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Film Studies (Film & Philosophy pathway available) MA

This course has been designed for students who want to deepen their knowledge of the world’s cinemas and is taught at the leading centre for film studies in London. It offers an extensive range of options covering all aspects of film style, representation, spectatorship and philosophical approaches.

Our perfect location close to BFI Southbank (including the BFI Library), Southbank Centre, and Tate Modern means you will be studying in the heart of London with access to fantastic resources. The course is ideal for careers in the media, arts and related culture industries, or preparation for further study.

Key benefits

  • Internationally renowned staff.
  • Focus on cutting-edge ideas and developments in film culture.
  • Ranges across European, American and World cinema from highbrow to lowbrow.
  • Located in the heart of London.
  • Film & Philosophy pathway available.


Contemporary film studies is a diverse, interdisciplinary field that incorporates a variety of approaches to the analysis of film and film culture. Our Film Studies MA builds on the research strengths of our distinguished staff to offer modules that examine a wide range of cinema styles and approaches to studying film.

We have designed this course for students who want to deepen their knowledge of the world’s cinemas and explore the very latest approaches to studying them. You will participate in a number of research activities, including a programme of lectures by nationally and internationally distinguished scholars, international conferences, twice-weekly 35mm cinematheque screenings, a focused graduate training course, and a student-organised work-in-progress conference in May.

The course comprises five taught modules and research project leading to a dissertation.

Required Modules

You are required to take:

• Dissertation (90 credits)

• Formations of Film Studies: an Advanced Introduction to the Field (20 credits)

If you are taking the Film & Philosophy pathway you are required to take at least two modules from a list that typically includes:

• Cinema & Sentiment (20 credits)

• Experimental Film & Philosophy (20 credits)

• Film History & the Cinema Experience (20 credits)

• Thinking Cinema (20 credits)

• Reconfiguring Film Theories & Philosophies: A Cross-cultural Perspective (20 credits)

• Media Aesthetics (20 credits)

Optional Modules

Both pathways

In addition, you are required to take 40 to 80 credits (depending on your pathway) from a range of optional modules, which may typically include:

• History & Memory in Film (20 credits)

• Cinema & War (20 credits)

• 21st Century Hollywood (20 credits)

• French Cinema: History, Ideology, Aesthetics (20 credits)

• Film History & the Cinema Experience (20 credits)

• Art Cinema (20 credits)

• Thinking Cinema (20 credits)

• Popular European Cinema (20 credits)

• Cinema & Sentiment (20 credits)

• Experimental Film & Philosophy (20 credits)

• Analysing Film Performance (20 credits)

• Reconfiguring Film Theories & Philosophies: A Cross-Cultural Perspective (20 credits)

• Global Queer Cinema (20 credits)

• The Moving Image of Art (20 credits)

• A range of Master’s modules offered across the Faculty of Arts & Humanities or Global Institutes, subject to approval

• Up to 20 credits from master’s modules offered by similar Departments within the University of London, or from other members of the Screen Studies Group (Birkbeck, SOAS, Goldsmith’s, UCL and QMUL), subject to approval

If you are a part-time student, you will take your dissertation in your second year, along with 40 credits of optional modules. You will take everything else in your first year.

Career prospects

Many of our students go on to pursue research in film and other areas of visual studies at the MPhil/PhD level. Our past graduates have gone on to PhD courses at universities including Harvard University and other University of London Colleges (including King’s), among others. Others have transferred the skills and knowledge they develop with us to careers in the media arts and related activities, including journalism, film festival work and media literacy training.

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Visit the Film Studies (Film & Philosophy pathway available) MA page on the King’s College London website for more details!