Birkbeck, University of London
Film Programming and Curating MA
Birkbeck, University of London

Course modalities offered

Key Course Facts

Course Description

A first of its kind, this MA in Film Programming and Curating explores the diverse ways in which films are selected and presented to an audience. Studying in the heart of London, one of the world’s leading media hubs, this course takes full advantage of its location to help you build professional networks, visit various sites of exhibition (from galleries and museums to film festivals and cultural centres) and learn about contemporary film programming and curatorial practice.

The course provides a strong academic foundation and relates the latest theoretical thinking to critical practice. It encourages an independence of intellectual thought and spirit, equipping you with the necessary skills and historical and critical knowledge to nurture film and film culture. The course offers a historical, intellectual and conceptual understanding of film programming, curatorial practice and moving image culture. The curriculum involves:

  • theories of spectatorship, the audience and the changing conditions of film reception

  • sites of exhibition and the architecture of the filmic experience

  • the role of the archive, film canons and the exhibition of great collections

  • the practicalities involved in programming a film and locating audiences for it.

The course combines these strong historical, theoretical and academic foundations with site visits across London, as well as providing internships at leading cultural institutions and film centres, such as the ICA and BFI. You will have the chance to programme events for organisations as diverse as BFI Education, the Korean Cultural Centre and other film centres around London.

Our teachers are internationally distinguished academics, while visits from cultural practitioners will introduce you to experienced film programmers, curators and art practitioners. Making full use of the opportunities offered by our proximity to London’s vibrant film culture, this course provides a first step towards building a career in film programming and exhibition, or for further research into the cultures of curating and curatorial practice.

Highlights

  • The award-winning Birkbeck Cinema is central to the course, where most of our classes take place. The cinema is equipped with 35mm and state-of-the-art DVD projection, which offers you an opportunity to experiment with programming and watch films in the best possible conditions. Located in central London, in the heart of historic Bloomsbury, Birkbeck is within easy reach of cinemas and galleries, as well as facilities such as the British Film Institute and the British Library.

  • You will receive accreditation, sponsored by Birkbeck, to the BFI London International Film Festival and the Edinburgh International Film Festival.

  • The Birkbeck Institute for the Moving Image (BIMI) runs a busy, intellectually stimulating programme of events, including conferences, screenings and film-related events of all kinds, which students on this course are more than welcome to attend. You will have the opportunity to participate in and attend the Essay Film Festival, jointly run by BIMI and the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA), with free admission to events hosted at Birkbeck.

  • The School of Arts offers a number of bursaries for postgraduate students.

  • The School of Arts is an official partner of the ICA in London. Opportunities for students have included a year’s free membership of the ICA, private views, discounts on all talks and events, free members' screenings and £3 cinema tickets on Tuesdays, up to 25% off ICA Artists' Editions and a monthly e-newsletter.

Essay assessments and a final project.

Entry Requirements / Admissions

Requirements for international students / English requirements

IELTS academic test score (similar tests may be accepted as well)

    • 6.5
    • Mphil / PhD

If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, the requirement for this course is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 7.0, with not less than 6.5 in each o
Do you not fulfill the minimum requirements in terms of UCAS score, A levels, or English language requirements?
Get advice on which foundation courses are best for you to still be able to join Film Programming and Curating, MA.

A second-class honours degree (2:2 or above), or overseas equivalent. You are required to complete a 700-1000-word written exercise by choosing a film that you have recently seen and explaining how you would programme it for an audience. Your completed exercise should be returned directly to [email protected], or alternatively uploaded to the Applicant Portal, either as a Word document or a PDF. Please ensure that you include your reference number and name on each page of the document. Two referees are also required. Successful candidates will be invited to attend an interview. Applications are reviewed on their individual merits and your professional qualifications and/or relevant work experience in a field relevant to graduate study in the humanities will be taken into consideration positively. We actively support and encourage applications from mature learners.

Costs

Tuition Fees Film Programming and Curating MA

England UK £9030 year 1
Northern Ireland £9030 year 1
Scotland £9030 year 1
Wales £9030 year 1
International £16380 year 1

Additional fee information

Students are charged a tuition fee in each year of their programme. Tuition fees for students continuing on their programme in following years may be subject to annual inflationary increases.

Average student cost of living in London

Rent £518
Water, gas electricity, internet (at home) £50
Supermarket shopping £81
Clothing £35
Eating out £33
Alcohol £27
Takeaways / food deliveries £30
Going out / entertainment (excl.alcohol, food) £24
Holidays and weekend trips £78
Transport within city £17
Self-care / sports £20
Stationary / books £13
Mobile phone / internet £13
Cable TV / streaming £7
Insurance £51
Other £95
  
Average student cost of living £1092

London costs approx 34% more than average, mainly due to rent being 67% higher than average of other cities. For students staying in student halls, costs of water, gas, electricity, wifi are generally included in the rental. Students in smaller cities where accommodation is in walking/biking distance transport costs tend to be significantly smaller.

University Rankings

Positions of Birkbeck, University of London in top UK and global rankings.

See all university rankings of Birkbeck, University of London

What students say about studying Film Studies in the UK?

  • WHY YOU SHOULD STUDY FILM | University/Film School
  • Department of Film Studies
  • My entire education experience in the UK | Studying Film in London | advice from a graduate
  • MY COLLEGE EXPERIENCE (ucla film school)
  • What is Film Studies?
  • Is Film School For You? 5 Reasons You Should & Shouldn't Attend

About Birkbeck, University of London

Birkbeck, University of London (BBK) was established in 1823, and takes a different stance towards admissions than many other universities. Applicants are encouraged by BKK to apply even if they don’t possess the traditional qualifications normally required, as applications here are also considered based on an assessment of your knowledge on the subject, and any work experience you might have. Being located in the very centre of London, students will have all the advantages of the city’s public transport connections, as well as the chance to live in such a diverse and vibrant city with all that it offers.

  • Stella’s Starting Study Vlog
  • “How has the Birkbeck experience been for you?”
  • Birkbeck's Student Experience
  • Studying for a PhD at Birkbeck - Veronika Akhmadieva
  • Top reasons why students choose Birkbeck, University of London

Where is this programme taught

Main Site - Malet Street
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