Typical Course Length
Aberystwyth University’s MA in Film Studies focuses upon the advanced study of cinema. Normally, you will already have attained a degree of expertise in film studies or in a cognate area before starting the course and you will be ready to study film at a more advanced level by mastering theoretical, historical and empirical approaches to the subject.
This MA in Film Studies course is designed to give you a comprehensive overview of the development of film and film theory, taking in the development and intersections of both Hollywood and European cinemas and popular and 'alternative' cinemas. You will also have the opportunity to study specific movements within cinema, such as the changing manifestations of German Expressionism, American film noir and avant-garde movements; you will do so by studying philosophical, aesthetic, social and cultural influences.
This course will enable you to interrogate a wide range of factors which inform the production, distribution and reception of film, including a range of cultural and aesthetic contexts, the representation of class, ethnicity and gender, changing and shifting film marketing and distribution practices, and the study of a range of film fans and audiences. You will also receive a thorough grounding in key theoretical traditions and research methods within film studies which will prepare you for the production of a 15,000 word dissertation (on a topic of your choice) at the end of the course.
The MA in Film Studies will provide you with essential research, historical and analytical skills designed to support your future career progression either in the cultural and critical industries or in academia. Throughout the MA, staff will be happy to advise you on potential progression, after your MA, to PhD study.
One year full-time or three years part-time. The academic year is divided into three terms, October to January (when you will take three modules, if full-time, or one-two modules, if part-time); February to June (when you will take three modules, if full-time, or one-two modules, if part-time); and June to September (when you will work on your 15,000 word dissertation, in consultation with your assigned dissertation supervisor).
Your contact time will be approximately 10-15 hours a week in the first two terms (depending on if you’re studying on a full-time or part-time basis). During semester three you will arrange your level of contact time with your assigned supervisor.
The taught part of the course is delivered and assessed through lectures, seminars, oral presentations and essays. Successful completion of your dissertation leads to the award of an MA.
Good Undergraduate degree 2.2 (UK) (or above) equating to a mark of 56.5 or above in a related subject. European and International applicants can find their grade equivalence on our comparability page. Those who are not graduates must satisfy the University that they are of the required academic standard to pursue postgraduate study.
English Language Requirements:
If you have a Bachelor’s degree from a UK University, you do not need to take an English proficiency test.
Non-native English speakers who do not meet this requirement must take a University-recognised test of academic English language proficiency. The Department’s language requirement for these applicants is IELTS 7.0 (or equivalent). See this page for further details: http://www.aber.ac.uk/en/postgrad/howtoapply/before-you-apply/
Please see the tuition fee pages for current tuition fees. Please note that all fees are subject to an annual increase.
Funding opportunities may be available, please check our funding calculator for details.
The MA in Film Studies focuses on the importance of film within an ever-changing global environment. As a student, you will be encouraged to investigate the ways in which technologies and social changes have impacted, and continue to impact upon different aspects of film, including filmic representation and the ways in which film has been taken up within broader cultural contexts. You will also receive a thorough grounding in key theoretical traditions and research methods within film studies, and will be alerted to the historical developments that have marked film as a medium, focusing on historical case studies in order to think about changes and continuities throughout film history. While you will be introduced to a broad array of filmmaking traditions, you will focus particularly on the interrelations between Hollywood and European cinemas.
The MA will introduce you to different ways of understanding film: as entertainment, as art, as an industry, and as a cultural medium through which identities, histories and ideologies are both represented and negotiated. You will be taught by active researchers in the field of film studies, with a broad array of expertise and knowledge particularly in British, French, Russian and Hollywood cinemas, avant-garde, experimental and cult film, film history and representation, film genre and star studies, and fan, audience and reception studies. As such, the MA aims to enrich your knowledge of film’s importance through different methodological and theoretical approaches to the subject, and to sharpen your own research and study skills in the process.
The MA in Film Studies is run by the Department of Theatre, Film and Television Studies, one of the largest and most significant departments of its kind in the UK, and has a particularly vibrant postgraduate and research culture (including an annual postgraduate conference). Based in Aberystwyth University’s Parry-Williams Building, the Department boasts superb facilities including: 36 digital and HD editing suites; over 40 industry standard HD and digital cameras: a new HD, digital television studio; three fully-equipped theatre spaces (seating approximately 100 people each); and much more. We also maintain close links with Aberystwyth Arts Centre's digital 3D cinema. The cinema has a vibrant and lively film programme including the annual Abertoir horror film festival of Wales.
The course is taught over one year (if taken full time), and three years (if taken part time). The MA encompasses a total of six (out of a choice of seven) taught modules (120 credits in total) covering film theory, research methods, film history, film representation, documentary and avant-garde film, film marketing and distribution, and film audiences. In order to complete your MA, you will then apply your learning in the individual dissertation worth an additional 60 credits. The dissertation is a substantial piece of scholarly research totalling no more than 15,000 words. It will be on a subject of your own choice, informed by discussions with your designated dissertation supervisor in the Department.
The Department of Theatre, Film and Television Studies at Aberystwyth is the highest rated Arts and Humanities Department in Wales, according to the results of the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, with 60% of research submitted being rated world-leading.
All academic staff at the Department of Theatre, Film and Television Studies are research active and/or involved in Knowledge Transfer projects and have either relevant academic qualifications at doctoral level or equivalent professional experience and expertise.
Please note: The modules listed below are those currently intended for delivery during the next academic year and may be subject to change. They are included here to give an indication of how the course is structured.
- MA Film Studies students must take all of the following modules:
Qualification: MA in Film Studies
This degree will suit you:
If you wish to engage in the advanced study of cinema.
If you are ready to take on the subject in theoretical, historical and empirical terms;
If you aim to pursue a career in film journalism, criticism or analysis, film historical work or arts administration, or if you wish to progress to PhD study;
If you wish to sharpen your academic rigour and develop a cache of critical evaluative, communication, and time and project management skills.
Every aspect of the Aberystwyth Master’s in Film Studies programme is designed to enhance your employability. The benefits of the course for employment are twofold: not only will you possess first-rate, subject-specific knowledge of film history and theory, but you will also be equipped with widely applicable skills and abilities that will suit many employment contexts.
Alongside the development of your subject-specific knowledge, an especially noteworthy strength of this course is its emphasis on group discussion and individual student presentations (which will enable you to develop your team work and communication skills). As an emerging film academic your strengthened research and critical faculties will make you a strong candidate for any post where ideas and topics need research, analysis, discussion, expansion and classification. The pattern of research and analysis you will undertake in this course creates highly marketable skills which will, upon graduation, stand you in excellent stead for entry into employment. The course will also provide you with the training and skills you will need if you decide to progress to PhD study.
The dissertation element of the course will enable you to develop and demonstrate an array of professional qualities and skills. You will do this by reflecting on the methods and approaches you have encountered in the study programme and then identifying and creating appropriate methodologies for your own research work. Success in this area of study proves to prospective employers that you take the initiative to develop and improve your research and project management skills.