Film, Photography and Media BA

Year of entry

2025 course information

Open Days 2024

Bookings for our 2024 Open Days are now open. Book now

UCAS code
W600
Start date
September 2024
Delivery type
On campus
Duration
3 years full time
Work placement
Optional
Study abroad
Optional
Typical A-level offer
AAB including one arts, humanities or social science subject. Excluding general studies and critical thinking. (specific subject requirements)
Typical Access to Leeds offer
BBB at A Level and pass Access to Leeds
Full entry requirements

Course overview

Student holding camera

This course blends film, photography and media to help you develop the theoretical knowledge and practical skills needed to succeed in the fast-growing media sector.

You'll study film and photography in a research-led media school, considering key theories, debates and historical developments. This is combined with some creative practice, such as screenwriting and digital photography, to foster your creative and critical reflection skills.

While this is an academic degree, you’ll be able to explore production practices using our industry-standard facilities and understand how theory and practice can support each other.

Optional modules allow you to focus on film analysis and theory, develop skills in animation or scriptwriting, or to broaden the scope of your degree into the field of media and communication.

You’ll gain an understanding of the historical, theoretical, cultural and industrial contexts of film and photography, alongside mastering skills in production and post-production.

Specialist facilities

You’ll study in a supportive environment equipped with a range of industry-standard resources. As well as our extensive loans service for equipment such as digital recorders, video cameras, stills cameras and more, you’ll benefit from access to our darkroom and 40 editing suites equipped with the latest Avid video editing software and Photoshop.

Our 58-seat cinema screens films twice a week during term time, and is equipped with HD video projection facilities, 16mm and 35mm film projectors and Dolby Digital surround sound.

Take a 360 tour of our facilities.

Photography studio

Photography studio

Course details

Year 1

Year 1 lays the foundations of the course by helping you to develop your academic and practice-based skills. Core modules introduce you to screenwriting, as well as camera, editing and photographic practices. You’ll then put these into context and build your critical skills with modules on the history and theory of film and communications, while learning more about research in communication and media to inform your practice.

Year 2

In the following year, you’ll expand and enhance your skills as you work on a short film project and take further core modules in photography and cinema. You’ll also begin to specialise in topics that suit your interests, career plans and abilities, with optional modules ranging from motion graphics to issues of genre in cinema and the role of technology in communication and the media.

Year 3

In your final year, you’ll choose from optional modules on topics such as audience research, mobile media, documentary journalism and international communication, and you could undertake a four-week work placement to gain hands-on industry experience.

To complete your studies, you’ll work on a major project based on your own interests. You could work on a script, compile a photography portfolio, make a short film with your peers, develop a moving image project or complete a written dissertation on a topic in communication and media.

Have a look at final year projects produced by previous students on this course.

The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our terms and conditions.

Most courses consist of compulsory and optional modules. There may be some optional modules omitted below. This is because they are currently being refreshed to make sure students have the best possible experience. Before you enter each year, full details of all modules for that year will be provided.

For more information and a list of typical modules available on this course, please read BA Film, Photography and Media in the course catalogue.

Year 1

Compulsory modules

Introduction to Media and Communication Research (20 credits) – This module introduces the basic building blocks of media and communication research in order to support the reading, writing and research skills you'll require during your time in the School of Media and Communication. Highlighting the links between fundamental academic skills and research practice, the module allows you to explore how media and communication is studied, and how skills developed for a media and communication degree relate to both scholarly practice and media practice.

Camera and Editing (20 credits) – This module provides a basic grounding in the language, conventions, techniques and practices of micro-budget, mini-crew digital short video production. Providing a fundamental understanding of the complex nature of production, the module will equip you with the skills needed to work with creative clarity and technical efficiency within a small production team, whilst in charge of at least one key production element.

Introduction to Cinema (20 credits) This module equips students with a broad historical overview of the principal developments in cinema history, from 1895 to the present day. Through a series of ten lectures and linked screenings, students are introduced to the form, culture, economics and ideology of the moving image.

Photographic Practices (20 credits) This introductory module will introduce you to an understanding of the ontological and technological nature of photography. You'll study photographic techniques based on the analogue and intermediate digital production and editing of images. The module focuses on key analogue and digital photographic techniques, enabling you to situate your own practice within broader cultural discourses, and it will also develop ethical and legal frameworks and risk-aware practice.

Screen Narrative (20 credits) This module is an introduction into screen narrative in film and television. Students learn how stories are constructed by examining characters and common dramatic structures across these forms of media. Students also learn how to use scriptwriting software and undertake screenwriting exercises in seminars. Knowledge and understanding is demonstrated through an assessed essay and through a short script project.

Optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

The History of Communication (20 credits) – This module will give you an overview of the main themes in the history of communication. It has been designed to provide not only the story of communication and media, but also the context in which systems of communication were developed and used. The module provides the historical foundation to examine the processes and case-studies discussed in other Year 1 modules, and should continue to inform your understanding as you progress through your degree.

Photographic Histories (20 credits) – Exploring social, cultural and technological histories of photography between its commercial launch in 1839 and the present, this module examines a range of historical case studies and archival materials that illustrate the centrality of photography within the mass media. During the course of the module, you'll study how photography developed as a means of mass communication, a medium for the representation of society, a witness to war and social upheaval and as a growing social practice. You'll learn through the study and research of key bodies of historical materials and focus on a particular area of interest through an extended project.

Introduction to Media and Communication Theory (20 credits) – This module examines some of the main theoretical perspectives and arguments that underpin the study of media and communication. It considers the ways in which these perspectives are linked, why they continue to hold relevance for contemporary media scholars and how they help us to understand the role of mediated communication in society.

Prose: Reading and Interpretation (20 credits) – This module aims to lay a solid foundation for the study of English at university level through the analysis of a number of different prose texts. It explores the mechanics of prose writing and considers a range of critical and theoretical approaches to literature. By the end of the module, you will have developed as a reader and writer, with improved close reading skills, a greater understanding of critical tools and terminology, and an awareness of some of the conceptual issues raised by interpreting prose in English. Topics to be examined will include: genre; narrative form; writing and subjectivity; race and nation; literature and politics; gender difference; and authorship.

Race, Writing and Decolonization (20 credits) – This module provides an opportunity to study decolonizing texts in English by significant writers. The texts will be used to illustrate a variety of decolonizing strategies in relation to histories of slavery, colonization, racism and migration. The module will introduce you to major literary figures in fiction in the 20th and early 21st centuries and will suggest a variety of critical, theoretical and methodological strategies appropriate for the analysis of this work. On completion of the module, you'll have been introduced to key traditions in decolonizing thought and will have studied textual examples in detail.

Year 2

Compulsory modules

Photography Theory and Practice (20 credits) – This module is designed to bring the theory and practice of photography together, through both research and creative experimentation, alongside critical and reflective writing on the subject. This will prepare you for more independent working at Level 3, particularly the Photography Project module. Together with study of the principles of photographic practice, history and theory, you'lll develop your own technical knowledge and creative approaches to the medium, through the development of a negotiated photography project.

Cinematic Themes (20 credits) – This module equips you with a thematic and theoretical overview of the various approaches to the study of the cinema. It will enable you to demonstrate knowledge of selected critical themes and theories and articulate their relevance to a scholarly understanding of cinema. You'll also assess the significance of cinematic themes as tools of ideology, and apply thematic and theoretical models to readings of individual films and/or the work of individual filmmakers.

Optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

Technology in Communication and Media (20 credits) – This module provides you with an academic understanding of the role of technology in media and communications. It illuminates critical and social issues generated by and through technology, discussing and analysing the relationship between technological developments and the societies in which those developments take place.

Podcasting (20 credits) – This module will equip you the creative knowledge and practical skills needed to envision, plan, record and produce your own podcast. Designed for sthose with no prior experience of media production, you'll develop your critical appreciation of storytelling in audio through the study and critique of a variety of podcasting formats. This module will require an ability to work independently (under supervision) and to think creatively about the possibilities of audio as a tool of mass communication.

Communication Skills (20 credits) – You'll gain an understanding of the qualities associated with effective communication and will develop the confidence and practical skills needed to communicate effectively in a range of situations, including academic life, social contexts and the workplace. The module takes a rigorous critical approach to communication norms and requires all students to engage in a series of practical workshops in which they will be urged to think about and work upon their own confidence, verbal expression and non-verbal behaviour.

Documentary Production (20 credits) – This is a practical module and designed to help you acquire a more in-depth knowledge of specific skills in the digital production industry. You'll develop an array of transferable skills in digital production, which can be built on during any subsequent modules that contain a practical component or may equally inform other aspects of your degree. The module is aims to ‘raise the bar’ with regards to production standards, and it will help you build confidence with the technical and procedural side of the digital media industry.

Screen Fiction (20 credits) – This module explores the narrative and aesthetic function of screen fiction in order to develop and deepen your own knowledge of how screen fiction works. This knowledge is then utilised in the development of your own, original short film script. This module builds on and develops critical thinking and creative practice established in Screen Narrative at Level 1 and prepares you for the extended Script Project at Level 3.

Digital Storytelling (20 credits) – This module examines forms of digital storytelling in the context of traditional and interactive narrative. It explores the role of digital storytelling in a range of social contexts. You'll develop the skills to create multiform narrative and digital stories that use narrative as a means to educate and entertain.

Year 3

Compulsory modules

Students must select 40 credits from:

Moving Image Project (40 credits) – This module facilitates learning at advanced level on the principles and practices of a short moving image production, allowing you to demonstrate your creative, analytical and critical learning and personal development in the field of moving image production. You'll also produce a substantial piece of reflective, analytical writing in relation to the production, along with a critical evaluation of the completed project.

Script Project (40 credits) – Conducting and presenting the appropriate research required to identify and develop a story idea, you'll produce a well-structured and coherent short film script (30 – 50 pages) or television drama pilot or sitcom episode (30 – 45 pages + 5-page series bible) using the relevant standard layouts.

Cinema Project (40 credits) – This module facilitates learning at advanced level on the principles and practices of short film (digital cinema) production, through the fulfilment of at least one primary production role within a small-crew group production, allowing you to demonstrate your creative, analytical and critical learning and personal development in the field of cinematic production.

Photography Project (40 credits) – The dissertation centres on the ability to explore cultural, theoretical and historical ideas through a piece of academic writing and associated practice. The two elements combine together to allow for a reflective and critical dialogue between the processes involved in creating a portfolio and in the broader academic contexts which inform the thinking behind the photographs. You'll be expected to provide a written commentary exploring these relationships and situating the images they have produced within these discourses.

Communication Dissertation (40 credits) – This module provides you with an opportunity to undertake an independent research project and produce a dissertation on a topic of your own choice under the guidance of a supervisor. Lectures introduce you to the research design and structure of a dissertation, including how to develop a research question, how to produce and organise a literature review, how to choose and apply a research method, how to analyse data, and how to present findings and arguments. You'll receive individual tutorial support from an academic supervisor, but the emphasis is on independent study.

Students must also select 20 credits from:

The Documentary and Reality (20 credits) – This module provides you with an understanding both of the development of documentary forms and functions and the character of the debates about 'truth' which have surrounded documentary work since the 1920s. You'll explore major stages in the development of documentary practice; criteria used in the evaluation of documentary both by academics and by the public; key visual and verbal components of documentary organisation; narrative and observational structures in documentary; and current tendencies and new technology.

Themes in Contemporary Photography (20 credits) – This module examines key current debates in relation to photographic practices and is aimed at developing a reflective approach to the production and consumption of photographic images. You'll be encouraged to develop a critically reflective approach to image production and engage in current, cutting edge debates concerning issues such as ontology, realism, gender and racial representation, advertising and image historiography.

Optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

International Communication (20 credits) – This module explores the role of media and communication in the context(s) of globalization, with a special emphasis on the political and cultural implications of contemporary international/global communication practices and products. The module offers both a traditional 'international communications' approach to the study and critique of media and a more contemporary take on the role of other forms of communication (eg design, branding, visual imagery and/or urban environments) in 'global communication'. As well as studying theories, examples and cases, you'll develop your own original analytical and research work on specific dimensions of international/global communication.

Placement (20 credits) – You'll work under pressure in order to meet the exacting deadlines within a media or media-related industry. You'll be required to prove the intellectual and practical capabilities you have acquired at University within the professional industry environment and under the scrutiny of working professionals. The placement assessment develops your ability to critically reflect on practice in your chosen field.

Feminism, Identity and Media (20 credits) – On this module, you'll be introduced to the main theoretical and critical arguments and approaches associated with feminist media studies, exploring both the history of the field as well as contemporary debates. Through a series of ten one-hour lectures, you'll cover the key media and communication areas and issues including gender and new media, gender and television, gender and advertising, gender and PR and gender and music. Topics covered include the politics of representation; feminist theories of narrative and identity; the role of women in the media industries and the relationship between feminism and new media.

Understanding the Audience (20 credits) – An introduction to the main approaches to understanding the relationship between audiences/users and media. You'll consider the development of the concept audience, exploring empirical research and theoretical arguments from a range of perspectives including how scholars have conceptualised the audience, how media industries view the audience, as well as, addressing contemporary debates about the usefulness of the category ‘audience’ in the contemporary media context.

Learning and teaching

You’ll learn under the guidance of academic teaching practitioners and researchers using a range of teaching and learning methods, giving you the knowledge and skills needed for a career in this industry. These methods will include practical classes, as well as lectures, seminars and tutorials.

In addition, you’ll have a reading list for each module and independent study is a crucial part of the degree, allowing you to develop your own ideas, creativity and understanding. Your tutors will be available during their office hours to discuss any issues or questions that arise.

On this course, you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.

On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.

Assessment

We use a variety of assessment methods so you can demonstrate different skills. These will include practical production coursework, team presentations, group projects, essays and exams.

Entry requirements

A-level: AAB including one arts, humanities or social science subject. Excluding general studies and critical thinking.

Other course specific tests:

If you’re taking the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) you may receive an alternative offer alongside a standard offer. In this case, the typical offer would be ABB plus grade A in the EPQ.

You don't need to submit a portfolio of work for this course, but you may consider linking to examples of your work in your personal statement.

Alternative qualification

Access to HE Diploma

Offers are made on an individual basis- typically a Pass with 60 credits overall including 45 credits at Level 3, of which 30 should be at Distinction and 15 at Merit level.

BTEC

DDD

Cambridge Pre-U

D3, M1, M2

International Baccalaureate

35 overall
(16 at higher level, with 5 at higher level in English or 6 at standard level).

Irish Leaving Certificate (higher Level)

H2 H2 H2 H2 H3 H3
AAAABB (pre-2017)

Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers

AB in Advanced Highers and AABBB in Highers
A in an Advanced Higher and AABBB in Highers
AAAABB in Highers

Welsh Baccalaureate

Please note that we don’t currently accept the Welsh Baccalaureate.

Other Qualifications

European Baccalaureate:
80% overall.

Find your country to see equivalent international qualifications.

Read more about UK and Republic of Ireland accepted qualifications or contact the School’s Undergraduate Admissions Team.

Alternative entry

We’re committed to identifying the best possible applicants, regardless of personal circumstances or background.

Access to Leeds is a contextual admissions scheme which accepts applications from individuals who might be from low income households, in the first generation of their immediate family to apply to higher education, or have had their studies disrupted.

Find out more about Access to Leeds and contextual admissions.

Arts and Humanities with Foundation Year

This course is designed for students whose backgrounds mean they are less likely to attend university (also known as widening participation backgrounds) and who do not currently meet admissions criteria for direct entry to a degree.

The course will give you the opportunity to be taught by academic staff and provides intensive support to enable your development of academic skills and knowledge. On successful completion of your foundation year, you will progress to your chosen degree course. Find out more about the Arts and Humanities with Foundation Year

International

Find your country to see equivalent international qualifications.

International Foundation Year

International students who do not meet the academic requirements for undergraduate study may be able to study the University of Leeds International Foundation Year. This gives you the opportunity to study on campus, be taught by University of Leeds academics and progress onto a wide range of Leeds undergraduate courses. Find out more about International Foundation Year programmes.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.


Improve your English
If you're an international student and you don't meet the English language requirements for this programme, you may be able to study our undergraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.

Fees

UK: £9,250 (per year)

International: £24,500 (per year)

Tuition fees for a study abroad or work placement year
If you take a study abroad or work placement year, you’ll pay a reduced tuition fee during this period. For more information, see Study abroad and work placement tuition fees and loans.

Read more about paying fees and charges.

There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more on our living costs and budgeting page.

Scholarships and financial support

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There is help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government. Find out more in our Undergraduate funding overview.

Applying

Apply to this course through UCAS. Check the deadline for applications on the UCAS website.

This course is not accepting applications for deferred entry.

We typically receive a high number of applications to our courses in the School of Media and Communication. The number of applicants exceeds the number of places available so, to ensure that we treat all applications fairly and equitably, we wait until after the UCAS equal consideration application deadline has passed before making a final decision on applications.

If we put your application on hold for review after the UCAS application deadline, we will send you an email to let you know. Although you may have to wait longer than usual to receive a decision, you will hear from us by mid-May at the latest, in line with the deadline that UCAS sets universities for making decisions on applications submitted by the January UCAS deadline.

Offer decisions are made based on an overall review of applications including predicted grades, breadth of knowledge demonstrated through qualifications, personal statement, extra-curricular and work experience, and contextual information. We look for enthusiastic and talented students who have the potential to succeed in their studies with us and contribute to our community.

Read our admissions guidance and see ‘Application decisions’ for details.

All courses in the School involve rigorous theoretical study, research and presentation. All applicants must therefore provide evidence of completing, or working towards completing, a Level 3 (for example, A Level) Arts/Humanities qualification that demonstrates their ability to research a topic and present high quality written work. In some cases, applicants may also be asked to provide examples of completed essays or assignments in order to assess their suitability.

As part of your application, you'll need to submit a personal statement. Read our guidance on writing your personal statement.

International students apply through UCAS in the same way as UK students. Our network of international representatives can help you with your application. If you’re unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.

Admissions policy

University of Leeds Admissions Policy 2025

This course is taught by

School of Media and Communication

Contact us

School of Media and Communication Undergraduate Admissions

Email: mediaug@leeds.ac.uk
Telephone:

Career opportunities

This course will allow you to develop your creative and technical skills across three different yet related disciplines, along with in-depth theoretical knowledge and important transferable skills in communication, visual and critical awareness, writing, interpretation, project management and research.

Our graduates are recruited by a variety of prestigious companies in different sectors of the media and creative industries, including film and TV production companies, web-based companies and advertising and marketing agencies. Others pursue postgraduate study or freelance work, while some go on to start their own businesses and form independent production companies.

Careers support

Within the School, we offer opportunities for you to attend talks and workshops led by industry professionals to help you gain insight into a career in the film, photography and media industries.

Find out more about careers and employability at the School of Media and Communication.

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

Leeds for Life is our unique approach to helping you make the most of University by supporting your academic and personal development. Find out more at the Leeds for Life website.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more about Careers support.

Study abroad and work placements

Study abroad

On this course you have the opportunity to apply to spend time abroad, usually as an extra academic year. We have over 300 University partners worldwide and popular destinations for our students include Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Africa and Latin America. 

Find out more at the Study Abroad website.

Work placements

Practical work experience can help you decide on your career and improve your employability. On this course you have the option to apply to take a placement year module with organisations across the public, private and voluntary sectors in the UK, or overseas.

Find out more about work experience on the Careers website.

If you don’t want to spend a full year on a placement, you can still choose to take the optional placement module, which gives you the chance to spend around four weeks working at a company or organisation within the media or a related industry. We have excellent links with the local, regional and national creative industries, ensuring that you have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience that complements your learning.

Find out more.