Global Cinemas and Screen Arts (BA): 3-year, full-time degree by evening study
- UCAS Code: 1A48
- Status: Fully Approved
- Start date: October 2016
3 years full-time
3-4 evenings or days a week
October to June
The programme is offered jointly by Birkbeck and SOAS, so you will be required to attend a mixture of evening and day classes, depending on whether the module is offered at Birkbeck or SOAS.
All Birkbeck modules, as well as the 2 compulsory SOAS modules in Year 2, are offered in the evening. All other SOAS modules are taught during the day.
Birkbeck and SOAS are located next door to each other in central London.
- Programme overview
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- Why study this at Birkbeck?
- Course structure
- Entry requirements
- Fees and finance
- Careers and employability
- Teaching and assessment
- Our research
- Related study
- Key Information Set
This unique programme is jointly offered by 2 internationally renowned University of London colleges - Birkbeck and the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) - and draws on their combined expertise in Western and non-Western cinemas and cultures. This course gives you the opportunity to study global cinemas with leading academics, film-makers and media practitioners at the cultural heart of a global capital city. It offers a comprehensive, in-depth study of a range of historical and contemporary global cinematic traditions, while allowing you to develop your critical reasoning skills and an array of linguistic and practical film-making skills.
We will explore European and American cinema alongside non-Western cinematic traditions from Asia, Africa, the Middle East and South and Latin America. You will develop your understanding of the distinctive features of Western and non-Western cinemas, as well as the relationships and interactions between them, and you will study the complex cultural backgrounds that inform and shape global cinemas and screen arts, including history, literature and language.
Another distinctive feature of this course is the opportunity to undertake an option module in literature or any Western or non-Western language, or to take a practical course in screenwriting.
Birkbeck and SOAS are internationally renowned institutions for the teaching of film and media studies and world languages and cultures. Cinema studies at Birkbeck include some of the most important film theorists and historians in the world, as well as specialist courses in European and Latin American and Iberian languages and cultures. Birkbeck also features a state-of-the-art cinema, constantly showcasing the best of current practices and theories and offering students an ideal learning and research environment. SOAS has traditionally interwoven the study of film with African and Asian specialisms.
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How to apply
If you are applying for a 3-year, full-time undergraduate degree at Birkbeck, you have to apply through UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). To apply, go to the UCAS homepage and click on 'Apply and Track'. You will have to register, giving UCAS a few personal details, including your name, address and date of birth, and then you complete an application form.
Need help with your application? Watch videos featuring our academic experts giving advice on applying to Birkbeck and answering some of the most frequently asked questions.
Birkbeck offers a range of free face-to-face advice and support to help you make a successful application.
Birkbeck can give you all of the information and help you need to complete your application form, including our online personal statement tool, which will guide you through every step of writing your personal statement.
Application deadlines and interviews
15 January is the first UCAS deadline and the majority of university applications through UCAS are made by then. We welcome applications outside of the UCAS deadlines, so you can still apply through UCAS after 15 January, depending on the availability of places. We also take late applications via the UCAS Clearing system in August.
Read more about key dates for UCAS applicants.
Why study this course at Birkbeck?
- Arts and humanities courses at Birkbeck are ranked third best in London and 11th in the UK in the Times Higher Education 2015-16 World University Subject Rankings.
- This programme is unique in the UK and is delivered jointly by 2 world-class University of London colleges: Birkbeck and the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), each possessing distinct expertise respectively within Western and non-Western cinemas and cultures, and each marked by academic excellence within their college’s areas of research and expertise.
- You will develop a wide range of diverse critical, analytical, practical and linguistic skills which could lead to careers in film and television companies, arts administration, cultural institutions, advertising, public relations, journalism, publishing, diplomacy, business, translation and teaching.
- You will learn from experts specialising in distinct Western and non-Western cinematic, cultural and linguistic areas.
- At Birkbeck, this course draws on the expertise of staff in 2 departments within the School of Arts: Film, Media and Cultural Studies, and Cultures and Languages. The Department of Film, Media and Cultural Studies focuses on teaching and research in film and media, arts policy and management, dance and journalism, and has the Centre for Media, Culture and Creative Practice and the Birkbeck Institute for the Moving Image as focal points of its research culture.
- The Department of Cultures and Languages brings together research and teaching in French, German, Portuguese and Spanish and offers an array of courses covering the language, literature, history, culture, cinema and art of these languages. Birkbeck Research in Aesthetics of Kinship and Community and the Centre for Iberian and Latin American Visual Studies are an integral part of the department’s research culture.
- At SOAS, the course is taught by members of the Centre for Film Studies. The nature of the Centre, unlike that of a department, means that we draw on expertise across the School in the delivery of a wide range of courses in cinemas of the non-Western world. The SOAS Centre for Film Studies was formally launched in September 2012 to promote the disciplines of film and screen studies in relation to Africa, Asia and the Near and Middle East. While the geographical focus is on film/screen industries and movements beyond the dominant Western 'global' Hollywood and European economies of production, distribution and exhibition, the Centre also seeks to promote research and teaching on the transnational, transcultural and multimedia nature of the image in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
- The Birkbeck and SOAS libraries have extensive collections of books and journals in film and media studies, as well as film holdings. You can also take advantage of the rich research collections nearby, including the British Film Institute and Senate House Library.
- You can develop your interests further and establish social and professional networks by attending events at various research centres at Birkbeck and SOAS.
You will undertake core courses in film with specific references to Europe, North and South America, Asia, Africa and the Middle East. This will allow you to progress to a range of stimulating options focused on specific regional and national cinemas and cultural contexts.
A special feature of the course is the opportunity to take, each year, an option module, worth 30 credits, in any Western or non-Western language, literature or a practical course in screenwriting.
Year 1: you undertake 2 compulsory modules - and Doing Film, Media and Culture - at Birkbeck (30 credits each) and 2 option modules (30 credits each) in film, or 1 option module in film and the other in a language, in literature, or in screenwriting.
Year 2: you study 2 compulsory modules (15 credits each) - Global Screen Industries and Orientalism on Screen - at SOAS (both of which are taught in the evening at SOAS, in order to accommodate the needs of our students) and either choose 3 option modules in film (30 credits each) or 2 option modules in film and 1 other in a language, in literature, or in screenwriting.
Year 3: in your final year, you research and write a dissertation (30 credits) at SOAS and either choose 3 option modules in film (30 credits each) or 2 option modules in film and 1 other in a language, in literature, or in screenwriting.
Birkbeck offers modules for study at Levels 4, 5 and 6, while SOAS offers modules at Level 4 in languages only, and all other modules are at Level 5 and 6.
Birkbeck film option modules
- Approaches to Cinema History
- Cinema Today
- Contemporary European Cinema
- Do Look Now: British Cinema in the 1970s
- Film and Politics
- Film and Politics
- Film and the Gothic Imagination
- Film Noir: Cast a Long Shadow
- Film, Narrative and Genre
- French Cinema 1890-1940: Invention, Expansion, Crisis
- French Cinema 1940-1980: identity, diversity, change
- French Cinema: History, Practice, Analysis
- Gender and Sexuality in Cinema
- German Film: Nation and Identity
- Post-War German Film
- Post-War German Film
- Principles of Digital Video and Editing
- Studying the Hispanic, Luso-Brazilian and Native American Worlds
- Survey of 20th Century Spanish Art and Film
- Underground Film: The British Avant-Garde
- Women's Cinema Revisited
Birkbeck literature option modules
- Art and Empire in the Iberian World
- Contemporary Latin American Literature and Art
- French Political Culture: Traditions and Change
- French Thought: from the Renaissance to Postmodernity
- German Women's Writing
- Iberian Political Cultures: Approaches to Modern Portugal and Spain
- Literature and Society since 1945
- Literature and Society since 1945
- Literature and the City
- Luso-Brazilian Cultures
- Luso-Brazilian Literature and Society
- Modes of Struggle in Modern French and Francophone Literature and Film
- Myth, Folk and Fairytales
- New Trends in French Literary Culture
- Power and Control in Spanish Golden Age Art
- Republic and Nation: French Political Life since 1958
- Scenes of Portuguese History: Cultural approaches to modern politics
- Space, Culture and Society in Brazil
- Studying the Hispanic, Luso-Brazilian and Native American Worlds
- The Latin American Novel
- The Twentieth Century: Key Themes in Comparative European History (Level 5)
- The Twentieth Century: Key themes in comparative European history (Level 6)
- The Urban Experience in Brazil
Birkbeck languages option modules
- French 1
- French 2
- French 3
- French 4
- French 5
- German 1
- German 2
- German 3
- German 4
- German 5
- Portuguese 1
- Portuguese 2
- Portuguese 3
- Portuguese 4
- Portuguese 5
- Spanish 1
- Spanish 2
- Spanish 3
- Spanish 4
- Spanish 5
Birkbeck screenwriting option modules
- Aspects of Screenwriting: Adaptation
- Aspects of Screenwriting: Comedy
- Principles of Screenwriting
- Screenwriting - The Thirty-Minute Script
- Screenwriting: The 50 Minute Script
SOAS indicative film option modules
- 1990s South Korean Cinema: A Critical Survey
- Cinema and Society in South Asia: History and Social Context
- Cinemas of the Middle East and North Africa
- Filmmaking and Curatorial Practices in the Age of Festivalisation
- Japanese Cinema: A Critical Survey
- Japanese Post-War Film Genres and the Avant-Garde
- Indonesia on Screen
- Modern Chinese Film and Theatre
- South African Film and Visual Culture, 1994-2014
- South African Film and Visual Culture: Before and During Apartheid
SOAS indicative literature option modules
- African Languages and Literatures
- African Philosophy
- Afrophone Philosophies
- Contemporary African Literature
- History in African and Caribbean Literature
- Literary Traditions and Culture of Korea
- Nations and Nationalism in Middle Eastern Fiction
- South Asian Literature in English
- Survey of Modern Japanese Literature in Translation
- Survey of Pre-Modern Japanese Literature in Translation
- Trajectories of Modernity in Twentieth-Century Korean Literature
- War, Revolution and Independence in South East Asian Literature in Translation.
SOAS indicative languages option modules
- Amharic 1 and Amharic 2
- Arabic 1 and Arabic 2
- Bengali 1 and Bengali 2
- Burmese 1 and Burmese 2
- Chinese 1 and Chinese 2
- Hausa 1, Hausa 2 (a), Hausa 2(b) and Hausa 3
- Hindi 1 and Hindi 2
- Indonesian 1 and Indonesian 2
- Japanese Basic 1 and Japanese Basic 2 and Intermediate Japanese 1 and Intermediate Japanese 2
- Korean Basic 1 and Korean Basic 2
- Nepali 1 and Nepali 2
- Sanskrit 1 and Sanskrit 2
- Somali 1 and Somali 2
- Swahili 1 and Swahili 2a and Swahili 2b
- Thai 1 and Thai 2
- Urdu 1 and Urdu 2
- Vietnamese 1 and Vietnamese 2
- Yoruba 1 and Yoruba 2
- Zulu 1 and Zulu 2.
We welcome applicants without traditional entry qualifications as we base decisions on our own assessment of qualifications, knowledge and previous work experience. We may waive formal entry requirements based on judgement of academic potential.
UCAS tariff points
The UCAS tariff score is applicable to you if you have recently studied a qualification that has a UCAS tariff equivalence.
If you wish to undertake a language module, you will be asked to sit a placement test in order to determine your knowledge and ability. If you are studying the language from beginners' level, you will not have to take a placement test.
International entry requirements
If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, our usual requirement is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each of the sub-tests.
If you don’t meet the minimum IELTS requirement, we offer pre-sessional English courses, foundation programmes and language support services to help you improve your English language skills and get your place at Birkbeck.
Visit the International section of our website to find out more about our English language entry requirements and relevant requirements by country.
FeesFull-time home/EU students: £ 9000 pa
Full-time overseas students: £ 13000 pa
Payment and Fees Discounts
Flexible finance: pay your fees in monthly instalments at no extra cost. Enrol early to spread your costs and reduce your monthly payments.
Fees discount: Birkbeck offers a generous package of fee reductions and cash bursaries for new undergraduates and Certificate of Higher Education students. Also, if you are a member of a union that is recognised by the Trades Union Congress (TUC), you may apply for a 10% discount off your tuition fees.
Funding and Financial Support
With a student loan, you will pay nothing upfront. Find out about loans, cash bursaries and fee reductions and check if you are eligible.
Careers and employability
Graduates can pursue careers in film and television companies, arts administration or journalism. This degree may also be useful in becoming an art administrator, journalist, screenwriter or translator.
Find out more about the destinations of graduates in this subject.
We offer a comprehensive Careers and Employability Service to help you advance your career, while our in-house, professional recruitment consultancy, Birkbeck Talent, works with London’s top employers to help you gain work experience that fits in with your evening studies.
Teaching and assessment
Lectures, seminars and study groups
Through a combination of unseen examinations, written coursework (essays, book reviews, reaction papers), seminar presentations, and the compulsory 10,000-word dissertation in the final year.
Birkbeck is one of the world’s leading research-intensive institutions. Our cutting-edge scholarship informs public policy, achieves scientific advances, supports the economy, promotes culture and the arts, and makes a positive difference to society.
Birkbeck’s research excellence was confirmed in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, which placed Birkbeck 30th in the UK for research, with 73% of our research rated world-leading or internationally excellent.
Further study opportunities
Birkbeck offers an, and .
SOAS offers an MA in Global Cinemas and the Transcultural.
You could also go on, after MA study, to undertakeat either Birkbeck or SOAS.
Not ready to do a degree?
We can support you to get on to the undergraduate course that’s right for you.
Key Information Set