AD3044 - Film Foundations

What will I learn on this module?

The module introduces you to a range of core practical film production and creative skills, as well as developing transferable personal skills to support your future study and employability. You will also build your knowledge and understanding of the processes, trends and issues in the contemporary media landscape.

You will be introduced to practical and creative skills including pitching, writing, production research, production logistics, scheduling, storyboarding and directing, in addition to the creative and technical fundamentals of camera, sound and editing operations. You will learn essential softer skills such as time management, interpersonal skills, risk assessment, presentation and negotiation skills – all of which help to prepare you for your choice of degree path. You will also acquire critical and reflective skills, as you respond to your own work and that of others, reflect on your own personal development, and set yourself goals for improvement.
Your knowledge will grow to include an understanding of different styles and approaches to storytelling and film content, across a range of film activities, sitting your work alongside that of other filmmakers and increasing your awareness of the range of formal approaches across a wide range of media production. You’ll also progress with a solid grounding in principles of risk assessment, to ensure safe filming practice.

How will I learn on this module?

You will learn through lectures, workshops, seminars, practical exercises and independent learning, both individually and in groups. The majority of the teaching will be in the form of workshops and seminars, giving you the opportunity to participate in discussion about the topics being taught. This will be reinforced by independent study, written work, and practical exercises, carried out by you and resulting in feedback on your progress. As the module progresses, you will acquire the necessary skills to begin carrying out your own film productions, and at this stage the teaching emphasis will gradually change from practical workshops and assignments to support and feedback as you carry out, group-based, short film productions. Peer feedback becomes an important part of your learning, as students take the opportunity to watch and offer feedback on each other’s emerging work. In the final section of the module, once team productions are complete, you will then carry out a self-assessment exercise.

The final assessment is via the submission of a short, collaborative, documentary and written analysis that reflects upon the processes involved in filmmaking exercises undertaken throughout the module.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

There will be opportunities to discuss and share practical and written work in development at various stages in the module. Group workshops and seminars will support you through the various stages of research and planning for your planned project. You will be mentored through the practical production process by members of the staff team with professional experience. You will be offered formative feedback from your tutor and mentors based on the work you share. Your tutor will also encourage you to use these sessions as an opportunity to plan further work, and to develop your confidence in talking about your own practice.

Your module tutor will also be available for subsequent follow up tutorials to discuss all aspects of your project and to provide you with more detailed feedback, ensuring that you are on track with all aspects of your work in the lead up towards your assessment.

Relevant module materials will also be made available to you via the Blackboard online learning portal. The electronic learning portal is a big source of support material throughout the module. This contains important documents pertaining to each stage of the production process, e.g. ‘How to…’ guides on completing proposals, scripts and treatments.

Outside teaching hours, staff are available to offer advice and support via email and designated office hours. Every student will also have a designated personal tutor, who offers individual support and guidance to make sure every student gets the most from their academic studies.

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. To demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the basic principles which govern modes of filmmaking - research, scripting and production management.

2. To demonstrate knowledge and understanding around the wider scope of production processes on a variety of introductory film production activities, as well as basic proficiency in using the relevant technology, camera operation, sound recording and editing.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
3. To develop basic skills and approaches to both the practical and creative aspects of filmmaking and to be able to evidence these alongside initiative, organisational skills and time management.

4. To cultivate a developing critical engagement with your own practice, by reflecting on and analysing the process of learning and skill development, and demonstrate critical ability by writing a critique of your own production and processes.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
5. To demonstrate an understanding of the scope and range of the ethical considerations which are all central to film productions.

How will I be assessed?

You will receive formative verbal feedback during the seminars throughout the module as you work through the practical tasks required – MLOs 1 - 4.

The summative assessment is a short, collaborative, documentary (50%) plus a piece of written analysis (1200 words, 50%) that reflects upon the processes involved in the aforementioned exercise and the individual learning acquired.
Electronic feedback will be provided within 20 working days.

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.





Module abstract

‘Film Foundations’ introduces you to the world of filmmaking, through the creation of a short, collaborative, documentary. In the course of this semester-long module, you will experience the process of researching, planning, writing, shooting and editing your film, while also developing skills in production management, time management, group-working, and other transferable skills. You will receive instruction on camera operation, sound recording and video editing. Assessment is via the production of the documentary film as well as a piece of written analysis reflecting on your work. The module gives you a variety of transferable skill sets, useful in a number of degree pathways and careers.

Course info

UCAS Code P325

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 1 year Full Time followed by a further 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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