1st year Film and TV Production Degree

Apologies for the lack of posts, have been working 2 jobs over the summer since the finish of my first year! Which handily leads onto this post about my experiences studying Film and Television Production at the University of Hertfordshire. 

I know people applying to start this September would have already made their choices, but I still feel that this post will help prospective students thinking about applying for this particular degree/career route. 
First things first, if you want to have a career in Film/TV, you need to make sure you are extremely dedicated and realise that nearly every job in the industry has long and/or unsocial hours. Secondly, depending on what kind of career you want to have in the Film/TV industry you have to decide whether you would like to do a Film Studies degree or a Production degree. Film studies is just as good as a production degree, however if you want to work behind the scenes you have a better chance of getting a job through the production pathway. This means that you will have experience on how to use a variety of equipment and software, just giving you that slight upper hand. 
I study Film and Television Production at the University of Hertfordshire. There are three individual paths, Fiction, Documentary and Entertainment. In the first year however you try out all three pathways, so that you can decide which pathway you liked most/suited you best. Which means you put yourselves into groups and get to make your own productions! Exciting! I found this very helpful, as I have chosen Fiction but wanted to be sure that was what I wanted to do. It was good to experience learning about the different job roles that go into Documentaries, Films and Entertainment shows.
The degree is around 70% production and 30%  theory. No exams, just coursework. Some of you may leap for joy at this, but it means if you don't pull your weight through the year you won't pass because there are no exams to lean on!
The course has 5 different modules. Film and TV Production, Story and Script, Film and TV Histories and Context, Film and TV Post Production and Film and TV Media Industries: Professional Development.
You will produce 2 essays in Histories and Context, there are 10 different questions for each essay with corresponding lectures and screenings for each one. It's great to get a broader knowledge of Film and TV along with facts and theories that go with it. One of my favourite lectures this year was on Zombies! Talking a lot about The Walking Dead! A tip with the essays, make sure you read as much as possible for them!
In Story and Script you will produce a 1 minute persuasive script and a 10 minute script. Personally I didn't really like these assignments as I'm not very good at creating good ideas! However, you get taught how format a script properly for the industry, what to avoid when scripting and extensive feedback on your storytelling. 
Professional Development in the first year helps you develop knowledge on all roles in the Film and TV industry. Through this module you create a 3 year development plan, a Film and TV specific CV and a short essay on the role you would like to have once you finish. This helps you gain great insight into what your career after you finish your degree is going to be like, which is very useful.

Film and TV Post Production is the module in which you develop your editing skills. You get to learn Final Cut Pro tools and do various presentations on certain aspects of the software. Also because throughout the year you are constantly making productions you have to put these lectures into practice. You also learn how to use Apple Color and After Effects on your fiction piece. The editing is great fun, however you will spend countless hours in the editing suites staring at screens!

The biggest module is Film and TV Production. This covers everything from the paperwork side of planning your ideas, scripting them, renting out equipment with correct health and safety requirements, consent forms etc, but also including when you actually film said piece along with the finished product! The projects are all so much fun but also a real eye opener at the same time. Making Film/TV is stressful, there is definitely more paperwork and other things to carry out than I ever imagined to planning and filming productions! It also makes you realise how important teamwork is, because you need everyone to do their jobs and do them properly, if they don't then you really are destined to fail.

Underneath are a few photos from productions I've been on just to give you a little idea of what it would be like if you are thinking/have already applied to the course.

Computers in the edit suite.

One of my props for a post production presentation.

The set of the Entertainment show I was part of.

On set filming our fiction piece.

I hope this has been a helpful post if you have got this far! If you have any questions about the course or a film degree in general feel free to leave a comment and I'll get back to you as soon as possible. 


  1. Hi Ellen. I'm loving the blog, and the best of luck in your film career pursuit. Please let me know if you're ever interested in becoming an official contributor of my film site: http://greatestfilms.co.uk. Many thanks, Conley.

    1. Hey Conley, Thanks really appreciate it the comment. I'd definitely consider it, having a quick browse of your site now, impressive!


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