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Bachelor of Arts: Film and Television 
90849  Bachelor of Arts: Film and Television 
University of Witwatersrand 
CHE - Council on Higher Education  HEQSF - Higher Education Qualifications Sub-framework 
National First Degree(Min 480)  Field 02 - Culture and Arts  Film, Television and Video 
Undefined  480  Not Applicable  NQF Level 08  Regular-Provider-ELOAC 
Reregistered  SAQA 091/21  2021-07-01  2023-06-30 
2024-06-30   2026-06-30  

In all of the tables in this document, both the pre-2009 NQF Level and the NQF Level is shown. In the text (purpose statements, qualification rules, etc), any references to NQF Levels are to the pre-2009 levels unless specifically stated otherwise.  

This qualification does not replace any other qualification and is not replaced by any other qualification. 

The Film and Television Division within the Wits School of Arts is positioned to investigate the contemporary landscapes of film and television and to offer dialogues and experimentation based on the idea of visual narratives. The Film and Television Division focuses on the principle platforms of television and cinema, however modules include the creative and socio-political debates involving emerging hybrid formats and the visual arts. The fictive or factual visual narrative forms the core of all contemporary and historical uses of the moving image and is thus the core of the Film and Television Division curriculum.

The Division's underlying intellectual agenda is to explore new directions of screen genres by augmenting and amplifying conventional forms:
  • Fictional and factual modes of screen production.
  • Avant-garde Cinema, Experimental Filmmaking and Video practices in the Arts.
  • Emerging forms of the visual narrative - animation, games, social media, interactive narratives, mobile devices and new technologies.

    The aim with this qualification is to create the conditions for theoretically informed practice. The qualification is thus geared towards producing critical thinkers who are technically and aesthetically schooled in the crafts and techniques of film and television production. Theory is understood to inform practice, and practice to augment theoretical understanding.

    Rather than reinforcing conventional professional roles, learners are encouraged to develop a strong personal voice through understanding how multiple disciplines contribute to visual narratives. They also work collaboratively in groups to self-reflexively explore the limits and dynamics of collective filmmaking.

    We expect graduating learners to be technically, aesthetically and theoretically proficient in their chosen disciplines, and through this ability, to be able to express themselves and their ideas creatively, conceptually and innovatively. The emphasis of practical studies within the qualification is to be considered technisch-kunstlerisch (technic-artistic) as opposed to mere technical operational.

    This qualification aims to provide prospective film and television-oriented learners with a named Degree and the possibility to focus their studies in their chosen field. The qualification will offer three full professional streams centred on a theoretical academic major stream, as well as additional optional modules. Following the structure of other professional Degrees in the School, the proposed qualification encompasses four years of study.

    The qualification aims to produce both creative and academically inclined practitioners, graduates with the ability to think, research and produce critically and innovatively in their field. In summation, the qualification aims to output graduates with a range of conceptual competencies and professional skills for concrete career opportunities within the field - examples of these include directors, director-producers, screenwriters, script developers and editors, art directors, producers, post-production supervisors, commissioning editors, concept and format developers.

    The South African film and television industry, with its annual turnover of over R5 billion, has been identified by the government as one of the key strategic growth sectors within the creative industries. The need for capacity-building initiatives in this area is widely acknowledged, with the National Film and Video Foundation recently exploring the feasibility of establishing a national film school. University education within the field is thus imperative to enable growth, development and transformation within these capacities. 

    Learners are assumed to have the:
  • Knowledge of Mathematics or Mathematical Literacy at NQF Level 4.
  • Capacity to do self study and complete written assignments.
  • Ability to communicate effectively in English (read, write and speak).
  • Ability to manage their time.

    Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL):
    It is assumed that learners may have been performing duties that reflect competencies contained in this qualification at the workplace for many years without having received any formal qualification. Learners will be allowed to apply for RPL for access into the qualification. In addition, through RPL learners may apply for exemption from certain modules.

    Access to the Qualification:
    The access to this qualification is granted to applicants who meet the minimum entrance requirements or the alternative routes of entry. Applicants who are in possession of:
  • A National Senior Certificate (NSC) granting access to Degree studies.
  • English at NQF Level 4 with an achievement rating of 3.
  • Mathematics/Mathematical literacy at NQF Level 4.

    Learners who do not meet the minimum requirements and are over 23 years of age and who have no National Senior Certificate but have work experience in the sector may submit a CV to be considered for admission. 


    This qualification consists of 26 compulsory modules ranging from NQF Levels 5 to 8, totalling 480 Credits.

    Compulsory Modules at NF Level 5:
  • Visual Story Telling Genres, 15 Credits.
  • Key Concepts in Scriptwriting, 15 Credits.
  • Photographic Image, 15 Credits.
  • Production Basics, 15 Credits.
  • Film Visual and Performing Arts, 30 Credits.

    Totalling: 90 Credits.

    Compulsory Modules at NQF Level 6:
  • Any Bachelor of Arts Course, 30 Credits.
  • The Visual Document - Fiction, 15 Credits.
  • The Visual Document - Documentary, 15 Credits.
  • Image Creation - The Moving Image, 15 Credits.
  • Image Creation - Components of Visual Storytelling, 15 Credits.
  • Any Bachelor of Arts Course, 30 Credits.
  • Drama and Film, 30 Credits.

    Totalling: 150 Credits.

    Compulsory Modules at NQF Level 7:
  • Screen Studies - Documentary Production, 20 Credits.
  • Screen Studies - Components of Visual Storytelling, 20 Credits.
  • Screen Production - Advanced Technical Core, 20 Credits.
  • Screen Production - Multi-Camera, 20 Credits.
  • Screen Writing - Writing the Drama Series, 20 Credits.
  • Screen Writing - Writing the Short Film, 10 Credits.
  • Drama and Film or History of Art, 10 Credits.

    Totalling: 120 Credits.

    Compulsory Modules at NQF Level 8:
  • Screen Studies - Fact and Fiction, 15 Credits.
  • Screen Studies - Experimental Filmmaking, 15 Credits.
  • Screen Production - Finishing the Film, 15 Credits.
  • Screen Production - Sound Design, 15 Credits.
  • Screen Writing - Adaptation: From Text to Screen, 15 Credits.
  • Screen Writing - Developing the Feature Film Screenplay, 15 Credits.
  • Research Project, 30 Credits.

    Totalling: 120 Credits. 

    1. Access and process information using a range of technologies.
    2. Communicate and produce information using a range of technologies.
    3. Demonstrate critical analytic competence and problem solving.
    4. Demonstrate research competence.
    5. Demonstrate competence to manage self.
    6. Demonstrate social competence.
    7. Demonstrate ecosystems competence.
    8. Demonstrate disciplinary and/or professional competence (can substitute field of enquiry for discipline).

    Critical Cross-Field Outcomes:
    Learners are assumed to have the ability to:
  • Contribute to own personal development through becoming aware of the existing cultural differences and diversity.
  • Solve problems responsibly by analysing and evaluating different options.
  • Understand the inter-relationship between systems and the impact of decisions on a system.
  • Develop entrepreneurial skills through business related subjects.
  • Communicate effectively using various methods such as written communication, illustrations and mathematical skills.
  • Realise the interdependence of systems against the context of a business and the business environment. 

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 1:
  • Key concepts and terminology in South African and international literature and professional practice are defined.
  • Specialist research resources and bibliographies are applied.
  • The parameters and criteria for in-depth data base searches are defined.
  • A broader/deeper range of content knowledge is used.
  • Meanings, arguments, positions in visual and verbal texts are decoded and understood.
  • Debates within modes of professional practice are understood.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 2:
  • Written, oral, academic and graphic conventions at this level are understood and explained.
  • Basic computer literacy is demonstrated.
  • Discipline specific writing conventions using accurate English are understood and analysed.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 3:
  • The production of knowledge is explained and reported within disciplines.
  • Conventions of critical analysis of both written and visual texts are explained and used.
  • Different modes of knowledge acquisition are identified and explained.
  • New knowledge is developed through synthesis and creative practices.
  • The subject matter of a discipline is criticised and interpreted.
  • Critical and innovative approaches in the scholarly and professional field are investigated and applied.
  • Theory and practice is integrated to solve problems.
  • Limitations of different theoretical models and professional practices are recognised and discussed.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 4:
  • One or more research methods and their appropriate applications are explained and used.
  • Knowledge of the relevant literature is used and practices in historical and contemporary visual production, applied.
  • The relationship between theory and practice is articulated.
  • A rationale for a small scale research project is provided.
  • An appropriate research method is applied.
  • A small scale research project is conducted.
  • A body of creative work is produced.
  • The findings are assessed.
  • The research proposal is written using the appropriate disciplinary conventions.
  • Conclusions arising from the research data are contextualised.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 5:
  • An increased knowledge of the importance of making the shift to self-directed, independent learning and the development of critical practice is demonstrated.
  • The demands of new tasks (e.g. reading vs. research and studio practice) which will require different styles of learning are identified.
  • Information for multiple purposes is classified and categorised.
  • An increasingly sophisticated ability to assess oneself in oral, written and visual modes is developed.
  • Initiative in shaping own learning situation and direction in studio practice is demonstrated.
  • A pattern of goal setting and time management with minimal supervision is established.
  • Learning strategies to task requirements are matched.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 6:
  • Individual and group dynamics and processes are developed.
  • Self awareness of own group role and the role of others is applied.
  • The individual's role and the ability to alter that role creatively in response to prevailing convention is recognised.
  • The range of diversity in own and other contexts is recognised.
  • The kind of result which is achieved through group processes is recognised and acted upon.
  • Multiple sources of knowledge are identified.
  • The feedback in own and group development is integrated.
  • Constructive feedback is given.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 7:
  • The knowledge of ecosystems to process an understanding of the world is applied and understood.
  • Independent work in a complex environment is demonstrated.
  • The social context of research and creative works is recognised.
  • The use of materials within an ecosystemic context is demonstrated.
  • As individuals or in groups, ecosystemic contexts are identified and applied.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 8:
  • Competence, independence and originality in specific disciplinary knowledge and studio practice is demonstrated.
  • The generation of new knowledge in the major disciplines (Fine Art, History of Art, Music, Dramatic Art and general Bachelor of Arts) is recognised.
  • An in-depth understanding and practical knowledge of the chosen discipline or field of enquiry is acquired.
  • Wide reading and visual production in a specialised field is demonstrated.
  • Contemporary debates in specific disciplines that are related to established knowledge and professional practice are identified and understood.
  • Lines of enquiry within the discipline and the necessary information and skills are identified.
  • An ability to critically engage with, use and adapt academic and creative conventions is demonstrated.
  • High level concepts, texts and images are critically examined.

    Integrated Assessment:
    A battery of assessment instruments, including written assignments, research projects, examinations and continuous critique of creative work/assignments, will be used. Therefore both formative and summative forms of assessment will be used to determine competencies acquired through learning. 

    Albeit there are institutions within North America as well as Europe offering education in the field of film and television, most Degrees have either a solely theoretical or a fully practical focus. Whilst the core units of this Bachelor of Arts: Film and Television are of universal nature and international standard, the combination offered therein compares with the following international qualifications.

    The University of Arizona in the United States (the School of Theatre, Film and Television), offers a Bachelor of Arts in Media Arts-Film and Television Studies and a Bachelor of Arts in Media Arts- Film and Video Production. These qualifications prepare highly motivated and imaginative learners for careers in the creative and business aspects of film, television and transmedia, as well as for advanced study in graduate school or entertainment law. Graduates are equipped with an understanding of the history, industry and creative processes of film, television and transmedia.

    The qualifications encourage learners to pursue research in and creation of informed, dynamic and innovative film, television and transmedia, and prepare them with skills that are relevant, adaptable and transferable to graduate studies and/or creative positions in studios, production houses, networks, agencies, archives, festivals and exhibitions.

    Ohio University (School of Media Arts and Studies), offers a Bachelor of Arts Degree which is a professional Degree designed to prepare learners for a career in all aspects of media, including production, media management, entertainment law, political communications, or graduate study. Learners are encouraged to tailor the qualification requirements to match their own interests and talents.

    At the end of their first year in the qualification, learners apply for one of the following five emphasis areas:
  • Media and Social Change.
  • Games and Animation.
  • Music Production and Recording Industry.
  • Screenwriting and Producing.
  • Integrated Media.

    Johns Hopkins University in the United States has a Film and Media Studies undergraduate degree which comprises modules in the theory, history and criticism of film, media studies, screenwriting and 16mm film and video production. The qualification is designed to enable learners to understand the history of film and media, to think critically about them and to gain hands-on experience in how they are made. In the process learners also garner a strong background in the humanities and have opportunities to hone their skills in verbal, visual and written expression.

    Bournemouth University in the United Kingdom (the Media School), offers a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) Television Production which runs in parallel with the Bachelor of Arts (Honours) Digital Media Design and Bachelor of Arts (Honours) Scriptwriting for Film and Television qualifications. These enable the TV learners to engage with the rapidly changing face of today's digital television industry as it becomes increasingly integrated with the internet. Collaboration with their fellow learners forms part of the qualification as well as being very much encouraged outside it.

    The Media School at Bournemouth University is a member of the Bournemouth Creative Skillset Media Academy, which Academy is the largest centre of professional higher education for the film and media industries in the United Kingdom, and offers some of the world's finest education and training in the disciplines of practical creative media.

    As a structure, the qualification follows (besides the South African and the University's model for professional Degrees) international structures for studies in the area of film and television. 

    This qualification is intended to provide learners with both horizontal and vertical articulation possibilities.

    Horizontally the qualification articulates with the following qualifications at NQF Level 8:
  • Bachelor of Arts Honours: Audio-Visual Communication.
  • Bachelor of Arts Honours: Digital Media.

    Vertically the qualification articulates with the following qualifications at NQF Level 9:
  • Master of Arts: Audio-Visual Communication.
  • Master of Arts: Visual Studies.
  • Master of Arts: Visual Arts. 

    Internal institutional requirements govern how and by whom moderation is performed. Such moderation seeks, inter alia, to ensure that, where appropriate, the graduates will be able to comply with professional and statutory requirements. The institution ensures that its activities are moderated by internal and external review. 

    Internal institutional quality requirements govern how and by whom assessment may be performed to ensure that assessors have the competence required to assess a qualification. Assessors must have a qualification one NQF level higher than the current qualification and appropriate experience in the field. 



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    1. University of Witwatersrand 

    All qualifications and part qualifications submitted for public comment, or registered on the National Qualifications Framework, are public property. Thus, the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction: it is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.