Film and television don't just shape culture: they create it. Our unique 360˚ approach to cinema allows you to understand film from every angle: from stars to directors, historical origins to contemporary economics, socio-political contexts, to aesthetic achievements and from the dynamics of screenplays to the global cultures that shape production, reception and film form itself. You'll come away from the course speaking confidently about concepts and ideas, with the ability to deftly critique them, too – ideal skills for the communication industries, creative arts and beyond.
Taking this approach, you will study film and television from Hollywood and Europe, Bollywood, Asia and Latin America alongside a range of more experimental non-narrative film, television and digital media forms. Taught in partnership with the film experts in Royal Holloway’s School of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures, there is particular emphasis on a diverse range of European cinema.
You'll get a comprehensive grounding in the history and theory of moving image media, including the opportunity to undertake courses in screenwriting. After a grounding in the key theoretical and historical aspects of film in your first year, you can go on to explore those topics that intrigue you and capture your attention in film and television’s rich artistic, social and political traditions.
You will work with world-leading experts in European and World cinema, and award-winning practitioners from across the media industry and thrive on our creative campus – we have regular industry visitors and close contact with other arts departments and student societies.
Our flexible degree programmes enable you to apply to take a Placement Year, which can be spent studying abroad, working or carrying out voluntary work. You can even do all three if you want to (minimum of three months each)! To recognise the importance of this additional skills development and university experience, your Placement Year will be formally recognised on your degree certificate and will contribute to your overall result. Please note conditions may apply if your degree already includes an integrated year out, please contact the Careers & Employability Service for more information. Find out more
- Learn the history and theory of moving image media.
- Watch and analyse films from around the world.
- Study European cinema in the School of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures
- Work with world-leading and award-winning practitioners from across the media industry.
- Explore film’s artistic, social and political traditions.
Core ModulesYear 1
In this module you will develop an understanding of film, television and digital media history. You will look at how and where digital media intersect and converge with these moving image forms, examining media from the late 19th century through to the present. You will consider how even 'old' technologies were 'new' at some point, and analyse the relationship between technological, social and aesthetic developments in new media forms.
In this module you will develop an understanding of the key debates in critical theory. You will look at a range of different methods in studying film, television and digital media, including artistic achievement and critical interpretation, close textual analysis, ideological analysis, national cinema, and psychoanalysis. You will examine the relationship between the intentions of individual film and programme-makers and wider processes. You will consider films and television programmes in close detail, analysing the relationship between how something is achieved and what it means.
In this module you will develop an understanding of patterns of narrative in film, television and documentary. You will look at narrative structure, patterns and distinctions in storytelling methods and styles, the relationship between narrative and identity, and points of view. You will also examine the social and cultural context of narrative and consider adaptation, postmodern and open-ended narrative, issue-driven narrative and television drama narrative structures.
In this module you will develop an understanding of a variety of narrative strategies and structures in audio-visual media, in particular, film and television. You will look at narrative form, structure and cultural context, and examine the principles of narrative screenwriting. You will analyse a range of primary and secondary audio-visual and written sources, and create your own short original screenplay, applying relevant formal and presentation conventions.
In this module you will develop an understanding of the key tenets of film theory and learn to apply these to a selection of important pre- and post-war European and international films. You will look at aspects of film style, genre and national and international contexts.You will consider canonical works from a century of cinema history by filmmakers such as Joseph von Sternberg, Alfred Hitchcock and Pedro Almodovar, and examine significant examples of technique and style.
In this module you will develop an understanding of the early phase of film history between 1895 and the early 1930s. You will look at the invention of motion pictures through to the establishment of sound cinema. You will consider a cross-section of American and European films made during this phase, when film-making was largely national but the absence of the spoken word gave film a truly cosmopolitan dimension, with directors, actors and technical personnel moving freely across national boundaries. You will examine the development of film as art, with its links to the Avant-garde, and cinema as an entertainment industry in which genre (horror and crime films) helped to drive innovation.
- All modules are optional
- Media Arts Dissertation
There are a number of optional course modules available during your degree studies. The following is a selection of optional course modules that are likely to be available. Please note that although the College will keep changes to a minimum, new modules may be offered or existing modules may be withdrawn, for example, in response to a change in staff. Applicants will be informed if any significant changes need to be made.Year 1
- All modules are core
- Film Theory: Hitchcock and Point of View
- Post-Classical Hollywood
- Television Histories
- Modern European Cinema
- Contemporary Chinese Cinemas
- Exotic Cinema: Encounters with Cultural Difference
- Modernism and Avant Garde Film
- Beyond Bollywood: Indian Cinema in a Transitional Frame
In this module you will develop an understanding of the core concepts of the digital age, looking at how today's computer networks, devices and infrastructure underpin nearly all forms of aesthetic, cultural social and political life. You will consider the concepts of technicity, affective turn, digital subjectivity and extended mind, creative expression and participation in the digital era, amateur production, free software, fun and politics, self-organisation, media archaeology and sonic architectures. You will examine the systematic challenges brought about by digital change and critically interpret and analyse digital phenomena.
In this module you will develop an understanding of how creativity is constrained and enabled by the industrial logics of the creative industries. You will focus on film, television and digital media, exploring issues such as economics and financing, pitching and commissioning, policy and regulation, copyright, formats and global trade, ratings and audience measurement, branding and marketing, digital production logics, and production cultures. You will also consider a number of important industry-oriented research skills, such as interviewing, market/demographic analysis, locating and interpreting legal documents, and archival research.
- International Film 2: Readings and Representations
- Cinema in France
- Representations of Childhood and Youth in Modern German Culture
- 20th-Century Mexican Visual Arts and Film
- Constructing Identity in Contemporary Spanish Film
- Rebels, Revolution & Representation in Latin America
- Postwar Italian Cinema: the Auteur Tradition
- Contemporary British Cinema 1
- Digital Cultures
- Film Aesthetics 1: Issues of Interpretation and Evaluation
- Psychoanalysis and Cinema
In this module you will develop an understanding of how the destruction of European Jewry by the Nazis between 1933 and 1945 has been represented and responded to across a range of both fictional and non-fictional media. You will look at the specific theoretical debates surrounding how the Holocaust can or should (or should not) be represented in art and popular culture. You will consider the role of mass media in constructing both popular and elite relationships to historical experience, and in documenting history.
- Media Technologies
- See This Sound - Audiovisuology
- 360º Cinema
- Political Cinema: From Eisenstein to Youtube
- The Poetics of Contemporary Television
- Contemporary British Cinema 2
- Film Aesthetics 2
Teaching & assessment
You will be taught through a combination of lectures, seminars, small-group tutorials, screenings, guided independent research and study. Private study and preparation are essential parts of every course, and you will have access to many online resources and the University’s comprehensive e-learning facility, Moodle. When you start with us, you are assigned a Personal Tutor to support you academically and personally.
Assessment is carried out by written assignments, such as essays, film reviews, blogs and dissertations, as well as examinations at the end of your first year. Students also have the opportunity to write their own screenplay and, in their final year, have the chance to see this put into production by students on the BA Film, Television & Digital Production course.
A Levels: ABB-BBB
- At least five GCSE passes at grade A*-C or 9-4, including English and Mathematics.
Where an applicant is taking the EPQ alongside A - levels, the EPQ will be taken into consideration and result in lower A-level grades being required. Socio - economic factors which may have impacted an applicant's education will be taken into consideration and alternative offers may be made to these applicants.
Other UK and Ireland Qualifications
International & EU requirements
English language requirements
All teaching at Royal Holloway is in English. You will therefore need to have good enough written and spoken English to cope with your studies right from the start.
The scores we require
- IELTS: 6.5 overall. Writing 7.0. No other subscore lower than 5.5.
- Pearson Test of English: 61 overall. Writing 69. No other subscore lower than 51.
- Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English (ISE): ISE III.
- Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) grade C.
For more information about country-specific entry requirements for your country please visit here.
For international students who do not meet the direct entry requirements, we offer an International Foundation Year, run by Study Group at the Royal Holloway International Study Centre. Upon successful completion, you may progress on to selected undergraduate degree programmes at Royal Holloway, University of London.
Your future career
You will not only learn a range of key transferable skills across the degree but also underpin these with a thorough grounding in the history and theory of film and TV, and understanding of the economic and power structures behind media production – invaluable for careers in creative companies who want to look ahead to future trends.
Our graduates have gone in to the film, television and digital production sector, a wide-range of jobs in the communications industries and careers in high-level research positions, such as for the House of Lords, Barclays Bank and more.
Fees & funding
Home and EU students tuition fee per year*: £9,250
International students tuition fee per year**: £17,300
Other essential costs***: £50-£350