The degree recognises cinema's role as a major cultural form and explores the medium, from the late nineteenth century onwards, through critical, theoretical and historical approaches. You will examine cinema's aesthetic and social importance in the context of an increasingly visual and media-oriented culture, and you will build a framework for detailed analysis and interpretation of individual films.
Drawing on the expertise and technical resources of the Lancaster University Television Unit, you can take the opportunity to make your own digital films. You will also gain understanding of film production, distribution and exhibition.
While this degree is an academic course, it is differentiated by an exploration of the links between theory and practice in all modules. Through this balance of theoretical, critical and practical learning we develop adaptable graduates who are ready to work in the thriving creative industries.
Lancaster University Film Studies graduates have a strong track record of gaining employment, particularly in advertising and marketing, media production and the media industries. Many go on to vocational postgraduate training in media-related careers.
Our graduates benefit from grounding in the critical and theoretical study of cinema, which is a particular advantage if you are seeking a career, or further postgraduate study, in film and other media.
You will gain the skills needed to undertake detailed analysis of films and you’ll acquire a thorough, nuanced appreciation of film aesthetics. On graduation, you’ll possess a detailed knowledge of academic thinking on film and the visual arts, the ability to read and critique specialised academic writing, and a broad knowledge of the history of international cinema. You will also have highly sought after and valuable research, writing, and presentation skills, which are welcomed by a broad range of employers.
In addition, and dependent on your module choices, you may also possess practical and technical skills in film–making.
Throughout your course you will be supported by tutors with creative energy and a passion for film; working collaboratively with your peers, and in your individual studies, we will encourage you to explore the question that is central to the academic pursuit of film studies – why does film matter?
We’ll introduce you to a range of critical approaches to the study of film via our first-year core module. You will explore film aesthetics, interpretation and meaning, and the historical significance of key films from a range of traditions. In the third term you will work in small groups to produce a short film under tutor supervision. You will also take a LICA-wide core module on modernism in the arts, and a third module from another LICA discipline or from a range of subjects offered across the University.
In the second year, our specialised film cultures core module allows you to study films in relation to their industrial, commercial, social, political, and national contexts. It also emphasises the continual cross-cultural and trans-national dialogue between different cinema traditions. In the LICA-wide critical reflections core module you will explore a more diverse range of analytical approaches. In your third year you’ll complete a dissertation on an area of film in which you are particularly interested. You’ll also be invited to choose a number of modules in years two and three, either from other LICA disciplines or from specialist topics such as silent cinema, French cinema since 1945, film theory, ideology and politics in the cinema, and documentary cultures.
You will be assessed via coursework, written exams, individual and group projects and film production.
Some students choose to spend their second year in Canada or the US at one of our partner institutions. If you decide to spend a year abroad we will support you and advise you about which are the best institutions to undertake an exchange year with and what courses to take.
For further information please see the Course Overview
If you have an interest in understanding how the cinema and other media continue to shape our society, and why films are fascinating, pleasurable, stimulating, or disturbing, then the BA (Hons) in Film Studies is the course for you. It is designed for students with an ability and willingness to work across academic disciplines and a readiness to read around the subject. Our teaching places a strong emphasis upon the development of critical thought, independence, and, of course, a passionate interest in film.
Lecturer: Film Studies
"You have the opportunity to study a diverse international variety of films ranging from silent melodramas through to contemporary Hollywood effects movies, and from mainstream cinema to the experimental margins of avant-garde art."
BA (Hons) Film and Cultural Studies, 2011
"This course is for open-minded students who have an interest in the aesthetic, practical, economic, sociological, political and historical approaches to film."
"The course has opened my mind to how fine art, music and theatre influences film and I have learned so much."
"I have been able to organise my programme so I can study modules which are applicable to all arts students."
"The emphasis on academic work, such as reading and writing, group work and presentations, have improved my written and verbal communication, and I have realised how little I knew about the subject before arriving."
"I recommend the silent cinema module, especially, as it is thoroughly enjoyable and fascinating and taught with enthusiasm!"
Lecturer: Film Studies
"At Lancaster you will study with researchers who are at the forefront of contemporary debates in Film Studies."
Lecturer: Film Studies
"The best of American cinema and culture can be studied alongside alternative cinema from the four corners of the globe."