Film Studies Courses

By Mariza Halliday - Last update

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What is Film Studies?

Film Studies is the understanding of the culture, history, technology, and aesthetics of film and cinema. Film Studies students learn to create their film and video, research, and analyze moving images.

Film Studies allows for a deeper appreciation of movies and television and the finer details that you may not have noticed. Things like post-production editing and visual details or videography and the way that shots are set up during filming. Film studies also allow you to see the social and political themes that help us all to understand the world around us.

What courses are available?

Universities and colleges in Ireland are offering Film Studies courses in the following subject areas:

  • Film Studies – The study and analysis of film and media and how film and media are produced and viewed.
  • Film & Television Production – Gain the knowledge and skills to specialize in areas such as TV studio production, documentary film production, and drama production for film and television.
  • Theatre and Film Practice – The study of the practical application of both theatre and film production skills.
  • English, Media + Cultural Studies – The study of literature with Film and Television studies.
  • Master of Arts in English – Irish Writing and Film – An introduction into the historical and cultural contexts that inform Irish culture up to the present day.
  • MA Film Studies – The study of film and television with an emphasis on issues of gender, class, race, ethnicity, consumerism, and citizenship.
  • Film Studies: Theory and Practice – Gain the skills and knowledge for a range of careers in film, screenwriting, and media-related areas.
  • Film and Screen Media – The study of Film and Screen Media, digital filmmaking, and transferrable IT and web skills.
  • Film Production and Direction – Training in directing, producing, camera, sound, lighting, and editing.

Studying Film Studies in college

Many full-time Film Studies courses run anywhere from 1 year to 4 years depending on the course and modules selected. There are also part-time courses and night courses available so you can be sure to fit in your studies no matter what your schedule is like.

Courses will cover all theory work through lectures, assignments, tutorials, and taught modules. Assessments will take place continuously with written examinations and practical assignments combined to achieve the qualification.

Developing a portfolio of your work is essential if you’re hoping to pursue a career in film. Take advantage of opportunities during your studies to showcase your work, for example at festivals and competitions, and attend guest lectures and events from people in the industry.

You could also consider work experience or work shadowing in the industry to gain real-world experience. Contact local media outlets, cinemas, and even theatres to see if they can help you. You could also try contacting independent filmmakers to see what projects you can get involved in.

Career options

After completing a course in Film Studies you will be able to get started in a career that uses specific knowledge of film and filmmaking.

Working hours will depend on whether you are employed by a company with set business hours or if you are self-employed. Working in the film industry means that you need to be flexible and able to work with inconsistent hours and start/finish times. In the film industry, you go to where the work is so the ability to travel is a must.

The most common sectors you may find work in are the media, creative, cultural, and heritage industries. As well as traditional destinations in the film and broadcasting industries, you may also be interested in other media sectors such as publishing and research.

Careers within the film industry are notoriously competitive and you’ll need resilience and determination to succeed. Work experience and networking are the most effective ways of opening doors to the right opportunities; work Experience will not only allow you to obtain a deeper knowledge and understanding of the industry, but it will also give you a chance to do some essential networking with other industry professionals and make good contacts within the industry.

Related jobs include:

  • Broadcast presenter
  • Film director
  • Film/video editor
  • Location manager
  • Production designer, theatre/television/film
  • Program researcher, broadcasting/film/video
  • Television camera operator
  • Television/film/video producer
  • Television production coordinator
  • Runner, broadcasting/film/video
  • Special effects technician
  • Talent agent
  • VFX artist

Further study

After completing a course in Film Studies you may choose to pursue further study in a specialist field to increase your knowledge base and skillset. Postgraduate study can also be used as a means to change career focus or to gain professional qualifications required to practice in certain career areas such as international film production, filmmaking, film curating, scriptwriting, documentary film, and film directing.


Should I focus more on the theory of Film or the technical skills of Filmmaking?

An interest in both film theory and film-making practices is a given for anyone who would like to do a Film Studies course but some courses will have more emphasis on the theory of film rather than film making so it is important to note that when deciding on a course that best suits the career you would like to start.

Theoretical skills are generally based on the analysis of film and areas such as film and culture, national cinema traditions, specific film genres, and how directors approach their work.

Technical skills may include camera operation, studio production, sound recording, and editing, and you may have the opportunity to specialize in an area of particular interest, for example, screenwriting or film journalism.

Where can I study Film?

Explore your options here

Did You Know?

· At the end of the 1939 film “Gone with the Wind,” Rhett Butler says, “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.” The Motion Picture Production Code, also known as the Hays Code, prohibited profanity in the film. Producer David O. Selznick came up with 22 alternate versions of the line, but thankfully he never had to use them.

· The Hollywood sign once read ‘Hollywoodland’ and was a billboard for a real estate development in 1923.

· As of September 2020, Marvel’s “Avengers: Endgame,” released in 2019, is the highest-grossing film of all time, making approximately $2.8 billion. 

· In Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on June 19, 1905, the very first public movie theatre opened. The owner, vaudeville organizer Harry Davis, opened more than a dozen Nickelodeon theatres in Pittsburgh within a few months. More than 8,000 cinemas cropped up within two years.

· In the history of cinema, only three films have won “The Big Five” Oscars – Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Director, Best Screenplay, and Best Film. The first was Frank Capra’s 1934 film, “It Happened One Night.” The other two films were 1975’s “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” and 1991’s “The Silence of the Lambs.”

Mariza Halliday

Drama and Theatre Studies
Human Resources


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