MA Film Studies

Year of entry: 2024


Degree awarded
Master of Arts (MA)
1 year
Entry requirements

We normally expect students to have a First or Upper Second class honours degree or its overseas equivalent in a humanities-based subject area.

The University will take into account the academic standing of a candidate's University, as advised by our international office using published world and country rankings.

Full entry requirements

How to apply
Apply online

Course options

Full-time Part-time Full-time distance learning Part-time distance learning

Course overview

  • Gain a solid foundation in theoretical and critical film studies.
  • Have the opportunity to study areas of film theory, history and culture, as well as aspects of applied practice.
  • Learn from teaching and research-active staff who work in close collaboration with cultural partners including HOME, Granada Centre for Visual Anthropology and North West Film Archive.
Exploring Dual Heritage - A Film DIssertation (Alice Reid)

Open days

Find out what it's like to study at Manchester by visiting us on one of our open days .


For entry in the academic year beginning September 2024, the tuition fees are as follows:

  • MA (full-time)
    UK students (per annum): £12,500
    International, including EU, students (per annum): £26,000
  • MA (part-time)
    UK students (per annum): £6,250
    International, including EU, students (per annum): £13,000

Further information for EU students can be found on our dedicated EU page.

Policy on additional costs

All students should normally be able to complete their programme of study without incurring additional study costs over and above the tuition fee for that programme. Any unavoidable additional compulsory costs totalling more than 1% of the annual home undergraduate fee per annum, regardless of whether the programme in question is undergraduate or postgraduate taught, will be made clear to you at the point of application. Further information can be found in the University's Policy on additional costs incurred by students on undergraduate and postgraduate taught programmes (PDF document, 91KB).

Contact details

School of Arts, Languages and Cultures
Contact name
PG Taught Admissions

See: About us

Courses in related subject areas

Use the links below to view lists of courses in related subject areas.

Entry requirements

Academic entry qualification overview

We normally expect students to have a First or Upper Second class honours degree or its overseas equivalent in a humanities-based subject area.

The University will take into account the academic standing of a candidate's University, as advised by our international office using published world and country rankings.

English language

An overall grade of IELTS 7.0 with 7.0 in writing and no skill below 6.5 is required or 100+ in the TOEFL iBT with a minimum writing score of 25 and no skill below 22.

If you have obtained a different qualification, please check our  English language requirements  to ensure that it is accepted and equivalent to the above requirements.

English language test validity

Some English Language test results are only valid for two years. Your English Language test report must be valid on the start date of the course.

Application and selection

How to apply

Advice to applicants

You can demonstrate your understanding of the subject and your motivation for wanting to study the programme in the personal statement section in the application form.

If your academic background is not in humanities, we may request academic-standard writing sample on a subject related to the programme.

How your application is considered

Applications are mainly considered on the basis of an assessment of past and predicted academic achievements, the academic reference(s) and any other supplementary evidence that supports the application. Once we have an application that is ready for a decision, the admissions tutor (often the Programme Director) will relay the decision to the admissions team, who will send you this decision.

Please note that your application is usually received by the School 24 to 48 hours after the time you submit it. If you have not provided documentation that allows the admissions tutor to make a decision, we will contact you.

Course details

Course description

Our MA Film Studies course has been designed to provide considerable opportunities to study film theory, history and culture, as well as aspects of applied practice.

It caters for those who want to enhance their artistic and professional careers, or if you're planning to progress to doctoral study.

The course is also suitable if you're relatively new to the subject area and want to establish a solid foundation.

If you want to enhance your employability, it provides an excellent springboard for careers in film, screen media and the creative industries, as well as educational, social and community professions.

The research and teaching strengths of our scholars span film, screen and media studies from form and theory to historical and cultural approaches, and from national cinemas to the politics of identity, gender and sexuality, and film music, as well as film practice as research.

This considerable breadth of specialism offers students a wide range of options.

Whether you want to strengthen your academic foundation in this subject area or wish to pursue niche areas of research requiring specific expertise you'll find the MA in Film Studies has a considerable amount to offer.

The MA Film Studies also emphasises aspects of applied practice as research that allows you to apply knowledge and experience of film theory and practice to a professional setting such as in participatory video practice, and film curation and programming.

Teaching and learning

You will learn through seminars, small group tutorials, workshops and surgeries, offering opportunities for lively and engaged discussions.

One-to-one supervision is offered on all dissertations.

The Programme Director is Dr MaoHui Deng .

Coursework and assessment

Written coursework in each taught 30-credit unit comprises a 4500-word essay or its equivalent, such as video essays, log books, evaluation reports, project critiques and practice analysis.

The dissertation is a 12,000-word project on a topic chosen in consultation with the dissertation supervisor.

Course unit details

You will undertake units totalling 180 credits. Core and optional units combine to make 120 credits, with the remaining 60 credits allocated to the dissertation.

Apart from two mandatory core units, you are free to shape your course by choosing from a diverse range of options, including established study options within the arts, languages and cultures, a directed reading or practice option (enabling you to pursue a specific area of research with the careful supervision of specialist staff), and a work placement option.

Study options vary from year to year depending on staff availability.

Course unit list

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Film Theories, Debates and Approaches DRAM71331 30 Mandatory
Film Cultures: Research, Industries and Practice DRAM71442 30 Mandatory
Screen Acting and Stardom DRAM60141 30 Optional
Social Lives of Cinema DRAM62842 30 Optional
Directed Reading (15) DRAM70011 15 Optional
Directed Reading (15) DRAM70012 15 Optional
Falstaff and Gandalf: Adapting Fantastic Texts to Film DRAM70022 30 Optional
Directed Reading (30) DRAM70051 30 Optional
Directed Reading (30 credits) DRAM70052 30 Optional
Docufiction Filmmaking DRAM70061 30 Optional
Queer Bodies and the Cinema DRAM70311 30 Optional
Screening the Holocaust DRAM70482 30 Optional
Dissertation by Practice DRAM70980 60 Optional
Dissertation DRAM70990 60 Optional
From Documentary to Mockumentary DRAM71011 30 Optional
Global Television Industries DRAM72012 30 Optional
Contemporary Documentary Filmmaking DRAM72102 30 Optional
Directed Practice (30 credits) DRAM73211 30 Optional
Directed Practice (30 credits) DRAM73212 30 Optional
Queer Cinema and Beyond ENGL60152 30 Optional
Introduction to Documentary Filmmaking in the Arts & Humanities HIST61132 30 Optional
Creative Learning: Approaches and Contexts SALC60502 15 Optional
Critical Ecologies SALC61082 15 Optional
Creative Producing and Managing Projects SALC68812 15 Optional
Placement SALC70300 30 Optional
Elemental Media: Documentary and Sensory Practice SOAN60992 15 Optional
Screening Culture SOAN70771 15 Optional
Displaying 10 of 27 course units

What our students say

Through my experience with MA Film Studies at The University of Manchester, I was confronted not only with stunning English and American cinema, but also-more importantly, in my eyes-with worldwide cinema, something I'd never really consumed before. I began to understand the gatekeeping that exists in the filmmaking industry and I experienced this firsthand in my (failed) efforts to gain access to works that, simply, could just not be watched in this country. I started to realise that a lot of my favourite Western directors used techniques borrowed from Eastern methods and art. While this was disheartening to realise at such a late stage of loving cinema, it opened my eyes to the way that a Western society typically consumes art-and how little investigation there is to what is handed to us. It was fascinating.

Emily Moscrop - MA Film Studies, 2021

For a part-time student, the course is structured such that you undertake one 30-credit module per semester for two years, followed by a 60-credit dissertation. The first of these, the compulsory Theories of Film, made it clear that I had chosen wisely with the part-time option! My previous BA was not in film, and whilst I have a good grounding in film history, my film theory knowledge was shallow, and improving this area was one of my main reasons for taking the course. The course structure, with a variety of assignment questions, permits significant leeway in allowing students to focus on the aspects they had found most interesting, which for me included semiotics and critical theory, the study of which has changed my perception of cinema. 

Jeff Billington - MA Film Studies (Part-time), 2021 


Facilities are available for video and audio production. Sony camera and sound kits, and kits for Virtual Reality production, including mobile workstations for VR editing, are available for coursework. 

The Martin Harris Centre for Music and Drama supports the John Casken Lecture Theatre for film screenings and two studios for independent work with audio and video. In addition, there is a Film Lab equipped with edit suites and a lecture/screening room for the use of MA Film Studies students.  

The Media Services at The University of Manchester provides additional edit suites with on call teaching and technical support.

The Lenagan Library is a small reference library housed in the Martin Harris Centre that includes a range of popular and specialist titles available for students to loan, together with a viewing suite and a spacious work area. 

Find out more on the Facilities page.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email:


Career opportunities

This course enables you to develop a considerable range of transferable skills that can open pathways to a range of career options.

Our graduates have gone on to work in areas of film education as well as other areas of the film and screen media industry, including with the BBC, independent television production companies, and film festivals. A small number of graduates take up PhD study, with the aim to further their  progress in academic research and teaching at FE (further education) and HE (higher education) levels.

The University has its own dedicated Careers Service that you would have full access to as a student and for two years after you graduate. At Manchester you will have access to a number of opportunities to help boost your employability .