Film Studies is a genuinely interdisciplinary academic field. Encountering films of different genres, styles, periods and national industries is the core of the subject. As a film student you will naturally devote a lot of time to viewing films, reading and writing about them, and discussing their meaning and importance.
Through practical modules, you will also gain hands-on experience of the roles of producer, director, screenwriter and actor, gaining crucial insights into the fundamental aspects of film production. However, this is just the beginning. Film Studies is a ‘gateway subject’ that inevitably fosters an understanding of visual aesthetics, narrative forms and technological ability, but that also leads students into areas of study as diverse as history, politics, philosophy, technology and performance.
Film Studies demands creative and original thought: it asks us to question, for example, how class, race, ethnicity and sexuality are represented on the screen, and investigates why this might be different from country to country, or from period to period. It asks us to think about film production in terms of the development and impact of new media technologies. It examines the effects of international commerce on the type of films that we get to see, and probes the impact of practices and regulations such as censorship, cultural policy, star systems, festivals and industry awards. It invites us to think critically and theoretically about media practices, and to anchor this understanding in a framework that is both intellectually rigorous and culturally relevant.
This programme introduces you to a range of international cinema movements, figures, texts and theories. You will also develop some practical skills, for example scriptwriting and film production. In the first year you take eight modules designed to provide a solid foundation in cinema history, the European industry, film language, concepts and technology. In later years you take modules in film theory and a selection of options in specialist areas of your choice. The final year gives you the opportunity to undertake a supervised project, either written or practical, while the remainder of the programme is made up of advanced study in specialist areas that correspond to your interests and skills.
Why study Film Studies at Queen Mary?
In recent National Student Surveys (NSS), Film Studies at Queen Mary has rated consistently highly in terms of overall student satisfaction and in terms of the quality of teaching across the programme. We have performed well time and again in national newspaper league tables: we were placed 7th out of 90 UK institutions in the Times Good University Guide 2013 and were ranked 6th out of 86 UK institutions in the Guardian University Guide 2013. In the most recent Research Assessment Exercise (RAE 2008), the School of Languages, Linguistics and Film was ranked highly for the quality of the research being carried out by staff. This means that you will be taught by people who are breaking new ground in their field, who will be able to pass on their passion and knowledge to you.
Our staff have expertise most notably in British and North American cinema, and in French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish and Russian filmmaking. You are encouraged to develop your skills in film criticism and copy-editing by contributing to Mapping Contemporary Cinema, our new online journal run by staff and students. Queen Mary also hosts ‘Living British Cinema’, an exciting new forum that promotes the appreciation of British film culture and history, bringing together students, scholars, writers, filmmakers and industry professionals.
Our London location is another obvious advantage. The city is home to the National Film Theatre, British Film Institute and the London Film Festival, as well as to major film premières and art-house cinema venues. And, with much film and television production based here, there are opportunities to gain valuable experience in a film-related part-time job or work placement. We have excellent facilities, particularly our state-of-the-art 41-seater cinema, used for screenings and lectures, our ‘black box’ studio and our Film Production suite, with high-end Apple Mac computers running Final Cut Pro.
Core and compulsory modules:
- Introduction to Film Studies
- Auteurism: The European Tradition
- Scriptwriting: Creativity and Technique
- Reading German Film 1: Introduction to German Cinema
- Critical Approaches to Film: Film Noir
- What is Cinema? Critical Approaches
- Directing Drama
- Scriptwriting: Adaptation and Original Script
- French New Wave
- The Sweet Life and After: A Decade of Italian Filmmaking
- The Classical Hollywood Musical
- Contemporary French Cinema
- Modern/Postmodern Cinema
- Memories of the Holocaust and Colonialism in French Cinema
- Film, Literature and Adaption
- Exhibition and Reception: Cinema as Social Space
- Film Research Project
- Creative Production
- Scriptwriting Project
- Production Practice
- Contemporary Hollywood Cinema
- Contemporary Italian Cinema
- Film Archaeology
- Film Philosophy
- British Cinema from the 1960s New wave to the Arrival of Channel 4
- Film and Ethics
- Contemporary British Cinema: The Film Council Years 2000 - 2011
We welcome applicants whose first language is not English; you must obtain a grade B in GCSE English language or equivalent, or will be required to have IELTS 7 (with grade 7 in writing).
Typical tariff or grades required: 320-340 UCAS points from 3 A-levels with a B in Film/Media if offered or relevant subject.
Excluded subjects: General Studies and Critical Thinking.
Subjects and grades: IB 34 with 5 in HL Film/Media if offered or relevant subject.
Vocational and other qualifications
The College accepts a wide range of qualifications such as; Access and Foundation programmes, vocational awards, Irish Leaving Certificate, Scottish Highers and other Baccalaureates. Please visit our Entry requirements page for more information.
Admission is based on academic merit and on the proven ability of the applicant to achieve success on their chosen programme of study. Every application to Queen Mary is considered on its individual merits with personal statement and reference taken into consideration.Information for applicants from outside the United Kingdom, including English language qualifications.
Learning and teaching
Teaching takes a number of forms. Lectures are used to convey information, to introduce students to the basic concepts of the discipline and to develop sustained interpretation and argument. Seminars and workshops allow students to put into practice the concepts and approaches presented in lectures. There are workshop sessions for many practice-based modules, as well as group work in the studios or on location.
For every hour spent in classes you will be expected to complete a further 5-6 hours of independent study. Your individual study time could be spent preparing for, or following up on formal study sessions; reading; producing written work; completing projects; and revising for examinations. There are also weekly film screenings for most modules; copies of films studied are also available from the Library to view or borrow.
The direction of your individual study will be guided by the formal study sessions you attend, along with your reading lists and assignments. However, we expect you to demonstrate an active role in your own learning by reading widely and expanding your own knowledge, understanding and critical ability.
Independent study will foster in you the ability to identify your own learning needs and determine which areas you need to focus on to become proficient in your subject area. This is an important transferable skill and will help to prepare you for the transition to working life.
Most modules combine assessed coursework and an end-of-module exam, though the proportion may vary. Some modules, including the practical ones, are assessed by coursework only. Final-year students have the opportunity to pursue a sustained piece of research or to develop an extended film production project or long script.
Fees and finance
Fees are charged at a Home/EU rate for UK and EU nationals, and an overseas rate for International students - find out more about how your tuition fee status is assessed.
You can either take out a Tuition Fee Loan (see Funding section below) to pay your fees or, if you are paying them yourself, you can pay in instalments.
Tuition fees for a year abroad or placement year on a full time undergraduate course will be a proportion of the full fee for the year in which you commence your time abroad or placement.
For information on field trip and other course related costs which are not included in your tuition fee, please contact the relevant Department/School.
See more general information about fees.
Tel: +44 (0)20 7882 7676
Queen Mary has a substantial package of scholarships and bursaries which will benefit around 50 per cent of our undergraduate student body.
Scholarships and Bursaries available at Queen Mary for Home/EU Students
There are a number of scholarships and bursaries available each year for home students. Visit our Bursaries and Scholarships page for more information.
Visit our Advice and Counselling website for more information about financial support.
Scholarships available at Queen Mary for International Students
There are a number of Scholarships available each year for International Students including bursaries and scholarships in a range of subject areas.
Find out more about international scholarships.
Some International students may also be eligible for a fee reduction.
Loans and Grants available to help with tuition fees and living costs
Student Finance England administers all grant and loans for your studies if you normally live in England.
Through Student Finance England, you can apply for (figures relate to programmes starting from September 2016):
- A Tuition Fee Loan of up to £9,000 to pay all or part of your fees
- A Maintenance Loan of up to £10,702 to help pay your living costs like rent, food and travel
- Extra grants if you have a disability or you have children or an adult dependant
- You might get a grant to cover some travel expenses if you normally live in England but study away from home. If you’re a medical or dental student you might also qualify for help with the costs of attending clinical placements in the UK.
Visit Student Finance Information to find out more about:
- How to apply for student finance
- What eligibility rules apply, including if you already have a degree or previous higher education study
- What the income thresholds are and how much you might personally get for each element of Student Finance
- What to do if you have problems getting your Student Finance
Other financial help on offer at Queen Mary
We offer one to one specialist support on all financial and welfare issues through our Advice and Counselling Service, which you can access as soon as you have applied for a place at Queen Mary.
Our Advice and Counselling Service also has lots of Student Advice Guides on all aspects of finance including:
- Additional sources of funding
- Planning your budget and cutting costs
- Part-time and vacation work
- Money for lone parents
For more information visit the Advice and Counselling service website, or call +44 (0)20 7882 8717.
Graduates from Queen Mary’s School of Languages, Linguistics and Film Studies go on to work in a wide variety of careers. Some apply their degree knowledge directly, entering careers such as directing and film production, whilst others transfer skills gained during study into areas such as public relations and marketing.
The national 2012 destination survey confirmed that 94% of BA Film Studies graduates were in employment and/or study six months after graduation, with 73% of this group already working or studying at graduate level. Film Studies graduates have a strong earning power, with a median salary of £20,500.
The broad range of skills gained through this course, coupled with multiple opportunities for extra- curricular activities and work experience, has enabled students to move into careers such as:
|Copywriter||Reflex Blue Advertising|
|Runner/Assistant||Coda Post Productions|
|Production Intern||Flame TV|
|Officer Manager||Epic Media|
|Film Projects Worker||British Film Council|
|Company Director||Spark in the Dark Productions|
|Production Assistant/Runner||Leeroy & Merton|
|Retail Development Executive||Heineken UK|
|Production Assistant||Enigma Film|
|Graduate Marketing Trainee||Augustus Marketing|
|Production Junior||Equinox Film and TV Production Ltd|
Throughout the course, students have access to an annual QM Careers and Enterprise Centre programme, to prepare them for internships and graduate level work. This includes employer led workshops on job applications and interviews as well as over 70 employer events to facilitate networks and help students to explore their options.
Recent careers events in the School of Languages, Linguistics and Film Studies have included a careers panel and speed-meet (featuring a producer, director’s assistant and script agent) as part of the British Living Cinema Festival. Students also have access to our central careers programme, with a range of events including workshops on journalism, teaching, and employer-led recruitment skills training.
Opportunities for work experience are substantial given Queen Mary’s location between Canary Wharf, the City and the Olympic Village. Students are encouraged to build their work experience throughout their period of study. Opportunities can be found through QProjects, a local work experience scheme, QRecruit, which advertises internships and temporary work, Experience Works, a part time work fair, and volunteering with QMSU Provide. There are also over 1400 vacancies to browse on the QM JobOnline vacancy site.
Queen Mary’s extensive campus also provides over 1200 on-campus job and volunteer opportunities ranging from E-learning Assistant to Gym Instructor and from Society President to Student Mentor.
Read more about our careers programmes and range of work experience opportunities on the QM Careers pages.
Name: Will Hadley
Studying: BA Film Studies
“Being in London was important to me and Queen Mary offered the best programme, in terms of content and quality. It covers both practical and academic elements, both of which are important for understanding film."
“The modules on offer cover many different interests, the tutors are enthusiastic and engaging, and the facilities for practical work are great; we regularly borrow camera kit to use on our own projects. My favourite place on campus is the Hitchcock Cinema."
“The East End is the most vibrant and diverse part of London, we’re close to Shoreditch and Dalston and a short journey to central London, and there are plenty of parks nearby. “I am the photography editor for the College magazine, CUB. It’s a way of keeping up other interests apart from stuff on the course, filling out my CV and meeting new people.”
Name: Alissa Timoshkina
Studied: BA and MA in Film Studies
Currently: After working as a film projects coordinator at a London-based Russian cultural foundation, I have started my own Multimedia Events Company ‘GLAZ’, currently developing two film projects (Festival of Sergei Paradjanov, London-Bristol, and Berlin Wall film season at the Barbican), and one multimedia dance and theatre project, called ‘Digital Stages’. Also, starting a PhD in Film Studies.
Why did you choose Queen Mary?"I was impressed by the competence and expertise of the staff at the School of Languages, Linguistics and Film, it’s highly ranked among other London universities and colleges. There’s also a warm and friendly atmosphere in the postgraduate community, and good relations between students and teachers."
What did you gain from your time at Queen Mary?"An extremely useful and inspiring knowledge of film, appreciation of culture, thought and visual arts. I also improved my ability to formulate and express personal views and opinions, both in written and verbal form. Overall this gave me the confidence to pursue a professional career in a film-related field, and strong enough academic knowledge to continue research on a PhD level."
What are your career plans in the next five years?"To establish my company as one of the respected and well-known organisations to work with moving image in the UK; to complete a PhD; to complete a script for my first feature film".
Name: Julian RossCurrently: PhD Student, University of Leeds
Studied: BA Film Studies, (graduated 2009)
Why did you choose Queen Mary?"I chose Queen Mary because it has a good reputation, and is based in London. I also wanted to do a single honours Film Studies programme."
How did you find out about your current job?"One of the film studies lecturers, who taught the Chinese Cinema module, forwarded me a document that included a call for applications for a studentship for a project that closely resembled my final year research project at Queen Mary."
How did your time at Queen Mary prepare you for work?The staff support individual thinking and originality, which helped me prepare for postgraduate-level research. They also encouraged me to be active outside of the programme which motivated me to get involved in events and develop my CV. Most of all, the staff at Queen Mary are great examples of academics, and their excellence in research and teaching along with their ability to balance both continue to be an inspiration.
What does your current job involve day-to-day"Reading, watching films, writing, putting together presentations, occasional teaching and planning events."
Tom SymmonsBA Film Studies and History
How did you find your academic and social experience at QMUL?
“The critical skills and depth of knowledge I acquired during my BA Film Studies and History provided me a solid foundation for my postgraduate studies. My doctoral research thesis on the New Hollywood of the late-1960s and 1970s is now nearing completion and I intend to pursue a career in academia.
The joint honours degree course is structured to allow plenty of flexibility, and the modules on offer are diverse and well formulated; the interdisciplinary course 'Critical Approaches to Film: Alfred Hitchcock', was a particular favourite. It is also led by academics who are both leaders in their respective fields of research, and take a great deal of pride and interest in providing the best educational experience for their students.”