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Postgraduate Admissions

Course closed:

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


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 Architecture and History of Art, 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.  Essays are submitted at the end of the Lent term.

Lent term modules may include:

Cinema and Labour

Cinematic Abstraction

Cinema and the Politics of Representation in Latin America

Ecologies and Documentary Moving Images

Modern and Contemporary French and Francophone Culture: Articulations of the Real

Moving Image Outside the Cinema

New Commitments: Literature, Cinema and Culture in Italy 1960–present

The Modern City

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.

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:

Applications open
Sept. 1, 2020
Application deadline
June 2, 2021
Course Starts
Oct. 1, 2021

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

Graduate Funding Competition
Jan. 7, 2021
Gates Cambridge US round only
Oct. 14, 2020

These deadlines apply to applications for courses starting in Michaelmas 2021, Lent 2022 and Easter 2022.

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