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Postgraduate Study

Course closed:

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

The MPhil in Film and Screen Studies at Cambridge provides advanced training in the study of 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 is offered by the Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages and Linguistics (MMLL) as a nine-month full-time period of research and introduces students to research skills and specialist knowledge.

The course aims:

  • to give students with relevant experience at a first-degree level the opportunity to develop a historically and theoretically informed approach to the study of screen media in their cultural contexts, both in taught classes and through closely supervised individual research;
  • to give students the opportunity to develop a distinctive interdisciplinary approach to the study of film and screen, by exposure to the different kinds of enquiry undertaken in a variety of disciplines;
  • to give students the opportunity to acquire or develop skills and expertise relevant to their research interests; and
  • to provide foundations for continuation to PhD research in film and screen studies.

These aims are achieved by:

  • giving students the experience and guidance necessary for them to be able to formulate a feasible research proposal, and to prepare for submitting written work based on such a proposal to a clearly defined timetable;
  • providing a broad foundation for the proper understanding of the issues which have shaped a given field of study, and thus for a critical assessment of existing scholarship;
  • encouraging students to develop insights which might form the basis of an original contribution to that field of study;
  • developing students’ competence in bibliographical method (including the use of computer technology); and
  • giving students the experience of attending and contributing to a postgraduate research seminar, and in particular of presenting their own work and discussing the issues that arise from it with an audience of senior and junior members of the participating departments and faculties.

In addition to these subject-specific skills, the following general transferable skills are also acquired:

  • The relatively intense timetable of the MPhil demands that students develop exemplary time-management skills. They work in collaboration with their supervisors to devise appropriate plans of study and have to ensure that they meet all deadlines, both formal and informal.
  • Students are expected to make regular presentations in seminar situations. This develops their oral presentation skills.
  • Written work is assessed on the basis of a demonstration of scholarly research and critical analysis. That is, students are expected to present a lucid, coherent and carefully substantiated exposition of a critical viewpoint. Writing must be in clear, grammatically correct, continuous prose, and must function as a single, comprehensible, persuasive, cumulative demonstration, not as a series of disconnected insights. The organisation of the argument of the essay or dissertation and its prose style are of crucial importance.

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;
  • participated effectively in seminar discussions; and
  • learnt how to timetable independent research to produce written work of a high standard to a clearly defined deadline.


For those applying to continue from the MPhil by Advanced Study to PhD, the minimum academic standard is an overall distinction on 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

Study Mode : Taught

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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