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More in this section Media Arts

Film Studies BA

UCAS code W620
Year of entry 2017
View 2018 entry »
Course Length
3 years full time
Department Media Arts »

Film and television don't just shape culture: they create it. Our unique 360˚ approach to cinema allows you to understand film from every angle: from stars to directors, historical origins to contemporary economics, socio-political contexts, to aesthetic achievements and from the dynamics of screenplays to the global cultures that shape production, reception and film form itself. You'll come away from the course speaking confidently about concepts and ideas, with the ability to deftly critique them, too – ideal skills for the communication industries, creative arts and beyond.

Taking this approach, you will study film and television from Hollywood and Europe, Bollywood, Asia and Latin America alongside a range of more experimental non-narrative film, television and digital media forms.  Taught in partnership with the film experts in Royal Holloway’s School of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures, there is particular emphasis on a diverse range of European cinema.

You'll get a comprehensive grounding in the history and theory of moving image media, including the opportunity to undertake courses in screenwriting.  After a grounding in the key theoretical and historical aspects of film in your first year, you can go on to explore those topics that intrigue you and capture your attention in film and television’s rich artistic, social and political traditions.

  • Work with world-leading experts in European and World cinema, and award-winning practitioners from across the media industry.
  • Join a creative, critical community that ranks in the top 10 for research quality in Media Arts (Research Excellence Framework 2014).
  • Thrive on our creative campus – we have regular industry visitors and close contact with other arts departments and student societies.

Core modules

Year 1

Film, Television and Digital Histories

This module introduces you to film, television and digital media history with a particular emphasis on how and where digital media intersect and converge with these moving image forms. The module spans the late 19th century through to the current epoch of convergence media. You will consider how even ‘old’ technologies were ‘new’ at some point, exploring the relationship between technological, social and aesthetic developments in new media forms. This broad historical sweep provides you with a chronological knowledge to complement and contextualise the bespoke theoretical emphasis of other core modules in either Film and Television or Digital Culture.

Critical Theory and Textual Analysis

This module concentrates on how we study film and television, introducing you to key debates in critical theory. Over four distinct blocks of lectures and seminars, you will gain an opportunity to explore a range of different methods in studying film, television and digital media—including artistic achievement and critical interpretation; close textual analysis; ideological analysis; national cinema and psychoanalysis. Each method asks questions about the relationship between the intentions of individual film- and programme-makers and wider processes. Across the module you will study films and television programmes in close detail, examining one a week, thinking about the relationship between how something is achieved and what it means.

Introduction to Narrative

This module addresses patterns of narrative across different media (film, television, documentary, digital media). A variety of approaches to the question of narrative are taken, including: narrative structure; patterns and distinctions in storytelling methods and styles; point of view; the social and cultural context of narrative; adaptation; postmodern and open-ended narrative; issue-driven narrative; television’s live and drama narrative structures; transmedia and digital media’s narrative logics.

Screen Narrative - Theory and Practice

In this module, you are offered the chance to put your critical ideas about narrative and film into practice, by developing your own short screenplay. The module enables you to extend and apply your critical understanding of the governing principles of screen narratives in the context of first reading and critiquing screenplays before being given support in the preparation of your own creative work. Here, creative writing is fused with detailed textual analysis and theoretical discussion.

International Film 1 - Contexts and Practices

This module will introduce you to some key tenets of film theory and apply them to a selection of important pre- and post-war European and international films. It will familiarise you with the analysis of aspects of film style, genre and national and international contexts. The set films on the module will include canonical works from a century of cinema history, by filmmakers such as Joseph von Sternberg, Alfred Hitchcock and Pedro Almodovar, and significant examples of technique and style.

The Birth of Film

This module will introduce you to the early phase of film history between 1895 and the early 1930s, from the invention of motion pictures to the establishment of sound cinema. You will look at a cross-section of American and European films made during this phase, when film-making was largely national but the absence of the spoken word gave film a truly cosmopolitan dimension, with directors, actors and technical personnel moving freely across national boundaries. You will learn about the development of film as art (with its links to the Avant-garde) and also examine cinema as an entertainment industry in which genre (horror and crime films) helped to drive innovation.

Year 2

All modules are optional

Year 3

All modules are optional

Optional modules

In addition to these mandatory course units there are a number of optional course units available during your degree studies. The following is a selection of optional course units that are likely to be available. Please note that although the College will keep changes to a minimum, new units may be offered or existing units may be withdrawn, for example, in response to a change in staff. Applicants will be informed if any significant changes need to be made.

Year 1

Only core modules are taken

Year 2

Directing Screen Fiction






Interactive Storytelling


Animation and VFX




Producing Film and Television


Creative Digital Arts


Creative Social Media


Creative Post-Production


Film Theory - Hitchcock and Point of View


Post-Classical Hollywood


TV Histories


Modern European Cinema


Chinese Cinema


Exotic Cinema


Modernism and Avant Garde Film


Beyond Bollywood


Digital Aesthetics


Creative Industries


International Film 2


Cinema in France - From Modernism to the Postmodern


Representations of Childhood and Youth in Modern German Culture


Mexican Visual Arts and Film


Constructing Identity in Contemporary Spanish Film


Rebels, Revolution and Representation in Latin America


Post-War Italian Cinema - The Auteur Tradition


Year 3



Media Research Project


Directing Screen Fiction




Advanced Screenwriting


Producing Film and TV




Interactive Storytelling


Creative Digital Arts


Creative Sound Design


Advanced Digital Media Communications


Contemporary British Cinema 1


Contemporary British Cinema 2


Digital Culture


Film Aesthetics 1


Film Aesthetics 2


Psychoanalysis and Cinema


Holocaust Cinema


Media Technologies


See This Sound




360º Cinema


Political Cinema - From Eisenstein to YouTube


Poetics / Politics of TV


Transnational Cinema


Text and Image in France - From Cubism to the Present


Ethics and Violence - Muder, Suicide and Genocide in Literature and Film


National Socialism and the Third Reich in German Film and Visual Culture - From 1933 to the Present


Shooting History - Dictatorship, Terror and Crime in Italian Film


Horror Cinema in the Hispanic World


Contemporary Mexican Cinema


Seducing the Nation - Spanish Film 1940s to 1980


You will be taught through a combination of lectures, seminars, small-group tutorials, screenings, guided independent research and study. Private study and preparation are essential parts of every course, and you will have access to many online resources and the University’s comprehensive e-learning facility, Moodle. When you start with us, you are assigned a Personal Tutor to support you academically and personally.

Assessment is carried out by written assignments, such as essays, film reviews, blogs and dissertations, as well as examinations at the end of your first year. Students also have the opportunity to write their own screenplay and, in their final year, have the chance to see this put into production by students on the BA Film, Television & Digital Production course.

Typical offers

Typical offers


Our offer will take into consideration:

  • Your performance at a selection interview
  • The educational context in which academic achievements have been gained
Required/preferred subjects  Required: 
  • At least five GCSE passes at grades A* to C, including Maths and English.
Other UK Qualifications
International Baccalaureate 6,5,5 at Higher Level with a minimum of 32 points overall. A selection interview is required.
BTEC Extended Diploma

Distinction, Distinction, Distinction in a related subject. A selection interview is required.

BTEC National Extended Diploma Distinction, Distinction in a related subject, and one A-Level grade B. A selection interview is required.
BTEC National Extended Certificate Distinction plus A-Levels grade B,B
A selection interview is required.
Welsh Baccalaureate A non-subject-specified A-level can be replaced with the same grade in the Welsh Baccalaureate - Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate
Scottish Advanced Highers AB at Advanced Higher Level plus Higher requirements. A selection interview is required.
Scottish Highers AABBB at Advanced Level plus Advanced Higher requirements
Irish Leaving Certificate H2, H2, H3, H3, H3 at Higher Level. A selection interview is required.
Access to Higher Education Diploma Pass with at least 30 level 3 credits at Distinction and 15 level 3 credits at Merit. The Access to Higher Education Diploma is only acceptable if applicants have had a considerable break from education. A selection interview is required.

Other UK qualifications

Please select your UK qualification from the drop-down list below

Please select a qualification

Please select a qualification

International and EU entry requirements

Please select your country from the drop-down list below

English language
IELTS 6.5 overall
  • with 7.0 in writing and a minimum of 5.5 in each remaining subscore

For more information about entry requirements for your country please visit our International pages. For international students who do not meet the direct entry requirements, we offer an International Foundation Year, run by Study Group at the Royal Holloway International Study Centre. Upon successful completion, students can progress on to selected undergraduate degree programmes at Royal Holloway, University of London.

You will not only learn a range of key transferable skills across the degree but also underpin these with a thorough grounding in the history and theory of film and TV, and understanding of the economic and power structures behind media production – invaluable for careers in creative companies who want to look ahead to future trends.

Our graduates have gone in to the film, television and digital production sector, a wide-range of jobs in the communications industries and careers in high-level research positions, such as for the House of Lords, Barclays Bank and more.

Home and EU students tuition fee per year 2017/18*: £9,250

International students tuition fee per year 2017/18**: £15,600

Other essential costs***: £80 to £500

How do I pay for it? Find out more.

*Tuition fees for UK and EU nationals starting a degree in the academic year 2017/18 will be £9,250 for that year. This amount is subject to the UK Parliament approving a change to fee and loan regulations that has been proposed by the UK Government. In the future, should the proposed changes to fee and loan regulations allow it, Royal Holloway reserves the right to increase tuition fees for UK and EU nationals annually. If relevant UK legislation continues to permit it, Royal Holloway will maintain parity between the tuition fees charged to UK and EU students for the duration of their degree studies.

**Royal Holloway reserves the right to increase tuition fees for international fee paying students annually. Tuition fees are unlikely to rise more than 5 per cent each year. For further information on tuition fees please see Royal Holloway’s Terms & Conditions.

***These estimated costs relate to studying this particular degree programme at Royal Holloway. Costs, such as accommodation, food, books and other learning materials and printing etc., have not been included.

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