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

In the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014), UEA was ranked fourth in the UK for its research output in Communication, Cultural and Media Studies, Library and Information Management (Times Higher REF 2014 Analysis).

Are you fascinated by film as an art form? Are you intrigued by the creative possibilities of this medium, as well as its power of representation? Do you want to deepen your understanding of cinema’s history and global influence? Then this MA is for you.

On our MA Film Studies you’ll explore the social, cultural, political, industrial, historical and aesthetic dimensions of film through a range of global case studies from Hollywood cinema to Anime. As well as deepening your understanding of global cinemas you will be taught by experts in the field of British film.

You will benefit from being based at a groundbreaking and world-respected centre for the subject. Film is a multi-billion pound global industry that plays a crucial role in shaping how we understand the world around us. UEA pioneered the study of the form and remains a leading institution in the field.


Whether you’ve studied film and media before or are simply passionate about the field, this MA course will give you the skills to seek a career in the media, arts and related cultural industries or further PhD study.

You’ll jump straight in and explore the history, political significance and aesthetics of a global range of cinema, with teaching from award-winning lecturers and exposure to the most innovative and contemporary thinking.

In the Film, Television and Media Studies department our research and teaching is focused on the relationship between film, television and other media, and the creative and cultural contexts in which they are produced and consumed. We are recognised as a leading centre for the study of British, Hollywood and Asian cinemas, popular film and television genres, media consumption and feminist approaches to media.

We are also home to the extensive East Anglian Film Archive, a unique resource which you can make use of during your time here. And we have close links with the British Film Institute in London.  

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

Course Structure

In your first semester of the MA you will get a solid grounding in the fundamentals of film studies. You’ll study core modules including: Film Studies: History, Theory and Criticism; British Cinema: Realism and Spectacle; and Women and Film.

In your second semester you’ll have the chance to specialise in areas of your choice. Our world-leading scholars teach on modules covering topics such as film and comics, and national cinemas.

You’ll also have the option to develop filmmaking skills if you choose the video production module. These skills deepen your understanding of how the films you are studying are produced, whilst adding another string to your bow on the job market.

You will spend the summer researching and writing your dissertation. This is your chance to use the knowledge you have been building throughout your MA in your own piece of self-devised and self-directed study.

Teaching and Learning


You’ll learn from world-leading academics in many different ways – from the more traditional lectures and seminars to regular film and television screenings. You’ll also have access to our Media Suite, full of cutting-edge media technologies including editing, camera and sound equipment. You will develop essential skills for the job market and a deeper understanding of how film and television content is produced.

Independent study

We’ll support you to become a fully independent scholar by the time you submit your dissertation. Up until that point you’ll work around 30 hours a week on your MA – with the majority of that time spent on independent research and reading.

You will work under supervision during your dissertation, and over time you’ll take more and more control over the direction of your study. Your dissertation is your opportunity to fully immerse yourself in the area that you’re most passionate about. 


We know that every student has different strengths, so we use a range of individual and group assessment methods – from essays to presentations and assessed discussions. We also use creative practice to assess some of our theoretical modules. All of these assessments help strengthen your critical thinking and give you skills that are attractive to future employers.

We also use formative assessments, which do not contribute to your overall mark, but do prepare you for the assessments that do. These offer an excellent opportunity to test the knowledge you learn through the modules and strengthen the chances of better marks at the end of them.

After the course

Our MA Film Studies graduates go on to a wide variety of fields. Some have chosen to work in the film and television and media industries, both in the UK and elsewhere in the world, in roles in production, press and publicity, publishing (newspapers, books and magazines), cultural heritage and archives, social media, and arts festivals. Many also continue their academic passion through PhD study at UEA.

As well as your subject specific knowledge and skills you will develop many transferable skills, including high-level communication skills, team working, and self-management, all of which open up a wide variety of careers. At our annual event, 'Working with Words', you can meet and hear from a wide variety of successful UEA alumni from across the creative industries.  

Career destinations

  • Film and TV production
  • Publicity officer
  • Cultural heritage and archives
  • Arts festivals
  • Social media
  • Publishing (book, magazines, newspapers)

Course related costs

Please see Additional Course Fees for details of other course-related costs.

Course Modules 2020/1

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 you will undertake independent research that poses new questions and offers new perspectives in an area of film studies that interests you.




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 expands 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. 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 problematize 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 (EAFA) and the British Archive for Contemporary Writing (BACW). It will address theoretical developments in cultural heritage and digital humanities, comparing traditional approaches to archival principles and practices to new developments in preserving digital media. 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. It will take you through the 'lifecycle' of the archival object from acquisition to arrangement, description, preservation and subsequent access. Along this journey we will consider topics such as digitisation, migration, authenticity, restoration and copyright. 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.




You will learn about the relationship between feminisms and the cultural history of (primarily) US and UK television from second wave feminism to the present. Your module charts the dialogue between feminism and television in Anglophone contexts from the 1970s through to the 2010s, focussing on flashpoint moments for feminism (e.g. the women's liberation movement; millennial postfeminism; the global financial crisis) and touchstone texts (e.g. The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Prime Suspect, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Sex and the City, Girls, Scandal) that have resonated particularly strongly with female audiences (e.g. soap operas; lifestyle TV; women centred dramas), struck a chord with feminist concerns (e.g. work/life balance, sexual freedoms, empowerment, the politics of relationships/singlehood/friendship), and generated foundational criticism by feminist television scholars. It will be structured chronologically, and topics may include feminism and female audiences; action heroines on television; the figure of the female detective; women's work; intersectional identities (queerness, post-racial discourse, masculinities) and recessionary culture.




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.




This module introduces you to key skills in video production and provides the opportunity to take an idea from conception through to the final product, deepening 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

  • 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
  • Black Mirror

    How Black Mirror combines a disturbing future with a familiar past.

    Read it Black Mirror

    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 5.5 in all components)
  • PTE (Pearson): 58 (minimum 42 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 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 2020/21are:

  • UK/EU Students: £7,850 (full time)
  • International Students: £16,400 (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.

To apply please use our online application form.

Further Information

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