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Film Studies MA (Film Studies or Film & Philosophy pathways available)

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This course has been designed for students who want to deepen their knowledge of the world cinemas. It offers an extensive range of options covering all aspects of film including theory, style, representation, spectatorship and philosophical dimensions.

As the leading program for film studies located in the centre of London, our perfect location close to BFI Southbank (including the BFI Library), Southbank Centre, and Tate Modern means you will be studying in the heart of London with access to fantastic resources. The course is ideal for careers in the media, arts and related culture industries, or preparation for further study.

Key benefits


  • Internationally renowned staff
  • Focus on cutting-edge ideas and developments in film studies and audio-visual media culture
  • Ranges across European, North American and Asian cinema, from popular to avant garde
  • Located in the heart of London
  • Film & Philosophy pathway available

Key information

Application status Open

Duration One year FT, two years PT, September to September.

Study mode Full-time, Part-time

Credit value UK 180/ECTS 90

Course intake No set number.

Course leaders

Dr Catherine Wheatley

Further details

Course contact for further information Postgraduate Admissions Team, Admissions Office tel: +44 (0) 20 7848 7000 fax: +44 (0) 20 7848 7200

Course contact form Postgraduate admissions

Awarding institution King's College London

Faculty Faculty of Arts & Humanities

Department Department of Film Studies



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Film Studies MA

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Course detail


Contemporary film studies is a diverse, interdisciplinary field that incorporates a variety of approaches to the analysis of film and film culture. Our Film Studies MA builds on the research strengths of our distinguished staff to offer modules that examine a wide range of cinema styles and approaches to studying film.

We have designed this course for students who want to deepen their knowledge of the world’s cinemas and explore the very latest approaches to studying them. You will participate in a number of research activities, including a programme of lectures by nationally and internationally distinguished scholars, international conferences, twice-weekly 35mm cinematheque screenings, a focused graduate training course, and a student-organised work-in-progress conference in May.

The course comprises five taught modules and research project leading to a dissertation.

Course format and assessment


If you are a full-time student, we will provide you with six hours in first semester and at least four hours of teaching in second semester each week through lectures and seminars. We will expect you to undertake 32 hours of independent study.

If you are a part-time student, we will provide you with four hours in first semester, two hours every semester thereafter of teaching each week through lectures and seminars, and we will expect you to undertake 16 hours of independent study.

We will use a delivery method that will ensure students have a rich, exciting experience from the start. Face to face teaching will be complemented and supported with innovative technology so that students also experience elements of digital learning and assessment.

Typically, one credit equates to 10 hours of work.


We assess most of our modules through written essays and occasionally creative work leading to an audio-visual output.

The standard dissertation is a 15,000-word essay. Alternatively, students with sufficient prior experience in film and video making may apply for the option to submit an audio-visual work with a shorter written element.


This course is primarily taught at the King’s College London Strand Campus. We offer you easy access to important cultural centres such as the BFI Southbank (including the BFI Library) and Tate Modern. You will also benefit from our own resources, including the Maughan Library, as well as the huge number of museums and galleries in the city.

Regulating body
King’s College London is regulated by the Office for Students.


Year 1

Courses are divided into modules. Each year you will normally take modules totalling 180 credits. 
A Film & Philosophy pathway is also available for this course.*
Required Modules

You are required to take:

•Dissertation (90 credits)

•Formations of Film Studies: An Advanced Introduction to the Field (20 credits)

If you are taking the Film & Philosophy pathway you are required to take at least 40 credits from a list of options such as:

•Cinema & Sentiment (20 credits)

•The Politics of Aesthetics: Perspectives from Weimar Germany (20 credits)

•Thinking Cinema (20 credits)

•Reconfiguring Film and Media Philosophies: A Cross-cultural Perspective (20 credits)

•Media Aesthetics (20 credits)

Optional Modules

In addition, you are required to take 40 to 80 credits (depending on your pathway) from a range of optional modules such as:

• Contemporary American Cinema and Media (20 credits)

• Contemporary French Cinema (20 credits)

• Topics in British Cinema (20 credits)

• New Directions in Chinese Cinema (20 credits)

• Global Art Cinema (20 credits)

• Global Queer Cinema (20 credits)

• Exploitation Cinema (20 credits)

• Cinema and the City (20 credits)

• The Politics of Aesthetics: Perspectives from Weimar Germany (20 credits)

• History and Memory in Film (20 credits)

• Thinking Cinema (20 credits)

• Cinema & Sentiment (20 credits)

•Reconfiguring Film and Media Philosophies: A Cross-Cultural Perspective (20 credits)

• Ecology and the Moving Image (20 credits)

• The Moving Image in Art (20 credits)

• Media Aesthetics (20 credits)

• London Film Culture (20 credits)

• Internship (20 credits)

•A range of Master’s modules offered across the Faculty of Arts & Humanities or Global Institutes, subject to approval

•Up to 40 credits from Master’s modules offered by similar Departments within the University of London, or from other members of the Screen Studies Group (Birkbeck, SOAS, Goldsmith’s, UCL and QMUL), subject to approval

If you are a part-time student, you will take your dissertation in your second year, along with 40 credits of optional modules. You will take everything else in your first year.

King’s College London reviews the modules offered on a regular basis to provide up-to-date, innovative and relevant programmes of study. Therefore, modules offered may change. We suggest you keep an eye on the course finder on our website for updates.

Entry requirements & how to apply

Film Studies MA Entry Requirements
Minimum requirements  2:1

2:1 undergraduate honours degree in film studies or a subject in which film or media plays a significant part (candidates from other disciplines may be considered)

In order to meet the academic entry requirements for this programme you should have a minimum 2:1 undergraduate degree with a final mark of at least 60% or above in the UK marking scheme. If you are still studying you should be achieving an average of at least 60% or above in the UK marking scheme.

International requirements   Visit our admissions webpages to view our International entry requirements.
English Language requirements Band C Visit our admissions webpages to view our English language entry requirements.


Application procedure

Applications must be made online using King’s online application portal apply.kcl.ac.uk and a non-refundable application fee of £70 applies. Applications are usually assessed by at least two academics; in addition to a completed application form we also ask for a piece of written work of at least 4,000 words. Applicants may be asked to interview, either in person or by phone if overseas. We aim to process all applications within four weeks although this may take longer in February and March, and over holiday periods.

Personal statement and supporting information

You will be asked to submit the following documents in order for your application to be considered:

Film MA checklist
Personal Statement Yes

A personal statement is required. This can be entered directly into the online application form (maximum 4,000 characters) or uploaded as an attachment to the online application form (maximum 2 pages). Please tell us briefly why you want to undertake the MA in Film Studies, and what you are hoping to do afterwards.

Applicants to the Film and Philosophy pathway should indicate this in the first line of the personal statement. Provisional pathway selection will then be provided as part of any offer, to be confirmed upon enrolment.

Previous Academic Study Yes A copy (or copies) of your official academic transcript(s), showing the subjects studied and marks obtained. If you have already completed your degree, copies of your official degree certificate will also be required. Applicants with academic documents issued in a language other than English, will need to submit both the original and official translation of their documents.
References Yes One academic reference is required. A professional reference will be accepted if you have completed your qualifications over five years ago. In some cases, we may request an additional reference from you.
Writing Sample Yes You must also provide a piece of written work of at least 4,000 words on a relevant topic.

If you have been away from study and are unable to submit a previous piece of work, you will need to write a new essay. What we are looking for is evidence of your ability to research a topic and write about film in a theoretically informed way. You can write about any topic and any film or group of films you like. We are looking for an ability to perform close analysis of films, and their production, circulation and reception circumstances. We expect your essay to be informed by and refer to academic writing on your chosen topic.

Other Optional Applicants may wish to include a CV (Resume) or evidence of professional registration as part of their application.


Application closing date

We recommend that you submit your application as soon as possible. Our first application deadline is the 26th March 2021. After this date, the programme will remain open only if places are still available and will be closed as soon as it is full.

For programmes that remain open beyond this date, the final application deadlines for the following fee statuses are listed below:

  • EU or overseas (international) fee status: 30th July 2021
  • Home fee status: 27th August 2021

Please note, you will not be eligible for an application fee refund if you apply after the first application deadline in March, and we are unable to process more offers as places are filled before the final application deadlines above.

Help and support

If you don't have a suitable qualification for direct entry to a UK university, or if English isn't your first language, our academic preparation courses can help you get ready for study in the UK.

Preparation courses

Fees and funding

  • Full time Home fees: £10,500 per year (2021/22)
  • Full time overseas fees: £23,460 per year (2021/22)
  • Part time Home fees: £5,250 per year (2021/22)
  • Part time overseas fees: £11,730 per year (2021/22)

These tuition fees may be subject to additional increases in subsequent years of study, in line with King’s terms and conditions.


When you receive an offer for this course you will be required to pay a non-refundable deposit to secure your place. The deposit will be credited towards your total fee payment.

The UK deposit is £500.

The INTERNATIONAL deposit is £2,000. 

  • If you receive an offer on or before 31st March, payment is due by 30th April 2021.
  • If you receive an offer between 1st April and 30th June, payment is due within one month of receiving the offer.
  • If you receive an offer between 1st July and 31st July, payment is due within two weeks of receiving the offer.
  • If you receive an offer on or after 1st August, payment is due within one week of receiving the offer.
  • If you receive an offer from late August onwards, payment is due within 2 days of receiving the offer.

If you are a current King’s student in receipt of the King's Living Bursary you are not required to pay a deposit to secure your place on the programme. Please note, this will not change the total fees payable for your chosen programme.

Additional costs/expenses

In addition to your tuition fees, you can also expect to pay for:

· books if you choose to buy your own copies

· library fees and fines

· personal photocopies

· printing course handouts

· society membership fees

· stationery

· travel costs for travel around London and between campuses

· graduation costs

Please visit our web pages on fees and funding for more information.

Financial help and support

Visit the fees and funding webpages to find out more about bursaries, scholarships, grants, tuition fees, living expenses, student loans and other financial help available at King's.

Career prospects

Many of our students transfer the skills and knowledge they develop with us into careers in the media, the arts, education, and journalism. Many also go on to pursue research in film and visual culture at the MPhil/PhD level, often at top-tier universities in the US, UK, and elsewhere.


Blue box with King's College London rankings. Starting with, 7th in the UK for research quality. Followed by, 6th in the UK for research power. Concluding with, 4th among multi-faculty universities for research Impact. The source is research excellence framework 2014

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