Welcome to the media production diploma.

Welcome to our Media Production Diploma created in association with Bristol’s Learning City and the Engine Shed; the ideal preparation for a career in web and graphic design, film production, photography and advertising.

It’s an Extended Level 3 Diploma; a full time 2 year course of study for young people 16-19 that’s equivalent to 3 A-levels. There’s also an option to take a level 2 access pathway to the Level 3 Diploma.

The course is built on the model ofa design agency and you’ll be immersed in a commercial environment working on real projects for real clients, all of which will give you the opportunity to build a portfolio of work that can be the passport to university, work or a high level apprenticeship.

We want to recruit from across the West of England to bring the most exciting young talent together and train a group of creative professionals who comprehensively reflect the diversity of the region.

At first sight Buster Keaton, a silent film star from 100 years ago, may seem an odd choice to front this new venture,  but in many ways he personifies the aspirations of this programme. Buster Keaton was a pioneer, one of the first great movie makers working in a new medium. He was creatively brave and challenged the orthodoxy of the time, unafraid to take risks. We are seeking young people who aspire to those qualities and who can take the most from this exciting opportunity.

In my 25 years of professional practice and education, my advice to young people hasn’t changed. Don’t tell me what you want to achieve: tell me what you have done to achieve it. 

Mark Curtis,
Course Director




about the course.



boomsatsuma is an organisation set up to fuel the next creative generation and in the last 5 years we have gained a reputation as one of the most innovative training providers in the South West. 

In 2013 we were funded by Arts Council England to conduct a research project to define the 21st Century Cultural Offer for young people. The project meant working with schools across Bristol and culminated in the media courses we design and deliver for major academies across our region, and our own independent courses. 

We develop courses that are driven by young people. We stage gigs with emerging artists in major Bristol venues through boomsatsuma presents. We’re film makers, photographers and illustrators and in 2015 we were the largest single employer of creative apprentices and interns in the South West. All our work is driven by young people under 25. 

Our programmes use creative practice as an intrinsic motivator but the outcomes are not limited to the creative industries. The skills gained through the experience of working in a professional environment are highly transferable, and former students have progressed not only into creative jobs and courses but areas as diverse as international business and criminology.

boomsatsuma has put together a first class team to deliver the Media Production Diploma.

The Course Director is Mark Curtis. Mark has taught in higher, further and secondary education, building on a successful career in advertising and communications. He has been recognised nationally for his work in educational innovation, speaking for the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust and being recognised for outstanding practice in the SecEd National Teacher of the Year Awards. 

He is committed to extending opportunities for young people and creating entry level pathways and has developed a highly motivated team of creative practitioners to deliver specialist skills in film, photography, graphic design and digital media. Some are returning alumni of the original programmes.

The course is a new approach to post-16 study that bridges the gap between school and the workplace. 

We call each course centre an Agency because that’s exactly what they are. If successful in gaining a place you will be working as part of commercial media design and production agency delivering real live projects for real clients. The difference is that you’re taking a Level 3 Extended Diploma at the same time, so ensuring you have the qualification and the best possible experience to succeed in your chosen progression route whether that’s university or the industry.

As well as working on projects for clients you’ll be working on boomsatsuma’s growing production strands; 

producing music videos for our eclectic sessions with new artists, creating the marketing for boomsatsuma presents gigs with some of the best emerging artists in the UK and supporting our DNA arts and film making operations.

Don’t think “I’m not creative enough”. You may be more creative than you think and just haven’t found the right medium for your talents. As we work in the model of a media agency we’ll need to develop a whole range of skills and expertise including project managers, researchers, marketeers and creative entrepreneurs.

We need young people who are:

  •  Open minded 
  •  Good communicators
  •  Team players 
  •  Potential leaders
  •  Ready to make a difference 
  •  Want to make their mark
  •  Ready to come to work

The Agency model is three full time days and one studio day per week in which students can pursue their own projects. 

The framework qualification will be an OCR Cambridge technical qualification in Media. 

This qualification enables us to engage in a range of project based activities and credit them in a production based qualification. The units will be chosen from the 42 available and may include the following:

  • Analysing media products and audiences
  • Photography for media products
  • Graphic Design for media products
  • Producing an audio-visual media product
  • Producing a print-based media product
  • Web Authoring and Design
  • Planning and pitching an audio-visual media product
  • Audio-visual promos
  • Print-based advertising media
  • Animation Production
  • Preparing for a career in the media industry
  • Planning for media exhibitions or events

On completion you will achieve the Extended Diploma, which is UCAS accredited and the equivalent of up to 3 A levels at A*.

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"The course is a new approach to post-16 study that bridges the gap between school and the workplace."




where we are.


Engine Shed

Set in Brunel’s original train station, a Grade I listed building built in 1841 and since given a £1.7 million transformation, Engine Shed aims to drive inward investment, create jobs and encourage a new generation of high growth businesses. 

Engine Shed is a collaboration between Bristol City Council, the University of Bristol and the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership. Its prime location next to Bristol Temple Meads makes it one of the world’s most connected enterprise hubs, and experts predict it will generate 5,000 high-value jobs in the next 15 years. It also provides workspace for a range of high-tech, creative and low carbon businesses, including Bristol SETsquared, the University of Bristol’s award-winning high-tech business incubator.

It is home to the West of England’s inward investment service, Invest Bristol and Bath, and the head office of the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership, DigiCity Bristol, a membership-only business lounge, Brunel’s Boardroom meeting suite and a public innovation showcase make up the other components of Engine Shed.


Digitech Studio School

Digitech is rapidly developing its post-16 provision around a central ethos of digital skills. As a result they offer Level 3 Vocational Diplomas and Academic ‘A’ Levels such as Physics and Computer Science. Their new courses for students joining in September are Vocational Diplomas with pathways to suit a range of specialist interests such as game design, radio, film making, cyber-security, animation, graphics, marketing and communication.


“At Digitech we are determined to prepare our students for future study or work based training; undertaking regular and relevant work experiences for all our post- 16 students is one of our core expectations. We have developed links within the sector and students can undertake Extended Project Qualifications(EPQ) that are sector related such as the new EPQ in Cyber Security. This emphasis on work experience gives Digitech students the necessary edge when applying for the next stage of their academic or working life. This ethos of progression, coupled with a program of mentoring and coaching for our post-16 students results in students who are equipped to meet their life goals. Digitech Studio School works collaboratively with boomsatsuma to deliver Creative Digital Media courses of high quality. Entry requirements for each course at Digitech are dependent on a number of factors that are discussed at interview. For more information please get in touch to arrange a visit.”


Lis Jolley,
Digitech Principal


backwell sixth form

Backwell Sixth Form continues to set records, with numbers around 400, a growth of almost 100 students in five years.

This popularity is due in large part to Backwell’s reputation for academic excellence.  In 2016, students at A Level again performed superbly – with over 60.1% of A Level entries graded at ‘A*, ‘A’ or ‘B’.  However, we are proud to offer a Sixth Form experience above and beyond examination results.  As Ofsted said in their most recent visit (October 2013):

“In this outstanding school, all groups of students thrive, achieve highly and are very well prepared for the next stage of their education.”

In fact, Ofsted graded Backwell as ‘Outstanding’ in all areas reported upon.



Bridgwater arts centre

Set in two Georgian town houses, The Bridgwater Arts Centre is one of the oldest in the country. It presents around 80 evening shows a year and 450 classes, workshops and participatory events. It has a theatre, bar, gallery, courtyard, studio and event spaces.

Their programming covers comedy, music, theatre, talks, wellbeing and art workshops as well as pub quizzes, book club, folk and jazz nights in the bar. They endeavour to offer a platform for local emerging talent.

Over 25,000 people visit with the centre year. There is a rich history at the Arts Centre, from international modern architecture conferences, a thriving punk scene in the 1980s to hosting the successful Bridgwater’s Big Bash free street party on 2015. With the very recent refurbishment of the shop floor, BAC is hub of creative activity and opportunity for Bridgwater.


Hans price academy

Based at Hans Price Academy, the Media Production Diploma will be an applied Level 3 Programme immersed in a multimedia production agency, specialising in print and large format. Students will be working on real applied media challenges that serve the North Somerset community, working closely with the newly developed Weston Creative Hub and industry partners.




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apply now.

Entry requirements

Learners will need to be 16 on the 1st September 2018.

You will need English and Maths grades A* to C. However students that can demonstrate attributes required by the Agency and who don’t have GCSE English or Maths at Grade C (Level 4) or above, will be supported to achieve those qualifications alongside the course. Though experience of creative and media subjects are advantageous, we are more interested in energy and commitment, and welcome your application even if you have had little or no experience. We are committed to equality, diversity and inclusion in the way we recruit.


Application process

Complete the short online application form here. The team will review the information you provide and successful applicants will be invited to an interview. 

What are the term dates?

Term dates are generally in line with the academic cycle and are available here

Course costs

There are no course fees for UK students under the age of 19, but there is a studio enrichment fee of £120 per annum. Students will be eligible to apply for a discretionary bursary to cover this and to assist with travel costs.