MA Film Studies / Course details
Year of entry: 2024
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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.
|Film Theories, Debates and Approaches||DRAM71331||30||Mandatory|
|Film Cultures: Research, Industries and Practice||DRAM71442||30||Mandatory|
|The AIDS Crisis: American Cultural Representation||AMER62032||15||Optional|
|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|
|Displaying 10 of 28 course units|
|Display all 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.