Behind the Scenes & Screens: Edinburgh & London

Early-bird discount

Get a 10% discount on 2017 Summer Study Abroad courses at Chelsea and Wimbledon Colleges of Arts when you apply by 31 January 2017.

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 will 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.

Course details

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 course mates.

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.

Dates and fees

Dates 2017

Summer: 5 June - 21 July 2017



Part one: Edinburgh

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 Weeks Two and Three, you will attend the Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF), 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.

In your final week 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.

Part two: London

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.  

Theatre performances

Students will see six theatre performances as part of the London programme. The cost of tickets is included in the course fee. Performances for summer 2017 will be confirmed in early 2017.

Performances for Summer 2016 were:

  • ‘A Midsummers Night Dream’ at Shakespeare’s Globe
  • ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time’ in the West End
  • ‘Unreachable’ at the Royal Court Theatre
  • ‘The Threepenny Opera’ at the National Theatre
  • ‘Madame Butterfly’ at English National Opera
  • ‘Wot No Fish’ at Battersea Arts Centre


Part One - Film Studies and the Edinburgh International Film Festival

Martine Pierquin

Tutor in Film Studies on 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

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

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. She 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.

I really enjoyed every minute of the course, in and out of the classroom. I learned a lot, and got to participate in a variety of different creative pursuits. The course itself was great, but the tutor and some of the other people involved made me excited to go every day.

- Alison Parker, Boston University.