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MA/PGrad.Dip in Film Studies: Theory and Practice


The MA in Film Studies: Theory and Practice is a pioneering programme that prepares students for a range of careers in film and media related areas. This programme combines a strong academic focus on the critical and historical study of film with modules concentrating on diverse aspects of contemporary film practice. Past graduates have gone on to pursue PhDs as well as working in a range of roles within media production, administration and education. As part of its unique combination of theory and practice, the programme offers students a choice between an 18,000 word minor dissertation and a final practice-based project to complete their degree. 

Postgraduate Scholarships are now available for both EU and non-EU students applying for this programme. Further information available here for Irish and EU students:

Information on non-EU student scholarships available here:

Why study this programme? 

Students taking this programme will acquire:


• a comprehensive understanding of the major developments in film history

• an ability to analyze, interpret, and critique films and other visual media from a variety of theoretical perspectives, using relevant critical vocabulary and methodologies

• skills in the areas of film practice and arts administration

• knowledge of the films and production practices of Irish, international and avant-garde cinemas

• preparation for professional work and/or graduate study via a portfolio of academic work and short films

• skills in oral and written communication


The programme is delivered by leading film studies academics and film practitioners with extensive experience in the film and television industries. The MA in Film Studies: Theory and Practice is one of an exciting range of postgraduate progammes at the Huston School, including Screenwriting, Production and Direction, Digital Media, and Arts Policy and Practice. Connections are forged between students on these programmes through the sharing of modules and through the weekly guest seminars which are open to all programmes. Previous guest speakers have included Gabriel Byrne, Stephen Frears, Stephen Rea, John Carney, James Cromwell, Neil Jordan, Laura Mulvey, Lenny Abrahamson, Roddy Doyle, Noel Burch and Donald Clarke.


Programme Outline

The course may be taken as a full-time degree taken over a twelve-month period (September to August) OR as a Part-Time Degree taken over a twenty-four month period. Social Welfare recipients should contact their local social welfare office to determine their eligibility for continuing payments while taking a Part-Time programme

The year is divided into two teaching semesters (September to December and January to April). The summer period (year 2 in the Part-Time programme) will be used to complete an 18,000 minor dissertation OR undertake a practice-based project consisting of a video essay accompanied by a 7000 word dissertation. The full-time programme comprises four core seminar courses during the academic year and a choice of 6 options (1 of which must be chosen each semester), plus a research methods seminar over two 12-week semesters. Part-time students will take half of these modules each year. 

Core modules:

Critical Theory (Semester 1 and 2)

Film History 1: Classical Holllywood

Film History 2: Cinematic Realism and Auteur Cinema Since 1945

Optional modules may include*:

Film in the Digital Age

Filmmaking for the Internet

Irish Cinema

Film Administration, Education and Curation

Gender & Sexuality Onscreen

Film and Vietnam

Forms of Film

Cultural Journalism

Representations of the Book in Literature and Film

Building on the success of TG4 and Irish-language film production over the past ten years, the programme may also include an Irish-language optional module (the first of its type on an MA in Film Studies programme in Ireland), ‘Scéalta Scáileáin na Gaeilge’, which focuses on the history of screen production in the Irish language and expands students employment prospects in Irish- and English-language film and television.

* Please note that optional modules will change from year and year and not all options may be offered in a given year.

Employment & Career opportunities

The MA in Film Studies: Theory and Practice is designed for students who want to deepen their knowledge of the world’s cinemas and the very latest approaches to studying them. Graduates from the  programme have gone on to further research at PhD level and have acquired positions as lecturers and researchers in third level institutions. Graduates have also found employment in festival administration and programming, in film and media production, and in arts journalism.

Entry requirements

NQAI Level 8 degree or equivalent, H2.2. GPA 3.0 or equivalent international qualification. IELTS score of 6.5 or equivalent if applicable. Students who do not meet the honours degree requirement may be admitted to the Postgraduate Diploma course with the possibility of progressing to the MA, subject to appropriate arrangements such as a qualifying examination. Applicants are required to submit a writing sample consisting of either a graded academic essay or a review essay of a recent film (1000 words) and a personal statement with their application supporting documentation.

Course Facts

- Course level: MA/Postgrad Diploma
- Duration: 1 year [Full-time], 2 years [Part-time]
- Fees: €6,015 (2015)
- Applying:
- Closing dates:

1st Round  Mid-March
2nd Round Late-April
3rd Round Early-June
4th Round  Early-July

PAC code: Full-time: GYA09 Part-time: GYA10
NUIG code: 1FU2 (MA); 1FU3 (PDip) PAC code: GYA09 Mode of study: full-time or part-time
Places available: 15
Applicantions accepted from November 1st. 2015

Commences: Sept 5th 2016

Programme Director: Dr. Seán Crosson,
Huston School of Film & Digital Media, NUI Galway.
Tel.: 00 353 91 495687



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