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.