Film Studies (MLitt) 2024 entry

The MLitt in Film Studies helps students master a range of advanced research skills and acquire knowledge related to the construction and analysis of the moving image, the past and present-day realities of various national and regional film traditions, the dynamics of the global film industry, and the theoretical approaches related to film. 

Start date
September 2024
End date
September 2025
One year full time
School of Philosophical, Anthropological and Film Studies

Application deadline

Thursday 8 August 2024

Applicants should apply as early as possible to be eligible for certain scholarships.

“You are part of an outstanding, special community of scholars who care deeply about what they are learning whilst doing so in a beautiful part of the world. Every aspect of film and film cultures is considered noteworthy and so there is lots of exciting debate which makes the programme feel topical and engaged.”
- North Yorkshire, England

Entry requirements

The qualifications listed are indicative minimum requirements for entry. Some academic Schools will ask applicants to achieve significantly higher marks than the minimum. Obtaining the listed entry requirements will not guarantee you a place, as the University considers all aspects of every application including, where applicable, the writing sample, personal statement, and supporting documents.

Application requirements

  • CV or résumé - this should include your personal details with a history of your education and employment to date 
  • covering letter (optional) 
  • sample of your own, single-authored academic written work in English (2,000 words) 
  • two original signed academic references 
  • academic transcripts and degree certificates 

For more guidance, see supporting documents and references for postgraduate taught programmes.

English language proficiency

If English is not your first language, you may need to provide an English language test score to evidence your English language ability.  See approved English language tests and scores for this course.

Course details

The MLitt in Film Studies is a one-year taught programme run by the Department of Film Studies. The programme approaches the study of film through a varied intellectual approach, exploring cinema in a global context. You will discover filmmaking cultures outside the canon and examine film through new cultural, theoretical and historical perspectives. 


  • The Department of Film Studies at St Andrews receives regular visits from high-profile film scholars, critics and film industry personalities, ranging from Joe Russo to Ian Christie, Laura Mulvey to Gina Marchetti. 
  • Small class sizes facilitate in-depth discussion and allow for the formation of a strong scholarly community of both students and staff members. 
  • Students can gain professional experience working with the SANDS International Film Festival, including programming, curation, and publicity. 
  • Research-led teaching allows students to work closely with the current research projects and interests of staff members, exploring the latest developments and research within the discipline. 
  • The Film Studies postgraduate community mixes MLitt and PhD students in friendly and collaborative ways.  


The modules published below are examples of what has been taught in previous academic years and may be subject to change before you start your programme. For more details of each module, including weekly contact hours, teaching methods and assessment, please see the module catalogue.

Each module typically comprises: 

  • weekly two-hour seminars, plus film screenings 
  • 100% coursework assessment. 


  • Skills, Methods and Approaches in Film Studies: training in the essential skills of close analysis, key methods of historiographical research and salient approaches to film studies scholarship. 
  • New Directions in Film Studies Research: introducing students to new research directions represented within the department, while also providing students with the requisite skills to undertake the MLitt Dissertation. 

Students choose two optional modules to complete their studies. Sample optional modules that may be offered include: 

  • Colonial Cinema: explores the transnational, historical developments in cinema, and examines the integral role that cinema played in the control, organisation and governance of the British Empire. 
  • Film Cultures: focuses on the context in which film exists: production conditions and trends, distribution and circulation practices, and the ever-changing models of exhibiting cinema on all sizes of screens. 
  • Film Technologies and Aesthetics: the ways in which the emergence of new technologies – such as sound, colour, cameras and camera mounts, varying screen dimensions, and lighting systems – affect aesthetic issues in global cinemas. 

Optional modules are subject to change each year and reflect current staff research interests. Additionally, some modules may only allow limited numbers of students, while some may require a minimum number of participants to be offered (see the University's position on curriculum development). 

The final three months of the course are focused on writing the final assessment piece, a 15,000-word dissertation. Student dissertations will be supervised by members of the teaching staff who will advise on the choice of subject and provide guidance throughout the research process. The completed dissertation must be submitted by a date specified in August. 

If students choose not to complete the dissertation requirement for the MLitt, there is an exit award available that allows suitably qualified candidates to receive a Postgraduate Diploma. By choosing an exit award, you will finish your degree at the end of the second semester of study and receive a PGDip instead of an MLitt. 


The taught element of the programme consists of two compulsory modules, which focus on training in research methods and cover a range of crucial and cutting-edge topics in Film Studies. You will also take two specialist modules. 

Classes and screenings take place mostly at the Byre Theatre

All modules provide students with the opportunity to develop and apply theoretical knowledge and research skills through close analysis, research and critical examination of films and texts. 

Individual study and research is encouraged through small group discussion seminars with an average of four to ten students, and tutorials of one-to-one supervision.

Assessment is through a varied and innovative range of written work and presentations and a dissertation.  

All modules are taught by members of staff in the Department who support students in developing their own research topics and specialisms. 


Film Studies students are closely involved in the variety of events taking place at St Andrews, including seminar series, workshops and conferences. Specialist training sessions are organised periodically. 

Students can become an active part in film-related activities, whether contributing to Frames Cinema Journal,attending and participating in research events and conferences, or participating in the annual SANDS International Film Festival.




More information on tuition fees can be found on the postgraduate fees and funding page.

Funding and scholarships

The University of St Andrews is committed to attracting the very best students, regardless of financial circumstances.

Dewar Arts Awards

These awards fund exceptional young artists in any discipline who do not have the financial means to achieve their full potential. 

Taught postgraduate scholarships    Postgraduate loans

After your degree


A Film Studies degree opens doors to many careers including: 

  • academia 
  • advertising 
  • arts administration 
  • creative industries 
  • cultural entrepreneurship 
  • development 
  • distribution 
  • education 
  • film and TV research 
  • film festival and cinema programming 
  • journalism 
  • marketing 
  • media management 
  • non-governmental organisations 
  • public relations 
  • publishing.

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

Further study

Many graduates continue their education by enrolling in PhD programmes at St Andrews or elsewhere.

Postgraduate research

What to do next

Online information events

Join us for one of our information events where you can find out about different levels of study and specific courses we run. There are also sessions available for parents and college counsellors.

Postgraduate online visiting days

We encourage all students who are thinking of applying to the University to attend one of our online 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