Masters in Screen Studies

Birmingham City University Faculty of Art, Design and Media

Program Description

Masters in Screen Studies

Birmingham City University Faculty of Art, Design and Media

Entry Requirements

Anyone undertaking this course must possess an upper second class bachelor’s degree or higher in a relevant subject area. Previous study in Film, Media and or Cultural Studies or professional experience would be an advantage. We particularly welcome non-traditional applications, particularly from applicants with some professional or production experience. We therefore accredit prior experiential learning.


Our close links with business and the professions mean that our courses are always relevant, up-to-date and meet the exact needs of the current marketplace. Wherever possible, we involve employers in planning the curriculum, while many of our lecturers come from and maintain their links with industry, ensuring they are up to speed with the latest developments.

Employability will be an integral outcome of your studies.

Employment Opportunities: The MA in Screen Studies is a flexible award that will enable graduates to pursue careers in the creative industries or in teaching and advanced scholarship. Successful students will be self-motivated independent learners and thinkers who will have advanced and transferable skills in research, investigation and presentation. You will have made a number of contacts and joined a number of networks whilst on the course and be ready to take your skills into the workplace. You will be able to develop the role you already have creative sector, or embark on a new career. Those students who aim for future academic careers will be well placed to pursue further research and collaborations.

Further Studies: The MA in Screen Studies combines theory and practice and encourages students to think and work in a critical and reflective way. It would be an excellent basis for anyone interested in pursuing their research interests through an MPhil or PhD. The School of Media offers research degrees in these areas and the kind of student that this award would attract would be well placed to continue their studies with us.

Course Structure

The MA in Screen Studies commences with the core module Screen Cultures: Debates, Forms and Practices. In this module you will be introduced to a range of current debates around screen based media. The module looks at new ways of conceptualising media producers and production, audiences and media texts. Drawing on both film and television theory a set of debates are set up that you will be encouraged to actively participate in and we will think about the formal and aesthetic qualities of media texts as a way into exploring your own practice or scholarly interests. In Creative Industries and Cultural Policy you will explore the different ways in which policy is understood and formulated. The work is based in the theoretical study of policy around the globe, but engages with the methods used by governments and other bodies to seek support of the cultural sector and creative work. You will also explore the emergence of social media and its cultural character as a set of practices that have informed creative industry work as well as facilitating access to its key players and communities of interest. As the course progresses it is increasingly focused on your own individual interests and ambitions and how they can be realised in modules where you design your own assessments. So Screen Cultures: Theory into Practice builds upon the core module and provides the opportunity for students to test some of the ideas that we have explored earlier through a piece of negotiated practical study. Production Lab and Research Methods both act as preparations for the final practice or dissertation projects.

You will meet with your tutors in small classes and in individual tutorials, and you will work individually and in small groups with other students on tasks. We invite a range of relevant speakers from industry and other universities into the School of Media and we want you to get involved in the interesting research undertaken by members of the school’s Birmingham Centre for Media and Cultural Research (CMCR). There is a vibrant creative industries sector in Birmingham, and we have good contacts with creative workers the world.


Screen Cultures: Debates, Forms and Practices (30 credits): This is the core theory module for students studying MA Screen Studies. The module is designed to provide students with a critical awareness and advanced engagement with contemporary scholarly debate concerning a range of screen based media. The module is organised around a consideration of new and emerging perspectives to the study of modes of production and consumption, and approaches to the study of screen based texts.

Screen Cultures: Theory into Practice (30 credits): This module builds upon the theoretical underpinning that takes place in the module Screen Cultures 1: Debates, Forms and Practices through the development of a programme of negotiated study. The module is designed to enable students to undertake a piece of self-determined work that puts the processes of theorisation into practice. Depending on research interests, students will work with tutors to plan and design a structured portfolio of activities for assessment that reflect on and respond to a key theoretical concept or set of debates introduced in the previous module.

Creative Industries and Cultural Policy (30 credits): This is a theory module, which explores the current state of academic knowledge and debates within, and about, the creative industries, and the implications of cultural policy in the global, European, and UK context. The core aim is to explore the principles that have fore grounded the creative economy and cultural industries as an object of policy attention and practice in recent years.

Research Methods (30 credits): This module prepare you for the Dissertation. It draws upon other taught modules which mapped out the current state of academic knowledge in the field and explored current intellectual challenges. You will be provided with the opportunity to innovate and experiment with a range of intellectual ideas, supported by a systematic exploration of methods for research or production development.

MA by Dissertation (60 credits): You will complete your award with a contribution to scholarship in the MA by Dissertation. You will develop and consolidate your mastery of key skills, knowledge of and engagement with current opportunities in the field of academic enquiry. These modules encourage and test skills of initiative and independent research. With the support of a tutor you will work largely to your own timetable.


The MA in Screen Studies is aimed at both media scholars and media practitioners and is expressly designed to fully integrate theory and practice. This means that ideas and concepts introduced in the course are explored and ultimately tested through a combination of written and practical work designed around individual students. Negotiated study is a major feature of this award which means that students produce work for an assessment that they have designed, so the assessment reflect the interests of individual students. A range of assessment types are used across the award. All modes of assessment emphasise scholarship and practice in varying proportions. This means that students will write research essays emerging from topics based on their own interests, students will produce annotated bibliographies, portfolios of exercises and activities and practical work depending on their particular concerns.

This school offers programs in:
  • English

Last updated February 13, 2017
Duration & Price
This course is Campus or Online
Start Date
Start date
Sept. 2017
1 - 3 years
Part time
Full time
5,500 GBP
Start date Sept. 2017
United Kingdom Birmingham, England
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Duration 1 - 3 years
Price 5,500 GBP
£10500 for distance learning