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The University of Southampton
FilmPart of Humanities

Philippa Short BA Film and English

BA Film and English

Philippa Short's Photo

Hi, I am Philippa Short studying BA Film and English.

There were two reasons that I chose to study at Southampton: The Film department was ranked first in the country and had a great variety of modules, And the staff and students were the most friendly and welcoming I had met across every university open day I attended.

What is it like studying here?


The University of Southampton has provided me with so many opportunities, and I have taken advantage of as many of these as I possibly could alongside my studies. I have taken on roles such as President of Wessex Films (the university’s filmmaking society), Academic President of the Film Department, Head of Operations for The University of Southampton Student Film Festival, Alumni Liaison for student-led events, Course Representative, Peer Mentor, and Student Ambassador. While this has sometimes been rather time demanding, my lecturers have always been there to ensure that I do not feel overwhelmed. Due to the film department being quite a small one, I feel that students are able to receive more support from the staff.

Though The University of Southampton film course is focused on academia, the department is supportive of student filmmakers. We are provided with an editing suite and camera equipment in order to make films alongside our degrees. With regards to the academic side, we are provided with a great variety of modules, which are all run by passionate lecturers. Ranging from studying Hollywood across the years to researching film industries across the globe, I am always able to personalise my essays to suit what I am personally passionate about.

What were you anxious about before coming to Southampton, and once here were these fears overcome?

At first it was intimidating to think that I would be leaving home and starting again in an unknown city where I knew no one. But it turned out that there was nothing to worry about. I instantly made friends to explore the city, and felt incredibly welcome into the film department thanks to the staff and academic representatives.

Did you stay in University accommodation?

In first year I stayed in Archers Road Halls. While it was one of the smaller halls of residences, it was very easy to make friends and settle in. Events were set up for the residents, and students soon get acquainted with those from surrounding flats. Halls was a particularly great way of initially meeting people who were not on the same course as myself. Additionally, the free bus pass was particularly helpful for getting around the city and campuses.

What have been your Southampton ‘highlights’  so far?

One of my favourite memories from my time at the university was co-founding The University of Southampton Student Film Festival alongside my fellow film student, Ben Robins. The film department made it possible for us to further celebrate student filmmaking at the university by screening the students’ films and awarding them with prizes, judged by film staff and previous students who have found careers within the film industry.

What are you enjoying most about your course?

There is a lot to enjoy about my course: the variety of modules; the opportunities and skills available; the ability to easily access films and literature. Most importantly, I have enjoyed feeling supported and appreciated by the film department. Both staff and students are incredibly welcoming and friendly, and I have genuinely loved my time at the uni.

Do you have the opportunity to study modules outside of your core subject area?

As a joint honours student I already study two separate disciplines. However, I still have access to modules outside of Film and English. Though I decided not to take on a minor, I have seen how many students have benefitted from taking minors in another subject.

What other activities have you taken advantage of while at University?

I would highly recommend getting involved with societies, as they are a fantastic opportunity to meet like-minded people. They are also a chance to learn new skills and de-stress, and are invaluable on your CV.

How do you rate study facilities at the University, such as the Library?

As a humanities student, I have been able to fully utilise both libraries on Highfield campus and Avenue campus. The staff have been particularly good at giving us access to online materials, and we are provided with a large variety of films for both study and leisure.

What networking, employment and work experience opportunities have you undertaken and how have they enhanced your undergraduate experience?

The department works alongside student representatives in order to run events that benefit student employment. Particularly useful events include alumni panels, in which students can speak to past students with jobs that interest them. These alumni panels can provide students with inspiration for finding their dream career.

Have you had any exposure to employer involvement or research-led learning during your course?

The university emails us about local opportunities and jobs related to the film industry, ranging from being a runner on a film set, to paid jobs. Following one of these emails, I applied for a job at PQA Eastleigh, and am now teaching 6-18 year olds to make films at the weekends. The skills I have learnt, and am still learning, have been invaluable, and enabled me to push my studies beyond my degree by passing my knowledge onto my own students.

Do you enjoy living in Southampton?

I enjoy living in Southampton, especially since I come from a much more rural area. I can enjoy both city and countryside aspects, and it is easy to travel around. Moreover, I feel safe within Southampton, especially as the university provides a safety bus system, which ensures that all of its students get home safe from campus during the late/early hours.

Do you have any idea of what you would like to do in the future?

I am still undecided as to which career path I want to take. While I have not lost my passion for filmmaking, I have been provided with so many opportunities that have opened many doors for me. I know that I could go down a variety of routes with the experience I have acquired over the last few years.


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