Undergraduate BA (Hons)

Film Studies

Salford School of Arts, Media and Creative Technology




Three year

Next enrolment

September 2024


In a nutshell

Film is a vital form of cultural output. The way films are produced and distributed is constantly changing, but their ability to educate, entertain and inspire audiences remains the same. If you’re looking for a vibrant programme designed to explore all facets of film and the film industry, this BA (Hons) Film Studies degree is the right choice for you.

What exactly do film studies at university involve? You’ll explore a range of critical approaches to film, from developments in American and British cinema to representations of masculinity throughout Hollywood history. With a truly global focus, you’ll also delve into cinema from across Europe, Latin America, Asia and beyond, evaluating the role of cinema as a major entertainment industry as well as thinking about film as a political, socio-cultural and artistic proposition. What’s more, this degree in film studies gives you the chance to learn alongside recognised scholars of film culture, with a wide range of specialist modules on offer that will help you align your course with the topics that interest you most. With industry links and a focus, especially, on areas like film journalism, film festivals and distribution and exhibition, this degree is also importantly designed to align you with the sector itself.

Do you want to find out more about the course and our university? Why not sign-up for an Open Day or attend a campus tour.

You will:

  • Explore a wide range of critical approaches to film in a variety of contexts
  • Study in MediaCity: home to the film, TV, radio sector and creative industries in the north-west (Greater Manchester)
  • Develop your understanding of American, British, Asian and selected global cinemas, from their origins to the present day
  • Acquire the techniques needed to research and analyse key film movements in cinema

students accepted

This is for you if...


You have a passion for cinema, and a keen desire to explore film in a variety of mainstream and alternative contexts.


You’re looking for an opportunity to work with recognised scholars of film culture as well as industry professionals.


You want to develop your skills in critical thinking and analysis.

Course details

All about the course

Throughout your film studies course, you’ll explore cinema in a broad range of social and cultural contexts. You’ll begin by deepening your knowledge of film through core modules focused on form, meaning and history, before moving onto optional modules reflecting the dynamic expertise of our academic staff – from film journalism to contemporary Hollywood.

What’s more, unlike other film studies courses at university, the final year of this programme provides spotlights upon the tools and knowledge you’ll need to take the first step in your professional career. Choosing from modules that continue the focus on industry from the previous levels, you’ll have the opportunity to develop skills in film programming for cinemas and festivals, as well as understand the interaction of comics with film and television.

Want to find out more about what film courses at university involve? Gain a deeper understanding of what you’ll explore within each module below.

Year one

Classical Hollywood Cinema

This module introduces the idea of ‘classical Hollywood’ cinema and its role in the development of our understanding of film. Analysing Hollywood as an organising structure for film production, you will identify the production methods employed by the Hollywood studios, the production techniques and practices widely termed as the ‘classical Hollywood style’, and the economic rationale behind the establishment of Hollywood.

Film Form, Film Meaning

During the course of this module, you will look at the idea of film form and how it contributes to the meaning of a film. Considering various components such as narrative, cinematography, editing and sound, this module aims to answer the basic question of: What is a Film?

Film Histories, Film Movements I

By covering a number of influential moments in the development of cinema, this module will enable you to identify and contextualise a range of film movements including early cinema and forms of exhibition, Soviet cinema, German Expressionist cinema, Surrealist cinema, documentary cinema, and others. You will also consider how such film movements may prefigure important technical and contextual strands of cinema today.

Film Histories, Film Movements II

Building on from your learning in ‘Film Histories, Film Movements I’, this module will focus on a number of influential moments in the development of cinema from the second World War to the present. This will include a range of film movements that may include Italian neo-realism, the French ‘new wave’, Eastern European film movements, US Underground cinema, Antipodean cinema.

Critical Approaches to Film I

You will evaluate a range of critical approaches to film in relation to the social and cultural developments that informed and influenced them. Throughout the module, you will focus on key approaches such as film as art, film as mass culture, authorship, genre and ideology.

Critical Approaches to Film II

Focusing mainly on ‘Screen’ theory, feminism, race and film audiences, this module will allow you to continue your learning from ‘Critical Approaches to Film I’ and study a number of other critical approaches to film.

Year two

Film Distribution and Exhibition

You will learn to distinguish between the distribution and exhibition sectors of the UK film industry, and to understand their vital roles. Studying the function of distribution companies within the film industry, and the processes of exhibition, a range of professional roles within these sectors will emerge, helping you to understand the work involved and to identify present challenges faced by the industries.

Film Journalism

You will learn to write in a concise and entertaining manner in this module, acquiring the writing and editing skills necessary to undertake film reviews, features and interviews. Whilst the module will focus on film-related matters, the skills learned will be highly transferable into other journalistic realms.

Cinema Asia

Building upon several ideas covered in Year One, you will begin to take a more in depth look at the range of cinema produced across Asia. In addition to covering a variety of cinematic traditions from countries including India, China, Korea and Japan, you will also articulate the differences in aesthetic forms and strategies and critically assess the place of Asian cinemas in the increasingly global film industry.

Comedy and British Cinema

Focusing on comedy films produced within British cinema, this module will enable you to identify different characteristics associated with various styles of British film comedy. You will also analyse formal strategies employed by comedy filmmakers and various performance techniques utilised by a range of comedic performers within British cinema.

Contemporary American Cinema

The landscape of American film-making has been affected by a range of economic, social, and cultural changes in recent years. This module will consider these tumultuous changes and address conflicting definitions of independence within a global marketplace. Moreover, the module will also consider the importance of marketing strategies within contemporary film-making.

British Cinema

Introducing students to a number of key directors, onscreen talent, genres, cycles, and movements associated with British cinema, this module will take students on a cultural and historical journey through the cinematic output and production contexts of our very own domestic film industry. Through close textual analysis and an application of a range of critical approaches to film and British cinema students taking the module should also expect to discuss and examine the role of British cinema in articulating and (re)presenting British national identities and sense of ‘nationhood’.

Year three

Dissertation (Core Module)

This final module is designed to provide guidance and support throughout your dissertation research. The early part of this module will be delivered in the form of directed staff presentations followed by student discussions. Later, you will be allocated a dissertation supervisor who will engage in one on one supervisory sessions in the run up to student presentations. The latter part of the module will be based around your completion of a written dissertation directed by discussions of your approach with your supervisor.

Sequential Art (Comics and Graphic Novels)

You will study important examples of international comic strips, series, and ‘graphic novels’. At a time of proliferating texts inspired by material introduced in comics, a section of the module will look at film and TV adaptations, evaluating the importance of comic-derived material to the modern media landscape. The unique ways in which comics can be said to create meanings will be highlighted, and you will experience creating a narrative with expert guidance.

Themes studied may include the following: Comics and Childhood; The Graphic Novel Era: Comics ‘come of age’; Alan Moore; Comics, Ideology and Form: Case Study of 1970s British Comics; Fandom; Comics and Other Media.

Hollywood Masculinities

This will let students explore key (transitional) representations of men and masculinity throughout Hollywood history. Beginning with an examination of the pre-code ‘mob men’, moving to representations of men (and dangerous women) in film noir and 1980's muscular hero action pics, among other key masculine characterisations, the module will analyse how the representation of Hollywood’s leading men has always been an altering document, drawn and redrawn to meet the demands of the day. Critical skills concerning gender, identity, and representation theories will come to bear on one of the burgeoning, most hotly-debated areas of the film discipline.

Film Programming and Curating for Cinemas and Festivals

The module will focus on creating programmes for independent cinemas and film festivals. The understanding students will need of the various industrial contexts involved will be covered in areas such as the following: Film Festivals with a case study of The Edinburgh International Film Festival; Programming festival retrospectives with a case study in film at the Viva Spanish and Latin American Festival; Independent Cinemas in the UK and understanding their market with a case study in curating special programmes and seasons for an independent cinema; Initiating Cultural Interventions and working with cinemas with a case study of Chinese Film Forum UK.

Alternative, Independent, and Marginal Film

Different and radical forms of production and distribution, particularly in the age of the internet, have questioned the existence of a universal, stable film 'mainstream'. However, institutions such as financial backers, major awards and festivals have received feedback that their measures for success are failing to recognise and include women, people of colour, ethnic communities, and queer/trans groups. The same limitations are detectable in the mainstream cinema 'canon'. Consequently, this module asks what is the canon of cinema, what supports it, and how should we evaluate its effects and what is beyond it? 

Film and Theory

In this module, we ask ‘What is Film Theory? How did it evolve and which questions does it address?’. We shall critically engage with a number of theory-based approaches to film associated with a number of intellectual positions (for example, semiotic, cognitive, narrative, and political theories), as well as examining the historical links between theory and the development of film studies as a subject within the academy.

Please note that it may not be possible to deliver the full list of options every year as this will depend on factors such as how many students choose a particular option. Exact modules may also vary in order to keep content current. When accepting your offer of a place to study on this programme, you should be aware that not all optional modules will be running each year. Your tutor will be able to advise you as to the available options on or before the start of the programme. Whilst the University tries to ensure that you are able to undertake your preferred options, it cannot guarantee this.

What will I be doing?




As part of your film studies degree, you’ll be given a timetable that will include a breakdown of your scheduled lessons with timeslots for you to explore your independent research interests. Your classes will be based at our MediaCityUK campus.

You’ll be taught through a combination of lectures, seminars, workshops and individual tutorials. Your seminars will give you the chance to develop your understanding of topics covered in lectures in smaller groups. In workshops, you’ll focus on specific writing or practical skills, as well as having meetings with your personal tutor.

When not attending lectures, seminars or other timetabled sessions, you’ll be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. We advise that you use ten hours of time on independent study per week. This might involve reading journal articles, working on assignments or undertaking research in the library. You’ll have access to the library and computer laboratory facilities throughout your course.


As part of your film studies degree, it’s important that you are given the opportunity to showcase your academic skills through submitted assignments. All of your assessments will be based on coursework.


All  our  Film, TV and Radio courses  are delivered by the  Salford School of Arts, Media, and Creative Technology. Our focus is to ensure that you have the skills you need to pursue your dreams, and we encourage our students, past and present, to collaborate with each other and achieve great things.  

Each year - through the Create Student Awards – our School rewards the incredible achievements and successes of our final year and postgraduate students.  

Whatever you choose to study with us, you’ll be mentored and supported by experts. And once you graduate, it won’t end there. You’ll join a thriving alumni network across Greater Manchester and beyond, meaning you’ll be supported professionally and personally whenever you need it. 


Our MediaCity facilities are industry-standard, so much so that they are used by our industry partners themselves.

Though you may make use of our fantastic radio studio when creating content for your film podcast, you will also have access to other facilities that we won't be utilising directly on the programme including:

TV studios - our TV studios have been used by the BBC for a variety of broadcasts, such as the Olympics and Christmas music concerts, and they’re equipped with the same audio-visual systems used by ITV and Sky too. 

The studios have green screen facilities as well as basic props so you can design and build sets for a range of projects. 

Green screen facilities - these allow our production-focused students to create effects such as those you see on weather reports and incorporates a camera system and 3D graphics software.  

Audio production - we’ve got all the hardware and software our production-focused students need to make sure they’ll know just how to create, edit, mix and master audio for film and television. Our main studios feature Avid S6 consoles – a similar set-up to those at our MediaCityUK neighbours, such as Dock10 and ITV. 

MakerSpace - Our production and digital media students bring their designs to life using 3D scanners and printers, power tools and a range of art and craft materials.  

Stop-frame studio – we have animation booths equipped with industry-standard lighting, grip, software and cameras and learn just what it takes to make our students ideas and storyboards a reality.

Computer Suites and Editing Studios – our computer suites are equipped with the latest industry-standard software. Depending on the course you choose to explore, you’ll learn from our experienced demonstrators, who’ll teach you the skills needed to turn your concepts into a reality.

Equipment stores - cameras, lighting kits and mics – they’re all essential to media production. But don’t worry, you won’t need to spend thousands of pounds to get the set-up you need – we have a fully equipped equipment store available for you to use and take out industry-standard kit. 

Explore our Film, TV and Radio facilities at the University of Salford


Are you looking to learn more about the background of our tutors and demonstrators, or put a face to a name?

Find out who'll work with you throughout your academic journey at the University of Salford.

Explore the Film, TV and Radio faculty at the University of Salford

Employment and stats

What about after uni?


A degree in film studies provides you with a combination of theoretical and technical skills that are transferable to a whole host of professional roles within the creative industries. Our recent graduates have utilised their film studies degree to go on to establish successful careers in a range of related areas, from working in distribution for the British offices of a Hollywood studio to managing festivals and starting award-winning youth cinema projects.

But the possibilities don’t end there. Many of our graduates have also found employment in sectors as diverse as publishing, lecturing, management of arts centres and teaching. What’s more, in both 2015-16 and 2016-17, 100% of our film studies students reported that they were in work or further study within six months of graduating (DHLE survey data).


Graduates showing strong academic and research skills can pursue a further postgraduate path through our Postgraduate programmes on a full-time or part-time basis subject to a satisfactory proposal. 

A taste of what you could become

A film journalist

A film festival organiser

A cinema programmer

And more...

Career Links

This degree in Film Studies has strong links to the local culture industries, in particular: HOME, Greater Manchester Arts Centre; and the Viva: Spanish and Latin American Film Festival. This will give you an insight into the practicalities of film distribution, exhibition and programming. Graduates of this course have gone on to work in a number of film related-careers such as film journalism, cinema administration, cinema programming and film festival/events organisation.


What you need to know


To gain a place on this film studies degree, you’ll have to submit a personal statement and meet our entry requirements when you apply.

Within your film studies personal statement (up to 500 words), we’ll want to understand:

  • what motivates you and what current experiences do you have in terms of thinking critically around film and media?
  • what did you do; did you write essays, create podcasts or have a personal blog?
  • are you a creative thinker and how do you develop ideas?
  • do you have any knowledge of the film industry or film sector; are there any projects that inspire you?
  • and why the University of Salford and this film studies degree is the right choice for your future goals.


Standard entry requirements


English Language at grade C/level 4 or above (or equivalent). 

You must fulfil our GCSE entry requirements as well as one of the requirements listed below.

UCAS tariff points

104-120 points

A level

104-120 points. Film Studies or Media Studies preferred but not essential. General Studies accepted.

T level


BTEC National Diploma


Access to HE

104-120 UCAS Tariff points from Level 3 QAA approved Access programme in relevant subjects.

Scottish Highers

104-120 points

Irish Leaving Certificate

104-120 points 

International Baccalaureate

30-32 points

European Baccalaureate

Pass Diploma with 71% overall 

International students

We accept qualifications from all around the world. Find your country to see a full list of entry requirements.

If you are an international student and not from a majority English speaking country, you will need IELTS 6.0 with no element below 5.5.

We also accept a range of other English language qualifications. If you do not have the English language requirements, you could take the Pre-Sessional English course to gain entry onto this degree.

Alternative entry requirements

Salford Alternative Entry Scheme (SAES)

We welcome applications from students who may not meet the stated entry criteria but who can demonstrate their ability to pursue the course successfully. Once we have received your application we will assess it and recommend it for SAES if you are an eligible candidate.

There are two different routes through the Salford Alternative Entry Scheme and applicants will be directed to the one appropriate for their course. Assessment will either be through a review of prior learning or through a formal test.

How much?

Type of study Year Fees
Full-time home 2024/25 £9,250.00per year
Full-time international 2024/25 £15,720.00per year

Additional costs

You should also consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.

Scholarships for International Students

If you are a high-achieving international student, you may be eligible for one of our scholarships. Explore our international scholarships.

Apply now

All set? Let's apply

Enrolment dates

September 2024

September 2025

UCAS information

Course ID P303

Institution S03