Film Studies

By Frank Bolger - Last update

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Film occupies a central position among the more popular art forms. It is inclusive and accessible. While the film industry is built around the form acting as a source of entertainment, it offers much more: it allows us to observe and experience different places, events, and people; it affords us a way of empathising with others and of escaping; it challenges our assumptions and educates us.

What s involved

Film Studies courses are designed to teach students how to read and analyse films. By engaging with the critical, theoretical and historical debates that have accompanied the evolution of the cinema, students will learn how to place film content into context, enrich their understanding of how films come into being, how they respond to the world, and what they attempt to communicate to the viewer.

Students that are serious about studying film have the option of enrolling on a part-time Degree in Film Studies. Such courses cover the subject thoroughly by taking an interdisciplinary approach that may incorporate elements of philosophy, history, literature, politics and sociology. Film Studies courses typically involve wide-ranging and contextual modules such as Contemporary World Cinema, Understanding Film and Film in the Digital Age.

Though courses in Film Studies are theoretical in nature students are taught how to respond critically (rather than emotionally) to on-screen stimulus some will also include a practical aspect. This may include tuition in areas such as digital imaging, editing, post-production and even script development.

Because of the academic nature of Film Studies programmes, students will need to develop good organisational and time management skills, as well as acquire a variety of other key competencies such as written and verbal communication skills, a capacity for public speaking and presentations, and project management and IT skills.

Why do it

Those who enrol on a part-time Film Studies programme generally do so out of a genuine passion for the subject. Because film is constantly evolving as an art form, there will always be new aspects to be examined and debates to be had whether these relate to screen trends, censorship issues or the impact of digital technology. A course in Film Studies will deepen your appreciation of the subject and the issues related to it.

What comes next

Because Film Studies students will have developed their critical and analytical skills to a high degree, they can progress to postgraduate study in areas directly related to the study of Film or other cognate subjects. While further study is a valid option, graduates of Film Studies courses are also well-placed to find move into a variety of creative and cultural industries including film and film-related employment, advertising, marketing, public relations, journalism, publishing, and broadcasting. In addition, the acquisition of practical production skills also increases the variety of potential career destinations by facilitating access to jobs in development, production, post-production and distribution.

Those looking to find work in the film industry may begin their journey by starting on an internship or taking a non-paying position just for the sake of work experience. Some course providers may provide assistance in finding such positions.

At a glance

Courses in Film Studies are interdisciplinary and may touch on areas such as philosophy, literature and politics.

Part-time Degrees in Film Studies are generally run over the course of four years, with students attending classes twice a week.



Frank Bolger

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