Film BA (Hons)

Our Film course has a 100% student satisfaction rate.
National Student Survey, 2023


Study the art and craft of cinema and gain the practical and creative skills that will prepare you for a contemporary filmmaking career.

BA (Hons) Film provides an in-depth grounding in the technical processes, creative skills and production practices necessary for a career in the media and creative industries. From the outset, you are encouraged to think critically and creatively, developing your skills so that you can convey your ideas through practical work.

You will be taught to a high technical standard through the craft of script writing, producing, directing, documentary film-making, production design, cinematography, editing, sound design and other roles that are instrumental to industrial and independent film-making practices.

The course provides the opportunity to study at a partner university overseas, or complete a work placement in industry in your third year.

Throughout your studies, you will strive towards the goal of being an intelligent, creative and contemporary film-maker. By identifying your strengths and perfecting your craft within established film-making roles, you will increasingly define your own area of study and develop an individual creative practice, so that by graduation you will be capable of producing creative and original works of the highest quality.

We are a top 2 UK modern university for Drama, Dance & Cinematics (2nd of 63) - The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023.

Three students filming with a directors clapboard held in front

Mode of Study:



4 years

Start date:


UCAS code:


BAFTA Scotland award winners

Edinburgh Napier's Acting and Film alumni were amongst the winners of the 2021 BAFTA Scotland Awards.

Course details

BA (Hons) Film is a full-time programme and takes place at the Merchiston Campus, Craiglockhart Campus and at our purpose-built post-production facilities at Merchiston Avenue.

We offer fully equipped, specialist film facilities including high-end digital cinema cameras, professional film lighting, Avid Media Composer edit suites, Pro Tools, a professional dubbing theatre and a grading suite.

Alongside the more formal teaching content, there is a significant element of self-directed study and research, both individually and via group work.

Through independent enquiry, students are encouraged to develop and realise project ideas towards briefs that are designed to engage with relevant social, cultural and contextual concerns.

Graduates of the BA Film programme are able to engage and work in the following ways:

  • creatively and imaginatively
  • critically
  • practically and technically
  • professionally and collaboratively.

At the heart of this programme is the aim of equipping students with (1) the skills that are necessary to be employable in an industry that is largely freelance in nature and (2) the ability to go on to further postgraduate study. Therefore, alongside practical film-making skills, you will develop the ability to communicate your ideas effectively; be a purposeful contributor to collaborative practices; be a capable problem solver and be able to work in a self-motivated and responsible way. These are the essential, transferable professional skills that are required for a successful career in the creative industries.

Portfolio and interview

BA (Hons) Film is a popular programme, attracting a large amount of applicants. Short listed applicants will be invited to submit a portfolio of relevant work and attend an individual face-to-face interview with a member of the programme team. Telephone interviews are also available for overseas applicants.

You will be given set exercises for your portfolio and we will be looking for evidence of your understanding of, and engagement with, film. We will be looking for your visual literacy, interpretative skills and critical evaluation. While consideration will be given to technical knowledge, a high level of technical competence is not expected at this stage, although your potential for future development will be assessed. Please note that you will be sent more specific and detailed requirements when a portfolio is requested.

If invited to interview, you will be able to bring other examples of your work and you should include material which you feel best demonstrates your interest in and passion for film-making. The interview is an opportunity for you to present your work, outline the ideas behind your work, and tell us about what influences and inspires you.

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    How you’ll be taught

    You will learn by a variety of teaching methods including lectures, seminars, workshops, independent study and research. Delivery of practical film-making skills is undertaken within an industry focus, and by academics and visiting lecturers who engage in relevant professional practices.

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    Assessment is continuous throughout the year and is predominantly based upon submission of creative practical work, documentation of research and critical reflection, essay assignments, and oral presentations.

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    Work placement

    You will undertake a period of work-related learning during Year 3, when you will start the process of preparation for your career after graduation. You will have the opportunity to gain industry experience by working on live briefs, on film sets, placements within production companies and television broadcasting studios, or working with charity sector clients.

  • study abroad

    Study abroad

    You'll have the opportunity to spend one trimester or a full year abroad in Year 3.

    Studying abroad provides a unique opportunity to develop your studies in film while embarking on a rich cultural exchange.

    BA (Hons) Film Students have undertaken exchanges at Deakin University (Melbourne, Australia), Queensland University of Technology (Australia), Ryerson University (Toronto, Canada), San Diego State University (California, USA), San Jose State University (California, USA), Brooklyn College, City University of New York (USA), Drexel University (Philadelphia, USA), Charles University (Prague, Czech Republic) and Stuttgart Media University (Germany).

    Students have also been involved in unique cultural exchange film-making projects with Shanghai Normal University and Beijing Central Academy of Fine Arts.

Popular modules

Year 1

  • Key Concepts in Filmmaking
  • Research and Communication Skills
  • Narrative Construction
  • Essential Elements of Storytelling (plot, character, dialogue and engaging an audience)
  • Editing Sound and Picture
  • Systems of Continuity
  • Screenwriting
  • Film History

Year 2

  • Film Histories and Key Theoretical Film Issues
  • Documentary Filmmaking
  • Cinematic Genres
  • Film Adaptation
Working collaboratively on practical film projects in the roles of:
  • Cinematographer
  • Editor
  • Sound Design
  • Writer
  • Director

Year 3

  • Individually tailored filmmaking projects within specialist roles
  • Work-related learning
  • Critical and analytical abilities required to undertake a research topic
  • Visual Anthropology
  • Screenwriting
  • Documentary Filmmaking
  • Opportunity to study abroad

Year 4

  • Practical project (typically a short film or collaborative roles on a number of short films)
  • Dissertation
  • Professional development skills


We work closely with our industry partners to offer projects, short-term work placements and work experience opportunities to our BA Film students throughout their degree.


Study modules mentioned above are indicative only. Some changes may occur between now and the time that you study.

Full information is available in our disclaimer.

Entry requirements

What are the entry requirements for Film?

As part of the selection process suitably qualified applicants will normally be invited to submit a portfolio/attend an interview. You can find more information about both here

Our entry requirements indicate both Standard and Minimum qualifications with which we normally accept students. Competition for places varies from year to year and you aren't guaranteed a place if you meet the minimum qualifications.

Mature Applicants

Applications from mature applicants are welcomed and, where appropriate, the minimum entry requirements can be replaced by the recognition of prior learning and experience, such as knowledge and skills gained outside of formal learning situations.

Can I make an appointment with an advisor to discuss further about the admission process?

If you want to get more information on the admission process, please get in touch with the undergraduate admissions team by submitting an enquiry form above.


Minimum Year 1

Please Note - this course is not available for advanced entry.

SQA Higher

Standard Entry Requirement: BBBB including English or other literary subject*.

Minimum Offer Entry Requirement: BBCC including English or other literary subject*.

You may be given an adjusted offer of entry if you meet our specified minimum entry requirements within our widening participation criteria, and outlined in our Contextual Admissions Policy. Click here for further information about our entry requirements and admissions policies.

A Level

  • BCC including English or other literary subject* (Film Studies and Moving Image Arts accepted as literary subject).

Irish Leaving Certificate

  • H2, H2, H3, H3 at HL including English or other literary subject*.


  • Pass HNC in a related subject with B in the graded unit.

BTEC (QCF) Extended Diploma Level 3

  • Minimum grades DMM (Distinction, Merit, Merit) in a related subject.  Additional A Level grade C English/Literary subject or equivalent required if the BTEC subject does not cover sufficient literary content.  Example, BTEC Extended Diploma in Creative Media Production requires an additional A Level grade C in English/Lit. subject.  BTEC Extended Diploma in Creative Media Practice is acceptable on it's own.

BTEC (QCF) National Diploma Level 3

  • Minimum grades D*D (Distinction*, Distinction) in a related subject.

International Baccalaureate Diploma

  • Award of Diploma with 28 points overall with three HL subjects with grades 6,5,4 including Grade 5 in English or other literary subject*.

T Level

  • Grade Merit
  • T Level must be completed in a English/Literary subject or an A Level in an English subject may be required. Please contact to check if you meet the subject specific requirements.


*Literary subjects accepted: Modern Studies, History, Psychology, RMPS, Theology, Media Studies, Philosophy, Politics, Sociology, Geography, Latin, Classics, A level Government and Politics, A level Classical Civilisation, A level Drama.

If your first language isn't English, you'll normally need to undertake an approved English language test. The English Language requirements for this programme are IELTS (Academic) with 6.5 overall and no element below 6.0. For guidance on the acceptability of other English Language tests please contact

This may not apply if you have completed all your school qualifications in English. Check our country pages to find out if this applies to you.

We welcome applications from students studying a wide range of international qualifications.
Entry requirements by country

Please note that international students are unable to enrol onto the following courses:
  • BM Midwifery/MM Midwifery
  • All Graduate Apprenticeship courses.

See who can apply for more information on Graduate Apprenticeship courses.

We’re committed to admitting students who have the potential to succeed and benefit from our programmes of study. 

Our admissions policies will help you understand our admissions procedures, and how we use the information you provide us in your application to inform the decisions we make.

Undergraduate admissions policies
Postgraduate admissions policies

Fees & funding

The course fees you'll pay and the funding available to you will depend on a number of factors including your nationality, location, personal circumstances and the course you are studying. We also have a number of bursaries and scholarships available to our students.

Tuition fees
Students from 2024/25 2025/26
Scotland £1,820 £tba
England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and Republic of Ireland £9,250 £tba
Overseas and EU £19,340 £tba
Students from England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and Republic of Ireland will be invoiced the tuition fees for 3 years of their 4 years of study. The University offers a range of attractive Tuition Fee bursaries to students resident in specific countries. More information on these can be found here.
Please note tuition fees are subject to an annual review and may increase from one year to the next. For more information on this and other Tuition Fee matters please see Frequently Asked Questions about Fees Click this link for Information of Bursaries and Scholarships
If additional compulsory costs other than the tuition fees are applicable, these will be detailed in the course details.
Please note that the tuition fees liable to be paid by EU nationals commencing their studies from 1 August 2021 will be the Overseas fee rate. The University offers a range of attractive Tuition Fee bursaries to students resident in specific countries. More information on these can be found here.


Film students working on location with camera equipment around the High Street in Edinburgh

Career opportunities

The programme prepares students for a wide range of possible careers in the creative industries sector. Many of our graduates enter the traditional areas of professional film and television production as freelancers in fields such as camera department, sound recording and design, editing, art department, directing, production and documentary film-making.

When you complete the course, you will leave with an in-depth grounding in the technical processes, creative skills and production practices necessary for your career, including opportunities to study abroad and work-related learning.

Where your degree could lead:

  • Screenwriter
  • Researcher
  • Film/Television Director/Producer
  • Production Designer
  • Cinematographer
  • Editor
  • Sound Designer
  • Content Editor
  • Production Manager
  • Multimedia Manager
Film students wearing high visibility jackets with camera equipment working on location around the High Street in Edinburgh