MP5029 - Film Professional Placement

What will I learn on this module?

This module provides a two-fold approach to your professional practice within a real world context. Classes will focus on developing a wide range of skills and knowledge to equip you for a media career, from setting up as a freelancer, through negotiating and networking skills, to employment rights and idea development. This contextual section of the module also aims to introduce you to the requirements and considerations facing graduates about to enter the media and creative industries, in order to help you start to bridge the gap between education and post-graduation employment. During this section you will develop greater awareness and first-hand experience of the industries in which you hope to work as well as hone your professional attitude, etiquette and employability skills. You will critically consider ethical dilemmas of unpaid work, and barriers to diversity, equality and career sustainability. Throughout the module, and in the lead-up to it, you will be supported in the search for a work placement or equivalent project in the media industry, which you will carry out and evaluate within the scope of the module.

In addition to the placement, the module also provides an opportunity for you to consider the skills and attributes considered most important by employers (both in the media industries and other sectors) and to set targets to address your skills gaps and boost your employability before you enter your graduation year. You will learn career development and entrepreneurial skills and will be encouraged to make a career development plan – a route map to give you a focused plan of action through your final year and well into your desired career.

How will I learn on this module?

The module will introduce you to issues of employment and work experience via means of a work placement or equivalent negotiated project, such as a live brief or series of interviews, giving you exposure to external industry practice and valuable opportunities through experiential learning. You will also be encouraged to work on a career development plan, and the specific employability skills which you will need to develop in order to embark on that plan.

One form of learning during this module will be achieved through a combination of lecture and small-group seminars, supported by a combination of online resources and face to face interaction. Lectures and some pre-recorded resources will enable the tutor or guest speaker to discuss the key dynamics of the media industries in an in-depth manner, whilst the shorter small-group seminars will be structured to reflect the core issues and themes of the module in the context of practical exercises. These sessions are focused on the research and planning necessary to build job hunting skills and plan your career launch, including identifying skills gaps to be targeted through individual targets.

The second form of learning will be the experiential learning and knowledge you will achieve via a work placement, series of interviews with professionals, a live brief or negotiated equivalent portfolio of work-based learning, to gain experience of the professional environment. Whilst you will be introduced to the requirements of this portfolio in classes, and staff will provide access to possible placements through online module resources, you will be expected to research and set up your own work-based learning project – in itself giving you valuable research skills - and record and reflect on these professional experiences to create a reflective report for submission. This part of the module will also offer student support in the form of a one to one tutorial.

This module will be entirely assessed on your delivery of a portfolio, the centrepiece of which will be the report on your work placement or equivalent project, and reflection on your career planning.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Film Professional Placement tackles the professional application of what it means to be a media practitioner in a dynamic and ever changing industrial landscape. Whilst lectures and guest speakers will provide insight into the workings of the screen industries, and the skills and contextual knowledge necessary for your own professional development, seminars will explore specific areas of employability and personal development through a series of practical exercises, supported by an individual tutorial during the second half of the module to explore planning for the work placement or equivalent programme of work. Further one to one meetings can be arranged also during drop-in student support and feedback hours.

Our careers service, Graduate Futures, offers extensive support in looking for placements, writing cover letters, developing a CV, and a host of activities and training focused on building your employability. In addition, our employer-facing placements team works constantly behind the scenes to develop new relationships with media employers and identify forthcoming productions and opportunities for work experience. You will work with staff and the Placements Team to ensure safety and that due process is followed. External media partners are also regularly drawn into the module, as appropriate, to provide expertise and live briefs. If you do a placement, your host employer will carry out risk assessments and ensure you are supported on placement, as well as being asked to provide feedback on your progress and achievements.

You will receive written feedback on your final summative submissions which will detail areas that could be improved in future work. You will also be offered the opportunity to receive further verbal feedback following this formal assessment, so that you can follow up any concerns you have regarding your critical development and future learning.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:

1. Demonstrate knowledge and critical understanding of contemporary professional work and employment practice within the screen production industries and related sectors, including entrepreneurial and commercial considerations

2. Demonstrate a knowledge of career development techniques and methods, leading to self-awareness and understanding of personal aptitudes, weaknesses and career goals

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:

3. Demonstrate enhanced employability skills, professional deportment and identity development as a result of undertaking a work placement, a live brief or equivalent programme of work-related learning

4. Synthesise, reflect on, evaluate and present experience acquired from work-related learning in order to draw up strategies for career development planning and entry to a screen production industry beyond graduation

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):

5. Reflect on and articulate ethical standpoints and debates relating to issues such as unpaid work, diversity, precarious labour, representation and wellbeing within the media industries and related creative sectors

How will I be assessed?

FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT: To prepare you successfully to undertake the summative assessment(s) on this module, formative assessments will be set by the module team. These may take the form of in-class tasks or projects, developmental activities undertaken between classes, or learning exercises/activities set over a longer period. Feedback (written and/or oral) will be provided to help you learn from, reflect on, and develop in light of these formative assessments.

Summative assessment is via a portfolio, the content of which is negotiated by you with tutors on an individual basis to ensure it addresses all MLOs.

In this portfolio you will document and reflect on a work experience placement, series of interviews, live brief production or negotiated equivalent programme of work-related learning. At the heart of the portfolio is an essay of no more than 2,000 words, reflecting on your learning experience and your career planning; plus a dossier of accompanying evidence which should not exceed a maximum of a further 3,000 words.

Part of your essay should reflect on the learning from your work-related experiences. This addresses MLOs 1, 3 & 5 in particular. Your essay should also include a section describing and reflecting on your future career planning, outlining staged career goals both up to and in the years after graduation. This will require underpinning sector research and will address MLOs 2 & 4.

Module tutors will formatively assess draft proposals and check that these proposals are appropriate to the module learning outcomes, and that they will develop your employability strategy before signing them off and monitoring your progress in achieving them.

Your work-related learning plans and career development planning are formatively evaluated verbally in class and through a tutorial. Formative feedback is in class and through the face to face tutorial. Feedback will explicitly draw attention to the ways in which future performances can be improved. Summative feedback is provided in writing but can be further explored with the module tutor verbally on request.





Module abstract

The Film Professional Placement module is designed to provide you with exposure to industry professionals, working cultures and employment practices within the screen sector. Film and TV employers have distinctive ways of project-based recruiting, building and disbanding crews of freelancers; and the industry is constantly evolving in response to changing platforms, audience tastes, technologies, commissioning practices and political regulation. You will complete a portfolio of work-based learning that will increase your understanding of the sector, your desired role within it, and the skills you need to enter it. The nature of this work-based learning is deliberately flexible, but may include a work placement, a set of interviews with industry professionals, a live brief, or a similar project to achieve the module learning outcomes - negotiated within the parameters dictated by the production environment and the opportunities available at the time of the module. In classes, you will learn about the composition of the industry’s workforce, its reliance on freelancers, the challenges of unpredictable working patterns, and its recruitment methods. You will learn about networking, contact building, basic financial planning, on-set etiquette, media CVs, interview and negotiation skills, and will learn to use career planning tools. You will encounter some of the key agencies, organisations, and support resources available to entry level workers, and will critically consider ethical dilemmas of unpaid work, and barriers to diversity, equality and career sustainability.

Course info

UCAS Code P315

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years Full Time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Arts

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024 or September 2025

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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