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Film Studies (MLitt) 2021 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.

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Key information

Course type

Postgraduate, leading to a Master of Letters (MLitt)

Course dates

  • Start date: 6 September 2021
  • End date: 30 September 2022

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

Course duration

One year full time

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.

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Tuition fees

Home: £9,900
Overseas: £20,370

Application deadline

Wednesday 11 August 2021. Applicants should apply as early as possible to be eligible for certain scholarships and for international visa purposes.

Application requirements

  • CV or résumé. This should include your personal details with a history of your education and employment to date
  • sample of academic written work in English (2,000 words)
  • two original signed academic references
  • academic transcripts and degree certificates
  • Evidence of English language proficiency (required if English is not your first language)
  • covering letter (optional).

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

Course information

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.

Highlights

  • 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, Patricio Guzmán to Gina Marchetti.
  • Students have the opportunity to experience and present their work at a regular series of research events (including research talks, workshops and screenings).
  • The Film Studies postgraduate community mixes MLitt and PhD students in friendly and collaborative ways.
  • Students collaborate closely with staff as all modules adopt research-led teaching, exploring the latest developments and research within the discipline.  

Teaching format

The MLitt degree involves a number of taught modules (held from September to May), which are assessed through a varied and innovative range of written work and presentations and a dissertation. 

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 screening take place mostly at the Byre Theatre.

All modules provide students with the opportunity to transfer and apply theoretical knowledge and research skills to a concrete level of intellectual investigation through close analysis, research and discussion of films and texts.

Individual study and research is encouraged through small seminars of four to ten students, and tutorials of one-to-one supervision. All modules are taught by members of staff in the Department. 

Further particulars regarding curriculum development.

Modules

Each module typically comprises:

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

For more details of each module, including weekly contact hours, teaching methods and assessment, please see the latest module catalogue which is for the 2020-2021 academic year; some elements may be subject to change for 2021 entry.

  • 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.
  • Documentary Cinema: surveys the history of documentary film (technological, stylistic, etc), while taking up the theoretical debates around cinematic claims to truth and representations of reality.
  • 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 modules listed here are indicative, and there is no guarantee they will run for 2021 entry. Take a look at the most up-to-date modules in the module catalogue.

Meet us online

If you're interested in studying at St Andrews, join us on a virtual visiting day or daily information session to find out about our courses, how to apply, and to meet current students. 

The next virtual visiting day will be in November 2021.

Virtual events

Join our Admissions team for one of our upcoming virtual events. During these events, you can find out more about studying at St Andrews and what it will do for your future.

Online information events

Conferences and events

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 take an active part in film-related activities, whether working on the online journal Frames Cinema Journal or participating in the annual 60 Hours Film Blitz filmmaking competition, which includes a gala evening and prizes.

Funding

Russo Brothers Scholarship
This scholarship offers the successful applicant a Home fee waiver for study in the Film Studies MLitt programme during the coming academic year. All applications received before 1 April 2021 will be considered for the scholarship funding.
 

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

Recent Graduate Discount
The University of St Andrews offers a 10% discount in postgraduate tuition fees to students who are eligible to graduate or who have graduated from St Andrews within the last three academic years and are starting a postgraduate programme with the University of St Andrews.

Find out more about postgraduate scholarships. 

After the MLitt

Research degrees

In addition to the MLitt, the School offers a two-year Master of Philosophy (MPhil) degree option in Film Studies.

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

PhD in Film Studies

Careers

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 on a taught postgraduate course and offers a programme of events to assist students in building their employability skills.

Contact

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

Phone: +44 (0)1334 46 7473
Email: filmdopg@st-andrews.ac.uk or pgpapfs@st-andrews.ac.uk

Film Studies website

Policies

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

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 (PDF, 72 KB).

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 (PDF, 84 KB).

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