What can I study?

Students attending the 60 hour Film Blitz

Students attending the 60 hour Film Blitz

Students arriving at St Andrews will take four film studies modules across their first two years (one per semester). With the successful completion of these modules (with marks of 11/20 or above), students will have the opportunity to continue to take either Single Honours or Joint Honours in Film Studies, now taking 3000- and 4000-level modules (typically two per semester for Single Honours, or one per semester for Joint Honours) across the next two years. The honours modules reflect the research expertise of the department and allow students to choose and develop their own specialisms and interests within the discipline.


First Year (2 x 20-credit modules required)

The two 1000-level modules familiarise students with key concepts, theories and methodologies of Film Studies. FM1001 (Key Concepts in Film Studies) covers foundational issues of film form and aesthetics, genre and narrative, audiences, technology, and industry while FM1002 (Film History and Historiography) introduces students to significant movements in cinema history and to considerations in the practice of history. Students view cinematic texts from around the world in the context of society, culture, ideology, and technology. Cinema provides a rich resource for analysing the social, cultural, and ideological cross-currents of a particular historical moment, and the films we teach bring these into bold relief.

Second Year (2 x 20-credit modules required)

The two 2000-level modules introduce a variety of methodological and theoretical frameworks for the historical study of cinema and the visual media. Based on screenings of a selection of cinematic texts, you are also introduced to questions of identity and representation, and the relationship of film, public discourse, cultural production, and cultural policy. FM2001 (World Cinemas) focuses on historical aspects and technological advances in film following World War II, by looking at developments in Europe (e.g. Neorealism, New Waves), New Hollywood, and Third Cinema. FM2002 (Film Culture, Theory Entertainment) introduces a range of theoretical approaches to cinema, their relationship to culture, and the politics of entertainment.


The Honours syllabus covers subject matters reflecting the research expertise of teaching staff. Honours 3000- and 4000-level modules are typically taught by screenings and seminars. The Honours programme examines a diverse range of film theories covering gender, national & transnational, and philosophical approaches. In your final year you have the opportunity to do a dissertation on an advanced topic in Film Studies (a list of recent dissertation topics can be found here).

Optional modules available each year will reflect current staff specialisms, including:

  • World cinemas
  • Film, human rights and activism
  • Queer theory and gender identity
  • Contemporary film and philosophy
  • War and cinema
  • Colonial film
  • Early cinema and film history
  • Film sound
  • Stars
  • Digital cinema
  • Film festivals



william and mary

Beginning in the 2017-18 academic year, our department will also be participating in a joint degree with the Department of Film and Media Studies at the College of William and Mary in Virginia. Please find more information on the structure and requirements of the joint degree here. You can learn more about the department at William and Mary here. For further questions, contact Dr Paul Flaig (TBC)

Although I hadn’t done any kind of film studies beforehand, the talk at the open day and the enthusiastic staff encouraged me to apply.

— Ben Lealan, Film Studies and History Honours student