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Course content

The MA in Film Studies at the University of Manchester is a flexible programme of study, providing students with opportunities to study areas of film theory, history and culture, as well as aspects of applied practice. It caters for students wishing to enhance their artistic and professional careers as well as those seeking to prepare for doctoral study. The course provides opportunities for students who are relatively new to the subject area to establish a foundation in the discipline as well as those who wish to pursue further study. It prepares students for doctoral study and/or employment in film, screen media and creative industries, as well as those who wish to employ their knowledge of screen media and practice in educational, social and community settings.

The course thus builds on extensive links between the University of Manchester and professional contexts and communities in Manchester and the North West. It encourages the research and practice of film in academic and creative contexts, in particular with engagement in non-traditional and/or community sites, combining artistic and academic exploration with a focus on social responsibility, critique and transformation.

Programme Director: Dr Felicia Chan (  )

Teaching and learning

The MA Film Studies programme offers a solid foundation in theoretical and critical film studies, built on staff expertise and specialisms from form and theory to historical and cultural approaches to national cinemas to the politics of identity, gender and sexuality, and film music as well as practice, for students who may wish to pursue the discipline at postgraduate level for personal or professional development. It also offers opportunities for research and practice in aspects of and approaches to applied Film Studies, for students who may be interested in pursuing more practice-based and socially engaged research, for example, using film production and audio-visual methodologies for research, knowledge exchange and community engagement. This involves acquiring practical skills in addition to theoretical knowledge, such as documentary film-making, sound design, film curation and programming, that could be applied to education, community and activist contexts, as well as work placement opportunities.

Following a mandatory first semester of two core modules, students are free to construct their MA programme from a diverse range of options, including established study options within School of Arts, Languages and Cultures, a directed reading or practice option (enabling you to pursue a specific area of research with the careful supervision of specialist staff), and a work placement option. Study options vary from year to year depending on staff availability.

Students are taught in seminars, small group tutorials, workshops and surgeries, offering opportunities for lively and engaged discussions. One-to-one supervision is offered on all dissertations. Assessment is primarily by written assignment, also there will also be opportunities for those interested in practice as research.

Coursework and assessment

Written coursework in each taught 30 credit taught module is constituted by a 6,000 word essay, or its equivalent, constituted by a combination of various kinds of written work, including essays, log books, evaluation reports, project critiques and practice analysis. The dissertation is constituted by a 15,000 word project on a topic chosen in consultation with the dissertation supervisor.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: 

Career opportunities

This Masters degree teaches and develops a range of transferable skills, and thus enables students to keep open a wide range of career options. Previous MA students have continued to take up PhD study with us, and many of these have gone on to academic and teaching careers in further and higher education institutions. Others have gone on to work for the BBC, in independent television production companies, festivals, film education and other areas of the film and screen media industry.


Visit the Film Studies (MA) page on the University of Manchester website for more details!

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