Search our site
Search our site

Film Studies MA

Mode Duration Start date
Full time 1 year September 2019
Part time 2 years September 2019

Choose Kingston's Film Studies MA

The Film Studies MA at Kingston is an innovative programme which situates film at the centre of a range of critical and historical debates. The course covers a wide variety of classical and contemporary cinemas, including examples drawn from British, American, European, and global traditions, exploring them through a range of theoretical approaches. The course enables you to develop your skills of critical and textual analysis, leading to greater appreciation and understanding of the central role cinema has played - and continues to play - in shaping our world.  

Find out more about this course:

Key features

  • This MA offers the opportunity to carry out research into a variety of areas, including gender and sexuality on screen; philosophy and film; industry and independents in New Hollywood; contemporary British, European and transnational traditions; and experimental and avant-garde cinema. Kingston's ideal location allows you to make use of the many film based resources in London, such as the British Film Institute (the largest film archive in the world).
  • If you are interested in further research, this course provides an excellent foundation for MPhil/PhD study.

What will you study?

You will study all that is new, vital and innovative in contemporary and emergent cinemas. You will evaluate and critically analyse a range of perspectives on cinema in light of contemporary developments, shifting cultural alliances and patterns of cross-fertilisations. In addition, you will be introduced to the main areas of debate in the history of film criticism. Current modules focus on European and transnational cinematic traditions, post-1960 British cinema, film and philosophy, avant-garde and experimental cinema, and cinematic animals.

In writing your dissertation, you will demonstrate your ability to research a topic of your choice in depth, gaining a rigorous grasp of current theoretical and methodological debates relevant to the subject area, as well as an understanding of the historical and cultural context.

Assessment

Essays, presentations, research projects, and dissertation.

Course structure

Please note that this is an indicative list of modules and is not intended as a definitive list.

Example core modules

  • This year-long module will provide the theoretical core to the MA Film Studies programme. It aims to explore a set of theoretical paradigms that have shaped the study of film and will approach the subject from an historical, formal, and theoretical perspective. It will introduce students to a range of cinematic examples that will provide the focus for discussion and analysis. Examples will be drawn from classical cinema, art cinema, and experimental cinema, and will encompass both historical and contemporary work. The module will be taught through a series of seminars that will give students the opportunity to explore both films and texts in considerable detail, allowing them to consider how the medium has engaged with a range of theoretical debates over the course of its history.

    Read full module description

     
  • Film and Philosophy explores the many ways in which philosophy and film can form a productive relationship. Beginning in TB1 with a set of preliminary discussions of film aesthetics, it then looks at how cinema can be used to teach philosophy, to reflect philosophy, and to create philosophy. In teaching philosophy (weeks 3-4), we will look at recent 'high-concept' cinema as a teaching tool for philosophy. The films chosen will be mostly mainstream ones such as The Matrix, Memento, Total Recall, AI, Crimes and Misdemeanours, and Gattaca, and will look at the efficacy of film to teach topics such as time, personal identity, freedom, reality and appearance, the existence of God, and good and evil. Weeks 5 to 9 move beyond the mode of illustrating traditional philosophical arguments to examining some philosophical interpretations of filmic representation itself, be it as a physical medium (Deleuze), a metaphysical narrative (Cavell) or an unconscious symbol (Žižek). We subsequently look at the way in which film can be placed within the context of philosophical aesthetics, forming a conceptual bridge with the philosophy lectures on the Philosophy of Art History and the film studies lectures on the Avant Garde.

    The lectures in TB2 will focus on how film-art can create philosophy through its narrative, visual, and auditory structure: here we will discuss whether film itself can philosophise about the world without reducing itself to extant textual forms of philosophy. Concepts discussed include film ethics, phenomenological film of the body, gender and feminism, adaptation, Freudianism, and Comedy. We will also have lectures that build conceptual bridges with lectures ongoing in philosophy (Art Theory, Recent French Philosophy).

    Read full module description

     
  • The Major Project is the capstone module of the Masters programme. Focusing on skills of critical research, analysis and presentation, the capstone project enables you to synthesise and apply the knowledge and skills they have acquired throughout the course. It provides them with the opportunity to craft their own approach to the field through critical-theoretical and/or creative, practice-based research, supported by a series of taught sessions, enabling a depth and breadth of engagement with research methods. The Major Project can accommodate research projects developed through a range of academic and professional contexts depending on the motivation and interests of the student. It can be presented either as a dissertation or as a creative project, such as a portfolio comprising a chosen medium or media, accompanied by a critical commentary. The intensity of the workload increases across the three teaching blocks, allowing increasing focus in line with the level of your expertise.

    Read full module description

     

Optional modules

  • This module examines the way in which the genres of Horror and Cartoon Comedy splice animals and humans together to create frightening or comical visions of both. There is a long history in cinema of humanising the animal ('anthropomorphism') and animalising the human ('theriomorphism'), through hybrids of animal and human beings (werewolves, man-beasts from Greek myth), or animal and human behaviour, as when feeding (vampires, zombies) or in political behaviour (invading alien monsters). We will analyse the narrational methods, cinematic technologies, ethics, and politics of these films by looking at contemporary examples including Twilight, Daybreakers, Red Dragon, The Island of Dr Moreau, Splice, X-Men, Up!, Antz, Happy Feet, District 9 and Alien.

    Read full module description

     
  • This module examines the hybrid and diverse nature of British cinema from the early 1960s to the present day. The central focus of this course will be the relationship between British cinema and national identity. Students will not only investigate the ways in which British cinema reflects national consciousness, but examine the ways in which it has shaped and contributed towards it. In so doing, students will explore the multiple ways in which British cinema has both reflected and produced sociohistorical, cultural and political change. This module will focus on a diverse range of key British film genres (related to British national identity), auteurs and movements, examining the socio-historical, cultural and cinematic not only their relationship with society, but the industrial and economic factors that have determined their production and reception.

    Read full module description

     
  • There is an alternative history of cinema to the one written by Hollywood: this module sets out to explore the tremendous range of films made by avant-garde and experimental filmmakers, and to give a sense of cinematic imaginations unconstrained by the vicissitudes of commerce and conformity. The module will provide both a broad survey of the historical avant-garde, and to explore contemporary developments in experimental film and video.

    Read full module description

     
  • This module will provide an insight into the classic Hollywood cinema's approach to issues relating to female sexuality. It will investigate the studio star industry with case studies of female stars, including Mae West, Marlene Dietrich, Joan Crawford, Bette Davis, Rita Hayworth, Liz Taylor and Marilyn Monroe. It will trace the development of the depiction of gender and sexuality on screen within their socio-political contexts (such as the Hays Code).

    The module will explore the principal features of some of the archetypal ‘bad' women on screen, investigating the ideologies and aesthetics which have shaped the  cinematic representations of femininity. The module will also map the development of specific female archetypes on screen from the screen ‘goddess' or diva  (and her appeal for the male and female fans), through the stereotypes of the man-eating vamp and the female tramp to the child woman or ‘Lolita' type.

    Read full module description

     
  • This one semester module is an elective primarily offered to students taking an MA in Media & Communication or an MA in Film but it is also relevant to those taking postgraduate degrees in politics, political communication, human rights and conflict. It deals with some of the most hotly debated issues in different societies about how to balance core freedoms (expression, press and protest) with the state protecting what and who may be potentially harmed by certain forms of expression through censorship.  Even then these remain open debates as new forms of subversion and resistance emerge with new technologies or through the use of the body to express protest. The module explores these at two levels. The first outlines different approaches to and principles governing censorship depending on whether expression is through images; words, ideas and beliefs; information; and action. These are then explored in more depth in sessions that draw on staff specialisms here, for instance, in film, news, information-privacy, protest movements, etc.

    Read full module description

     

Professional placement year

  • The Professional Placement module is a core module for those students following a Master's programme that incorporates professional placement learning, following completion of 120 credits. It provides students with the opportunity to apply their knowledge and skills in an appropriate working environment, and to develop and enhance key employability skills and subject specific professional skills in their chosen subject. You may wish to use the placement experience as a platform for their subsequent major project module, and would be expected to use it to help inform their decisions about future careers.

    Read full module description

     

You will have the opportunity to study a foreign language, free of charge, during your time at the University as part of the Kingston Language Scheme. Options currently include: Arabic, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

We aim to ensure that all courses and modules advertised are delivered. However in some cases courses and modules may not be offered. For more information about why, and when you can expect to be notified, read our Changes to Academic Provision.

A copy of the regulations governing this course is available here

Details of term dates for this course can be found here

Contact our admissions team

Submit an enquiry

020 3308 9930*

*Calls cost 7p per minute from a UK landline plus your phone company's access charge. Calls to this number from mobiles are normally deductible from your inclusive minutes.

Location

This course is taught at Penrhyn Road

View Penrhyn Road on our Google Maps

Contact our admissions team

Submit an enquiry

020 3308 9930*

*Calls cost 7p per minute from a UK landline plus your phone company's access charge. Calls to this number from mobiles are normally deductible from your inclusive minutes.

Location

This course is taught at Penrhyn Road

View Penrhyn Road on our Google Maps
Favourite this course

Did you find what you are looking for?

This field is required.

>

Thank you for your feedback.

Find a course

Course finder

>

Find us on Facebook

Postgraduate study
Site menu