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BA Filmmaking

Get your ideas on screen: Our filmmaking course is highly relevant and produces graduates with the required industry-specific knowledge and experience.

Overview

BA Filmmaking is a practical filmmaking programme aimed at those passionate about storytelling in cinema and television. It is a rich and challenging environment for students keen to develop their storytelling skills in a specialist area. 

The programme will let you dive deep into your chosen specialism and work collaboratively with peers in practical settings. The programme will let you choose your specialism across three years:

  • Cinematography
  • Directing
  • Editing
  • Production
  • Sound
  • Writing

BA Filmmaking has critical thinking and professional development at its core. Our workshops and seminars are designed to enhance your ability to appreciate what has gone before as you craft the stories of the future. You will benefit from industry contacts, attend masterclasses, and gain tuition from industry practitioners. We will help you develop as collaborators to work on student films, tell stories and advance your skills. The programme allows regular opportunities to share work with your peers and the staff team throughout your degree.

The important details

UK Applicant Deadline:
29 January 2025

International (including EU) Applicant Deadline:
29 January 2025

Institution Code:
R58

Programme Code:
200F

Audition Fee:
£55

Application Fee:
£28.50


Why Study Filmmaking at RCS?

 

A tutor is showing two students who to use a film camera.

A Collaborative & Caring Environment


We prepare you for a collaborative working environment by creating time and space to put what you learn into practice. The programme’s focus on a specialist area will allow you to deepen your learning in an environment where you are not boxed in.

A film light.

Industry Connections


You will benefit from our strong relationships with local hire facilities and production companies such as Blazing Griffin, STV Creative, BBC Scotland and No Drama. Industry experts will also teach you and host workshops across all disciplines.

Three students working on a film in a nightclub.

Employability Skills


From camera assistants to Hollywood screenwriters, you will join our list of successful alumni who have gone on to a range of broadcasters and production companies following graduation.

A student holds a clapper board in front of an actor.

Interdisciplinary Learning


You will study at one of the most interdisciplinary conservatoires in the world. Across RCS, you will connect with students and staff to bring your vision to life, using industry-standard equipment and technology throughout your degree programme.

Meet the Staff

Ruth Johnston

Film Production Manager

Additional Staff

We provide a mix of visiting lecturers and tutors and experienced full-time staff. Our visiting staff are current industry practitioners who are therefore able to bring the best of current sector practice into the classroom before our students take it back out to the industry. We have masterclasses with some of the best talent in the industry. 

Tutors and Visiting Lecturers 

  • Gavin Rizza (Postproduction Manager) 
  • Seamus Skinner (Visiting Lecturer, Location Sound) 
  • Travis Reeves (Visiting Lecturer, Post-Production Sound) 
  • Blair Young (Visiting Lecturer, Editing) 
  • Paul Mitchell (Kit Co-ordinator and fully licensed drone pilot)

Visiting Staff and Guest Lecturers

  • Tony Marchant 
  • Emma Thompson 
  • James McAvoy 
  • Billy Boyd 
  • Bill Paterson 
  • Peter Mackie Burns  
  • Tom Vaughn 

Seminar and Workshop Guest Professionals

  • Andrew Macdonald (Producer, Ex-Machina; Trainspotting 2)
  • Michael Hines (Director, Still Game) 
  • Jed Mercurio (Writer, Line of Duty — in conjunction with BAFTA Scotland) 
  • Helen Wright (Filmmaker and curator of The Scottish Queer International Film Festival) 
  • Peter Mackie Burns (Director, Daphne; Rialto) 

Graduate Destinations

RCS filmmaking graduates have gone on to establish themselves within the industry as independent
filmmakers, screenwriters, directors, editors and cinematographers, working with some of the world’s best-known production companies and distributors. The final-year films created by our
third-year students consistently play in festivals worldwide and have won BAFTA Scotland
New Talent and Royal Television Society (Scotland) Awards.

After RCS, some graduates choose to work freelance, while others have gone on to
postgraduate study, including with the National Film and Television School. Our graduates are employed by major broadcasters and independent production companies.

Hear from some of our graduates:

 

Alumni

Alumni of the BA Filmmaking programme include:

  • May-Ann Blanch (Class of 2021) Royal Television Society Student Awards winner, Best Drama – Sizzle.
  • Colleen Bell (Class of 2022) Royal Television Society Student Awards winner, Craft Award for Writing – The Space I Occupy.
  • Krysty Wilson-Cairns (2009) wrote the screenplay for Sam Mendes’ film 1917 (2018), for which she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay; she also co-wrote the screenplay for Edgar Wright’s Last Night in Soho (2021). 
  • Michael J Ferns (2012) is an award-winning Children’s BAFTA-nominated director whose portfolio includes work for CBBC and the Official Chart show. Michael has a flourishing career in music promos and high-end commercial work. 
  • Paul Wright’s first feature film, For Those in Peril (2013), was selected for the Cannes Film Festival and chosen to compete in Critics’ Week.

Programme Structure

BA Filmmaking is a practical filmmaking programme aimed at those passionate about storytelling in cinema and television. It is a rich and challenging environment for students keen to develop their storytelling skills in a specialist area. 

The programme will let you dive deep into your chosen specialism and work collaboratively with peers in practical settings. The programme will let you choose your specialism across three years:

  • Cinematography
  • Directing
  • Editing
  • Production
  • Sound
  • Writing

After getting a taster of all the specialisms at the beginning of Term 1, you will engage with your specialist area. Each teaching week will have a day of specialist teaching, a directed study day, and a self-study day.

Directed study days will embrace many different types of opportunities to develop your craft technically, as well as working with crew members from other areas. This will help you develop collaborative skills and put what you have learned in class into practice.

In your specialist area, you will crew small projects. You will also work on a second year production. This will begin your journey of developing the necessary skills as an assistant and working on a set. You will also work on an academic project that will give context to your practice and develop your ability to place what you do in a historical context.

You will continue to develop in your specialist area by applying knowledge in deepening layers and different
environments. You will continue to work in various formats during directed study slots and on bigger productions in your specialist role. You will manage Year 1 students who are crewed to your department. You are also expected to step into an assistant role on a Year 3 production.

Academic progress continues in the form of a larger piece of work. Your Professional Development module will focus on reaching out to the industry in preparation for your work placement in Year 3.

This year will focus on your portfolio and the transition into the industry. You will continue to work in your specialist area while preparing for your role on a final year film. We expect you to gain work placement(s) that will enhance your professional development and to lead a department on a production. You will use your knowledge and experience to manage a team, apply your creative and technical skills, and demonstrate how you can work as an effective collaborator.


Entry Requirements

Academic Requirements

  • Scottish Highers — 3 passes (grade D or above). 
  • A Levels — 2 passes.
  • International Baccalaureate — minimum score of 24 with 3 subjects at Higher Level.
  • Recognised equivalences (EU and International Entry Requirements).
  • We welcome the Scottish Baccalaureate and will accept Highers and Advanced Highers combinations.
  • We offer a flexible approach to students taking Higher over more than one academic year and who achieve their qualifications in more than one sitting. 

English language requirements

The language of study is English. Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to provide evidence of proficiency in English. We accept the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Level 6.5 (with no component below 5.5) is required. 

Direct entry 

Applications for direct entry beyond Year 1 will be considered on a case-by-case basis and by the Royal Conservatoire’s Recognition of Prior (Experiential) Learning policy. If you wish to apply for direct entry, please mark the entry point on the UCAS Conservatoires application as 2 or 3. 


Fees & Funding

Tuition fees

  • Scotland: £1,820 (for most full-time, Scottish-domiciled undergraduate students, this will be paid by SAAS. More information is available on our Fees & Funding pages) 
  • RUK: £9,250 
  • International (including EU): £27,968 

Funding & Scholarships

You can find out about the funding and scholarships available for studying at RCS by visiting our dedicated page:

Funding & Scholarships

Cost of Living & Programme Costs

In addition to tuition fees, it is estimated that you will need between £11,200 and £15,300 per year to live in Glasgow, plus programme costs. Much will depend on your lifestyle and whether your course runs for three or four terms. 

Undergraduate Programmes within the School of Drama, Dance, Production and Film have a range of associated costs related to the specific activities required and advised by the programme team. To ensure fairness and parity of experience concerning certain core programme activities a one-off payment to cover a proportion of necessary costs is required of the student at matriculation. You can find these costs in the pdf below: 

BA Filmmaking Programme Costs


How to Apply

Apply via UCAS Conservatoires

Applications are made through the UCAS Conservatoires website. The UCAS Conservatoires application system is separate from the main UCAS undergraduate application system.

You can read our guidance about using UCAS Conservatoires on our dedicated How to Apply page. 

We do not offer deferred entry. If you wish to commence in 2025, you must apply next year. 

The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland institution code is R58. You will also require the following programme code to apply: BA Filmmaking – 200F

The closing date for all on-time BA Filmmaking applications is 31 January 2024. If you submit your application after this date, we cannot guarantee that the audition panel will review your application. If you do want to submit a late application, you must contact admissions@rcs.ac.uk in the first instance to check we are accepting late applications.

Application/Audition fees

There is a UCAS Conservatoires application fee of £27.50. In addition to the application fee, each conservatoire charges an audition/interview assessment administration fee. The interview assessment administration fee is £55 for this programme. Fees are not refundable. The fees are paid via the UCAS Conservatoires website and not directly to RCS. 

We recognise that auditioning and interviewing for conservatoires, drama and ballet schools can be costly. The audition assessment administration fee allows us to offer a thorough and positive experience to all applicants. We encourage you to get in touch to ask the panel questions and find out more about the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland to see if it is the best place for you.  

We are committed to ensuring fair access to a conservatoire education for students who have the talent and potential to benefit from it, regardless of their background. In support of this, audition fee waivers are offered to applicants whose financial hardship may be a barrier to auditioning. Please see the audition fee waiver document for more information.

Policy

We have a number of policies and statements which you should read when applying to study at the Royal Conservatoire.

Please select the links below to read each policy.

References

It is your responsibility to ask two separate referees to write references and ensure that these are sent to RCS.

The references must be written by two different people and we will not accept references from family, other relatives or close friends. You can submit your UCAS Conservatoires application form and send your references at a later date, but they must be received prior to your audition date.

UCAS Conservatoires provides reference forms for you to download and send to your referees for completion.

Submission & Interview Information

All applicants will need to choose a specialist area from the point of application. These areas are: 

  • Cinematography 
  • Editing 
  • Sound (Location Recording/Post-Production) 
  • Directing 
  • Production (Management & Producing) 
  • Writing 

There will be two rounds of auditions for entry to the BA Filmmaking programme. 

Round one will require all applicants to create an Accept’d account and submit their interview material no later than the 15th of February 2024. Applicants are asked to upload specific material to their account.

As well as the personal statement written with your UCAS application, you are also asked to submit a written piece on your favourite practitioner in your chosen specialism. This should be 700 – 1000 words. 

Details of what to prepare for Round 1 for each specialism are listed below.

Details of what to prepare for Round 2 will be emailed to you in advance of your interview. Interviews will take place either in person in Glasgow or online via Zoom. 

Please provide links for up to three films that you have solely directed. A maximum of 15 minutes will be viewed.

If your submission is longer in duration, the panel will only watch the first 15 minutes.

These links should be added to your Accept’d profile.

Please provide links to work that you have shot (Max. of 15 mins.)

If longer in duration, the panel will only watch the first 15 minutes.

These links should be added/uploaded to your Accept’d profile.

Please upload a short montage of footage cut to music.

This should be 2-5 minutes in length.

The panel will not watch any more than 5 minutes of the material.

This footage should be uploaded to your Accept’d profile.

Please provide links to work that you have audio recorded and/or mixed (max. 15 minutes).

If longer in duration, the panel will only watch the first 15 minutes.

You should also submit a 500-word document which puts the work in context.

These links should be added to your Accept’d profile. 

 

 

Please submit a Portfolio that includes: 

  • 1 x Screenplay (correctly formatted) max of 10 pages
  • 1 x piece of fiction prose/poetry – max 1000 words 
  • 1 x non-fiction (the topic of choice should be about current affairs) – max 1000 words 

These should be uploaded to your Accept’d profile. 

Please submit a 500–700-word document on creative arts productions/projects that you have worked on.

This should detail the roles you took on, what you have learned, and what has led you to an interest in Production.

If possible, please provide links to these works.

Everything should be uploaded to your Accept’d account.

More from the Filmmaking Department

 

Why RCS?

We are the only place in Europe where you can study all of the performing arts on the one campus. There is a distinctive creative energy at RCS and you’ll be made to feel part of our inclusive and diverse environment from the very beginning of your studies.

Our graduates are resourceful, highly employable and members of a dynamic community of artists who make a significant impact across the globe.

At RCS, students develop not just their art but their power to use it.

Find out more 

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World Top Ten


We were voted one of the world’s Top Ten destinations to study the performing arts (QS Rankings) in 2024, the eighth time we have been placed in the top ten since the ranking was established in 2016.