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About Film

Film is a creative discipline that focuses on the aesthetic, technical and artistic processes of moving image and audio-visual creation and encompasses a large number of specialisations, ranging from production and directing to cinematography, editing or production design. Film integrates a multitude of competences that range from the critical and conceptual project driven facets to the technical practice-based aspects required for the conceptualisation and production of filmic content. Film education involves different teaching and learning methods that address the different specialisations the field entails and the skills they require. Example of best practices integrate the strong focus the field has on transversal skills such as communication, critical thinking and collaborative, participatory and co-operative processes. Film education draws heavily on project development methodologies that go from conception to development production and public presentation, while assessment and evaluation cover both theoretical and applied dimensions with a focus in this case on pitching and presentation methods that along with self-report and peer evaluation reinforce both individual and team-based learning. Film education often involves strong engagement with the community, either through the public screening of students’ work or the actual involvement of professionals in the context of applied teaching. Film teaching was originally strongly craft oriented with “master-apprentice models” often being dominant, namely following the conservatoires tradition. This has been challenged in recent years with the emergence of less specialised programmes that take a more holistic approach that balances all specialisations and integrates strong critical and theoretical components. This was accompanied by an increased focus on team teaching, peer learning and project driven education. Film teaching and education is highly dependable on complex and expensive facilities and technical equipment and constantly strives for a balance between the core creative and artistic skills and the processual technical skills. Film is a dynamic creative discipline that nowadays also explores a number of research affordance on, for and through film as an important element of film education at undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

BA Level - General degree: BA Film. Specialisation degrees: BA cinematography; BA sound design; BA Editing; BA Scriptwriting; BA Direction; BA production; BA Animation; BA Visual effects; Film Studies; BA Photography; BA Game design. MA Level - General: Master’s in film. Specialisation Degrees: MA Cinematography; MA Editing; MA Sound Design; MA Production and Film Management; MA Directing (Documentary or Fiction); MA Film and Art Studies; MA Photography; MA Animation Arts; MA Visual Effects; MA Game Design.

Typical degrees that are offered 

Typical occupations of graduates in the field of film cover the different domains of specialisation mentioned before (i.e. a graduate in editing would become film editor) but also include occupations in areas across the value chain (i.e. work in film distribution or sales as a typical occupation for production students) or in related content production areas (i.e. television; games industry (computer games development, interactive media, multimedia, animation). The transferable skills graduates in this field acquire, in particular the ones related with communication and presentation, also facilitate occupations across different sectors, namely in marketing, PR and communication activities as well as project management. Secondary or vocational teaching in the field of the arts is other area of occupation of graduates in the field. Occupations may also include activities in parallel domains in the cultural and educational sectors where the skills these graduates have are applicable. 

Typical occupations/employment students achieve

View and download the Overview of typical Film field related Generic and Subject-specific Competences

Learning Outcomes


At different film schools that participate in the FilmEU Alliance – The European University for Film and Media Arts (Project: 101004047, EPP-EUR-UNIV-2020 - European Universities, EPLUS2020 Action Grant that brings together four European Higher Education Institutions: Lusófona University from Lisbon, Portugal; Tallinn University, from Tallinn, Estonia; LUCA School of Arts, from Brussels, Belgium; and IADT – Dún Laoghaire Institute of Art Design and Technology, from Dublin, Ireland.  FilmEU is one of the new European Universities funded by the EU ( ) and in its context an innovative practice has been introduce of project driven education across all these institutions with strong mobility of students and staff involved. Film Bachelor second-year students develop every year a cross-curricular project comprising the joint development of a web series and an associated transmedia component. This cross-curricular project not only involves all courses in the curriculum for that semester but also engages students from other degrees by involving sound students in the development and production of the projects. Proposed methods include strong engagement with external experts coming from the industry, peer learning and a central focus on education through projects in development. The activity articulates both individual and group evaluation throughout the various stages of the project, from the initial briefing to the final public presentation, and a great emphasis is put on simulating actual ‘real world’ creative and production challenges. 


The practice-based learning experience focuses on a collaborative project to create a multi-platform-distribution narrative project. Starting from a given societal issue, teams develop a web series storyline and a cohesive audiovisual universe that expands from it.  From early on, both briefing and pitching challenges bring together students, field experts and Film and TV commissioning editors, to ground the teams’ audience-driven work in market and client needs.  During the entire process, each team goes through project-tailored tutoring and case studies, as well as more theoretical lectures on audiovisual production and management of both financial and human resources. As the projects progress, teams engage in tailor-made workshops on cinematography, directing actors, legal aspects, and production design. Peer learning is stimulated through problem-solving and team-building exercises, as student commitment is rewarded with being picked by colleagues to integrate the best projects.

Another example of good practice in this case at Master level is the application of transversal skills inherent to film production such as ‘pitching’ to artistic research developed by the students in the context of their Master thesis research. At different schools in FilmEU this method is being successfully applied. At the core of this teaching method is the concept of collective learning through the redeployment of skills previously learned in film practice. Students perform individual and group tasks proposed by the class and overseen by the tutor and engage in constructive discussion and feedback.

Tutor feedback comes last, to allow students who are pitching to first incorporate class feedback. Tutor feedback acts as a reinforcement or adjustment of class perceptions, allowing for constructive discussion. This semi-horizontal strategy gives students the perception that feedback need not come only and mainly from above, as an institutional dictum, but can also be given by colleagues, as a form of engagement from within, by those who have been involved in the process. 

This method aims to articulate the learning of methodologies for academic research with acquired know-how mastered by students in their practical artistic studies. Students pitch their ideas for theory work (academic research) to both tutor and colleagues receiving regular constructive feedback. This allows the students to employ skills that are used in traditional film pitching by transferring them onto the field of sustained theoretical thinking.

As film students have likely absorbed the concept that scripts are intended for an audience and need a narrative, these same notions are presented by the tutor as the foundations for artistic academic research and applied in the context of project led artistic research work. 

Examples of good practice in Higher Film Education

Evaluation is a critical component of film teaching and teachers may use a range of methods to assess student learning and progress. These may include traditional forms of evaluation, such as written exams and quizzes, as well as more creative forms of assessment, such as student-produced films, peer evaluations, and group projects. Learning and teaching assessment in film schools revolves around evaluating students' knowledge and skills in various aspects of film production and theory. Assessment in film schools may include both formative and summative assessments. Formative assessments are designed to help students track their own progress and identify areas for improvement. Formative assessments may include peer reviews, self-assessment exercises, and feedback from instructors or industry professionals. These assessments are typically ongoing throughout a course and help students to identify and correct errors in their work. Assessment may be conducted through a combination of individual and group assignments. Individual assignments may include writing or producing a short film, analysing a film or script, or creating a treatment for a feature-length film. Group assignments may include collaborating on a film project, critiquing each other's work, or participating in a group presentation. Assessment may also include evaluations from industry representatives, such as guest speakers, mentors, or internship supervisors. These professionals provide a real-world perspective on the skills and knowledge needed in professional contexts and can help students to benchmark their work against the state of the art in creative and professional terms. As a way of recognising student films, presentations or awards at film festivals are commonly valued in film schools. Recognition received from presenting or winning awards at film festivals can be valuable in helping students to develop their skills and advance their careers.

Learning and teaching methods in film involve incorporating a range of teaching techniques and tools to engage students and enhance their learning experience while fostering the deepening of their relationship with their creative practice and the societal and market context where it occurs. This can include a mix of lecture-style presentations, screenings, group discussions, and hands-on activities such as film analysis and production exercises. Teaching always includes, particularly at level 6, a historical and theoretical perspective along with a focus on filmic literacy. This implies teachers foster an inclusive and diverse learning environment by selecting films from different genres, cultures, and historical periods for their classes. This enables students to explore different perspectives, challenge preconceived notions, and develop critical thinking skills. Technology also plays a key role in film teaching, with instructors utilising a variety of audio-visual resources such as streaming services, online databases, and interactive software. This helps students to stay up to date with industry trends and facilitates their understanding of filmmaking techniques, storytelling, and production processes. To achieve best results in film teaching we involve a variety of methods and approaches designed to engage learners and promote effective learning. One common approach is to use active learning techniques that focus on doing, such as project driven approaches that involve developing a script or producing a short film. Another approach is to use collaborative learning strategies that encourage students to work together, share ideas, and provide feedback to one another. The learning process in film teaching can involve a range of stages, from learning the basics of film production, to developing storytelling skills, to exploring critical topics in film studies. In order to enhance this process, teachers may use a range of tools and resources, such as online tutorials and workshops, guest speakers, film screenings, and hands-on production experiences. Additionally, teachers may also integrate technology into their film teaching methods, using tools such as video editing software, online production platforms, and interactive technologies. Film involves a number of specialisations such as sound design, editing, cinematography, visual effects or production design. Film education also involves domains less dependable on technology namely those across the creative triangle that includes screenwriters, directors, and producers. While level 6 usually takes a more team oriented approach with in many cases a minor focus on specialisation, Level 7 is more individually oriented and with a stronger focus on specialisation.

Learning, Teaching and Assessment

Learning, Teaching and Assessment in Higher Film Education and Examples of good practice

Student workload & ECTS

In the CPAD European Higher Education sector Bachelor programmes normally vary between 180 and 240 ECTS-credits. Master programmes normally vary between 90 and 150 ECTS-credits. When specified, Doctoral/PhD programmes usually last three years and have 180 ECTS. Some countries, like the United Kingdom, use a different credit system, however, the education level and experience is comparable.​

Quality Enhancement

In working on the qualification framework and defining the learning outcomes/competences for the three cycles the SAG stresses the outcomes are not to be taken as prescribing the content and curriculum of individual arts academies/universities programmes but helping these institutions to ensure the quality and standards of their programmes. 


In developing the quality framework the SAG has adhered to the following values:


  • commitment to respect and promote cultural, artistic, and pedagogical diversity.

  • the needs of society and the world of work for the development of creativity and generative critical thinking, which are key attributes of higher arts education.

  • operating a review methodology based on peer review, in which the participation of students, relevant professional bodies and/or employers as stakeholders is embedded.


The CPAD SAG stresses the content and distinctiveness of the programmes are: 


  • the primary responsibility of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in assuring the quality of their own provision.

  • being responsive to the diversity of higher education systems, institutions, programmes and students. 

  • taking into account the needs and expectations of students, other stakeholders and society. 


In institutions developing their internal and external quality assurance policy and processes the SAG recommends:


  • to promote student-centred approaches to learning, teaching and assessment.

  • to develop a quality culture for excellence and its continuous enhancement.

  • to guarantee the equivalence of minimum threshold standards for any academic qualification offered in the EHEA.

  • to continually enhance the student learning experience to achieve the highest standards; 

  • to operate a review methodology based on peer review, in which the participation of students, relevant professional bodies and/or employers as stakeholders isembedded;

  • to support staff research and encourage the transfer of knowledge gained through it back into teaching and the curriculum.

  • to instil trust and confidence in the processes of quality assurance and enhancement. 

  • to build institutional capacity for high quality internal review and enhancement.

  • to ensure that all its activities are underpinned by explicit criteria and transparent processes.

  • to ensure that all its processes are open to external scrutiny.

  • to establish a range of formally verified external and international reference points and/or criteria (primarily guided by the 2015 ESG).

  • to ensure that the outcomes of its accreditation and assessment processes have formal status, are decided independently and are publicly available.

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