Film Production Technology with a Foundation Year - BSc (Hons) *

UCAS Code:
WP6F
Attendance:
Full Time (4 years)
Starting:
September 2019
Campus:

Want to study a Film Production degree? Film Production Technology with a Foundation Year ensures you will develop a range of academic and technical skills relevant to technology in film.

You’ll explore filmmaking fundamentals such narrative, composition and film theory to camera testing, designing digital production workflows and post-production.

Like the film industry itself, this course enables students to exercise a broad range of technical and creative skills with the support of the university’s cutting edge facilities and software, including our Parkside Media Centre.

About the Foundation Year

The Foundation Year course option enables you to study for our BSc (Hons) degree over an extended full-time duration of four years by including a Foundation Certificate (year one of four). The Foundation Certificate provides a broad study programme that underpins the follow-on degree. In order to progress to the next year of your degree, it is necessary to achieve a pass in all of the modules of the Foundation Certificate.

What's covered in the course?

The Film Production degree focuses on fundamental technical concepts, including the physics of sound and light being captured during production (and the tools and approaches used to do this), as well as the techniques used to digitally store and manipulate both images and audio in post-production.

The course aims to produce well rounded filmmakers with a mix of technical, creative and business skills, able to work with digital video in a variety of industries. To achieve this, as well as its focus on the process and practice of producing films, the course covers a range of important subjects, such as visual composition, narrative design, production design, the film business and cross-platform productions.

Birmingham City University is a great place to study - the city has an active and accessible film-making community, and you will be studying in the same campus as undergraduates studying a range of arts, including acting, music, photography, fashion and theatre.

You’ll also have opportunities to engage with industry, allowing a number of flexible paths to gaining work experience, including: basing selected modules around work experience, taking a placement year and working on commercial productions within the University.

The course definitely helped me with so many aspects of film and video production. From creating budgets for jobs, to understanding the technical functions of various cameras, right through to delivery formats for the projects. I certainly came out with a larger skill base and experience in filmmaking.
Josh Birch

Why Choose Us?

  • The Centre for Digital Media Technology is equipped with over 1,200 sq m of dedicated facilities, including two film/television studios, four multi-track recording studios, post-production suites, a MILO motion control rig and several editing and grading stations.
  • The course explores the fundamental technology and physics of film production, from working with light and sound, to understanding how different production and post-production tools affect the images and sound you capture. 
  • The unique combination of technical knowledge and practical production experience makes our graduates more employable and able to move more quickly into key production roles.
  • Birmingham City University is a great place to study -  the city has an active and accessible film-making community, and you will be studying in the same campus as undergraduates studying a range of arts, including acting, music, photography, fashion and theatre.
  • The course encourages  you to engage with industry, allowing a number of flexible paths to gaining work experience, including: basing selected modules around work experience, taking a placement year and working on commercial productions within the University.

Where our students go

Our students have gone on to work with companies such as:

  • Ashfields
  • Christopher Smith
  • Creative Video

And in jobs such as:

  • Film Production and Technology
  • Film Maker
  • Production Assistant

This course is open to International students

School of Computing and Digital Technology

Discover the School of Computing and Digital Technology

Visit our School site for more student work and extra information.

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Subject to approval

This course is in the final stages of approval to ensure it meets the very highest standards of quality, creativity and applied learning.

Entry Requirements

We accept a range of qualifications, the most popular of which are detailed below.

UK students
Essential

At the point of application, you must have GCSE at Grade 4 (C) or above in English Language and Mathematics. Equivalent qualifications can be considered in lieu of GCSE subjects as long as the required subjects are covered.

BB or 80 UCAS tariff points from A/AS Level with a minimum of 2 A Levels

Typical Offers
UK Qualification Requirements 2019/20
GCE A Level/ AS Level BB or 80 UCAS tariff points from A/AS Level with a minimum of 2 A Levels
Access to Higher Education Diploma 60 credits overall. Minimum of 45 credits at level 3. Including 12 technical credits at Merit or Distinction. Must already hold GCSE Mathematics and English Language Grade C or higher or the equivalent at application point.
BTEC National Diploma (12-units not including early years)/ Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Diploma D*D or combined with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 80 UCAS points 
BTEC Extended Diploma (18-units not including early years)/ Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma MMP - 80 UCAS points
BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/ Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate Combined with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 80 UCAS points 
BTEC Diploma in Foundation Studies in Art and Design Distinction
International Baccalaureate Diploma

Obtain a minimum of 24 points overall. Students who do not complete the IB Diploma and who achieve the minimum of 11 points from two High Level subjects, will be considered on the basis of their IB Certificates.

For students who do not already hold a GCSE in Mathematics at Grade C/4 or above grade 5 in Maths (Standard Level) from the IB Diploma will be accepted. For students who do not already hold a GCSE in English Language at Grade C/4 or above Standard Level English Language (not literature) Group A English Group A - Grade 4 or above, OR English Group B Grade 5 from the IB will be accepted.

A combination of GCSEs, A-levels and IB certificates will be considered on a case by case basis.

Irish Leaving Certificate

Pass the Irish Leaving Certificate with a minimum of 80 tariff points, achieved in four Higher level subjects. This must include Maths and English Language taken at either Ordinary level (minimum grade O1-O4 (or A-C/A1-C3)) or Higher level (minimum H3/D1 taken from three subjects).

Higher levels to include Mathematics at Higher levels.

Scottish Higher/ Advanced Higher

Achieve a minimum of 80 tariff points achieved in either three Advanced Highers or from a combination of two Advanced Highers plus two Highers. Where three Advanced Highers have been taken achieve a minimum of grades CDD.

Where a combination of Highers and Advanced Highers have been taken you must achieve (grades of DD in two Advanced Highers plus grades of DD in two Highers).

Welsh Baccalaureate (core plus options) Combined with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 80 UCAS points 
Other qualifications
If you have a qualification that is not listed in the table please refer to our full entry requirements on UCAS.

Further guidance on tariff points can be found on the UCAS website.
EU/International students
Essential
EU/Non-EU (International) Qualifications Requirements 2019/20
IELTS 6.0 overall with 5.5 minimum in all bands
International Baccalaureate Diploma (or equivalent, including internationally accredited Foundation courses).

Obtain a minimum of 24 points overall. Students who do not complete the IB Diploma and who achieve the minimum of 11 points from two High Level subjects, will be considered on the basis of their IB Certificates.

For students who do not already hold a GCSE in Mathematics at Grade C/4 or above grade 5 in Maths (Standard Level) from the IB Diploma will be accepted. For students who do not already hold a GCSE in English Language at Grade C/4 or above Standard Level English Language (not literature) Group A English Group A - Grade 4 or above, OR English Group B Grade 5 from the IB will be accepted.

A combination of GCSEs, A-levels and IB certificates will be considered on a case by case basis.

Country-specific entry requirements and qualifications.

 

International students who cannot meet the direct entry requirements can begin their degree studies at Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC).

International Students

Entry requirements here

From A/AS Level with a minimum of 2 A Levels

UK or EU students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
BSc (Hons) Sep 2019 FT 4 years £9,250 per year Apply via UCAS

International Students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
BSc (Hons) Sep 2019 FT 4 years £12,300 per year

If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form and equal opportunities PDF form instead. Fees for 2019/20 will be published as soon as possible. The University reserves the right to increase fees in line with inflation based on the Retail Prices Index or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament up to a maximum of five per cent.

Guidance for UK/EU students

UCAS

UK and EU students applying for most undergraduate degree courses in the UK will need to apply through UCAS.

The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) is a UK organisation responsible for managing applications to university and college.

Applying through UCAS
 Register with UCAS
 Login to UCAS
 Complete your details
 Select your course
 Write a personal statement
 Get a reference
 Pay your application fee
 Send UCAS your application

Additional costs

  • Memory Cards – £40
  • Portable Hard Drive (1TB+) – £70

Foundation Year

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits).

Fundamental Mathematics
20 credits

The Foundation Mathematics module provides the basic knowledge and mathematical skills which will equip the students to continue their studies to an undergraduate programme. The module will be focused on mathematics related to the field of computing. The interactive taught sessions will use fundamental mathematical in discussions to broaden understanding of the theory and practice introduced in the module.

Download the full module specification

Academic and Personal Study Skills
20 credits

Academic and personal study skills are essential elements which should be applied in order to be successful in Higher Education. This module aims to help you in developing basic research skills, academic writing and reflection skills. These skills are inevitably important and will support your transition to the higher education levels of study associated with your chosen degree programme.

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Web Application Design
20 credits

This module provides the skills necessary to design a web based application around a clear understanding of the business information requirements, a structured design of an interface and the development skills necessary to implement a solution.

This module focuses on varied technologies relating to the design and development of application to meet the information needs of a business. The module will analyse and design an application that meets current web standards.

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Technology in Context
20 credits

This module will provide you with an introduction to the computing environment, different computing disciplines, and how they relate to each other. The module will consider how technology operates within their context, which will allow you to develop a broad approach to understanding how technology works and inform your future degree and career choice.

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Independent Practice
20 credits

During the journey within higher education, developing your independent study is an essential skill to support shaping the knowledge to become more useful and applied within practice. This module aims to provide you with necessary skills and tips that should support you to work independently within your discipline and to successfully apply project management tools and techniques to a mini project related to your subject discipline.

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Foundations of Programming
20 credits

Foundations of programming aims to provide you with the fundamental principles and practice-based activities needed to begin developing software programs. The module details the anatomy of a structured software program that includes the creation of a program algorithm, a logical, simple and organised program flow and the generation of pseudo and programming code.

The module uses a combination of theory and practice-based sessions designed to engage students in group and individual activities to identify the components of a software program and to apply their knowledge into hands-on software programming activities. During the module sessions you will acquire the basic skills to design and create software programs.

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Year One

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits).

Video Production
20 credits

This module will develop understanding of key digital film production processes. You will be introduced to the tools of production, including sound recording equipment and video cameras. Through the application of a ‘flipped’ curriculum you will be encouraged to become an independent learner with an approach to production work that will be ‘hands on’ from the start. This creative and technical module is designed to provide you with the knowledge and skills to follow a path of further study in practical filmmaking.

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Visual Design
20 credits

This module will develop your skills, knowledge and experience of key techniques within visual design industry – more specifically the art and craft of visual communication, visual design and digital asset creation.

The competent use and application of these techniques are core practical skills within the course programme and fundamentally important to a variety of careers within the digital media industry.

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Capture and Acquisition
20 credits

This module will develop your understanding of audio visual acquisition technologies for digital film production. The module addresses how images and audio are captured using sound and video recording equipment in a film production environment. You will understand the physical properties of sound and light and how these impact on the technology and use of film capture equipment.

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Studio Production
20 credits

A great deal of film production takes place in dedicated studios or sound stages. This generally involves large teams of people working in departments within a specified hierarchy. This module introduces you to production in a controlled environment, covering both the studio equipment and working practices within a studio. You will gain practical experience through which you can familiarise yourself with the specific roles that different crew members play in the production process.

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Sound for Film
20 credits

This module will introduce you to the technology, techniques and practical considerations involved in sound production for film and other visual media. The aim of the module is to familiarise you with the variety of possible procedures undertaken in the incorporation of sound with visuals to create a unified audio-visual experience.

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Audio and Video Technology
20 credits

This module will develop your understanding of audio visual technologies in production. The aim of this module is to provide you with the knowledge and appreciation of fundamental principles and practices of audio visual technology. You will explore the various technologies used to produce a film to a professional standard and gain a deeper understanding of the science of image and audio capture.

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Year Two

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits).

Production Practice
20 credits

Working as part of a team is the accepted modus operandi of film production, and gaining experience of the collaborative process is an invaluable asset that you can take into your professional career.

This module provides you with an understanding of the design and execution of a team production with particular focus on narrative drama. The module provides opportunities for intellectual and creative development through the application of technical knowledge, software systems and design principles to the creation of high quality digital film products.

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Narrative Design
20 credits

This module investigates the process of screenwriting and provides opportunity for you to explore this process in preparation for your final year production. Furthermore, it contributes to development of the wider key skills required for employment, through in-class activities, assessments and background research.

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Production Workflows
20 credits

The program on which this module is delivered combine the study and usage of audio visual technologies and content management systems utilized in the creation of a range of content which can be delivered to a variety of platforms. As the Film and Television industries have moved to filebased workflows, new roles and practices have come into existence to manage data in reliable and consistent ways, and ensure the safe replication, storage and migration of the ‘digital negative’. This vital link between production and post is currently filled by increasingly skilled and knowledgeable crew members, for whom the title Digital Image Technician has been officially recognised.

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Collaborative Practice
20 credits

The module is an opportunity to learn and critically reflect on the skills of collaboration by enabling you to create an interdisciplinary project with students from complementary disciplines, or with academic staff. Collaboration is a vital employability skill within the Creative Industries and this module allows you to develop these skills, making use of University facilities and with the support of academic staff.

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Post Production
20 credits

This Module focuses on the post production element of filmmaking. Specifically areas concerning editing techniques, compositing, audio finishing, colour correction and grading to aid narrative. You will learn both the technical skills of audio and video editing as well as the grammar and structure that belong to the art in order to become better storytellers.

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Research and Testing Methods
20 credits

This module will explore the fundamental concepts involved in conducting technical engineering research. It will explore the international standards and theories underpinning engineering testing and analysis. From this module you will gain knowledge to distinguish and appraise technology and understand current technical limitations, thus underpinning studies for your final year technology project and enhancing your routes into technical employment.

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Year Three

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits).

Cross Platform Media
20 credits

Within this module you will develop productions that span a number of platforms such as film, games, social media, web and VR. It provides you with an opportunity to work with students from a number of disciplines and develop an understanding of how your knowledge and skills can fit into the production workflow of different media industries.

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Professional Practice
20 credits

In order to set the skills gained across your degree programme in a wider context, you need an appreciation of business practice and current working environment, project management styles and the processes involved in gaining and completing high quality commissioned work.

Aimed specifically to the film, television, VFX, and video production industries the module will set in context these current career and work environments, building on the knowledge learnt from the first year to apply theory and use contextualised case studies to explore projects’ development, the processes involved in commissioning these projects and the financial implications behind them.

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Individual Honours Project
40 credits

The purpose of the module is to enable you to undertake a sustained, in-depth and research informed project exploring an area that is of personal interest to you. In agreement with your supervisor, you will decide upon your topic which will take the form of a practical outcome (artefact) with accompanying contextual material. The main consideration when choosing your topic is that it must be aligned to the programme you are studying, and you should consider the relevance of this topic to your future academic or professional development.

At this level, you will be expected to work independently but you will receive additional one-to-one support from your supervisor, who will be familiar with your chosen topic area. As you progress on the module, extra support will be available and this may take the form of group seminars, workshops and online materials that will help to develop your project. 

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Production Project
40 credits

Working in the wider community of production, it is important to consider your part in the overall creation of an artefact. Being able to work independently; demonstrating problem solving skills; identifying and improving your own performance and; working other team members, are all traits that will be demanded of you in a typical work-place setting.

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Attendance requirements

There are 30 attendance weeks in each academic year.

A typical week on this course will include 13 hours of contact time over four days, plus self study time.

Further study

On completion of this course students have continued on to study our MA in Film Marketing and Distribution.

At course completion, there is a high level of interest for further study. This relates to the need to continue to research and practice, as a core activity, but also recognises statistical evidence that says that in 2014 the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills noted that someone with a Master’s degree earns on average £9,000 more per year than someone with a degree qualification, which, when coupled with the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (2014) observation that one in seven jobs will require a postgraduate qualification by 2022, the importance of postgraduate study to employability is increasingly significant.

Student stories

Alice Barlow, graduate of the Film Production Technology undergraduate degree course at Birmingham City University, was the winner of the School of Computing and Digital Technology prize at her graduation ceremony in 2014.

Josh Birch

When Josh Birch enrolled on a BSc (Hons) Film Production Technology course, he wasn’t sure of where the career path would take him. A year on after graduating, he has worked around the world and done some incredible filming.

Find out more about Josh

Student stories Andrew Bond

Mentored by one of the UK’s most Respected Actors

When BSc (Hons) Film Production Technology student Andrew Bond started his studies at Birmingham City University, little did he know that it would lead to him being mentored by one of the UK’s most respected actors.

He was chosen by Idris Elba, star of ‘Luther’ and ‘Mandela’, as his protégé for Samsung’s ‘Launching People’ project, which searched for the brightest young talent in the fields of food, film, music and photography.

Enhancing employability skills

Engaging with industry and gaining work experience during your studies is essential if you are going to be taken seriously in the job market. Getting work experience in film production can be challenging, so we encourage you to be agile and help you engage with a board range of opportunities available.

The University is eager to recognise students who have made the effort to gain industry experience and stand out from the typical graduate, and thus it offers a range options for you to get extra awards and recognition for your work in industry.

You have the option undertake an assessed sandwich year between your second and third year, which will provide you with valuable work experience and give you the real-life skills you need.

The second-year Collaborative Practice and final-year Production Project modules have been designed so that you can use your work in industry as a basis for the module’s assessment.

The university has a Graduate+ programme, an extracurricular awards framework that is designed to augment the subject-based skills that you’ve developed throughout the programme with broader employability attributes, which will enhance your employability options upon graduating.

Placements

There are a range of opportunities for student to gain industry experience, examples of activities our student have done include:

  • Working as a runner on one of our commercial productions 
  • Working for crewing agencies
  • Working part-time for a production company
  • Doing a placement year between the second and third year of the course
  • Submitting work to crowdsourcing competitions and film festivals
  • Collaborating with other students and local film makers on productions
  • Setting up a YouTube channel
  • Working directly for clients
  • Organising and running events.

OpportUNIty

OpportUNIty Student Ambassador

OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.

It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.

Graduate jobs

Graduates have gone for companies and organisations such as ITV, Red Bull, Red Planet Pictures and work on productions for Working Title, Studio Canal, RDF Television, Objective Productions, Channel 4, Sky and Buffalo Pictures. Students from this course have also gone onto study at the National Film and Television School.

The skills and knowledge you'll gain throughout the programme will allow you to tackle various jobs within the field. You'll have experience of using industry-standard large sensor digital camera rigs, with follow focus, matte box and interchangeable lenses.

The careers available to you after this course are vast and exciting. You will be skilled to take on a number of roles, including: film producer, film director, first assistant director, producer, production manager, production assistant, editor, camera operator, director of photography, lighting technician, production sound mixer and much more!

You may also choose to take on freelance or fixed roles, such as: unit manager, location manager, sound assistant, boom operator, screenwriter, script editor, script reader and film distributor – the list really is extensive! Throughout the course we will help you to nurture your own creative flair and personal interests, and guide you towards a working professional role.

Birmingham City University is a vibrant and multicultural university in the heart of a modern and diverse city. We welcome many international students every year – there are currently students from more than 80 countries among our student community.

The University is conveniently placed, with Birmingham International Airport nearby and first-rate transport connections to London and the rest of the UK.

Our international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:

As an international student on this course you will benefit from studying alongside a diverse range of students, all with different backgrounds and experience. In addition to this the course is led by tutors with international experience. You will have the chance to draw upon the diverse cultures and wealth of experience from your fellow students, learning new skills and sharing your own knowledge.

As an international student you will benefit from studying in close proximity to the UK’s diverse and continuously changing creative industries, and you are encouraged to engage and regularly network with these industries. Through practice-based teaching you will develop an in-depth understanding of digital media technology practices within the UK and further afield.

You have the chance to earn while you learn, taking on various roles through the University’s in-house employment scheme: OpportUNIty. You will also be able to access personal and academic support services, as well as help and advice tailored specifically for you. Through an international orientation and welcome week you will be able to adjust to life within the UK, preparing you for your studies! 

Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC)

International students who have a serious interest in studying with us but who perhaps cannot meet the direct entry requirements, academic or English, or who have been out of education for some time, can enter Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC) and begin their degree studies.

BCUIC

BCUIC is part of the global Navitas Group, an internationally recognised education provider, and the partnership allows students to access the University’s facilities and services and move seamlessly through to achieving a Bachelor’s degree from Birmingham City University.

Learn more about BCUIC

Popular home countries

Our students come from around the world, but our Film Production Technology course is particularly popular with students from Hong Kong and Eastern Europe.

Our Facilities

The course is supported with cutting-edge facilities, including the University’s Parkside Media Centre, which is equipped with over 1,200 sq m of dedicated equipment, including three film/television studios, dedicated green screen studio, post-production facilities, MILO motion control rig, multi-track recording studios, and several editing and grading stations.

You have access to the industry standard software used on the course such as Adobe Creative Cloud, Final Cut Pro, AVID and Logic. Most of these tools are also available in our dedicated open access areas and our library which is open 24 hours a day. Laptops can also be hired out used in other spaces within the University.

Cameras, light and grip equipment can be hired for free from our hires and loans team. Equipment available includes: 4K cameras, high-end HD cinema style cameras with follow focus and matte boxes, a range of DSLR cameras, a range of different lights, soft boxes, flags, reflectors, a range of different tripods, stands, dollies, steady cams and jib arms.

Within the Centre there is an internationally recognised research team, DMT labs, specialising in mixed reality, intelligent animation, automated grading and compositing and human perception. This research team is involved in the delivery of this course, providing opportunities to join them as a post-graduate researcher on completion of the course.

Stephen Gordon

Senior Lecturer

Stephen is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Digital Media Technology.

He has worked for five years at the University, teaching video production on various courses.

Giving students the skills needed to work in the industry is central to how Stephen Gordon works. Keen to maintain his handle on the world of video production, he keeps in regular contact with those working in the field, looking at new technological developments and how they are being applied in the field.

Mathew Randall

Programme Leader, Film and Image

Mathew has been working with computer graphics since the mid-1990s and has been involved in moving image production for over 10 years. Coming from an academic background in multimedia, he has extensive experience in real-time computer graphics and rendering, designing and developing user interfaces, games, systems for visualising data and signals, video systems for concerts and festivals, interactive sonic and video installations and real-time generative art.

Michael Bickerton

Lecturer

Since 1997, Michael has been involved with Moving Image production as well as lecturing on a range of moving image courses (including the highly successful UK Film Council's Introduction to Screenwriting courses in the West Midlands region).

Prior to his current responsibility as Course Director for Birmingham City University's BSc Film Production and Technology course, he previously taught in an Ofsted-rated 'outstanding' further education college.

Jay Patel

Senior Lecturer

Jay is a Lecturer in the School of Digital Media Technology. Jay has been involved with the delivery of ERDF projects. Since the successful completion of these projects he has moved into teaching. He currently delivers a variety of modules such as Audio Visual Technology, Moving Image Technology and Mathematics for Media.