​Please note this course is being updated to follow the new BTEC specification from 2017 onwards.  This course information will be updated as appropriate.​

What is this subject about?

The BTEC National Specialist Diploma in Film and TV production is a nationally recognised technical and vocational qualification designed to provide creative students with a thorough understanding of the film and television media sector and industry practice. This is achieved through the continual assessment of practical work and working to set briefs. The Diploma is the equivalent of two A Levels and involves the completion of ten units over two years.

What will I study in the two years?

For the Specialist Diploma Award, you will complete both mandatory and optional units. The programme consists of 4 Mandatory Units:

  • Digital Media Skills
  • Media Enterprise
  • Responding to a Commission
  • Film Production – Fiction

There are 6 Optional Units:

  • Screenwriting
  • Single Camera Techniques
  • Film Editing
  • Sound Editing
  • Lighting Techniques
  • Multi-camera Techniques

How is the course assessed?

Assessment is by a combination of coursework assignments where students complete a series of tasks set by their teachers in a work related scenario which can be tailored to local industry needs. You will generate evidence drawing on the skills and knowledge you have acquired to complete a practical project over a period of time, working either individually or in a team. You will also be assessed in controlled conditions –on your ability to complete a practical task – where you will be required to apply your learning successfully to situation you could encounter in the work place or in Higher education. These tasks are set and marked by the examination board.

Assessment tasks are both set and marked by the examination board as well as being devised and assessed by your teachers (externally moderated by the examination board). Units are graded as Pass, Merit or Distinction/Distinction * and, like A Levels, carry UCAS points.

Skills developed and areas of study

You will gain academic, vocational, technical and practical skills. You will be taught how to critically analyse the media and learn about the practices and functions of the media industries focusing on film and TV production. You will be taught practical skills such as desktop publishing, digital photography, video, filmmaking and animation work. You will learn how to research information effectively through the development of your independent learning skills. It is our expectation that industry related experience will form part of the course. 


​What can the course lead to in terms of higher education and future careers?

Progression to further qualifications, such as degrees in media production-related subjects, is a likely route. Alternatively, this qualification enables candidates to enter employment at a trainee level/apprenticeship.

Entry Requirements

​What are the formal entry requirements for this course?

Aside from the general entry requirements that the College requires, you need to achieve at least a GCSE Grade 4 or above in English Language. If you have taken Media Studies GCSE at school, you need to achieve at least a Grade C to study the Diploma. You will also benefit from having a good level of creativity as there is a strong creative component.

Extra Support

​What extra support/enrichment activities are on offer?

The department has strong links with the LCC, Ravensbourne, Southampton Solent University and other educational providers. We also have guest speakers visiting throughout the year to come in to talk to students. We also run workshops during Wider Skills Week to broaden practical skills.

At the end of the second year we celebrate student achievement with the Esher Oscars and a post-Oscars party.

Subject combination advice

​Subject combination advice:

Although we allow BTEC Media students to combine with Film Studies or Photography, we would not necessarily advise this unless the learner has a firm commitment to pursuing a media-related degree or employment.

What are the main differences between Vocational and the A Level Media course?

The focus in Film and Television Production for the learner is the acquisition of professional media skills which are theoretically underpinned and this is a ‘hands on’, practical course. The dominant learning paradigm is to ‘learn by doing’. The sharpest contrast between the two courses lies in the assessment of work.