BA (Hons) Film Direction

Programme Information

Programme Start September 2018
Title BA (Hons) Film Direction
Calendar September – June
Type Full-Time
Length 3 Years
Typical Class Size 22
Awarding Institution Programme is subject to validation

Who is the programme for?

The BA Film Direction programme provides foundational instruction in all aspects of visual storytelling on screens big and small, with a strong emphasis on developing a singular vision for directing. This challenging and intensive programme is specially designed for ambitious individuals who wish to challenge the status quo and bring about change to filmmaking.

Why Barcelona?

Barcelona is one the world’s most intoxicating cities where the arts thrive thanks to a rich cultural heritage. Neighboring Sitges, where our campus is located is home to the Sitges Film Festival, an annual film event visited by the film industry from around the world. The Barcelona area is a hotspot for film production, from the Game of Thrones to the films of Takashi Miike, music videos to television commercials — it has a well-established production environment, fantastic locations and an abundance of great weather.

Why Study At The IAB?

The IAB is a unique school where creation, production, performance and artistry merge to foster innovation. Our creative community thrives on multi-disciplinary collaboration. During your studies, you will have the opportunity to work with actors, dancers, musicians and performers from across the arts in a supportive creative and entrepreneurial culture.

About the Programme

Film directing is a demanding job. Not only are you the creative lodestar, you need to be sufficiently informed of the entire filmmaking process. The programme’s primary goal is to give you the ability to craft a singular vision. You will learn about all aspects of film production in particular, as well as the film business in general so that you are well informed to make key decisions.

The programme does not foster one particular genre of film but provides you with the opportunity to develop your own singular vision and apply it to music videos, commercials, or films. We believe in doing and learning quickly by being wrong fast.

Distinguishing Features of Film Direction Studies at the IAB
  • Focus on idea/concept generation;
  • Story/character research;
  • Collaborative nature based on pitches;
  • Iterative process to identify problems in groups;
  • Entrepreneurial studies;
  • Being part of Europe’s most creative and exciting shools with the opportunity to collaborate with artists from across the performing and recording arts;
  • Proximity to Barcelona - one of Europe’s most lively cities with a great lifestyle.
Teaching Staff and Associates

Central to the success of any programme is the quality of the teaching staff. All the staff that teach on the programme are experts in their field and have had successful careers in the film business.

Resources and Technology
  • On-site 200 seat screening theatre;
  • Digital film equipment;
  • Film editing workstations;
  • Audio-visual production facilities;
  • Lighting and grip equipment.

Programme Content and Key Areas of Study

The BA Film Direction programme is based on academic studies and collaborative filmmaking.

Academic Studies

You will learn about the film crew, the filmmaking process, story writing and telling, and art history. Visualisation and visual arts workshops are there to introduce you to the art of telling stories visually. Screenwriting and storyboarding workshops helps you to learn how to weave stories and create compelling arcs. Critical thinking and learning how to conceptualise ideas is a critical academic subject for this programme. Acting workshops introduces the concepts behind acting - you will work with actors and acting teaching staff.

Business Studies

Budgeting, time-management and business affairs is part of the director’s job. You will learn best practices for the effective fiscal and time management for any production.

Production Studies

You will learn about the entire process of a film production. From budgeting to locations, casting to sound, you will be exposed - and do - many of the key jobs to better acquaint you to see the bigger picture. Production studies will teach you about set safety - an important element in any production.


Over the three years of your studies, you will create films based on a be wrong fast and iterative methodology. You will take turns in groups to generate ideas, do extensive research, create characters, plot stories, create sizzle reels and collaborate with actors and musicians. At each stage, the process is evaluated and analysed for problems before the creation continues. The aim is for you to leave the programme with an exceptional film reel that showcases your singular vision.

About the Programme

The BA Hons Film Direction degree is delivered over three years and is made up of 180 European Credits (ECTS) and 360 UK Credits. The degree is fully compliant with the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) framework.

Year 1: Fade In - Core Skills for the Film Director

Year one starts with introductions to directing, cinematography, sound, post production. This is augmented with acting workshops for directors, screenwriting, insight into research methodology for visual storytelling, film editing, as well as an introduction to modernism and aesthetics. Blocking is introduced with emphasis on emotional impact and fluid continuity. During the first year, you will start concpetualising and researching story ideas in groups in an iterative pitch-based process.

Year 2: The Hook - Critical Skills to Define Your Singular Vision

Year two goes into business affairs for filmmakers, line producing and production management, on-set and post production sound, an introduction to film scoring and tech training for directors. During the second year, you will create sizzle reels that visualise your story ideas, find collaborators and bring about a production schedule for shooting.

Year 3: The Proof - The Professional Entrepreneurial Film Director

The third year is given to full-time production of short films (of any genre) that will be your film reel. You will put into practice everything you have learned from the academic studies and your experience with the iterative, be wrong fast methodology to help you create excellent films. You will learn how to effectively communicate, promote and package your films for submission to film festivals.

Learning Outcomes
  • The beginnings of a singular vision;
  • Fluency in visual storytelling;
  • Fluency in stylistic options;
  • Technical filmmaking skills;
  • Understanding of business affairs related to filmmaking;
  • Ability to apply critical thinking;
  • A comprehensive understanding of research;
  • An iterative mindset for problem-solving;
  • Exhibit ethical, cultural sensitivity and context;
  • Mindful of set safety;
  • Collaborative skills with crew and other artists;
  • The ability to convey an idea clearly to the crew;
  • Have an entrepreneurial drive.

English Language Requirement

All of our programmes are taught and assessed in English.

Foundation Certificates: IELTS 5.5 BA and MA degrees: IELTS 6.5

Students applying from countries where English is the main language do not need IELTS qualifications

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