Film Studies (MLitt) 2016 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.
Postgraduate; leading to a Master of Letters (MLitt)
One year full time
A good 2.1 Honours undergraduate degree in a relevant discipline. If you studied your first degree outside the UK, see the international entry requirements.
English language proficiency. See English language tests and qualifications.
UK and EU: £6,800
- Supplementary application to Department of Film Studies (Word)
- sample of academic written work (2,000 words)
- two original signed academic references
- academic transcripts and degree certificates
- English language requirements certificate
- letter of intent (optional).
For more guidance, see supporting documents and references for postgraduate taught programmes.
If you are looking to start this programme in 2017, you can find information about 2017 entry on the 2017 Film Studies MLitt page. Information about all programmes from previous years of entry can be found in our archive.
- Film study emphasises international and transnational cinemas and is characterised by research-led teaching.
- Film Studies receives regular visits from high-profile film scholars, critics and film industry personalities. Most recently, acclaimed film director Joe Russo held a workshop open to all students in December 2015.
- Students have the opportunity to present their work at the annual postgraduate student colloquium in May, at which a visiting professor provides them with feedback on their work. The Film Studies postgraduate community mixes MLitt and PhD students in friendly and collaborative ways.
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 classic film through new cultural, theoretical and historical perspectives.
The MLitt degree involves the completion of 120 credits of taught modules (from September to May), which are assessed through essays and a dissertation. The taught element of the programme consists of one compulsory module, which focuses on training in research methods and covers a range of crucial topics in Film Studies, plus two specialist modules; all modules which provide students with the opportunity to transfer and apply theoretical knowledge and research skills to a concrete level of intellectual investigation, focusing on the creation of meaning and aesthetic value in the context of global dynamics of cultural production and distribution.
Individual study and research is encouraged through small seminars of four to ten students and tutorials of one-to-one supervision. Classes and screening take place mostly at the Byre Theatre.
The final three months of the course are focused on writing the final assessment piece, a 15,000-word dissertation.
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.
- Theory and Practice of Research in Film Studies: knowledge and skills training in both theoretical and methodological orientation which aims at teaching students to correlate adequately conceptual frameworks and research designs.
Students choose two optional modules to complete their studies. The specialist modules vary annually and reflect current staff research interests (see the University's position on curriculum development). Sample optional modules include:
- Digital Cinema: explores the impact of digital media on the production, distribution, consumption and collecting of moving images.
- Film and the Archive: provides students with both a theoretical framework for archival research and practical experience in engaging with archival materials.
- Sensory Cinema: considers the sensory qualities of cinema, a subject which engages variously with the film-as-object, film form and the spectator as active participant.
- Stars: explores the aesthetic, cultural, ideological and industrial sides of film stardom, featuring close study of individual stars from the silent era to the present.
- 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 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.
- Film Sound: utilises innovative ways of thinking about sound to help students gain a detailed understanding of the different elements of sound in film.
The modules listed ran in the academic year 2015-2016 and are indicative of this course. There is no guarantee that these modules will run for 2016 entry.
Take a look at the most up-to-date modules in the module catalogue.
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 of not more than 15,000 words 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.
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.
The Reel Film Society is an annual student-led screening series. Each season comprises approximately eight events with films from around the world accompanied by live music, expert introductions and lively student-led discussion.
Students can become an active part in film-related activities by writing for the online journal Frames Cinema Journal and participating in the annual 60 Hours Film Blitz filmmaking competition, which includes a gala evening and prizes.
After the MLitt
In addition to the MLitt, the School offers a two year Master of Philosophy (MPhil) degree option in Film Studies.
Many of our graduates continue their education by enrolling in PhD programmes at St Andrews or elsewhere.
Recent Graduate Discount
The University of St Andrews offers a 10% reduction in postgraduate tuition fees for students who have graduated during the last three years and are now starting a postgraduate programme.
A Film Studies degree opens doors to many careers including academia, creative industries, development, distribution, film festival/cinema programming, arts administration, media management, film and TV research, journalism, publishing, advertising, cultural entrepreneurship, non-governmental organisations, marketing, public relations and education.
Recent destinations include:
- Junior Assistant Producer
- European Tour Productions, IMG Media
- Adjunct Instructor, State University of New York at Oswego
- Consultant for Propel London Media.
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 to build their employability skills.
Admission to the University of St Andrews is governed by our Admissions policy.
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).
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).