We have put together the most frequently asked questions from our recent School of Media online Q&A.
How much of the course is theory and how much is practical
We are a combination course so it’s about 50/50 practice theory. Practice also encompasses screenwriting modules too. We focus on helping students to write their own scripts and realise them on film. We are interested in helping students understand their own relationship to the world and themselves and give them the tools to express this through film. We are forward-looking in terms of what film is in the 21st Century and this is analysed and and explored in the theory modules. We give a lot of help and support and, because the groups are not huge, you will feel part of a cinematic community.
How big are the class sizes?
That can vary every year. Practice classes have about 20 students in them while Theory is split into lectures and seminars. Seminars are group discussions with around 20 student per seminar while lectures are the whole cohort so usually up to 40 – not huge numbers. It means on our course there is plenty of chance to interact with lecturers.
Can you tell me about the work placement?
The work placement module is in your second year. The placements office will help you in finding a suitable placement but many students organise their own. It’s usually two weeks and takes place before Easter. Many students who have undertaken the placement have found it’s led to further work.
Do we get to experiment?
You get to do a bit of everything including filming, lighting, sound, editing etc In year 2 and 3 you will specialise using the skills you learned in the first year.
To what extent do modules allow you to choose a pathway?
The first year modules are all compulsory and they are a combination of theory, history and industry-facing modules. Second and third year students have compulsory modules but also take options, many of which are practice-based so you can tailor your degree according to your interests. You can also create a practical project instead of your dissertation during the third year.
Do you need specialised software knowledge?
No you just need standard software expected of students (Office etc). The university provides access to this but also to other software for editing and creating film. There are MAC suites in Edward street that students can use for their work.
What to expect
The course has two parallel and overlapping areas at its core: practice and theory. During the first year you will be introduced to all photography facilities (digital and analogue) and you will see your practice tutor in a small group of around 10 students on a weekly basis. There will also be a weekly lecture on the history of photography. There is also a visiting lecturer series where we invite established photographers and other related professionals from the industry.
How do I prepare for the course?
To prepare for the course you don’t have to do anything but continue to explore your own interest area – whether this is technical conceptual or both. We will guide you thought the fundamentals of photography studying during the first year
How can I prepare for the course?
Draw draw draw. Please keep a sketchbook of ideas over the coming months – your original ideas are the most important currency you have. What do you want to animate? What is your message? What do you want your animation to say to the world? Now, while you have time you might want to think ahead and write down ideas for storyboards and the themes you might want to work on in the future.
With Design for Digital Media you could expand on this by making short films or experimenting with type. The course is the multi-disciplinary so you can also try creating things by hand then filming them or scanning them in to explore their digital potential.
Are there any jobs available on campus?
There are many job roles which provide useful income to support to the costs of university such as working in the uni shop, becoming a student helper, cafe work or applying to become a student ambassador for open days, applicant days and online events. In addition, there are part-time roles through the Student Union. There are also local jobs such as working at the Amex football stadium next to our Falmer campus, and in the city itself there are always jobs available in restaurants, shops and cafes.
Is there student parking?
There is a multi-storey car park on the Moulsecoomb site and students get a preferential charge for parking there. You will need to apply for a permit though as spaces are limited.
How is the university responding to the Covid crisis?
If you have any questions about the application process or teaching and learning at this time, the University has prepared some guidance that can be found here.
What opportunities are there outside of the courses?
There are over 100 University of Brighton societies to join – you can find them on the Students’ Union website. And we have a great local volunteering service Active Student.