Course Outline:

The purpose of this award is to enable the learner to acquire the knowledge, skill and competence to work in roles such as scriptwriting, art direction, camera, lighting, director and editor in film or television, or to progress to further or higher education and training. Learners will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the workings of the Film and Television Industry to include technical knowledge, professional knowledge and knowledge of the regulatory environment of the industry
  • Safely and independently perform a comprehensive range of film and television production skills and tools required for working as part of a film or television crew including research, content structure, lighting, sound, camera work, recording, editing and post production
  • Formulate appropriate responses to well defined abstract problems to be overcome when working in film and television production, such as location issues, logistics, environment, lighting problems, sound issues, permissions, resources, crew and talent
  • Apply theoretical concepts, production skills and team skills safely in a range of film and television contexts involving creative and non-routine activities in compliance with current Irish and EU legislation
  • Take responsibility for supervising the running of a film or television production under direction from management. Such as the role of assistant producer, production manager or head of department
  • Evaluate personal learning, and identify personal learning needs and the learning needs of others within a structured environment
  • Reflect on personal practice in a supervisory role in a film or television production environment to a group


Successful completion of this course will result in a QQI Film and Television Production Level 6 Certificate, 6M18534.

Field trips

We encourage gaining experience by practical photography on field trips and have designed our assessment and project briefs to include interesting locations around Clew Bay and the Islands. Dublin is also on our agenda to visit art and photo exhibitions.

Studio Facilities

  • Cameras
  • Studio Flash Lighting equipment for portrait, fashion advertising and still life work
  • Mac and PC Computers with up-to-date software for editing and image processing
  • Printing equipment

Course Duration:

This is a one-year full time course and runs from September to May.

Entry Requirements

  • Leaving Certificate, Leaving Certificate Applied, or equivalent
  • Photography Level 5 QQI Award, or equivalent
  • Mature applicants with relevant experience are welcome

Entry to this course is subject to interview.

Student Testimonial


Having had to change my career later in life I decided to retrain as a professional photographer as I have been a keen amateur photographer for years. I researched various courses and decided on Westport College of Further Education due to the class size and the great equipment available in the studio. The course is taught by a professional photographer and I have learned so much about lighting, studio work, outside photoshoots, advertising etc. The other modules of Fine Art, Communications and History of Art are also really interesting. The class has a mix of all ages and experience. Overall, the course is a very busy course but well worth doing.


Once you have applied online you will be called for an interview within a few weeks. QQI examination fees cost €80, although Medical Card holders are exempt from paying this fee on production of a valid medical card. Books and essential class materials, including a digital SLR camera, may also be required. A €200 Government levy will apply on acceptance of a place on PLC course, but medical card holders and those in receipt of a maintenance grant will be exempt. A €100 Student Service fee also applies.

Detailed Course Outline:

Documentary Production 6N18514

The purpose of this award is to equip the learner with the knowledge, skill and competence to work independently or with others to formulate a range of creative skills and processes for the production of documentaries Learners will be able to:

  • Explore the general history of documentary and the documentary filmmakers who forwarded the field
  • Examine various styles of documentary film making to include historical, biographical, personal, fly on the wall, investigative, human interest, wildlife and experimental
  • Identify the key components of production for each style of documentary
  • Examine probability theory to include the likelihood of access, obtaining interviews, budget, archive footage and permission
  • Define a documentary’s statement of purpose and goals
  • Perform comprehensive research of chosen topic and organise in an efficient manner
  • Explore all possible footage relating to the subject of documentary
  • Examine the procedures of ordering screening copy and master footage
  • Examine different interview genres creating a style that best works with a specific documentary
  • Explore the basic principles in interviewing different subjects to include issues like compassion and fairness
  • Examine how to request an interview through appropriate channels and how to schedule interviews with various restrains
  • Examine the basic format of a treatment to include the opening, body and conclusion
  • Define usage of timecode and how to incorporate it into a treatment
  • Examine the roles and hierarchy of a production crew
  • Compile a list of topics without judgement of ideas
  • Devise schedule of production to include interviews, writing of script, revisions, edit schedules, notes and post

Assessment Criteria: Project – 50%, Assignment – 50%

Editing Practice and Techniques 6N5427

The purpose of this award is to equip the learner with the knowledge, skill and competence in editing processes and procedure to enable the learner to formulate a range of creative processes for the production of visual material using modern editing techniques. Learners will be able to:

  • Examine appropriate source footage for editing in consultation with the director or producer
  • Explore the importance of pacing and rhythm in relation to the moving image
  • Explore differences in editing methodology between documentary and fictional material
  • Evaluate the importance of mood and style in editing
  • Recognise specific requirements of different productions
  • Explore appropriate techniques applied when editing dialogue
  • Use montage methodologies to create a sequence edited to music
  • Plan the acquisition of source material
  • Output edited piece in an appropriate format to include files, play outs and edit decision lists
  • Edit a variety of material using digital editing software
  • Apply use of transitions, motion effects and effect palette software processing
  • Collaborate in interpreting and determining the vision of the director or producer
  • Work to an agreed timescale
  • Apply editing techniques to tell a narrative visually
  • Create effective structure within an unscripted piece

Assessment Criteria: Portfolio/Collection of Work – 60%, Project – 40%

Film and Digital Video Production 6N5428

The purpose of this award is to equip the learner with the knowledge, skill and competence to formulate a range of creative skills and processes for the production of films on variety of film and digital formats Learners will be able to:

  • Examine what makes a film script cinematic
  • Explore the variables of plot structure and the relationship between character, action and plot
  • Examine the function of a treatment in relation to the pitch
  • Explore the various production formats and how those formats inform film aesthetics through image resolution, lens focal length and depth of field, colour depth, contrast range, and grain structure of the final projected image
  • Determine sources of funding for independent film production
  • Produce a treatment, script and storyboards for a short film
  • Produce an effective and professional film pitch
  • Record good quality pictures with due regard to iris control, shot framing, composition and camera movement appropriate to action
  • Operate lights safely to dramatic effect, working from a lighting plan and lighting package
  • Record audio using recording devices with standard microphone configurations for sound recording
  • Design coverage appropriate to the drama and direct the short film, communicating narrative, action and mood
  • Edit a film for dramatic narrative or meaning with rhythm and place suitable to the material
  • Maintain all equipment working safely and competently as member of a film production crew
  • Coordinate a screenplay for scheduling and shooting purposes
  • Work independently in assigned areas during pre-production meeting group deadlines

Assessment Criteria: Project – 60%, Assignment 40%

Fine Art Photography 6N3449

This module explores photography as an art form and preparation for photo exhibitions. Learners will be able to:

  • Explore the history of photography in the context of 19th century fine art
  • Appraise the major technological advances of the photographic industry and their influence on fine art applications
  • Explore the development and enhancement of creativity through the practice of photography
  • Appraise the relationship of own work to the influences of a number of past and present fine art photographers
  • Implement a conceptual approach to the development of personal work
  • Establish a comprehensive approach to the choice of equipment and material with emphasis on their suitability for the specific task to be undertaken
  • Utilise a diverse range of techniques, lighting situations, angles of view and perspective to ensure work realises its potential
  • Generate a body of personal work in a format that enhances and facilitates the realisation of the original concept
  • Implement a range of creative approaches that fully explore the potential of the brief
  • Assemble a portfolio of work suitable for presentation at interview and or for exhibition in a gallery or public venue
  • Evaluate own work from a well-informed personal perspective that takes into account contemporary theories and practice
  • Work in a disciplined, methodical manner both in terms of a solo practitioner and as part of a team
  • Implement effective research, time management and self evaluation skills.

Assessment Criteria: Portfolio/Collection of Work 40%, Project 30%, Learner Record 30%

Portrait Photography 6N3694

This module explores the art and techniques of professional portrait and wedding photography. Learners will be able to:

  • Evaluate trends in portrait historical and contemporary photography, identifying current photography techniques and styles
  • Explain the factors to be taken into consideration when planning photographic portraiture sessions using silver based and digital techniques
  • Describe the spectrum of lighting situations and set ups
  • Interpret client’s brief understanding concepts and visual language including researching and managing client requirements
  • Select appropriate equipment for a range of photographic situations
  • Produce high quality innovative photographs optimising control of shutter speed, aperture, exposure compensation and white balance
  • Generate a portfolio of professional photographs suitable for public display
  • Use a range of photography software and computer applications understanding their application and use in different contexts
  • Demonstrate creativity through research and the practice of photography
  • Demonstrate problem solving, observation and evaluation skills through the practice of portraiture
  • Work in a disciplined manner, managing and participating successfully as a member of a professional team
  • Appreciate the need for planning, research, time management and self evaluation techniques.

Assessment Criteria: Project – 70%, Learner Record – 30%

Scriptwriting for Film and Television 6N18517

The purpose of this award is to equip the learner with the knowledge, skill and competence to meet the industry requirements for the pitching and subsequent script development for film and television Learners will be able to:

  • Identify sources from which to create appropriate concepts for film and television script development
  • Recognise the different structures that apply to episodic television scripts
  • Identify the different elements that contribute to a film scene and to character development
  • Identify rights issues in regard to ideas and formats
  • Assess a film script to include: requirements of good dialogue, the relationship between character, action and plot and the difference between premise and theme
  • Evaluate the functions of a treatment
  • Appraise film screenplays with analysis and suggestions for improvement to include plot structure, duration and what makes a film script cinematic
  • Assess television scripts examining genres, duration, scheduling, airtime and what contributes to televisual qualities
  • Explain the differences between an episodic outline for a television drama and an outline for a film script
  • Develop outline proposals and episodic outlines for a television programme
  • Format a script to include industry standard requirements such as formatting, paginates, cast list and typical sets/locations including character, font and sizing
  • Develop a short film script or a short television drama script from conception to final presentation
  • Devise an outline conveying the main concept of a screenplay or television script
  • Write a treatment using appropriate language and grammar
  • Compile character or contributor biographies

Assessment Criteria: Project – 50%, Portfolio/Collection of Work 50%

Communications 6N1950

Students studying Communications Level 6 will do the following:

  • Critique current issues in communications and information technology, to include digital and mobile technology, the internet, and the policies and principles relevant to a vocational area.
  • Evaluate in practical terms the elements of legislation that must be observed in a personal and or work context, to include health, safety and welfare at work and communications related legislation, and the responsibilities that apply when working in a supervisory capacity.
  • Assess the impact of non-verbal communication and of the physical environment in everyday human interaction.
  • Participate in formal and informal working groups, to include leading or facilitating, notetaking, summarising discussion, agreeing outcomes and action points.
  • Use drafting, editing and proofreading skills and the correct conventions of language usage including spelling, punctuation and syntax to produce formal written communications relevant to a particular vocational area, to include reports, correspondence, faxes, memos, minutes.
  • Demonstrate vocal and interactive skills in personal and professional contexts, including an oral presentation, discussion, debate, meeting, interview and or job seeking skills and for the purposes of persuading, informing or advocating.

Assessment Criteria: Collection of Work – 50%, Skills Demonstration – 50%

Work Experience 6N1964

Work experience Module is divided into 3 key study assignments including preparation for a work experience placement. This module is aimed at giving students a clearer insight into the challenges faced by professional visual artists, designers and craft workers in the workplace. Study in future career options and key challenges facing visual artists. Analysis and reflection on work experience.

Assessment Criteria: Collection of Work: 60%; Skills Demonstration: 40%

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