Film, Media & Photography – A wealth of opportunities

The Department of Media and Performing Arts at the University of Derby represents a Top 10 Film School, covering everything you need to know from the lens, to the screen and beyond!
Each year, the Department of Media and Performing Arts at the University of Derby welcomes international students from every continent, allowing them to thrive in the institution’s warm and creative environment. This year, the Department has been ranked 9th overall in the Guardian University Guide league table, a credit to the School’s resounding success. In addition to this, the Department’s third-year students are known to bring home the gold in prestigious national media awards, demonstrating that Derby’s Film School students are truly world-class talent.

All courses in the Department’s extensive portfolio prepare students to thrive in in this fast-paced and ever-changing industry, no matter what their role nor their preferred media platform. Graduates leave as qualified professionals who not only understand the entire production process, but are also proficient in media content production. Ultimately, all of Derby’s Film School graduates leave fully-equipped with the skills and expertise to find success in a broad range of media industries.

Derby’s Students

The Department of Film, Media & Photography at the University of Derby is the ideal institution for students seeking a career in media, at both the national and international level. Courses are industry-relevant, flexible and all-encompassing, consistently producing career-ready graduates who are sought after by leaders in the field.

BA (Hons) Film Production

Here, students can write, develop and create original films in a highly-specialised Film Production course. “I chose Derby because it was one of the few universities in the UK that had a practical film production course,” said Justina Petkevičiūtė, a former Derby Film Production student who went on to find success as a Production Assistant at Baltic Film Services. At the core of the Programme is a handpicked team of industry professionals, all of whom boast outstanding credentials and working titles in the global media industry.

BA (Hons) Media Production

This is a hands-on, comprehensive course in which students produce a substantial portfolio of high-quality media production work to impress potential employers. Former students talk of the real life projects they pursued as part of Derby’s Media Production degree, stating that the experience they gained across a number of multi-media projects instilled them with the skills needed to thrive within this booming industry.


Image courtesy of the University of Derby.


BA (Hons) Production Design

Derby’s Production Design students are encouraged to develop a visual language for the interpretation of their innovative ideas. While exploring the exciting, sometimes challenging, area of production design, students fully engage with latest state-of-the-art technologies to develop relevant skills. By the time students have finished this course, they will already have been introduced to a highly-respected support network within the creative industry, and will also have formulated a comprehensive CV reflecting their unique skills and employability.

BA (Hons) Visual Effects and Post-Production

This course presents students with the opportunity to explore the potential of Visual Effects and Post-Production, enabling them to become a resourceful and independent learner capable of generating ideas and developing original and effective visual solutions. An impressive 93 percent of Derby’s Visual Effects and Post-Production graduates find relevant career positions six months after graduation.


Image courtesy of the University of Derby.


BA (Hons) Photography and Film Production

Here, students can combine film production with photography on a distinctive course, helping them chart new directions within the creative industries. This course equips students for a successful career as a commercial or fine art photographer, perhaps specialising in fashion, editorial or documentary photography, just to name a few.

BA (Hons) Photography and Media Production

This course allows students to compile a mix of technical and creative abilities in photography and media production, including traditional methods and new digital technologies. Graduates of this course leave ready for a career in photojournalism, online or broadcast media production, PR, advertising, corporate communications, law and public administration or politics.

BA (Hons) Film Production and Production Design

Students can explore the potential of working in the practical areas of film production and production design, using both traditional methods and digital technologies. This course is all-encompassing and extremely competitive, currently ranked 15th among all UK universities.


Image courtesy of the University of Derby.


BA (Hons) Film Production, Visual Effects and Post-Production

This course allows students to explore the potential of working in the practical areas of film production and visual effects & post-production, encouraging them to be highly original and creative as they explore the diverse aspects of film and visual effects. One former student of this course, James Knott, now works with fellow graduate Adi Kerr; the pair were approached by the world’s largest house music label, Defected, to produce a 60 minute documentary, and they’ve also worked for BBC, ITV, Radio 1 and MTV.

Derby’s Alumni

Derby’s Film School graduates continue a valuable working relationship long into their career, carrying the Derby name with them as they forge a path to their own success.

Last year, for example, a group of four Film Production students scooped the Student Drama at the annual Royal Television Society (RTS) Midlands Awards with their seamless futuristic drama, aptly titled Mould.

The students spoke about the facilities and equipment available to them at Derby, which they claim made the entire learning and production process a thousand times more convenient. Patrick added: “The University has excellent kit. Gaining access to the right tools is something every filmmaker struggles with but at Derby they work hard to give students the freedom and access to what we need to succeed.”

Dr Christine Templeton-Parker, Lecturer in Film Production at the University of Derby, supervised the student’s project. She said: “The film won because it deals with contemporary themes around identity and memory, and our anxieties about technology. The work suggests a strong sensitivity to the needs and concerns of the audience, including their emotional needs as the narrative unfolds.

“This is extremely rare at undergraduate level and Mould has a confidence and maturity that is both engaging and admirable. It’s a huge congratulations to the team.”


Image courtesy of the University of Derby.


Derby’s Unique Opportunities

As a prestigious, international institution, Derby offers its students a host of incredible opportunities, the likes of which are truly unparalleled in the global higher education sector. One such example is the once-in-a-lifetime chance to pursue a professional internship with the Malta Film Commission.

Malta is frequently used as a backdrop in films, from Hollywood blockbusters to small independents, and film-making has become a major industry for the Mediterranean island. The setting for blockbuster movies such as World War Z, Troy and Gladiator is now the unusual workplace of interns from a University of Derby Film course.

As a result of undertaking an Internship with the Film Commission, Derby’s Film students have found themselves on the set of the latest Michael Bay film (13 Hours), working alongside legendary French director Luc Besson, and even gaining paid employment on the new Assassin’s Creed movie starring Michael Fassbender.

“We have been able to go straight from our University course into a professional working environment that takes us closer to making our way in the industry,” said former Malta intern, Tom Brookes, adding that this is an experience few other recent media graduates could ever expect to receive.

Above all, the Department of Film, Media & Photography at the University of Derby possesses the cutting-edge facilities, world-leading teachers and innovative courses to push its students to the top of their professional media game. The success of its former students has left Derby’s name carved firmly in the global media stage, and graduates will continue to break boundaries within the creative industries for many years to come.

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Feature image courtesy of the University of Derby.

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