MA Film Studies

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Directed Practice (30 credits)

Course unit fact file
Unit code DRAM73211
Credit rating 30
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Available as a free choice unit? No


Directed Practice engages students in an independent study of and practice in an area not currently offered as an MA study option, and the opportunity to integrate theory and practical work. They provide an opportunity to work one-to-one with an academic staff member on an area of interest to the student and research specialism of the member of staff and to produce a sustained piece of practice research and writing. Student and academic work together to construct a programme of work and assessment, and this is supported by regular supervision meetings through the semester. Examples of practice-based research may include filmmaking, participatory video, audio design, curatorial practice, and screenwriting.


The Directed Practice option is only open to those students who can demonstrate that they have a pre-existing level of skill and experience appropriate for conducting independent practical research in their chosen area of interest.

Knowledge and understanding

  • Demonstrate a sophisticated understanding of the chosen area of research
  • Evidence of an advanced ability to analyse critically film and other cultural texts and evaluate their approaches
  • Demonstrate an advanced ability to employ and engage with a relevant form of practice that demonstrates an awareness of the theoretical frameworks and approaches underpinning the chosen area of research
  • Demonstrate an advanced awareness of any risk assessment or ethical issues implicated in the research


Intellectual skills

  • Demonstrate an advanced ability to undertake critical film analysis and practice and situate them within the broader aesthestic, theoretical and philosophical debates within the chosen subject
  • Demonstrate an advanced capacity to make comparative analyses of concepts and approaches as they circulate within a range of cultural systems and practices
  • Demonstrate an advanced ability to synthesise ideas from a range of different sources, critically evaluate those sources and their applicability, build a strong analytical argument and revise approaches in the light of feedback
  • Demonstrate an advanced ability to engage with critical reflection and reflective practice

Practical skills

  • Acquire advanced research and practice skills in accordance with the requirements of the chosen subject of study
  • Communicate research findings effectively both verbally (during supervision meetings) and in written form (the summative assessment)
  • Demonstrate advanced practical skills in the chosen area of practice-based research
  • Demonstrate an ability to undertake any risk assessment or ethical approval processes required by the practice research

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • Demonstrate advanced interpersonal communication and team-working skills (where relevant)
  • Demonstrate advanced critical thinking skills and creative practice skills (problem-solving, thinking innovatively, drawing on creative approaches of others, evaluating arguments, giving and receiving feedback, time-keeping)
  • Demonstrate ability to make use of diverse creative approaches and media

Assessment methods

Assessment Task

Formative or Summative


Practice Piece and Critical Reflection on Practice





Feedback methods

  • Informal feedback during supervision discussions
  • Written and verbal feedback on individual research plans and project construction.


Study hours

Independent study hours
Independent study 300

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Maohui Deng Unit coordinator

Additional notes

Contact hours are variable, by appointment with the supervisor, between 3 and 6 meetings in a semester

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