Film: Theory and Practice (MA)

Newcastle University the United Kingdom

For more information about Film: Theory and Practice at Newcastle University, please visit the webpage using the button above.

The award

How long you will study
12 - 24 Months

Domestic course fees
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How you will study
full-time, part-time

Course starts
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International course fees
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All study options

About Film: Theory and Practice at Newcastle University

The Film: Theory and Practice MA will give you a sophisticated understanding of films as systems of meaning and practice.

The course covers four areas:

  • film theory: history and approaches, narrative and aesthetics, authorship, stardom, national cinema
  • cinema management: film festival, exhibition culture, marketing
  • filmmaking
  • screenwriting.

You can specialise in areas of film theory, and/or in film practice which includes cinema management, screenwriting and filmmaking.

Your development

You will develop your own scholarly approaches to film through exploring a range of positions in film studies, and a range of historical periods and national/transnational cinemas.

By the end of the course you will have acquired knowledge of a range of analytical and theoretical principles in film studies and an array of national/transnational cinemas, including:

  • British
  • Chinese
  • French
  • American
  • North African
  • Spanish and Latin American.

If you choose to specialise in film practice, you will have explored either the complexity of designing and executing complex visual narrative or the demands of a modern commercial cinema and various film festivals. For your dissertation, you can choose to write a script, or make a short film, alongside a written research dissertation.

Whether you are looking to advance skills developed at undergraduate level, develop the skills needed to pursue a career in the creative industries, or establish the foundations for a PhD in film, the MA will challenge and engage you in developing insights into film as a crux of modern life and media.

Research and practitioner led teaching

The study of film has a long history at Newcastle. Our community of film scholars share specialisms in:

  • film genre
  • film stardom
  • gender and ethnic identities in cinema
  • writing on film
  • documentary film.

Our research interests also range widely in Anglophone, French, Hispanic, East Asian and Middle Eastern cinemas.

Award-winning film-makers, Tina Gharavi and Ian MacDonald, bring a wealth of professional experience to the teaching of film production. We collaborate with Sheffield Doc/Fest and other local film institutions to provide work experience opportunities and in-depth knowledge in film exhibition and distribution.

We have a thriving research culture in film. The Research Centre for Film organises a diverse range of activities such as visiting speaker series, student or staff-oriented conferences and symposiums, and Chinese and Spanish film festivals.


Based at the University’s central Newcastle campus and delivered in late afternoon, 4.00pm – 6.00pm, during term time. This course is co-delivered by researchers and filmmakers from the School of Modern Languages, the School of Arts and Cultures, and the School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics, as well as industry professionals and practitioners outside of the University.

You take a total of 180 credits during either a 12 or 24 month study period.

The compulsory modules help you to develop skills in handling the dense texture underpinning film meaning and isolating the forces at work in the production and consumption of films.

Optional modules reflect four pathways in this programme including film theory, filmmaking, screenwriting, cinema management/film exhibition. You can also undertake a professional placement at Sheffield Doc/Fest, the leading documentary film festival in the world, or Bridge&Tunnel, a BAFTA-nominated film production company.

Work experience

In two optional modules: Exhibition Culture and Professional Placement, we collaborate with a range of local and national film institutions in providing opportunities for work experience.

You will also have the opportunity to get involved in the organisation of conferences and film festivals.


You will have the opportunity to use Culture Lab, a complex for creative practice which includes a stock of film cameras and editing suites, as well as motion-capture, animation and sound-mixing technology.

The Language Resource Centre and Peter Robinson Library hold large collections of international films and film magazines. You will also have access to a dedicated postgraduate suite including computers, workspaces, a kitchen and showers.

There are fantastic local film facilities including the Tyneside Cinema and British Film Institute Mediatheque. You will also have guided access to Tyne and Wear Archives.

Study options for this course

  • The award How you will study How long you will study Course starts Domestic course fees International course fees
  • The awardMAHow you will studyFull-time, Part-timeHow long you will study12 - 24 months
    Course starts find outDomestic course fees find outInternational course fees find out

Notes about fees for this course

See Fees and Funding tab in the Programme information in our online Prospectus.

Entry requirements

A 2:1 honours degree, or international equivalent, in film, media studies or a related subject such as:

  • English
  • modern languages
  • history
  • sociology
  • art
  • psychology.

We will also consider applicants with a degree in a different subject alongside relevant professional experience, such as film journalism or teaching in film.

International Students

To study this course you need to meet our Band 8 English Language requirements:

Direct Entry: IELTS 7.0 overall (with a minimum of 6.5 in all sub-skills)

If you have lower English Language scores, you may be accepted onto a pre-sessional English course. 

Our typical English Language requirements are listed as IELTS scores but we also accept a wide range of English Language tests.

The equivalent academic qualifications that we accept are listed on our country pages.

Pre-sessional English Course Requirements

  • 6 week Pre-sessional entry:Not accepted    
  • 10 week Pre-sessional entry: IELTS 6.5 overall (with a minimum of 6.0 in all sub-skills)

You can study a pre-sessional English course at our INTO Newcastle Centre.

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