This MA offers you the opportunity to study the most current ideas concerning film. The course draws on a range of film theorists and philosophers allowing you to consider the aesthetic possibilities of film (or what is it that a film can do), the ethical responsibilities of film (or what is it that we can ask of film), and the changing nature of film (or what it is that film is becoming). The MA offers a number of courses with practical elements if you would like to explore further the relationship between the making and the understanding of film.
The MA is taught by a team of film scholars and practitioners teaching their own research interests: Lucy Bolton, Mark Glancy, Charles Drazin, Steven Eastwood, Janet Harbord, Sue Harris, Jeremy Hicks, Alasdair King, Athena Mandis, Libby Saxton, Guy Westwell
The core course examines over two semesters the many ways in which a century of cinema has shaped our experience of space and time. During the first semester the world of the film is analysed as a language organized through shot composition, mise-en-scene, editing and sound, deployed to different effect across film forms and national contexts. In the second semester, the question of how film shapes time is examined. Of all the modern arts, it is perhaps film that has been the most concerned with the many qualities of time, engaging us with questions of remembering and the task of imagining the future. You will encounter a range of film theorists and philosophers on the core course include Giorgio Agamben, Gaston Bachelard, Andre Bazin, Judith Butler, Stanley Cavell, Giles Deleuze, Jacques Derrida, Emmanuel Levinas, and Vivian Sobchack.
The core course involves a site visit to a museum or gallery to study film in institutional contexts beyond the cinema. There are a number of workshops during the year where you will develop your particular approach to researching and writing about film.
You may choose two single-semester MA-specific modules from a range including:
Film Practice and Manifestos; Documentary Theory and Practice; History, Fiction and Memory in French Cinema; Paris on the Screen; The Films of Powell and Pressburger.
A number of modules from the final year of our undergraduate programme are also available to MA students, including:
Film and Ethics; Film Philosophy; Ecocinemas; Mapping Contemporary Cinema
Please note, these are indicative and the provision of options changes from year to year. Contact the MA Convenor for details of next year's offer.
You are also permitted to take one option offered by another MA programme in the School, or with the agreement of the convener, to take one option from outside of the School.
Alternatively you may choose one option from the following MA film or screen studies courses at London Colleges: MA Global Cinema and the Transcultural (SOAS), MA Screen Studies (Goldsmiths), MA History of Film and Visual Media (Birkbeck), MA Film Studies (UCL), MA Film Studies (Kings).
You are required to submit three essays for the core course (one of 2,000 words, two of 3,000 words), and one 4,000 word essay for each option. You will undertake a dissertation of 10-12,000 words during the summer semester, to be submitted at the end of August. This is an extended piece of research and writing about a topic of your choice.
We normally require an upper second class honours degree or equivalent in film or a relevant subject (such as English, history, media or modern languages).
For international students, please refer to the International Students section.
Students who take the MA in Film Studies may go on to study film at a higher level as a research degree (MPhil and PhD), or find careers in the creative industries as writers, researchers, event organizers, PR managers, and so on.