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Postgraduate Study

Course closed:

Film and Screen Studies by thesis is no longer accepting new applications.

The MPhil in Film and Screen Studies by Thesis at Cambridge provides an opportunity to study the theory and history of film and other screen media in a vibrant interdisciplinary context. The moving image is explored in relation to the development of modern and contemporary culture, and to the history and theory of other media (literature, music, the visual arts, architecture, the digital). Students are immersed in a research environment that emphasises work on geopolitics, early cinema, art cinema and the avant-garde, theory, aesthetics, and gender and sexuality.

The MPhil in Film and Screen Studies by Thesis is for students who already have a substantial level of familiarity with the study of film and literary texts in the relevant culture, and who already know the area they wish to research for their thesis. To be eligible for consideration, applicants will need (a) an appropriate level of linguistic and/or cultural expertise and (b) a clear idea of the area in which the thesis will be written.

The full-time course runs from October to June, with a submission date of early June.

It is also possible to take a part-time route, and the expected timeframe would be 20 months, with a thesis submission date of early June in the second academic year of study.

The main aims of the course are:

  • to develop and test the ability to carry out a substantial advanced project of independent research in an area of  film and screen studies, presented in the form of a 30,000-word thesis
  • to develop and test the ability to make a significant contribution to learning via dedicated Masters-level research that reflects the course length.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the programme students will have:

  • developed a deeper knowledge of the history and theory of film and screen studies in a cultural context;
  • developed a conceptual understanding of the debates which have shaped that field of study, and of current research methods;
  • acquired or consolidated skills appropriate for research in their chosen area;
  • demonstrated independent judgement, based on their own research;
  • learnt how to timetable independent research to produce written work of a high standard to a clearly defined deadline.
  • managed a sizeable research project (culminating in a 30,000 word thesis) which will represent a considerable achievement in its own right and prepare students for longer research projects (in particular a PhD).


Continuation from the MPhil by Thesis to PhD is possible although it is not automatic. All applicants are judged on their own merits and students must demonstrate their suitability to undertake doctoral level research. Students wishing to progress to PhD study will be required to pass the MPhil.

Open Days

The Postgraduate Virtual Open Day usually takes place at the end of October. It’s a great opportunity to ask questions to admissions staff and academics, explore the Colleges virtually, and to find out more about courses, the application process and funding opportunities. Visit the Postgraduate Open Day page for more details.

See further the Postgraduate Admissions Events pages for other events relating to Postgraduate study, including study fairs, visits and international events.

Key Information

9 months full-time

21 months part-time

Study Mode : Research

Master of Philosophy

Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages and Linguistics

Course - related enquiries

Application - related enquiries

Course on Department Website

Dates and deadlines:

Applications open
Sept. 4, 2023
Application deadline
May 16, 2024
Course Starts
Oct. 1, 2024

Some courses can close early. See the Deadlines page for guidance on when to apply.

Course Funding Deadline
Jan. 4, 2024
Gates Cambridge US round only
Oct. 11, 2023

These deadlines apply to applications for courses starting in Michaelmas 2024, Lent 2025 and Easter 2025.

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