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Film Studies

BA (Hons) - single BA (Hons), BSc (Hons) - combined

School of Arts

Film Studies combines the history, theory and practice of cinema. You will study film analysis and criticism alongside practical work on scriptwriting and video production, and gain valuable insight into the workings of the film industry. 

You will be taught by a team of film specialists and industry professionals with different national and cultural backgrounds, whose diverse research expertise is reflected in the breadth and scope of the curriculum.

You will develop a critical appreciation of film by studying a wide range of national cinemas, genres and topics in their historical, cultural and aesthetic contexts.

We've reviewed our combinations for this course for 2018 entry - please check the current list of combined honours options in 'Combining this course with another subject'

Typical offers

UCAS points: 112

Available start dates

September 2018 / September 2019

Teaching location

Headington Campus / Headington Campus, Headington Hill

Course length

  • Full time: 3 years or 4 years sandwich
  • Part time: 5 - 8 years

UCAS code

P303

For full application details, please see the 'How to apply / Entry requirements' section.

  • You will have opportunities to engage with the history, theory and practice of cinema. The course offers a combination of academic, practical and professional components taught by a team of film specialists and industry experts.
  • A key feature of the course is a work placement option. All second year film students have the opportunity to apply for a year-long paid internship with Universal Studios in London.
  • Our industrial advisory board members enhance teaching and contribute to our high level of graduate employability.
  • For the past three years we have been able to offer student accreditations for the Cannes Film Festival.
  • Oxford is home to two art-house cinemas, the Phoenix and the Ultimate Picture Palace, both of which offer a range of work experience to Brookes students.

Our Film Studies course offers a combination of academic, practical and professional components. Mastering the art of film analysis and criticism is central to the course, but it also includes several practical and professional components such as technical studies for film-makers, video production, documentary film-making, scriptwriting and work placements in the industry.

During Year 1 you are introduced to key issues in film studies. This develops your visual literacy and equips you with relevant tools and critical concepts of film analysis. You will learn about the history, finance and organisation of the film industry. A range of practical, technical and contextual modules are offered to introduce you to making and thinking about film from a variety of perspectives. You will also develop your research and writing skills through targeted workshops.

Modules taken in Year 2 and the final year reflect the interdisciplinary approach of the course which is designed to develop your critical and practical competencies. You can choose from a range of modules exploring film in its socio-cultural, historical and theoretical contexts in combination with modules that are more practically or professionally oriented.

The scriptwriting modules introduce you to the principles of story design, which you can put into practice under the tutelage of a professional scriptwriter. Film Production and Film Project enable you to engage with the creative, practical and collaborative processes of film-making production. In addition, students can experience a range of roles and responsibilities from creating a business plan, to pitching a script, to shooting a short film.

This course provides you with many opportunities to get inside knowledge of the film industry and to establish useful links. A key feature of the course is a work placement option which gives you the opportunity to obtain credits for work experience in a relevant sector of the media industry, such as journalism, media production, working in a film museum or assisting with the organisation and marketing of a film festival.

Study modules

As courses are reviewed regularly, the module list you choose from may vary from that shown below. 

Year 1

  • Key Issues in Film Studies (compulsory)
  • The Film Industry
  • Film History (compulsory)
  • Film Form and Technical Skills (compulsory for practical pathway)
  • Film Narrative: Principles of Screenwriting (compulsory for students taking other scriptwriting modules)
  • Popular Cinema (compulsory)
  • Research in Film Studies (compulsory)
  • Preproduction for Independent Filmmaking

Year 2 and final year

  • Film Styles: Classicism, Art Cinema and Beyond (Compulsory)
  • Scriptwriting: Advanced Level
  • Work Placement in Film Studies
  • British Cinema: Industry and Text
  • Film Production, Management and Practice
  • Stars and Audiences
  • Film Genres
  • Film Music
  • Contemporary Japanese Cinema
  • Screening Realism
  • Film Theory: Critical Approaches to Film
  • Dissertation in Film Studies
  • Film Festivals and Exhibition
  • Special Subject
  • Issues in World Cinema

Work placements

Our established links with the film industry enable students to meet professionals at regular film events, and to gain hands-on experience on work placements which are fully accredited as a module.

Placements can be based in the UK or, if you have the relevant language skills, with one of our links abroad. Our students have gained valuable experience at companies including Working Title, Eon Productions, Cactus TV, the BBC and Warner Bros. In addition all second year film students can apply to a year-long paid internship at Universal Studios in London.

Films students have worked on productions including Skyfall, Slumdog Millionaire, Inglourious Basterds, Saturday Kitchen and Downton Abbey.

Please note that work placements are organised for you. We have a list of possibilities and you are supported in the process of selecting the right option for you based on your particular interests and focus. Transport costs are not included in the fees so you would need to fund and organise your travel arrangements, but on the whole our placements tend to be local.

Field trips

Recent field trips have included:

  • visits to local cinemas (eg The Ultimate Picture Palace)
  • events at the London Film Festival
  • a week in New York, including the Museum of the Moving Image and NBC Studios
  • a week in Berlin during the Berlinale
  • the Cannes Film Festival in May.

Your course tuition fee covers the cost of all mandatory field trips. The cost of an optional field trip is not included in your course tuition fee, and a separate fee will apply. Please contact our Enquiry Centre (see 'Contact us') if you would like more information about the field trip(s) on this course.

Study abroad

You may be able to go on a European or international study exchange while you are at Brookes. Most exchanges take place in the second year.

Studying abroad provides an amazing opportunity to add value to your studies by:

  • increasing your employability within an international market
  • boosting your language skills
  • building your confidence in adapting to new situations
  • improving your knowledge of different cultures.

While on exchange you will gain credits which count towards your degree.

We have more than 100 partner universities around the world. Funding is available through the Erasmus scheme, and also via some international programmes such as the Santander Student Awards. There is also a European work placement programme which gives you the chance to work abroad as part of your studies.

For more information, visit our pages on studying abroad and exchanges.

Free language courses for students - the Open Module

Free language courses are available to full-time undergraduate and postgraduate students on many of our courses, and can be taken as a credit on some courses.

Please note that the free language courses are not available if you are:

  • studying at a Brookes partner college
  • studying on any of our teacher education courses or postgraduate education courses.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a wide range of teaching methods. Analytical modules are largely taught through lectures and student led seminars, complemented with tutorials focused on assessment.

We organise a regular programme of high-profile guest lectures with well-known film producers, directors and other media professionals.

Our film and media journalism students are currently engaged in an exciting project to provide cutting-edge arts coverage for a local hospital radio station.

In your final year you will have the opportunity to programme, market and run our student film festival.

Approach to assessment

Most modules are assessed using a combination of examination and coursework, although some are assessed totally by coursework or practical work. 

For modules assessed through an essay, there is a careful process of agreeing on topics and submitting an essay plan to be discussed in advance of the final essay in one to one tutorials, ensuring essay writing is fully supported. Assessment can take many forms including assignments, library exercises, class tests and assessed practical work.

Tuition fees

Home/EU - full time fee: 2017/18: £9,250

Home/EU - part time fee: 2017/18: £750 per single module

Home/EU - sandwich placement fee: 2017/18: £1,380

International - full time: 2017/18: £12,890 2018/19: £13,150

International - sandwich placement fee: 2017/18: £3,840 2018/19: £3,920

Please note tuition fees for Home/EU students may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students in line with an inflationary amount determined by government. Tuition fees for International students may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students.

Undergraduate fee levels for 2018/19 have not yet been announced by the government and are therefore yet to be confirmed. Oxford Brookes University intends to maintain its fees for new and returning home and EU students at the maximum permitted level for new and returning Home/EU students.

Please be aware that some courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees. Specific additional costs for this course, if any, are detailed in the 'This course in detail' window above.

Questions about fees?
Contact Student Finance on:
+44 (0)1865 483088
finance-fees@brookes.ac.uk

Funding and scholarships

For general sources of financial support, see:

Typical offers

UCAS points: 112

  • A-level: BBC or equivalent
  • International Baccalaureate: 30 points
  • BTEC: DMM
  • AS-levels will be recognised in place of a maximum of 1 A-level; may include 12-unit vocational A-level
  • Other A-level equivalent qualifications will be considered

For combined honours, normally the offer will lie between the offer quoted for each subject.

A new UCAS Tariff point system is being introduced for students applying to start university in September 2017, which uses  a qualification’s size and grades to calculate total Tariff points under a brand new system. Therefore the Tariff points for 2017 entry look very different from 2016 entry - the 2017 BBC equivalent for this course will be 112 UCAS points for 2017. Please visit the UCAS website for more information.

Specific entry requirements

Please also see the University's general entry requirements.

English language requirements

Please see the University's standard English language requirements

International and EU applications

Preparation courses for EU students

We offer a range of courses to help students meet the academic and English language entry requirements for their courses and also familiarise them with university life.

Find out more about the international foundation pathways we offer and our pre-sessional English language courses.

Country specific entry requirements

If you are studying outside the UK, for more details about your specific country entry requirements, translated information and local representatives who can help you to apply, please have a look at our country specific information pages.

English requirements for visas

If you need a student visa to enter the UK you will need to meet the UK Visas and Immigration minimum language requirements as well as the University's requirements. Find out more about English language requirements.

How to apply

Full-time students should apply for this course through UCAS.

 Part-time students should apply directly to the university.

Terms and Conditions of Enrolment

When you accept our offer, you agree to the Terms and Conditions of Enrolment. You should therefore read those conditions before accepting the offer.

Credit transfer

Oxford Brookes operates the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). All undergraduate single modules are equivalent to 7.5 ECTS credits and double modules to 15 ECTS credits. More about ECTS credits.

Why Oxford is a great place to study this course

Oxford is a great place to study film, as we have a rich cinematic heritage right on our doorstep. Oxford's historic architecture features in popular films and television shows from the Harry Potter series to Inspector Morse, and we are close to the world-leading facilities at Pinewood Studios. The international creative hub of London is just an hour away.

The city of Oxford has one of the oldest independent cinemas in the UK, the Ultimate Picture Palace, which offers retrospectives of classic and contemporary films, special events with filmmakers, and film festivals - as does the Phoenix Picturehouse. 

Specialist facilities

You'll have access to professional-quality resources and facilities including a 6K Red Epic Dragon camera rig. We also have recently refurbished digital editing suites, with Final Cut Pro, Adobe After Effects and Final Draft software and the latest HD equipment. Our state-of-the-art cinema room has industry standard 4K projection and THX approved Dolby Atmos sound. Practical and vocational modules benefit from the contribution of professionals from the industry and will prepare you for a broad spectrum of careers in the film and media industry.

You can make use of video and DVD viewing facilities and consult the vast collection of videos, DVDs, specialist books, journals and electronic databases in our library, which provide an invaluable source for further study and independent research.

General support services

Supporting your learning

From academic advisers and support co-ordinators to specialist subject librarians and other learning support staff, we want to ensure that you get the best out of your studies.

Personal support services

We want your time at Brookes to be as enjoyable and successful as possible. That's why we provide all the facilities you need to be relaxed, happy and healthy throughout your studies.

Career prospects

Our exciting and varied curriculum will make you stand out from the crowd when applying for a variety of careers in the film and media industry: from film, TV and media journalism to research; from production management for film and TV companies to creative writing for the screen. The professional contacts developed during the work placement will enhance your opportunities in TV and the film industry.

Our graduates have recently secured positions including Research Coordinator at Universal Pictures, Marketing Assistant at Be At TV, PA to the Commercial Director of Icon Films and freelance make-up artist at Pinewood Studios.

Further study

Students can choose to continue their study of film at postgraduate level with our MA in Popular Cinema, or pursue doctoral level supervised research.