Year of entry2018
Start dateOctober 2018
Two years full-time
Two to three evenings a week at Birkbeck, plus one term each year at a European partner institution
This programme, taught at Birkbeck and abroad, offers you a broad-based understanding of how film, television and other screen media have developed and interacted across their varying histories.
It encourages you to explore a wide variety of screen media in historical, sociological, aesthetic and anthropological terms and in a variety of cultural and national contexts, by drawing on the distinct intellectual traditions of our European and North American partners and of your tutors at Birkbeck and the University of London through the intercollegiate module exchange offered by the University of London Screen Studies Group. It also gives you the opportunity to specialise in chosen areas of screen media in order to personalise your MA studies towards specific intellectual interests and future career goals, enhanced by advanced language skills developed during your two semesters abroad at our partner institutions.
This innovative and flexible programme thus uniquely combines Birkbeck strengths and experience in postgraduate teaching with the European and North American excellence offered through our exchange programme with leading universities in France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands and Canada.
While abroad, your choice of modules will depend on theyou attend. Each university has a specific strength and specialism, which should guide your choice of university as the year abroad aims to help you develop and deepen your particular film and media interests.
You will need to have a good or very good knowledge of at least one European language in order to take advantage of the programme. Some universities offer language instruction for Birkbeck students to improve their language skills.
Our partner institutions
- Université Sorbonne Nouvelle-Paris 3
- Università degli Studi di Udine
- Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore di Milano
- Université de Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense
- Université de Liège
- Ruhr Universität Bochum
- Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University Frankfurt
- Universitat Pompeu Fabra Barcelona
- Université Lille 3
- Università degli Studi Roma 3
- University of Amsterdam
- Université de Montréal
The programme has two other pathways: MA Film and Screen Media and MA Film and Screen Media with Film Programming and Curating.
- Arts and humanities courses at Birkbeck are ranked third best in London and 13th in the UK in the Times Higher Education 2016-17 World University Subject Rankings.
- The only such MA in the country that includes an international exchange with a set of prestigious European and North American partners.
- The award-winning Birkbeck Cinema is central to the course. The cinema is equipped with 35mm and state-of-the-art DVD projection. The Birkbeck Institute for the Moving Image programmes conferences, screenings and film-related events of all kinds throughout the academic year.
- The School of Arts offers a number of bursaries for postgraduate students.
- In addition to the Birkbeck Library, you will have easy access to the nearby University of London Library, the British Film Institute and the British Library, as well as other specialist collections and institutions in central London.
The programme consists of a combination of a compulsory module, a choice of option modules, a research project and a dissertation. The compulsory module is designed to introduce you to the basic methodologies and issues involved in the area concerned, as well as research skills and methods. Option modules allow you to pursue specific interests and areas of research.
The research project gives you the chance to undertake independent research in the area of contemporary film and media practice and to reflect on research methodologies.
The structure of the European Pathway is as follows:
- Term 1 (at Birkbeck) - compulsory module Screen Media: History, Technology and Culture (30 credits) + first option module (30 credits)
- Term 2 (abroad at the first partner institution) - option modules (30 credits)
- Term 3 (abroad at the first partner institution) - research project (30 credits).
- Term 1 (abroad at the second partner institution) - option modules (30 credits)
- Term 2 (at Birkbeck) - second option module (30 credits)
- Term 3 (at Birkbeck) - dissertation (60 credits).
To find out more, read our programme handbook.
- Research/Placement Project and Report MA Film and Screen Media
- Screen Media: History, Technology and Culture
Indicative option modules
- Artists' Film: the museum, the gallery and beyond
- Audio-Visual Histories of Cinema
- British Cinema and Television 1960-85
- Contemporary American Cinema
- Cultural Memory - Memory Cultures
- Curating Film, Sharing Passions
- Documentary: Filmmaking Histories and Digital Practices
- Film Festivals
- Screen Media and Archival Practices Today
- Shaping Contemporary Film Culture B: Themes in Film Festivals
- Shaping Contemporary Film Culture A: The Essay Film and the Archive
- Theoretical Perspectives on Media
Dissertation MA Film and Screen Media
You will also have the option to take an intercollegiate module offered at another college of the University of London through the Screen Studies Group.
We welcome a wide range of qualifications, from the UK and abroad, and we will also consider your non-academic achievements.
Good honours degree in a relevant subject (e.g. humanities, modern languages or social sciences).
Knowledge of at least one other European language at a level to allow you to follow postgraduate-level courses at our European partner institutions.
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.
Credits and Accredited Prior Learning (APL)
If you have studied at university previously, you may have accumulated credits through the modules you studied. It may be possible to transfer these credits from your previous study to Birkbeck or another institution. You should discuss this with the Programme Director when you are making your application.
We offer advice on all the options for financing your studies. You can pay your fees interest-free by direct debit and postgraduate loans are available for all Home/EU students.
To be confirmed.
Teaching and assessment
Our innovative, engaging teaching is designed to support students who are juggling evening study with work and other daytime commitments.
At Birkbeck, almost all of our courses are taught in the evening and our teaching is designed to support students who are juggling evening study with work and other daytime commitments. We actively encourage innovative and engaging ways of teaching, to ensure our students have the best learning experience. In the 2017 Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), the government’s system for rating university teaching, Birkbeck was allocated a Silver award.
Teaching may include formal lectures, seminars, and practical classes and tutorials. Formal lectures are used in most degree programmes to give an overview of a particular field of study. They aim to provide the stimulus and the starting point for deeper exploration of the subject during your own personal reading.
Seminars give you the chance to explore a specific aspect of your subject in depth and to discuss and exchange ideas with fellow students. They typically require preparatory study.
In addition, you will have timetabled meetings with your Personal Tutor.
Methods of teaching on this course
Lectures, seminars, screenings, field trips and events.
Timetables are usually available from September onwards and you can access your personalised timetable via your My Birkbeck Profile online (if you have been invited to enrol).
Indicative class size
Class sizes vary, depending on your course, the module you are undertaking, and the method of teaching. For example, lectures are presented to large groups, with 30 to 100+ students in attendance, whereas seminars usually consist of small, interactive groups of 10 to 30 students, led by an academic.
Birkbeck offers study and learning support to undergraduate and postgraduate students to help them succeed. Our Learning Development Service can help you in the following areas:
- academic skills (including planning your workload, research, writing, exam preparation and writing a dissertation)
- written English (including structure, punctuation and grammar)
- numerical skills (basic mathematics and statistics).
Our Disability and Dyslexia Service can support you if you have additional learning needs resulting from a disability or from dyslexia.
Our Counselling Service can support you if you are struggling with emotional or psychological difficulties during your studies.
Our Mental Health Advisory Service can support you if you are experiencing short– or long-term mental health difficulties during your studies.
Assessment is an integral part of your university studies and usually consists of a combination of coursework and examinations. You will be given time to complete coursework and prepare for exams.
Unseen written examinations are usually taken in the Summer term, during May to June, and, in most cases, are held during the day on a weekday – if you have daytime commitments, you will need to make arrangements for daytime attendance. Exam timetables are published online in March each year.
Methods of assessment on this course
During your year at Birkbeck, you will be assessed by essay assignments of approximately 5000 words each, a research report and a dissertation of 15,000 words, due in September of the final year.
During your year abroad, the assessment will depend on the institution you attend. In most cases, the assessment will be a mixture of essays and examinations.
As well as a mark for your coursework and exams, you will also receive feedback from your marker(s) to help you learn, improve and succeed. We encourage you to discuss feedback with your module tutor.
Feedback can come in different forms: notes via Moodle (our online learning environment); a paper copy of a completed feedback form; or in-class or face-to-face feedback. The College Policy on Feedback on Assessment sets out what you can expect from your feedback.
Your department will usually provide you with your marked coursework within four weeks of submission. Your initial mark is provisional until the relevant Board of Examiners has confirmed it.
Your official coursework and exam results will be made available to you via your My Birkbeck Profile online.
Careers and employability
To help you get ahead in your career, we offer free advice and training and our recruitment consultancy, Birkbeck Talent, can connect you with employers.
Careers and employability
Graduates go in to careers in film and television companies, museums and galleries, arts administration and education. Possible professions include arts administrator, museum or gallery curator, or teacher. This degree may also be useful in becoming a programme researcher or television/film/video producer.
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.
How to apply
Once you've found the course that's right for you, here's what to do next to get your place at Birkbeck.
How to apply
You apply directly to Birkbeck for this course, using the online application.
In addition to an online application, you will need to submit a short written exercise.
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
This programme has rolling admissions, but we encourage early applications.
Applicants who satisfy the entry criteria will be invited to attend an interview with the admissions tutors. International applicants can be interviewed by telephone or Skype.
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