2017

Our Film programme, taught in Paris, offers a thorough grounding in postgraduate-level film and is suitable both for graduates in the subject and those new to it.

2017

Overview

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.

Our programme is the only Film MA offered by a British university in Paris and taught in English. You will spend the entire year in the French capital, which will allow you to participate in excursions to prominent cultural locations and make use of research resources that are only available in Paris, such as the French Cinémathèque. You will study film at postgraduate level within the context of a city that is central both to the development of filmmaking practices and to critical and theoretical approaches to the cinema.

Students interested in taking this MA as a part-time option would take two modules each year (one per term), plus the dissertation in the final year.

The Film MA can also be studied between Canterbury and Paris, with the first term at our Canterbury campus and the spring term at our centre in Paris. You can also study the programme at Canterbury only.

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 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.

For further information on this programme please contact Eileen Hartney at E.Hartney-204@kent.ac.uk.

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, three compulsory 30-credit modules and one 30-credit subject option, 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 also cover debates in philosophy and film theory on the nature of filmic representation and its relationship to language, art, emotion, and consciousness.

Our postgraduate programme 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

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.  Most programmes will require you to study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. You may also have the option to take modules from other programmes so that you may customise your programme and explore other subject areas that interest you.

Possible modules may include Credits ECTS 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.

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This course examines film history and historiography through case studies. In carrying out this investigation students will be encouraged to work with archive and primary sources held in libraries, museums and archives, such as the Cinémathèque Française, the Bibliothèque Nationale, the American Library in Paris and the Paris Diderot library in order to help them to evaluate and contest received histories, which may be based on aesthetic, technological, economic, and/or social formations. Through this investigation students will be better able to understand the role and value of the contextual study of film, while having the opportunity to research and write on an aspect of film history. The choice of case study will depend upon the expertise of the module convenor but will typically be from French film history.

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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 the historical moment of early 20th century Paris. 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, particularly as it is developed in the growth of Paris as a city. The course also addresses the particular strategies used by the cinema to communicate with its historical audience. The course explores both the historical place of the cinema within the development of twentieth-century urban culture in Paris as well as how this historical definition informs the development of the cinema.

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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.

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Teaching and Assessment

Assessment is by coursework and the dissertation.

Programme aims

This programme aims to:

  • provide a substantial analytic and critical understanding of film and film studies
  • develop students' understanding and skills to the level necessary for entry on to a research degree in film studies
  • develop the ability of students 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 students studying in Paris to develop their interest in cinema within the context of a 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 cinema and its context, with a special focus on French cinema
  • nurture intellectual skills 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
  • provide learning opportunities informed by research and scholarship and building on the close ties within Europe.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

You gain knowledge and understanding of:

  • the techniques which comprise film and related moving audio-visual media, and the ways in which they are used to create meaning and experience
  • concepts and practices integral to the production and reception of films, including authorship, genre, stardom, style, modernity, nationalism and transnationalism, with an emphasis on the French context
  • conceptualisations of audience engagement with film, including the cultural, aesthetic, industrial and economic contexts in which viewing and exhibition occurs
  • critical approaches to film, including an understanding of the historical and contemporary debates within film theory
  • knowledge and understanding of film histories and historiography
  • Modernism as an international movement in film and art and the role of Paris as a site of modernist experimentation
  • the cultural history of modern Paris, as reflected in film and art. 

Intellectual skills

You develop intellectual skills in:

  • the ability to construct arguments and produce evidence appropriate for research at Master's level
  • the ability to reflect critically on debates within the conceptual practices of the discipline; 
  • the ability to design and implement research.

Subject-specific skills

You gain subject-specific skills in:

  • the ability to articulate, in written and oral contexts, an understanding of film commensurate with points above;
  • the ability to analyse narrative and other forms and structures shaping films;
  • the ability to draw on interdisciplinary 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;
  • the ability to analyse with precision the images and sounds which comprise films;
  • develop a comprehensive knowledge of the cultural development of modern Paris, as expressed in film 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: students will participate and work in the academic community of a British university but be based in one of the major cultural cities in Europe. They will thus develop cultural knowledge and understanding, flexibility, imagination, resourcefulness and tolerance and gain direct knowledge of the major cultural institutions in Paris.

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

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 avant-garde; digital media and animation. 

Dynamic publishing culture

Academic staff have authored books, journal articles and conference papers. Among others, they have recently contributed to the journals: Screen; Cinema Journal; The Moving Image; Animation; Games and Culture; Journal of Film and Video; and Early Popular Visual Culture.
Single-authored books published by Film academic staff include:

  • Cinquegrani, Maurizio (2014). Of Empire and the City: Remapping Early British Cinema, Bern: Peter Lang..
  • Cowie, Elizabeth (2011). Recording Reality, Desiring the Real, Minneapolis: University of Minnestoa Press.
  • Cowie, Elizabeth (1997). Representing the Woman: Psychoanalysis and Cinema, London: Macmillan, and Minneapolis:  University of Minnesota  Press.
  • Frey, Mattias (2014). The Permanent Crisis of Film Criticism: The Anxiety of Authority. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press.
  • Frey, Mattias (2013), Postwall German Cinema: History, Film History, and Cinephilia. New York/Oxford: Berghahn.
  • Grant, Michael (1997). Dead Ringers. Trowbridge: Flicks Books.
  • Guerin, Frances (2011). Through Amateur Eyes: Film and Photography in Nazi Germany, University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis.
  • Guerin, Frances (2005). A Culture of Light: Cinema and Technology in 1920s Germany, University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis. 
  • Jeffers McDonald, Tamar (2013). Doris Day Confidential: Hollywood, Sex and Stardom. London: I B Tauris.
  • Jeffers McDonald, Tamar (2010). Hollywood Catwalk: Reading Costume and Transformation in American Film. London: I B Tauris.
  • Jeffers McDonald, Tamar (2007). Romantic Comedy: Boy meets Girl meets Genre. London: Wallflower Press.
  • Mather, Nigel (2006). Tears of Laughter: Comedy-drama in 1990s British Cinema. Manchester University Press.
  • Sayad, Cecilia (2013). Performing Authorship: Self-Inscription and Corporeality in the Cinema. London: I.B. Tauris.
  • Sayad, Cecilia (2008). O jogo da reinvenção: Charlie Kaufman e o lugar do autor no cinema. São Paulo: Alameda.
  • Smith, Murray. Trainspotting (2002). London: BFI Modern Classics.
  • Smith, Murray (1995). Engaging Characters: Fiction, Emotion, and the Cinema. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
  • Stanfield, Peter (2011). Maximum Movies – Pulp Fiction: Film Culture and the Worlds of Mickey Spillane, Samuel Fuller, and Jim Thompson. Rutgers University Press.
  • Stanfield, Peter (2005). Body & Soul: Jazz and Blues in American Film, 1927-63. University of Illinois Press.. 
  • Stanfield, Peter (2002) Horse Opera: The Strange History of the Singing Cowboy. University of Illinois Press.
  • Stanfield, Peter (2001). Hollywood, Westerns and the 1930s: The Lost Trail. University of Exeter Press.
  • Wood, Aylish (2014). Software, Animation and the Moving Image: What’s in the Box?. Palgrave-Pivot.
  • Wood, Aylish (2007). Digital Encounters. Routledge.
  • Wood, Aylish (2002). Technoscience in Contemporary American Films: Beyond Science Fiction, Manchester University Press.

Film academics have also co-edited and contributed chapters to dozens of books.

Filmmaking

The Department includes filmmakers among its members of staff. Clio Barnard’s The Arbor was nominated for a BAFTA and Clio received the best newcomer and original debut feature awards at the London Film Festival and best new documentary filmmaker award 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 Hassan (1990), Trust Me (2001) and Fleeting Beauty (2004) and Beat (2010) were selected to screen at 25 international film festivals, including Berlin, Edinburgh, Montreal, Chicago, Valladolid and Locarno. They have also toured US art galleries and sold widely to television.

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. He wrote and directed five short films and has produced and directed around 50 hours of radio drama. The shorts, shot in locations from Margate to Northern Ireland, and from Prague to Newcastle, have been shown at the Munich Film Festival, London’s ICA Cinema, and on BBC2.

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.

All applicants are considered on an individual basis and additional qualifications, and professional qualifications and experience will also be taken into account when considering applications. 

International students

Please see our International Student website for entry requirements by country and other relevant information for your country. 

Meet our staff in your country

For more advise about applying to Kent, you can meet our staff at a range of international events.

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 Film and Media Research

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.

Other Research Centres within the School:

European Theatre

Based at Kent, the UK’s European university, the European Theatre Research Network (ETRN) facilitates and fosters the exchange of theatre traditions, contemporary practices and academic discussion on theatre work from the European continent and also in the new European states. The MA Theatre Direction forms part of this expanding network, drawing for instance on our connection to the Schaubühne Berlin, the Grotowski Workcentre, and other European theatre institutions. For further information, please see www.europeantheatre.org.uk

Cognition, Kinesthetics and Performance

The Centre for Cognition, Kinesthetics and Performance brings together Drama staff and staff in Engineering and Digital Arts; Psychology; Anthropology; and the Tizard Centre to explore the possibilities of interdisciplinary dialogue and collaboration between researchers and practitioners in the fields of cognitive neuroscience, interactive performance, digital media, disability studies, and applied performance. For further information, please see www.kent.ac.uk/ckp

Popular and Comic Performance

The Popular and Comic Performance research centre brings together academics from a range of disciplines (e.g. Drama, Film, Social Anthropology, Philosophy). Their research investigates a real variety of related areas including: stand-up comedy; music hall and variety; 18th century popular theatre; melodrama; Greek Old and Middle comedy; community performance work; puppetry; TV and film production; and punk performance.

Aesthetics Research Centre

The Aesthetics Research Centre coordinates, enables and promotes research in philosophy of art and aesthetics at the University of Kent.

Art History and Visual Cultures

This Research Centre promotes and co-ordinates research amongst the growing community of staff and PG students active at Kent in the field of Art History. 

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.

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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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Fees

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

Film - MA at Paris:
UK/EU Overseas
Full-time €9650 €17600

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.*

The University will assess your fee status as part of the application process. If you are uncertain about your fee status you may wish to seek advice from UKCISA before applying.

General additional costs

Find out more about accommodation and living costs, plus general additional costs that you may pay when studying at Kent.

Funding

Scholarships and funding information