MA Film Studies

"Studying at UEA was one of the most enjoyable and significant formative experiences of my life. Doing both an undergraduate and postgraduate course there provided me with an academic background in literature and film which was a vital stepping stone for my career in the British film industry"

In their words

Adrian Wooton, Chief Executive Film London, previously Director of the London Film Festival

Key facts

(Research Excellence Framework 2014)

Explore the history, political significance and aesthetics of a global range of cinema with this carefully tailored degree programme.

Our MA in Film Studies is one of the longest-established and most prestigious postgraduate degrees of its kind in the UK. You will be taught by award-winning lecturers and be exposed to the most innovative and contemporary thinking. In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, our research output was rated fourth in the UK, with 82% of our research graded world-leading or internationally excellent (REF2014). The course caters both to those who have previously studied media as well as those who are newer to the subject area.

Graduates from our MA frequently progress to PhD study and have gone on to rewarding careers in various fields including archiving, academia, journalism, and in the film and television industries.


Whatever your background, you will gain a firm grounding in key approaches to the analysis of film. If you have a background in film studies, this is your opportunity to deepen and extend your existing knowledge. If you come from another discipline, you will gain key skills in studying film, including close textual and contextual analysis, archival research and audience and reception studies. As well as helping you make the next step in your career, the MA will prepare you for further academic study at MPhil and PhD level. 

Our thriving postgraduate community benefits from regular conferences on campus, use of the East Anglian Film Archive and British Archive for Contemporary Writing, as well as workshops from visiting media professionals. Our research specialisms in gender studies and film, British cinema, genre and audience studies are reflected in the modules we offer.

Course structure

The MA in Film Studies is taught as either a one-year full-time course or a two-year part-time course. You will have opportunities to learn from some of the world’s leading researchers about specialist topics ranging from feminist film and television studies through to transnational and British cinema. 

This programme is structured to ensure that the compulsory modules provide you with an advanced understanding of the cultural contexts in which films are made, distributed and consumed around the world. You will learn through seminars, screenings, tutorials and production modules, including workshop-based teaching and practical assignments. The course will develop your expertise in the main approaches within the field: archival research, textual analysis, industrial analysis, and audience and reception studies. You will also benefit from a range of optional and compulsory modules drawing on the areas for which we are internationally renowned: film history, British cinema, gender studies, genre studies and film audiences.

Towards the end of your Master’s course you will pursue an area of specialist study by writing a dissertation investigating a particular academic methodology or topic (for example feminist film production, genre, authorship, or national cinema studies). You will be assigned a member of staff as a supervisor, who will advise you on the research and writing up of this extended piece of work.

Skills and experience 

As a postgraduate student in Film, Television and Media Studies at UEA, you’ll be part of our regular research programme. This includes guest lectures, study days, symposia and major international conferences. Recent events have included the International Girls Studies and Women’s Film and Television History Network conferences, the Green Film Festival, and symposia on film and the environment, celebrity and stardom, youth media, and new approaches to British cinema and television. You’ll take part in our postgraduate training seminars, and have the chance to hone your research and professional skills through sessions organised by the Faculty of Arts and Humanities Graduate School.

We are one of the longest established centres for film and television studies in the UK, internationally recognised as pioneers in the field. You will learn from award-winning lecturers and be exposed to the most innovative and contemporary thinking in the field – in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF2014), 82% of our research was graded as world-leading or internationally excellent. 

On this course you can benefit from our close links with the East Anglian Film Archive, the British Film Institute in London, and MAKE Media, a film production unit housed in the department. You will also have access to a library that boasts more than 5,000 monographs classified under film and TV studies, and more than 5,000 relevant titles classified elsewhere.

It also houses more than 100 film, television and media-related journals, in print and electronic formats; more than 12,000 videos and DVDs; near-complete runs of key American and British trade newspapers, including Variety, Picturegoer and Kinematograph Weekly; various databases and other electronic services, including Film Index International; a collection of cinema pressbooks; and electronic access to a range of e-books and archive resources.

You will also have access to UEA’s British Archive for Contemporary Writing, an important resource that holds significant media-related materials in addition to its extensive literary archive.

We also hold an online catalogue for Kinematograph Weekly (developed for UEA), online transcripts for BECTU oral histories, and the personal collections of critic Philip Purser, film historian David Shipman and cinematographer Gerald Gibbs.


There is no written examination for this course; assessment is on the basis of coursework, such as essays and seminar papers, presentation reports, reflective learning journals, and the final dissertation.

Course tutors and research interests

You will learn from our faculty of internationally renowned research staff. Our research areas include media history, genre studies, gender and feminist media studies, British cinema, and audience and reception studies. We are recognised as world leaders in the study of British, Hollywood and international cinemas, popular film and television genres, and feminist approaches to media.

Where next? 

You will graduate ready to begin or take the next step in your career. You may wish to follow in the footsteps of alumni including Kate Bartlett (TV Producer, BBC), Darren Fisher (Creative Director, Film121) and Nathalie Morris (Head of Special Collections, British Film Institute). Or perhaps you will follow a number of our highly successful alumni who have gone on to successful academic careers, including Helen Wheatley (University of Warwick), Jamie Sexton (Northumbria University) and Ginette Vincendeau (King’s College London). 

This course is also available on a part time basis.

Course Modules 2018/9

Students must study the following modules for 120 credits:

Name Code Credits


What is British Cinema in the 21st century? A succession of global blockbuster successes such as the Harry Potter and James Bond franchises - or smaller, home-grown films that are aimed at a domestic market? The key to understanding the current state of the British film industry lies in the unique history of that industry, and the films, genres, and movements it has produced. It is an industry caught between different roles: wanting to speak to the world, but also producing films that speak to the 'British' character; aesthetically torn between European artistry and Hollywood commercialism. You will study how two different aspects of British cinema - described as 'realism and tinsel' (or spectacle) - move between claims of "quality", emotional restraint, and documentary realism and visually extravagant, excessive and generic pleasures. You'll focus on key genres and industry trends - heritage, social realism, comedy, the 1930s British documentary movement, the 1960s 'New Wave' - that recur in the modern era, and exert a powerful hold on how British cinema is imagined. The consideration of realism alongside spectacle will allow you to consider why one has been privileged over the other, to explore those 'other' (potentially more potent) visual alternatives, and give you a better understanding of how claims of 'realism and tinsel' have clashed and co-existed within aesthetic and critical debates around British cinema. Using individual case study topics from the wealth of British cinema history, you will explore concepts of genre, authorship, class, and stardom. You'll also investigate the British response to technological innovations such as sound, colour, widescreen/3-D, and special effects, creating an alternative heritage of what counts as 'British cinema'.




A dissertation is an opportunity to be creative and to pursue your own research interests. You will propose, plan and conduct your very own project, specialising in an area of academic research that interests you and you will contribute to this research with your dissertation. For students on MA Film Studies this contribution will take the form of an academic piece of research and writing, very similar to a journal article or book chapter. Your dissertation will be an opportunity to conduct a large project of independent research. You will be able to showcase advanced research skills. To help you make this project a success, you will be assigned a dissertation supervisor who will support you throughout your research journey. You will be able to discuss with them your research proposal, your contribution to existing research and your research findings




How can different theories and approaches change the way we understand film? This module provides you with a firm grounding in key theoretical and historical approaches to studying cinema and film, allowing you to navigate the complex networks of competing and intersecting debates that must be considered in undertaking postgraduate research. There will be extensive emphasis on the use and analysis of primary archival documents, equipping you with the skills to undertake your own analyses. At the end of the module the you will undertake independent research that poses new questions and offers new perspectives in an area of film studies that interests them.




Why are women still under-represented within film? Why are women filmmakers still struggling to get their creative visions on screens? Our intention is to explore and critically reflect upon the relationship between women and film whilst focusing on issues such as women's cinema as counter cinema; women's cinema as minor cinema; women filmmakers; international women's film festivals; the representation of women in film; female spectatorship, (fe)male gaze; sexuality; feminism and post-feminism in film; female subjectivity; female desire, feminist filmmaking. We will focus on analysing contemporary films from a variety of national and transnational cinemas that may include Hollywood, British, Turkish, Japanese, Argentina, Palestine, India, Greece, Portugal, Africa and Brazil.



Students will select 60 credits from the following modules:

Name Code Credits


Beyond National Cinema links to work undertaken in Semester 1 of the MA Film Studies degree, to expand our definitions of cinema beyond the confines and borders of the nation. We examine a series of case studies that think through different methods and means by which films can be categorised, and what is at stake when those categories are enacted. Topics may include things like: flows and trafficking in national cinemas, transnational cinemas, world cinema, postcolonial cinemas, regional and local cinemas and global cinema. Within these topics we will study a wide range of cinemas from around the globe including things such as: Middle-Eastern cinema, British cinema abroad, Bollywood, Women's cinema and transnational Hollywood cinema. In examining these topics we will introduce you to a wide range theories and methods useful in the study of films beyond national borders including things such as historical methods, gender studies, audience studies, political economics, industrial studies and more. The aim of the module is to encourage you to think beyond the normative definitions of films within national categories, to shift their view to the global, regional and political aspects of filmmaking and consumption.




How are sex, gender and sexuality brought together to ensure the normative privileging of heterosexuality and the sex/gender binary? What possibilities are there for resistance to these norms? How does such resistance situate us socially, culturally, and politically? With queer theory as its focus and drawing on case studies from different fields - literature, film, drama and performance, politics, history, among others - in this interdisciplinary module, you'll examine sex, gender, and sexuality as effects of historically specific socio-cultural and geo-political power relations. Rather than approaching queer studies as a singular or coherent school of thought, you'll be encouraged to continuously problematise queer studies as a field and a mode of analysis, asking: What does it mean for theory, in particular, to be queer? What is involved in queering theory and being critically queer? What kinds of bodies or desires does queer describe? What are the promises of queer theory, and what are its perils? What is the future of queer? While doing so, you'll explore a variety of topics, such as politics of difference, representation and cultural production, performance and performativity, temporality and spatiality, subjectivity and embodiment. Overall, in this module, you'll problematise and challenge normalisations, hierarchies and relations of domination and explore the powerful processes and languages that attempt to fix sex, gender and sexuality as unchanging and universal.




This module introduces you to the theoretical and practical study of digital heritage and archiving, through an engagement with the collections of the East Anglian Film Archive and the British Archive for Contemporary Writing. It will address theoretical developments in cultural heritage and digital humanities, comparing traditional approaches to archival development with contemporary thinking surrounding archival modes of production, cutting edge imaging techniques, and issues surrounding access to digital archival resources. The module will allow you to explore practical issues of collection management and administration, including collection development, appraisal and accessioning policies, cataloguing and accessing data, copyright and licensing issues, and ethics and standards in print and media archives. It will take you through the lifecycle of the archival artefact: storage, conservation and restoration; selection, transportation and handling; digitisation, metadata creation and file storage; and digital preservation and data migration. At the end of the module you will have a good understanding of key issues and processes within the archive sector, and be in a position to apply for internships or volunteer opportunities within UEA Archives or other heritage organisations.




This module will develop your engagement with genre studies through the analysis of a range of fantasy genres, focusing particularly on science fiction film and television, and its overlaps with horror, epic fantasy and blockbuster Hollywood franchises. In the process, you'll be required to think about how these genres work in terms of their textual codes and conventions, their historical contexts of production and consumption, and to analyse a range of texts in relation to a variety of social/cultural and political issues. You'll engage with a range of theories and methods, which will also be grounded through the examination of specific texts and historical case studies.




Comic books have a long association with the world's film and television industries. Comics have long provided the origin sources for film and television adaptations, from the early animation and live action television to today's blockbuster films. Moreover, comics from around the world, from Marvel and DC Comics in the USA to European bande desinee to Japanese manga, have become the origin points for vast multimedia franchises. This module seeks to understand the relationships between comics and their media adaptations. To do so, you will take a global view of the comics in film and television, considering examples from Hollywood to Asia. In doing so we will consider the range of genres and topics that comics have influenced within film and television cultures including: issues of ideology and gender, issues of adaptation, franchising and transmedia production.




How do audiences engage with media texts? What approaches can we employ to understand the relationship between media and audiences? These questions are central to this module. Throughout the module you will explore a range of research traditions which seek to explain the ways audiences consume media. As well as gaining a firm grounding in different approaches in media audience research, you will engage in your own original research practice and be encouraged to reflect on its usefulness. We begin by critically exploring the main recent traditions for thinking about and researching media audiences, including approaches from mass communications, cultural studies, reception studies and the growing field of fan studies. Alongside this, you will be encouraged to reflect on the significance of the contexts which shape how audiences encounter, engage with, and respond to different kinds of media and cultural products (such as film, television, music, news, books, video games and live performances). To help grasp some of the key issues at hand, you will also read and evaluate original audience and reception research and be encouraged to assess what distinguishes good or strong from poor or weak research. As you study you'll put your new knowledge into practice by designing and conducting some audience research of your own, while gaining experience in communicating your ideas in seminars, as well as through written work and presentations.




'Hollywood' as an industry, cultural institution and maker of films has dominated the global cinematic imagination for decades. On this module, we investigate the history, production cultures and texts made by the US film industry from its classic period to contemporary filmmaking. This will include analysing Hollywood from a range of perspectives, which may include things like studio filmmaking, independent filmmaking, genre filmmaking and the blockbuster. In doing so we will discover the multiplicity of cinemas at work within the concept of Hollywood.




This module introduces students to key skills in video production and provides them with the opportunity to take an idea from conception through to the final product, deepening their knowledge of the processes and procedures behind the camera. You will engage with questions about the cinematic expression of narrative, exploring them through practice-based coursework. Students wishing to take this module should have previous experience of video production, though the module will offer basic technical training with broadcast-quality cameras and the Avid non-linear editing system.




Whilst the University will make every effort to offer the modules listed, changes may sometimes be made arising from the annual monitoring, review and update of modules and regular (five-yearly) review of course programmes. Where this activity leads to significant (but not minor) changes to programmes and their constituent modules, there will normally be prior consultation of students and others. It is also possible that the University may not be able to offer a module for reasons outside of its control, such as the illness of a member of staff or sabbatical leave. In some cases optional modules can have limited places available and so you may be asked to make additional module choices in the event you do not gain a place on your first choice. Where this is the case, the University will endeavour to inform students.

Further Reading

  • BBCV

    Desiree Peeters studied Film and Television Studies at UEA and has gone on to be a Production Management Assistant at the BBC. Her first taste of paid media work was through MAKE@UEA, where she worked on various projects as a freelance filmmaker.

    Read it BBCV
  • The Community Cinema

    Cinema-going has retained its popularity in the 21st Century as a space in which to socialise watching films. But where do rural cinemas fit into the cinematic experience?

    Read it The Community Cinema
  • In This Corner of the World

    In This Corner of the World: a Japanese film caught between past and present- Reyna Denison It's widely known as a crowdfunding record-breaker, but the painstaking work to recreate Hiroshima in a new anime film is a nod to its traditional roots.

    Read it In This Corner of the World

    Your University questions, answered

    Read it #ASKUEA

Entry Requirements

  • Degree Subject Humanities or Social Sciences
  • Degree Classification UK BA (Hons) 2.1 or equivalent

Students for whom English is a Foreign language

We welcome applications from students whose first language is not English. To ensure such students benefit from postgraduate study, we require evidence of proficiency in English. Our usual entry requirements are as follows:

  • IELTS: 6.5 (minimum 6.0 in all components)
  • PTE (Pearson): 62 (minimum 55 in all components)

Test dates should be within two years of the course start date.

Other tests, including Cambridge English exams and the Trinity Integrated Skills in English are also accepted by the university. The full list of accepted tests can be found here: Accepted English Language Tests

INTO UEA also run pre-sessional courses which can be taken prior to the start of your course. For further information and to see if you qualify please contact


This course's annual intake is in September of each year.


All applications for postgraduate study are processed through the Faculty Admissions Office and then forwarded to the relevant School of Study for consideration. If you are currently completing your first degree or have not yet taken a required English language test, any offer of a place will be conditional upon you achieving this before you arrive.

Fees and Funding

Tuition fees for the academic year 2018/19 are:

  • UK/EU Students: £7,550 (full time)
  • International Students: £15,800 (full time)

If you choose to study part-time, the fee per annum will be half the annual fee for that year, or a pro-rata fee for the module credit you are taking (only available for Home/EU students).

We estimate living expenses at £1,015 per month.

Scholarships and Awards:

For details of all of the scholarships available to postgraduate Film, Television and Media Studies applicants, please click here.

How to Apply

Applications for Postgraduate Taught programmes at the University of East Anglia should be made directly to the University.

You can apply online, or by downloading the application form.

Further Information

To request further information & to be kept up to date with news & events please use our online enquiry form.

If you would like to discuss your individual circumstances prior to applying please do contact us:

Postgraduate Admissions Office
Tel: +44 (0)1603 591515

International candidates are also encouraged to access the International Students section of our website.

    Next Steps

    We can’t wait to hear from you. Just pop any questions about this course into the form below and our enquiries team will answer as soon as they can.

    Admissions enquiries: or
    telephone +44 (0)1603 591515