Film Studies BA (Hons)

Film studies combines the academic study of cinema with a focus on developing practical filmmaking skills, industry understanding, production management and event organisation, allowing you to gain a cross-section of skills suited to a variety of careers in the creative industries and beyond.  



Reasons to study Film Studies at De Montfort University (DMU):

  • DMU has achieved Gold, the highest ranking possible under the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF)
    Indicating the outstanding learning and teaching on offer at DMU. [Office for Students, 2017]
  • Work placement opportunities
    Enhance your employability and gain industry experience by undertaking an optional work placement 

  • Film Studies was awarded 92% Overall Student Satisfaction
    In the National Student Survey 2018
  • Learn in the Phoenix Cinema
    Benefit from our relationship with Leicester’s Phoenix Cinema, with placement opportunities and selected teaching and screenings delivered in a real cinema environment 

  • Our Communication, Cultural and Media Studies ranked joint 1st in the UK for the proportion of its research outputs rated as world leading (4*) in the latest Research Excellence Framework 2014
  • 95.2% of our Film Studies graduates from summer 2017 are in work or further study after graduating
    According to the Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) 2016-17 report
  • Teaching influenced by world leading research
    Our Communication, Cultural and Media Studies ranked joint 1st in the UK for the proportion of its research outputs rated as world leading (4*) in the latest Research Excellence Framework 2014 

  • Multi-million pound specialist facilities
    Our Creative Technology Studios feature a host of audio recording studios, broadcast-standard radio production studios and management systems, alongside stand-alone film studios equipped with multi-cameras, blue screen and green screen facilities 

  • Enjoy an international experience with #DMUglobal
    We offer all students the opportunity to take part in a #DMUglobal experience, which can enrich your studies and expand your cultural horizons. Previous #DMUglobal trips have included trips to the Film Festival in Berlin, and exploring fan culture at Wondercon in Los Angeles

We believe that the best way to understand something is to have some experience of doing it, and at DMU, that’s precisely what you will do. Film Studies allows you to learn about the history of cinema as an art-form and as an economic institution, while you also develop your skills as a professional filmmaker, writer, critic, event organiser or industrial analyst. The course is unique in combining detailed academic knowledge of film with a broad cross section of practical, film-related experience.

Film Studies is delivered at DMU’s city campus, and at the Phoenix Cinema in Leicester, which acts as a base for many film events. There, you will watch films on the big screen in a modern cinema environment, and, depending on your specialisation, you will also organise your own festivals and events, and make films using state-of-the-art equipment.

Ultimately, the goal of the Film Studies degree is to take your interest in movies, and translate that passion into a broad range of different graduate level skills. You don’t need any experience of filmmaking to apply, and graduates go on to work in a very broad range of different fields, including film and TV but also finance, PR, banking, tourism and other areas.

Film Studies at DMU can be taken either as a Single or Joint Honours course. Whichever route you choose, you will be taught by a team of experienced subject experts and develop a diverse range of valuable skills. 

“To study a Film degree and to be able to watch and analyse films within the Phoenix Cinema is exceptional. Not many courses offer such a brilliant facility to study in, so the partnership between DMU and the Phoenix Cinema has definitely enhanced my course experience.”

Joshua Townson, Film Studies BA (Hons) student


Graduate success and news

Students gain unprecedented insight into Hong Kong media industry 

DMU students explore fan cultures in LA


More courses like this:

Communication Arts BA (Hons)

Film Studies BA (Joint Honours)

Media and Communication BA (Hons)

Media Production BSc (Hons)


  • UK/EU
  • International

Key facts for UK/EU students

Institution code: D26

UCAS course code: P303

Duration: Three years full-time, four years with placement

Fees and funding: For 2019/20 tuition fees will be £9,250

Find out more about tuition fees and available funding.

Find out about additional costs and optional extras.

Contact us: For more information complete our online enquiry form or call us on +44 (0)116 2 50 60 70.

Key facts for international students

Institution code: D26

UCAS course code: P303

Duration: Three years full-time, four years with placement

Fees and funding: £13,250

Find out more about course fees and available funding.

Find out about additional costs and optional extras. 

Contact us: For more information complete our online enquiry form or call us on +44 (0)116 2 50 60 70.

Entry criteria

  • Five GCSEs at grade C or above, including English or equivalent, plus one of the following:
  • Normally 104 UCAS points from at least two A-levels or equivalent or
  • BTEC National Diploma/ Extended Diploma at DMM or
  • Pass in the QAA accredited Access to HE course. English GCSE required as a separate qualification as equivalency is not accepted within the Access qualification. We will normally require students to have had a break from full-time education before undertaking the Access course or
  • International Baccalaureate: 24+ points

Portfolio Required : No

Interview Required: No

We welcome applications from mature students with non-standard qualifications and recognise all other equivalent and international qualifications

English language – If English is not your first language we require an English language level of IELTS 6 with 5.5 in each component or equivalent

English Language tuition, delivered by our British Council accredited Centre for English Language Learning , is available both before and throughout the course if you need it.

UCAS Tariff changes

Students applying for courses starting in September will be made offers based on the latest UCAS Tariff. Find out more.


Structure and assessment


Course modules

Teaching and assessments




Throughout your time at DMU, you will choose modules from the following lists. Module offerings change over time to reflect new developments in the field and new staff interests.

Some modules run throughout the entire year, other last for one term, and from the second year, you can choose which modules you take. This may mean specializing in more scholarly or practical areas, depending on your interests.

Year one

Introduction to Film Studies

Introduces all students to the key issues in cinema scholarship, and the key modes of studying cinema. You will learn how film works as a text, with its own language, and also how film functions as a social and economic institution.

Introduction to Global Film History

Introduces all students to the skills of historical research, and to the narrative of cinema history. You will learn how cinema developed from a technological curiosity to the globalised entertainment business it has become. You will also learn how the techniques of filmmaking were established and deployed around the world.

Media Capture and Processing

Introduces you to the skills of photography, shot construction, moving image filming, editing and sound recording. On this course, you will begin to develop your skills as a filmmaker, gain experience of using production equipment, and put together films of your own.

Writing, Reviewing and Film Criticism

Introduces you to the world of film criticism and invites you to establish a critical identity of your own. You will keep a blog, interview filmmakers, and carry out briefs for external partners. Along the way, you will develop your skills as a professional writer.

Film and New Media

Introduces you to the current environment for film production, funding and release, and traces the impact of digital technology on the film industry since 2000. By the end of this module, you will have a professional understanding of the modern film marketplace.

Year two

Contemporary British Cinema

This module explores key aspects of British cinema, the contemporary British film industry and the critical and contextual debates around them. We focus mainly on the period since 1990, but also look back to the longer history of UK genre trends, film culture, reception, critique and policy to help us understand the contexts and forces shaping more recent developments.


This module focuses on one defining media institution – the Disney Corporation – and traces its development from a small scale animation producer to the largest provider of family trans-media entertainment in the world. You will combine the study of the animated film with a focus on family audiences and Disney’s various media activities, and by the end of the module you will understand how global media conglomerates function.

The New Hollywood

This module focuses on one key period in American cinema history, between 1967 and 1980, when Hollywood developed a tradition of challenging art films. This course is concerned with the art of cinema, and the defining contribution made by a series of filmmakers to the development of American filmmaking, and global film culture.

Film and TV Genres

This looks at how different genres operate across Film and TV over time. You will focus on what genre is and how it works, but you will also apply your knowledge to a very broad cross section of different texts. By the end of this module, you will have a clearer understanding of how different types of film are constructed, and how they change over time.

Script to Screen

This module develops your skills as a filmmaker further, pushing you into new creative territory. In the first term, you will work with professional scriptwriters to produce your own script – in the second term you will film it.

Professional Practice, Film Festivals

This looks at the status of the UK film today, and then gives you the opportunity to organise your own film festival at the Pheonix Square Cinema in Leicester, where you will book films, market events and network with industry figures to lay on a professional, public event.

Media, Gender and Identity

This develops your understanding of how film, TV and other media shape our perceptions of gender, and notions of identity more generally. Through a close focus on a range of texts, the course is designed to builds your skills as a critic and thinker.

Movie Marketing

World Cinema



Year three

Film Studies Dissertation or Major Filmmaking Project

This module allows you to specialise in one extended area of study for the whole year. You will either work on your own individual film project, or produce a detailed study of one filmmaking issue. In the past, topics have ranged from textual analyses of Studio Ghibli’s films, to investigations of the economics of Star Wars videogames, to detailed studies of national identity in film.

Cult Film

The Cult Film module focuses in detail on challenging, obscure and intense films which have developed cult followings over the years. On this course, you will be exposed to stimulating, underground films, and you will develop a clear understanding of cult film culture.


Every year this module allows you to focus in detail on the work of one film director, writer or producer. You will learn how figures such as Stanley Kubrick and others developed their skills and worked within the film industry.

The Past on Screen

The Past on Screen focuses on the representation of history across a range of different films, TV shows and other media. The goal of this course is to develop your understanding of how different genres deal with history, and shape our view of the world, from notions of heritage and prestige, through to the historical epic.

Writing for the Screen

Taught by experienced screenwriters, tghis module focuses on developing your scriptwriting skills to a professional standard. You will learn how to pitch, and to write extended creative pieces to a commercially acceptable standard.

Audiences and Fandom

Audiences and Fandom focuses on the people who watch movies and aims to understand how and why we engage with filmic texts. By the end of this module, you will understand how films address viewers, but also what all viewers get out of their relationship with the cinema.

Film Exhibition and Consumption

This module focuses on the changing ways that we watch, consume and enjoy movies. The course is primarily concerned with ongoing shifts to cinemas, exhibition and impact of digital technology. Various field trips are incorporated into the module.

Film Data

You will be taught by experiences subject experts with a range of relevant professional, industry and creative expertise. You will learn about the history of the movies, film storytelling, style and technique and criticism. This is combined with opportunities to gain practical experience making movies, organising and promoting film events, writing reviews and (through our second year professional practice option) working with exhibitors and distributors.

Film Studies at DMU is taught by renowned world-class scholars based in our prestigious Centre for the Study of Cinema and Television History (CATH). The teaching team is made up of widely published academics, film journalists, filmmakers and industry professionals. You will benefit from a quality learning and teaching experience. The course is taught using a mix of lectures, film screenings, small group discussions, group and practice-led projects, individual tutorials and private study. You will normally attend between 14–16 hours of timetabled taught sessions (lectures and tutorials) each week, and can expect to undertake at least 24 further hours of independent study to complete project work and research. You will be provided with lecture support materials through Blackboard, our interactive teaching resource. Our varied and imaginative assessment methods develop a range of critical, creative and communication skills.

They include essays, research reports, presentations, creative work, film reviews, edited collections and other group projects.

Our teaching team has close connections with film directors, writers, distributors and journalists who give guest lectures, ensuring your learning is relevant to current practice. Film Studies at DMU is closely affiliated with Leicester’s Phoenix Cinema, which also acts as a base for employment and work experience opportunities, ensuring our students are ready for employment upon graduation.

All students work on collaborative and individual film productions over the three years of the degree. You will experience writing, shooting, casting and editing, and you will be guided to contribute to real film festivals across the UK. Students on our Writing, Reviewing and Film Criticism module (year one) run a film blog and are set writing commissions by external partners, including Phoenix Cinema. Students taking our Professional Practice, Film Festivals module (year two) gain experience of developing and delivering a film festival in a range of roles. These opportunities, alongside the industry focus, are key parts of our wider teaching and will allow you to make sense of the cinema industry and film culture from a practical, creative and commercial perspective, as well as develop your industry links.


Facilities and features


You will be able to make use of DMU’s excellent library facilities and collections, as well as our state-of-the-art computing and projection facilities. For practical filmmaking, you will benefit from a range of digital-imaging facilities and production equipment.

Film Studies BA (Hons) is partly taught at the Phoenix Cinema, Leicester’s centre for independent cinema, art and digital culture, where you will learn in a real cinema environment and commercial production hub. Film screenings at Phoenix Cinema are shown in the latest digital high definition formats and Xpand 3D. You will also benefit from access to our excellent production facilities on campus and the ability to borrow filmmaking equipment.

Film students visit one of Berlin's 'most iconic' cinemas

Students from DMU's Leicester Media School visited ‘one of the most iconic and historically important cinemas in Berlin’ as part of the #DMUglobal visit to the city.

The group explored Kino International cinema in East Berlin, which showed film premieres before the fall of the Berlin Wall, and is still used for premieres due to its unusual style and historical significance. The iconic cinema is even one of the venues of the Berlin International Film Festival.


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Opportunities and careers


Graduate Careers

The course provides a broad grounding in film history, criticism, practice and industry skills. On graduation, you may use the skills you have gained to pursue a variety of careers in the film and cultural industries or beyond, or go on to study or research at postgraduate level.

Over the past five years, graduates have gone on to work for employers such as BBC Films, BBC Sport, FilmFour and Odeon Entertainment. They also work in roles such as film and television production staff and researchers, writers for film news media, public relations writers and executives, film journalists in print and online, including Little White Lies magazine, independent filmmakers and camera-people, commercial managers, and as teachers and academics.

Other students have gone on to work in careers where film is secondary to the graduate skills they have developed, in PR, banking, finance and other fields.

Film Studies is also ideal preparation for further study at DMU, and postgraduate options include the Television Scriptwriting MA and Public Relations MA. Every year, a small number of students join our vibrant postgraduate culture.



This is our innovative international experience programme which aims to enrich your studies and expand your cultural horizons – helping you to become a global graduate, equipped to meet the needs of employers across the world.

Through #DMUglobal, we offer a wide range of opportunities including on-campus and UK activities, overseas study, internships, faculty-led field trips and volunteering, as well as Erasmus+ and international exchanges.

Our #DMUglobal High Flyers Award offers students a discount of up to £1,000 towards a #DMUglobal opportunity (terms and conditions apply).



The degree offers coaching and guidance for achieving industry placements, and students from DMU have gone on to take up internships with BBC Films, Warp Films and others.

The degree can be taken in sandwich mode – if you find a suitable placement, you can work in the business for a year, receive credit, and return to complete your studies.

Students on our Writing, Reviewing and Film Criticism module (Year One) run a film blog and are set writing commissions by external partners, including Leicester's Phoenix Square cinema.

Students taking our Professional Practice in British Cinema option (Year Two) gain experience of developing and delivering a film festival in a range of roles. These opportunities, alongside the industry focus of our teaching, will allow you to make sense of the cinema industry and film culture from a practical, creative and commercial perspective and also to develop your industry links.

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How to apply

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More about your DMU

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We offer a range of high-standard accommodation for our students, with 14 halls of residence – and around 4,300 rooms – all of which are within easy walking distance of the campus. There is a choice of mixed or same-gender flats, shared kitchen and laundry facilities, furnished bedrooms (some with en suite facilities) and internet access. Find out more.


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Run by students for students, DSU now offers more than 120 societies as well as 40 sports clubs. You can also get involved in the award-winning Demon Media group, volunteer to help in the community, become a course or faculty rep, and take part in the union’s annual elections. Find out more.


A city like no other

Studying here gives easy access to the vibrant hub of entertainment, shopping and culture that is Leicester. There are clubs, bars and pubs, as well as festivals, live music, theatres and cinemas. Leicester City Football Club play in the Premier League while Leicester Tigers are one of Europe’s biggest rugby clubs. Find out more.

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