MI4004 - Professional Practice 1

What will I learn on this module?

The professional media industry employs a wide range of standard tools, mechanisms, forms and regulatory procedures to make sure media productions run smoothly, safely, legally, ethically, on time, and under budget. Employers tell us that graduates who know and can apply these techniques- as well as demonstrate a cultural overview of their craft - are extremely valuable to them at entry level and can play a genuinely useful role in supporting real industry productions.

In this module, you will learn a range of basic production management techniques which will equip you to run all your student productions (as well as future professional productions) more successfully and you will be introduced to techniques of creative thinking, group working strategies, legal/ ethical considerations and risk assessment techniques. Tutors also devote time on this module to supporting and developing your academic and practical study skills that will underpin a successful completion of the Film & TV Production programme, as well as provide you with an overview of the key social, historical and stylistic contexts of the film and television industry in order to gear you towards careers in a wide variety of media production sectors. The module will teach you up-to-date methods for safe filming practices, and familiarise you with the regulations and advice currently in force in the industry. You’ll also learn how to build a media CV, develop transferable skills, and build confidence to approach industry contacts; you’ll research and submit a plan for your second year professional practice module portfolio – such as a work placement or programme of interviews with industry professionals.

In essence the module considers what it is to become a filmmaker, in terms of not only practical considerations but also a cultural mindset which will allow you to enter into creative discussions with your professional peers and potential employers as a more fully rounded and informed practitioner.

How will I learn on this module?

Your module will be delivered through a combination of lectures and smaller seminar sessions, supported by an individual tutorial. Your lectures will introduce you to key concepts of professional practice in an in-depth manner whilst smaller seminars will be structured to reflect the core issues and themes of the module, and to deliver specific production management skills. Extensive online resources support face to face sessions.

Each seminar will contain an interactive component which will necessitate your participation. These will include authentic role-play scenarios designed to place you within a regulatory, social or professional mindset whilst lecture materials, seminar guidelines and module information will all be placed for you upon the e-learning portal (ELP). A programme of course work, which includes weekly exercises and assignments, tracks the pre-production and production stages of a media production.

The assessment of your module is the preparation of a production portfolio whose centrepiece is a short film production. The extent and nature of the production will be flexibly determined in response to the production environment, in negotiation with the student cohort, but could range from a group production of a short drama to an individually generated piece of factual or experimental work. The preparation and successful delivery of this production is key to the assessment strategy of the module as you will be assessed on the professional pre-production and management paperwork of the project from development to delivery – documenting the production process you follow – rather than being directly assessed on the film itself. Your portfolio will also include an overview of your personal development during the module and the research and writing of a plan for your second year professional practice module, involving a placement or equivalent industry project.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Professional Practice 1 tackles the creative, cultural and professional foundations of what it means to be a media practitioner in a dynamic and ever-changing industrial landscape. Whilst lectures will provide the theoretical and contextual knowledge necessary for your own professional development, seminars in semester one will explore regulatory and ethical issues through a series of case studies, whilst increasingly small-group sessions will be used to support the short film production. Further one to one tutorials can be arranged by appointment, and your tutor can be contacted during published and timetabled ‘drop-in’ support and feedback sessions without the need for an appointment. Extensive materials and external links will be shared on the Blackboard site and the university’s enterprise, careers and placements teams also offer support into the employability-focused elements of this module.

You will receive verbal feedback on a CV, as well as peer review in taught sessions, and also on a draft proposal for your second year placement plans. You’ll also receive written feedback on your final summative submissions which will detail areas that could be improved in future work. You will also be offered the opportunity to receive further verbal feedback following this formal assessment, so that they can follow up any concerns you have regarding your critical development and future learning.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:

1. Demonstrate understanding of current film and TV production management practices, processes and operations

2. Demonstrate your understanding of the ethical, legal and safety elements of the film and television industries

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:

3. Apply key principles, tools, software, and transferable production skills in the successful management of a film production process

4. Research industry structures and roles, critically analyse and reflect on findings, and apply career development skills in creating and reflecting on a professional project plan

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA): Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural Awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA)

5. Demonstrate the ability to reflect on, and critically respond to, ethical issues relating to film and TV production and dissemination, accounting for a diverse workforce and audience

How will I be assessed?

You will receive formative assessment in the form of verbal feedback in seminars based on draft versions of your production documents as coursework proceeds.
Feedback is verbal in seminar sessions and written at summative form. Following completion of the module, you will be able to have further verbal discussion about your progress with the module tutor at the resumption of level 5.

Your summative assessment is delivered in two components: a presentation and a written submission.

The portfolio is divided into two sections:

Section 1 is the assessment of a presentation of your production process. Depending on the prevailing production environment, this may be a group or an individual presentation. In this presentation you will articulate your analysis of your success in managing the production, and provide the production paperwork as accompanying evidence in the form of a digital handout. Each student will also reflect on their individual learning from the production. – MLOs 1, 2, 3 & 5. This carries 70% weighting within the module.

Section 2 is the assessment of an individual written submission in which you will document industry research, reflect on your findings, and set out a project plan for your portfolio in the second year module, in which you embark on an industry placement or a similar project to engage with industry working practices. You need to demonstrate sufficient research ability to have identified a specific potential opportunity and to be able to write a plan demonstrating how you will execute that plan. This carries 30% weighting within the module. (MLO 4)





Module abstract

Professional Practice 1 will provide you with a core understanding of how media productions are professionally organised and executed, together with knowledge of the legal, ethical and regulatory issues which underpin production management. You will learn how to prepare a production in terms of budgeting, scheduling and risk assessment, as well as considering all the additional safety considerations of a film shoot. You’ll consider the ethical challenges facing a broadcaster or distributor, and learn how to manage a production from script to screen, including an introduction to industry-standard production management software, while also reflecting on your skill development and building your employability. The module includes the opportunity to develop a CV and plan ahead to develop a proposal for a work placement or professional portfolio in the second year. You’re also given the opportunity to develop specific transferable skills such as presentation, interpersonal communication and time management skills, while producing a complete set of production paperwork for a short film or TV production.

Course info

UCAS Code P310

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years Full Time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Arts

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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