The BBC  Academy has been working in partnership with Birmingham university to create a fantastic training course, allowing staff to develop their storytelling skills in bitesized chunks.


Please apply if you are interested or forward the information from Ben Toone to anyone you think maybe interested in giving it a go.



Digital Storytelling: Filmmaking for the Web is The BBC Academy’s first online course on FutureLearn in collaboration with the University of Birmingham and Creative Skillset and we’d love you to join the course and hear your feedback.


The course goes into the filmmaking process from coming up with the idea through to research, filming, editing and sharing the film online. It mixes video and audio from The BBC Academy wrapped with academic theory and discussion provided by the University of Birmingham.


The course lasts for 4 weeks, starting on Monday 28th September is all entirely online. If you’re interested you can sign up now for free and click to enrol on the course Digital Storytelling: Filmmaking for the Web.


Do email if you join – we’d like to keep a track of how many BBC staff are joining up.


Do email Ben about your thoughts on it and if you’re happy to be interviewed after the course about your experiences.


Many thanks,


Ben Toone

BBC Academy


Ben Toone

Content Producer, BBC Academy

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Telephone – 03030 816360 | Email: | Online:

An evening with Chris Dolan. Waterstone’s Byres Road. Thursday 8th October. 7.30 – 9.00




ScreenWrite: Breaking into Television WritingThursday 15 October 2015, 9.45am – 5pm

CCA: Centre for Contemporary Arts, 350 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow G2 3JD
Are you passionate about wanting to pursue a career in television writing? Looking for practical information and advice from industry practitioners on how to get your first break and stay on course? Born or based in Scotland?


Join commissioners, producers, agents and development executives for a packed, industry-focused day of talks, panel sessions and workshops exploring the rewards and challenges of writing drama and comedy for UK television today. Be inspired by hearing from screenwriters about their own journeys. Come together with like-minded writers from a range of backgrounds and start to make those all-important connections.


ScreenWrite is a fantastic opportunity to get the inside track on the realities of working in this exciting and competitive industry and give yourself the best chance of succeeding.


Tickets: £30 (includes lunch, refreshments through the day and drinks reception) 

A number of places are available at £20 for Scottish university screenwriting students on a first come, first served basis.


Booking deadline: Wednesday 7 October 2015 


Click here for further information and an application form (which gives eligibility details) or email


ScreenWrite is presented by NAWE (National Association of Writers in Education) with support from Glasgow Caledonian University; Screen Academy Scotland, Edinburgh Napier University; University of the West of Scotland; CCA and Scottish Book Trust. It is part of Turning A New Page, a programme of professional development events in 2015 for Scottish writers, which has investment from Creative Scotland

Katie Morag fans should note that Stuart Hepburn, Martin McCardie Sergio Casci and Lindy Cameron of Move On Up TV have been nominated for Best Children’s Screenplay in the British Screenwriter’s Awards as part of the London Screenwriter’s Festival . We all owe a great debt to Mairi Hedderwick for her fantastic books, and to Director Don Coutts and his Cast and Crew. If you are fans of the CBeebies and BBC Childrens series  about the adventures of the wee girl from Struay, you can vote by clicking here. VOTE FOR KATIE MORAG



I am indebted to David Archibald of Glasgow University for the following info:

“Document (International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival) in association with Screen Seminars at Glasgow and Glasgow Human Rights Network present a special May Day screening of Miners Shot Down, the award-winning documentary film about the killing of 34 striking miners in Marikana, South Africa, in 2012.

The screening will take place in the Andrew Stewart Cinema, Gilmorehill Halls, University of Glasgow on Friday 1st May at 6.30pm.

The trailer for the film is available here:

Register your attendance at the Facebook Events page:

The screening is free and open to the public.”

Screen Shot 2015-03-13 at 09.50.58

Over the last 4 years, the University Of The West Of Scotland has hosted regular Weds Afternoon collaboration workshops  in our TV studios at UWS Ayr. 

In that time over 400 participants, the majority of them International Students from countries all over the world have participated in the workshops. These student volunteers have collaborated together to record, edit and present the work of the BA(Hons) Contemporary Screen Acting Degree students . 

Full details of the StudioLab process can be found here  

I am pleased to announce that next Wednesdays StudioLab will be the 100th session . We will have a film crew down to record events . Look out for details of how we plan to celebrate our 100th Birthday . 

Contemporary Screen Acting Students in our recent Rail Safety  project 

Stuart Hepburn, Sergio Casci and Martin McCardie at The Scottish BAFTAS

Good luck to UWS Associate Lecturer Martin McCardie who’s been nominated for a screenwriting award by the Celtic Media Festival. Martin teaches on several Modules in our Performance Subject Area : Writing For Stage & Screen, Camera Acting Techniques and Team Writing for Television. He was a key member of the Katie Morag writing team for Move On Up TV.
Katie Morag’s awards up to now are as follows
2 British Academy Children’s Awards for Best Drama and Best Performance, (also nominated for Best Writer for Sergio Casci)
Best Children’s Series BAFTA Scotland
RTS Scotland Children’s Award
Best New Kids Series 2015 Kidscreen Awards Miami
Freesat Free TV Awards Best Children’s Series

All the best to Martin and the team!

Students from our UWS Performance Programmes can be seen acting on the BBC Writer’s Room Website as part of the “Room To Write Project” .

Claire McKinnie, Chris Martin and Nicole Donald are all final year students in the BA(Hons) Contemporary Screen Acting Degree.
Look out for Claire McKinnie in “Exploding Bones” here

Chris Martin in “Wedding”

And Nicole Donald in “Animals”

 University Of The West Of Scotland Musical Theatre Students are performing the new Musical The Green Door at the Ayr Gaiety Theatre from 28th January to the 31st January. We have arranged for all UWS students and friends to book tickets (via the phone line) for £4.00 per ticket (on the 28th January) and £8 on subsequent performances. This offer applies to any one in your party. All you need to do is book your tickets via the phone line and state you are UWS students and receive all your tickets booked there and then for the above prices. Please support your peers.
We sincerely hope to see you there.
All the best
UWS Performing Arts Team
and here’s a video link in case you have not seen it already.
Phone line is 01292 288235

Student work makes it to BBC Show!

A film made by students and staff at the Media Academy has been shown at BBC Scotland and some shots from it used in the BBC network Children in Need Show.

Earlier this year The University was approached by the organisers of ‘The Trossachs Challenge’ – a mountain-biking and hiking event organised by the business community to raise money for Children in Need. They asked if UWS could make a film of the event. The primary purpose of the film was to publicise the event in order to increase participation in the 2015 event.

They offered us a small fee and this allowed us to put together a team of students, recent alumni and staff . Staff members Paul Tucker, Keith Bird and Jamie Hare were joined by Broadcast Production students Charlotte Lines Sutton and David Montgomery, Creative Media Practice student Gabriel Malone and recent Film-making and Screen writing alumni Shaun Sutton and Sarah Kesson. A drone (remote controlled aerial camera) was piloted by lecturer Shona Wallace and her husband Craig.

The resultant film can be seen here – The music is also composed and recorded by a ‘Songwriting and Performance’ masters student, David Roddie.

The film has been very well received. It has been shown throughout the BBC Scotland building in the lead up to Children in Need night. Also – a bit of a coup this – some shots from the film were used on the BBC network Children in Need show .

Senior management at the BBC have also been very positive –

Donald Iain Brown, Head of Production Talent Network, BBC said,

“I’ve just watched this. What a brilliant film…the music is fantastic and the song is brilliant.”

Donalda Mackinnon who is Head of Programmes and Services at BBC Scotland said,

“The film is amazing…on behalf of BBC Children in Need, thank you so very much.”
Well done to Head of Broadcast Production Paul Tucker and all involved.

Stuart On Twitter

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