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Brighton Screen & Film School (UK)

For students interested in the film industry, the Brighton Screen and Film School has some of the best and most industry-relevant facilities in the country.


That's because the three sites of the school across Brighton, which are part of the BIMM University group of colleges, were set up in collaboration with industry, with all the amenities and technology that they would expect graduates to be well-versed in.


But that's not all; in fact, graduates also benefit from its 5-year alumni guarantee, which gives them access to career support, networking events, use of the facilities and discounts on short courses within that timeframe.

Perhaps even more appealing is its location in this creative city and cultural hub, which hosts key industry events that draw a huge range of international creatives each year, such as Cinecity, Brighton Festival, Brighton Fringe, The Great Escape and more.


Only 47 miles from London, Brighton offers the best of both worlds -- easy access to the UK capital, alongside the opportunity to make part of a seaside, free-thinking, inclusive community.


Check out some of the highlights from my visit below!


Brighton Film Studios

City of Brighton


Considered the 'sunniest city in the UK,' Brighton was unfortunately extremely rainy during the few days I was there (it was winter, I should add).


Nevertheless, I could see its potential: a pier with shops and food outlets, The Lanes (a cute neighborhood with cobblestone streets and boutique shops), of course the massive palace (the Royal Pavilion) and more.


Brighton Beach
Brighton Pier
Brighton Pier
Royal Pavilion
Royal Pavilion

On a map, Brighton looks a long ways from London, but actually, it's only an hour on the train.


London Gatwick International Airport is even easier; only 30 minutes away!


Because of this, many people from Brighton actually commute to London for work.


Funky artwork next to a church
Funky artwork next to a church

Of Brighton's 300,000 residents, about 15 percent are students.


One thing that stood out to me is how diverse and welcoming people are though and how people here are unafraid to be their true selves in a city that's quirky itself.


Beach-side basketball court
Beach-side basketball court
Cute shops and pubs
Cute shops and pubs
Quirky art
Upside down house
Brighton pubs
Brighton art

In fact, Brighton is famous for being home to the world's second largest Pride Festival in the world (after San Francisco).


Brighton artwork
LGBTQ-friendly
LGBTQ-friendly Brighton

And last but not least, one of the most interesting places to visit in the heart of the city is the Royal Pavilion, which was built by King George IV between 1787 and 1822 and later sold to the city of Brighton in 1850.


Royal Pavilion
Royal Pavilion

It's said that during World War II, Hitler ordered the building to be spared from bombing so he could use it as his headquarters.


Nowadays, the Royal Pavilion is open for tourists to check out and often used as a wedding venue.


Royal Pavilion

In fact, in 2014, it hosted a number of the first legal same-sex marriages to take place in the UK following the passage of the 2013 Same Sex Couples Act.


Royal Pavilion

Campus and academics


The Brighton Screen and Film School is located across three sites in the city: Old Steine, London Road and the Brighton Film Studios.


Between the three, you'll find five film sets, five Mac suites, two editing suites, two dedicated screening rooms and multiple student areas.


I had the opportunity to visit the Brighton Film Studios, located about 15 minutes by car or 30 minutes by bus outside the city centre in what used to be an old warehouse up until three years ago.


Outside the school

Its location two miles north of the city means it has the necessary space required for large-scale productions -- that is, 11,000 square feet!


This means it's the only film lots of its kind on the south coast.


But this doesn't mean lots of commuting back and forth; classes are planned so that students spend the majority of the day there.


View from common area
View from common area

A number of courses are taught here, including Film Business & Production, Filmmaking, Production Design for Screen & Film and Hair and Makeup for Screen & Film.


With 600 students, Filmmaking is the largest course.


Its first year is foundational because most students enter thinking they want to be a director, but many discover they actually prefer lighting, screenwriting, etc.


Student actors and producers on set
Student actors and producers on set
Student actors and producers on set
Staff explaining how scenes work
Staff explaining how scenes work

Here, students should be prepared to get their hands on set from day one.


Seeing what they see from the camera
Seeing what they see from the camera

With the main goal of preparing students for industry, the courses are 70 percent practical.


And whilst there aren't any exams, students do have to produce pieces, but a dissertation is optional.


The school also has 100+ industry partners that provide mentorship, work placements and more.


These partners get to use the facilities for free -- as long as they employ students in their work.


Tech guys
Tech guys

Elsewhere, students can also collaborate with the BIMM Institute and the Institute for Contemporary Theatre to produce content such as music videos.


The school even gives students a small budget, around £200-300, to hire a car, actors or purchase the necessary supplies with the idea being that their creativity isn't hindered by cost.


The school also pays for students to submit their films to festivals.


By the end of the course, all students step out into the real world with a professional showreel.


Set backdrop
Set backdrop

One of the newer degrees, Hair and Makeup for Screen & Film, runs adjacently to the Filmmaking and Production Design courses, giving students the opportunity to test their skills in real live film projects.


Wig oven!
Wig oven!
Hair and makeup
Hair and makeup
Hair and makeup
Photography set
Photography set

And speaking of Film Production, this course was developed to reflect the recent huge surge in demand for professional, technically skilled production design graduates.


For example, period productions are in particularly high demand in the UK.


Learning about set production design from an academic who worked on Star Wars
Learning about set production design from an academic who worked on Star Wars
Class in session

Lastly, new in 2024 is a suite of three courses related to game design, development and technology.


With an expected cohort of about 25 students, these programs offer the unique selling point that every graduate will walk out of the school with at least one published game.


Summary: Brighton Screen and Film School


Even in the worst of weather, the city of Brighton's unique character and flair showed through.


And much like the city, the Brighton Screen and Film School is made up of a diverse, creative and inclusive community.


It's a great option for those who wants a practical, hands-on experience -- learning by doing -- taught by academics who still work in their fields.


Students are passionate, focused and well-prepared to enter the job market by the end of their three years there.


Outside the Royal Pavilion
Brighton Film Studios

 

Interested in applying for college or grad school in the UK?


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G'day! My name is Sara, and I'm the founder of College Apps Abroad and a Certified Educational Planner (CEP), one of only 40 CEP's in California and 300 worldwide. I have more than 10 years of experience working in international recruitment and admissions, and I've studied and lived overseas myself in the UK, Ireland, Australia and Brazil for almost a decade. I've also worked for some of the world's top institutions, including The University of Edinburgh, the University of New South Wales (UNSW) and The University of Western Australia (UWA)!

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