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1 years


Full Time


Degree of Master of Arts

Course Organiser

Dr. Rayna Denison

MA Film Studies

We live in a world that, more than ever, is mediated by moving images produced by a diverse range of media industries. Whether our priority is to preserve moving images, engage in the creative activity of making them, or learn more about their role in shaping or reproducing social and cultural values, we need to explore the history, development and character of these important audio-visual cultures.

The MA in Film Studies at UEA is one of the longest-established programmes of its kind in the UK. With a broad range of modules that explore the history, political significance and formal qualities of sound and image, we offer a programme specially designed to deepen students’ knowledge and skill in understanding film, catering to those who have studied media in depth before and those who are newer to the subject area. Graduates from our MA programmes have gone on to a variety of careers in the media, archiving, journalism and teaching. 

Why Study Film at UEA?

We offer an exciting and in-depth exploration of the moving image, giving students access to leading scholars and a thriving graduate community.

82% of research in Film, Television and Media Studies was rated 4* (world leading) or 3* (internationally excellent) according to the Research Excellence Framework (REF2014), a major Government analysis of university research quality. Additionally, our research output was rated 4th in the UK in the Times Higher Education REF2014 rankings.

We have launched innovative module options on national cinema, genre, television studies, and film and television production, supported by research staff who are experts in these fields. This range of options allows students to extend or deepen their knowledge of the field, or ‘retrain’ in a new discipline.

Our graduate community offers a thriving peer group experience, which is augmented by regular symposia and conferences, research seminars and talks from media professionals.We also work extensively with the East Anglian Film Archive (EAFA), a major resource for archive material, located in Norwich.

Course Content and Structure

The MA in Film Studies is taught as either a one-year full-time course or a two-year part-time course. This course is intended to provide students with a range of expertise and  training.

The MA in Film Studies offers students the chance to choose their own pathway through the degree. Through individual module choice, students can opt for  historical, theoretical or practical modules, choosing from topics as diverse as genre, national cinema or reception studies.

Teaching is mainly in the form of seminars and screenings, although the compulsory module ‘Film Studies: History, Theory, Criticism’ taken in the Autumn semester will have a lecture component. There will also be opportunities to attend additional talks and discussion groups on a wide variety of film, television and media topics.

Module options currently on offer include:

Fantasy Genres

Women and Film

Effects, Audiences and Media

British Cinema: Realism and Spectacle

Transferable Skills

In addition to the areas of skills outlined above, students will also learn more generally applicable skills, including the ability to research, select, and analyse from a variety of archive and textual materials; present evidence in verbal and written form (including public speaking); select and justify appropriate methodological approaches; be able to write accurately and grammatically (using appropriate conventions); construct coherent and independent arguments; manage a large and disparate body of information; use IT effectively; develop inter-personal skills and how to work well in teams.

Individual Supervision / Final Dissertation

Students begin researching the 12,000-15,000 word dissertation in the Spring semester and work on it through the summer, for submission at the beginning of September.

In the Dissertation module, students pursue an area of specialist study which will allow them to investigate a particular academic methodology or topic (e.g. genre, authorship, reception studies). Each student will be assigned a member of staff as a supervisor to advise them on the research and writing up of this dissertation.

Course Assessment

There is no written examination for any of the Film Studies MA courses. Assessment is on the basis of coursework: including, but not limited to, essays and seminar papers, presentation reports, reflective learning journals, and the final dissertation.

This course is also available on a part time basis.

UEA was one of the first British universities to develop the study of cinema and television.

We have a thriving postgraduate programme and community. Some 15 MA students take the MA in Film Studies each year and another 20 or so take the MA in Film Television and Creative Practice. We also have around 40 students working towards a PhD. We have 15 dedicated members of academic staff, with several more colleagues contributing on a part-time basis. More than 40 graduates of the MA and PhD programmes hold teaching posts at universities in the UK and elsewhere. There is a rich and dynamic research culture in Film, Television and Media Studies. Our academic staff have published widely on various aspects of British, American and Japanese cinema and television and film and cultural theory.

82% of research in Film, Television and Media Studies was rated 4* (world leading) or 3* (internationally excellent) according to the Research Excellence Framework (REF2014), a major Government analysis of university research quality. Additionally, our research output was rated 4th in the UK in the Times Higher Education REF2014 rankings.

We have hosted a number of very successful events in recent years, including major conferences on British cinema (1988), Buffy the Vampire Slayer (2002), Post-Feminism and popular culture (2004), Going Cheap: Female Celebrity in the Tabloid, Reality and Scandal Genres (2008), Anglia TV and the History of ITV (2008) Women and British Film: Behind the Screen (2011), MeCCSA PGR Conference (2013) and The Fan Studies Network (2013). 


Compulsory Study (80 credits)

Students must study the following modules for 80 credits:

Name Code Credits


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.



Option A Study (60 - 80 credits)

Students will select 60 - 80 credits from the following modules:

Between option range A and option range B you will need to select a total of 100 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 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.




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.



Option B Study (20 - 40 credits)

Students will select 20 - 40 credits from the following modules:

Name Code Credits


'Asian Cinema' is a category of films increasingly in evidence in diverse places ranging from cinemas to high street shops. Recent years have seen a variety of Asian cinema incursions into global film culture, from Bollywood in UK multiplexes to Hong Kong action styles used in the Hollywood blockbuster. Inherent within the label are debates of resistance, industry, art, technology and aesthetics that have held sway since the dawn of cinema worldwide. In this module we break down these discourses and address the significant cultural, economic and political influences that Asian cinemas have had, and indeed still have, within world culture.




The module is designed to introduce students to key skills in film and television development practice. It will provide an understanding of the processes of creative script and project development, including film and TV business, the activities of the market and dealing with bodies responsible for commissioning films and television programmes. Priority for places on this module will be given to students taking the MA in Film Studies.




Oscar Wilde wrote that 'The youth of America is their oldest tradition; it has been going on now for three hundred years'. Is this true? If so, why? This module will seek to account for the preoccupation with youth in America by focusing particularly on the concept of 'innocence', and by examining how various models of innocence are invoked and questioned in American literary texts. Drawing on a wide array of fictional and theoretical works, we will consider the following questions: What is at stake in America's investment in innocence? Major cultural events - such as the Vietnam War and 9/11, for example - are often described as representing a 'loss of innocence' in American culture. What power interests and ideologies are maintained by repeatedly describing America as 'innocent'? How is this investment in innocence revised in different historical moments? How is it challenged? With particular reference to fictions of growing up in America, how is innocence (and loss of innocence) depicted differently for male and female protagonists?




This module focuses on language-related issues associated with the globalisation of communication and the media. It considers a range of materials - texts and their translation(s), multilingual sources of information (e.g. global news, consumer information, websites), products of audiovisual translation (e.g. subtitling, dubbing, voice over), IT mediated or processed texts, etc - to explore issues involved in the transposition and dissemination of (spoken and written) text into other media and other languages across different spheres of activity (e.g. media, politics, culture). Receptive knowledge of at least one language other than the mother tongue required.




This module looks at the responses in political theory to the rise of multicultural societies in Europe and North America since the end of World War II. The aim is to introduce students to a range of contemporary theoretical perspectives on multiculturalism and to facilitate critical assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of competing approaches. Theorists under examination will include: Parekh, Kymlicka, Taylor and Modood as well as major liberal alternative views; Barry, Rawls and Raz. The module will combine theoretical study with analysis of practical issues/case studies surrounding multiculturalism. Among the issues to be considered are the following: models of integration, group rights, institutional racism, Islamophobia, and the Rushdie affair. The module will also consider divergent policies adopted within European states (eg, France and Germany) and give attention to the attempts to operationalise multiculturalism in the UK in particular via the Parekh Report.




Native American histories are stories of conquest, colonisation and erasure; but they are also stories of adaptation, creativity and survival into the twenty first century. To encompass these two different truths, this module will be combining the methodologies of History (with a focus on analysing change over time, Anthropology (with its concern with social structures and values) and American Studies (with its focus on deconstructing cultural representations and identities). Students will learn about changing issues an concepts in the historical debate, and will acquire techniques appropriate for interrogating a range of different types of text. No previous knowledge of Native histories is necessary.




This module focuses on contemporary (post 1990) Native American Literature, to consider the ways in which indigenous cultures and histories are represented and disseminated by Native writers. Beginning with theoretical contexts, we will assess recent developments and debates within Native American literary theory, and the tensions between established literary theoretical methodologies and the innovative theoretical approaches emerging from within Native Studies, that respect and foreground indigenous philosophies and worldviews. One of our key considerations will be the ways in which the application of indigenous theoretical frameworks produce important alternative cultural and political readings that directly challenge America's cultural, political and social 'grand narratives'. Finally, we will put theory into practice by assessing a series of recent novels, including Sherman Alexie's The Absolutely True Story of a Part-Time Indian (2009), Linda Hogan's Pulitzer Prize nominated Mean Spirit (1990), Louise Erdrich's National Book Award winner The Round House (2012), Gerald Vizenor's Father Meme (2008), and Leslie Marmon Silko's controversial epic Almanac of the Dead (1991).




We will examine the ways in which visual artists responded to the growth of the American city between 1880 and 1930. Our discussions will be informed by reference to literature, film, and photography of the time, but the central focus will be on the fine arts and the ways in which American artists sought to represent and interrogate the complexities of the evolving cityscape. In doing so we will ask questions about the representation of modernity in America, about the connections between the images we examine and the heritage of a predominantly rural culture with a strong landscape tradition in painting, and about the development of visual languages to tackle a transformed environment. Among the artists considered will be Robert Henri and the Ashcan School (George Bellows and John Sloan in particular), Charles Sheeler, Alfred Stieglitz, Edward Steichen, Georgia O'Keeffe, and Edward Hopper.




This is a module that engages with queer theory and its inherent complexities in order to read American Studies 'across the grain,' to explore the silences and those silenced in accepted readings of America. The module will both scrutinize and utilize the polyphony of theoretical discourses that constitute queer theory's most often (deliberate) discordant approach so as to open-up the liminal spaces in America - those cities of night to evoke John Rechy's novel on such liminality. The module is not simply an examination of homosexuality in America, but an examination of alterity in its many different forms, and how this alterity conceptualises America in ways that problematize our immediate understanding of the nation.




This module will examine the particular ways in which television - as a technology, as an institution, and as a social phenomenon - records, responds to, and contributes towards constructing our sense of reality. Taking recent developments within television and society - such as the growth of surveillance, genre hybrids, and the availability of media technology - as its starting point, it will explore ranges of genres - such as documentary, reality television, and comedy - from a predominantly British and public service broadcasting perspective.




This module emphasizes close reading, and exposure to some of the masterpieces of 20th century American prose fiction, over theoretical paradigms or a great deal of critical reading. Each week we will discuss a significant 20th century American novel (and author) in depth, coming to grips with their primary themes, structures, and techniques. However, many of our books have a solid body of scholarship associated with them with which you should also certainly expect to familiarize yourself, and each week's reading will include a required scholarly essay, which will be selected by your classmates for their presentation.




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. Where this is the case, the University will endeavour to inform students.

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 2016/17 are:

  • UK/EU Students: £7,150 (full time)
  • International Students: £14,500 (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 £820 per month.

Scholarships and Awards:

For details of all of the scholarships available to postgraduate Film, Television and Media Studies applicants, please click here.

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.