Postgraduate study

Film Studies MSc

Awards: MSc

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

Funding opportunities

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 lectures and tutorials, 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 during the summer.

Compulsory courses:

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

Option courses may include:

  • Cinema Auteurs
  • Documentary Aesthetics
  • Film Adaptation
  • Film and Existentialism
  • Film and the Other Arts
  • Gender, Revolution and Modernity in Chinese Cinema
  • Literature and Photography in the 20th century
  • Sound and Cinema
  • Unwritten Korea: Understanding Korean Society and Culture through Contemporary Arts and Films.

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
MSc1 YearFull-timeProgramme structure 2021/22
MSc2 YearsPart-timeProgramme structure 2021/22

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.

These entry requirements are for the 2022/23 academic year and requirements for future academic years may differ. Entry requirements for the 2023/24 academic year will be published on 3 October 2022.

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.

Students from China

This degree is Band C.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS Academic: total 7.0 with at least 6.5 in each component.
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Home Edition): total 100 with at least 23 in each component. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • CAE and CPE: total 185 with at least 176 in each component.
  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with a pass in all four components.

Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

Degrees taught and assessed in English

We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree that has been taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country, as defined by UK Visas and Immigration:

We also accept a degree that has been taught and assessed in English from a university on our list of approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries.

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your programme of study.

Find out more about our language requirements:

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MSc1 YearFull-timeTuition fees
MSc2 YearsPart-timeTuition fees

UK government postgraduate loans

If you live in the UK, you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan from one of the UK’s governments.

The type and amount of financial support you are eligible for will depend on:

  • your programme
  • the duration of your studies
  • your tuition fee status

Programmes studied on a part-time intermittent basis are not eligible.

Other funding opportunities

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • School of Literatures, Languages & Cultures
  • 50 George Square
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9LH
Programme start date Application deadline
12 September 2022 30 June 2022

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 2022/23:

Round Application deadline Places awarded by
1 08 November 2021 16 December 2021
2 14 January 2022 15 March 2022
3 08 March 2022 28 April 2022
4 23 May 2022 26 July 2022
5 30 June 2022 10 August 2022

You must submit one reference with your application.

The online application process involves the completion of a web form and the submission of supporting documents, including a personal statement.

Your personal statement is particularly important. Outlining your reasons and motivation to study this programme, it helps us decide whether you are right for the MSc and, just as importantly, whether it 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

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