Lens-based Media (top-up), BA (Hons)




Enhance your production skills in film, photography or media arts while also developing the crucial business and promotion awareness needed for a successful career in the vibrant and growing creative industries.

Students with a background in film, photography or the media arts can complete their degree with this Honours Top-up designed to equip participants with the practical, intellectual and business skills needed to develop their own professional practice or work within the wider creative industries.

Working across film or photography or a combination of the two, you’ll develop production competencies and also explore the mediums from cultural, historical and academic perspectives while working towards the production of a portfolio of creative work for public consumption.

The course will also enhance your knowledge and skills in the areas of higher research and academic writing through the undertaking of a substantial project on a lens-based subject of interest, and will increase your employability through studies in marketing and promotion and other key business skills, and the opportunity to engage with live briefs and project management.

Students on the BA (Hons) Top-up in Lens-based Media at UCW are based at our Loxton Campus, which has been purpose-built for creative arts students. You’ll have ample access to top-of-the-range camera, lighting and sound equipment at no extra charge, as well as editing suites, professional studios and dark rooms. UCW students also have exclusive access to our multimillion pound Winter Gardens redevelopment and can benefit from its dedicated higher education library, extended opening hours and bright and spacious teaching and learning facilities.

The lecturing team’s specialisms cover a range of lens-based areas – documentary and narrative filmmaking, artistic and music photography, and media arts – as well as related disciplines such as design and post-production. They also have hands-on experience of making their own films and exhibiting creative work to the public, and have professional contacts in the still and moving image sectors in Bristol, Cardiff and elsewhere in the South West. This programme also includes regular guest lectures and specialist workshops delivered by visiting experts and industry specialists.

Students on this Top-up exhibit their practical work at an end of year showcase, and are also encouraged to seek out additional exhibition opportunities and enter their work in regional and national competitions. Students also have the opportunity to shoot on location in the UK and abroad, and can attend optional visits to exhibitions and screenings at an additional cost.

Honours Top-ups are Level 6 qualifications which enable the conversion of a Foundation Degree or equivalent into a full Bachelor’s Degree. They are popular with students because earning an extra qualification for a relatively short period of study makes sense in today’s competitive jobs market. They do not need to be completed immediately after achieving prior qualifications, and they are standalone, so the result of an Honours Top-up is not affected by, for example, the proceeding Foundation Degree.

The fantastic facilities for UCW students on film and photography courses, small class sizes and increased access to our expert lecturers are what sets this course apart. So we’d love you to pay us a visit before deciding whether to apply. You can meet the team and have a look around at our next Open Day, or we can arrange a bespoke visit on a weekday during term if you’d prefer.

Please contact the course leader Richard Edkins or UCW’s HEART team for more information or if you have any questions about the course or studying at UCW.

Students who pass this course will be awarded an Honours Top-up Degree from Bath Spa University. The agreement between Bath Spa University and UCW is reviewed on an ongoing basis to ensure academic standards are maintained.

Full-time tuition fees: £7,950 per year.

Part-time tuition fees: £3,975 per year.

This covers all of the teaching and assessment elements that are required for you to complete the course.

It also includes:

  • The use of UCW camera, lighting and sound equipment and specialist editing software.
  • Attendance at guest lectures at UCW.
  • Annual £10 printing and photocopying allowance for full-time students and £5 for part-time students.
  • The use of UCW computer equipment at any of our campuses and access to Microsoft Office 365 while you are enrolled with UCW.
  • The loans of books from our libraries.
  • Access to all of the UCW student support and careers services.

It does not include:

  • Optional visits to exhibitions and screenings at an approximate cost of £35 each.
  • Optional UK and overseas residential visits at an approximate respective cost of £50 and £75 per night each.
  • While UCW endeavours to cover the cost of all materials, they may be an additional cost for some consumables, such as film.
  • Extra printing and photocopying above the £10/£5 limit.
  • The cost of books that you may wish to purchase.
  • Transport between our campuses, and to/from your partner university and any work placements. We encourage students to take advantage of termly bus passes to reduce transport costs.
  • Accommodation and other living costs.

UCW publishes its Tuition Fees Policy on the Wider Information Set page of this website.

You may also be eligible for additional financial support, depending on your circumstances.

All of the modules on this course are compulsory. Successful completion of them will lead to the award of the Level 6 Honours Top-up Degree.

Critical and contextual research (20 credits) – engage in research on a topic of interest before producing a substantive dissertation in the form of a written, video, photographic or illustrative essay.

Initial project in lens-based media (20 credits) – explore creative ideas, formulate potential project ideas and undertake initial practical experiments to develop your industry-specific knowledge and prepare for the major project.

Major project in lens-based media (40 credits) – create a lens-based media product, such as a film or portfolio of photography, and display it to an identified audience.

Professional development in context (40 credits) – Work both individually and collaboratively to develop your professional and commercial awareness in areas such as project management, market research and promotional strategies.


Teaching and assessment

This course is taught via a combination of lectures, seminars, presentations, one-to-one tutorials, group work and specialist workshops. When not in scheduled lecturers, seminars and tutorials, students are expected to continue learning through independent self-study. This involves reading relevant literature, working on individual and group projects, and undertaking research in preparation for coursework and exams.

This course has an average of 9.5 hours of scheduled teaching per week when undertaken on a full-time basis. At UCW, we understand that some students benefit from more contact time with lecturers than is the norm at a traditional university, so we do all we can to make sure academic staff are available for their students when they are needed.

Assessment is via a combination of practical exams and coursework. The assessment breakdown is 12.5% practical exams and 87.5% coursework. There are no written exams on this course.

Please click on the Course Handbook button to find out more.

  • Master’s or other postgraduate studies
  • Numerous roles in the film and television industries
  • Studio photography
  • Photojournalism
  • News broadcasting
  • Various media production positions
  • Digital advertising and marketing
A related Foundation degree/Higher National Diploma or equivalent with an average grade portfolio of 50% or above. Applicants are also required to submit a creative portfolio of work.
  • Course length

    Full-time: 1 year (3 days a week)
    Part-time: 2 years (2 days a week)

  • Start date

    10th September 2018

  • Course details

    Institution: W47
    Course: 248W
    Campus: U

  • Course cost

    2018 entry
    Full-time: £7,950 per year
    Part-time: £3,975 per year
    2019 entry
    Full-time: £8,250 per year
    Part-time: £4,125 per year

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Bath Spa partnership

Delivered in partnership…

This course is delivered in partnership with Bath Spa University.

So students get the best of both worlds – the enhanced support and increased contact with lecturers that sets us apart, and full access to all the resources and facilities at UCW and a nearby university.

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