Film Studies BA (International Honours) 2022 entry

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. 

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Key information

Course type

Bachelor of Arts (International Honours degree)

Course duration

Four years full time

  • Start date: 5 September 2022
  • End date: 30 June 2026

Entry requirements

Admission to the BA (International Honours) is highly competitive. These grades are the overall standards required to consider you for entry.

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: AAAAB
    • Minimum entry grades: AABB
    • Standard entry grades: AAA
    • Minimum entry grades: ABB
    • Standard entry grades: 38 (HL 6,6,6)
    • Minimum entry grades: 36 (HL 6,5,5)

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

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. Find out more about English language requirements.

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.

If you wish to begin your studies at the University of St Andrews, you can apply through the St Andrews direct application form or the Common Application form.

If you wish to begin your studies at William & Mary, you should apply through the William & Mary Common Application form.

Do I need to have studied this subject before?

No previous knowledge of this subject is required.

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

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.

Course information

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.

The coat of arms for the BA (International Honours) programme which features crossed keys, gold diamonds, a rising sun, an open book, a griffin, and a lion rampant
The BA International Honours coat of arms represents each university's unique heraldry and symbols. Find out more about the coat of arms.

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 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' and 'film sound and foley work'.  


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.


Teaching format

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 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 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 web page


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. 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 see the common reporting scale

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Tuition fees for 2022 entry

The tuition fee for the BA International Honours programme for 2022/23 will be $43,900. The sterling (GBP) equivalent of this fee will be calculated using the exchange rate on 1 June 2022. 

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. 

Find out more about the cost of attendance.

Accommodation fees 

Find out about accommodation fees for University accommodation. 

Funding and scholarships

The University of St Andrews offers a number of scholarships and support packages to undergraduate students each year.

Students on this degree programme also have the opportunity to apply for the BA (International Honours) Scholarship for Excellence.


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:

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

A degree in film studies will provide you with transferable skills that will equip you for a future career in many sectors. These skills include:

  • time management
  • project planning
  • group work
  • oral and written expression
  • focused research and presentation.

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. 

Student life

Students are fully involved in student life at both universities. Find out more about the student experience at William & Mary.

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, ensure a community feel amongst students from first year onwards.

Film studies students may be interested in joining the following student societies:

  • Film Society holds weekly film screenings and regular pub nights.
  • Filmmakers' Society provides opportunities for students to make short and feature films, either guided or on their own independent initiative.

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, has an excellent arthouse cinema at the Dundee Contemporary Arts centre.

The department also hosts the annual Film Blitz, an annual short competition and festival in which students have 60 hours to produce a short film. The inaugural St Andrews Film Festival launches in Spring 2022 and will feature a series of exciting screenings, discussions and events.

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, parks and beaches, providing a rich, beautiful backdrop to learning. Find out more about the town of St Andrews.

Find out more about student life at the University of St Andrews


Department of Film Studies
University of St Andrews
101a North Street
St Andrews
KY16 9AD

Phone: +44 (0)1334 46 7473

Department of Film Studies website


Admission to the University of St Andrews is governed by our admissions policy.

Information about all programmes from previous years of entry can be found in the archive.

Curriculum development

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.

Tuition fees

The University will clarify compulsory fees and charges it requires any student to pay at the time of offer. The offer will also clarify conditions for any variation of fees. The University’s approach to fee setting is described online.