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Postgraduate Admissions


The course structure

The Film and Screen Studies MPhil is a nine-month course that runs from October to June of any given academic year. Students are expected to submit coursework and a dissertation during the year, as follows:

Michaelmas Term: Core Course

During the first term of study, students attend weekly seminars and film screenings designed to give them a broad insight into moving image theory and culture. Half of the core course focuses on combining the study of classical and contemporary film and visual theory; the other half homes in on specialised historiographic and theoretical problems in the study of moving image media. The course is, thus, both intensively grounding and intellectually expansive. At the end of this term, students submit one essay. The essay focuses on a specific theoretical framework or critical approach. 

Lent Term: Modules

Students can choose from a range of module options. Some focus on the moving image, others are shared with different MPhils (eg European, Latin American and Comparative Literatures and Cultures; English: Culture and Criticism) and other sections and faculties within the University, such as English and Latin American Studies, among others.  The list of modules can change from year to year depending on the availability of academic staff.

During the Lent term, students attend weekly group seminars led by the module convenor, lasting 1.5 to two hours per week per module.  Two essays are submitted at the end of the Lent term.

Examples of modules that may be offered can be seen on the Faculty web pages.

Easter Term: dissertation

During this term, students write a dissertation. The dissertation must represent a contribution to learning. The dissertation must be written in English. The arrangements for their preparation are similar to those for the essays. Titles are chosen by students, in consultation with module convenors and/or prospective supervisors, and then have to be approved by the Faculty Degree Committee.

Topics and precise dissertation titles must be submitted by a specific deadline in the Lent term. Up to this point, the course director is the titular supervisor of MPhil students, but once the dissertation topics are approved, a specialist supervisor is appointed for each student. 

Research Events

Students are expected to take part in fortnightly research events that take place across the Michaelmas and Lent terms. Leading scholars in film and screen studies will deliver lectures and also meet with students in master class seminars. Students are asked to compile an (unassessed) dossier of critical responses to these events. Participation in these events allows students to engage intensely but also informally with innovative researchers.

One to one supervision

Seven hours per year (one hour for each of the three essays, plus four hours for the dissertation).

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

Seminars & classes

Approximately 64 hours per year (32 hours of core course seminars, 24 hours of module seminars plus at least eight hours of research seminars).


Students can expect to receive an online feedback report each term. Also, feedback on the essays and dissertation are provided in the form of a written report.


Thesis / Dissertation

Students will be asked to submit a dissertation of no more than 15,000 words. The examiners have the option to conduct an oral examination with the candidate.


Students will be asked to submit three 4,500-word essays.


Students are asked to submit a non-assessed dossier of short critical responses to research seminars.

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Key Information

9 months full-time

Master of Philosophy

Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages and Linguistics

Course - related enquiries

Application - related enquiries

Course on Department Website

Dates and deadlines:

Michaelmas 2023

Applications open
Sept. 15, 2022
Application deadline
May 16, 2023
Course Starts
Oct. 1, 2023

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

Course Funding Deadline
Jan. 5, 2023
Gates Cambridge US round only
Oct. 12, 2022

These deadlines apply to applications for courses starting in Michaelmas 2023, Lent 2024 and Easter 2024.

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