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  • Develop as a critical film scholar and a gain a solid grounding for careers in TV, film and media
  • Enjoy the freedom to study your favourite genres and periods of cinema while discovering lots of new forms, faces and fields within film
  • Watch a lot of terrific films – and discuss and debate them at lively, interactive seminars
  • Hone your creative writing skills and deepen your understanding of the craft of scriptwriting and screenplay development
  • Take advantage of outstanding industry-standard facilities to learn practical film techniques and skills at our on-campus Multimedia Centre

Behind every film and TV programme is the creative mind that wrote the screenplay. Could that person be you? Is your dream to pen a Hollywood blockbuster, a BAFTA-winning TV drama, or a quirky, independent film? Our Film Studies and Screenwriting course is ideal for you if you are passionate about film and determined to produce creative work within the industry.

On our three-year degree programme you acquire the foundational knowledge with which to analyse film and film scripts within relevant and informing historical, cultural, national and institutional contexts

Watching, discussing and studying a wide spectrum of film genres, from Hollywood blockbusters to French art-house classics, gives you a deep appreciation of the creative process. By engaging critically with film texts, you deepen your appreciation of narrative structure, technique and aesthetics, and your understanding of how filmmakers represent class, race and sexuality. At the same time, analysing the art and practice of screenwriting develops your writing skills and capacity to critique the quality of your own work.

You undertake practical work which develops integrated knowledge of a wide range of theoretical concepts. It also gives you the ability to employ methodological skills and tools relevant to careers in scriptwriting, screenplay development and other creative text production roles in the media/film industry.

You are taught by a team of film specialists and industry professionals with different backgrounds, whose diverse research expertise is reflected in the breadth and scope of the curriculum.

In the first year, you take core academic Film Studies modules, such as Reading Film and Film Criticism, as well as core Screenwriting modules, including Creating Short Screenplays and Script Report Writing.

By Year 2, you are ready to deepen your understanding of the writing process with core modules on research skills, Screenwriting, and Scriptwriting for Mainstream Television. You also have the flexibility to choose five optional modules which may include Telling True Stories, Science Fiction and Fantasy, and Contemporary European Cinemas.

In the last year, you choose at least three Film Studies and three Screenwriting optional modules, as well as a subject for your dissertation. Film Studies options may include Film and the City, and Cult Film and Art Cinema. Screenwriting options may include Film Script Development, and Advanced Screenwriting.

Many of our graduates go on to creative careers in film or television, as writers and script editors. Others find work in production, journalism, teaching, and other professions requiring advanced communication skills.


Graduates pursue careers in film- and television related industries as professional writers, script editors or in production, journalism, teaching, or other professions requiring advanced communication skills.

94.4% of our 2015/16 graduates (first degree and other undergraduate courses) were in employment and/or further study six months after completing their course.

The Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) record collects information about what those completing university go on to do six months after graduation. The Careers Service undertakes DLHE on an annual basis through surveys and a data collection process. DLHE is designed and strictly controlled by HESA.

Pre-approved for a Masters

If you study a Bachelor Honours degrees with us, you will be pre-approved to start a Masters degree at Winchester. To be eligible, you will need to apply by the end of March in the final year of your degree and meet the entry requirements of your chosen Masters degree.


Suitable for applicants from

UK, EU, World

Work placements

Students have the opportunity to take part in field trips and gain work experience through volunteering.

Study abroad

Our BA (Hons) Film Studies and Screenwriting course provides an opportunity for you to study abroad in the United States of America (USA) and Japan.

For more information see our Study Abroad section.

Learning and teaching

Our aim is to shape 'confident learners' by enabling you to develop the skills needed to excel in your studies here and as well as onto further studies or the employment market. 

You are taught primarily through a combination of lectures and seminars, allowing opportunities to discuss and develop your understanding of topics covered in lectures in smaller groups.

In addition to the formally scheduled contact time such as lectures and seminars etc.), you are encouraged to access academic support from staff within the course team, your personal tutor and the wide range of services available to you within the University.

Independent learning

Over the duration of your course, you will be expected to develop independent and critical learning, progressively building confidence and expertise through independent and collaborative research, problem-solving and analysis with the support of staff. You take responsibility for your own learning and are encouraged to make use of the wide range of available learning resources available.

Overall workload

Your overall workload consists of class contact hours, independent learning and assessment activity.

While your actual contact hours may depend on the optional modules you select, the following information gives an indication of how much time you will need to allocate to different activities at each level of the course.

Year 1 (Level 4): Timetabled teaching and learning activity*
  • Teaching, learning and assessment: 276 hours
  • Independent learning: 924 hours
Year 2 (Level 5): Timetabled teaching and learning activity*
  • Teaching, learning and assessment: 276 hours
  • Independent learning: 912 hours
  • Placement: 12 hours
Year 3 (Level 6): Timetabled teaching and learning activity*
  • Teaching, learning and assessment: 264 hours
  • Independent learning: 936 hours

*Please note these are indicative hours for the course.  


King Alfred or West Downs, University of Winchester


Our validated courses may adopt a range of means of assessing your learning. An indicative, and not necessarily comprehensive, list of assessment types you might encounter includes essays, portfolios, supervised independent work, presentations, written exams, or practical performances.

We ensure all students have an equal opportunity to achieve module learning outcomes. As such, where appropriate and necessary, students with recognised disabilities may have alternative assignments set that continue to test how successfully they have met the module's learning outcomes. Further details on assessment types used on the course you are interested in can be found on the course page, by attending an Open Day or Open Evening, or contacting our teaching staff.

Percentage of the course assessed by coursework

The assessment balance between examination and coursework depends to some extent on the optional modules you choose. The approximate percentage of the course assessed by different assessment modes is as follows:

Year 1 (Level 4)*:
  • 84% coursework
  • 6% written exams
  • 10% practical exams
Year 2 (Level 5)*:
  • 88% coursework
  • 0% written exams
  • 12% practical exams
Year 3 (Level 6)*:
  • 80% coursework
  • 0% written exams
  • 20% practical exams

*Please note these are indicative percentages and modes for the programme.


We are committed to providing timely and appropriate feedback to you on your academic progress and achievement in order to enable you to reflect on your progress and plan your academic and skills development effectively. You are also encouraged to seek additional feedback from your course tutors.

Further information

For more information about our regulations for this course, please see our Academic Regulations, Policies and Procedures.


2018 Entry: 96-112 points

A GCSE A*-C or 9-4 pass in English Language is required.

International Baccalaureate: 25 points

If English is not your first language:

Year 1/Level 4: IELTS 6.0 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in writing or equivalent

Course enquiries and applications

Telephone: +44 (0) 1962 827234

Send us a message

International students

If you are living outside of the UK or Europe, you can find out more about how to join this course by emailing our International Recruitment Team at or calling +44 (0)1962 827023

Visit us

Explore our campus and find out more about studying at Winchester by coming to one of our Open Days.

Year 1 (Level 4)

Modules Credits

Script Report Writing
The Director: Auteur Filmmaking 15

This module offers students the opportunity to gain a core understanding of how the film director composes and populates the frame in furtherance of creating meaning.  Students will explore how a director’s voice can be read as being the ‘author’ of a film through the creation of mise-en-scene. An individual micro-film project is designed to advance student understanding and development of directing a micro-film, one that focuses on to create basic mise-en-scene elements in furtherance of developing an original vision for the script. An individual case-study affords students the opportunity to critically analyse a film director as ‘auteur’. Students undertake a formative task to pitch their story concept and plans for mise-en-scene to the tutor for project progression feedback.

Film Narrative 15

This module will build upon knowledge of filmic procedures acquired in Semester 1 by extending analytical skills in relation to the operation of film narrative. A number of narratological models will be introduced, explored and tested against a range of films. The textual focus of the module is historical rather than contemporary, and different narrative forms examined will include early and silent cinema, classical Hollywood narrative, German Expressionist cinema, Soviet montage cinema and post-World War II European art cinema.

Film Form, History and Culture 15

The module will introduce students to various histories of cinema and the ways that cinema history can be constructed. Through an exploration of a range of national and international cinema movements and styles, students will examine the significance of cultural and historical contexts and their relationship to film texts. Key factors, including economic, social, cultural, political and geographical influences, will be analysed to explore significant moments of film history such as pre-cinema, German Expressionism, the Hollywood studio system, Post-Classical Hollywood, ‘Third Cinema’, the French New Wave and Dogme 95.

Genre Filmmaking 15

This module offers students the opportunity to gain a core understanding of film genres and their application to filmmaking and to creating meaning within the frame. Students will explore how genre is created through semiology (the use of signs and symbols) within the frame to express a range of meanings and how they support narrative.  A group film project is designed to advance student understanding and development of filmmaking creative practices. Students undertake an individual case-study examining a genre film or a director working within a particular genre. A formative task pitching the group film project idea and planned framic elements affords project progression tutor feedback.

Creating Short Screenplays 15

In this module, students have the opportunity to develop basic scriptwriting skills by focusing specifically on the study and writing of short screenplays. The focus will be on analysis and implementation of narrative devices (including narrative shortcuts and use of sound), development of story and character (and the inter-relationship between the two), and on skills in writing visually and succinctly. The particular character of the ‘short’ screenplay will be examined, analysed and practiced. Scripts will be written with a view that they be made as a short film in Semester 2 for the ‘Producing Drama’ module. A formative task involves an ideas pitch for tutor feedback.

Film Criticism 15

This module introduces students to the academic study of film through the analysis of mainstream contemporary cinema. Certain concepts, theories and critical paradigms central to Film Studies will be outlined. These will include notions relating to genre and to star study, the debates attending film authorship and critical and theoretical work that draws upon psychoanalysis and feminism. Students will in addition be introduced to the concepts of semiotics and ideology, and to matters pertaining to spectatorship and audience reception.

Reading Film 15

Running parallel to the theoretical strand, Film Criticism, and focusing on contemporary mainstream films, the module will offer an introduction to the basic procedures for reading film, writing about film and the terminology most widely used in film analysis. Methods of close textual analysis will be explored, foregrounding major filmic devices, or procedures, such as mise-en-scène, editing, sound and narrative. The module will help students explore and evaluate ways in which these devices contribute to meaning.

Year 2 (Level 5)

Modules Credits

Researching Film Studies 15

The module centres upon the independent research of primary and secondary sources that is an essential part of the successful undergraduate study of film, and through this enables students to pursue their own areas of study. The module correspondingly provides preparation for the Extended Independent Study (Dissertation) that Single Honours students undertake as a compulsory component of their studies in Year 3. Students will engage with research techniques and further develop their critical and theoretical understanding while working on a 3000-word research project on an area of film of their own choice. Each year the module will have, as a way of focusing discussion, a thematic nucleus, which might comprise the consideration of, for example, a particular national cinema, filmmaking within a particular decade, a particular genre or the work of a particular filmmaker.

Screenwriting 15

The Screenwriting module invites students to explore the various techniques and formats of writing for cinema and television. Students will be given the opportunity to consider the relationship between the written word and the visual medium. Importantly, they will be allowed to develop their own writing skills and learn the basic principles of script development and presentation.

Screenwriting and Character 15

Building on the Level 4 module Creating Short Screenplays, and on the demands of drama production, students explore the central role of the scriptwriter in the film production process. Whilst acknowledging the collaborative process involved in the development of initial ideas for the screen, students will also have the opportunity to develop their own sustained screenwriting style with an emphasis on the importance of character in the production of engaging screen narratives.  The module is designed to facilitate those students choosing the Level 6 Adaptations option module and those writing a feature length screenplay for their EIS Level 6 Final Major Project. A formative task affords project progression tutor feedback.

Approaches to Film 15

The module introduces and critically examines various, and variously influential, attempts to theorise the reciprocal concepts of ‘film’ and ‘cinema’. Building upon work undertaken in Year 1, the module seeks both to provide a conceptual understanding necessary for the honours level study of film and to develop further an historically attuned, theoretically informed critical practice.

Optional Credits

Optional Modules
  • Myths, Dreams & Creative Writing 15 Credits
  • Telling True Stories 15 Credits
  • Classical Hollywood Cinema 15 Credits
  • Post-Classical Hollywood Cinema 15 Credits
  • Contemporary European Cinema 15 Credits
  • Music and Film 15 Credits
  • Gangster and Crime Film 15 Credits
  • British Cinema - Comedy, Realism and the Imaginary 15 Credits
  • Science Fiction and Fantasy 15 Credits
  • Film Cultures and Globalization 15 Credits
  • Literature and Film
  • Literary Adaptations for Film and Television 15 Credits
  • Volunteering for Film and Television

Year 3 (Level 6)

Modules Credits

Writing Project
Extended Independent Study

The dissertation is a piece of written work of 8-10,000 words. It offers students the opportunity to undertake a sustained and detailed investigation of some area of film and to utilise and develop further a range of research skills and techniques previously introduced and developed on the BA (Hons) Film Studies programme. Subject areas and titles are determined through negotiation with a designated supervisor with whom the student will have regular tutorials to discuss and check the progress of the project.

Optional Credits

Optional Modules
  • Melodrama and Film 15 Credits
  • Film and the City 15 Credits
  • Film and Reality: Modernity, Modernism and Postmodernism 15 Credits
  • Advanced Screenwriting: Adaptations 15 Credits
  • Scriptwriting: innovating within popular forms 15 Credits
  • Creative Visions 15 Credits
  • Adapting Crime Fictions 15 Credits
  • Science Fictions & Fantasies 15 Credits
  • Authorship and Film 15 Credits
  • Stars 15 Credits
  • Cult Film and Art Cinema 15 Credits
  • Gothic Film 15 Credits
  • Killer Films 15 Credits
  • Identity and Contemporary American Film 15 Credits
  • Film Script Development 15 Credits

Please note the modules listed are correct at the time of publishing, for full-time students entering the programme in Year 1. Optional modules are listed where applicable. Please note the University cannot guarantee the availability of all modules listed and modules may be subject to change. For further information please refer to the terms and conditions at
The University will notify applicants of any changes made to the core modules listed above.

Course Tuition Fees 

UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man

If you are a UK or EU student starting your degree in September 2018, the first year will cost you £9,250. Based on this fee level, the indicative fees for a three-year degree would be £27,750 for UK and EU students. Remember, you don't have to pay any of this upfront if you are able to get a tuition fee loan from the UK Government to cover the full cost of your fees each year. If finance is a worry for you, we are here to help. Take a look at the range of support we have on offer. This is a great investment you are making in your future, so make sure you know what is on offer to support you.

Full-time £9,250 p/a

Total Cost: £27,750 (3 years) | £28,450 (sandwich option)

UK/EU Part-Time fees are calculated on a pro rata basis of the full-time fee for a 120 credit course. The fee for a single credit is £77.08 and a 15 credit module is £1,156. Part-time students can take up to a maximum 90 credits per year, so the maximum fee in a given year will be the government permitted maximum fee of £6,938

International Students

Full-time £12,950** p/a
Total Cost: £38,850** (3 years) | £39,550** (sandwich option)

International part-time fees are calculated on a pro rata basis of the full-time fee for a 120 credit course. The fee for a single credit is £107.92 and a 15 credit module is £1,620. Fees for students from Vestfold University College in Norway (who receive a 10% reduction) and NLA are £11,655.



As one of our students all of your teaching and assessments are included in your tuition fees, including, lectures/guest lectures and tutorials, seminars, laboratory sessions and specialist teaching facilities. You will also have access to a wide range of student support and IT services.


We have a variety of scholarship and bursaries available to support you financially with the cost of your course. To see if you’re eligible, please see our Scholarships and Awards.

Key course details

UCAS code
3 years full-time; 6 years part-time
Typical offer
96-112 points
King Alfred or West Downs, University of Winchester