Masters degrees in Film Studies explore the history and cultural impact of cinema, film production and other aspects of motion picture technology or related media. Specialised courses may focus on specific genres, directors or national traditions.
Most programmes award an MA (Master of Arts) but opportunities also exist to carry out postgraduate research through an MRes or MPhil in Film Studies.
These Masters degrees will train you to understand, appreciate and analyse some of the most important cultural media of the modern area.
Programmes will provide opportunities for advanced study of Film Studies as a general topic, along with the chance to specialise in specific areas such as Hollywood ‘blockbuster’ movies, documentary filmmaking or cinema as propaganda – to name a few.
Some courses may also include practical elements, focussing on the technical aspects of filmmaking, screenwriting and cinematic production.
Watching films may not sound like the most productive route through postgraduate study, but these courses can have a range of rewarding career outcomes.
Film is a significant cultural industry, with opportunities to work in the production and promotion of a range of projects. Journalism also focusses heavily on film, in both traditional print and online forms. Finally, film heritage is also a growing area, with many national and international museums and organisations dedicated to cinematic preservation and restoration.
• 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.
You can specialise in either Film Practice or Film Studies. Our Film Practice PhD provides you with a unique opportunity to develop your film as a practice-led research project. Alternatively you can undertake a Film Studies, MPhil or PhD studying British, Algerian, Chinese, French or Latin American cinema.
As a Film Studies MPhil or PhD student you will form a crucial part of our research culture. Our thriving community of postgraduate students work across schools and disciplines. Research ranges from modern languages to English literature, English language, linguistics and arts and cultures.
We are keen to work with postgraduates in the major research projects listed below, or in the more general areas related to them. We supervise projects that span academic schools and sub-disciplines, ensuring the best fit between your interests and the expertise of our staff.
We organise an annual postgraduate conference for the Faculty of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences and you can get involved in a number of film-related research seminars on campus, including:
You will benefit from the North Eastern Regional Film Seminar, which brings together film scholars from the Universities of Newcastle, Northumbria, Sunderland, Teesside, Durham and York for a one day symposium.
There is also the Film Factory, an exciting new film forum for students and staff, initiated by two PhD students from the School of Modern Languages, Gary Jenkins and Mani Sharpe. It consists of a series of film screenings followed by discussion and debate at the Culture Lab.
You will normally be taught on the Newcastle University campus. Attendance is flexible and agreed between you and your supervisors depending on the requirements of your research project.
You will have the opportunity to use Culture Lab, a centre for creative practice which includes a stock of film cameras and editing suites, as well as motioncapture, animation and soundmixing technology.
The Language Resource Centre and Peter Robinson Library hold large collections of international films and film magazines. You will also have access to a dedicated postgraduate suite including computers, workspaces, a kitchen and showers.
You will also have guided access to Tyne and Wear Archives.
This interdisciplinary programme is taught by staff from a wide range of departments at UCL, all international experts in the fields of film and media studies. Linguistic and cultural expertise informs our teaching on the film-making traditions of Europe, the Americas, the Middle East, Asia and South-East Asia.
The programme covers the history of cinema and a wide variety of world cinemas. It is designed to provide students with advanced knowledge of both the history of cinema and its contemporary developments, and with the skills, concepts, methods and theories required for the study of cinema and media at graduate level.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of two core modules (30 credits and one non-credit bearing), three optional modules (90 credits), and a dissertation (60 credits).
All MA students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 12,000 words.
Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials, and film and video screenings. The core modules are assessed by essays and examinations, which together count for 20% of the final mark. Optional modules are assessed by essays (40%), and the dissertation makes up the final 40%.
Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Film Studies MA
Graduates from the MA in Film Studies have pursued various careers, including: academic research and teaching; careers within media arts (writing, directing, editing); print and media journalism; arts and museum management; multimedia authoring and digital design; film preservation and curating.
Recent career destinations for this degree
Former students of this programme have gone on to careers in education and publishing and a wide variety of careers in the media arts, including film production, festival programming, and film curation with organisations including the BBC, the Barbican Centre, the Athens International Film Festival, and the London Film School.
Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.
Each year, we welcome students from all over the world to our Film Studies MA. Under the aegis of UCL's Centre for Multidisciplinary & Intercultural Inquiry (CMII), students spend a year amongst a thriving, cross-disciplinary community of cinema scholars and research students.
We have particular research strengths in film history, film theory, and in an exceptionally broad range of national and regional cinemas.
UCL has made a major commitment to refurbishing its multimedia infrastructure for the study of film and related media. This includes building a significant collection of print and visual materials and new facilities for teaching and for film and media screenings.
The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.
Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.
“Science fiction, fantasy, musicals, and period films offer the most obvious platform of eye-catching design, but it should be remembered that even if the subject is contemporary, or the style emulates documentary, we are still witnessing an illusion which has been designed.”
Peter Ettedgui — Production Designer
The MA Film Production course is for gifted and emerging filmmakers seeking to learn on the job, to go beyond the short film, to define themselves as artists within a working film production crew, and to gain that vital production experience demanded by the industry.
Work Placements | In line with the courses’s emphasis on industry experience, you will be encouraged to undertake, seek out short-term work opportunities in your field. These can occur when your pathway is normally not involved in a particular production stage, for example with production designers during post-production. This opportunity is available for all students, Home/EU and for International, details can be found on our Working during and after page. The experience you and other students gain through this work out in the industry enhances and -compounds the learning and collaboration on the course.
MA Film Production (Producing)
MA Film Production (Directing)
MA Film Production (Production Design)
MA Film Production (Cinematography)
MA Film Production (Editing)
MA Film Production (Sound Design)
MA Film Production (Documentary)
MA Film Production (Screenwriting)
Mirroring the working patterns of film production these named awards also reflect the degree of physical production engagement for these disciplines. With Producers, Directors and Documentary makers taking their films through all the stages from first idea, through to development, pre-production, production, post, and on right through to delivery to the audience. Whilst the disciplines of Production Design, Cinematography, Editing, Sound Design, and Screenwriting, over that same time period, will be engaged in the physical production, post of two or more films.
For the Portfolio Short Films made on the course, the budgets are seed funded. For other units, all the basic costs of materials and equipment are covered.
This course is part of Bournemouth Film School, along with BA (Hons) Film Production, MA Animation Production, BA (Hons) Animation Production, as well as BA (Hons) Visual Effects Design and Production. Together we make up the largest film school outside of London and one of few UK CILECT members.
All students are taught on specific discipline-focused and dedicated pathways. Allowing students to enhance their skills and knowledge and their ability to focus on their chosen pathway, together with its specific relation to the key aspects of the work of film production. Between course production blocks, all students are encouraged to seek out short work opportunities in the industry.
The experience gained enhances group learning and collaboration on the course. In their fourth term students undertake an industry pitching process, designed to overlap with the new student intake further increasing opportunities for group learning.
Structured in a way that builds systematically and in a logical sequence that mirrors the film industry, the course consists of four overlapping units, each building in complexity and demand. For the producing, directing and documentary pathways this will involve six or more shoots, and twelve or more shoots for the other pathways, as their numbers on the course are organised to facilitate this production engagement. This again mirrors industry experience for these pathways.
This unit consists of two production blocks. The first block involves a number of exercise shoots in which student also involve themselves in script continuity and first AD roles.
The second block is a location/studio shoot of a script devised and developed by students during the unit. For this block and other productions; the BA (Hons) Film Production course students and graduates will be a valuable crewing option. All MA pathways collaborate together on these shoots.
Virtual Effects Project
This explores the realisation of expansive, action, cast heavy, costly sequence, beyond the scope of the short film. Scenes normally only possible on a large budget production which even then would be achieved by a mix of live action and computer generated imagery, such as in the opening scene of Les Miserables.
Through collaboration with the BA Visual Effects and MA Animation courses, the MA Film Production students produce a virtual action sequence using the industry standard software to cover a demanding and expansive scene of this scope.
This will then be edited, reviewed and analysed by the cohort together with experienced practicing directors, editors, producers, VFX designers and stunt arrangers. Use of green screen is an integral part of the unit. AUB has a branch of Framestore, Europe’s leading VFX company, on campus.
Portfolio Short Film
A short film shot over a week, or number of days to be determined by budget and negotiation. Using studio and/or location and image capture with Arri Film or Alexa Digital cameras. This film will be based on a script, or devised material that has been developed on the course. The expectation is that these films will have the potential to be entered into festivals.
Research and Project Development
This unit is about the genesis and development of long form/feature projects, beyond the scope of the short film. Graduates will take this out into the industry as part of their career progression. Over the first three terms this story/theme driven work for the pathways, includes research into process, feasibility and practice studies.
Bridge to the Industry
A two-day production block for this unit enables the shooting of a teaser or pilot scene. Furnished with these active projects, with industry networking, with a Portfolio Short Film and the experience gained on the course, graduates of the MA Film Production course will have a real bridge to the industry and to career development and progression.