The difference between studying Film and Television

05 October 2022

A girl wearing glasses crouched down holding a camera
SOFT girl and camera
Type: Text
Category: Industry insights

Last year, over £4 billion was invested across 211 high-end television projects in the UK, an increase of £1.6 billion from 2020.  

In a recent report commissioned by ScreenSkills, film and high-end television production spend in the UK is forecast to exceed £7.66 billion by 2025, and to facilitate this growth, the industry will need to recruit almost 21,000 additional crew to meet demand. With an increased need for training and skills development across the production sector, there’s never been a better time to study a degree in Television or Film. 

If you’re interested in studying Television or Film at University but are unsure which degree to choose, we caught up with Faye, Course Leader of Television BA(Hons), and Laura Canning, Course Leader of Film BA(Hons) to explain the differences between these courses at Falmouth. 

What are the main differences between studying Film and Television? 

Both Television BA(Hons) and Film BA(Hons) at Falmouth have a focus on drama and documentary-making, with each degree requiring a high level of critical thinking and research skills, as well as a passion for production. Of the two degrees, Television BA(Hons) tends to be more hands-on and practical, suiting students who learn through doing.  

The Film BA(Hons) degree focuses on the kinds of short films and features exhibited in cinema and galleries, and suits those who have a desire to develop their voice through exploring filmmaking history and practice from around the world while taking the time to analyse and contextualise their making. 

Just like the television industry, the Television BA(Hons) course moves at a quick pace with a faster turnaround of projects and working to both original and set commissions. Production crews for Television projects tend to be slightly bigger, where students have a greater opportunity to try more niche roles such as first assistant director, script supervisor or camera assistant alongside writing, producing, directing, cinematography, sound, editing and more. The Television course puts creative expression and the development of story (or script) at the centre of the student experience which results in strong, innovative and cinematic outputs. 

Falmouth’s Film degree covers a range of creative and formal approaches, including narrative and experimental short filmmaking and documentary, and allows students to explore roles in producing, directing, cinematography, post-production editing, grade and sound design, and short or feature-length screenwriting. Students are encouraged to reflect on their own practice within the tradition of film by critically examining film history, culture, representation, genre and industrial contexts. 

The Television BA(Hons) degree also offers the opportunity to go beyond drama and documentary making, with students having the option to explore branded content, commercials, event streaming, music video production, multi-camera and more.  

While creating a range of productions during their first and second year, Television students can choose to try different craft and technical roles before specialising in the final year of their degree. In contrast, Film students embark on a specialist pathway from their second year. 

When choosing whether to study a degree in Television or Film, it’s not so much about which industry you want to work in but more about how you’d like to learn.

What kind of jobs could you do with a degree in Film or Television? 

Both of our Television and Film degrees equip students with the skills to be able to work across both industries when they graduate. Most Television and Film graduates will typically work in television, initially, as this tends to be the industry with the most employment opportunities globally. Whether you decide to study Television or Film, you could pursue a range of careers, including working as a producer, director, cinematographer, editor, sound recordist or mixer, production or location manager, casting director or screenwriter. 

Television graduates have gone on to work on both Hollywood feature films, such as No Time to Die (2021), and high end TV dramas including House of the Dragon. Similarly, Film graduates have carved out careers in filmmaking and television production, working on titles such as His Dark Materials and Sex Education

When choosing whether to study a degree in Television or Film, it’s not so much about which industry you want to work in but more about how you’d like to learn.

How do the Television and Film courses prepare students for industry? 

We have incredible lecturers and technicians within the School of Film & Television. The majority of staff have direct industry experience and continue to work in the field to maintain connections and industry practice which they incorporate into their teaching. 

Students learn in our professional television and film facilities, which include production studios, editing suites, a dubbing theatre with 5.1 surround sound, animation studios, green screen volumes, and a 129-seat cinema. By mirroring industry practices, our students gain a thorough understanding of how a professional crew operates through the development, production, post-production and positioning of their work. And we go beyond this and even look to improve on industry practice, particularly where it comes to inclusivity and representation. Upon graduation, Television and Film students can walk on set with a clear understanding of the etiquette, the key roles and the process of making.

Across the School, Television and Film students also benefit from a range of guest speakers who deliver talks and masterclasses across different specialisms. Through Falmouth’s Sound/Image Cinema Lab, students have worked on short films and feature length titles including the BAFTA-Award winning feature BAIT (2019), Long Way Back (2022) and Enys Men (2022), giving them direct set experience, industry credits and an incredible start in the industry. 

Whether you choose a degree in Television or Film, remember that the skills taught across the two courses will give you the knowledge and experience to work in either industry. 

Explore our Television, Film & Animation courses

Student with film camera on beach at sunrise
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