In the field of editing, the ifs offers the specialization »Editing Picture & Sound« in the Bachelor’s program Film.
In addition, there are regular further education workshops on selected topics for editors.
Specialization in »Editing Picture & Sound« in BA Film
At the ifs, editors are perceived as creative filmmakers who through sound design and picture montage make a decisive contribution to shaping the story of a film. Editors are co-authors in the assembly of a documentary or a narrative dramaturgy for a fictional story.
The Specialization in Editing Picture & Sound introduces students to the craft of the editor, which they then apply in several editing exercises throughout the entire program. In the project work, the students are responsible in their teams for the picture and sound design in the editing room. The program serves as a training ground and experimental field where editing students can try out and expand their newly gained skills. In the process, they learn to take a position in their work and to develop their personal signature style, which they can then professionally apply in the collaborative process of shaping the dramaturgy of a film.
Bachelor’s program Film
Language of instruction: German
Application deadline: 15 March 2021
Start of studies: Winter semester 2021
Pre-selection (without the attendance of the applicants): March/April 2021
Entrance examination (attendance required): May 2021
Application Documents [PDF]
The application tasks can be uploaded to the application platform until March 15, 2021.
Find the link to the application platform »Editing Picture & Sound« here.
»The cutting room is where the film is rewritten.« – ifs professor Barbara Hennings and professor André Bendocchi-Alvés talk about their love for film editing and why they want more women to decide to become editors! Have fun!
Cut: Friederike Dörffler
The 7-semester Bachelor’s program is modular and consists of:
- Specialization modules that convey the artistic and technical expertise for the aspired occupation.
- Project modules, in which students, both independently and through interdisciplinary collaboration, complete projects from the idea to the finished screenplay or film.
- Comparative Media Studies modules and personal skills seminars that transfer film and media theory knowledge as well as social and interpersonal skills
Studying Editing Picture & Sound
At the ifs, editors are perceived as filmmakers and play a decisive role in the shaping and defining of the story. Editors serve as partners to the directors and producers in the editing room, where together they explore and develop the narrative dramaturgy for both fiction and documentary film. The editor also plays an increasingly important role in the preparation of a film project.
Through experiments and research, as well as the experience of filmmaking and storytelling in a team, the Specialization Editing Picture & Sound prepares students for the job of editor, sound designer and contributor in the postproduction process. During the three and a half years, students are introduced to the theoretical and practical foundations of editing. In the project work, students are responsible for the picture and sound design in their team.
In the first year, students learn the basics of film production and editing picture and sound with a focus on narrative staging.
In the second year, the focus is on documentary film editing, the possibilities of sound design, and the design of visual effects.
From the third year on, editing students work together in their specialization on the picture and sound design of a feature film. This serves as preparation for the last two semesters (6th and 7th semester) and the related final project.
Comparative Media Studies
Comparative Media Studies explore the film medium’s relationships to other media and their presentation and narrative forms, and particularly to the competing audiovisual media of theater, television and digital games as well as to the fine arts, photography, literature and music. In both the theoretical reflections and the practical exercises, specific attention is given to the aesthetic and cultural consequences of digitization for production, distribution and reception of audiovisual, cross-media and trans-media content.
Film History and Film Analysis
This subject area explores the different dimensions and elements that touch, cross and merge paths in film: space and time, perspective and montage, picture and sound, light and color, on and off-screen, and the perspectives of the characters, the camera and the audience. The focus is on investigating the media conditions for cinematic aesthetics as well as reflecting on their historical transformation.
A significant part of the studies and the learning takes place in the project work, which is defined by an intensive and close collaboration between the 7 specializations. Each semester includes a project phase, during which students experiment, practice and produce work. The requirements vary as there are both fiction and non-fiction film projects. The project work consists of both independent components as well as interdisciplinary teamwork with other students and cooperation partners. The complexity of the project work increases during the course of the studies up to the final graduation films. The professor committee decides on the production of each of the projects. Students also have the opportunity to work on independent projects alongside their studies with the support of the ifs.
Personal Skills and Professional Career Orientation
All the semesters include modules for personal skills training and professional career orientation. Coaching sessions and teacher feedback on various studies and team processes promote personal and professional development. Students are encouraged to reflect on their own artistic work from an interdisciplinary perspective, in the context of other works of art, and as part of the social discourse. Students receive targeted support to develop and cultivate their own artistic personality, as well as their social and communication skills (negotiation skills, self-reflection, team cooperation, conflict strategies). Case studies exploring the various job profiles (national/international) and knowledge of the requirements of a business startup serve as guidance on future careers and professional opportunities. Visits to festivals and conferences promote the development of industry networks.
Bachelor Project and Thesis
Students prepare their Bachelor graduation project and thesis at the end of their studies, which is supplemented by an oral examination also known as a colloquium. For the Screenwriting specialization, the BA graduation project consists of writing an original screenplay for a feature-length film. The BA graduation project for the specializations in Film Directing, Creative Producing, Director of Photography, Editing Picture & Sound, VFX & Animation, and Production Design consist of a production project and a written thesis. The colloquiums will bring together the different parts of the BA project in a technical discussion and explore individual aspects in depth.
Fields of Study
The following fields of study at the ifs are represented by professors:
- Screenwriting and Dramaturgy
- Directing – For fiction narratives in audiovisual media
- Directing – For documentary narratives in audiovisual media
- Creative Producing
- Camera – Feature Film
- Camera – Documentary Film
- Editing Picture & Sound
- VFX & Animation
- Production Design
- Comparative Media Studies
- Film History and Film Analysis
- Serial Storytelling (MA)
- Digital Narratives (MA)
Our professors are experienced academics and professionals who, alongside their teaching responsibilities, also produce screenplays, documentaries and feature films as well as conduct research work. A wide range of lecturers from both the German and international film industries further supports the main academic teaching staff. An active involvement in the film industry and a professional participation in film and applied media discourses are requirements for a teaching position at the ifs.
Every module is completed with an examination, and is graded. The examinations can take the form of assignments, papers, work samples, written tests, presentations or oral exams.
After successfully completing the Bachelor Examination, students are awarded the »Bachelor of Arts« (B.A.) academic degree.
The study workload is assessed using a credit point system, according to the principles of the European Credit Transfer System. 30 credits are awarded per semester. In the standard 7-semester period of study, 210 credit points are required to achieve the »Bachelor of Arts« degree. The BA Film program is a fulltime study program. Courses usually require 80 percent compulsory attendance.
The Bachelor’s program Film offers the following specializations:
Screenwriting, Film Directing, Creative Producing, Director of Photography, Editing Picture & Sound, VFX & Animation, or Production Design.
full time / every two years
Bachelor of Arts
Number of Participants:
Tuition fees per semester:
One-time registration fee:
Contribution to the »Friends of the ifs Society« per semester:
Information for Foreign Student Applicants
Foreign student applicants should note the following points for their application:
- To ensure that the education certificates and diplomas acquired abroad comply with the admission requirements of the ifs (higher education qualifications), applicants can get information at the following link: http://anabin.kmk.org.
- Enrollment at the University of Applied Sciences Cologne, the cooperation partner of the ifs, is mandatory for foreign students.
- To obtain a residency permit, foreign students must demonstrate sufficient funds to secure their living expenses. The amount required is equivalent to the Bafög maximum rate of 853 euros per month, calculated for one year.
The application procedure consists of:
- An online application with application tasks.
- An entrance examination to take place at the ifs. Candidates are selected on the basis of the submitted online applications and invited to the entrance examination. In this two-stage process, applicants must demonstrate their artistic and creative aptitude relating to the BA Film program and their desired specialization.
- General college or university qualifications.
- In the case college or university qualifications are not available and the applicant displays strong artistic aptitude, the required general qualifications will be determined in a separate procedure.
- Very good knowledge of German: At the time of application, prospective foreign students must demonstrate at least a B2 language level. Once accepted to the program, students must successfully complete the DSH-2 exam (German language proficiency test for university admission).
- Good English language skills.
- Only for the Specialization in Cinematography/Director of Photography: In addition, relevant internships of a maximum of 3 months are a requirement. As part of your internship experience, a minimum 4-week internship on set is desirable, preferably in the cinematography, lighting, or grip department. Proof of completed or ongoing internships must be submitted with the application. Possible organizations offering internships can include production companies, film equipment rentals, post-production studios and film laboratories.
- A completed professional training or studies in a related field replaces the internship (accepted studies include: audiovisual media designer for picture/sound, photographer, etc.). Previous professional work as a camera assistant or a clapper loader also replaces the internship. Please include the relevant certificates and references with your application for approval.
- Only for the Specialization in Production Design: In addition, relevant internships in a set or stage design department of a maximum of 3 months are a requirement. Proof of completed or ongoing internships must be submitted with the application.
- A completed professional training or studies in a related field replaces the internship (accepted studies include: audiovisual media designer, graphic design assistant, architect, decorator, etc.). Previous professional work in production or stage design also replaces the internship. Please include the relevant certificates and references with your application for approval.
Internships on offer can be found here:
Financing & Scholarships
For financial assistance to cover tuition fees and/or living expenses, students may apply from their first semester for an interest-free loan from the Student Education Fund, which is run by »The Friends of the ifs internationale filmschule köln Society«. Approval of the interest-free loans is based on the applicant’s financial situation and the funds available. Repayment of the loans begins six months after graduation/termination of studies.
Students are generally eligible for BAföG, the Federal Student Financial Aid Program, if this is their first study program. The responsible Federal Student Financial Aid Office decides upon applications for student state loans or grants. A prerequisite for the application is the enrollment at the University of Applied Sciences Cologne, the ifs cooperation partner (tuition fee for the Summer Semester 2020: 276,70 euros). This grant includes all the services of the University of Applied Sciences Cologne as well as the semester ticket. Both German and foreign students are eligible applicants. International students must observe: BAföG § 8
Another way to finance your studies is to apply for a repayable loan. The collection of links in the following is not exhaustive and is only sorted in alphabetical order.
Education and/or Student Loans:
- Career Concept AG
- DAKA – Darlehenskasse der Studentenwerke im Land NRW
- Deutsche Bildung
- Deutsche Kreditbank
- Erasmus+ Master degree loans (MA students only)
- KfW Bank
»The Friends of the ifs internationale filmschule köln Society« currently offers scholarships that run until the end of the Bachelor’s program, for students with outstanding academic achievement or for those who require financial assistance. These scholarships cover the tuition fees as well as an additional allowance to cover living expenses, paid throughout the course of studies until completion of the Bachelor’s program. After sucessfully passing the entrance examination, students can apply for both a scholarship and a loan.
Beyond the ifs, several German and international foundations offer scholarships to support tuition fees and costs of living during studies. The requirements for the award of a scholarship vary between individual foundations. In any case, the enrollment at the TH Köln, cooperation partner of the ifs, is mandatory.
Overview of German Scholarship Funds:
- Kölner Studentenwerk
- Stipendienlotse des Bundesministeriums für Bildung und Forschung
- Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (SPD related)
- Friedrich-Naumann-Stiftung (FDP related)
- Hanns-Seidel-Stiftung e.V. (CSU related)
- Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung (Bündnis 90/Die Grünen related)
- Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung e.V. (CDU related)
- Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung (Linkspartei related)
- Avicenna-Studienwerk e.V. (for Muslim students)
- Cusanuswerk (for Catholic students)
- Ernst Ludwig Ehrlich Studienwerk (for Jewish students)
- Evangelisches Studienwerk e.V. (for Protestant students)
- Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst e. V. (DAAD)
- Hans-Böckler-Stiftung (DGB)
- Kölner Gymnasial- und Stiftungsfonds
- Stiftung der Deutschen Wirtschaft – Studienförderwerk Klaus Murmann
- Stiftung Begabtenförderung berufliche Bildung
- Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes e.V.
- VFF Verwertungsgesellschaft der Film- und Fernsehproduzenten
Working besides studies
Students must decide for themselves whether it is possible for them to pursue a job while studying. Our study programs are full-time degree programs. In the following you will find information on the specific scope of our study programs:
The study workload is assessed using a credit point system, according to the principles of the European Credit Transfer System. 30 credits are awarded per semester. In the standard 7-semester period of study, 210 credit points are required to achieve the »Bachelor of Arts« degree. The FILM program is a fulltime study program. Courses usually require 80 percent compulsory attendance.
Information for international students
Citizens of member states of the European Union, the European Economic Area (EEA) – that is Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein – as well as Switzerland have equal legal status on the labor market as German citizens. This means that they have the same access to the labor market as German students and are permitted to work as much as they would like to without having to obtain prior approval of German authorities. Students are advised, however, not to work longer than 20 hours a week, as you would have to pay social insurance contributions should you exceed this number of hours.
International students from countries which are NOT member states of the EU, the EEA or Switzerland are normally permitted to work 120 full or 240 half days per year if they are in possession of a valid residence permit for Germany. The immigration office will record these provisions in your residence permit. Should you wish to work more days per year, you will need to obtain approval from your immigration office and the German Federal Employment Agency.
Foreign Education Certificates
International applicants can obtain information about whether their degree, certificate or diploma fulfills the ifs admissions requirements at the following site:
http://anabin.kmk.org (German only).
If your degree does not fulfill the ifs admissions requirements but you have a recognizable talent and previous adequate experience, you may be invited to a separate admissions procedure to demonstrate your individual artistic aptitude.
The general rule requires the applicant to provide proof of a German language proficiency level B 2 (CEFR) with the application in the form of a completed examination. A certificate of attendance to the corresponding course is not sufficient.
Latest by the start of studies, students must have passed the German Language Examination for University Entrance (DSH – Deutsche Sprachprüfung für den Hochschulzugang). The minimum level required is DSH II. Due to the franchise agreement, students can sit this examination at the Technische Hochschule Köln (University of Applied Sciences) for a fee of € 130.
As an alternative to the DSH II, the following documents are also accepted:
- Proof of successful attendance (higher education qualification) to a German-language school abroad
- DSDII – Sprachdiplom der Kultusministerkonferenz Stufe II, the German Language Diploma (Level II) from the German Standing Conference of Ministers of Education and Culture
- The Goethe Institute’s »Major« or »Minor German Language Certificate«
- The Goethe Institute’s »Central Advanced Language Test«
- The DAF test with a total minimum score of 16 points
- Successful completion of a German-language study program
If you have specific questions regarding the specialization »Editing Picture & Sound«, please contact:
Coordination Editing Picture & Sound
T +49 (0) 221.920188-268
Anna Verena Müller
T +49 (0) 221.920188-273
Office of Student Affairs
T +49 (0) 221.920188-222
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