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Postgraduate Courses 2017/18

Film - MA

Canterbury and Paris

Overview

The programme offers a thorough grounding in postgraduate-level film and is suitable both for graduates in the subject and those new to it.

It is taught by experts in Film and seeks to engage you with the key elements that make up the diverse nature of film and moving images.

The programme allows you to spend your first term at our Canterbury campus with full access to its excellent academic and recreational facilities, before relocating to our Paris centre for the spring term, studying in the heart of historic Montparnasse.

The Film MA can also be studied in Canterbury only or Paris only.

Think Kent video series

This talk by Dr Maurizio Cinquegrani, Director of Graduate Studies in the School of Arts, focuses on a group of documentaries filmed in Poland and portraying journeys of postmemory to the sites of Jewish life before the war and Jewish destruction during the Holocaust.

About the Department of Film

The Film Department at the University of Kent is known for its excellence in research and teaching. Arts at Kent (including Film) was ranked 1st in the UK for research power in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014. One of the largest European centres for the study of film, it has an established reputation going back 35 years. Approaching film as a dynamic part of our cultural experience, we encourage thinking about film as it emerges at the intersections of art, document and entertainment. Through theory and practice, individual research, student-led seminars and visiting speakers, we promote an environment in which postgraduate students are able to engage with the continuing vibrancy of cinema.

Studying film as a postgraduate at the University of Kent will give you the opportunity to experience our rich resources of academic expertise, library facilities and a campusbased film culture. We currently offer expertise in North American, European and Latin American cinemas. Our research and teaching will engage you in a dialogue with aesthetic, conceptual and historical perspectives, as well as with digital media and practice by research.

In 2014, the University opened a new 62-seat cinema named after the pioneering female film director Ida Lupino, which students can enjoy as part of their experience during their studies. The Lupino has state-of-the-art digital projection and sound, and has been created to provide an intimate atmosphere for film viewing.

Studying film as a postgraduate at the University of Kent in Paris will give you the opportunity to experience our rich resources of academic expertise, library facilities and a campus-based film culture. Our research and teaching will engage you in a dialogue with aesthetic, conceptual and historical perspectives.

National ratings

In the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, Arts at Kent was ranked 1st for research power and in the top 20 in the UK for research quality.

An impressive 98% of our research was judged to be of international quality. The School’s environment was judged to be conducive to supporting the development of world-leading research.

Course structure

The programme consists of research training, two compulsory 30-credit modules and two 30-credit subject options, plus a dissertation.

You spend the autumn and spring terms viewing and discussing films in modules that are designed to address a range of practical and theoretical issues, including authorship, genre, stardom, style, modernity, nationalism and internationalism. Seminars will also cover debates in philosophy and film theory on the nature of filmic representation and its relationship to language, art, emotion, and consciousness.

The spring term in Paris will allow you to focus more on French cinema and its context, and to consider the impact of French critics and filmmakers on the wider discipline of Film Studies. In the summer term you will complete your one-year MA by writing a dissertation of up to 15,000 words on a topic agreed with tutors.

Modules

During the first term, you take two 30-credit taught-course modules from your chosen MA pathway. You then spend the second term in Paris, studying two modules from a choice which varies from year to year.

This means that during the spring term you are free to construct your own programme from across the range of modules available (see Paris Module Collection), making it as focussed or as inter-disciplinary as you like. You have plenty of time during the autumn term to make informed decisions about your programme of studies in Paris.

All the spring-term modules have been designed to be specifically relevant to your experience of living and studying in Paris.You are encouraged to make full use of the city’s cultural resources and to integrate these into your studies which means you will be able to explore and discover connections between history, literature, the visual arts and other media.

The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This list is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation. 

Modules available on this programme may include:

FI812 - Advanced Film Theory (30 credits)

This course examines the medium of film, considering its specific qualities as an art form and the particular ways in which it engages its audience. The emphasis of the course varies from year to year, responding to current research and scholarship, but it maintains as its focus the aesthetic strategies of film in contrast with other arts, film's relationship with reality, the interdisciplinary reach of Film Studies, the particular kinds of engagement into which cinema invites its audience and/or French film theory. The students will benefit from having access to relevant institutions in Paris, such as the Cinémathèque Française, the Bibliothèque Nationale, the American Library in Paris and the Paris Diderot library. The course explores both the historical trajectory of the theory of film as well as how these conceptual frameworks inform contemporary scholarship.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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FI815 - Film and Modernity (30 credits)

This course examines the medium of film, considering its specific qualities as an art-form and the particular ways in which it is influenced by and influences other artistic and cultural forms in its historical moment. The emphasis of the course varies from year to year, responding to current research and scholarship, but it maintains as its focus the aesthetic strategies of film in contrast with other arts, film's relationship to historical change, the interdisciplinary reach of Film Studies, and/or the particular strategies used by the cinema to communicate with its audience. The course explores both the historical place of the cinema within the development of twentieth-century culture as well as how this historical definition informs contemporary scholarship.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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FI998 - Dissertation:GPMS (60 credits)

The dissertation is your opportunity to really explore the aspects of Film Studies that interest you most. You are encouraged to read as widely as you can. Exploit the Templeman library resources, and all the on-line facilities available to you through the library portals. Of course, watch relevant films too. The more research you do, the richer your experience.

You can begin your independent dissertation research at any point and t is good idea to do have done some groundwork before you meet your supervisor.

The main period for supervision is in the summer term, when you can expect to meet with your supervisor to discuss the progress of your reading and writing. You can expect up to four supervisory meetings, reasonably spread across the term.

You should also arrange to meet your supervisor once in the Spring term in order to discuss the focus of your project, and also the kind of research you could begin to undertake in the Spring and Summer terms.

The summer vacation period is a period of independent research, and supervision is not available.

Your supervisor may agree to give you email feedback on a section of your draft during the summer vacation period, but you will need to arrange that with them well in advance.

Credits: 60 credits (30 ECTS credits).

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Teaching and Assessment

Assessment is by coursework and the dissertation.

Programme aims

The programme aims to:

  • develop your understanding and skills to a notably higher level of sophistication and achievement (appropriate to an Master’s level award) than would be expected at degree level, such that you leave the programme with a substantial analytic and critical understanding of film and film studies
  • develop your understanding and skills to the level necessary for entry into a research programme in film
  • develop your ability to think independently, argue with clarity and force, to discern areas of research interest within the field and be able to frame viable research questions
  • allow you to spend your first term in Canterbury, studying modules in film, and to spend your second term in Paris developing your interest in cinema within the context of city often seen to be central to the aesthetic developments of filmmaking and critical approaches central to the history of the discipline
  • consider the impact of French critics and filmmakers on the wider discipline of film
  • provoke reflection on areas of critical and theoretical approaches to French cinema and its context
  • nurture the intellectual skills cited above in the context of written work (essays and dissertations) as well as in the context of interpersonal interaction (seminars, research papers, supervision)
  • provide access to enhanced intercultural awareness and understanding through the opportunity to study in Paris
  • provide opportunities for the development of personal, communication and research skills and other key skills appropriate for graduate employment both in industry and in the public sector.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

You gain knowledge and understanding of:

  • the interpretation and evaluation of film
  • concepts and practices integral to the production and reception of films, including authorship, genre, stardom, style, modernity, nationalism and internationalism, with an emphasis on the French context
  • processes and conceptualisations of pleasure and identification in film
  • debates in film theory, and in philosophy, pertaining to the nature of filmic representation, and its relationship with language, art, emotion, and consciousness
  • Modernism as an international movement in literature and art and the role of Paris as a site of modernist experimentation
  • the cultural history of modern Paris, as reflected in art and literature.

Intellectual skills

You develop intellectual skills in:

  • the ability to construct arguments and adduce appropriate evidence at a level appropriate for original research
  • questionning assumptions generally taken for granted at degree level
  • designing and implementing research projects informed by classical humanities approaches, including philosophy, literary theory, and history, with a particular emphasis
  • grasping how methods drawn from the social and natural sciences (such as economics and psychology) might inflect or inform research projects within the humanities.

Subject-specific skills

You gain subject-specific skills in:

  • analysing, with precision, the images and sounds which comprise films
  • analysing narrative and other forms and structures shaping films
  • drawing on intellectual knowledge, methods and techniques drawn from other disciplines (such as psychoanalysis, philosophy, and literary theory) in the study of film
  • mastery of the vocabularies developed to enhance the analysis and understanding of film and related media
  • articulating, in written and oral contexts, an understanding of film commensurate with the first four programme aims noted above
  • developing a comprehensive knowledge of the cultural development of modern Paris, as expressed in literature and art.

Transferable skills

You will gain the following transferable skills:

  • the ability to communicate effectively in both oral and written contexts, at a level appropriate for the conduct of original research
  • the ability to create, manage and self-direct essays and research projects, with the advice and supervision of teaching staff
  • the ability to integrate skills of argument and reasoning with those of empirical observation
  • the ability to contribute effectively to the exploration of a question or problem in the context of group discussion and analysis, through a combination of intervention, leading of discussion, and focussed attention to others
  • the ability to deploy the subject-specific understanding of the nature of film and related media – in relation to, for example, social and ethical questions – in the context of participation in society as workers and citizens
  • the ability to use various IT skills, ranging from word-processing and audio-visual presentation to research through web-based sources, at a level of sophistication commensurate with the production of original research
  • Living and working in diverse cultural environments: you will participate and work in academic communities in both Canterbury and Paris. You will thus develop cultural knowledge and understanding, flexibility, imagination, resourcefulness and tolerance.

Careers

Arts graduates have gone on to work in a range of professions, from museum positions and teaching roles to film journalists and theatre technicians. Our graduates have found work at Universal Pictures, the London Film Festival and other arts, culture and heritage-related organisations, as well as in film production, as editorial assistants and as web designers.

Study support

Postgraduate resources

Film at Kent has excellent viewing and library facilities, with a large number of films screened weekly during term-time on 35mm and Blu-Ray. The Templeman Library has extensive book and specialist journal holdings in film and related areas; there is also a large and growing reference collection of film on DVD, with individual and group viewing facilities. The Department also benefits from the presence of the Gulbenkian Cinema on campus, which runs a programme of new releases and classics, in addition to first-rate viewing facilities within our new Lupino Cinema.

In 2010, we moved into the purpose-built, and RIBA award-winning, Jarman Building. The new building is home to a range of professional standard editing and studio facilities, plus a dedicated postgraduate centre and teaching and social spaces.

In Paris, you are encouraged to make full use of the city's cultural resources and to integrate that experience into your studies. The Louvre, Centre Pompidou, Musée d’Orsay, Musée d’Arte Moderne, Grand Palais and other world-class museums and exhibition spaces are on your doorstep.

You have access to screenings of modern and classic films and to the research facilities at the National Cinémathèque and Museum of Cinema and at the Forum des Images, an extensive videothèque and film library in the centre of the city. You also have access to the libraries of University of Paris III (Sorbonne Nouvelle), which has the largest Film department in France.

In addition, you benefit from borrowing rights at the libraries of the University of Paris VII, which have viewing facilities and holdings of films, books and periodicals in English. Other Paris libraries with extensive relevant holdings include the French National Library, the Centre Georges Pompidou Public Library and the American Library in Paris, to which you are given access and a guided visit.

Internationally recognised research

Our staff produce internationally recognised research at the intersection of film theory, history, practice, and the conceptual and stylistic analysis of moving image media. Based on this expertise, we are able to support research across a wide range of topics, including: moving image theory, history and criticism; American, European and Latin American cinemas; British Cinema; the avantgarde; and digital media and animation. There are also close connections between Film and the Aesthetics Research Group.

The Centre for the Interdisciplinary Study of Film and the Moving Image promotes our excellence in research and hosts a range of research events including symposia, visiting speakers and workshops.

A recently established affiliation with the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) in London offers the possibility of collaborative projects, internships, postgraduate events and activities as well as free membership to all postgraduate students.

Film-making

The Department includes film-makers among its members of staff. Clio Barnard’s recent film The Arbor was nominated for a BAFTA and Clio received the best newcomer and original debut feature at the London Film Festival and best new documentary film-maker at the Tribeca Film Festival. Her most recent work, The Selfish Giant, was chosen as one of only two films to represent the UK in the Directors’ Fortnight line-up at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival. Virginia Pitts’ films Trust Me (2001) and Fleeting Beauty (2004) were selected to screen at 25 international film festivals, toured US art galleries and sold widely to television. Her latest film, Beat (2010), a narrative-dance piece exploring dialogism as an ideal for human interaction, is currently on the international festival circuit where it has been nominated for awards in New Zealand, Canada, the US and Greece. Lawrence Jackson worked in various crew capacities in the UK film industry for three years before working in-house, then freelance as a Bi-Media Producer for BBC Northern Ireland Drama. As writer-director, he has five short films and as producer-director, around 50 hours of radio drama to his name. The shorts, shot in locations from Margate to Northern Ireland and Prague to Newcastle, have been shown at the Munich Film Festival, London’s ICA Cinema and on BBC2.

Dynamic publishing culture

Staff publish regularly and widely in journals, conference proceedings and books. Among others, they have recently contributed to: Screen; Cinema Journal; The Moving Image; Animation; Games and Culture; Journal of Film and Video; and Early Popular Visual Culture.

Global Skills Award

All students registered for a taught Master's programme are eligible to apply for a place on our Global Skills Award Programme. The programme is designed to broaden your understanding of global issues and current affairs as well as to develop personal skills which will enhance your employability.  

Entry requirements

An upper second-class honours degree or better, usually in a relevant humanities subject. In certain circumstances, the School will consider candidates who have not followed a conventional education path or who may have relevant experience in the industry. These cases are assessed individually by the Director of Graduate Studies.

General entry requirements

Please also see our general entry requirements.

English language entry requirements

For detailed information see our English language requirements web pages. 

Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of pre-sessional courses in English for Academic Purposes through Kent International Pathways.

Research areas

Research in both theory and practice is currently centred in five broad areas:

  • national cinemas – form and history: North American, European, Latin American
  • the moving image in a digital context
  • documentary film
  • film aesthetics
  • avant-garde and experimental cinema.

Centre for the Interdisciplinary Study of Film and the Moving Image

The Centre draws together scholars from across the University who use film and the moving image as an integral part of their research. We are open to ideas that extend the reach of the Centre and seek to support projects that promote collaboration between individuals and other research centres. Our aim is to produce a more proactive engagement with other disciplines, to open new lines of communication and to produce innovative knowledge formations through the activity of pioneering research projects.

Staff research interests

Full details of staff research interests can be found on the School's website.

Clio Barnard: Reader

The relationship between documentary and fiction, in particular the subjectivity of recollection.

Profile

Dr Margrethe Bruun Vaage: Lecturer in Film

Spectator's engagement with fictional films and television series, and more specifically the imagination, the emotions and the moral psychology of fiction.

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Dr Lavinia Brydon: Lecturer in Film

Issues of space and place within film culture, notions of mobility, questions of identity, auteurship and the concept of national cinemas.

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Dr Maurizio Cinquegrani: Lecturer

British cinema; non-fiction films; early cinema; the intersection between cinema and urban culture, in particular London in film; cinema and architecture; amateur film-making; Swedish cinema; Italian cinema.

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Dr Mattias Frey: Senior Lecturer

European cinema (with particular emphasis on German and Austrian film); historiography; matters of media reception and consumption; the history of ‘classical’ and contemporary film theory; movie criticism and cinephilia.

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Dr Frances Guerin: Senior Lecturer

Silent cinema; pre-cinema; German cinema, film and history; documentary film and its intersection with history, cinema and the other arts; modernity and cinema.

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Lawrence Jackson: Lecturer

Genre storytelling, with particular focus on ghost stories, thrillers and westerns; the work of new British film-makers Andrea Arnold, Shane Meadows, Ben Wheatley and Paddy Considine.

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Dr Tamar Jeffers McDonald: Reader

Genres, including romantic comedy, melodrama and the gothic; stardom; film costume; strategies and representation of sex and virginity; performance. 

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Dr Cecilia Sayad: Lecturer

Film authorship; theories of national and transnational cinemas; Third Cinemas; narratology; self-reflexivity; realism; the French New Wave; Latin American cinema (especially Brazilian); post-war American cinema; the modern American horror film.

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Professor Murray Smith: Professor of Film

Philosophy, film and film theory; cognitive theory, evolutionary theory and film; sound and music in film; avant-garde and experimental film/video; contemporary independent American cinema.

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Professor Peter Stanfield: Professor of Film; Head of School of Arts

The cultural history of American film, with a twin focus on cycles of formulaic movies and the synergy between cinema and other forms of popular culture, including music, comic book and sequential art, pulp novels and material culture.

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Dr Aylish Wood: Reader

The impact of digital technologies on moving images in animation, film and digital games and mixed-media gallery installations; creativity and technology.

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MA Studies

Resources

Read our student profile

Contacts

Admissions enquiries

T: +44 (0)1227 827272

E:information@kent.ac.uk

Subject enquiries

T: +44 (0)1227 823177

F: +44 (0)1227 827846

E: arts-pgadmin@kent.ac.uk

School website

Fees

The 2017/18 annual tuition fees for this programme are:

Film Studies - MA at Canterbury and Paris:
UK/EU Overseas
Full-time £7490 £14670

For students continuing on this programme fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic year of study except where regulated.* If you are uncertain about your fee status please contact information@kent.ac.uk

The University of Kent makes every effort to ensure that the information contained in its publicity materials is fair and accurate and to provide educational services as described. However, the courses, services and other matters may be subject to change. Full details of our terms and conditions can be found at: www.kent.ac.uk/termsandconditions.

*Where fees are regulated (such as by the Department of Business Innovation and Skills or Research Council UK) they will be increased up to the allowable level.

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