Film Studies MA
- Name: Film Studies
- Qualification: MA
- Duration: 1 year full-time; 2 years part-time
Modern society cannot be fully understood without an appreciation of the role of film. Film provides a crucial barometer for measuring a society’s concerns, anxieties and preoccupations. More than simply ‘entertainment’, film helps us to understand its politics, history, culture, and the roles of class, gender, race, ethnicity and national identity.
Our MA in Film Studies provides students with the opportunity to engagement with film, both visually and intellectually at an advanced level. Considering film as a product of the societies from which it emerges, this critically and intellectually robust course draws on expertise within the School of Music & Media and the School of Languages, Literatures & Linguistics. Through examining film scholarship from a variety of different perspectives (aesthetic, political, historical) students will gain a deeper understanding of the subject and apply this to the analysis of film image - its specific visual properties, meaning and effects.
Course content is for guidance purposes only and may be subject to change.
This course is delivered first-hand by experts in Film Studies. It is taught through a combination of small-group seminars, as well as one-to-one supervisions. In addition students will benefit from a lively research environment, with a regular programme of research seminars, screenings, conferences and guest speakers.
The programme consists of taught modules (Part One) followed by a dissertation (Part Two). Assessment is through through a combination of oral presentations and written work. Students produce an extended final piece of work in the form of a dissertation under the supervision of relevant member/s of staff.
In the first part of the MA programme, all students are required to study four modules of 30 credits each (for full-time students, this means two modules per semester).
All students study the following compulsory modules:
Media, Culture & Creativity (30 credits): Students will be given the opportunity to study, discuss and close-read seminal readings from the canon of critical literature and apply them to creative, cultural and media artefacts. This module provides the opportunity for students to critically consider the role and significance of creativity within an academic context and to analyse its role in generating knowledge
Research Design (30 credits): The purpose of this module is to prepare you to design, plan and complete a major research project (practice-based or empirical). Students will engage with all aspects of the research process, including: identifying a research paradigm; selecting a qualitative or quantitative approach and methodological strategy; constructing research questions; and collecting and analysing data.
In addition, students are required to choose two further option modules from those list that may include:
- American History and Politics on Screen (30 credits): This module examines the ways in which American cinema has addressed major historical events, political movements and ideas, as well as key figures from the past and present. Students will learn how, as a popular medium, cinema has played a critical role not only in reflecting historical and political realities, but also in shaping perspectives on them.
- Visions of the City in French Cinema (30 credits): This module will explore representations of the city in French films since 1995. Based around four key films that share a focus on issues of exclusion - such as the place of immigrants / foreigners in modern French cities and also tensions between city centres and peripheries of major urban areas – important issues will be examined This will be complemented by analysis and discussion of the relationship between cinematic techniques and political ideas in all of the films studied.
- Independent Research Project in Film Studies (30 credits): On this module, students identify their own research projects in their chosen field of film studies. Students are responsible for defining their own topics with the support of the module coordinator.
After the completion of the four modules which make up Part One of the programme, Part Two consists of a 20,000-word dissertation (60 credits). The dissertation provides students with the opportunity to work under the individual supervision of a subject specialist in the production of an extended piece of writing or practice.
Modules for the current academic year
Module listings are for guide purposes only and are subject to change. Find out what our students are currently studying on the Film Studies Modules page.
A 2.ii undergraduate degree or equivalent in Film Studies or a related discipline (e.g. Media Studies, American Studies, History, Politics or English Literature).
Applicants with equivalent qualifications and/or two years or more industry experience and applications from working professionals with non-graduate qualifications will be considered on an individual basis. Please contact us for more information.
For students whose first language is not English an IELTS score of at least 6.0 (with no element below 5.5) is required.
For information and further detailed guidance on entry requirements for International Students, including the minimum English Language entry requirement, please visit the Entry Requirements by Country pages on the International Education Centre section of our website.
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When to apply
The University will accept applications throughout the year, but we would generally advise that you send in your application form by the end of June to ensure that you have time to make any funding and/or accommodation arrangements, and for documents such as transcripts and references to be obtained if not submitted with the application. This will also give you more time to meet any conditions we may potentially attach to an offer. If you are making an application for one of our professional courses, which has limited place availability, you are advised to contact the academic school for advice on the final dates for applications.
The skills acquired during this course will prepare students for a range of employment options. Possible future career options may include film journalism and criticism, film and arts management, the film, media and creative industries.
This MA will provide you with subject-specific knowledge and academic skills that will set you on course for further study at PhD level and beyond. The programme will also equip you with skills in critical thinking, analysis and communication which are valued by employers both within and outside the field of Film Studies.