Coronavirus applicant update from Screen and Film School Brighton Principal Itziar Leighton – updated Friday 5th June

These have certainly been unusual and difficult times for us all. At Screen and Film School, we had prepared in advance to make the switch to a virtual learning experience, and transitioned to a virtual learning delivery model, of which we are proud to have created in order to fully support all our students, and minimize the impact of COVID-19. 

We continue to be vigilant, and planning for full compliance with social distancing requirements, and have implemented a new teaching strategy to ensure the learner experience is not compromised in any way, and that we meet our obligations as dictated by government policy. 

Our student’s engagement with this new virtual world has been truly outstanding, in coming together to create a unique virtual community. Working closely with various student focus groups we have been able to respond to requests, explore ideas and new initiatives. It is clear that this new virtual learning model brings advantages, such as easier access to classes, access to additional lectures, reduced travel costs as well as a closer more intimate style of learning with easier access to tutors and support services. 

However, we are a film school, and as such we support and encourage our students in their practical skills development in filmmaking. Our BA Hons Filmmaking course was designed to be essentially a hands-on practical course, to develop professional skills through the production of filmed content. 

We realise that if social distancing guidelines are still in place by the time you join us in September, by adopting a blended delivery approach of both live practical classes, workshops and tech talks, alongside a virtual landscape of tutorials, some theoretical teaching, a world class programme of masterclasses and Q & A’s by top level industry professionals from across the world, you are able to experience and indeed create your own unique and innovative programme of study. We are also fully compliant with government advice and guidance. 

The creative family that consist of the Screen & Film School, together with over 100 industry partners is looking forward to launching a new innovative, responsive and engaging curriculum, with all of the opportunities available through your time at SFS, and on graduation as you transition through to the SFS Alumni Community, where you remain at the heart of the film school family, and have access to careers support, job opportunities, master classes, guidance and advice. 

We have been able through adversity, emerge with an exciting educational approach which we believe is appropriate for the 21st Century, and draws on the benefits and enrichment of a blended experience for our students. Your experience at SFS will be varied, full, challenging and rewarding. You can create and model your own timetable, through the many opportunities offered such as workshops, tech talks and master classes, all offered both virtually and practically. 

Finally, it leaves me to say that the staff, students and industry partners at Screen and Film School, look forward to welcoming you in September. 

Best wishes, 

Itziar Leighton 

Screen and Film School Principal – Brighton 



With exams postponed or cancelled, how will this affect my entry requirements/status of my offer?

Every school/college has been asked to provide a centre assessment grade for every student in each of their subjects: that is, the grade they would be most likely to have achieved if they had sat their exams and completed any non-exam assessment. They will be using different sources of evidence such as:

    • classwork
    • bookwork
    • any participation in performances in subjects such as music, drama or PE
    • any non-exam assessment – whether or not complete
    • the results of any assignments or mock exams
    • previous examination results – for example, for any re-sitting students or those with relevant AS qualifications
    • any other records of student performance over the course of study

We will then receive notification of results in August, as normal, and can then turn your offer to Unconditional, providing the grades you have been given meet our requirements. If your final grades are lower than you had hoped, we take into consideration your whole application, ie. Your personal statement and reference and your portfolio of work and therefore are still likely to be able to honour your offer of study with us.


How long have I got to decide if I want to defer to 2021?

Deferrals can only be confirmed once you have received your A-Level/other Level 3 qualification results in August and meet the academic entry requirements to join in 2021. The process of moving you to 2021 is actioned by us at the film school, you won’t need to do anything other than accept your place for 2021 when we have confirmed you’ve met all the conditions stated in your offer. You will need to notify us by 30th August to confirm your deferral.


Am I allowed to view houses/meet potential housemates with social distancing in place?

Many letting agencies are doing virtual tours of properties however if they are organising in-person viewings, they should have necessary safety measures in place to adhere to government guidelines. If you are unsure, please just keep your distance when meeting potential housemates. If you are hoping to live with other SFS students, it is likely you wouldn’t meet them in person yet, but via our Facebook group for the time being. Once you have secured a house, you will be able to live with your housemates normally and you won’t have to socially distance from them, if the government guidelines stay the same.


I am worried about putting a deposit down and the course becoming completely online if covid brings about another lock down?

We are advising applicants to secure their accommodation ready for September and if the situation occurs where there is another lockdown and all teaching has to be done virtually, at least you are in the city ready for a return to classes when that happens.


Is there a possibility of the term being delayed starting due to covid-19?

We do not intend to delay the start of term any further than the current proposed date of 28th September 2020. We will be putting measures in place to ensure we can start the semester, adhering to government guidelines that are in place at that time.


Will film making, group work and the use of equipment such as cameras continue? 

We’re currently undertaking extensive planning to deliver a blended approach of both practical and online learning if social distancing restrictions are still in place at the end of September. This would mean the work that would be online would be the theory based modules. We recognise that a large part of the degree course we deliver is practical, therefore we will be putting in place measures that are appropriate for social distancing if still required by the end of September. Such methods we are looking at include wearing PPE if required, some crew members being 2 metres apart and smaller group sizes to start the term. The practical learning held at the Film School would be the usual practical sessions we would deliver such as production design, camera, lighting and some post-production units.  We are working on adjusting assessment methods to take into account that some modules may be delivered online if required.


I was meant to attend an Open Day but they have been cancelled, what should I do?

Although lockdown measures are beginning to ease, the health and safety of our staff, students and applicants remains our top priority. So, we made the decision to host our upcoming Open Day on July 4th as a ‘virtual event’.

Provided there are no changes to the government’s social distancing guidelines, this event will be broadcast live from our Brighton campus using the same cameras and equipment you’ll be getting to grips with as a student here at Screen & Film School.

So you won’t miss out- book a place here.


Will fresher’s events be the same experience considering social distancing?

We are currently planning enrolment and induction events, including plenty of Freshers activities. As we do not yet know how social distancing will impact on this, we are also working on plans for ‘virtual’ events in case venues are unable to open and host the usual activities that we would offer. If this is the case, we would hope to be able to re-schedule in-person events later in the year, depending on government guidelines.

Please be assured that we are working hard to ensure you have a great experience as a Fresher, even in these unusual times.


I’m feeling very anxious about the current situation and how it might affect my future & my mental health – can my uni help?

At Screen and Film School we know that starting a degree course in a new city is an exciting time but it also comes with a range of new challenges; from having to manage paying rent and bills for the first time, to making new friends and balancing a healthy social life whilst undertaking a rigorous degree programme. It’s a lot of new things to experience and with the added concerns of Covid-19, things can at times feel quite overwhelming.

From enrolment to graduation our experienced Student Services Team offer personalised advice and guidance to help you with those challenges; whatever they may be.

Whether you need ongoing support for a diagnosed learning difficulty or mental health condition, or if you just need someone to talk to when things get tough: we’re here to help. We will work with you to help you build the confidence and resilience to deal with life’s challenges, and for students needing further help we also offer a counselling service or can help put you in touch with specialised local support agencies.


Would I be eligible for a grant/loan to help cover my fees, as covid-19 has affected my earnings?

You may be eligible to apply for BIMM’s ‘Fair Access Fund’, which is open to Screen and Film School students. Please take a look here for more details and if you think you may be eligible, please email to register your interest. We will be in contact around enrolment time to talk you through the application process.