to visit specialist courses and meet with staff and student.

Other external links providing expertise and experience

Students visit a variety of industry, art, photography, media and film culture related venues during the course. These might include visits to key cultural institutions in London, such as the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Tate galleries and other exhibition venues. In addition to familiarising students with the cultural landscape of London, field trips might also serve to expand the field of reference to other places. Depending upon the subject pathway, these fieldwork experiences will prepare students for the type of work they will be expected to undertake at degree level.

Career opportunities

The course is suitable for anyone planning a career in film, media and photography fields and the cultural and creative industries. Please see the career opportunities under the various relevant undergraduate degree courses to which you can progress.

The opportunities for careers are extensive - one out of every 12 jobs in the UK is in the creative sectors, with employment growing faster here than in the rest of the economy.

Entry requirements

In addition to the University's standard entry requirements, you should have:

  • at least one A level (or a minimum of 48 UCAS points from an equivalent Level 3 qualification, eg BTEC Subsidiary/National/BTEC Extended Diploma)
  • English Language GCSE at grade C (grade 4 from 2017) or above (or equivalent eg Functional Skills at Level 2)

We encourage applications from International/EU students with equivalent qualifications. We also accept mature students with diverse backgrounds and experiences.

Suitable applicants living in the UK may be invited to a portfolio interview.

Applicants living outside the UK may be required to submit a small portfolio of work via email.

All applicants must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. Applicants who require a Tier 4 student visa may need to provide a Secure English Language Test (SELT) such as Academic IELTS. For more information about English qualifications please see our English language requirements.

Official use and codes

Approved to run from 2015/16 Specification version 1 Specification status Validated
Original validation date 24 Nov 2015 Last validation date 24 Nov 2015  
JACS codes W000 (Creative arts & design): 100%
Route code FFIPHM

Course Structure

Stage 1 Level 03 September start Offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
AA3001 Project Core 30 CITY AUT+SPR THU AM
AA3002 Techniques Core 30 CITY AUT+SPR FRI PM
AA3003 Workbook Core 30 CITY AUT+SPR WED AM
CP3010 Critical & Contextual Studies: Foundation Core 30 CITY AUT+SPR WED PM

Stage 1 Level 03 January start Offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
AA3001 Project Core 30 CITY SPR+SUM THU AM
AA3002 Techniques Core 30 CITY SPR+SUM THU PM
AA3003 Workbook Core 30 CITY SPR+SUM TUE PM
CP3010 Critical & Contextual Studies: Foundation Core 30 CITY SPR+SUM TUE AM