Film and Media - BA (Hons)

Our eclectic and inspiring BA (Hons) in Film and Media course will give you the expertise to succeed in a variety of careers. You will learn practical filmmaking skills and have your critical thinking faculties sharpened to a fine point, through innovative teaching and learning approaches which foster resilient and collaborative working.

Film and moving images, within the wider media and cultural industries, play a central role in our contemporary experiences of the world. Our sense of who we are, and how we think about other people and cultures, is shaped by film and moving image media. Our course offers you the opportunity to examine this influence through creative practice and critical thinking.

We will help you develop research and thinking skills to enable you to move beyond the obvious. We’ll support the development of your creative skills in areas including film directing, screenwriting, editing, photography and audio production, to help you stand out from the crowd. Our graduates have gone on to work in a range of areas in the creative industries, including the BBC and STV, independent production companies such as Blazing Griffin, as well as in the wider creative and marketing industries.

Why QMU?

  • Preparing you for your career: The course offers a unique opportunity to study the forces that shape film and media, alongside giving you the practical skills to make a difference, and work-based learning opportunities so you can put your skills and knowledge to test while you study.
  • See your work on the 'big screen': a selection of students’ final year films are screened annually at an end-of-year show at a cinema in central Edinburgh, with additional annual awards ceremonies and screenings on campus for work across all four years
  • Great facilities for learning and teaching: You’ll learn in our specialist on-campus facilities including digital editing suitesfrom award winning filmmakers, internationally renowned film and media scholars and guest speakers from the Scottish and Global film industries, such as Rosie Crerar (Barry Crerar), Stephen Greenhorn (Sunshine on Leith), Hope Dickson Leach (The Levelling) and Mark Cousins (Women Make Films).
  • Hone your entrepreneurial skills: Students have access to the University's Business Innovation Zone and many of our students have gone on to create their own production companies, including Naka Media and Raw Film Productions. 
  • Collaborate with creative peers: Film and Media students work closely with students on other programmes, including Creative and Cultural Industries, Theatre and Film, Drama, Costume Design and Construction and Acting for Stage and Screen, so you are part of a vibrant creative network.
  • High ranking: QMU is ranked in the top 6 of Scottish higher education institutions for Media in the Guardian University Guide 2024.

Studying BA (Hons) Film & Media

Film and Media - BA (Hons): The course in brief

On this course you will:

  • study film from artistic, cultural and industry perspectives, as well as various media institutions and the debates surrounding them;
  • engage in deep critical thinking about culture, media and society as a whole;
  • develop real-world technical skills in film and creative production, including screen writing, editing, camera and lighting, sound design, directing, photography and podcasting;
  • develop essential lifelong skills in teamwork, research, project management and a variety of forms of communication; and
  • have opportunities to engage in work-based learning and pursue placement opportunities, so that you can begin to develop your career and future plans while you study.

How will I be taught?


All students enrol onto the honours degree, but you can choose to exit with an ordinary degree after three years.

Teaching, learning and assessment

You will be taught in lectures, seminars and in practical workshops. You will be assessed in a wide array of ways across the course, including presentations, reflective diaries, blogs, filmmaking, essays (and video essays) and some written exams.


We have superb on-campus resources, and media production equipment, including a recently-upgraded film editing suite and dedicated production and photography area equipped with a green screen and on-site lighting equipment. Our students have access to a wealth of cameras, audio recording equipment and other related filmmaking equipment for both their studies and extra-curricular pursuits. This includes access to Adobe’s Creative suite of programmes, including Premiere Pro, Photoshop, After Effects and Audition.*

*subject to availability and agreement with our technician staff.

You will have access to our on-campus Business Gateway and Business Innovation Zone (BIZ) that together provide business incubation spaces for student-led or graduate-led start-up companies and offer: desk space, a QMU business address, meeting facilities, ad-hoc rehearsal space and editing facilities, Business Gateway support and advice, a profile for your company on the QMU website, support with marketing materials and access to entrepreneurial networks within QMU and other universities (including Enterprise Campus, Scottish Institute for Enterprise, Sporting Chance and Converge Challenge).

Exchange opportunities

Studying abroad through our exchange programme can be one of the most exciting and rewarding challenges for a student to experience. The opportunity to travel and live in another country, learn different customs and traditions, meet new people and future career draws many students into the exchange programme. In Year Three you have the opportunity (subject to availability) to study for one semester at a university overseas. Please visit the Exchanges and Study Abroad pages for more information.

Teaching staff, class sizes and timetables

You can read more about the teaching staff on this course at the bottom of this page. Please note that teaching staff is subject to change.

For more information, please also visit ‘How we teach and how you’ll learn’.

What will I learn each year?

Year One

You will:

  • be introduced to key concepts in film and media studies, including the emergence of cinema and the establishment of national broadcasting systems, and concepts such as narrative, popular culture and citizenship;
  • learn the basic principles of filmmaking, in terms of editing, framing, composition, lighting and story; and
  • participate in our annual student film competition, the Silver Swans, where we screen a selection of the best student films and award prizes.


  • Studying Cinema
  • Analysing Stories
  • Film Histories
  • Media and Creative Industries
  • Creative Practice: Visual Storytelling
  • Creative Practice: Fiction Film

Year Two

You will:

  • develop your knowledge and understanding of film and media studies, thinking more critically about the film and media we produce and consume;
  • strengthen your film and media production skills and develop more complex stories on film and in media; and
  • apply your skills to real-world situations with our ‘Creative Practice: Client Project’ module, where you will pitch and complete a media project for a business or charity.


  • Film Genre
  • Popular Media Cultures
  • Media, Politics and Culture
  • Creative Practice: Researching Documentary
  • Creative Practice: Making Documentary
  • Creative Practice: Client Project

Year Three

You will:

  • learn important research skills to prepare you for Year Four and life beyond University;
  • develop a plan for your post-University creative career and understand working in the creative industries;
  • choose specialist film and media options in, for example, the video essay, screenwriting, filmmaking and photography; and
  • have the opportunity (subject to availability) to study for one semester at a university overseas. For more information, visit Exchanges and Study Abroad.


  • Working in the Film and Creative Industries
  • Global Film Cultures
  • Designing Research Projects
  • plus three electives

Year Four

You will:

  • choose further specialist film and media options in, for example, the video essay, screenwriting, filmmaking and photography; and 
  • complete a written or creative practice dissertation. Creative practice dissertations can be in film, photography, screenwriting or a video essay. You can choose a group filmmaking dissertation that adds another dimension if you want to specialise in a particular production role such as director, writer or editor.


  • Dissertation
  • Modernity on Screen
  • plus three electives

Year Three and Four electives may include:

  • Communication, Arts and Activism
  • Experiential Learning Placement
  • Film and the Family
  • Film Festivals
  • Photography and Visual Culture
  • Photography Practice
  • Popular Music
  • Radio and Audio Media
  • Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror
  • Screenwriting
  • Short Filmmaking
  • Student Initiated Module
  • Radical Film
  • The Only Way is Ethics
  • The Video Essay
  • World Animation

NB The modules listed here are correct at time of last update (Feb 2024) but may differ slightly to those offered in 2025. Please check back here for any updates.


QMU has specialised in providing courses in the area of media and communications for many years. Our graduates are highly employable, in demand and are making names for themselves in film and television production, media research, PhD and academic research, public relations, marketing, advertising, and arts and cultural management. Employers have previously included the BBC, STV, Edinburgh International Film Festival, Channel 4 and the Leith Agency.

On this course, you will graduate as a critical maker and consumer of film and media. You will be technically competent in the field, with rounded practical skills and ready to succeed in the career of your choice.

Film and Media - BA (Hons): Entry requirements and application information

Entry requirements

Scottish Higher: Standard - BBBB, Minimum - BBCC

A Level: BCC

Irish Leaving Certificate: H2 H2 H3 H3

International Baccalaureate: 28 points

International: IELTS of 6.0 with no element lower than 5.5

Required subjects: English, Media Studies, or Film Studies preferred at Higher/A level or equivalent. English required and Maths preferred at Nat 5/GCSE at grade C or above. We can also accept National 5 Application of Maths or Lifeskills at the same grade.

Am I a Widening Access student?: We apply the minimum entry criteria to applicants who meet one or more contextual factor. To see if this would apply to you, please refer to the access and application page.

Mature/Access: We welcome applications from mature students with relevant qualifications and/or experience. Visit our College Leavers and Mature Students Advice page for more information. 

Direct Entry:

Year Two

  • HNC in a related subject with B in the graded unit
    Scottish Higher: BC at Advanced Higher in relevant subjects plus BB at Higher
  • A Level: BBB in relevant subjects

Year Three

  • HND in a related subject with CB in the graded units.

For details of related HNC and HND courses, visit our College Leavers and Mature Students Advice page

Disability/health conditions

If you have a disability, long-term physical or mental health condition, or learning disability, it should not stand in the way of your studying at QMU. However, if you are not sure whether your disability might be a barrier in your studies or in relation to the professional standards, please contact the disability service who will be able to have a conversation with you about reasonable adjustments and supports available to you.

Terms and Conditions

  • The delivery of this course is subject to the terms and conditions set out in our 2025/26 Entry Terms and Conditions (Undergraduate).
  • The course information on this page is correct at the time of posting (Feb 2024) however, the course is due for re-validation in 2024 and this may result in some changes for 2025 entry. Please check back here for updates.

Awarding body


View a short film showcasing our great facilities for film, communication and creative industries courses

Hear what a graduate has to say about the BA (Hons) Film and Media


QMUBelong film

Course Overview

4 years full-time
Start Date
September 2025
On campus at QMU
Study Abroad
School of Arts, Social Sciences and Management
SCQF Level

Engage with the Team

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Student Story

Calum Duff If you’re interested in this course, I’d say go for it! It has really helped me shape a better understanding of film making and build my knowledge of real world applications.

Find out more about Calum's story

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