Film Studies MA

Year of entry

Start date
September 2024
Delivery type
On campus
12 months full time
Entry requirements
A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons)
Full entry requirements
English language requirements
IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component
UK fees
£12,000 (Total)
International fees
£25,750 (Total)

Course overview

MA Film Studies

This course combines the theory and history of cinema with the study of the industry and craft of filmmaking. It gives you the opportunity to explore your interests in film history, global cinema, contemporary film, and cinema’s key role in modern society. We take a world cinematic approach to film that speaks to the University's commitment to decolonisation and global citizenship. We have particular expertise in videoessay production and festival curating.

Through the core module (Film Arts and Industries), you’ll be acquainted with the theoretical, historical and cultural approaches to the medium of film and institution of cinema, and you’ll investigate the variety of skills and activities around film as an art, as well as cinema as an industry.

The independent project will allow you to specialise in your own interests in a way that will serve your intellectual and creative aspirations and career goals. Working with a specialist academic, you can choose to write a dissertation based on research into a film/cinema topic, or you can choose to combine a shorter dissertation with a creative or practice-based activity appropriate to your interests and skills.

The School of Languages, Cultures and Societies also offers scholarship and funding opportunities.

Leeds and Film

Both Leeds and neighbouring Bradford have longstanding traditions in the promotion of cinema and have more recently taken the lead in the promotion of local digital culture. Leeds hosts a major international film festival every autumn and boasts a historic art-house cinema, the Hyde Park Picture House. The National Media Museum (formerly the National Museum of Photography, Film and Television) is in nearby Bradford, which also houses the National New Media Collection.

Watch a playlist of videos showcasing the film expertise of our staff and researchers at Leeds

Course details

You’ll benefit from the expertise of staff from across our large and diverse Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures, approaching the study of film and cinema from a wide range of perspectives.

You’ll be equipped with the tools of film theory and history and will develop a critical awareness of technical aspects of the making, curation and distribution of films on this distinctive course. Your critical and creative thinking abilities and intellectual agility will be developed, as this course will cultivate skills and expertise in the design and implementation of independent projects.

A core module and an independent project draw on the unique range of expertise in the nine schools of the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures.

You’ll further focus or diversify your interests, as this course is enriched by an evolving catalogue of optional modules taught by experts. All of your teaching will be informed by cutting-edge research, as Leeds has some of the world’s top scholars in film and cinema.

Course structure

The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our terms and conditions.

For more information and a full list of typical modules available on this course, please read Film Studies MA in the course catalogue

Year 1 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
Film Arts and Industries 60
Independent Project 60

Year 1 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

Module Name Credits
Transnational East Asian Cinemas 30
So Where do you come from? Selves, Families, Stories 30
Postcolonialism, Animals and the Environment 30
Current Enquiries into Film Studies 30
Cinema in the Digital Era 30
Film Programming for Venues and Streaming: Curation in the Digital Age 30
Individual Project 30
Critical Debates in Culture and Place 30
The Creative Economy in Global Contexts 30
Arts and Activism 30
Digital and Intermedial Storytelling 30
Script Development for Film and Television 30
The Costumed Body: Performance, Performativity and Politics 30

Learning and teaching

You’ll benefit from a variety of learning and teaching styles. Your tutors are experts in their fields, so you’ll be able to benefit from their knowledge in lectures, small-group seminars, practical workshops and supervision meetings.

Independent learning is an important element of your studies, allowing you to build your research skills and think critically about the range of different sources you can access. We offer plenty of support on everything from choosing your modules to making the most of our excellent library resources.

You’ll have regular opportunities to provide feedback on teaching, course content and what can be improved. You’ll be introduced to a range of literature, films and approaches. You’ll participate in inclusive safe spaces for critically engaged discussions on sensitive topics, such as gender, race, sexuality, politics - and their representation in film.

On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.


You’ll have the opportunity to complete a varied range of assessment forms, including standard academic essays, video essays, literature reviews and independent projects. You may be assessed on the production of real-world resources, such as podcasts and film exhibitions, if appropriate to your skills and interests.

Certain optional modules also give you the opportunity to complete reflective logs and creative writing exercises as well as oral presentations.


Entry requirements

A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (Hons). We welcome applicants from a diverse range of subject disciplines, including: film and media, theatre and performance, literature and creative writing, art and design. The relevance of undergraduate degree subjects/studies must be articulated in the supporting statement.

Other relevant experience (such as professional/work/voluntary experience) may also be considered. Applicants are required to demonstrate an enthusiasm for film and to describe any experience in the study, production or exhibition of film, in their supporting statement.

Applying from China

Due to the large numbers of applications we receive, we’re only able to offer places to applicants who have attended selected Chinese institutions. With regret, any applications we receive from applicants awarded a qualification in China from an institution that isn’t on this list will be rejected.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

Improve your English

International students who do not meet the English language requirements for this programme may be able to study our postgraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.

This pre-sessional course is designed with a progression route to your degree programme and you’ll learn academic English in the context of your subject area. To find out more, read Language for Arts and Humanities (6 weeks) and Language for Social Science and Arts: Arts and Humanities (10 weeks).

We also offer online pre-sessionals alongside our on-campus pre-sessionals. Find out more about our six week online pre-sessional.

You can also study pre-sessionals for longer periods – read about our postgraduate pre-sessional English courses.

How to apply

Please see our How to Apply page for information about application deadlines.

Applications will not be considered until required documents (see below) have been submitted.

We recommend that you provide evidence of English language proficiency at the point of application, however, it is not a requirement to do so. Applicants must meet the English language requirement, submit their application and submit all required supporting documents by the course deadline. Applicants applying for funding/ scholarships are advised to apply at least eight weeks ahead of any deadline.

Application Deadlines for International applicants: 12 August 2024

Applications received after the closing date will not be considered.

The ‘Apply’ link at the top of this page takes you to information on applying for taught programmes and to the University's online application system.

If you're unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

You must upload the following documents before we will assess your application:

  • Official degree certificate(s) and transcript of marks or enrolment certificate & partial transcript of marks
  • Evidence of English language proficiency
  • Personal Statement:
    Visit the course catalogue page and select modules to learn about them in detail before you compose your statement. The statement should be approximately 500 words and must include (A) your reasons for applying to this particular MA Film Studies programme, (B) identify which specific modules most interest you and why?, (C) say what subject(s) you studied at undergraduate level? What skills and experience do you have that have prepared you for this MA? Please provide details of any final year project you have previously undertaken, (D) What do you hope to gain from studying the MA Film Studies, and (E) What are your career ambitions and how will this course enable you to achieve them?

The Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures receives very large numbers of high-quality applications and regrets that it cannot make offers to all of its applicants. Some particularly popular schools may have to reject many that hold the necessary academic qualifications.

Admissions policy

University of Leeds Admissions Policy 2025

This course is taught by

School of Languages, Cultures and Societies

Contact us

Taught Postgraduate Admissions Team



UK: £12,000 (Total)

International: £25,750 (Total)

For fees information for international taught postgraduate students, read Masters fees.

Read more about paying fees and charges.

Part-time fees
Fees for part-time courses are normally calculated based on the number of credits you study in a year compared to the equivalent full-time course. For example, if you study half the course credits in a year, you will pay half the full-time course fees for that year.

Additional cost information

There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more on our living costs and budgeting page.

Scholarships and financial support

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There may be help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government.  Find out more at Masters funding overview.

Find out more about Funding and Scholarships.

Career opportunities

Upon graduation, your prospects for employment in the film and media and creative sectors will be enhanced, as well as your capacity for creative self-employment. This course will offer you a route to postgraduate research, including doctoral study, and you will also be well-placed to develop careers in education in a context of growing demand for specialist film and media educators in many parts of the world.

Careers support

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more about Careers support.