UCL sits at the centre of the vibrant, multicultural and cinematic city of London. The university, which was the first to establish Film Studies in Britain, houses a thriving graduate research culture in the subject alongside remarkable resources for the study of cinema across its history and across the world.
Modes and duration
Tuition fees (2021/22)
Note on fees: The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees.
A minimum of an upper second-class UK Honours degree in a relevant discipline or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard, and a Master's degree with Merit in a relevant field.
English language requirements
If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.
The English language level for this programme is: Advanced
UCL Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English courses are for international students who are aiming to study for a postgraduate degree at UCL. The courses will develop your academic English and academic skills required to succeed at postgraduate level. International Preparation Courses
Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.
Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.
International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.
Select your country:
UCL has research strengths in particular in cinema and cultural history across the world. We have interests in early cinemas, new wave cinemas, and political cinemas.
- North and Latin American cinema history
- European cinema history
- Documentary cinema
- Non-theatrical/radical cinema
- The history of the discipline
- Silent cinema
- Film theory
- The political economy of cinema
About this degree
Depending on staff availability, there is provision for a small number of students to pursue the Documentary Track pathway, which allows suitably qualified PhD students to submit a thesis of 60,000-70,000 words and a within-copyright filmed documentary of 20-30 minutes in length in place of the standard requirement of a thesis of 80,000-100,000 words in length.
The documentary-track PhD is researched in a twofold manner as a text and a film project and developed in two parallel but interdependent modes of discourse. Thus the two projects are intended to overlap closely such that the documentary is part of the integrated whole of the argument of the thesis. An example of a research project which might be pursued using this methodology would be the study (in the form of an academic thesis) of the works of a living author or artist or film director along with a creative, research-led documentary film on the same individual’s work. It is expected that the two parts of the research project will form a composite whole. It will also be necessary for the candidate to provide a statement explaining the research question and aims addressed by the documentary film including written production notes, and a discussion of the stages of research and choice of methodology.
Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change.
For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.
For information about available funding and scholarships please visit our Funding and Scholarships webpage.
Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed below.
- UK rate fees, a maintenance stipend, conference costs and professional development package (3 years)
- Based on both academic merit and financial need
For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.
Many or our graduates have gone on to academic careers as well as careers in writing and research.
Students who complete the PhD in Film Studies demonstrate the ability to produce original research and to construct convincing and original arguments. Many of those who have completed PhDs in Film Studies at UCL have gone on to significant academic positions elsewhere.
London is a vibrant centre for academic work, and regularly hosts seminars, symposia, and conferences. UCL is central to the city's research culture.
Why study this degree at UCL?
UCL provides a uniquely rich research environment for the study of cinema at the heart of the dynamic city of London. Students can draw on faculty expertise from across the university, in particular from the Faculty of Arts & Humanities, Social & Historical Sciences, the School of European Languages, Culture and Society, and the Centre for Multidisciplinary and Intercultural Inquiry.
Students are supported by a dynamic research culture, a stimulating environment and excellent opportunities for research training. UCL houses numerous seminars and guest lectures, and researchers have access to world-class libraries at UCL, the University of London, the British Library and the British Film Institute.
What our students and staff say
"UCL is a research-intensive university, one of the best in the world. Students and faculty are from many different countries, and take seriously our history of being a progressive and radical institution that seeks to make the world a better place. It has world-class academics and research infrastructure; and is literally minutes away from some of the best libraries and cultural resources."
Professor Lee Grieveson
Professor of Media History
"I am interested in the novel, narrative technique, literary theory and theories of gender. I have worked on the interaction of fact and fiction in the novel, on the relationship of female and national identity, and on the representation and ethics of shame. I’m currently working on an interdisciplinary project with German historians looking at the reverberations of the Second World War in Europe. I have benefited particularly from being in a department (German) that is in itself interdisciplinary, as well as from the growing interactions between colleagues within and across the faculties. These interactions are becoming more possible, not least through the establishment of the Centre for Multidisciplinary and Intercultural Inquiry (CMII), of which I am currently Chair, but, crucially, the impact of the Faculty Institute of Graduate Studies (FIGS), now extended to two faculties, Arts & Humanities and Social & Historical Sciences. "
Professor Stephanie BirdGerman MPhil/PhD, Comparative Literature MPhil/PhD, Film Studies MPhil/PhD, Language, Culture and History MA, Comparative Literature MA, Film Studies MA
Professor of German
Application and next steps
Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.
This programme requires two references. Further information regarding references can be found in our How to apply section.
UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.