Film Studies BA (Hons)

About the course


Our Film Studies BA combines the academic study of cinema with a focus on practical film-making skills, industry experience and the development of skills suited to a variety of careers in the creative industries and beyond.

We believe that the best way to understand something is to have some experience of doing it, and at DMU, that’s precisely what you will do. Film Studies allows you to learn about the history of cinema as an art-form and as an economic institution, while you also develop your skills as a professional filmmaker, writer, critic, event organiser or industrial analyst. The course is unique in combing detailed academic knowledge of film with a very broad cross section of practical, film-related experience.

Film Studies is delivered at DMU’s city campus, and at the Phoenix Square| cinema in Leicester, which acts as a base for many film events. There, you will watch films on the big screen in a modern cinema environment, and, depending on your specialization, you will also organise your own festivals and events, and make films using state of the art equipment.

Ultimately, the goal of the Film Studies degree is to take your interest in movies, and translate that passion into a broad range of different graduate level skills. You don’t need any experience of filmmaking to apply, and graduates go on to work in a very broad range of different fields, including film and TV for man, but also finance, PR, banking, tourism and other areas.

Reasons to study Film Studies at DMU:

  • Work with a team of experienced subject experts with a range of relevant professional, industry and creative expertise
  • Benefit from our relationship with Leicester’s Phoenix Square cinema and from selected teaching and screenings delivered in a real cinema environment
  • Gain practical experience of making movies, organising and promoting film events and working with exhibitors and distributors

Film Studies at DMU can be taken either as a Single or Joint Honours course. Whichever route you choose, you will be taught by a team of experienced subject experts and develop a diverse range of valuable skills.

We combine the academic study of cinema with a focus on practical filmmaking skills, and experience of working in the film industry. This course is ideal if you want to learn more about film and cinema and put your knowledge into practice. During the three years, you will study all manner of movies, from Hollywood blockbusters to the latest developments in world cinema, and at the same time develop a wide range of academic, creative and commercial skills.

Key facts

UCAS course code:  

Film Studies BA (Hons) P303
Film Studies with Languages BA (Hons) P3R9

Duration:  Three years full-time/six years part-time

Institution code: D26

Entry and admission criteria

Entry requirements for 2014

  • Normally 260 UCAS Points from at least two A Levels or equivalent
  • Five GCSEs at grade C or above, including Maths and English
  • BTEC requirements: Distinction Merit Merit (DMM) at National Diploma Level.
  • Additional qualifications can contribute towards the points score such as a third A Level or AS Levels
  • International Baccalaureate: 28+ points.

If you are unsure about the amount of UCAS points your qualifications may attract you can use our UCAS Tariff Chart|.

We welcome applications from mature students with non-standard qualifications and recognise all other equivalent and international qualifications.

International Students

If English is not your first language an IELTS score of 6.5 or equivalent when you start the course is essential. English Language tuition|, delivered by our British Council accredited Centre for English Language Learning, is available both before and throughout the course if you need it.

Teaching and assessment

Film Studies at DMU is taught by renowned world-class scholars based in our prestigious Centre for the Study of Cinema and Television History. The teaching team is made up of widely published academics, film journalists, filmmakers and industry professionals.

The course is taught using a mix of lectures, film screenings, small group discussions, group and practice-led projects, individual tutorials and private study. You will be provided with lecture support materials through Blackboard, our interactive teaching resource. Our varied and imaginative assessment methods develop a range of critical, creative and communication skills. They include essays, research reports, presentations, creative work, film reviews, edited collections and other group projects.

Course modules

Throughout your time at DMU, you will choose courses from the following lists. Module offerings change over time to reflect new developments in the field and new staff interests.

Some modules run throughout the entire year, other last for one term, and from the second year, you can choose which modules you take. This may mean specializing in more scholarly or practical areas, depending on your interests.


Introduction to Film Studies

Introduces all students to the key issues in cinema scholarship, and the key modes of studying cinema. You will learn how film works as a text, with its own language, and also how film functions as a social and economic institution.

Introduction to Film History

Introduces all students to the skills of historical research, and to the narrative of cinema history. You will learn how cinema developed from a technological curiosity to the globalized entertainment business it has become. You will also learn how the techniques of filmmaking were established and deployed across the world.

Media Capture and Processing

Introduces you to the skills of photography, shot construction, moving image filming, editing and sound recording. On this course, you will begin to develop your skills as a filmmaker, gain experience of using production equipment, and put together films of your own.

Writing, Reviewing and Film Criticism

Introduces you to the world of film criticism and invites you to establish a critical identity of your own. You will keep a blog, interview filmmakers, and carry out briefs for external partners. Along the way, you will develop your skills as a professional writer.

Film and New Media

Introduces you to the current environment for film production, funding and release, and traces the impact of digital technology on the film industry since 2000. By the end of this module, you will have a professional understanding of the modern film marketplace. The module includes a trip to the Warner Bros Studio in Leavesden (additional fee applies).


World Cinemas

Develops your understanding of global cinema traditions, and looks at how filmmaking has changed in a tansnational environment. On this course, you will learn about the defining developments in film art across the world, but you will also learn about how film works today in a global media culture, and how national cinemas develop, cross pollinate and interact.


This module focuses on one defining media institution – the Disney Corporation – and traces its development from a small scale animation producer to the largest provider of family trans-media entertainment in the world. You will combine the study of the animated film with a focus on family audiences and Disney’s various media activities, and by the end of the module you will understand how global media conglomerates function. The module includes a trip to Disneyland Paris (additional fee applies).

The New Hollywood

This module focuses on one key period in American cinema history, between 1967 and 1980, when Hollywood developed a tradition of challenging art films. This course is concerned with the art of cinema, and the defining contribution made by a series of filmmakers to the development of American filmmaking, and global film culture.

Film and TV Genres

This looks at how different genres operate across Film and TV over time. You will focus on what genre is and how it works, but you will also apply your knowledge to a very broad cross section of different texts. By the end of this module, you will have a clearer understanding of how different types of film are constructed, and how they change over time. 

Filmmaking: Script to Screen

This module develops your skills as a filmmaker further, pushing you into new creative territory. In the first term, you will work with professional scriptwriters to produce your own script – in the second term you will film it.  

Professional Practice in British Cinema

This looks at the status of the UK film today, and then gives you the opportunity to organise your own film festival at the Pheonix Square Cinema in Leicester, where you will book films, market events and network with industry figures to lay on a professional, public event.

Media, Gender and Identity

This develops your understanding of how film, TV and other media shape our perceptions of gender, and notions of identity more generally. Through a close focus on a range of texts, the course is designed to builds your skills as a critic and thinker.


Film Studies Dissertation or Negotiated Filmmaking Project

This module allows you to specialise in one extended area of study for the whole year. You will either work on your own individual film project, or produce a detailed study of one filmmaking issue. In the past, topics have ranged from textual analyses of Studio Ghibli’s films, through investigations of the economics of Star Wars videogames, to detailed studies of national identity in film.

Cult Film

The Cult Film module focuses in detail on challenging, obscure and intense films which have developed cult followings over the years. On this course, you will be exposed to stimulating, underground films, and you will develop a clear understanding of cult film culture.


Every year this module allows you to focus in detail on the work of one film director, writer or producer. You will learn how fogures suchg as Stanley Kubrick and others developed their skills and worked within the film industry.

Hollywood Now!

This module is designed to build your skills as a professional industry analyst. Each week, you will read the trade press and develop an understanding of how the business functions on a day to day level. You will learn how marketing, release patterns, financial shift, box office performance and scandals are dealt with by corporations, industry strategists and PR professionals. You will develop the same skills through studying their actions.

The Past on Screen

The Past on Screen focuses on the representation of history across a range of different films, TV shows and other media. The goal of this course is to develop your understanding of how different genres deal with history, and shape our view of the world, from notions of heritage and prestige, through to the historical epic.

Writing for the Screen

Taught by experienced screenwriters and focuses on developing your scriptwriting skills to a professional standard. You will learn how to pitch, and to write extended creative pieces to a commercially acceptable standards.

Audiences and Fandom

Audiences and Fandom focuses on the people who watch movies and aims to understand how and why we engage with filmic texts. By the end of this module, you will understand how films address viewers, but also what all viewers get out of their relationship with the cinema.

Film Exhibition and Consumption

This module focuses on the changing ways that we watch, consume and enjoy movies. The course is primarily concerned with ongoing shifts to cinemas, exhibition and impact of digital technology. Various field trips are incorporated into the module.

Academic expertise

The Film Studies staff at DMU publish widely and are all well known within their specialist fields. We have particular expertise in British cinema, popular American entertainment and cult film.

The course is led by Dr Ian Hunter, specialist in cult film and screen adaptations The team also includes Dr James Russell, an expert on Hollywood cinema; Laraine Porter, orgniser of the BFI’s Silent Cinema Festival; Professor Steve Chibnall, whose recent publications include books on British B-movies, Brighton Rock and the cult gangster film Get Carter; and Dr Claire Monk, co-editor of British Historical Cinema and a regular contributor to Sight and Sound.

The Film studies team are all active writers, researchers, event organisers or practitioners, who between them regularly contribute to Sight and Sound, the Guardian, the BBC, radio Four, and have experience working closely with industry professionals. By coming to DMU, you will also join our active research culture, geared around film.

Work experience and placements

The degree offers coaching and guidance for achieving industry placements, and students from DMU have gone on to take up internships with BBC Films, Warp Films and others.

The degree can be taken in sandwich mode – if you find a suitable placement, you can work in the business for a year, receive credit, and return to complete your studies.

Students on our Writing, Reviewing and Film Criticism module (Year 1) run a film blog and are set writing commissions by external partners, including Leicester's Phoenix Square| cinema.

Students taking our Professional Practice in British Cinema option (Year 2) gain experience of developing and delivering a film festival in a range of roles. These opportunities, alongside the industry focus of our teaching, will allow you to make sense of the cinema industry and film culture from a practical, creative and commercial perspective and also to develop your industry links.

Graduate careers

The course provides a broad grounding in film history, criticism, practice and industry skills. On graduation, you may use the skills you have gained to pursue a variety of careers in the film and cultural industries or beyond, or go on to study or research at postgraduate level.

Over the past five years, graduates have gone on to work for employers such as BBC Films, BBC Sport, FilmFour and Odeon Entertainment. They also work in roles such as film and television production staff and researchers, writers for film news media, public relations writers and executives, film journalists in print and online, including Little White Lies magazine, independent filmmakers and camera-people, commercial managers, and as teachers and academics.

Other students have gone on to work in careers where film is secondary to the graduate skills they have developed, in PR, banking, finance and other fields.

Film Studies is also ideal preparation for further study at DMU, and postgraduate options include the Television Scriptwriting MA and Public Relations MA. Every year, a small number of students join our vibrant postgraduate culture.

Fees and funding

Full-time £9,000
Placement year £650
Part-time (Where available)
4 year course £5,925 per year
6 year course £3,950 per year
Per module £988 per 15 credits
Full-time £12,200
Placement year £750

For more information please take a look at our Fees and Funding| section.


You will be able to make use of DMU’s excellent library facilities and collections, as well as our state-of-the-art computing and projection facilities. For practical filmmaking, you will benefit from a range of digital-imaging facilities and production equipment. Film screenings at Phoenix Square| are shown in the latest digital high definition formats and Xpand 3D.

How to apply


Applications for undergraduate courses from UK/EU applicants must go through UCAS, you can fill out an application form through their website|. If you do not have regular access to the internet or find it difficult to fill out applications online you can request an alternative format from UCAS either through their website| or via the contact details below.

Customer Service Unit
PO Box 28
GL52 3LZ

T: 0871 468 0 468


International students can apply directly to the university through our online applications portal|.

Contact details

For further information and admissions advice

Study enquiries: +44 (0)116 2 50 60 70

Submit an online form| to ask questions and get advice.

Languages pathway

You can also study Film Studies with a languages pathway. Students taking this route will study one 30 credit module of their chosen language each year.

Language options include French and other European and Oriental languages (subject to availability). Please contact us for further information..

Learn about Film Studies with Languages BA (Hons)|

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