Last Updated on August 4, 2022
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A Bachelor’s in Film Studies is an excellent option for students looking to turn their love of movies into a career. With digital streaming platforms overtaking legacy distribution models, the television and film industries have grown tremendously in recent years as global demand for professionally produced entertainment surges — and it does not seem to be showing any signs of slowing down anytime soon. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment is projected to increase 17 percent by 2026, and a bachelor’s degree in film studies qualifies graduates for entry-level positions in areas like directing and producing. It is also an ideal starting point for students considering the technical or academic sides of the movie industry. Below you will find the top 15 most affordable international film schools, cheap film schools in California, bachelor’s degrees in film studies that will give you a starting point as you begin to research the education required to be successful in this exciting and unique field.
California is the promised land for many aspiring filmmakers. There’s a reason film schools in California are so popular! It’s one of the cultural hubs of the nation, and it’s home to some of the most prominent actors, directors, and producers in the field.
But California also has a reputation for being prohibitively expensive for most people… so how can you go to school there? Well, you needn’t worry! California is home to some of the best bargain film schools around.
In this article, we’ll look at ten affordable film schools in California that will prepare you for a successful career without breaking your bank.
Affordable International Film Schools
15. New Mexico State University – Bachelor of Creative Media
Las Cruces, New Mexico
New Mexico State University’s Creative Media Institute (CMI) offers an affordable bachelor’s degree in creative media, a cross-disciplinary program that prepares students for careers in animation and visual effects as well as digital filmmaking. The 120-credit-hour curriculum low cost degree program focuses on the business, craft, and art of storytelling, and while students can choose an emphasis area, all students take coursework in digital arts and filmmaking. Practice and theory are integrated at every step, and students manipulate cinema, images, sound, and text using industry-standard technology. CMI houses a post-production lab, a state-of-the-art digital project system screening room, production space, and an animation lab.
- Degree Options: Bachelor of Creative Media
- Average Program Cost: $13,742
- In-State Tuition: $6,461
- Out-of-State Tuition: $21,022
- Graduation Rate: 46 percent
- Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 16:1
14. San Francisco State University – BA in Cinema
San Francisco, California
The School of Cinema at San Francisco State University confers a low cost BA in Cinema that is comprised of 45 upper-division courses for the major, 12 of which may be in related disciplines outside of cinema. Core courses are offered in areas such as film history, filmmaking, and cinema studies, and students take a foundation course in critical studies. Students may also choose one of five areas of emphasis, including screenwriting, media and culture, fiction filmmaking, documentary filmmaking, and animation. Graduates receive a broad liberal arts education focused on the three core values of social engagement, critical thinking, and creative expression.
- Degree Options: B.A. in Cinema
- Average Program Cost: $13,194
- In-State Tuition: $7,254
- Out-of-State Tuition: $19,134
- Graduation Rate: 54 percent
- Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 23:1
13. California State University-Sacramento – BA in Film
California State University-Sacramento offers an affordable BA in Film degree that consists of 120 units of study. Students may choose from a concentration in either film studies or digital film/video production. Both concentrations are comprised of the same 21-unit core, including courses in film theory and criticism, survey of world cinema, and Hollywood and America. The film studies option requires an additional 18 units in courses such as the theory of film/video editing, staging and lighting, and video art as well as a senior seminar in film capstone. The DF/VP option requires an additional 24 units of courses in areas such as writing short scripts, video production management, staging and lighting, and audio production as well as a senior practicum in video production.
- Degree Options: B.A. in Film
- Average Program Cost: $13,144
- In-State Tuition: $7,204
- Out-of-State Tuition: $19,084
- Graduation Rate: 48 percent
- Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 25:1
12. St. Cloud State University – BA in Film Studies
St. Cloud, Minnesota
St. Cloud State University provides a low cost BA in Film Studies that immerses students in a rigorous study of the art of cinema, emphasizing creative and critical thinking. Offered by the Department of Theatre and Film Studies, the curriculum consists of 10 to 12 film courses per semester, and the school regularly adds new topics courses to keep the program fresh. Most classes draw upon films from around the world, offering a global perspective that is not limited to one particular focus on the field. Undergraduates pursuing this affordable degree program may also choose to gain additional experience through a minor in film production.
- Degree Options: B.A. in Film Studies
- Average Program Cost: $12,345
- In-State Tuition: $8,228
- Out-of-State Tuition: $16,462
- Graduation Rate: 44 percent
- Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 21:1
11. Cleveland State University – BA in Film, Television, and Interactive Media
Cleveland State University’s College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences confers an affordable BA in Film, Television, and Interactive Media to students seeking entry-level positions in this field. This low cost 120-hour program includes 45 hours of courses within the major, including classes in communication, film, television production, media and technology, and mass media and society. Other requirements include courses in media criticism and screenwriting as well as broadcast and interactive media writing. Students focus their degree through electives, and the program culminates in either a film production or interactive media capstone course.
- Degree Options: Film, Television, and Interactive Media, B.A.
- Average Program Cost: $11,804
- In-State Tuition: $9,778
- Out-of-State Tuition: $13,829
- Graduation Rate: 43 percent
- Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 18:1
10. Rhode Island College – Bachelor of Arts in Film Studies
Providence, Rhode Island
The affordable BA in Film Studies at Rhode Island College engages students in the study of moving images as a discursive practice that incorporates film theory, cultural contexts, aesthetics and style, genre studies, and film history. Students may also choose to immerse themselves in filmmaking through a sequence of courses from pre-production through post-production, creating in multiple forms of film such as animation, experimental cinema, documentary, and narrative filmmaking. Courses cover topics such as stop-motion animation, African-American cinema, Hollywood film scores, and television screenwriting. Students must complete 44 credit hours in the major in addition to general education requirements in order to earn their degree.
- Degree Options: B.A. in Film Studies
- Average Program Cost: $15,033
- In-State Tuition: $8,776
- Out-of-State Tuition: $21,289
- Graduation Rate: 46 percent
- Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 14:1
9. Western Michigan University – Bachelor’s in Film, Video, and Media Studies
Students interested in any aspect of production, television and radio broadcasting, or film may pursue Western Michigan University’s low cost undergraduate program in film, video, and media studies. The curriculum emphasizes the practical assumptions and theoretical framework that drive today’s mass media, and students gain practical experience in production, radio and television broadcasting, technical direction, news writing. Although not required for the degree, student participation in freelance work, volunteer work, and internships is encouraged. Students are required to 36 hours in major coursework as well as general education courses, and approximately 25 percent of WMU’s film, video, and media studies go on to pursue graduate studies after completing the program.
- Degree Options: Film, Video, and Media Studies
- Average Program Cost: $13,321
- In-State Tuition: $11,943
- Out-of-State Tuition: $14,699
- Graduation Rate: 51 percent
- Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 17:1
8. California State University-Long Beach – BA in Film and Electronic Arts
Long Beach, California
For more than five decades, California State University-Long Beach has prepared students for careers in the study and production of moving images. The Department of Film & Electronic Arts offers a 120-unit affordable BA in Film and Electronic Arts taught by a diverse faculty comprised of accomplished media historians and industry professionals. This low cost degree program is comprised of a comprehensive education in the theory and history of moving images with specialized training available in concentration areas such as production design, digital arts, production management, screenwriting, and sound design. Students may also choose to specialize in editing, cinematography, broadcast production, creative nonfiction production, or narrative production. Networking and internship opportunities are also available.
- Degree Options: Bachelor of Arts in Film and Electronic Arts
- Average Program Cost: $12,670
- In-State Tuition: $6,730
- Out-of-State Tuition: $18,610
- Graduation Rate: 69 percent
- Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 24:1
7. CUNY Brooklyn College – BA in Film
Brooklyn, New York
Within the School of Visual, Media, and Performing Arts at CUNY Brooklyn College, the Film Department prepares students to become professionals in the motion picture industry. Students may pursue a 120-credit affordable BA in Film and choose from concentration areas such as industry studies, documentary, screenwriting, film production, and film studies. The diverse, rich, low cost programs offer peer collaboration and hands-on learning opportunities, and students are trained in all aspects of the discipline of the moving image, from the technical to the aesthetic. In addition to completing coursework, students have the opportunity to intern throughout New York City and enjoy the vibrant cultural and film life of the area.
- Degree Options: B.A. in Film
- Average Program Cost: $10,735
- In-State Tuition: $7,040
- Out-of-State Tuition: $14,430
- Graduation Rate: 58 percent
- Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 17:1
6. Eastern New Mexico University – BS in Digital Filmmaking
Portales, New Mexico
The affordable BS in Digital Filmmaking at Eastern New Mexico University includes courses in film production as well as relevant studies in theater, music, and art. Through the curriculum, digital filmmaking majors will acquire core skills in editing, sound, cinematography, producing, directing, and screenwriting, and students may choose to specialize in a concentration area or pursue broader interests such as business or broadcast production. All undergraduates are required to complete a senior portfolio class to get feedback from faculty mentors, and students have the opportunity to participate in two student-run film festivals: the Sci-Fi Festival and Fear Fest.
- Degree Options: Bachelor of Science in Digital Filmmaking
- Average Program Cost: $8,901
- In-State Tuition: $6,013
- Out-of-State Tuition: $11,788
- Graduation Rate: 33 percent
- Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 17:1
5. Miami Dade College – BAS in Film, Television, and Digital Production
Miami Dade College’s four-year low cost Bachelor of Applied Science in Film, Television, and Digital Production is designed to provide students with the practical, hands-on skills they need to succeed in the competitive and creative field of media production. The 120-credit affordable program consists of 41 credits within the major, and courses cover funding, editing, production, website design, scriptwriting, sound design, broadcast design, production management, and cinematography. In addition to completing the required curriculum of classes, students must also participate in a capstone experience that provides the opportunity to demonstrate the application of acquired competencies, skills, and knowledge.
- Degree Options: Bachelor of Applied Science in Film, Television, and Digital Production
- Average Program Cost: $6,250
- In-State Tuition: $2,838
- Out-of-State Tuition: $9,661
- Graduation Rate: 31 percent
- Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 24:1
4. University of Alaska Fairbanks – BA in Film & Performing Arts
At the University of Alaska Fairbanks, the Department of Theatre and Film provides a 120-credit affordable BA in Film & Performing Arts degree with concentrations in theater or film. Majors take a shared core of classes in production design, film set production, and the fundamentals in acting before choosing an area of specialization. Other areas of study include digital video editing, directing for film and video, and an introduction to the study of film. All students gain practical experience through participating in main-stage productions, working on professional film sets, and closely interacting with faculty mentors and advisors. Through production work and teaching, the department prepares students to succeed in the industry while educating them across disciplines in the fundamental skills of creativity, communication, and collaboration.
- Degree Options: B.A. in Film & Performing Arts
- Average Program Cost: $12,723
- In-State Tuition: $6,262
- Out-of-State Tuition: $19,183
- Graduation Rate: 30 percent
- Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 8:1
3. CUNY Hunter College – BA in Film
New York, New York
The Department of Film and Media Studies at CUNY Hunter College offers affordable degree programs in the critical analysis and production of film, alternative media, and mass media. In addition to a media major, the school confers a low cost Bachelor of Arts in Film that consists of 120 credits of study, including 30 credits within the major. Coursework is broken down into analytical classes such as theories of film acting and practical film analysis, production classes such as screen directing and screenwriting, and electives chosen from either analytical or production courses. Film majors may choose to pursue a minor in media but cannot double-major in both film and media.
- Degree Options: B.A. in Film
- Average Program Cost: $10,677
- In-State Tuition: $6,982
- Out-of-State Tuition: $14,372
- Graduation Rate: 52 percent
- Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 14:1
2. CUNY City
College – BFA in Film/Video
New York, New York
CUNY City College is the only public institution to offer a low cost Bachelor of Fine Arts in Film/Video, and the program is one of the oldest in the country. Each year, approximately 25 undergraduates follow an intensive, rich, two-year curriculum that emphasizes documentary production and single-camera fiction. The affordable BFA is comprised of 120 credits, including 54 in the major, as well as a thesis project and an optional internship. Coursework is offered in areas such as screenwriting, documentaries, digital post-production, directing for film and video, and critical approaches to independent cinema. Although this is an undergraduate degree, the school does not accept recent high school graduates. Instead, this second-tier program requires a separate admissions process that happens once per year, and applicants must have a personal statement, a video portfolio, and three college-level prerequisites in media studies, media production, and film studies.
- Degree Options: Bachelor of Fine Arts in Film/Video
- Average Program Cost: $10,635
- In-State Tuition: $6,940
- Out-of-State Tuition: $14,330
- Graduation Rate: 50 percent
- Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 15:1
1. University of North Carolina School of the Arts – BFA
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Ranked among the top film schools in the nation, the School of Filmmaking at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts offers an affordable Bachelor of Fine Arts in which students can select a concentration in areas such as screenwriting, production design, producing, editing and sound design, directing, cinematography, or animation. In the first two years of the program, undergraduates direct and shoot digital projects, take hands-on courses in every area of modern film production, and work with peers on original short films that they then submit to worldwide festivals. Students also have the opportunity to attend the UNCSA-hosted RiverRun International Film Festival, held every spring, and during the senior year, students travel with faculty mentors from their concentration to Los Angeles to screen their films for influential UNCSA alumni and industry executives.
BFA Picture Editing & Sound Design
BFA Production Design & Visual Effects
- Average Program Cost: $17,210
- In-State Tuition: $9,338
- Out-of-State Tuition: $25,081
- Graduation Rate: 70 percent
- Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 6:1
Affordable Film Schools In California
1. University of California Los Angeles
The School of Theatre, Film and Television at UCLA is recognized all over the world for the quality of its programs and the creative talent of its alumni, faculty and students.
It offers a major, as well as a minor, in Film, Television and Digital Media for students at the undergraduate level.
The unique graduate level programs offered will prepare students for careers as writers, editors, directors, journalists, animators and executives. From a Master of Fine Arts in Animation, a Master of Arts in Cinema and Media Studies, and a Master of Fine Arts in Cinematography, to a Master of Arts in Moving Image Archive Studies and a Master of Fine Arts in Screenwriting, there is everything for everyone.
Some of the programs may be completed in as little as two years while others may take up to four years to complete.
2. Biola University
Biola University features cinema and media arts programs with comprehensive curricula, expert faculty, and a 24-hour state-of-the-art production center. It is located near Los Angeles, allowing many of its students to participate in internships at Pixar, Disney, DreamWorks and others.
In addition to internships, students may gain further experience by participating in other programs off campus such as the Japan Film Festival, the Los Angeles Film Studies Program and the Biola Sundance.
Students of the Cinema and Media Arts program offered will be prepared to take on professions such as Director, Producer, Screenwriter, News or Entertainment writer and more.
This program will cover the fundamentals of storytelling and creative writing, film production, web design and media streaming, mass communication research and budgeting, casting and set production.
The program comprises 130 credits and can be completed in 4 years. It has the following specialization options: Writing for Film and Television, Production and Media Management.
This program is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.
3. University of California, Santa Cruz
UC Santa Cruz offers a major in Film and Digital Media that allows students to critically analyze the impact of television and film while they themselves engage in creating their own interactive programs in digital media.
Students will polish up their writing skills, learn about the history of film and media all over the world, analyze critique and interpret films, and even gain an in-depth understanding of all the various production stages of the film making process and digital media.
The core curriculum encourages students to explore topics in Film Theory and Criticism, Silent Cinema, the History of Television and more.
This program features concentrations in Production, Critical Studies, and Integrated Critical Practice.
Students at the PhD level may also pursue the PhD program in Film and Digital Media.
4. San Francisco State University
The School of Cinema at San Francisco State’s College of Liberal and Creative Arts provides programs in cinema and film that focus on critical thinking, social engagement and creative expression.
At the undergraduate level students can pursue a Bachelor of Arts in Cinema, and a Master of Arts in Cinema, as well as a Master of Fine Arts in Cinema, for graduate students. Also available are online certificate programs in Film and Media Studies and Screenwriting.
With these programs, students will receive professional training and understand cinema production, as they learn more about the theory and history of cinema. The MFA program will also teach filmmakers to teach cinema to other college and university students.
Students will also gain the technical knowledge and skill to express themselves creatively through animation, screenwriting or film making, and even perform research on key theories and topics related to film.
5. University of Southern California
The University of Southern California hosts the Bryan Singer division of Cinema and Media Studies that is well known for providing in-depth education in media.
The Bachelor of Arts in Cinema and Media Studies that is offered, allows students to study the historical and cultural aspects of traditional and modern media. The Master of Arts in Cinema and Media Studies for students at the master’s level comprehensively analyses the commercial and artistic contexts of media creation and consumption.
Through the Bachelor of Arts in Cinematic Arts, Film and Television Production, students will gain an understanding of all aspects of film production while with the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Cinematic Arts, Film and Television Production students will undergo an intense production experience that includes media studies, animation, writing and interactive media.
Students taking the Master of Fine Arts program will polish their skills in any of the following specialties; Producing, Editing, Sound, Production Design, Directing, and Cinematography.
6. University of California, Santa Barbara
The Department of Film and Media Studies at this university was founded in 1973 and now boasts several high quality film programs.
It offers a Bachelor of Arts degree program in Film and Media Studies that will foster useful and valuable skills in writing and production, theory of film and media texts, research and critical analysis and interpretation of film and media.
The curriculum for this program is uniquely designed to meet the needs of today’s film and entertainment industry. It features the following courses: Acting and Directing, Sound Production, Contemporary Animation, Crew Production, Documentary Production, Introduction to Animation, Editing and Technology among many others.
In order to graduate this program, students are required to maintain a grade point average of at least a 2.0 across all the courses In the major that the student is taking.
7. University of California at Berkeley
Students of the Bachelor of Arts in Film that is available at this university will be rigorously engaged in the culture of film making. Students will explore core courses that touch on documentaries, a history of silent films, theory of film, and other courses on specific genres of film, new media and national cinemas.
The electives featured by this program will explore screen writing and digital video.
Students are also encouraged to take part in internships and may even receive credit for them.
Graduate students have the option of pursuing a Ph.D. in Film and Media. This program places emphasis on the theory and history of film and media but also includes aspects of digital media production. Courses taken through this program will include Film Theory, Film Historiography, and a Proseminar in film. The program is comprised of 24 units in total.
8. Loyola Mary Mount University
Loyola Mary Mount University is home to its world-known School of Film and Television that is recognized as being among the best ten film schools in the United States according to The Hollywood Reporter.
It offers programs that explore the following areas at the undergraduate level: The Recording Arts, Production, Animation, Screen Writing, and Film, TV and Media Studies. At the graduate level, students will take programs in Writing and Producing for TV, Writing for the Screen and Film and TV production.
All these programs will prepare both undergraduate and graduate students for professional careers in the creative film industry. With a curriculum that has been carefully developed for today’s film industry, learners will learn to effectively express their ideas and work together to create film and television programs of the highest quality.
Also available at this school are special programs such as The Hollywood Masters, II Cinema Ritrovato and Monday Nights Series that will give students a chance to network and learn from practicing professionals.
9. University of California at Riverside
The Department of Theatre, Film and Digital Production at the University of California – Riverside offers a comprehensive Bachelor of Arts in Theatre, Film and Digital Production with a general theater track that focuses on production, performance, direction, design, writing and technology, and history, theory and criticism of theater.
The film making track will equip students with the knowledge and skills required during the preproduction, production and post-production processes of film making. It will also cover aspects of lighting, screenwriting, acting for the camera, production design and editing. Students will also be given the opportunity to develop their own ideas from the script to the screen.
The writing track is designed for students interested in writing for television, film or theater. This program focuses on screenwriting and playwriting.
10. Chapman University
The Sodaro-Pankey undergraduate School of Media Arts offers bachelor’s programs in Digital Arts, Creative Producing, News and Documentary, Film Production, Television writing and Production, Screen Acting and Screen Writing.
Graduate students may pick from master’s degrees in Film Studies, Documentary Film, Film Production, Film and Television Producing, Screenwriting and Production Design as well as a Master of Fine Arts and a Master of Business Administration in Producing, focusing on Entertainment law.
With all these programs, there is everything for everyone.
Students looking to become film critics or film historians are well suited for the Bachelor of Arts degree in Film Studies, while the Bachelor of Fine Arts is designed for students that aspire to learn about directing, editing, cinematography, audio design and production design, so that they can tell their stories through film.
The Bachelor of Fine Arts in Screen Acting will prepare professional actors for the screen as well as the stage.
Cheapest Film Schools In Los Angeles
1. City College of New York
Founded in 1941 as the first film program in the U.S., City College offers a BFA in film and video (the only public NYC institution to do so) as well as MFA tracks in fiction and documentary, where students direct their own thesis projects and serve as cinematographer, editor or producer on another thesis production.
2. New York Film Academy
With plans to return for hybrid classes at its New York, L.A. and South Beach Miami campuses, NYFA continues its hands-on approach in which first-year students write, direct, shoot and edit eight short films each and work with a crew of 28 more.
3. The New School
The school, which has moved all its fall courses online, offers a film production minor that gives hands-on lessons in how to create a short film through planning, production and editing, and teaches use of cameras, film equipment, recording techniques and postproduction software.
4. Pace University
Pace’s undergraduate film program focuses on cinema in the digital era, with courses — which will be a mix of online, in-person and hybrid this fall — on cinematography, multiplatform editing and lighting for HD.
5. Pratt Institute
The past year has seen Pratt continue to expand, with growing VR coursework, serialized storytelling offerings and a new class centered on the work of Killer of Sheep director Charles Burnett (culminating in a Q&A with the filmmaker).
affordable film schools in uK
1. National Film and Television School
Based in Beaconsfield, about 90 minutes outside Central London, National Film and Television School has more than 30 MA, diploma, and certificate courses and is definitely one of the big beasts of the UK film school world. Students are taught by industry professionals in a fully working studio complete with dubbing theatres, edit suites, and three cinemas.
Former students include Oscar winners like Nick Park (The Curse of the Were-Rabbit) and cinematographer Roger Deakins (Blade Runner 2049), and notable directing names such as Lynne Ramsay (You Were Never Really Here) and David Yates (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2). Plus, the school regularly attracts top names like Christopher Nolan to give student master classes; and last year, director Alex Garland (Annihilation) was named the school’s associate director, a creative figurehead for the NFTS student body.
NFTS likes to boast that it’s one of the Hollywood Reporter’s top international film schools, and that it’s had “more Oscar nominations than any other film school in the world.” Those accolades are not to be sniffed at, and, unsurprisingly, NFTS isn’t easy to get into. Students are often required to interview, provide showreel material, and attend weeklong workshops for a shot at entry. And remember, film school isn’t cheap—MA courses can cost around £14,300 a year for UK students and £30,000 a year for overseas students.
2. London Film School
Unlike its big rival NFTS, London Film School couldn’t be more centrally situated. Set slap-bang in the middle of Covent Garden, LFS was founded in 1956 and offers various postgrad degrees, a Ph.D., and short courses focusing on film. The school has a good reputation internationally, with students’ work regularly appearing at film festivals across the world. Also, its student body is overwhelmingly international, with 60% of students coming from countries outside the UK.
Notable alumni include BAFTA-winning director Duncan Jones (Moon), Mike Leigh (Peterloo), Michael Mann (Public Enemies), and producer Iain Smith (Children of Men). Worth considering is that its MA in Filmmaking allows students to get valuable experience in all sorts of departments rather than specialising in just one. The school produces approximately 180 films every year and likes students to feel they are part of a “working unit” participating in colleagues’ films as well as their own.
Before you’re totally swayed by LFS’ glitzy Central London location, it’s important to note that the school will be moving to new, state-of-the-art facilities in not-so-swanky Canning Town in 2020. Also, fees are steep—the two-year MA in Filmmaking costs just over for both British and international students.
3. Met Film School
The Met Film School’s HQ is based in the historic (but still fully in operation) Ealing Studios at the end of the Central Line. That means students are very much taught in a professional environment and have access to great facilities and equipment. Ealing is where The Ladykillers, Notting Hill, Downton Abbey, and The Theory of Everything were filmed. Plus, the Met has its own working production company, which recently made Swimming With Men, starring Rob Brydon.
The Met has an enviable selection of courses including acting for camera, editing, cinematography, postproduction, screenwriting, and producing. Course lengths go from a few days to three years for a BA in practical filmmaking. Postgrad MA courses are also available.
Running for the first time from September 2019 is the Met’s two-year BA in Screen Acting. The course promises to teach students about story and script, character and performance, acting methods and techniques, behind-the-camera skills, screen business, and specialist acting skills including automated dialogue replacement (ADR), voiceover, motion capture, and combat techniques.
4. Goldsmiths, the Screen School
Based in New Cross, Goldsmiths already has a great academic reputation as part of the wider University of London; but its Screen School has its own aspirations, challenging bigger film school rivals for the very best students. It markets itself as the “next-generation film school” and wants to produce students ready to work in the industry as it is now, not 20 years ago, so there’s also a focus on a wide variety of media platforms including web drama and video games.
The school operates from a purpose-built media facility within the college’s Department of Media and Communications, focusing on film production rather than acting. It offers a one-year MA in Filmmaking with six distinct paths: Cinematography, Directing Fiction, Editing, Producing, Sound Recording (with Postproduction and Design), and Screen Documentary. There are no short courses, diplomas, or BA degrees, but the university has its own cinema: the newly opened Curzon Goldsmiths.
Directors including Boyle, Asif Kapadia, Stephen Frears, Sally Potter, and Alan Parker have all spoken at Goldsmiths.
Fees are £12,940 for UK students and £24,820 for international students—but, crucially, Screen School students can get relatively cheap accommodation through its university link.
5. London Film Academy
Another relatively new kid on the film school block, London Film Academy is based in a former Methodist church in Fulham, West London. Set up in 2001, LFA is a film school founded and run by women. It offers MA, BA, and diploma courses in Filmmaking; a diploma and MA in Screenwriting; and assorted short courses and vocational add-ons.
LFA’s facilities may be a little less spacious than other schools, but it has two studios, a floor of editing, and a cinema. It also promises to teach students in a “hands-on, practical production company environment” led by industry professionals. One important stat LFA understandably advertises is that 95% of its graduates go on to work in the industry within three months of completing the course.
6. University of Westminster
Before you go buying a penthouse Soho flat so you can walk to your WC1 film school lessons, know this: The University of Westminster’s film and TV faculty is actually based in Harrow, Zone 5. However, that does mean more space for facilities like two soundstages, a set construction workshop, TV studio, edits, a mastering suite, and more.
Westminster teaches film and TV production rather than acting, offering a three-year BA in Film that it describes as “one of the best-known film courses in the world.” It emphasizes group work as well as focusing equally on the academic and vocational sides of the degree. In the third year, students are given the chance to work in a professional setting.
Other BA courses offered include Animation, Contemporary Media Practice, and Television Production—and the school says 80% of students are working in the industry after graduation. Famous alumni include Kapadia, the cinematographer Seamus McGarvey (We Need to Talk About Kevin), and screenwriter Neal Purvis (Skyfall).
7. Ravensbourne University
Based in Greenwich, Ravensbourne offers BAs in Digital Film Production, Digital TV Production, and Editing and Postproduction among other film-y subjects. Known for its external links to creative industries, Ravensbourne students are often working on professional shoots from their first year on.
Ravensbourne is very keen on plugging “digitally focused work” and its aspiration is to produce students ready for the real-world job market, including work in VFX, marketing, and commercials. To apply, you need to submit a portfolio showcasing your work and meet the school’s academic requirements. It likes students to have a background in—or at least an interest in—art, design, or a relevant creative endeavour.