Contemporary Film Making in the Highlands and Islands BA (Hons)

Course code W600

What is special about this course?

Set the scene for your future amongst the beautiful and diverse rural landscapes of Scotland. Write, capture, and produce creative films in collaboration with local communities; involve experts in the arts and cultural fields, and cultivate healthy industry links that will stand you in good stead for your future career.

Study craft skills, editing and production, film studies, documentaries, and cultural archiving and recording, in an environment that encourages personal development and learning. Gain valuable knowledge in small business planning and research, while acquiring the technical ability and hands-on, intensive experience needed to succeed in this rewarding industry.

Special features

  • You will be taught by industry experts
  • Collaborations with local communities and industry experts will help you set up realistic links for your future career
  • A blend of theory, technical and project-based learning is applied throughout the course
  • You will receive hands-on learning and immediate experience, and develop skills in business planning and research
  • Residentials will enrich your experience


We offer modern student accommodation at a number of our locations.

Entry requirements

  • 3 Scottish Highers at grade C or above, one in a literary subject, eg English, History, Psychology OR
  • 2 A levels at grade C or above, one in a literary subject AND
  • Standard Grade Credit level, National 5 Computing Science at grade C or above, or equivalent
  • Alternatively, Foundation Apprenticeship Creative and Digital Media PLUS an additional Scottish Higher in either English, History or Psychology, at Grade C or above
  • Relevant industry experience or understanding of the requirements of film-making is also required
  • You will be required to attend an interview to assess your technical ability
  • Applicants with other qualifications or experience will be considered on an individual basis
  • Advanced entry to year two may be possible with a relevant HNC (with a B in the graded unit) such as: Creative Industries: Television; or Creative Industries Radio, Audio Visual Technology or Interactive Media

Access routes

SWAP Access courses
If you are eligible to undertake Scottish Wider Access Programmes (SWAP), please visit our SWAP access list for further information on grade profiles and available subjects.

Year 1 - CertHE

Core modules are:

  • Writing for film: introduction to screenplay
  • Single camera production
  • Stories from the highlands and islands, making a film: pitch
  • Moving images: history and development of film
  • Stories from the highlands and islands, making a film: production
  • Introduction to post-production

Year 2 - DipHE

Core modules are:

  • Moving images: visual literacy
  • Remote and rural film making in a highlands and islands community
  • Creating work for clients: developing the brief
  • Writing for film: writing a screenplay
  • Creative work for clients: production
  • Post-production

Year 3 - BA

Core modules are:

  • Factual film project
  • Documentary film: development
  • Fictional narrative film project
  • Scotland in film
  • Live event production

Year 4 - BA (Hons)

Core modules are:

  • Critical commentary
  • Post-production: advanced techniques
  • Freelancing skills for the digital film-maker

You will also undertake a major film project (60 credits).

How will I study my course?

  • Full-time
  • Part-time (structured)
  • Part-time (unstructured)
  • You will learn through a combination of face-to-face and video conference lectures and tutorials, residential experiences and online study via the university's virtual learning environment (VLE), with support from your tutors
  • Residentials take place twice each year and you will be required to self-fund any travel to these and cover accommodation and subsistence costs

How long will my course last?

  • Full-time: 4 years @ 40 hours per week
  • Part-time (structured): 8 years @ 20 hours per week

Where can I study my course?

  • North, West and Hebrides - Alness campus
  • Orkney College UHI - The programme will run at UHI Orkney subject to the recruitment of a minimum cohort
  • Shetland

Start date

  • September


Find out more about fees, fee waivers and funding options.


UHI has a number of scholarships, bursaries, awards, and discretionary fund opportunities available to new and current students. Please use the A-Z of funds or use the filter to see which ones may be relevant to you. All students are welcome to apply.

Further information on funding your studies is also available, please see the attached link or contact the relevant UHI partner.

Additional costs

Residentials take place twice each year and you will be required to self-fund any travel to these and cover accommodation and subsistence costs.

What can I do on completion of my course?

On successful completion of this degree, you might like to consider an enhanced career in:

  • Digital arteface production
  • TV or film production
  • Video production
  • Post-production editing
  • Camera operation
  • Photography
  • Production assistant
  • Runner
  • Location or props manager
  • Programme researcher

Is there more information available online?

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You can use the above QR code to connect directly to the course details.

Creating and learning as a filmmaker is the whole point of the course and having the ability to express ourselves tops a lot of other courses.

I’ve had great support both as a class member and as an individual. The course is being run fantastically, with the course leader listening to our concerns and using this feedback to improve the programme for future students.

Andy Wells is studying in the third year of the BA(Hons) Contemporary Film-making in the Highlands and Islands.

Questions about this course?

Questions about this course?

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Questions about this course?


Thank you for your interest in studying Contemporary Film Making in the Highlands and Islands BA (Hons) with us.

If you are ready to apply, please start your application below by selecting when you would like to start your course. This will take you to the UCAS website or our online application system.

If you're not quite ready, please message us or call 01463 279190 if there is anything we can do to help you with your decision. We will handle your query in line with our Privacy Notice.

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  • Applications to this course are now closed for September 2023 entry. Applications for September 2024 will open in September 2023. Please revisit this page then to apply.

We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at the University of the Highlands and Islands. We operate a fair and open admissions system committed to equality of opportunity and non-discrimination. We consider all applications on merit and on the basis of ability to achieve, without discrimination on grounds of gender, age, disability, ethnicity and socio-economic background. We welcome applications from all prospective students and aim to provide appropriate and efficient services to students with disabilities.

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