Staffordshire University has revitalised its school of engineering and advanced technology through the development of a BSc in film production, writes Tim Greenhalgh.
The department moved away from traditional engineering as applications fell and converted more space for film production with less emphasis on engineering hardware.
Peter Hughes, course award tutor, said that the initial intake of 40 students in 1999 had grown steadily to 90 this year, with a record number of applications for the next academic year.
The three-year course involves digital film-making and an understanding and application of the technology behind it, along with related new media. The university claims the course offers an unusually high ratio of practical skills and post-production experience to theoretical work, with the result that graduates are able to offer a range of new media skills, ranging from digital programme acquisition and production, to web and multimedia design.
"The ability to make programmes, combined with an in-depth understanding of technology is an unusual and powerful skill-set for any graduate," Mr Hughes said. "The course is designed to give students open access to the best industry-standard equipment."
Students are given a grounding in non-linear editing and are taught basic camerawork. Each one produces two finished programmes by the end of the first year.
Students also get to grips with visual basic programming, media technology, 3-D animation, digital broadcasting and sound recording, and audio systems. After the second year, they are encouraged to undertake a year's placement in either the film or television industry.
Details: BSc(hons) Film Production Technology