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Our Film programme, taught at Kent’s Paris School of Arts and Culture, offers a thorough grounding in postgraduate-level film and is suitable both for graduates in the subject and those new to it. It is the only Film MA offered by a British university in Paris and taught in English.
Taught by experts, the MA Film programme seeks to engage you with the advanced study of the nature theory, and history of film.
Applicants with a specific interest in film practice should consider our separate MA Film with practice programme delivered at our Canterbury campus.
You spend the entire year at Kent’s Paris School of Arts and Culture, located in a historic corner of Montparnasse in the heart of Paris. This allows you to participate in excursions to prominent cultural locations and make use of first-class research resources that are only available in Paris, such as the Cinémathèque française, the François Truffaut Film Library, and the Bibliothèque nationale de France.
You study film within the context of a city that is central both to the development of filmmaking practices and to critical and theoretical approaches to the “seventh art”.
With over 360 movie screens currently in operation across the city, Paris is uniquely important to French cinema, but it also serves as a hub of global cinema where both domestic and foreign productions form an integral part of the contemporary city’s DNA.
Taught in English, we offer interdisciplinary, flexible programmes that take full advantage of all the cultural resources Paris offers. Study trips to the city’s museums, art exhibitions, archives, cinemas and architectural riches are an integral part of your studies. Our research and teaching will engage you in a dialogue with aesthetic, conceptual and historical perspectives.
The interdisciplinary nature of the School means you can choose modules from outside your subject area, broadening your view of your subject. As part of our international community of students and staff, you can take part in regular seminars and talks, write for the student-run literary magazine or help to organise our annual student festival.
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.
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.
You are more than your grades
For 2022, in response to the challenges caused by Covid-19 we will consider applicants either holding or projected a 2:2. This response is part of our flexible approach to admissions whereby we consider each student and their personal circumstances. If you have any questions, please get in touch.
A first or second class honours degree, 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, professional qualifications and relevant experience may also be taken into account when considering applications.
Please see our International Student website for entry requirements by country and other relevant information. Due to visa restrictions, students who require a student visa to study cannot study part-time unless undertaking a distance or blended-learning programme with no on-campus provision.
The University requires all non-native speakers of English to reach a minimum standard of proficiency in written and spoken English before beginning a postgraduate degree. Certain subjects require a higher level.
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.
Duration: One year full-time, two years part-time
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 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.
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.
The module is conceived as open to all Humanities MA students in Paris. It examines the medium of film, considering its specific qualities as an art and industrial form and the particular ways in which it is influenced by and influences other artistic and cultural forms in turn of the 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, technological developments, and historical change, particularly as they are developed in the growth of Paris as a city. The course also addresses the 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.
This module 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. This will include, for example, the Cinémathèque Française, the Bibliothèque Nationale, Fondation Jérôme Seydoux-Pathé, Forum des Images, and Paris Diderot library. Students will evaluate and contest received histories, which may be based on an 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 giving them the opportunity to research and write on an aspect of film history. The choice of case studies will depend upon the expertise of the module convenor.
This module involves a materialist analysis of the dynamics of colonialism, anticolonialism and postcolonialism. It explores places and people shaped by key modern historic processes, such as colonial conquest, dispossession, decolonization, postcolonial independence, partition, and migration. The module also examines connections between war, exclusion, territory and freedom, and it ruminates on processes of contradiction and negotiation, convergence and discord, clash and reconciliation in relation to political and personal conflict.
'Paris: Portfolio' contributes to the MA in Creative Writing in Paris. The objective of ‘Paris: Portfolio’ is to produce work inspired by the cultural, historical and aesthetic location of the city, taking regular writing exercises, field trips and prompts as a starting point. This module aims to enable students to develop their practice of writing through both the study of a range of contemporary examples and practices, and constructive feedback on their own work. Each week, students read a selection of work, in a variety of forms (fiction, non-fiction, poetry, prose poetry, hybrid texts; as well as artworks, TV, film and other media). Students will work on a specific exercise and submit it for workshopping each week, which they will draw upon to produce a portfolio of creative work for the main assessment. They will be encouraged to read as independent writers, to apply appropriate writing techniques to their own practice and to experiment with voice, form and content. The approach to the exemplary texts will be technical as well as historical. At every point in the module, priority will be given to students’ own development as writers. It is an assumption of the module that students will already have a basic competence in the writing of poetry or prose, including a grasp of essential craft and techniques. The purpose of this module will be to stimulate students towards development and honing of their emerging voices and styles through engaging with various literary texts and techniques, and to consider how their work can develop with large chunks of time for independent study, reflection and exploration of a city like Paris.
Among the various paradigms from which diasporic writing should be distinguished is the literature of exile. Exile is often the consequence of political pressure or disaffection with a society rather than the result of the larger and often spatially and chronologically extended migratory movements which led to the emergence of diasporic communities. While both paradigms may intersect, the concerns and motivations of diasporic and exilic literatures usually differ.
A historically and culturally significant geographical, and frequently also imaginary, point of intersection between the diasporic and the exilic paradigms is the metropolis of Paris. In this module, our comparative focus will be on diasporic and exilic literatures and on the significance of the diasporic or exilic space of the French metropolis, both as production context and as informing literary production. Writers to consider include: American expatriates in 1920 (like Gertrude Stein, Ernest Hemingway, Henry Miller, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Djuna Barnes), in the Post World War II era (like Richard Wright and James Baldwin), and other writers who chose exile in Paris (like Heinrich Heine, Oscar Wilde, Rainer Maria Rilke, Samuel Beckett)
'Paris: Psychogeography' contributes to the MA in Creative Writing in Paris. The objective of ‘Paris: Psychogeography’ is to produce work across genres inspired by the practice and theory of psychogeography and associated modes and schools of thought (the Situationist International, Dadaism, ‘Pataphysics, urbanism, etc), and associated practices such as the ‘dérive’ and ‘détournement’, in the place of its birth: Paris. As a part of their seminars students, with their tutors, will take into ‘the field’ regular writing exercises, trips and prompts as a starting point, encouraging play, experiment and both collaborative and individual methods. This module aims to enable students to develop their practice of writing through both the study of a range of twentieth century and contemporary examples and psychogeographic practices, and constructive feedback on their own work. Each week, students read a selection of work, in a variety of forms (fiction, non-fiction, poetry, prose poetry, hybrid texts; as well as artworks, TV, film and other media). Students will work on focused, practical exercises to submit for workshopping each week, which they can draw upon to produce a portfolio of creative work for the main assessment. They will be encouraged to read as independent writers, to apply appropriate writing techniques to their own practice and to experiment with voice, form and content. The approach to the exemplary texts will be technical and practical as well as historical; students will be expected to engage with, and critique the limitations of, the conceptual underpinnings of psychogeography as a theory and practice. At every point in the module, priority will be given to students’ own development as writers. It is an assumption of the module that students will already have a basic competence in the writing of poetry or prose, including a grasp of essential craft and techniques. The purpose of this module will be to stimulate students towards development and honing of their emerging voices and styles through engaging with various literary texts and techniques, and to consider how their work can develop with large chunks of time for independent study, wondering and wandering as well as in exploration and dialogue with place embodied in the City of Paris.
In this module students will focus on generating material, understanding their own writing process through practice and identifying their strengths and interests (literary and otherwise), with an emphasis on workshopping each week. They will work towards a fully realised and developed piece of writing, which may be self-contained or a part of a longer project. They may be continuing to work on an existing project, or starting something new. In seminar/workshops, they will give and receive constructive criticism, and work on editorial exercises to revise and refine their writing. Seminars will focus on reading selected extracts, process- and craft-focused texts, and reflective essays as a basis for class discussion. Seminar leaders will identify recommended reading tailored to individual students' interests and development.
On this module students will develop their skills as an independent writer, critic and thinker, understanding and building their own unique writing practice through readings of exemplary texts, open seminar discussion, writing exercises and creative workshops. Students will learn to identify and apply central concepts like plot, narrative, form and structure, theme, voice and character, in both reading and writing practice, Experimentation, ingenuity, ambition and originality in the student's approach to her/his own writing will be encouraged. Workshops will develop close reading and editorial skills and invite students to offer and receive constructive criticism of their peers’ work.
This module explores the art and culture of the so-called 'Golden Age' of seventeenth-century Holland, and critically examines the appropriateness of this common way of naming the period. Different types of paintings such as portraits, genre painting and still-life will be studied, and their social functions critically evaluated. The life and work of renowned Dutch masters, such as Rembrandt van Rijn, Johannes Vermeer and Frans Hals, as well as a number of lesser known artists such as Judith Leyster, Jan Steen and Willem Claesz Heda, will be closely examined. Special attention is given to the society and context that produced this art including politics, religion, the art market, the position of women, global trading and the slave trade. Lectures and seminars discuss these themes through the use of visual and written resources. In addition, the seminars are devoted to practical applications of relevant art historical and academic skills (visual analysis, interpretation, evaluation, communication, critical thinking). This is reflected in the assessments that develop progressively to ensure learning outcomes.
This module will introduce you to key concepts that are central to understand fundamental debates in history and philosophy of art as well as art criticism. Some examples of key concepts are the notion of originality, influence, race, the aesthetic, fiction, beauty, gender and taste. The key concepts discussed in the seminars are subject to change.
The module will focus on Paris as a centre of artistic experimentation. The city served as the launch pad for key artistic movements from the mid-19th century through to the period after the Second World War (Impressionism, Cubism, Surrealism, etc.), and as a magnet for budding and established artists from all around the world. The module will take advantage of the great museum collections that encapsulate such developments (Musées d'Arte Moderne and d’Orsay, Rodin and Picasso Museums, Beaubourg, Quai Branly, etc.) and also of the major exhibitions on show in Paris in any given year.
This module explores the dynamic relationship between the cult of relics and Gothic art. It will begin by retracing the aesthetics of devotion across Western Christendom, culminating in the creation of towering Gothic cathedrals. Throughout history, the design of cult images could reveal sacred presence, testify to miracle-working powers, and explicate the significance of a holy place using visual narratives. Through pilgrimage, gift-giving, and even theft, people acquired relics and 'invented' new cults. The success of a relic cult would benefit from the design of a magnificent reliquary, the depiction of pictorial programmes (in glass, sculpture, and painting), and the placement of the relic within a spectacular architectural setting. Together we will explore the development of Gothic art in light of changing devotional needs. Using a number of diverse case studies, students will acquire a wealth of historical information and develop a variety of intellectual approaches to function and significance of visual culture. Beginning with Paris and its surrounding cathedrals, we will extend our analysis to Gothic Canterbury, London, Castile, Prague, Siena, and Florence. Above all, this course will encourage students to think critically about the influence of art in the religious imagination.
France is the setting and inspiration for many plays first written and performed for London's professional theatres, 1576-1642. Whether in the history cycles that depicted Anglo-French diplomacy and war, or in the comedies and tragedies that revealed the ebb and flow of life in England’s near-neighbour, France as a site and space held a vivid place in the English imagination. This module is oriented around trans-national exchange (of ideas, people, goods, services) in early modern plays by Marlowe, Shakespeare, and other dramatists. France, and Paris in particular, will be read as a site of political unrest and religious fervour and debate, with the plays analysed in parallel to historical studies of the French Wars of Religion and networks of Anglo-French exchange during this period. Analysing the literary and historical contexts to these plays, the module will encourage students to think deeply about the dramatists’ creative engagement with issues such as national and religious identity, trans-national intellectual exchange, and the politics of difference.
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.
Assessment is by coursework and the dissertation.
This programme aims to:
You gain knowledge and understanding of:
You develop intellectual skills in:
You gain subject-specific skills in:
You will gain the following transferable skills:
The 2022/23 UK fees for this course are:
For details of when and how to pay fees and charges, please see our Student Finance Guide.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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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.
The Group’s main objective is to support and produce cutting-edge research in the areas of film, media and culture. The Film, Media and Culture Research Group has interests in aesthetics, social roles, discursive formations, cultural meanings, psychological effects and/or economic realities. Drawing together scholars from across the University – including Arts, European Culture and Languages, Digital Arts and Engineering, History, English and American Studies, Law, Sociology and beyond – the Group has a lively, research culture. Through our journal Film Studies and pioneering research projects and outputs we actively seek to shape the field, open lines of communication with the local community and engage with colleagues worldwide.
The Aesthetics Research Centre (ARC) coordinates, enables and promotes research in philosophy of art and aesthetics at the University of Kent. It is embeeded in the analytic tradition, and it is deeply committed to making connections and exploring synergies with other approaches to thinking about art and culture. ARC comprises a vibrant community of staff and postgraduate students across the School of Arts and the Department of Philosophy, and its activities include an annual programme of research seminars, workshops, symposia and conferences.
The Histories Research Group brings together staff and post-graduate students from across the School of Arts whose research involves a cultural historical approach to their field. It holds regular research seminars and supports student-led initiatives, such as organizing conferences.
The Performance and Theatre Research Group’s mission is to create a warm and dynamic research community, welcoming everybody from 'Fresher to Professor'. We are a delightfully broad church, with well-established expertise in a broad range of subjects, including theatre history, performance and health, theatre and cognition, physical acting, applied theatre, performance and philosophy, performance and politics, European theatre, Greek theatre, theatre and adaptation, audience studies, cultural industries, variety theatre, puppetry, dance theatre, popular performance and stand-up comedy. We embrace a diversity of methodologies including, for example, Practice as Research, archival and participatory methods.
Full details of staff research interests can be found on the School's website.
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.
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.
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.
Academic staff have authored books, journal articles and conference papers. Among others, they have recently contributed to the journals: Screen; Cinema Journal; October; The Moving Image; Animation; Games and Culture; Journal of Film and Video; Film History, Film Criticism and Early Popular Visual Culture.
Single-authored books published by Film academic staff include:
Film academics have also co-edited and contributed chapters to dozens of books.
The Department embraces filmmaking and practice-based research in film and media. 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.
Richard Misek is a leading video essayist. His feature-length documentary Rohmer in Paris (2013) has been screened at over twenty film festivals on five continents, and exhibited at venues including the British Film Institute, The Barbican Centre, the National Gallery of Art (Washington D.C.), the Museum of Moving Image (New York), Forum des Images (Paris), and the Louisiana Museum (Denmark). He has been Primary Investigator on two Arts and Humanities Research Council projects exploring audiovisual film and media studies (2016-18), and has recently produced a series of virtual reality video essays in collaboration with world-leading Melbourne-based VR studio Vrtov and the British Film Institute.
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.
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.