Postgraduate study

Film Studies

Awards: MSc

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

Funding available

Programme website: Film Studies

The Masters in Film Studies is a unique and stimulating programme that allows you to explore central concepts in the development of film theory and film-philosophy with an emphasis on European and American auteur cinema. Our students engage seriously with the analysis of film and the history of cinema aesthetics and interpretation.

The programme will provide you with the analytical and critical tools for the investigation of individual films and the opportunity to discuss these in relation to auteurs, film movements and genres as well as contexts of production and reception.

Edinburgh is an ideal environment for the study of film as it is home to outstanding art-house cinemas, a lively cinephile culture and the world-renowned Edinburgh International Film Festival.

Over two semesters, taught in small seminars, you will complete two compulsory and two option courses, and will be trained in research methods and skills. You will then complete a dissertation project under individual supervision.

Compulsory courses:

  • Film Theory
  • Film-Philosophy
  • Research methods in Film Studies 1 and 2

Option courses may include:

  • Cinema Auteurs
  • Cinema and Society in South Asia
  • Contemporary Japanese Cinema
  • Cinema and Society in Britain
  • Film and Existentialism
  • Film and Gender
  • Gender, Revolution and Modernity in Chinese Cinema
  • Mediating Film
  • Music on Screen
  • Islam through the Arts

Find out more about compulsory and optional courses

We link to the latest information available. Please note that this may be for a previous academic year and should be considered indicative.

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MScFilm Studies1 YearFull-timeProgramme structure 2018/19
MScFilm Studies2 YearsPart-timeProgramme structure 2018/19

This programme is an excellent chance to develop your cinematic interests and knowledge and to build your CV with a view to a career in academia, or in any film or media related field.

You will be introduced to Scotland’s lively film culture, with exceptional opportunities to network within the field.

You will also gain transferable skills in communication, research and project management that can be applied to any career you decide to pursue.

A UK 2:1 honours degree or its international equivalent.

Multidisciplinary and comparative approaches are key aspects of film studies and we therefore welcome students coming from areas of study other than film.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

All applicants must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of their English language ability:

  • an undergraduate or masters degree, that was taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country as defined by UK Visas and Immigration

  • IELTS: total 7.0 (at least 6.5 in each module)

  • TOEFL-iBT: total 100 (at least 23 in each module)

  • PTE(A): total 67 (at least 61 in each of the "Communicative Skills" sections)

  • CAE and CPE: total 185 (at least 176 in each module)

  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with a pass in all four components

Degrees taught and assessed in English must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your degree programme. IELTS, TOEFL, Pearson Test of English and Trinity ISE must be no more than two years old at the beginning of your degree programme.*

(*Revised 8/11/2018 to provide more accurate information on English language qualifications expiry dates.)

Find out more about our language requirements:

  • Graduate School
  • School of Literatures, Languages & Cultures
  • Room 1.13, 50 George Square
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9LH
Programme start date Application deadline
9 September 2019 4 July 2019

We strongly recommend you submit your completed application as early as possible, particularly if you are also applying for funding or will require a visa. We may consider late applications if we have places available.

Due to high demand, the school operates a number of selection deadlines. We will make a small number of offers to the most outstanding candidates on an ongoing basis, but hold the majority of applications until the next published selection deadline when we will offer a proportion of the places available to applicants selected through a competitive process.

Deadlines for applicants applying to study in 2019/20 are shown below.

Round Application deadline Places awarded
1 8 November 2018 21 December 2018
2 17 January 2019 1 March 2019
3 14 March 2019 26 April 2019
4 2 May 2019 14 June 2019
5 4 July 2019 15 August 2019

You must submit a reference with your application.

Your personal statement in the online application process needs to demonstrate your motivation to study this programme. The personal statement helps us decide whether you are right for the MSc programme you have selected but, just as importantly, it helps us decide whether the MSc programme is right for you.

Please be aware that the MSc Film Studies offers no technical filmmaking or screenwriting courses.

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Further information

  • Graduate School
  • School of Literatures, Languages & Cultures
  • Room 1.13, 50 George Square
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9LH