The BA (International Hons) in Film Studies explores the interrelated fields of television, print, radio, and other media. This study of contemporary and historical media will show you how representation affects our understanding of gender, sexuality, national identity, racial and ethnic identities, and the influence of global markets and politics.
The BA (International Hons) is a joint degree delivered by both the University of St Andrews and the College of William & Mary in Virginia, USA. This joint degree allows you to spend two years at each institution.
If you started this programme in 2019, you can find information about 2019 entry on the 2019 Film Studies BA page. Information about all programmes from previous years of entry can be found in the archive.
Admission to the BA (International Honours) is highly competitive. These grades are the overall standards required to consider you for entry.
We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry on to our programmes, please see our entry requirements for more information.
If English is not your first language you will need an overall IELTS score of 7.0, with a minimum score of 6.5 in each component (Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking), or an equivalent English language qualification.
How to apply
You can only apply for the programme through one institution, and each institution will honour the admissions decisions of the other. You must specify which subject area you wish to apply for on your application form.
St Andrews students must meet with their Adviser of Studies at the beginning of Semester 1 in September to complete advising – a compulsory part of the matriculation process. After module choices have been decided, a timetable will be allocated indicating the dates and times of classes.
The University of St Andrews as a whole was voted top in the UK for student academic experience in The National Student Survey 2019 as 95% of St Andrews final year students were satisfied with the quality of the learning and teaching experience.
The BA (International Hons) in Film Studies is a four-year course run jointly by the Department of Film Studies at St Andrews and the Department of Film and Media Studies at the College of William & Mary.
You will study for two years at both St Andrews and William & Mary, spending the first year of the programme at one institution and the second year at the other. You will then be able to choose where you wish to spend your third and fourth years of study and graduate from either university.
You will apply to the university where you intend to spend your first year, and then you will transfer to the other institution for your second year.
What you will study
The BA (International Honours) in Film Studies emphasises world cinema, and you will be able to select specialist courses offered at both universities such as:
cinemas of India
race and representation
war and film.
You will also have the opportunity to develop skills in film production, programming and wider media at William & Mary.
The BA (International Honours) is a single Honours degree, and other combinations – such as joint Honours degrees – are not available with this programme. However, during the programme you will have opportunities to study a range of other subjects offered by both institutions. Find out more about the St Andrews – William & Mary joint degree.
The BA (International Honours) is a four-year undergraduate degree that combines the best of the Scottish and American educational experience.
The Film Studies programmes at St Andrews and William & Mary have much in common – a core grounded in the understanding of the form, history, and theory of the image, with an emphasis on “global” productions (i.e. outside of the USA or UK).
Both institutions offer courses in national (and transnational) cinemas, in film genre, and in the film industry; however, St Andrews offers a wider range of in-depth, film-specific courses at Honours level, including courses in areas such as archival research and the star system, while William & Mary offers more interdisciplinary courses in media studies and related disciplines, such as photography.
The annual Global Film Festival hosted by William & Mary – a major international festival that incorporates important scholarly presentations – complements St Andrews’ important scholarship and publication series on film festivals.
The Centre for Film Studies at St Andrews provides opportunities for students to interact with visiting speakers and filmmakers and to participate in workshops and events. For example, students at St Andrews have been importantly involved with the recent visits of Joe Russo, the director of Captain America: The Winter Soldier; Tom Engelman, producer at Dreamworks; and with scholars such as Gina Marchetti and Ian Christie. St Andrews has also staged practical collaborative workshops on topics like “Film and Music”.
Students studying the Film Studies BA (International Hons) will take the required modules at both institutions in their first and second years.
At St Andrews, the compulsory modules in first year are:
Key Concepts in Film Studies: examines key concepts and approaches that are relevant to the study of film.
Global Film History and Historiography: introduces key movements and moments in film history across the first 50 years of film.
At St Andrews, the compulsory modules in second year are:
Modern World Cinemas: introduces significant cinematic developments across the second half of the 20th century, providing exposure to the work of some of the most significant cineastes in the world.
Film Culture, Theory, Entertainment: explores a range of political, philosophical and cultural approaches to the cinema, centring on the key insights and breakthrough critical ideas that have informed the study of film and its role in society.
Students will spend either their third or fourth year in St Andrews. You will be able to choose from a wide variety of advanced options.
Here is a sample of Honours modules which have been offered at St Andrews in previous years:
British Cinemas: Conventions, Subversions, and Outsiders
Cinema and Media in the Digital Age
Feminist Film Studies
Film and Fashion
Horror on Screen
Images and Impact: Uses of Film
Race and Representation
In fourth year, you will have the opportunity to work on an independent research project as part of your degree. If your fourth year is at St Andrews, you will undertake a 10,000-word dissertation on an advanced topic in Film Studies. If your fourth year is at William & Mary, you will have the opportunity to pursue an honours thesis or independent study.
The compulsory modules listed here must be taken in order to graduate in this subject. However, most students at St Andrews take additional modules, either in their primary subject or from other subjects they are interested in. For Honours-level, students choose from a range of Honours modules, some of which are listed above. A full list of all modules available for the current academic year can be found in the module catalogue.
Students at St Andrews for their first or second year will be taught through whole-class lectures (65 to 200 students), screenings and small group tutorials (5 to 12 students). Most teaching on film takes place in a lecture theatre equipped for the film screenings that accompany lectures.
Lectures at St Andrews are given by all members of the Department, enabling students to hear academics at the cutting edge of the discipline. Students receive the best and latest ideas and material to research and evaluate. Tutorials are an opportunity for students to discuss and develop their thinking in a small and friendly atmosphere, guided by a professional expert.
Extensive use is made of the University’s specialist library resources, including one of the best collections of international cinema on DVD, holding over 9,300 AV materials and including some extremely rare films and holdings.
In third or fourth year, teaching moves away from large group lecturing. Class sizes vary between modules, but students typically meet in groups of about 5 to 17 students for longer classes in which they are expected to participate fully.
In addition to these classes, students at St Andrews are expected to undertake substantial independent, but guided, work outside of the classroom. Typically, this will involve:
working on individual and group projects
undertaking research in the library
preparing coursework assignments and presentations
preparing for examinations.
At St Andrews, you will be taught by an experienced teaching team with expertise and knowledge of Film Studies. Postgraduate research students who have undertaken teacher training may also contribute to the teaching of classes and seminars under the supervision of the module coordinator.
You can find contact information for all film studies staff on the Department of Film Studies website.
In addition to your studies in the School, optional academic support is available through practical study skills courses and workshops hosted within the University.
The University’s Student Services team can help students with additional needs resulting from disabilities, long term medical conditions or learning disabilities. More information can be found on the students with disabilities webpage.
Modules in Film Studies at St Andrews are assessed by a balance of coursework and written examinations. Examinations are held at the end of each semester during a dedicated exam diet with revision time provided beforehand. Coursework includes:
At Honours level, the modules are entirely assessed on the basis of coursework.
The Department aims to provide feedback on every assessment within three weeks to help you improve on future assessments.
Undergraduates at the University of St Andrews must achieve at least 7.0 on the St Andrews 20-point grade scale to pass a module. To gain access to Honours-level modules, students must achieve the relevant requisites as specified in the policy on entry to Honours and in the relevant programme requirements. Please note that some Schools offer qualified entry to Honours, and this will be clearly specified in the programme requirements. To find out the classification equivalent of points, please visit the common reporting scale webpage.
Visit St Andrews
If you are interested in studying at St Andrews, join us at a visiting day to explore the town, find out about our courses and meet current students.
The tuition fee for all students on the BA (International Honours) is the same regardless of domicile, and will always be the pound sterling equivalent of the US dollar amount per year, as converted on 1 June preceding the start of each academic year.
If you commence your studies at the University of St Andrews, you will pay your tuition each year to St Andrews regardless of which institution you are studying at for that year.
From the outset, the University of St Andrews offers an array of events and opportunities which result in a truly unique student experience. Students participate in a range of traditions, notably, the red academic gown and the academic family, where older students adopt first year students as ‘children’ and help guide them in a system of mentoring. These traditions and the choice of over 150 sports clubs and student societies to choose from ensures a community feel amongst students from first year onwards.
Students of Film Studies may be interested in joining the Film Society which holds weekly film screenings and regular pub nights.
The Department of Film Studies is centrally located in two buildings on North Street. These have been recently refurbished and boast bright office spaces and a well-equipped teaching room, as well as excellent screening equipment. For all Honours and Masters seminars, there are newly refurbished and specially equipped facilities (including 3D projection) at the Byre theatre. Lectures and screenings take place in the recently refurbished Buchanan Theatre.
The Department is located next door to the local independent cinema, New Picture House, which screens popular films. Dundee, the closest city, boasts an excellent arthouse cinema at the Dundee Contemporary Arts centre.
The town of St Andrews itself has lots to offer. As University buildings are located throughout the town, walking around you encounter ancient and modern buildings and areas of greenery and seaside which provide a rich, beautiful backdrop to learning. If you want a change of scenery, St Andrews' position near surrounding towns and cities such as Anstruther, Dundee and Edinburgh makes it ideal for getting to know more about Scotland.
“One of the things you will hear joint degree programme students talk about the most is the initial transition between the two universities. However, these challenges and quirks are what make the programme so unique. I have learned so many skills as a result of having such an international education, so while the initial transition may be difficult, you will be given countless opportunities that you may not have had otherwise!"
Laura (South Queensferry, Scotland)
Admissions University of St Andrews St Katharine's West The Scores St Andrews KY16 9AX
As a research intensive institution, the University ensures that its teaching references the research interests of its staff, which may change from time to time. As a result, programmes are regularly reviewed with the aim of enhancing students' learning experience. Our approach to course revision is described online (PDF, 72 KB).