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 2017/8

Students must study the following modules for 120 credits:

Name Code Credits


Discussions around the structure and aesthetic nature of British cinema often rely on claims of "quality", emotional restraint, and documentary realism. The influence of the 1930s British documentary filmmaking movement is seen as infusing elements of national visual production, including (but not limited to) narrative, style, acting, genre and industrial promotion. Applied across the history of British cinema, this approach has privileged only one strand of production and ignored other (potentially more potent) visual alternatives, notably ideas around the spectacular. This module will challenge the primacy of realism in British cinema by examining the ways that spectacle has been at the forefront of the British film industry for over a hundred years, despite its neglect within the critical establishment. Individual films, directors and movements within British cinema history will form specific case studies that offer further exploration of these concepts. There will be a consideration of the close relationship of the British film and television industries, and how aspects of realism and fantasy have moved across these different screens. Crucially, the module will also investigate the often disregarded trend towards British technological innovation (specifically colour filmmaking, widescreen, 3-D, video and digital production), creating an alternative heritage of British film spectacle.




This module involves the production of a 15,000 word piece of work, or a practical project, which focuses upon a suitable topic of your own choosing. You will be assigned a supervisor to advise you on your research and writing of the dissertation.




The module is designed to provide students with diverse intellectual backgrounds and skills with a firm grounding in key approaches to the study of film and, to a lesser extent, television. It therefore provides a broad coverage of the range of methods employed within the study of these two media. Using American and British cinema of the 1940s as its focal point, this module will provide students with an overview of the main debates over the shape of film history, the processes of production, mediation and consumption, and different techniques of textual analysis. This national and historical focus is intended to provide an insight into the complex networks of competing and intersecting debates and factors that must be considered in undertaking MA research. Furthermore, extensive emphasis will be placed on the use and analysis of primary archival documents, some included in the reading pack, others distributed before or during seminars. The module is not intended to be exhaustive but is intended not only to help students learn about existing research on film and television but also to undertake their own analyses. This can be focused on 1940s American and/ or British cinema, but students are encouraged to apply the approaches and debates encountered within this module to other media (particularly television), national cinemas and eras.




This module intends 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. The module 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, Asian "extreme" cinema and transnational Hollywood cinema. In examining these topics we will introduce students to a wide range theories and methods useful in the study of films beyond national borders including thing such as historical methods, gender studies, audience studies, political economics, industrial studies and more. The aim of the modules is to encourage students 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.




This module will develop students' 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, anime, blockbuster Hollywood franchises, etc. In the process it will require students to think about how these genres work in terms of their historical contexts of production and consumption, and analyse a range of texts in relation to a variety of social/cultural and political issues. In the process, the students will engage with a range of theories and methods, which will also be grounded through the examination of specific texts and historical case studies.




The module is designed to explore the debates over media effects. It will challenge the effects tradition, which motivates many of the concerns with media censorship and regulation, and suggest alternative ways of understanding the ways in which audiences consume contemporary media. In the process, it will examine a range of approaches to the understanding of media consumption.




Hollywood has remained a dominant force in film production, distribution and exhibition in recent decades, despite competition from other local and transnational cinemas. This module aims to explore the success of the Hollywood system through a focus on the industry itself, and the films it produces, particularly those that have been most successful at the domestic and international box office. The module will, therefore, cover a range of relevant topics that may include: what kind of films does Hollywood invest in? Is financial gain the best lens to judge issues of 'popularity'? Who are the target audiences for those films? What is the role of the audience in receiving and popularising these hit movies? What is the relationship between domestic theatrical release, circulation in foreign markets and distribution in other media such as television, film, and DVD?




THIS MODULE IS RESERVED FOR STUDENTS ON THE MA FILM TELEVISION AND CREATIVE PRACTICE and MA FILM STUDIES 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 while also learning about the processes and procedures behind the camera. Students will engage with questions about narrative, sound and cinematography and explore them in relation to their practical work. Students wishing to take this module must have previous experience of video production.




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