Film Studies

MA ( 1 year Full-time / 2 years Part-time )


This MA offers you the opportunity to explore key aspects of film analysis, theory, history and practice. Through a range of different approaches to the study of film, including genre and textual analysis, audience studies, and media archaeology, you will be exposed to some of the most pressing debates about film today. Questions of ethics and whether we can consider film as a document; of how film works on our bodies as an affective medium; the reasons for film’s close affinity to urban, cosmopolitan and diasporic cultures; and the historical legacy of film as an international, and now transnational medium, are all central to the course. In exploring these questions, you will be introduced to some of the liveliest and most important chapters in the history of cinema.

The MA is both a valuable qualification in its own right and a pathway if you wish to study subsequently for a PhD in Film Studies.

This programme will:

  • Allow you to explore key aspects of film analysis, theory, history and practice.
  • Give you the opportunity to develop practical film making, scriptwriting, and directing skills, as well as study theoretical modules.
  • Offer you the chance to debate cutting edge issues in Film Studies.  Compared to other Film Studies departments, Queen Mary has particular strengths in new areas of research in Film Philosophy, in Ecocinema and Screening Nature, and in film outside the cinema – in art galleries, on public screens, across social media.

Why study your MA in Film Studies at Queen Mary?

From the earliest days of British cinema, London was the location of most British studios and it remains the national focal point for studying film. Our provision at Queen Mary is enhanced by our proximity to major cultural centres such as the British Film Institute, which includes the BFI Southbank, National Library and National Archive, the Institute of Contemporary Arts, the Cine- Lumiere at the French Institute, the Whitechapel Gallery and the film archives at the Imperial War Museum. The MA attracts high numbers of well-qualified applicants from the UK and overseas each year, so you will be joining a lively postgraduate culture in the School of Arts, involving staff and student-led research seminars, public 'Hitchcock' lectures and the Living British Cinema Forum.

  • Our London location adds a large amount of value to the programme as we have links with the London Film Festival, BFI, local film festivals, East London Film Festival.
  • Our teaching staff have national and international reputations in their fields. You will be taught by experienced filmmakers, as well as by leading academics in areas which cover many different periods of film history and which draw on films and cinema traditions from around the world.


You will have access to postgraduate only facilities which include the Lock-keeper's Cottage Graduate Centre dedicated solely to the use of graduate students, with the use of a common room and interdisciplinary training workshops. The Learning Resource centre has 200 networked PCs and is open to students round the clock, there are dedicated workstations for postgraduate students.

You can also make use of Queen Mary’s comprehensive libraries, including the Postgraduate Reading Room, and The British Library can also be accessed as a research resource.  

The Department of Film has its own studio facilities and 41-seat cinema, you will have access to facilities and equipment, including:

  • Film studios
  • Edit suites
  • Professional production equipment.


Programme structure MA Film Studies is currently available for one year full-time study or two years part-time study.

You will take the Film Studies core module which spans two semesters and examines the many ways in which film has, during the course of a century, shaped both time and space. Drawing on an eclectic range of historical moments the module also provides an overview of national and transnational cinemas cultures (incorporating discussion of films from the USA, Britain, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Russia and Latin America). You will also choose two single-semester module options. In addition, you will also complete an independent Film Studies Dissertation or Research Project.

Core module

  • Film Studies
  • Film Studies Dissertation or Research Project

Optional MA modules

  • Documentary Film: Theory and Practice
  • History, Fiction and Memory in French Cinema
  • Hollywood and the Second World War (from the School of History)
  • The Films of Powell and Pressburger
  • 9/11 and American Film

Additional Optional modules available

  • Cinemuseology: Theorising Cinema and the Museum
  • Ecocinemas
  • Film and Ethics
  • Film Philosophy
  • Mapping Contemporary Cinema
  • New Independent Indian Cinema

You will also be able to take one option offered by another MA programme in Film or Screen Studies at Birkbeck, Goldsmiths, King’s, SOAS, or UCL, if a topic is of particular interest, through our joint agreement.

For more information: Visit the Film Studies website.

Entry requirements

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).

International applicants

Students from outside of the UK help form a global community here at Queen Mary. For detailed country specific entry requirements please visit the International section of our website. If your first language is not English, you must provide evidence of your English language proficiency. You can find details on our English language entry requirements page.

If you do not meet language or scholarly requirements it might be possible for you to undertake foundation or pre-sessional programmes that will prepare you for the masters programme. For more information, please contact the Admissions Office.

Learning and teaching

As a student at Queen Mary, you will play an active part in your acquisition of skills and knowledge. Teaching is by a mixture of formal lectures and small group seminars. The seminars are designed to generate informed discussion around set topics, and may involve student presentations, group exercise and role-play as well as open discussion. We take pride in the close and friendly working relationship we have with our students. You are assigned an Academic Adviser who will guide you in both academic and pastoral matters throughout your time at Queen Mary.

Independent Study

For every hour spent in formal classes you will be expected to complete further 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.

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.


You will submit three essays for the core module, one of 2,000-words and two of 3,000-words, and one 4,000-word essay for each of the two options. At the end of August you will submit a dissertation of 10,000 to 12,000-words.


You will also complete a 12,000-15,000 word dissertation.


Tuition fees for Home and EU students

2020/21 Academic Year

Full time £9,950
Part time £5,000

Tuition fees for International students

2020/21 Academic Year

Full time £18,000
Part time £9,000

Part time fees are charged per annum over two years for a two year programme and per annum over three years for a three year programme. A percentage increase may be applied to the fees in years two and three.

This increase is defined each year and published on the intranet and in the Tuition Fee Regulations. A 3% increase was applied to the unregulated university fees in 2019/20. Further information can be viewed on our University Fees webpage, including details about annual increases.


There are a number of sources of funding available for Masters students.

These include a significant package of competitive Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) bursaries and scholarships in a range of subject areas, as well as external sources of funding.

Queen Mary bursaries and scholarships

We offer a range of bursaries and scholarships for Masters students including competitive scholarships, bursaries and awards, some of which are for applicants studying specific subjects.

Find out more about QMUL bursaries and scholarships.

Alternative sources of funding

Home/EU students can apply for a range of other funding, such as Professional and Career Development Loans, and Employer Sponsorship, depending on their circumstances and the specific programme of study.

Overseas students may be eligible to apply for a range of external scholarships and we also provide information about relevant funding providers in your home country on our country web pages.

Download our Postgraduate Funding Guide for detailed information about postgraduate funding options for Home/EU students.

Read more about alternative sources of funding for Home/EU students and for Overseas students.

Tel: +44 (0)20 7882 5079

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:

Tel: +44 (0)20 7882 8717



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