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BA (Hons) Digital Media Production — Overview

(Please note this programme was previously called BA (Hons) Contemporary Media Practice)

Our BA (Hons) Digital Media Production degree is a dynamic, outward-facing programme engaging in a range of moving image and audio production – provoking new and cutting-edge digital content.

Music videos, commercials, vlogs, scripted programmes, films and more are all supported through our extensive range of production facilities, including a Black Magic portable TV studio which allows you to explore live events and streaming.

'A Better Future', a still from a fashion film by Corey Vosper, BA (Hons) Digital Media Production.

UK film, TV and online media makers are recognised around the world for their craft, originality and creativity. This programme primes a new generation of digital media creatives to meet the growing need for innovative moving-image content.

You’ll cover everything from storytelling and idea generation to production techniques, including camera, sound, light and post-production. Our diverse and practical approach will prepare you to carve out a successful and sustainable career in an internationally growing industry, where a smartphone alone can enable your ideas to reach a global audience.

Working across a wide range of communication media, you will be involved in professional briefs and independent projects, supported by taught sessions, practical workshops and seminars from our team and from a great range of external moving image professionals.

We encourage experimentation, risk-taking and innovative responses to emerging problems. You’ll be part of a collaborative community focusing design and making skills – including graphics, 3D, sound and performance – into your moving image productions.

You will regularly work across departments in this unique independent art college environment. You will also develop professional skills such as branding, marketing and entrepreneurship, gaining skills in pitching ideas to companies and commissioners for a variety of media formats.

You'll have full access to our extensive resources, including our edit and sound suites, equipment resource centre, FabLab and our range of media studios .

This unique degree will equip you with the creative skills and practical training necessary to create innovative, multi-platform content suitable for use in everything from advertising and television broadcasting to feature film or even transmedia projects – growing you into a multi- skilled media maker.

What will I achieve?

This programme is rooted in the belief that hands-on learning is the most effective way to acquire skills and gain insights. Through practical assignments from the outset, you’ll become a highly versatile and innovative media creative, equipped to work in a wide range of production contexts.

You’ll develop a portfolio of creative and technical skills – from cinematography and writing for a wide range of applications and audiences, to directing, designing, researching and producing – enabling you to take on external projects, work placements and live briefs.

Year one will develop a wide-ranging overview of the moving image and media industries. Looking at a range of formats from traditional broadcasting to digital media, you will develop your technical, creative and practical skills including designing and making, production and post-production.

Year two will provide greater opportunities to hone your skills on a range of tutor-led and self-directed projects that push themes of factual programming and creative exploration. This will provide opportunities to explore areas such as advertising, live broadcasting, factual programming and scripted entertainment across broadcast and online platforms.

The third year allows you to advance in the skills you feel most passionately about, through innovative projects that embed professional practice and independent enquiry. You will focus on industry networking and situating your creative practice, in readiness to continue your career after graduation.

The UK’s independent television production sector is stronger than ever, creating content and formats that are coveted by buyers the world over. The TV exports business is worth more than £1.28 billion, with no country exporting more TV formats than the UK.

 

Highlights – BA (Hons) Digital Media Production:

  • Make compelling audiovisual content for creative professional assignments.
  • Build an innovative portfolio/showreel to enter into the industry.
  • Develop new ideas and productions using digital media.
  • Expand your audiovisual creativity.
  • Prepare yourself to work across the media industries.
  • Communicate as a producer, director or designer.
  • Focus on creative film, new television and commercial media.
  • Nurture interdisciplinary practice.
  • Develop an international context for your professional creative practice.

Have a question for our team? Email: DIGITALMEDIA@pca.ac.uk

BA (Hons) Digital Media Production — Modules

Year 1

BACM101 Research & Production Planning

This module is intended to expose students to a wide range of media production skills and techniques, exploring visual trends and current contemporary media practices.

Students will focus on the research, planning and pre-production elements of media production, and the module will act as an investigation into a range of ways of generating ideas and developing concepts. Students will be introduced to a range of research methods, and all aspects of production planning, in order to professionally plan, manage, log and realise a negotiated media production in response to the assignment brief.

Using cultural texts from cinema, stage, television, music, literature, internet and social media, students will examine how story is constructed, and how film and media texts can articulate particular narratives. Students will also work on a number of tasks to develop their practical knowledge, and help them to form a solid foundation for crew based media practice. Through these projects students will cultivate an awareness of audio/visual language that will enable them to develop their media communication skills within the context of contemporary media practice.

Learning will focus around the introduction of a range of cameras, lighting and sound recording equipment, as well as introducing the basic skills required to edit / output a media production. Students will be appropriately guided towards developing safe and professional working practices, and will be expected to adhere to professional standards whilst working towards achieving the project outcomes.

BACM102 Post-Production

This module is intended to introduce students to a range of post-production considerations, exploring the practical, contextual and theoretical elements of these, and focusing on the creation of meaning and storytelling through post-production techniques.

Students learning will be grounded in historical and contemporary movements, theories and practices of editing and montage in film and media. Students will respond to a number of tasks that will develop their post-production skills, and will develop an appreciation of the importance of post-production processes in all aspects of media production. They will have opportunity to develop their software literacy, using a range of professional, commercial software products, to manipulate audio and visual aspects of their productions.

Students will examine various editorial styles, techniques and conventions, and how these articulate meaning to an audience, exploring grammar, syntax, structure, pace, rhythm, timbre and expression. There will be opportunity to explore how the editing of sound and image might be used to alter perception and manipulate emotions. The module will examine and critically analyse contemporary examples of media production, in order to develop theoretical and conceptual understanding through practice.

BACP103 Media Production

This module is intended to introduce students to specific skills needed for working in the media industries. Core to this module will be the ability to work efficiently with clients and crews, in order to realise a fully formed media production.

Students will be expected to be resourceful adopting and adapting a range of problem solving approaches to meet the outcomes specified. From initial ideas generation, through to conceptual development, contextualisation and writing, to the production and final post-production elements, students will need to evidence their communication and time management skills.

The module will require to students to use their technical and logistical skills to manage a substantial production, including exploring the logistics of translating a media proposal into a viable production. It will consider the directors role and explore historical and contemporary movements in direction, developing theoretical and conceptual understanding of the art of directing through practice. Students will examine how various directorial styles, techniques and conventions might articulate meaning to an audience, and also explore how these are mediated by the financial, logistical, legal and commercial requirements of production. This module will explore the creative possibilities of contemporary media practice.

Students will be expected to manage their time, their equipment and their workflow, and to continue to develop a highly professional work ethic within this module.

BACM104 Professional Practice & PDP 1

This module is designed to help students explore employment opportunities in Contemporary Media and the broader creative industries. Alongside an ongoing programme of research and investigation, students will be encouraged to begin to identify current skills, knowledge and creative practice, and investigate opportunities that could lead to an intended career path. Students will identify areas for development and will work with the module tutors to initiate and develop their Professional Development Plan (PDP), identifying the skills needed during the programme of study. Covering a wide range of general skills including personal analysis, effective professional standards with employers, working as a freelance practitioner and sub contractor, the module will include consideration around contracts, copyright, release forms, IP, ethics etc. and working with professional agencies, clients and production companies.

The module also aims to enable students to develop autonomy and build upon future aspirations to help develop effective communication and networking in the creative industries. Pitching, presenting and self-promotion are a key focus and the module aims to build upon these skills to help develop confidence and personal effectiveness in their application.

BAIS300 Interdisciplinary Studies

This module provides an opportunity to expand and develop students’ skills and knowledge, through the introduction of new approaches and methods that broaden and extend their understanding of practices both in their subject area, and the wider creative context in which they work.

The module will introduce students to interdisciplinary approaches and methods in their subject, and open up possibilities for engagement with practices both within and outside their immediate subject area. As such, this Module complements all of their study to date, and contributes to their wider knowledge and understanding of creative practices.

The module will encourage students to explore new skills and knowledge, develop team working skills, and above all encourage a reflective understanding of their own skills and contribution within an interdisciplinary context.

BCOP100 Contexts of Practice

This module will introduce students to the key theories and debates around contemporary media production and associated art, design and filmmaking practices, providing a range of critical approaches to support the investigation, interpretation and analysis of contemporary media.

Students will study a range of concepts that have shaped the way that we understand the media, in its wider historical and cultural contexts. Students will develop core research and communication skills to help them to articulate and contextualise their understanding of the themes covered in the module. The knowledge gained in this module will support students’ creative practice by developing an understanding of the relationship between thinking and making.

 

Year 2

BACM201 Media Practice 1

Building on the technical and creative abilities established in Year 1, this module requires students to produce a body of work that investigates the key media conventions around drama and factual programming, whilst continuing to investigate a range of roles and contexts of production.

Students will critically examine areas of synergy and interaction between these forms, recognising the dialogue and exchange that exists between them in contemporary media practice. Students will have the opportunity to plan, create and realise a number of media projects, including a substantial documentary piece, that will evidence their ability to critically analyse and evaluate documentary programming. The module will also focus on ethical questions around representation.

Students will extend their knowledge of specialist camera and lighting techniques, on location and/or in the studio, and will further develop knowledge and skills in digital post-production, and colour grading technologies. Students will particularly engage with the role of sound design in documentary and factual productions, analysing sound as a tool for audience manipulation.

In addition to the emphasis on production craft skill, the module encourages the synthesis of practical expertise and creative thinking with awareness of professional contexts. Students will be expected to seek out interesting stories, people and places, to further develop their communication and time management skills, and to produce a body of high quality media production work that is distinctive and critically informed.

BACM202 Media Practice 2

This module aims to develop insight into the contemporary media industries by immersing students into a professional production context.

Consolidating their existing technical skills, students will write, plan and create content for appropriate media platforms, further developing their research, writing, time management and communication skills. In collaboration, students will have the opportunity to manage all aspects of a particular broadcast platform (for example a TV show, newsroom and/or radio station) necessitating their full examination of contemporary modes of consumption / production, and demanding their engagement with media ethics, law, copyright and professional working practices, roles and contexts.

This module provides opportunity for students to develop the practical, creative and professional skills required to be a successful freelance practitioner in their chosen vocational field. Through rigorous self evaluation, students will be supported to develop their practice towards a particular specialist area of media production.

BACM203 Professional Practice & PDP 2

This module extends skills acquired during Level 4 allowing individuals to further explore contemporary media practice including industry employment, commercial freelance media practice, and entrepreneurial opportunities. Running across level 5, it will inform an understanding of the level of professionalism, creativity and adaptability required to negotiate a career in the commercial media industries. This module equips students with the professional skills and confidence to begin operating in a professional capacity to work with clients and undertake external briefs.

A key element of this module will be the requirement for students to undertake a negotiated period of commercial practice, pertinent to their career aspirations. This could include for example, undertaking an industry placement or internship and/or working with external clients. Students will need to become familiar with paperwork protocols, and ethical responsibilities.

Building on the good practice established in the level 4 Professional Practice module, reflection will also be an ongoing, continuous process recorded and archived through each students PDP blog. By the end of the module students will be expected to have developed their PDP into a structured career plan to enable them to confidently pursue their career aspirations.

Based on these identified career aspirations, students will also be required to begin to develop a personal and professional marketing strategy, including the production of a suite of promotional materials including an online portfolio/website, showreel and professional business stationery.

GCOP200 Contexts of Practice

This module extends and develops the themed ideas, concepts and critical discourses introduced in Contexts of Practice 1. Students will attend core lectures and participate in a themed seminar series designed to deepen their understanding of contemporary media practice in its wider contexts. This themed approach encourages students to make considered and appropriate links between their area of practice and wider contextual and interdisciplinary discourses. Students will continue to develop critical approaches to research, which will inform their understanding of the relationship between context and practice. They will undertake a contextual research project that links the thematic focus of their particular seminar series to an appropriate area of contemporary media practice.

 

Year 3

BACM301 Research and Experimentation

This module will stipulate the overarching direction and outline research methodologies that will provide a platform from which the student’s Creative and Professional Conclusion module may develop.

The module offers a period of reflection on past creative outcomes and the success of their commercial application. The questioning of theories and experimentation in practical processes will allow students to plan their final project and negotiate a course towards its conclusion considering future career or learning aspirations.

Negotiated proposals for outcomes must evidence indicative inclusion of contextual studies subject matter and creative intent for the final year must be clearly definable at the end of this module.

BACM302 Creative and Professional Development

This module will enable students to use personal career ambitions to position themselves for progression to employment, self-employment or to post-graduate study. It will provide multiple opportunities for students to assimilate previous industry experiences and research into both contextual subject matter and creative outcomes of the final year modules.

The module will encourage consideration of audiences, end-users and relevant markets. Relationships with appropriate external agencies, individuals and professionals will be explored and interactions with the creative, commercial and cultural environments will be investigated.

Students will further develop and refine the promotional materials and business stationery developed in Year 2, to produce an integrated suite of effective marketing materials and a promotional strategy that clearly positions the student as a professional practitioner in their chosen commercial context.

BACM303 Creative and Professional Conclusion

This module represents the culmination of the knowledge, skills and understanding acquired throughout the entirety of the student’s study on the programme through the engagement in a project that is the result of a self-initiated or self-selected brief.

Building on the professional networks and industry contacts established in BACM302, students will be encouraged, where possible, to develop this body of work as a live project, working in conjunction with a client to produce a publishable outcome.

BACM304 Contexts of Practice 3

This module provides students with two pathways. Each pathway supports the development of independent critical thinking and requires them to consider and contextualise their practice by situating it within a wider set of discourses and contexts. Pathway One is an opportunity to conduct a substantive piece of independent research, which is focused on an area related to your creative practice. Pathway Two is a practice-led research project, with critical commentary.

 

Module details listed above are indicative content only.

BA (Hons) Digital Media Production — Staff

Andrew James
Joint Programme Leader

Andrew James is a successful filmmaker, performer and artist with over twenty years experience working freelance both in the UK and internationally. His practice combines choreography, shooting film, installations and working with sonic artists, with a focus on cross-disciplinary collaboration. He has extensive experience working in the art departments for TV, adverts, animation and theatre.

Andrew studied for a BA (Hons) in Photography, Film and Video at London College of Communication and also has an MA in Contemporary Film Practice from the University of Plymouth. Andrew has written for The International Journal of Screendance and has been lecturing in film since 2009. He is also a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, a British professional institution promoting excellence in higher education that awards fellowships as a method of professional recognition for university teachers.

In his role as a lecturer, Andrew has developed a range of skills and approaches to supporting students’ creative development, including innovative practical workshops where the creative, technical and conceptual aspects of the art form can be experienced, comprehended and applied.

Alongside being actively involved in performance art projects such as Claudia Kappenberg’s ‘Slow Race’, Andrew’s professional experience includes shooting commercials for some of the biggest brands in the world, including directing the drone unit for an Oakley advert, featuring the brand’s world class surfers riding waves on location in Costa Rica.   

Chris Bailey
Joint Programme Leader

Chris Bailey is a filmmaker, creative entrepreneur and lecturer. After studying for a BA (Hons) in Writing For the Media at Exeter University, he went on to do an MA in Film at the University of Reading, with a focus on collaborative arts and participatory video. Alongside his strong academic background, Chris has a great deal of experience in the commercial side of the industry, as he runs his own production business, OPENhand Creative. He has been lecturing in FE and HE since 2014. His experience covers practical filmmaking, script writing, writing copy, PR and promotional activity.

With a passion for all things film and TV, Chris is a committee member of the Royal Television Society (SW) and has had one of his short films selected as part of a BAFTA showcase. Chris is also a founding member of Imperfect Orchestra, which works with emerging film and video artist filmmakers, as well as with established films, to create 'live soundtrack events'. Chris also works with Plymouth Music Education Hub and has run a host of community film and video workshops over the years.

The staff listed on this programme are correct at the time of writing. Students will be notified if there are any changes to key staff (i.e. Programme Leaders and Lecturers).

BA (Hons) Digital Media Production — Student Work

THE STEPMOTHER - 2ND YEAR DMP COLLABORATION

FINDING THE WAY – ALICE SPOSITO

TAXI DRIVER – CHANNEL HOP EXERCISE

CHALLENGING THE STATUS QUO - BETSHY SANCHEZ MARRUGO

BEN HOBBY-OSMAN – SPONGE PROMO

INSOMNIA - Alice Sposito

CHANNEL HOP – FMM 01

BETSHY SANCHEZ – MARRUGO – FEMINISM A FASHION STORY

ALICE SPOSITO – SPONGE PROMO

CHANNEL HOP – FMM 02

ZOE WALTON – SWIFTA HIPPIES

ZOE WALTON MELDING THE MULTIVERSE

BEN HOBBY-OSMAN – REGAINING CONTROL DOC

BA (Hons) Digital Media Production — Students Say

BA (Hons) Digital Media Production — Careers & Alumni

The academic and technical team are all experienced industry professionals, having worked with clients such as Honda, Oakley, Channel 4 and the BBC.

You will be expected to undertake professional development work across a wide range of commissions for external and internal clients, gaining vital exposure to media in the real world.

Through practical training you will build contacts, create innovative content for your showreel and professional portfolio, and contribute new ideas to the media industry.

Our strong international connections also allow our students to take a semester of study with one of our partner institutions within Europe and North America, and in turn, we welcome overseas students from those institutions to join us in our studios, creating an exciting cultural exchange.

Graduates go on to work in:

  • New media
  • Multimedia, crossmedia, transmedia
  • Film
  • Television
  • Visual and digital art
  • Advertising and corporate media

Graduates become:

  • Filmmakers
  • Multimedia Artists
  • Transmedia Storytellers
  • Broadcasters
  • Vloggers
  • Documentary Makers
  • Citizen Journalists
  • Directors
  • Producers
  • Production Designers
  • Art Directors
  • Sound Designers
  • Cinematographers
  • Editors / Post-Production
  • Visual Effects (VFX) Artists

Careers & Enterprise in the Curriculum’ at Plymouth College of Art 

Professional practice is embedded within all of our programmes.  Throughout your studies, you will have the opportunity to develop the key professional, transferable skills for employability in the creative industries and potentially work in partnership with other sectors locally, regionally, nationally or internationally.

From writing and making the most of your CV to gaining industry experience, the acquisition of professional skills has been written into the programmes of study by our staff teams, who have ‘real world’ experience. They are also supported by our Industry Liaison Groups, who help inform the development of the higher education curriculum.

BA (Hons) Digital Media Production — Entry Requirements

BA (Hons) Digital Media Production — Resources

You will have access to the latest in media production technologies to support your work.

We boast industry-standard tools – including an infinity cove to create seamless backdrops, green screen, sound and editing facilities, along with the 6,000 pieces of kit in our Equipment Resource Centre – enabling you to realise your talents and ideas. Plymouth College of Art also encourages you to access the resources and specialist technicians across our range of art and design programmes, greatly enhancing your projects and opportunities for collaboration.

Our Careers & Enterprise office provides support from a dedicated team who are purely focused on developing creative opportunities. And this doesn’t stop when you graduate – we want to keep in contact and help support you through the first two years of your career.

Facilities at the college include:


Animation, Film and Photography Studios

Our students make full use of our industry-standard dedicated studio spaces – including our infinity cove, green screen, and specialist sound studio (with Foley pit and vocal recording booth) – plus our stop-motion suite, our darkrooms, and plenty of individual edit suites, all up-to-date with the latest industry-standard software.

Drawing Studios

With north-facing windows, a ‘methods and process’ area, individual studio space and a specialist life-drawing studio, our impressive, open-plan, triple-height Drawing Studio is a huge space, perfect for many different activities and specialisms.

Fab Lab

Our ‘fabrication laboratory’ is kitted-out with the latest in digital design technologies – from 3D printers to 3D scanners, a vinyl cutter, CNC milling machine, CNC router and laser cutter. It adds a whole new level of opportunity for students across all creative walks of life.

Fine Art Printmaking Studios

A fantastic facility supporting fine art printmaking, our dedicated space caters for a wide range of programmes and processes. You’ll get access to a 150-year-old Columbian press, an Albion press, an historic and rare wallpaper press, and an automatic FAG proofing press, plus a broad selection of metal and wood type, vacuum screen-printing beds, and four etching presses.

Create your own film poster in our fully-equipped printmaking studios.

Jewellery Design Studio

Housed in our fantastic new Craft, Design and Fabrication Workshops, this stunning space provides everything for contemporary and traditional techniques in jewellery design, including benches supplied with gas and oxygen, in-house metal casting resources, hand and machine-forming tools, facilities for vitreous enamelling, and a separate chemical room for etching, anodising and patternation. We also have larger metalwork equipment for welding, brazing, cutting and grinding.

The Print Lab and Equipment Resource Centre

The Print Lab offers affordable and quick print services for all our students who are looking for anything from large-format or solvent printing, to photo printing, scanning or vinyl cutting, and a wide range of finishing services. And our highly experienced Equipment Resource staff can advise you on which of our 6,000 pieces of industry-standard kit – from underwater cameras to traditional large format cameras and all free to hire – will best meet your needs.

Textile Studios

With views out to sea and 35 metres of print tables to encourage experimentation, our Printed Textile Design Studios also boast a fantastic Mimaki fabric printer, digital embroidery resources, industrial sewing machines, sublimation printers, a dye lab, heat presses, a tufting gun and a Mac suite. It’s got to be one of the best printed textile workshops in the UK.

Woods and Plastics Workshop

Alongside the latest in new technology, we value the long-standing traditions of making in wood and plastics – and have developed an excellently-resourced workshop that is open to all our students. It boasts a wide range of kit, including an impressive CNC router, plenty of saws and lathes, and strip-heaters, as well as greenwood-working facilities.

Our FabLab.

Our Photographic cove.

BA (Hons) Digital Media Production — Interview

UCAS Code: W690 Full Time
Part Time

UNISTATS

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