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What do we do?


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The Department of Film Studies at St Andrews is distinguished by its multifaceted approach to film cultures in a global context. Studying with us, you will learn not only to analyse film form and style, but also to think deeply about the long history of a medium—from pre-cinema to the digital—whose meanings have been defined and redefined in relation to different social, technological, geographical, intellectual and political factors. These include institutions such as film festivals and ciné-clubs, but also practices of amateur science, colonial bureaucracies, activist networks and identity struggles, participatory communities, and a host of others. Our approach to the study of film sets out from the idea that spectatorial experience is never determined by technological factors alone, but always a result of broader cultural forces and formations, whose histories must be part of any approach to ‘cinema’.

For this reason, Film Studies necessarily intersects with a broad range of fields (anthropology, art history, environmental studies, literary studies, performance, philosophy, politics, sociology, etc.), and our department offers a range of single and joint honours options.

Students in Film Studies will also develop intellectual, writing, communication and research skills, which are transferable across a diverse range of careers. In addition, the department supports extra curricular activities that offer opportunities for students to develop practical expertise in aspects of film production and exhibition. Our department has become a magnet for international scholars and research students, and we also offer a joint undergraduate degree with the College of William and Mary in the U.S.