27 November 2021 The Irish Film & Television Network
Decision Time; CAO Courses for Future Filmmakers
01 Feb 2012 :
It is that time of year again where students up and down the country decide what to put on their CAO form. The CAO deadline (1 Feb) is upon us and while some students may know what they want to do and where, for others IFTN has composed a list of some of the courses available to school leavers interested in a career in the film and television industry, looking at everything from film and television production and even animation and game design.


Here is a look at some of courses available in TV and Film production from around the country...


The Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art Design and Technology for instance offers a Level 8 BA Honours Degree in Film and Television Production. The classes for this four year degree are kept small offering students a good level of interaction with tutors, easier access to facilities and more hands-on production experience. The more practical elements of the course include modules in production, script writing, direction, camera and lighting, sound and editing, programming for television, drama and documentary and educational programming. The points for the course last year were 900 which included a portfolio and interview. For more information on the course visit www.iadt.ie

Ballyfermot College of Further Education (BCFE) offers a course in Cinematography. This one year course offers students both knowledge and practical skills involved with cinematography. Students learn lighting skills, camera operations media analysis, communications and image processing. Students leave the course with a Certificate in Media Production. This one year Level 5 FETAC course in Television and Digital Film gives students an opportunity to build a visual portfolio within the areas of Television, Photograph and Digital Film Production. Students study media analysis, communications, photography, editing, TV production, script writing and are given work experience.Ballyfermot also offers a two year Higher Diploma course in Television Operations and Productions. The course has been running for 15 years and includes new purpose built facilities include a TV Studio, Control Room and Editing suites with the latest digital technology.Students learn digital editing, TV studio production, camera and outside broadcasts and may go on to do the BA Honours Degree in Media Production Management in BCFE. Ballyfermot also offers a two year Higher National Diploma in Film. The course consists of four main elements; Theory and Analysis, Camera, Lighting and Art Direction. There is an emphasis on Visual Language and Cinematography. The course includes a range of facilities like a Sound Stage, Scenery Room, Dressing Rooms, Avid Edit Suites, Arri and Atton Super 16mm Cameras and a range of sound, lighting and support equipment. To apply for any of the courses mentioned here visit www.bcfe.ie

Griffith College Dublin gives students the opportunity to study for diplomas in media techniques for TV and Video. Students are taught how to propose and make video packages and combines this with skills in post-production & utilising industry software. Students study subjects such as television and video production, film theory and photography. On successful completion of the Diploma students will receive a City & Guilds Diploma in Television and Media Techniques plus a GCD Diploma in Television Production and Digital Video Editing. Griffith College Dublin has in place a purpose built state of the art studio and dedicated media production suite for the course. Students can apply for either of the courses straight through Griffith College Dublin at www.gcd.ie/apply . Griffith College Dublin is a fee paying college.

Bray Institute of Further Education's (BIFE) Media and Performing Arts faculty includes on its list of full time courses Film and TV production. The Film and TV production course is a BTEC National Diploma Award. It is a one year course which sees students develop practical skills in film production, graphics, lighting, DVD authoring, writing, media analysis, film and post production. Each student is expected to produce a short film, a documentary and a live studio programme as part of the diploma course. Students will also work in an outside broadcasting unit. The requirements for the course are a Leaving Certificate or equivalent but places on the course are limited and will be subject to an interview. On successful completion of the course students will have a portfolio of work and may be offered a place on the college's Higher National Diploma for 3rd Level graduates in Film and Television production, the Film and TV production (moving image) course. The two year full-time course aims to further develop the skills gained in the Film and TV production BTEC National Diploma Award. Students gain extensive practical experience in the operation of cameras, sound, vision mixing, editing, lighting, direction, producing, screenwriting, research methods and production management. Graduates of the course can opt to continue their studies to gain an Honours Degree by doing an extra year at Swansea University in England, a college with which BIFE have an academic partnership. To look at the courses on offer in BIFE visit www.bife.ie

The Dublin Business School offers a three year Level 8 BA honours degree course in Film Studies. The course has both theoretical and practical elements. Students learn about American, European and World cinema, they also do modules in scriptwriting, production and development. The points for the course last year were 240. DBS also offers a 10 week part-time diploma in the evenings in Digital Video Production and Post Production. This programme is specifically for people with no previous experience and introduces students to skills like camera operation, lighting for a film and sound recording. They will also be given the opportunity to script, develop and shoot a short video project and edit and complete a collaborative project at the post-production stage. All courses include a tuition fee. Visit www.dbs.ie to enrol and for more information.

Colaiste Dhulaigh, a college of further education in Dublin offers a full-time two year post leaving certificate (PLC) course in Film Production. Students study key practical areas such as scriptwriting, directing, producing, sound, lighting and marketing and their study will culminate in the creation of their own films. Students also study film and related media theory. The BAFTA award winning director Damien O'Donnell (East is East, Inside I'm Dancing) is a graduate of the programme. Students are credited with a higher national diploma on completion of the course. Applications for this course must be made directly to www.colaistedhulaigh.ie and places are subject to interview.

The Dun Laoghaire College of Further Education offers three courses in TV and Film production. It offers a 20 week part-time FETAC level 5 course in TV and Video Production. The course gives students a comprehensive introduction to studio production, vision mixing and editing, using single and two camera setups and covers subjects like production planning, camera operation, shot composition, lighting, recording audio and editing. DLCFE also offers a full-time FETAC level 5 course in TV and Digital Film Production. The course gives students a foundation in television and digital film production. Students will acquire skills in television studio production, single camera production, AVID and video editing and internet broadcasting. Students will also come out of the course with a portfolio of work. A one year Level 6 advanced certificate in TV and Digital Film Production is also available at the college and is designed to build on the skills acquired during the FETAC level 5 course. Enrolment for the courses can be done directly through the college at www.dlcfe.ie 

The Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology is now offering students a three year Level 8 BA Honours degree course in Film and Documentary at the Cluain Mhuire campus in Galway from this September. The course will replace the previous Level 7 BA in Film and Television degree. Celine Curtin, Programme Chair, explains that the programme will offer GMIT students a chance to hone their skills saying "It also provides students with ongoing access to the film and television industry as GMIT works closely with local and national production companies and organisations to meet the needs of the industry." Applications for the course can be done through the CAO

Pulse College in Dublin offer students a one year course in Film which includes a FETAC Level 5 diploma in Video Production combined with a FETAC Level 6 advanced certificate in Media Production and certificate in Pro Tools 101. The course can be done part-time during the day or at weekends and starts in October for a 32 week period. Students will learn a range of subjects both practical and theoretical including video production, sound recording, lighting for film, audio editing and creation, script writing for short films and TV, ethical and legal issues in media and much more. Pulse College also offer a 1 year course for a FETAC Level 5 qualification in Film Production which is held four days a week. Pulse is a fee paying college. For more information on the course visit www.pulecollege.eu

Independent Colleges Dublin offers a 12 week part time diploma course in Video Production in the evenings. The course provides students with the skills necessary to produce their own documentary videos and is taught by a documentary maker. The course covers basic shooting and editing, as well as interviewing, script-writing and storytelling modules. Application for the course must be done directly to the college. For more information go to www.independentcolleges.ie


With the animation industry in Ireland valued at €80million and with such established animation production companies as Jam Media, Boulder Media, Kavaleer and Oscar-nominated Brownbag Films and Cartoon Saloon, animation in Ireland for talented artists is now, more than ever, a viable career option.

The Institute of Art, Design and Technology in Dun Laoghaire (IADT) offers a four year Level 8 BA Honours Degree in Animation which can lead students into other areas like TV advertising, special effects and short films. It includes an 80% practical assessment meaning students get hands on experience. The points for the course last year were 850, with inclusion of a portfolio and interview. IADT also offer a useful two week part-time portfolio preparation course. Queries about the portfolio course can be made to ptc@iadt.ie

Ballyfermot College of Further Education (BCFE) also offers a range of courses in Animation, with a dedicated School of Animation, Ballyfermot offers courses a one year course in Animation Drawing which is a foundation course for anyone looking to get into animation and includes the study of life drawing, drawing and painting, animation, layout studies and much more. The college also offers a course in Classical and Computer animation. This two year course Higher National Diploma course offers both mediums of classical or hand-drawn and computer generated animation. This dynamic course provides the skills to take individual and group projects from conception to completion. The course aims to enable the student to develop techniques employed by the professional animators and to acquire skills for entry into Feature, TV or Computer Game animation jobs. Successful completion of this course can see student progress in their studies to the BA Honors Degree in Animation offered in the college. The BA Honors Degree in Animation is a further two year course offering students both practical and theoretical modules including production, life drawing, research and development, historical and theoretical analysis and a dissertation. http://www.isa-bcfe.ie/ .

Colaiste Dhulaigh offers a 3 year FETAC level 5 Post Leaving Certificate (PLC) course in Animation with the option of a top up year for a BA Honours Degree with the college having academic links with the University of Wolverhampton, Cumbria University and Ballyfermot College of Further Education. Graduate students also apply for direct entry to the course in Animation in IADT. The course is also unique in that is looks at acquiring both digital and traditional skills in animation. Students are also encouraged to submit their graduation work to major Film Festivals such as Darklight.

For students still undecided on animation, St. John's Central College based in Cork also offer a FETAC level 5 PLC course in Cartoon Animation. The one-year foundation programme introduces students to the concepts involved in the production of Animated Film like traditional drawn animation and 3D and Computer Generated Animation. Students can apply directly to the college at www.stjohnscollege.ie. Progressing further after this one year course is made possible in that they also offer a FETAC level 6 PLC course in Animation Film as part of their Creative Arts faculty. The one year course includes core subjects like drawing and designing but also has more specialised subjects like animation film and computer illustration. The course boasts facilities like a fully equipped MAC Room with packages including Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign, Animation Line Test System

The Bray Institute of Further Education (BIFE) as part of its Media and Performing Arts faculty has a full time Level 5 FETAC course in 3D Game Design, a new addition to the college curriculum since last year. The course offers students an introduction to 3D game design and allows them to design and create their own computer games. The course covers aspects like analysis of game design, communications, audio production, design skills, computer 3D modelling and animation, 3D visualisation and image manipulation. This course also includes a work experience module. A place on the course is subject to interview.

Ballyfermot College of Further Education (BCFE) also offers two courses in game design. The Computer Games And Interactive Entertainment Development course, this course is aimed at game enthusiasts giving them a chance to work in the gaming industry by teaching them about the history and development of the Games Industry, 3D Computer Animation and Modelling (3Dmax), Games Analysis and Design, Digital Audio Production (Soundscape and Soundforge), Computer Graphics and Computer Programming. On completion of the course students receive a FETAC Level 5 Certificate in Information Technology. Ballyfermot also offer a Higher National Diploma in Computer Games Design. The two year course covers all aspects of computer games design including games production and design, games design theory, 2D image processing and animation, basic games programming, storyboarding for games and cultural interpretation. On successful completion of the course students are awarded with a BTEC Higher National Diploma in Computer Games Design.

Pulse College also offers courses in gaming, with two FETAC level 6 courses in game development. Both can be done part-time or at the weekend. The first course purely in game development is developed around the International Game Developers Association curriculum framework and includes subjects like Pro Tools 101, media industry awareness, multimedia sound and digital imaging. The second course is in game development-analysis and design and will see students learning game production techniques, game analysis and technical skills like development of 3D game levels, how to produce realistic game levels for first and third person games and character design for game development.

For more information about courses available around Ireland in film and television production or animation and gaming visit www.qualifax.ie.

The first CAO deadline is Wednesday 1st February.

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