Film Studies


Studying film draws on both our intellect and our imagination. As an accessible and even ubiquitous transnational cultural form, film opens us to other worlds, other lives, other ways of seeing.

People have been making, watching and writing about movies for just over a century. In a culture that increasingly relies on visual information, an understanding of the moving image is essential to understanding society. The major in Film Studies is a vibrant interdisciplinary program that develops this critical visual literacy. It equips you with a range of skills for understanding and analysing cinema as a vital and yet everyday part of modern life. Through close familiarity with a range of case studies, you will come to understand the social, cultural, aesthetic and political dimensions of cinema in different contexts and at different times.

In Film Studies you will learn scholarly terms that will enable you to describe what you see on screen in relation to, for instance, camera movements and editing techniques or traditions of screen performance. You will develop rich understandings of concepts such as national cinema, genre and spectatorship through a diverse range of case studies. And you will study the historical development of film as a cultural and technological form and analyse its transformations across the twentieth century to the present day.

The Film Studies major is a well-designed balance of compulsory structure and guided student choice. Across your major you enrol in three compulsory units: one 1000-level unit, one 2000-level unit and one 3000-level unit. You select your remaining units from a diverse range of core and elective units.

Major outline

A major in Film Studies requires at least 36 senior credit points including ARHT2656 Film Genres and National Cinemas and ARHT3601 Cinematic Transformations and with a maximum of 12 credit points taken from elective units of study.

Graduate opportunities

Sydney Arts and Social Sciences graduates work in government departments at all levels, and major private sector consultancies and corporations, locally and overseas. The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences offers a range of subject areas that prepare graduates for careers in administration, education, business research, marketing, media, management consultancy, public relations, gallery and museum curatorship, hospitality and tourism, community and welfare. Our graduates are proficient in research and inquiry, and demonstrate personal and intellectual autonomy, and ethical, social and professional understanding, qualities sought after by leading employers all over the world.

Further study for major

Eligible candidates may proceed to an Honours year in the Bachelor of Arts which requires completion of 48 senior credit points taken from Film Studies with a Credit average or better. The honours year comprises two semester-long units of study and a thesis of 18,000–20,000 words in length.

Please note: from 2015 the minimum requirement for entry into Honours will increase to an average of 70% or above across 48 senior credit points in the intended subject area/s.

Students may apply for admission to a rich postgraduate program in the humanities and social sciences, comprising advanced learning and professional courses.

Master degrees include capstone projects ranging from internships with government and non-government organisations in Australia and overseas, the gallery and museum sector, and leading media organisations, to opportunities for independent research projects which prepare students for higher degrees by research.

Related subject areas

Art History, English, Philosophy

Our courses that offer this major

Not available in 2014