• The opportunity to study Film Studies at an advanced level.
• An emphasis on international and transnational cinemas.
• Both core and specialist modules are assessed by essay.
• Two specialist modules provide you with the opportunity to transfer and apply the theoretical knowledge and research skills acquired in the core module to a more concrete level of intellectual investigation, focusing on the creation of meaning and aesthetic value in the context of global dynamics of cultural production and distribution.
• The specialist modules vary annually and reflect current staff research interests. Emphasis throughout the year is placed on individual research.
* Film Studies was ranked first in Scotland for world leading and internationally excellent research in the UK Research Excellence Framework 2014.
* Senior expertise of high profile scholars, such as Professor Robert Burgoyne, Professor Richard Dyer, Mr Jean Michel Frodon and Professor Dina Iordanova, all internationally known and respected leaders in the field .
* Regular visits from high-profile film critics, film. The most recent have been celebrated Chilean filmmaker Patricio Guzmán, who in April 2015 visited the Department and attended a screening of two of his films, followed by a Q&A session.
* The new programme in Global Cinema: Managing and Cultural Curation, is offered out of the Institute for Global Cinema and Creative Cultures (IGCCC: http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/globalcinema ) which capitalise on achievements, global connections and on our reputational advantages as leaders in the study of global culture, film circulation and film festivals.
In learning and teaching, St Andrews sets the highest of standards and attracts students from all over the world with understandably high expectations. In its first five-yearly review in 2009, the Department’s teaching provision achieved the highest possible commendation. Teaching and research are closely co-related, and postgraduate teaching is informed by the staff’s research activity.
At St Andrews, we investigate cinema as a key form of cultural output and as the dominant type of creative expression. Focusing on the global dimension, our programmes cover key aspects of Film Studies through the lens of transnational cultural studies.
Film Studies at St Andrews is committed to questioning the traditional view of what is ‘normal’ cinema. We attempt to uncover the agendas (be they national, ‘western’, cultural, commercial, industrial, and so on) that define how we think about cinema, both in terms of the kinds of films we watch for pleasure, and those we study at university. There is much to be learned by studying what is produced at the margins of dominant societies, in addition to the canonical films of Hollywood and the European art house. We are interested in exploring the ways in which racial, ethnic, religious, and sexual subcultures conceptualise their identities. Similarly, we are keen to look at films produced at the periphery of established nations, co-productions between smaller players struggling to survive in the global marketplace and popular genre films often deemed unworthy of high-brow critical attention. Similarly, we
look at films that focus on transnational communities or appeal to international markets that deal with lesser-known histories and are made in foreign languages but are nonetheless worthy of critical examination and intellectual engagement.
Studying film at St Andrews will help you master a range of advanced research skills and acquire knowledge related to the construction and analysis of the moving image, the past and present day realities of various national and regional film traditions, the dynamics of the global film industry, and the theoretical approaches related to film.
The Department is housed in its own buildings, in North Street. They are within easy walking distance of the University Library, local cinema and town centre. The Department is well resourced with a dedicated teaching room. Recently the Department has started to use the wonderful facilities at the nearby Byre Theatre for most of our seminars, and for other film-related activities. MLitt classes are usually held at the Byre. A Film Studies Postgraduate Study Centre houses a DVD collection, postgraduate workspaces, viewing stations and off-air recording facilities.
At St Andrews you will be exposed to a rich and diverse film programme. Regular course-related film showings take place in a custom-built theatre. In addition, a range of screenings takes place across the University during term time, featuring films related to anthropology, international relations, and history.
St Andrews has excellent library provision, with book, journal and other information resources in Film Studies at a level consistent with an international centre of excellence. The Main Library hosts one of the best collections of international cinema on DVD and video (over 9,000 titles). The Library also holds over 1,000,000 print monographs, over 32,000 electronic books, and substantial journal title holdings in print and over 33,900 full-text electronic titles. Well over 2,000 monographs are classified under Film Studies and related subjects. There are holdings of approximately 100 film, television and media-related journals, of which about 65 are available electronically; there is also networked access to various databases, including Box of Broadcasts, Film Indexes Online and Film & Television Literature Index Full-Text.
In our media saturated culture, the opportunities for Film Studies graduates are remarkably diverse. Directly related are careers in academia, creative industries, development, distribution, film festival/cinema programming, and arts administration.
A Film Studies degree opens doors to many other spheres, including media management, film and TV research, journalism, publishing, advertising, cultural entrepreneurship, nongovernmental organisations, marketing, public relations and education. Recent destinations include: Junior Assistant Producer, European Tour Productions (IMG Media); Adjunct Instructor, SUNY (State University of New York) at Oswego; Consultant for Propel London Media.
This programme takes a project-led, practice-based approach to studying for an MA in Film Directing (Documentary) which integrates practical film making with analysis of contemporary film practice. Students choose to make a creative documentary or a non -fiction film which defies genre definition and pushes the boundaries of narrative. We develop these through workshops and tutorials. Our students work within an integrated framework that helps them question the form of their films and enables them to find the right language for their storytelling.
The programme encourages ways of working as a film community that foster the important exchange of ideas, with inspiration from international visiting film makers through Scottish Documentary Institute and support from our team of documentary practicioners. All tutors are top professionals currently working within the industry as directors, producers, editors, cinematographers or sound designers. A newly built Avid edit teaching space, and a new screening space helps us encourage a fresh approach to emerging technologies.
Graduate films do well internationally regularly winning BAFTAs, RTS Awards and awards at international festivals. Over the last five years students have received an Oscar nomination for an MA film made here and an Oscar shortlist for a film made by a recent graduate. We work closely with the Scottish Documentary Institute, the University’s internationally-acclaimed research centre in documentary film making.
The aim of the Film Directing programmes at ECA is to:
This programme is project-led and delivered through workshops and regular individual tutorials. It integrates practical studio work with theoretical and written studies from the Screen cultures course (see separate description) which is run independently from the Film Department.
The first semester, Design Studio is organised round a series of micro-films which lead to a growing awareness of film language and enhancement of technical skills to creatively support filmic vision. Cinematography and sound workshops are delivered by visiting lecturers. Directorial voice is built up also through tutorials in which an idea for a graduating film is developed and evolved. Awareness of current international documentary practice is built through regular seminars and screenings, collaborations with Film Festivals such as Take One Action and also supported by Scottish Documentary Institute. This is also to inspire students to push boundaries in their approach to narrative structure and visual language and not to get locked in conventional approaches. We want to encourage bold work that takes risks. At the end of the first semester all students pitch their films using a trailer or short excerpt from their research material. They also develop a treatment with feedback from tutorials.
Semester two is spent preparing and shooting the graduate film and is backed up with edit tutorials as well as project support from weekly meetings with a tutor. Students also receive seminars in production process including contracts.
Semester three is when the film is edited and finished with input from group crits, tutorials. Students also attend or often volunteer with Edinburgh Film Festival and the Edinburgh Pitch in order to observe and engage with key players from the international documentary world through hearing feedback from commissioning editors.
Alongside the ECA learning structure, students also have a pool of potential collaborators from Screen Academy Napier including the possibility of working with cinematographers, editors and producers.
Our students go on to a wide range of roles, including producer, director, writer, production or location manager, researcher, editor, assistant director, cinematographer, or journalist. Graduates have found work directing for the BBC and making work internationally for top broadcasters and film funds. Related fields include advertising, community films, academia or film development agencies.
MA/MFA Film Directing has been awarded the Creative Skillset Tick, the industry kitemark of quality, following a rigorous assessment process by experts working in the Creative Industries. The Creative Skillset Tick is awarded to practice-based courses which best prepare students for a career in the industry. Screen Academy Scotland is one of only 3 Screen Academies in the UK along with National Film School and London Film School.
Develop as a producer/director of factual programmes and extend your creative skills and technical knowledge. With talks by industry professionals, and access to a broad range of equipment, you’ll create a portfolio of work that will help you stand out from the crowd.
No matter what experience you have of filmmaking, our course will develop your knowledge of factual UK TV and digital media content production, and your creative skills, to an advanced level. Along the way, you’ll make seven films of different lengths and write a dissertation on a media subject that excites and interests you.
Focusing on two key roles, the director and the producer (which in current factual programming are merged into one), you’ll explore the dynamics of this ever-changing industry, and what it takes to succeed. You’ll learn to become a visual storyteller, a communicator, a collaborator, a motivator and a problem solver. You’ll also develop skills in scheduling, production managing, budgeting and marketing programmes. Although the emphasis is on factual programming, there is scope and flexibility to develop more creative films.
With specialist technical workshops on camera operation, sound, lighting and editing, you’ll develop professional skills in screen-based production. This will be supported by tutorials, diary work, and independent research, giving you a strong critical and contextual grounding for your practical work.
You’ll be encouraged to collaborate with other students on this course and others, becoming a flexible media professional who can produce and deliver high-quality video content for many different clients.
All our teaching staff have backgrounds in the film and television industries, and they're supported by industry specialists and visiting lecturers.
Sept starters: Trimester 1 - Weds & Thurs 10.00 – 17.00; Trimester 2 – Tues & Weds 10.00 – 17.00; Trimester 3 – Tuesdays 10.00 – 13.00.
Jan starters: Trimester 2 - Weds & Thurs 10.00 – 17.00; Trimester 1 – Tues & Weds 10.00 – 17.00; Trimester 2 – Tuesdays 10.00 – 13.00.
Semester 1: Thursday 10:00 - 17:00; Semester 2: Wednesday 10:00 - 17:00
Our course will prepare you for a career in TV or in the broader media, and help you to decide which areas of the industry attract you the most. Although the emphasis is on directing and producing, you might choose to move into cinematography, production management or even television programme sales once you graduate. You might also develop a particular interest in observational documentary, natural history films or science programming, and decide to follow a career in these fields.
Here at Cambridge School of Art, you’ll gain specialist skills that will be useful for traditional, experimental and creative documentary making, or films for education, training, public relations, current affairs, marketing and campaigning. Our course will prepare you to forge a portfolio or freelance career, and give you the ability to make high-quality content for broadcast, web, film festivals or cinema.
Process and Practice as Research
Understanding the Audience
Master's Dissertation Art and Design
Master's Project: Art and Design
You’ll demonstrate your learning, and ensure you’re developing the knowledge and skills to complete the course, through:
• Producing and directing films of different lengths and styles
• Working in a team on a TV Studio production
• Written production analyses and reflective commentaries
• Filming schedules & budgets
• Film pitches
• Final Masters Project: this film is your “calling card” for the industry
Your assignments are usually submitted at the end of each term. You’ll also be assessed informally and given feedback during the term to help you achieve to the highest level. Feedback could be on a film, a presentation or group participation; it will be given by your tutor and your fellow students.
Our Wired events are specialist lectures and workshops run by industry professionals, where you’ll learn about up-to-date practices and get invaluable advice. Our past speakers have included Sean Bobbitt (cinematographer: 12 Years a Slave, The Place Beyond the Pines, Hunger), Peter Strickland and Nic Knowland (director and cinematographer: Berberian Sound Studio), Cilla Ware (freelance drama director of Silk, Spooks, Primeval), Kathy Lee (film editor: Abuelas, A Letter to Dad), and Larry Sider (sound designer, The Piano Tuner of Earthquakes, Mirrormask).
Our Creative Front Futures events, run by Creative Front Cambridgeshire, will give you a broader taste of the creative industries, and let you find out more about the world of film and television production as well as explore other career options.
You’ll also get first-hand experience of the industry at informal work placements throughout the course and benefit from our close links with Cambridge Arts Picturehouse, where we hold regular student and industry events.
When shooting your projects you’ll have access to our fully-equipped HD TV studio with full lighting rig; our ground-breaking digital exhibition space Ruskin Gallery; a mixer; an autocue, multi-purpose scenic backdrops suitable for current affairs, magazine programmes and dramas; a film studio with overhead lighting, tracks, dollies and green screens and sets for flats; a full range of HD cameras (including Steadicam); location lighting; and sound-recording equipment.
For post-production work you’ll get access to over 30 editing suites with the complete Adobe Creative Cloud software suite including Premier Pro, after Affects, audition and Speed Grade and the Adobe Creative Suite master collection. You’ll be trained on all our equipment by a team of experienced technical staff, who also maintain and manage the facilities.
Study film and screen cultures while immersing yourself in the creative culture of London at film festivals, studios, galleries and pop-up cinemas. Our MA combines the study of mainstream and experimental film, contemporary television and the video-essay form, and includes the option to produce either a written or audio-visual dissertation.
This cutting-edge MA offers the opportunity for advanced studies in television and new media. Taught by leading figures in the field, the course allows you to engage with the most up-to-date research and to explore new approaches to audio-visual scholarship.
The programme includes first-hand engagement with cultural institutions across the city. Building on our links with festivals, studios, cinemas and galleries, this MA is not only about studying film theory but also about immersing yourself in the wealth of screen-related events and institutions the capital has to offer. In recent years, our students have been on trips to the London Film Festival, the British Film Institute, the Scalarama Cult Film Festival, the British Artists' Film & Video Study Collection, and the Tate Modern.
As a student you will also become a member of the Centre for Research in Film and Audiovisual Cultures (CRFAC) which means you will be able to engage with new and emerging research by attending a range of guest talks, conferences, media masterclasses and research seminars led by industry professionals. In recent years students have attended an exclusive preview of comedian and producer Omid Djalili’s film We Are Many, and gained advice on how to be a success in the filmmaking industry from BBC producer and director Jonathan Taylor, and the producer of Woody Allen’s Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Gareth Wiley.
You’ll develop your independent critical thinking by engaging in the programme’s four main areas:
1.Screen Cultures of London
In a series of visits to festivals, studios, cinemas and galleries, you will gain first hand engagement with cultural institutions across London.
2.Cult and Quality Television
You will interrogate the dynamic role of television within the shifting media landscape, focusing on contemporary US television drama.
3.Essay Films and Video Essays
You will combine history, theory and practice, be introduced to the Essay Film form and be equipped with the necessary skills to make your own video essays.
4.Transnational Cinemas from the Multiplex to the Web
You will undertake an in-depth examination of contemporary cinema through a global lens, taking in a variety of international films from big budget spectacles through to online films and mash-ups.
You will also choose between an academic dissertation and an audio-visual dissertation. The academic dissertation gives you the opportunity to deepen your research skills and knowledge about a topic of particular interest to you. The audio-visual dissertation will provide the opportunity to undertake an innovative combination of theory and practice through the production of an extended audio-visual essay alongside a written critical reflection.
Here are some of the varied range of modules we currently offer:
Careers in cinema and festival programming, media research, curatorship and distribution. The MA also functions as a pathway to a PhD for those pursuing a career in academia.
A research degree in international film and screen studies is a period of intensive, supervised investigative work in this area. It builds on your previous academic or professional experience and allows you to develop an original area of expertise.
You work closely with a director of studies and a supervisor who are specialists in your chosen field to produce an extended thesis.
We have a lively research culture and a high proportion of research-active staff. We value and support all our research students who make a vital contribution to the intellectual life of the University.
We also have specialist film studies facilities for your research.
For example, films are shown in our purpose-built film theatre The Void, which combines new technology, including DCP, Blu-ray and DVD projected through a 4K digital cinema projector, with older technology, including two 40-year-old Westrex 7000 35mm projectors. These projectors can show both recent and rare, culturally valuable films in their original cinema format, including silent films at the correct speed.
We are one of the few universities in the country that have these capabilities. You can view films as they were originally meant to be seen, an experience that cannot be replicated through home viewing alone. The Dolby 5.1 surround-sound system enhances your viewing experience.
We also enjoy a close working relationship with the British Film Institute (BFI) and have privileged access to the BFI Archive, which contains more than 50,000 fiction films and over 100,000 non-fiction titles, most of which are not available on DVD or via the internet.
Funds are available to support you in attending conferences and we encourage you to deliver papers and publish your work. It may be possible to apply for Arts and Humanities Research Council studentships. Some part-time teaching may also be available.
This degree is hosted within the Faculty of Development and Society Graduate School. The Graduate School website provides a communication hub for students and staff engaged in research, information about our research work, and useful contact information.
Full-time – at least 35 hours a week on average over three years
Part-time – at least 12 hours a week on average for up to seven years
There is a split mode available for international students who want to study in their own country.
Various start dates
Your study depends on your chosen area of research but includes a compulsory research methods module for students without prior research qualifications at postgraduate level.
Following your research degree, you can go on to teach film in further and higher education. You can also find careers in other related areas such as the film industry, film curatorship and preservation, and the creative industries.