From education to employment

New link-up gives SERC media students the chance to obtain a degree from Edinburgh Napier University

A new link-up between South Eastern Regional College’s (SERC) Northern Ireland Film & Television School (NIFTS) and Edinburgh Napier University is set to give the next generation of television and film talent the chance to achieve an affordable degree from a ‘Top 10’ ranked university.

An articulation agreement has been signed by the two institutions that will give students from HND courses in Creative Media Production at SERC’s NI Film & Television School the chance to gain direct entry into the third year of Edinburgh Napier’s BA Television at the Merchiston campus – should they meet entry and interview requirements. Students would undertake the first two years of their degree via the NIFTS HND course, delivered over two days a week for two years at SERC’s Bangor Campus – most applicants are eligible for full funding for the HND due to its part-time status, meaning students would only pay for the additional years undertaken at Edinburgh Napier.

The degree, accredited by ScreenSkills, the industry-led skills body for the UK’s screen-based industries, reflects the converging worlds of broadcast television, and new media. Modules include TV Factual Research, TV Scriptwriting, TV Drama Production and Professional Development.   Students will also have access to an industry standard broadcasting facility and TV studio on campus along with the opportunity to gain work experience placements at STV and BBC Scotland among others.

The two-year HND at NIFTS, delivered by industry professionals, includes units in scriptwriting, fiction production, cinematography, music video, documentary filmmaking and editing techniques, delivered via a blended learning approach consisting of lectures, studio workshops, industry masterclasses and production residentials.

Dr Kirsten McLeod, Programme Leader for the BA (Hons) Television course at Edinburgh Napier, said, “I am really pleased we have established this partnership with South Eastern Regional College. I have been impressed by the quality of work and teaching at the Northern Ireland Film & Television School and of the ambition of staff and students. We look forward to welcoming SERC’s NIFTS students to Edinburgh Napier University and developing relations between our two institutions.”

In the Guardian Guide 2020, the Edinburgh Napier course ranked 10th in the UK for Media and Film Studies.

Alison Thompson, Course Co-ordinator and Lecturer at the Northern Ireland Film & Television School, said, “We attract a diverse range of students to NIFTS, from school leavers and students from Level 3 programmes to mature career changers. They share a common goal to work in the industry and to have the opportunity to complete a degree at a university of Edinburgh Napier’s calibre and reputation, is an amazing opportunity for our Film School graduates.”

The Northern Ireland Film & Television School was launched at SERC’s Bangor Campus in 2015. In that relatively short time, the course has gained an excellent reputation for truly preparing students for industry. NIFTS graduates can now be found working in film and television production roles nationwide.

South Eastern Regional College has a long-standing relationship with Edinburgh Napier, with previous successful agreements seeing engineering and computing students given similar opportunities to continue their studies with the university in Scotland.

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