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Film and Media Studies (Certificate of Higher Education)

This introductory course in film and media studies will help you develop a better understanding of our complex media world. You will learn how technology, business and, above all, human creativity have forged the contemporary media world we live in. You will explore some of the best ways to interpret films, television shows and newspapers within their social, economic and cultural contexts. Our Film and Media Studies Certificate of Higher Education will help you view the world in a different way, acquire new, transferable skills and boost your intellectual confidence. 

Our teaching staff are passionate about film and media and this course draws on the diverse, cutting-edge research interests of our academics. You can discover more about a range of film and media, including narrative and genre in film, journalism, storytelling in television and the British press. 


  • We focus on teaching and research in film and media, journalism, arts policy and management, and have Birkbeck Interdisciplinary Research in Media and Culture and the Birkbeck Institute for the Moving Image as focal points of our research culture.
  • Birkbeck offers an extensive portfolio of internationally respected courses that combine a tradition of teaching and researching cultural studies with the latest ideas and techniques across film studies, journalism, screenwriting and digital media.
  • We have state-of-the-art cinema and exhibition spaces, all housed in a historic building that was a former home to key members of the Bloomsbury Group, including the author Virginia Woolf and the artist Vanessa Bell. 
  • We have a rich programme of free screenings and film-related events at Birkbeck Institute for the Moving Image, which also hosts the annual Essay Film Festival.
  • With our location in Bloomsbury, central London, you can explore some of the world's best architecture, galleries and museums, collections and arts spaces - many of which are on our doorstep or a short distance away.
  • Birkbeck was ranked as one of the top four universities in the UK for its Art and Design research in the 2021 Research Excellence Framework.

Progression to degrees at Birkbeck

Successfully completing the following modules on this course can give you entry into Year 2 of part-time BA degree courses at Birkbeck: 

  • BA Film and Media: Introduction to Cinema; Journalism in British Life; and any of the Level 5 option modules. 
  • BA Journalism and Media: Journalism in British Life; Media, Technology and Culture. 

If you are offered a place on one of these degrees, you can apply for retrospective credit for the modules listed above and you may be offered retrospective credit for your other Level 4 and Level 5 option modules at the discretion of the course director for your BA. 

Course structure

To gain the Certificate of Higher Education you must register on and successfully complete individual modules worth a total of 120 credits, consisting of:

  • one compulsory module (30 credits)
  • two Level 4 option modules (60 credits)
  • one Level 5 option module (30 credits). 

Module groups

You can take these modules as part of this certificate, or as standalone short courses.

  • Entry Requirements

    Entry requirements

    None. However, all modules are taught at university level and you should be able to read, write and speak English fluently. If you need help, we offer a range of academic English and language development modules.

    Visa requirements

    If you are not from the UK and you do not already have residency here, you may need to apply for a visa.

    The visa you apply for varies according to the length of your course:

    • Courses of more than six months' duration: Student visa
    • Courses of less than six months' duration: Standard Visitor visa

    International students who require a Student visa should apply for our full-time courses as these qualify for Student visa sponsorship. If you are living in the UK on a Student visa, you will not be eligible to enrol as a student on Birkbeck's part-time courses (with the exception of some modules).

    For full information, read our visa information for international students page.

    Please also visit the international section of our website to find out more about relevant requirements by country.

  • Fees


    Fees are payable per module and vary depending on the course. Please view the Course Structure and then click on the title of individual modules to see the fees for each module. The overall cost of the certificate will depend on the modules you choose. 

    Please note: if you intend to study this certificate part-time and fund your studies via a student loan, this may affect your entitlement for future full-time funding. Find out more about funding your studies with a student loan.

  • Teaching and assessment


    Teaching is in small groups.


    100% coursework.

  • Careers and employability

    Careers and employability

    Graduates can pursue careers in film and television companies, museums and galleries, arts administration and teaching. Possible professions include:

    • programme researcher (broadcasting/film/video)
    • museum/gallery curator
    • arts administrator
    • higher education lecturer. 

    We offer a comprehensive Careers Service - Birkbeck Futures - your career partner during your time at Birkbeck and beyond. At every stage of your career journey, we empower you to take ownership of your future, helping you to make the connection between your experience, education and future ambitions.

  • How to apply

    How to apply

    This is a modular enrolment certificate, so you will need to enrol onto individual modules (rather than onto the entire programme of study). Please view the Course Structure and then click on the title of individual modules to see class dates and times and to enrol.