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Film Studies (MScR)

Course Description

Research profile

The PhD in Film Studies is a three-year full-time or six-year part-time degree programme, which allows you to pursue a research topic in depth and produce a thesis of approximately 80,000 words.

The MSc by Research degrees can be pursued in one of two routes: either two substantial essays followed by a 15,000-word dissertation, or a single piece of research leading to a 30,000-word dissertation.

As well as being a highly respected qualification from a top-ranking university, a postgraduate research degree in film studies places you at the heart of a vibrant, artistic city with a flourishing film culture.

Our associations with the renowned Edinburgh International Film Festival, along with other festivals, cinemas and film organisations, will support and inspire you in your research. So too will our extensive library of texts and DVDs, editing facilities, in-house cinema and access to the impressive collections of the National Library of Scotland and local cultural centres.

We can provide supervised research on a wide range of topics, such as film aesthetics and film and philosophy, various national cinemas, the work of individual filmmakers, cinema in relation to other art forms, and film exhibition.

We will consider thematic projects and research on genres, movements and theories. For interdisciplinary topics, expertise is on hand from within the school and beyond, including staff researching literature, anthropology, art history, music and more.

Training and support

The Edinburgh Film Seminar gives you access to presentations, discussions and lectures by leading film academics and film professionals.

You will also be involved in the activities of the Edinburgh Film Research Network including conferences, presentations and study days.

Student-led screenings, discussion groups, Work-in-Progress seminars and film clubs are among the numerous ways in which we will encourage you to widen your experience and develop networks that will help carry you into an academic career or employment related to film and the moving image.


On hand are all the amenities you would expect, such as computing facilities, study areas and a common room and kitchen, and some you wouldn’t, such as our cinema for Film Studies students.

We have an extensive collection of texts as well a DVD library. The National Library of Scotland provides a remarkable choice of texts on film. Cultural centres located in Edinburgh, such as the Institut Francais d'Ecosse and the Italian Institute, also house DVD collections.

Visit the Film Studies (MScR) page on the University of Edinburgh website for more details!

Entry Requirements

Our usual entrance requirement for postgraduate study is a UK 2:1 degree, or its international equivalent, in a related subject. For a PhD, you should have a masters degree in a related subject, however, you may be admitted if you have other qualifications or work experience that are deemed comparable. You should contact your potential supervisor to discuss.

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