MLitt in Film Studies

University of St Andrews

Program Description

MLitt in Film Studies

University of St Andrews

Course information

The MLitt in Film Studies is a one-year taught programme run by the Department of Film Studies. The programme approaches the study of film through a varied intellectual approach, exploring cinema in a global context. You will discover filmmaking cultures outside the canon and examine classic film through new cultural, theoretical and historical perspectives.


  • Film Studies approaches the study of film through a varied intellectual approach, exploring cinema in a global context. You will discover filmmaking cultures outside the canon and examine classic films through new cultural, theoretical and historical perspectives.
  • Film Studies receives regular visits from high-profile film scholars, critics and film industry personalities. Most recently, acclaimed film director Joe Russo held a workshop open to all students in December 2015.
  • Students have the opportunity to present their work at the annual postgraduate student colloquium in May, at which a visiting professor provides them with feedback on their work. The Film Studies postgraduate community mixes MLitt and PhD students in friendly and collaborative ways.

Teaching format

The MLitt degree involves the completion of 120 credits of taught modules (from September to May), which are assessed through essays, a presentation and a dissertation. The taught element of the programme consists of a two-semester compulsory module, which focuses on training in research methods and covers a range of crucial topics in Film Studies, plus two specialist modules. All modules provide students with the opportunity to transfer and apply theoretical knowledge and research skills to a 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.

Individual study and research are encouraged through small seminars of four to ten students and tutorials of one-to-one supervision. All modules are taught by the members of staff, and students will have the opportunity to have worked with all of them by the end of their course of study.Classes and screening take place mostly at the Byre Theatre.


Each module typically comprises:

  • weekly two-hour seminars, plus film screenings
  • 100% coursework assessment.

For more details of each module, including weekly contact hours, teaching methods and assessment, please see the latest module catalogue which is for the 2017–2018 academic year; some elements may be subject to change for 2018 entry.


  • Theory and Practice of Research in Film Studies: knowledge and skills training in both theoretical and methodological orientation which aims at teaching students to correlate adequately conceptual frameworks and research designs.


Students choose two optional modules to complete their studies. The specialist modules vary annually and reflect current staff research interests (see the University's position on curriculum development). Sample optional modules include:

  • Digital Cinema: explores the impact of digital media on the production, distribution, consumption and collecting of moving images.
  • Documentary Cinema: surveys the history of documentary film (technological, stylistic, etc.), while taking up the theoretical debates around cinematic claims to truth and representations of reality.
  • Film and the Archive: provides students with both a theoretical framework for archival research and practical experience in engaging with archival materials.
  • Film Sound: utilises innovative ways of thinking about sound to help students gain a detailed understanding of the different elements of sound in film.
  • Film Technologies and Aesthetics: the ways in which the emergence of new technologies – such as sound, colour, cameras and camera mounts, varying screen dimensions, and lighting systems – affect aesthetic issues in global cinemas.
  • Sensory Cinema: considers the sensory qualities of cinema, a subject which engages variously with the film-as-object, film form and the spectator as an active participant.
  • Stars: explores the aesthetic, cultural, ideological and industrial sides of film stardom, featuring close study of individual stars from the silent era to the present


The final three months of the course are focused on writing the final assessment piece, a 15,000-word dissertation. Student dissertations will be supervised by members of the teaching staff who will advise on the choice of subject and provide guidance throughout the research process. The completed dissertation must be submitted by a date specified in August.

If students choose not to complete the dissertation requirement for the MLitt, there is an exit award available that allows suitably qualified candidates to receive a Postgraduate Diploma. By choosing an exit award, you will finish your degree at the end of the second semester of study and receive a PGDip instead of an MLitt.


A Film Studies degree opens doors to many careers including academia, creative industries, development, distribution, film festival and cinema programming, arts administration, media management, film and TV research, journalism, publishing, advertising, cultural entrepreneurship, non-governmental organisations, marketing, public relations and education.

Recent destinations include:

  • Junior Assistant Producer
  • European Tour Productions, IMG Media
  • Adjunct Instructor, the State University of New York at Oswego
  • Consultant for Propel London Media.

Course dates

  • Start date: 10 September 2018
  • End date: 30 September 2019

Entry requirements

A good 2.1 Honours undergraduate degree in a relevant discipline.

If you studied your first degree outside the UK, see the international entry requirements.

Postgraduate English language requirements

The University of St Andrews welcomes postgraduate students from many countries. To enter the University of St Andrews as a postgraduate student you must be able to provide evidence that you meet our minimum English language requirements. Your evidence should be one of the following:

  • a first or an upper second-class UK Bachelor's degree in an appropriate subject OR an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard from a recognised higher education institution
  • proof that you are from a majority English-speaking country

a valid English language test from this list:

  • IELTS Academic (International English Language Testing System - Academic version)
  • PTE Academic (Pearson Test of English - Academic version)
  • CPE (Certificate of Proficiency in English)
  • CAE (Cambridge English: Advanced)
  • TOEFL iBT (Test of English as a Foreign Language - internet-based test)
  • Trinity ISE (Trinity Integrated Skills in English)

Application deadline

Applications are accepted until shortly before teaching starts in September. Applicants should apply as early as possible to be eligible for certain scholarships and for international visa purposes.

Application requirements

  • CV
  • supplementary application to the Department of Film Studies (Word)
  • a sample of academic written work (2,000 words)
  • two original signed academic references
  • academic transcripts and degree certificates
  • English language requirements certificate
  • letter of intent (optional).

Tuition fees

  • UK and EU: £8,500
  • Overseas: £17,600

This school offers programs in:
  • English

Last updated February 5, 2018
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Sept. 2019
1 year
Full time
8,500 GBP
UK and EU: £8,500; Overseas: £17,600
United Kingdom - Saint Andrews, Scotland
Start date : Sept. 2019
Application deadline Request Info
End date Sept. 30, 2019
Sept. 2019
United Kingdom - Saint Andrews, Scotland
Application deadline Request Info
End date Sept. 30, 2019