Film Studies MA

London, Bloomsbury

Gain expertise in film to pursue a career in the media, the arts or academic research through this degree. The Film Studies MA provides an exceptional grounding in cinema history, global cinema and modern screen media. Taught at the UCL Centre for Multidisciplinary and Intercultural Inquiry (CMII), you’ll benefit from the knowledge of a cross-disciplinary community of cinema scholars and access to exceptional multimedia resources.

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2024/25)
Overseas tuition fees (2024/25)
1 calendar year
2 calendar years
Programme starts
September 2024
Applications accepted
Applicants who require a UK visa: 16 Oct 2023 – 26 Jan 2024

Applications closed

Applicants who do not require a visa: 16 Oct 2023 – 30 Aug 2024
Applications close at 5pm UK time

Applications open

Applications may close earlier if all places on the programme are filled.

Entry requirements

A minimum of a first or a high upper second-class Honours degree (average 65%) in a relevant discipline from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard.

The English language level for this programme is: Level 4

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.

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

Equivalent qualifications

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. Please note that the equivalency will correspond to the broad UK degree classification stated on this page (e.g. upper second-class). Where a specific overall percentage is required in the UK qualification, the international equivalency will be higher than that stated below. Please contact Graduate Admissions should you require further advice.

About this degree

The programme covers the history of cinema and a wide variety of global cinemas, and related conceptual approaches to the study of screen media. It is designed to provide students with advanced knowledge of both the history of cinema and media and its contemporary developments, and with the skills, concepts, methods and theories required for the study of cinema and media at graduate level.

Who this course is for

The programme is suitable for students with a first degree in film, media, or cultural studies or other relevant discipline in the humanities or the social sciences who wish to develop an advanced understanding of the place of cinema in the world, either as a suitable foundation for further research or as a professional qualification in its own right.

What this course will give you

Each year, we welcome students from all over the world to our Film Studies MA. At UCL's Centre for Multidisciplinary & Intercultural Inquiry (CMII), students spend a year amongst a thriving, cross-disciplinary community of cinema scholars and research students.

We have particular research strengths in film history, film theory, and in an exceptionally broad range of national and regional cinemas.

UCL has multimedia infrastructure for the study of film and related media. This includes a collection of print and visual materials and resources, facilities for teaching and for film and media screenings. UCL students benefit from the central London location providing an unrivalled range of libraries, archives, theatres, cinemas, galleries, research institutions, professional bodies and accessible resources.

The foundation of your career

Former students of this programme have gone on to careers in education and publishing, and a wide variety of careers in the media and arts, including film production, festival programming and film curation with organisations including the BBC, the Barbican Centre, the Athens International Film Festival, and the London Film School. Graduates go on to work in varied roles across the public, private and charitable sectors.


Our graduates are highly valued by employers for their interdisciplinary skills and linguistic and cultural knowledge. Transferable skills include intercultural understanding, translation, communication skills, and analytical rigour.

Previous graduates from the MA in Film Studies have pursued various careers, including academic research and teaching; careers within media (writing, directing, editing); print and journalism; arts and museum management; multimedia authoring and digital design; film preservation and curating.


Our location offers students access to special collections in modern languages and culture at UCL and other world-class libraries nearby such as Senate House and the British Library. Supervision and teaching is available from world-leading researchers, with 83% of SELCS-CMII research activity being graded 4* ‘world leading’ and 3* ‘internationally excellent’ in the REF 2021.

These resources, besides their collections of books, articles, videos, sound recordings and non-public online resources, offer a wide range of seminars, lecture series and other opportunities to exchange ideas. Other libraries and research centres within walking distance of campus include, the British Museum, Institute of Languages, Cultures and Societies, Institute of Historical Research and The Warburg Institute.

UCL Careers also offers a range of services, providing access to skills development, recruitment and networking events.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials, private study, film and video screenings. The third term is devoted to revision sessions and the dissertation project. A 15-credit module is equivalent to 150 hours of study and a 30-credit module is equivalent to 300 hours. This includes contact time, private study and the undertaking of coursework assignments.

Students are assessed by a variety of methods, which may include coursework, presentations, written essays and the research dissertation. Teaching sessions are interactive, with a limited amount of lecturer presentation and emphasis on student participation and critical discussion. The core modules are assessed by essays and examinations, which together count for 20% of the final mark. Optional modules are assessed by essays (40%), and the dissertation makes up the final 40%.

For a full-time postgraduate course, we recommend around 20-25 hours of independent study per week. Contact hours may vary depending on module choices, but full-time students will have approximately 8-10 contact hours each week during term time, spent in lectures and seminars.

For a part-time postgraduate course, contact hours would usually be 4-6 hours per week across 2-3 days and we recommend around 10-12 hours of independent study per week. Those undertaking language modules may have additional contact hours. There is minimal teaching during Term 3, as students focus on the dissertation and assessments.


During the academic year, you will take compulsory modules which cover several aims; firstly, to work as a postgraduate-level foundation both for students without any training in film studies and for those with a first degree in it or a related discipline; secondly, to provide you with the specific skills to research and write essays and the dissertation. You will also choose optional modules from the suggested list (see Optional modules).

During Term 2, in addition to your taught modules, you will start formulating your dissertation proposal. This work will continue into Term 3 and across the remainder of the academic year. You will develop your dissertation outline and structure with support from your supervisor. You will give a presentation to your peers and tutors on your dissertation to help cement your argument and subject area to cover. This is a non-assessed compulsory element of the MA. You will then spend the summer researching and writing your 12,000 word dissertation on a topic to be determined in discussion with your academic supervisor.

During Year 1, you will take compulsory modules covering several aims; firstly, to work as a postgraduate-level foundation both for students without any training in film studies and for those with a first degree in it or a related discipline; secondly, to provide you with the specific skills to research and write essays and the dissertation. You may also choose one optional module. These modules set the foundation for the whole MA, preparing you for further learning and for your dissertation.

In Year 2, you will take further optional modules, to develop your broader understanding of film and media and to develop key concepts learnt in Year 1, thus gaining the necessary knowledge to develop your dissertation. You will formulate and develop your dissertation outline and structure, with support from your supervisor. You will give a presentation to your peers and tutors on your dissertation proposal to help cement your argument and subject areas to cover. This is a non-assessed compulsory element of your MA. You will then spend the summer researching and writing your 12,000 word dissertation on a topic of your choice.

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 are subject to change. Modules that are in use for the current academic year are linked for further information. Where no link is present, further information is not yet available.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded an MA in Film Studies.


Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support and Wellbeing team.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time Part-time
Tuition fees (2024/25) £15,100 £7,550
Tuition fees (2024/25) £31,100 £15,550

The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Where the programme is offered on a flexible/modular basis, fees are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website:

Additional costs

All full time students are required to pay a fee deposit of £1,000 for this programme. All part-time students are required to pay a fee deposit of £500.

Additional costs may include expenses such as books, stationery, printing or photocopying, or conference registration fees and associated travel costs.

The department strives to keep additional costs low. Books and journal articles are usually available via the UCL library as hard copies or via e-journal subscriptions.

For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.

Funding your studies

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

ANS Dutch Studies Bursary

Deadline: 1 November
Value: £1,250 (1yr)
Criteria Based on financial need
Eligibility: UK, EU, Overseas

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.

There is an application processing fee for this programme of £90 for online applications and £115 for paper applications. Further information can be found at Application fees.

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Film Studies at graduate level
  • why you want to study Film Studies at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to this programme
  • how your personal, academic and professional background meets the demands of a challenging academic environment
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree

Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.

Candidates are advised to apply much earlier than the general UCL deadline.

Please note that you may submit applications for a maximum of two graduate programmes (or one application for the Law LLM) in any application cycle.

Choose your programme

Please read the Application Guidance before proceeding with your application.

Year of entry: 2024-2025

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.