Behind the Scenes and Screens: Edinburgh and London

Gain backstage access and exclusive insight into the film and theatre industries

Please note that Edinburgh part is full now. You can still apply for the London part directly to University of the Arts London.

Behind the Scenes and Screens brings together two of the most exciting courses from the University of Edinburgh and University of the Arts London. You’ll have exclusive access to one of the world’s premiere film festivals and some of London’s most famous theatres, and will have the chance to explore both of these spectacular capital cities.

Your first four weeks will be spent in Edinburgh, Scotland’s festival city, where Film Studies and the Edinburgh International Film Festival will introduce you to central concepts of film including criticism, theory, and philosophy. With a Student Delegate Pass to the Festival, you can apply your new critical knowledge by attending a variety of screenings, premieres, and panels. Reflecting on your experience of the film industry, tutorials and writing workshops will help you develop your skills in critical film analysis and commentary.

You will then travel to London in luxury, with first class train travel provided for you and your coursemates.

The second part of the course offers you the opportunity to engage with theatrical London through an intensive three week programme. From the historic Globe Theatre and the Royal National Theatre, to the innovative and radical Royal Court Theatre, London offers a huge range and variety of performance spaces. Combining practical workshops and discussion groups with site visits, backstage tours and performances, ‘London Theatre: Behind the Scenes’ will give you rare access to the fundamental technical and creative processes behind the theatre industry.

This is a unique opportunity to get a personal view behind the scenes and screens of the film and theatre industries, making it essential for anyone interested in media and performance.

Who should choose this course?

Students studying film or theatre, or those who would like to progress into these areas of the wider entertainment industry after their studies. Those interested in the underlying theories, practical approach, and industry focus of film and theatre.  Students who would like to spend time in multiple cities during their Summer School experience. 

You will spend the first four weeks of the course the University of Edinburgh, followed by three weeks at University of the Arts London.

Part One - Film Studies and the Edinburgh International Film Festival

Week One will introduce you to formal concepts useful for the study of film, including narrative, narration, editing, mise-en-scene, sound and cinematography. We will concentrate on films set in Scotland, particularly The Angels’ Share (Ken Loach, 2012) and Whisky Galore! (Alexander Mackendrick, 1949). In  Week 2 in Edinburgh, you will take a look at theoretical approaches to film study and analysis, as well as getting an introduction to essential ideas related to film-philosophy, such as ethics, identity and the status of reality. The focus on Scottish cinema will continue, as well as further consideration of some of the films screened during the EIFF.

In Weeks Three and Four, you will attend the Edinburgh International Film Festival, combining with local students on the Open Studies course 'An Insight into the Edinburgh International Film Festival’. With your Student Delegate Pass, you can attend a huge range of events, beginning with the Opening Night Gala. You will take part in tutorials after each screening to apply key concepts in film theory and criticism when discussing the films. Writing workshops will prepare you for the final course assessments.


Part Two - London Theatre: Behind the Scenes

In the second part of the course, you will be based at Wimbledon College of Arts, a specialist art college with theatre as one of its key subject areas.

The course will provide first-hand opportunities to see these concepts in a theatrical context through backstage tours and visits to some of London’s most famous venues, such as the Royal National Theatre and Shakespeare's Globe.

You will learn about the technical and creative processes involved in theatre, including costume, set design, lighting and props. 'Hands on' workshops will give you an introduction to various creative design processes using specialist materials, such as model making, costume design, and 3D making techniques. Responding to a brief, you will develop an individual visual response to a concept based on the theme "Dreams".

Your learning will be enhanced by attending six theatre performances which will be documented through a performance blog and contextualised in group seminars.  



The first part of the course, Film Studies and the International Film Festival, is a fully accredited University of Edinburgh course, and you are able to apply to study this for credit.

In order to gain credit, you must complete the following assessments

Part One – Film Studies and the Edinburgh International Film Festival

  • 1 x 2500 word critical essay (50%)
  • 1 x Film Review (1000 words) (25%)
  • 1 x Profile Article (director, actor, screenwriter, etc.) (1000 words) (25%)

Part Two - London Theatre: Behind the Scenes

The London Theatre: Behind the Scenes course is not currently available to study for credit from University of the Arts London, but a Record of Study can be provided to your home institution. 

In order to successfully complete the course, you must complete the following assessments;

  • Performance journal (30%)
  • Individual project (70%) 


Course Organisers

Part One – Film Studies and the Edinburgh International Film Festival

Martine Pierquin teaches Film Studies in the adult education programme at the University of Edinburgh. She has worked with the Edinburgh International Film Festival for over ten years, taking groups of students to the festival. She has published on French director Jean Eustache (The Cinema of France, Senses of Cinema, Sight & Sound).  Her current research is on film education.

Dr Pasquale Iannone is a film academic and critic. He teaches film at the University of Edinburgh and is a regular contributor to Sight & Sound as well as various BBC radio programmes. His research interests include film aesthetics, Italian cinema, videographic film and moving image studies and the filmic representation of childhood.

Part Two - London Theatre: Behind the Scenes

Rebecca Hurst is a Theatre Designer and Visual Artist.  She is an Associate Lecturer on the BA Costume Design Course at Wimbledon College of Arts and also works widely in arts participation.  Rebecca was Resident Designer and Co-company Director for the devising company Cartoon de Salvo between 1999 and 2011 and has designed shows for Manchester Royal Exchange Studio, Battersea Arts Centre, Southwark Playhouse and The Orange Tree Theatre.  


Part One – Film Studies and the Edinburgh International Film Festival

By the end of the course students will be able to:

  • Understand stylistic and thematic developments in contemporary cinema
  • Be conversant with some major approaches to film criticism, journalism, philosophy and theory
  • Analyse individual films using particular theoretical approaches
  • Produce a film review and write critically about film in an academic tone

Summer School in Edinburgh

A number of fee packages are available for the Summer School. Full fee information can be found on the Fees page.

All fee packages for the Edinburgh section of the course include tuition costs, the social programme, and your chosen accommodation type. Full information on our accommodation options can be found here.

Costs are provided per week. To calculate your total cost, select your package type, then multiply this cost by the number of weeks in your course.

e.g. A student selecting a Silver package for a 4-week course in July would calculate:

£757 x 4 weeks = £3028

To secure your place at the Summer School, you will be required to pay a deposit of £250 which can be reclaimed towards your fee package. This includes a non-refundable £50 application fee.

Please note that study in the UK may incur additional costs e.g. visa application fees.

If you submit your application and deposit before 31 January 2017, you can claim our special early bird rate. We also offer a range of special rates for students at our valued partner institutions. Please see our Fees page for more details.

Summer School in London

The tuition fee for the London section of the course is £1795. If you book before 31 January 2017, an early bird discount of 10% will be applied to this tuition fee.

Accommodation at the University of the Arts London is paid for separately from your tutition fee. More information about short course accommodation at the University of the Arts Summer School can be found here.


Transport between Edinburgh and London via First Class train will be included in your fee.