Film Studies and Media Studies BA (Hons)

Full-time undergraduate (3 years, 4 years with foundation year)





Combine film theory and media theory with practical skills including film-making, animation and digital publishing by studying our full-time Film Studies and Media Studies degree in Cambridge, ARU. Choose to study abroad for one semester, and get support to find placements and work experience. Prepare for a career in many film and media-related roles, including production, post-production and journalism.

Full description


Our BA (Hons) Film Studies and Media Studies will help you prepare for many film and media-related roles, including film and television production and post-production, film journalism, cinema and film festival management, film programming and curation, publishing, broadcasting, web design and public relations.

You might also decide to continue on to a Masters course, such as our MA Film and Television Production.

Industry links

We work with employers to make sure you graduate with the knowledge, skills and abilities they need. They help us review what we teach and how we teach it – and they offer hands-on, practical opportunities to learn through work-based projects, internships or placements.

Our links with local and national organisations will help you make contacts and find work placements in the industry. Our recent students have found internships and placements with companies such as the BBC, Cambridge Festival of Ideas, Cannes Film Festival, CBBC, ITN, London Studios, MTV, New York Film Academy, Optimum Releasing, Sight & Sound and Zenith Productions.

These placements could form part of your assessed work and, for many previous students, have led directly to employment.

You’ll also have the chance to undertake commission work and gain valuable experience in the film and creative industries through volunteering opportunities, including at the Cambridge Film Festival.

Find out more about our placements and work experience, or the faculty's employability support.

Modules & assessment

Level 3 (foundation year)

  • Foundation in Humanities, English, Media, Social Sciences and Education
    This module will provide students with the necessary skills to begin studying at level 4 in courses related to the humanities, social sciences, English, media and education. Students will be introduced to the core skills necessary to succeed in higher education, including thinking critically, researching, and referencing appropriately, demonstrating appropriate numeracy and ICT skills, and communicating effectively verbally and in writing. In addition to these fundamental study skills, Students will be given an introduction to a broad range of disciplines whose skills and theories are widely applicable. Students will study a variety of writing styles in order to recognise, deconstruct and replicate various forms of persuasive, analytical, and informative writing. Students will learn the basics of intercultural studies and how these theories can be applied to real-world problems. Students will consider social perceptions held across western cultures, and the difference between social and self-perception, participating in structured discussion and argument. Students will be introduced to the core principles of psychology and will explore various current applications of psychological theory. Students will also be introduced to ethics and will learn about some of the key theories and thinkers in the development of current ethical considerations in a range of scenarios. This module is made up of the following eight constituent elements: Interactive Learning Skills and Communication (ILSC); Information Communication Technology (ICT); Critical Thinking; Intercultural Studies; Psychology; Composition and Style; Ethics; Social Perceptions.

Year one, core modules

  • Film Language and Concepts
    This module will introduce you to visual film analysis and key concepts of interpretation. You will undertake visual film analysis, looking closely at how cinematography, sound, editing and mise-en-scène work together to produce the emotional and intellectual viewing experience. We will also explore key concepts in film theory, for example, auteurism, genre, star studies, reception studies, feminism, Marxism, psychoanalysis, queer theory, semiotics and critical race theory. This module will enhance your ability to meet professional and employment expectations, such as clear communication, and the ability to work independently and to meet deadlines. It will also address ethical values, encouraging you to address issues of diversity and inclusiveness and learn to read texts critically. Your assessment will consist of a portfolio of written work, including shot analyses and textual analyses (a total of 6,000 words).
  • Creative Moving Image
    This practice-based module will introduce you to film and the moving image through a series of briefs and exercises that investigate a number of principles regarding the language, conventions and aesthetic possibilities of film and the moving image. The range of projects will encompass the investigation of various principles – composition and lighting, shot/reverse-shot sequences, matching on action, graphic matching, continuity editing, synch/non-synch sound, and the rhythmic editing of picture and sound – which are central to many film and moving image practices. The purpose and outcome for each project brief is not necessarily aimed at you perfecting conventions; experimenting and gaining an understanding of how they work are just as significant. In the later part of the module, you will make a film in creative response to codes and conventions explored in the first part of the module. No prior technical experience of filmmaking is required. The module will incorporate inductions in: camera operation, sound recording, editing and the potential of online platforms. Your practical workshops will be complemented by screenings of a range of complementary film and moving image works spanning narrative fiction, documentary and experimental work. In the process of pre-production and planning, you will be encouraged to develop and practise methods of visualising and notating ideas. You will regularly present work in critical forums to get feedback from your peers and tutors. Your first assessment point will involve submitting a portfolio that incorporates a compilation of the exercises you have undertaken in the first half of the module alongside pre-production research for your final film. The second assessment point will involve you presenting and submitting a 3–5 minute video.
  • Sound, Text, Image
    This is an introductory practice-based module in which you will explore techniques, processes and aesthetics relating to a range of media practices that involve sound recording, the still image and design. The module is organised around several projects that span the year. In a series of projects concerning sound, you will be instructed in principles and techniques of sound recording, sound production and mixing, and explore the potential for sound as a creative medium in the context of soundscapes, documentary/journalism and other fields. In a series of projects concerning the still image, you will examine the role of the formal principles of photography, including composition, framing, juxtaposition, contrast, colour, black and white and digital manipulation. These projects in sound’ and image will build toward a final project in which you will combine media in the context of an online publishing project. The emphasis here concerns key principles of design. Overall, the module will introduce you to several fundamental technical, aesthetic and critical ideas associated with media practice and serves as a pre-requisite for the Level 5 modules in Online Journalism, Photography, Creative Media Processes and Creative Media Themes.
  • Theorising Popular Culture
    On this module, you will consider a range of theories of popular culture to become familiar with key debates and issues in the study of popular culture. The module will show you how a range of theoretical approaches from the study of popular culture might illuminate and allow you to analyse specific media practices. To this end, you will apply key concepts and theories to a range of popular-cultural and media practices, including television, advertising and popular music. Throughout the module, you will engage with major theoretical debates in the study of popular culture, and think critically about these debates, before applying them to specific media practices. In lectures and seminars, you will explore a range of contested definitions of ‘popular culture’, and consider the role that popular cultural forms have played historically and in the contemporary context. You will also consider whether popular culture provides people with a form of escapism from everyday life, or whether it engages critically with the everyday. By addressing popular cultural practices, you will become familiar with key theoretical perspectives in media studies, including Marxism, semiotics, feminism, psychoanalysis, critical ‘race’ studies, and postmodernism. Your assessment will comprise a 2500 word critical essay on one of the key topics covered on the module.

Year one, optional modules

  • Introduction to Television Studies
    Television as a medium is currently experiencing vast changes and shifts that increasingly force us to understand it as a medium available on multiple screens and in a variety of forms. On this module, you will cover a breadth of approaches to study this medium in transition, including: historical approaches to television; definitions of the medium; television as a technology (with a focus on the ancillary technologies that are included in our ideas of a television - VCR, DVD, Video-on-Demand); the Television industry; textual analysis, including structuralist approaches to narrative structures; television aesthetics and television’s relationship with postmodernism; television genre; audience and reception studies on television; transnational television; and television’s relationship with contemporary politics. You will be assessed through a 500-word summary and critical evaluation of a relevant journal article and a 2,000 word essay at the end of the module, with a focus on your ability to engage critically with television theory and apply your knowledge to specific television or Video-on-Demand programmes.
  • Introduction to Filmmaking: Super 8mm
    In this module you will be introduced to the aesthetics of working with film: What film is, how it is different from video, its relationship to photography and the theoretical and practical benefits of its intrinsic nature, are the foundation of this module. This module replicates industry methods of production in that the film is shot in the analogue domain with post production being entirely digital (editing, addition of sound etc). You will develop your skills in visualisation as well as conceptual skills. There is a strong emphasis on pre-production. We will also explore sound design and working with music. You will receive technical tuition in using Super-8mm film cameras. These cameras have many creative features and you will be required to evidence your understanding of the camera’s capabilities in your final project. You will be assessed on a finished film and the presentation of your idea. This requires you to plan/script/design their film before any shooting begins. Working in groups, you will be given one cartridge of super 8mm film lasting around 3.5 minutes, and you will need to devise a piece using as much of the film as possible.

Year two, core modules

  • Theorising Spectatorship
    You'll address issues of spectatorship and representation through a range of theoretical approaches including psychoanalytic theory. You'll also explore the intersection of pleasure and terror in our encounters with the image, considering the ways in which film taps into our unconscious, and the role of the body, the senses, and emotion in shaping our responses to moving image culture. You'll look at the future of film studies by addressing the changing conditions of spectatorship in the age of digital cinema.
  • Classical Hollywood Cinema
    On this module you will focus on the practices, products and institutional frameworks of the classical Hollywood period. You will explore the narrative conventions that continue to shape the majority of mainstream commercial cinema and study the formal and stylistic features of the 'realist' text, the ideologies that inform it and its ideals of normative identities and lifestyles. You will explore coupling and heterosexual romance as a motor of plot development and as an intensely ideological aspect of films made in this period. Similarly, you will consider the significance of the ‘happy ending’ in maintaining or challenging key ideological norms and values. Drawing from some of the theoretical approaches encountered on earlier compulsory modules (Theorizing Spectatorship), you will think about classical Hollywood cinema’s positioning of the spectator, and the implications for the construction of gender and racial identities. Finally, you will also consider the style conventions of different classical Hollywood film genres and debate their significance in helping to align spectators ideologically and emotionally in the narrative action.
  • Teenage Kicks: Youth Culture and Media
    On this module, you'll examine popular culture as defined, practised and consumed, against and within 'official' or 'high' culture. You'll explore issues of identity, resistance and consumption, focusing on specific case studies, including sub-cultural practices and style. You'll critically explore the relationships between taste, style and ideology through an analysis of various sites and products, such as the shopping mall, popular musical forms, television, dress, eating, and leisure activities. You'll address contemporary icons for what they are able to indicate about forms of resistance, diversity and identity, and consider the social metaphors a cultural group may employ in terms of the spectacular and the public against the more silent and private strategies of consumption involved in, for example, fashioning of the body and identity.
  • Online Journalism
    This module will develop your skills in web-based journalism and online media production using a range of online media formats. Through a series of topic led discussions, reading, class exercises and small project briefs you will examine the language and practice of new/digital media and reflect on its uses. Online Journalism will be presented as a distinct practice involving the use of a variety of writing styles from multimedia content to interactive and social media. You will consider examples from factual and non-factual content and addressing a range of topics including: fake/false news, blogging, vlogging, the rise of the image driven web, implications of media sharing, online communities, citizen journalism, personal online profile management, digital storytelling, working with images, building a freelance career. For your assessment, you will be required to create on personalised online space showcasing yourself or a special interest using free to access software. This space will include content guided by three projects focussed on image, writing and multimedia respectively. You will be expected to devise a strategy for connecting this online space with other users through social media which will be presented in class and discussed in a 1000-word Critical Commentary and Evaluation essay.

Year two, optional modules

  • Documentary Film Theory
    This module acts as a co-requisite for the Level 5 practical Video Documentary module for Film Studies students. Students on other courses may choose to take the practical module as a free standing module. The module will introduce you to many of the critical discussions and debates surrounding the historical, technological, aesthetic and socio-political developments of the documentary approach to film and video-making. As well as paying full regard to the key trends and film-makers to have contributed to the history of this important genre, you will consider the renewed public interest in documentary film and its crossover into the mainstream with recent commercial and critical hits such as "When We Were Kings" (Leon Gast 1996) and "Bowling for Columbine" (Michael Moore 2002). You will focus on the nature, specificity and evolution of the documentary form, and its relationship to cinematic realism, and address the historical and theoretical contexts of the study of documentary film, as well as an engaging with topical debates regarding the relationship between reality and representation, documentary ethics, and the role of cross-cultural documentary and ethnographic film. You will also discuss different modes of address in documentary film-making, the role of the documentary film- maker, and the relationship between film-maker and subject(s), and explore current and future modes of distribution and exhibition for the documentary film, including specialist festivals devoted to documentary. Throughout the module there are opportunities for you to critically analyse key film texts. Your assessment will take the form of a 3000-word critical essay.
  • Television Genre
    The study of television genre has shaped television studies in numerous ways. Most importantly, television genre offers a way to ‘order’ content for viewers and a way for television studies scholars to come to terms with the vast amount of content available on broadcast television or Video-on-Demand. As such, television genre is essential for developing an understanding of the medium. This module will allow you to gain in-depth insights into the complexities and breadth involved in one of the central theoretical approaches to television. You'll be introduced to a variety of ways to conceptualise television genre as well as discussing case studies that position genres within a broader field of cultural, social, political and industrial contexts. Specifically, you will discuss structuralist, ideological and historical approaches to television genre; explore the idea of genre as discourse, genre hybridity and postmodernism, more elusive, audience-led genres such as cult TV; and look more specifically at case studies of genre. These case studies will illustrate the different means by which television genres can be studied. You will attend lectures, with a 1-hour screening slot to look at specific examples of television to analyse, and 1-hour seminars. By viewing specific programmes together, you will engage with known or unknown material critically and apply theories of television. You will be assessed with one 3000-word critical essay in which you will research, define and analyse a television genre of your choice.
  • Digital Media Theory: Social Media, AI, and the Cultures of the Internet
    Contemporary media culture is primarily a culture of the digital, mediated through digital computers, mobile communication devices and networks. By now it is clear that social and networked media has transformed many of the ways that we communicate and connect, think, act, and feel in the 21st century. This module will introduce you to the key themes and debates through which to understand digital culture, including an address to the history of digital technologies and the Internet. Themes discussed on the module will include: the study of specific social media platforms and practices (e.g. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter); memes and virality; data visualisation and interface design; affective computing; Cyborgs, sentient robots, and AI; Attention, distraction, and cognition in online cultures; GIF cultures; networked temporality; postdigital aesthetics; and other topics. You will have the opportunity to engage directly with digital technologies and platforms, as well as to study and reflect on how they are used, through in-depth case study/digital ethnographic research. The module seeks to promote digital literacy as well as foster critical thinking around digital media cultures and subjects. Your assessment will comprise a short project or Internet ethnographic study due mid- semester, and a 2500 word critical essay due at the end of the semester.
  • Photography
    The democratising power of the digital has turned all of us into photographers in a way that George Eastman (the founder of Kodak) could never have imagined. His motto for the Box Brownie Camera- the first truly mass produced affordable camera - was ‘you press the button we do the rest’. Digital cameras, Iphones and platforms like instagram have allowed photographers complete control of how their images are made, and how they are seen, often within seconds of being taken they can be distributed and consumed. Building on from the photographic projects in Sound/Text/Image, the module will introduce you to a history of photography and key practitioners. The module is structured around lectures, seminars and workshops. There is an emphasis on photographers engaging in broadly documentary modes of photography; street photography, photographers documenting sub-cultures, the urban landscape, and transformations in society. The module is informed critically by historic trends and practitioners and will teach you how to read an image as well as compose one. We will also explore different modes of presentation, online, projection and print. There will be a series of weekly projects on a series of themes, which you will upload for reflection/critique/discussion in class. This will encourage you to make images regularly and use digital means of distribution to make your work as accessible as possible. We will also engage in analogue image making to provide an alternative photographic experience. For the final project you will devise a portfolio of work and a critical essay on a photographer of your choice.
  • Non-Fiction Filmmaking
    To take this module you must already have taken Introduction to Video. You'll explore the nature and practice of documentary filmmaking, addressing the aesthetics of documentary in relation to expository, poetic, observational, performative, and reflexive modes of practice. You'll consider, reflect and implement appropriate responses to the range of issues that might arise in your work, including the ethical, creative, methodological, theoretical, and technical concerns relating to documentary. To rationalise the subject of non-fiction film and video in terms of forms and conventions of documentary language, you'll examine in detail various examples of contemporary, historical, independent, and mainstream documentary.
  • Creative Media Practice Process
    This module encourages an experimental and inter-disciplinary approach to creative media practice processes. You will explore a variety of media practices by way of workshops, technical inductions and short projects. An indicative list of the areas that will be covered in the module includes: moving images for public screens, sound design, animation, creative coding, interactive media, live broadcasting, web design and different forms of publishing. An ability to demonstrate a range of skills across different modes of production is increasingly becoming an essential attribute for graduates. This module will give you the opportunity to learn a range of skills, test different creative processes and gain the confidence to develop creative ideas by way of a range of media practices. You will submit a portfolio of projects at the end of the module along with a commentary and evaluation that describes and analyses the associated creative processes/outcomes and makes reference to a range of examples and precedents that contextualise your work.
  • Creative Media Practice Themes
    This module builds on key skills and techniques explored during the Creative Media Practice - Processes module. You will be set a range of potential themes by the Module Leader, which might refer to any one of a number of issues in contemporary culture, such as sustainability, the environment, social responsibility or identity. You will research the theme extensively and develop a point of focus and unique perspective on the subject. Midway through the module you will produce a presentation that displays your research and tests ways in which you will explore and represent your subject via the practices and processes introduced in Creative Media Practice: Processes. You can work in groups or individually. At the end of the module you will submit an appropriate portfolio representing the final project along with a commentary and evaluation that reflects on your project, accounts for the creative processes that you have developed and makes reference to a range of examples and precedents that contextualise your work.
  • 16mm Filmmaking
    Despite its decline, Kodak's bankruptcy and the end of Fuji 16mm and 35mm production, celluloid is still very much alive. This module will allow you to work directly with film, from shooting, through editing and on to projecting. Your practical work will be underpinned by a critical consideration of the nature of film, its history and its relationship to photography and the digital image. You'll explore the proto-cinematic motion studies of Eadweard Muybridge and Etienne Jules Marey as well as artists like Cindy Sherman and Hiroshi Sugimoto. Some of the films you'll study include works by the Lumière Brothers, Chris Marker and Guy Sherwin.
  • Independent Cinema: US and Beyond
    You’ll focus on the development, features and impact of independent cinema in the US and beyond. Alongside close examination of a number of key films, you'll consider areas such as the financing and promotion of independent film-making, and investigate how and why certain directors choose to work outside the protective infrastructures and high budgets provided by a studio system. You’ll also look at US-based film-makers starting out in the late 1970s and early 1980s, such as John Sayles, Jim Jarmusch and Joel Coen, and how they influenced later international film-makers, such as Quentin Tarantino, Gregg Araki, Vincent Gallo and Lukas Moodysson. You’ll explore how Awards ceremonies and Film Festivals can showcase 'peripheral' cinema, and critically examine the role of independent distribution companies. Your assessment will take the form of a critical essay and an oral seminar presentation on the work of an independent film-maker of your choice.
  • Cinema and Sound
    On this module you'll explore the role played by sound in the development and appreciation of cinema, including: the impact of the introduction of sound, the influence of sound on the perception and experience of the film spectator and the evolving terminology in the field. You'll examine the aesthetics of sound in the cinema with reference to films from the earliest experiments in sound recording, such as W.K.L. Dickson's Experimental Sound Film (1894/5), to early sound films by directors such as Alfred Hitchcock, René Clair and Fritz Lang, and all the way to contemporary cinema, by way of auteurs such as Robert Bresson, Jacques Tati and Andrei Tarkovsky. The theoretical framework for your study will include key texts by a range of critics and theorists who have sought to redress the balance in Film Studies (and culture at large), which often tends to privilege the image.

Year three, core modules

  • Major Project in Film Practice
    This module will allow you to undertake a self-directed major project in film practice, which should draw on the strengths of your work in the module “Experiments in Film and Moving Image Practice” and your Level 5 film practice modules. This will be an opportunity for you to develop and hone a particular approach to filmmaking, whether in the context of narrative drama, documentary or an experimental mode. You will also be asked to reflect on and discuss the wider context of their practice. The first part of the module will comprise sessions that involve project proposals, the development of pre- production work and the practical testing of creative filmmaking ideas. The middle and latter part of the module will involve you presenting work-in-progress to tutors and your peers and developing a frame of reference for your project. The module concludes with you presenting your finished films, in a professional manner, at a screening that will involve comments and feedback from staff and students from across the Film and Media discipline. In addition to producing a substantial self-directed film project, you will also submit a commentary and evaluation that outlines your intentions, describes the formative features of your work and addresses the context and precedents that situate it.


  • Major Project in Creative Media Practice
    This module will allow you to undertake a self-directed major project in an area of media practice, which should draw on the strengths of the work made on modules in Online Journalism, Photography, Sound/Image/Design and the modules in Creative Media Practice at level 5. It is an opportunity for you to develop and hone a particular approach to sound/podcasting photography, or multi-media journalism or digital media practice. You will also be asked to reflect on and discuss the wider context of your practice. The first part of the module will cover project proposals, the development of pre-production work and the practical testing of creative media ideas. During the middle and latter part of the module you will present work-in-progress to tutors and peers, and develop a frame of reference for your project. The module will conclude with you presenting your finished projects in a professional manner at a critique that will involve comments and feedback from staff and students from across the Film and Media discipline. In addition to producing a substantial self-directed media project for this module, you will also submit a commentary and evaluation that outlines your intentions, describes the formative features of your work and addresses the context and precedents that situate it.
  • Sound and Vision: Music and Media
    On this module you'll explore the role and functioning of a variety of musical forms within contemporary Western culture by focusing on places of consumption (such as clubs and concert halls), modes of reception (such as fandom, aural mnemonics, and identity formation) and modes and sites of production where the focus is on the diverse functioning of the music industry. You'll consider music as a form of communication practice, and the relationship of aurality to vision through an analysis of the use of music in film. You'll consider music within specific cultural and historical movements, including romanticism and nationalism. Throughout, you'll look at issues of ethnocentrism and the constructions and contestations of identity, value and power systems through music. For your assessment, you'll write a critical essay of 3,000 words.
  • Multiplexed: Contemporary Popular Cinema
    On this module you'll explore trends in the aesthetics and production practices of Hollywood movies, and their contexts of distribution and reception, based on a representative selection from the last four decades. You'll discover how the style and output of American popular cinema in this period has responded to changing socio-political, economic and cultural circumstances. Alongside close readings of a number of films (bookended by the box-office record breakers Jaws and Avatar), you'll consider some of the broader tendencies they represent: What lies behind the so-called 'blockbuster syndrome' supposedly initiated by Spielberg's monster movie? What is the impact of new locations or technologies for viewing on the aesthetics of popular cinema? Did the blockbuster destroy or save Hollywood? These are just some of the questions you'll answer over the course of the module.

Year three, optional modules

  • Special Topics in Film Studies
    This module will give you the opportunity to study a topic that will be taught by a member of staff whose particular academic interests and/or research is reflected in that area. You will extend your knowledge and understanding of a specific subject area that you may have encountered earlier in your studies, and in which there is deemed to be scope for more reading, critical commentary, analysis and discussion. Alternatively, this module may be used to introduce you to a topic which is not found elsewhere in the existing degree provision. A topic may be the study of a single filmmaker (e.g., Charlie Chaplin; Claire Denis) or cognate group of filmmakers (e.g., the French New Wave; New Queer Cinema), a genre (e.g. Global Horror; the Teen Movie), or a topic that allows for in-depth discussion and consideration of a defined area in film theory (Cinema & Sexuality; Digital Aesthetics in Contemporary Cinema; Film-Philosophy). The designated topics vary from year to year, and topics will be communicated prior to module choice. There will be no formal lectures - the module will be taught in seminars in which you will take part in group discussions.
  • 'Fake News', Media Law and Social Conflict
    On this module you will explore a set of urgent issues in the context of contemporary media, focusing on ‘fake news’, conflict and law. In the first part of the module you will explore different definitions of, as well as contemporary discourse around, ‘fake news’, before addressing specific examples of this phenomenon. We will consider ‘fake news’ from a range of perspectives, including politics, technology, and journalistic practice, and explore possible ways of offsetting the problem of ‘fake news’. We will then turn attention to representations of war and conflict in media, and specifically how different media forms have sought to stage and document social conflict. In this context, we will address a range of media depictions of war and conflict across inter alia print, sonic and audio-visual forms. Examples will be drawn from British and international contexts and from contemporary and historical settings. In the third and final part of the module you will explore specifically legal issues surrounding the creation, use, consumption, and circulation of media. These include an address to intellectual property rights, offering a detailed survey of copyright, trademark and patent law with a special emphasis on how they apply to media. We will also consider issues of privacy, surveillance and cybercrime.
  • Cultural Politics of Celebrity
    What can we learn from studying celebrities and celebrity culture? While the very idea of celebrity is often denigrated and dismissed as so much cultural fluff, it is a profoundly important and socially significant subject – perhaps now more than ever. To fully understand these fraught political and social times in which we live, it is vital to dig deep into the construction of celebrity culture across a range of spheres including film, TV, music, politics, and sports. Drawing from a range of academic literature, this module seeks to define and interrogate the notion of ‘celebrity’ across different historical and national contexts, from pre- to post-digital eras. From the ‘insta-famous’ to YouTubers, from Reality TV presidents to young environmental activists, from film stars to sporting icons, this module offers an in-depth examination of what celebrity means in a 21st century mediascape.
  • Contemporary Television
    You’ll explore a range of different genres, including drama, comedy and 'reality' shows. In screenings and seminars, you'll explore and analyse television programmes not simply as texts but as specific examples around which larger areas of debate and discussion can be explored. You'll also explore the wider context in which these programmes are situated (technology, institution, audience and the changing context of television). You’ll be assessed through a 500-word reception study, in which you'll analyse a cross section of reviews of a television programme, and a 2,500-word critical essay. Possible programmes for discussion include Twin Peaks, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Modern Family, X Factor, Doctor Who and Girls.
  • Experiments in Film and Moving Image
    This module is built around several workshops that will allow you to explore a range of experimental approaches to filmmaking and the moving image. An indicative list of workshops includes: multi-screen filmmaking; the moving image in-situ, live performance with film; single-frame filmmaking; working with found footage and experiments in soundtrack recording. Each workshop will involve a concise, advanced technical induction; an introduction to a range of associated film and video works; a short period of time to undertake the project; and a discussion of the work produced. In the latter part of the module, you will propose, develop and produce a project following the premises and lines of enquiry suggested by one of the earlier workshops. You will show and discuss the development of your project during individual tutorials and wider work-in-progress sessions. You can work individually or in small groups. On completion, you will attend a screening and critique of the work produced. In addition to the film project, you will also submit a commentary and evaluation that outlines your intentions and describes the formative features and processes you undertook in producing the work.
  • Narrative in Global Cinema
    On this module you will explore the way stories are told in films from around the world. You will study key aspects of cinematic narrative structure, including order, duration, cause-and-effect patterns, and the distinction between fabula (story) and syuzhet (plot). You will also examine how character and voice are handled in film, the function of 'point of view', focalisation, and internal vs external characterisation. You will address theoretical aspects such as narrator and narratee, reception theory, suspense vs surprise, the key 'seven' narrative functions, narrative and genre, and the ideology of 'show vs tell'. You will analyse non-narrative (and anti-narrative) aspects of narratives, such as description, iconic shots, music, and other disruptive elements. You will also be thinking about the different roles of words (dialogue, text, sub-titles) and imagery. You will study all of these narrative topics with regard to global cinemas. You will compare and contrast mainstream commercial Hollywood movies with non-American examples, ask to what extent continuity narrative has become the dominant pattern across the globe, examine narrative structures that do not fit the mainstream model, and analyse the intersection of global narratives with diverse identity formations. You will view films and clips from various European countries and non-Western regions, in addition to co-productions and transnational examples. Your assessment will comprise a narrative analysis (1000 words) and a critical (2000 words).
  • Digital Publishing
    This module will provide you with a reflective environment in which to apply techniques of electronic publishing to your own writing, selected from your broader portfolio or created through a commission. You'll need to draw on your learning experiences from other modules and then research and produce a design plan suitable for directing the production of a published document from initial thumbnail sketches through to finished product. Experimenting with appropriate software, you’ll generate, store and transfer information, then move on to copy editing, proofreading and production. You'll consider such questions as house style within the broader context of message and audience and the impact of diverse and developing technology on the reproduction of writing in paper based media. You'll engage critically with a range of case studies. You'll be assessed through your portfolio of work, as well as a commentary on and an evaluation of your process and product.
  • Experimental Cinema
    On this module, you'll take an historical approach to the various movements and themes associated with avant-garde film and experimental video. You'll consider these in aesthetic and socio-political contexts, but you’ll also study the work of a number of key film and video-makers in close detail. Throughout the module, you'll consider and reflect upon the history of experimental film and video and its association with other artistic forms, as well as its rebellious relationship with the mainstream. In addition, you'll examine the movement of the avant-garde film between cinema and modern art, while still focusing on it as an independent form of art practice with its own internal logic and aesthetic discourse.

Optional modules available all years

  • Anglia Language Programme
    The Anglia Language Programme module will allow you to study a foreign language as part of your course. You may choose to take two language modules in place of options on your course from the second semester of your first year, or in the second or third year. You can choose from the following: Chinese (Mandarin), French, German, Italian, Japanese, or Spanish. In order to experience the learning of a new language, you must select one that you have not learned before.


Modules are subject to change and availability.

You’ll show your progress through many different methods that reflect the range of skills required by employers. Your assignments might include case studies, critical essays, screenplays, journals, film reviews and analyses, presentations, and a portfolio of practical work, as well as ‘hands on’ assignments such as internet, print and video production / commissions.

Where you'll study

Your department and faculty

Using our creative expertise and industry connections in Cambridge and beyond, we create experiences that entertain, educate, inspire and improve lives.

At Cambridge School of Creative Industries, we believe in the importance of experimentation and risk-taking to create experiences that entertain, educate, inspire and improve lives.

Whether writing bestselling fiction, creating challenging documentaries or sharing a piano with people on the autism spectrum, the expertise of our staff goes far beyond teaching. Their research produces significant funding success, leading to important publications and international conferences.

Where can I study?

Lord Ashcroft Building on our Cambridge campus

Our campus is close to the centre of Cambridge, often described as the perfect student city.

Explore our Cambridge campus

Specialist facilties

You’ll have access to the kind of equipment you can expect to work with in the professional media industry, including film and television studios, HD cameras and 16mm film cameras, Final Cut Pro editing suites, Steenbecks for 16mm editing, animation rostrum cameras, multimedia studios, screening theatres and radio suites. You can also take advantage of all our other creative industry facilities, and get full training from our technical officers.

Study abroad

You can apply to study abroad for one semester, and get funding to help you cover the cost.

Extra-curricular activities

We organise and attend many extra-curricular activities, including Film Festivals such as Cambridge and Watersprite, industry guest speakers and field trips. You’ll also be able to join student societies, such as the Film Viewing Society, the Anime and Manga Society and Media:Next Move Arts, which organise their own events.

Work placements

You’ll take part in self-arranged work placements, and our career-focused modules will encourage you to reflect on what you have learned from them. Our previous students have undertaken placements and commissions with regional and local television, radio and newspapers, MTV, Cannes Film Festival, Edinburgh Film Festival and Cambridge Film Festival, often as part of their assessed work. For many, this has led directly to a paid position with the company.

Fees & funding

Course fees

UK & EU students starting 2020/21 (per year)


International students starting 2020/21 (per year)


Fee information

For more information about tuition fees, including the UK Government's commitment to EU students, please see our UK/EU funding pages

How do I pay my fees?

Tuition fee loan

UK and EU students can take out a tuition fee loan, which you won’t need to start repaying until after your graduate. Or alternatively, there's the option to pay your fees upfront.

Loans and fee payments

International students

You can pay your tuition fees upfront, in full or in two instalments. We will also ask you for a deposit of £4,000 or a sponsorship letter. Details will be in your offer letter.

Paying your fees


We offer a fantastic range of ARU scholarships, which provide extra financial support while you’re at university. Some of these cover all or part of your tuition fees.

Explore ARU scholarships

Funding for UK & EU students

Most new undergraduate students can apply for government funding to support their studies and university life. This includes Tuition Fee Loans and Maintenance Loans. There are additional grants available for specific groups of students, such as those with disabilities or dependants.

We also offer a fantastic range of ARU scholarships, which provide extra financial support while you’re at university. Find out more about eligibility and how to apply.

Funding for international students

We offer a number of scholarships, as well as an early payment discount. Explore your options:

Entry requirements

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Important additional notes

Whether you're studying entirely online or through a blend of face-to-face and online learning in September 2020, you'll need a computer and reliable internet access to successfully engage with your course. Before starting the course, we recommend that you check our technical requirements for online learning.

Our published entry requirements are a guide only and our decision will be based on your overall suitability for the course as well as whether you meet the minimum entry requirements. Other equivalent qualifications may be accepted for entry to this course, please email for further information.

We don't accept AS level qualifications on their own for entry to our undergraduate degree courses. However for some degree courses a small number of tariff points from AS levels are accepted as long as they're combined with tariff points from A levels or other equivalent level 3 qualifications in other subjects.

International students

We welcome applications from international and EU students, and accept a range of international qualifications.

Whether you're studying entirely online or through a blend of face-to-face and online learning in September 2020, you'll need a computer and reliable internet access to successfully engage with your course. Before starting the course, we recommend that you check our technical requirements for online learning.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you'll need to make sure you meet our English language requirements for postgraduate courses.

Improving your English language skills

If you don't meet our English language requirements, we offer a range of courses which could help you achieve the level required for entry onto a degree course.

We also provide our own English Language Proficiency Test (ELPT) in the UK and overseas. To find out if we are planning to hold an ELPT in your country, contact our country managers.

Similar courses that may interest you

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Writing and Film

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Film Studies

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UK and EU students

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UK and EU students

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International students

Applicants from outside the UK and EU, apply to ARU

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UK & EU applicants

01245 68 68 68

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International applicants

+44 1245 68 68 68

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