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Film Studies (MLitt)

Course Description

MLitt in Film Studies

• 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.

Facilities and collections

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.

Visit the Film Studies (MLitt) page on the University of St Andrews website for more details!

(Student Profile)


Studying here has taught me a great deal. The lecturers for Film Studies are excellent and I have learnt just as much from fellow students.
Since we all come from diverse backgrounds, our different viewpoints have stimulated many fascinating discussions in class and after.
The Film Studies Department is a tight-knit community that welcomes everyone warmly. St Andrews has helped me grow intellectually
and as a person – I will miss this place when I have to leave.


Entry Requirements

Our minimum academic requirement for entry to most programmes is a 2:1 degree classification from a recognised UK university or the equivalent in a subject-related area

Course Fees

2017/18: Home/EU £7,500; Overseas £17,090

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