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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 is classified as a research master's course.  It is designed for students who can already demonstrate an advanced level of familiarity with relevant research methods and topics within their field and readiness for advanced independent research.  Applicants will need to provide an outline proposal of a research project for their thesis. They will also need to have identified a prospective supervisor in advance. 

Students will follow some elements of the MPhil by Advanced Study, but a formal assessment is by a 30,000-word thesis alone, submitted at the end of the course.  

Applicants may find it useful to look at staff research interests within the Centre for Film and Screen to find out more about potential supervisors in their fields of interest.

Full-time students

Full-time students will normally attend the Core Course in Michaelmas Term (which is attended by students on the MPhil by Advanced Study). There is the option of attending MPhil by Advanced Study modules in the Lent term, subject to the approval of the Course Director and relevant module leaders. 


-Early October: course starts

Michaelmas (autumn) Term: Core Course seminars

-End of Michaelmas (winter) Term: Submission of a developed thesis proposal

-Lent (winter) Term: Students take two modules (optional)

-January: submission of first 5000 words (precise content to be agreed with supervisor)

-Early June: Submission of the thesis.  Around two to three weeks later there is an oral examination (viva) on the thesis.

Part-time students

Part-time students taking the course over the period of two academic years will be required to attend the Core Course seminars in their first term.  Students attend one Module in the Lent term of the first year. 'By Thesis' students do not submit essays for lectures, seminars or modules.  The rest of their first year and all of their second year is devoted to the thesis. The thesis will be submitted in early June of the second year.

-Early October, year 1: course starts

Michaelmas (autumn) Term, year 1: Core Course seminars 

Lent (winter) Term, year 1: Students take one module (optional)

End of Lent (winter) Term, year 1: Submission of a developed thesis proposal

Early June of year 1:  Submission of first 5000 words (precise content to be agreed with supervisor)

Early June of year 2:  Submission of the thesis.  Around two to three weeks later there is an oral examination (viva) on the thesis.

One to one supervision

Students will normally have discussed their proposed research in advance with a staff member specialising in the relevant subject area, and this person or an equivalent will be appointed as a supervisor throughout the year. For equity, there are norms for the amount of supervision each student can expect to receive. It is expected that a student will be capable of largely independent work.

The following supervision is provided:

•   Seven hours of supervision throughout the course

The University of Cambridge publishes an annual Code of Practice which sets out the University’s expectations regarding supervision.

Seminars & classes

Full-time students:

32 hours of core course seminars.  An additional 18 hours of Lent term module seminars (optional)

Part-time students:

Year 1:  32 hours of core course seminars, and an additional 9 hours of Lent term module seminars (optional)




In the Michaelmas, Lent and Easter terms, reports are written by the supervisor and made available to the student online. Feedback on the thesis is provided after it has been examined in the form of written assessors' reports.


Thesis / Dissertation

The research presented in a 30,000-word thesis, including footnotes, but excluding appendices and bibliography, will be evaluated independently by two examiners. An oral examination (viva) will be held in all cases.

The examination process is very similar to that of the PhD, and consists of two parts: scrutiny of the thesis by one internal and one external examiner, and a viva involving both examiners and the candidate. Some candidates may be asked to carry out corrections to their thesis which may mean graduating in October rather than in July.

Students receive the overall outcome of pass/fail. No mark is awarded for the MPhil By Thesis.

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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