The MLitt in Film Studies helps students 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.
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 receives regular visits from high-profile film scholars, critics and film industry personalities. In 2015, acclaimed film director Joe Russo held a workshop open to all students.
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.
The MLitt degree involves completing a number of taught modules (held 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. You will also take two specialist modules. Classes and screening take place mostly at the Byre Theatre.
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 members of staff in the Department, and students will have the opportunity to work with all of them by the end of their course of study.
Each module typically comprises:
weekly two-hour seminars, plus film screenings,
100% coursework assessment.
Theory and Practice of Research in Film Studies: knowledge and skills training in both theoretical and methodological orientation which aims to teach students to correlate adequately conceptual frameworks and research designs.
Students choose two optional modules to complete their studies. Sample optional modules include:
Colonial Cinema: explores the transnational developments in cinema, and examines the integral role that cinema played in the control, organisation and governance of the British Empire.
Digital Cinema: explores the impact of digital media on the production, distribution, consumption and collection 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 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 specialist modules vary annually and reflect current staff research interests.
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.
The modules listed here are indicative, and there is no guarantee they will run for 2019 entry.
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:
Adjunct Instructor, the State University of New York at Oswego.
Consultant for Propel London Media.
European Tour Productions, IMG Media.
Junior Assistant Producer.
The Careers Centre offers one-to-one advice to all students on a taught postgraduate course and offers a programme of events to assist students in building their employability skills.
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.
English language proficiency.
The qualifications listed are indicative of minimum requirements for entry. Some academic Schools will ask applicants to achieve significantly higher marks than the minimum. Obtaining the listed entry requirements will not guarantee you a place, as the University considers all aspects of every application including, where applicable, the writing sample, personal statement, and supporting documents.
CV or résumé. This should include your personal details with a history of your education and employment to date.
a sample of academic written work in English (2,000 words).
two original signed academic references.
academic transcripts and degree certificates.
Evidence of English language proficiency (required if English is not your first language).
covering letter (optional).
Dewar Arts Awards
These awards fund exceptional young artists in any discipline who do not have the financial means to achieve their full potential.
Recent Graduate Discount
The University of St Andrews offers a 10% discount in postgraduate tuition fees to students who are eligible to graduate or who have graduated from St Andrews within the last three academic years and are starting a postgraduate programme with the University of St Andrews.