The MA in Film Studies offers a unique opportunity to explore film and video from analytic and aesthetic perspectives, as well as apply this theoretical knowledge to a collective or personal video project. The student should leave this MA with a strong sense of independent, documentary and experimental film-making practices.
Modules and Options
The lists of modules below represent the range of options available for each year of study. This may not be a complete list of the options you will study, and may be subject to change, so please contact the department for further details.
Compulsory: FILM AND VIDEO PRODUCTION WORKSHOP
Compulsory: ISSUES IN FILM THEORY AND HISTORY
Core: DISSERTATION: MA FILM STUDIES
Core: RESEARCH METHODS IN LITERARY AND CULTURAL ANALYSIS
CREATIVE WRITING AND GENRE
CREATIVE WRITING AND REFLECTION
EXPERIMENTAL CINEMA IN THE DIGITAL AGE
REAL CINEMA: ETHNOGRAPHIC AND DOCUMENTARY FILM
Teaching and Assessment Methods
A: Knowledge and Understanding
A1 : A range of selected films from a variety of film genres and national cinemas
A2 : Specialised topics in Film Studies in greater depth
A3 : Significant theoretical, thematic, and formal approaches to Film Studies and the social contexts in which films are made
A4 : Essential terms, concepts, and methods of critical analysis employed in Film Studies
A5 : Appropriate research techniques and methodologies
A6 : Essential hands-on production techniques
1-5 are addressed in seminar instruction and discussion, and in oral and written feedback on essays. 6 is addressed through instruction in the practical course component and through oral and written feedback on the collective practical project that stems from this course.
Formal assessment is by written coursework (three essays for three seminars) and dissertation. Students can choose between a written dissertation of 20,000 words (developing expertise in outcomes 1-5), or a practical dissertation with a shorter written component (10-15,000 words) which further develops expertise in outcome 6 in addition to 1-5.
B: Intellectual/Cognitive Skills
B1 : Develop critical thinking strategies
B2 : Analyse and evaluate theoretical concepts at advanced levels
B3 : Reason critically in an environment of complex ideas
B4 : Argue persuasively in writing, adopting critical positions on issues related to Film Studies
B5 : Reflect critically on the creative film-making process
B6 : Develop and sustain a critical argument over a sustained period of research
These skills are developed in: seminar discussions; class presentations (which may form the basis of essays) followed by questions and answers; guided instruction of primary and secondary sources in seminars; guided analysis of visual material in seminars; oral and written feedback on essays; guided instruction, questions and answers, individual consultation, and pre-production preparatory assignments in the practical component. Individual guidance, in addition to formal seminars, is available in posted office hours during the preparation of essays and of the collective project. Individual guidance is available in advance of the deadline for the dissertation proposal, and detailed oral feedback is given on the proposal in advance of dissertation writing.
1-5 are assessed in three course essays. The essays and practical project are regarded essentially as a form of progressive assessment leading to the dissertation. Depending on desired outcomes of enhanced expertise in theoretical or practical areas, students can choose between a dissertation that enhances skills 1-5 (written dissertation), or a practical dissertation project with a shorter written component, that further develops expertise in skill 6 in addition to 1-5.
C: Practical Skills
C1 : Analyse film images, deploying a vocabulary of key cinematic terms (both technical and theoretical)
C3 : Organise, structure and present an argument in writing, putting forward clear critical positions
C4 : Compile and present extended bibliographies
C5 : Provide complex references according to accepted conventions
C6 : Use libraries and IT to gain access to a variety of scholarly sources
C7 : Plan and execute a basic practical project (sometimes of a co-operative nature).
Skills 1 and 2 are developed through seminar instruction, seminar discussions, and through individual consultation in office hours. Feedback is provided through oral and written comments on essays. Guidance on skills 3-5 is provided in the Literature Guide for M.A. Students, and available on an individual basis during office hour consultation. 5 is additionally provided in optional information sessions offered by the Library. 6 is developed through specific units on pre-production, production, and post-production techniques in the practical course and in the process of putting together a collective project for this course.
Essays are assessed for skills 1-5; the practical project assesses skill 6. Students can choose between a dissertation that focuses on skills 1-5 (written dissertation project) or that incorporates skill 6 in addition to 1-5 (practical dissertation project with a shorter written component).
D: Key Skills
D1 : The ability to communicate information, arguments and ideas cogently and effectively in a range of different contexts; the ability to be an effective listener; the ability to both comprehend and produce the visual language of film.
D2 : Typing and wordprocessing skills; use of electronic library catalogues and email
D4 : Students should be able to manage projects and timetables; and to apply knowledge and understanding in order to make judgements and offer solutions in a range of scholarly and practical contexts.
D5 : Students should be able to work co-operatively in a practical production context.
D6 : Students should enhance the ability to work to deadlines; should take responsibility for their own work in individual and collective contexts; should reflect on their own performance and make constructive use of feedback; should share responsibility for their own programme of studies.
Communication is developed through seminar discussions. Visual media skills of analysis are developed through guided analysis and discussion of visual material in seminars. These ideas are explored in a hand-on practical context through instruction in the practical component, leading to the production of a collective project. The development of communication skills may also be enhanced through more formal oral presentations in seminars, with further information supplied through subsequent questions and answers. Students are expected to acquire IT skills based on some initial guidance, and tutors can provide additional guidance during office hours, while students can elect to follow Library-sponsored information sessions. Students are given the opportunity to work constructively and productively in groups, particularly as part of the practical component of the degree. All students present a written proposal leading to the writing of the dissertation, which receives extensive feedback. Students should be able to advance an argument in seminar discussion and should be able to listen and respond effectively.
Essays and dissertations are assessed for qualities that incorporate most of the skills outlined in D1-D4, and in D6. All work must be submitted in typewritten form (normally word-processed) and must be presented according to the standard conventions outlined in the Literature Guide for M.A. Students. The collective project and practical dissertation option particularly addresses and assesses practical skills outlined in D5.