Skip to main content


MCH3011 : Working in the Film Industry

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Mr Simon Rushton
  • Lecturer: Dr Ian McDonald
  • Owning School: Arts & Cultures
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 10.0


This module will build on Introduction to the Film Industry at Level 4 and give students an awareness and appreciation of the professional and personal skills required to work in different aspects of the Film Industry (be it exhibition, curation, distribution, sales & marketing, film journalism) as well as the challenges of setting up as an independent film company. Students will develop an understanding of the shape and structure of the film industry and be introduced to a range of possible career routes. Students will also be given an opportunity to gain experience of working in the independent film sector through field trips, to film festivals and a local independent cinema.

This modules aims to:
1. Provide an overview of the diverse and fragmented nature of the film industry in the UK.
2. Examine the range of career and employment possibilities in the UK film industry.
3. Outline the diverse and fragmented nature of the independent film sector, including film festivals and film
4.An appreciation of the generic and particular skills and aptitude (including ethical responsibilities) required to make it as an freelancer or an independent filmmaker.
5. Give an insight into the experience of working in the film industry students.

Outline Of Syllabus

Weekly themes, such as:
- The political economy of film – film as part of the creative industries
- Carving out a career in film
- Post Graduate study to build your career – is film school necessary?
- Carving out a career as a creative in the independent film sector.
- Working in the wider film economy – such as festivals, distribution, criticism.
- Working in audience engagement and impact producing
- Setting up as an independent – from website to production company
- Working in the film industry and the independent sector – testimonies from the inside.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion154:0054:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture121:0012:00Concepts, theoretical underpinnings and historical contextualisations
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading138:0038:00Further project work and readings
Guided Independent StudyProject work160:0060:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesFieldwork312:0036:00Field trips - film festivals and independent cinema programming
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

This module will be delivered through a combination of lectures that set out the main ideas and themes and fieldtrips to film festivals and / or an independent cinema spread over two semesters. Students will be given a structure within which they will be able to explore the area of film industry that interests them in more depth. The combination of lectures and fieldwork will give a structure and context for learning, that will enable students to have both the breadth and depth of understanding of working in the film industry.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Portfolio2A100Approx 4000 words reflecting research into working in the film industry, based on field trips
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The rationale for the assessments is to enable the students to demonstrate an understanding of working in the film industry and to illustrate this through the production of a scholarly 4000 word portfolio. Example content of this portfolio includes: their own online CV, entrance strategies for career plans, case studies of a particular film festival or independent cinema.

Reading Lists