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MA Film Studies / Course details

Year of entry: 2020

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.

This considerable breadth of specialism offers 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 - for example, documentary film-making, audio design or film music composition - you'll find the MA in Film Studies has a considerable amount to offer.

The Applied Film Studies pathway allows you to apply knowledge and experience of film theory and practice to a social and community setting, such as in schools, and community and cultural organisations, including the not-for-profit sector.

This involves acquiring practical skills in addition to theoretical knowledge, such as participatory video, sound design, film curation and programming, which could be applied to education, community and activist contexts.

Special features

Discounts at HOME

Receive a membership card for discounts at HOME, Manchester's centre for contemporary theatre, film and art.

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 Felicia Chan ( ).

Coursework and assessment

Written coursework in each taught 30-credit unit comprises a 6,000-word essay or its equivalent, such as essays, log books, evaluation reports, project critiques and practice analysis.

The dissertation is a 15,000-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.

Following a mandatory first semester of two core units, you are free to shape your course by choosing from a diverse range of options, including established study options within 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
Directed Reading (15) DRAM70012 15 Optional
Falstaff and Gandalf: Adapting Fantastic Texts to Film DRAM70022 30 Optional
Directed Reading (30 credits) DRAM70051 30 Optional
Video Project: Docufiction DRAM70062 30 Optional
Dissertation by Practice DRAM70980 60 Optional
Dissertation DRAM70990 60 Optional
Films about Film DRAM71211 30 Optional
Queer Cinema and Beyond ENGL60152 30 Optional
Creative Learning SALC60052 30 Optional
Business Strategies for the Arts SALC60072 30 Optional
Creative Learning SALC60502 15 Optional
Business Strategies for the Arts SALC60702 15 Optional
Digital Heritage SALC60902 15 Optional
Placement SALC70150 15 Optional
Placement SALC70300 30 Optional
Displaying 10 of 17 course units

What our students say

My favourite thing about the MA Film Studies course is the variety of topics on offer. I've been exposed to some amazing cinematic works, as well as fascinating theoretical frameworks week-by-week that not only inspire my existing personal interests, but also introduce me to new ideas.

The chance to do a work placement as part of the course was a particularly exciting prospect; I worked as an Archive Assistant at the North West Film Archive, which I enjoyed immensely.

Charlotte Gough


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: