Film Studies BA (International Honours) 2024 entry

The information on this page is for 2024 entry. If you are considering applying for 2025 entry or later, some of these details may differ and we advise you to check the page again before you apply. To receive a notification of when applications open for 2025 entry, please register your interest.

The BA (International Hons) in Film Studies explores the interrelated fields of cinema, television and other audio-visual 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. 

Start date
September 2024
End date
September 2028
Four years full time
School of Philosophical, Anthropological and Film Studies
“Looking back I could not imagine my education being complete without both the American and European perspectives. As the world becomes increasingly more globally interconnected, experiences like the one offered by the BA (International Honours) programme will prove to be invaluable.”
- Virginia, USA

Entry requirements

The University offers different entry requirements, depending on your background. Find out more about Standard and Minimum entry requirements using academic entry explained and see which entry requirements you need to look at using the entry requirements indicator.

  • Standard entry grades:
    Minimum entry grades:
  • Standard entry grades:
    Minimum entry grades:
  • Standard entry grades:
    38 (HL 6,6,6)
    Minimum entry grades:
    36 (HL 6,5,5)

General entry requirements

All applicants must have attained the following qualifications, or equivalent, in addition to the specific entry requirements for individual programmes.

  • SQA National 5 (B) in English and one SQA National 5 (B) from the following:

    • Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Computing science
    • Geography
    • Lifeskills Mathematics (A grade)
    • Mathematics
    • Physics
    • Psychology.
  • GCSE (5) in English language or English literature, and one GCSE (5) from the following:

    • Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Computing Science
    • Geography
    • Mathematics
    • Physics
    • Psychology.

Other qualifications

We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry on to our programmes. Please see our entry requirements for more information.

More information on how to apply via other entry routes or accreditation of prior learning and experience can be found on the University’s entry requirements web page.

Do I need to have studied this subject before?

No previous knowledge of this subject is required.

International applicants

If English is not your first language, you will need to provide an English language test score to evidence your English language ability.

Course details

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:

  • documentary
  • ecocinema
  • film genres
  • horror film
  • race and representation.

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.

About the BA (International Honours) programme

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 (those outside of the USA or UK).

Both institutions offer courses in national and transnational cinemas, in film genre, and in the film industry. St Andrews offers a wider range of in-depth, film-specific courses at Honours level, including courses in areas such as archival research and sensory cinema. 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 on film festivals, as well as the recently established SANDS International Film Festival of St Andrews.

The Centre for Screen Cultures 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 groundbreaking scholar and filmmaker Laura Mulvey; Marvel director Joe Russo; and 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' and 'film sound and foley work'.  

The University of St Andrews operates on a flexible modular degree system by which degrees are obtained through the accumulation of credits. More information on the structure of the modules system can be found on the flexible degree structure web page.


Students studying the Film Studies BA (International Hons) will take the required modules at both institutions in their first and second years.

The following modules are those offered at St Andrews. Find out more about module requirements at William & Mary.

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.

At St Andrews, the compulsory modules in second year are:

  • Film Theory: introduces a range of political, philosophical, and cultural approaches to the cinema, centring on the key insights and breakthrough ideas that have informed the study of film and its role in society.
  • Screen Cultures today: media and methods: addresses foundational questions being asked of film and other screen media today through a global intermedial approach to screen cultures and scholarship.

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:

  • Artists' Film and Video
  • Asian Cinemas
  • Documentary Cinema
  • Feminist Film Studies
  • Film Sound
  • Horror on Screen
  • Race and Representation
  • Screen Comedy
  • Silent Cinema.

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 appropriate to the programme for the current academic year can be found in the programme requirements.


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 (8 to 12 students). Most teaching on film takes place in a lecture theatre specially 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 more than 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 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.

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:

  • research essays
  • class presentations
  • short assignments.

At Honours level, the modules are entirely assessed on the basis of coursework. Honours assessments balance more traditional research essay formats with creative, skill-based assignments such as:

  • documentary pitch outlines
  • blog posts
  • reflective writing
  • archival research
  • filmmaker profiles.

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. To find out the classification equivalent of points, please see the common reporting scale.

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.

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 web page.


Find out about fees, living costs, scholarships and funding.


Film studies graduates are well placed to compete in today’s job market, having gained an extensive range of skills from written and oral communications to archival research and visual analysis. 

A degree in film studies from St Andrews will provide an excellent foundation for a wide range of careers as well as for careers directly connected with cinema, such as: 

  • advertising and public relations 
  • arts administration 
  • cinema management 
  • education 
  • film distribution and production 
  • film festivals 
  • journalism and media. 

Recent graduates in film studies have gone on to a number of exciting careers, including: 

  • film archive director 
  • production editor in publishing 
  • media researcher 
  • programmes negotiator for a television company 
  • director’s assistant at Warner Brothers.  

The Careers Centre offers one-to-one advice to all students as well as a programme of events to assist students to build their employability skills.

What to do next

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We encourage all students who are thinking of applying to the University to attend one of our online or in-person visiting days.

Contact us

+44 (0)1334 46 7473
Department of Film Studies
101a North Street
St Andrews
KY16 9AD

Department of Film Studies website