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University of St Andrews

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Established in 2004, the Department of Film Studies at the University of St Andrews brings together some of the UK’s leading academics in Film Studies. Our department was ranked first in the UK on the 2019 National Student Survey and second for Media and Film Studies in the Guardian League Tables 2019.

Adopting a wide range of approaches and a global perspective, our staff members investigate how cinema and related audio-visual media have helped to shape societies and selves, while also thinking critically about the potentials of moving-image media today. We are interested in both text (aesthetics, sound, performance, on-screen identities, etc.) and context (the processes and practices of screen media including production, exhibition, distribution, technologies, and uses).

Particular research strengths include:

  • Global film cultures (including work on film festivals, industry, cinephilia, film societies, etc.)
  • Film and media history (including media archaeology and non-theatrical film traditions)
  • Work on audio-visual environments (including sensory cinema, sound studies and artist’s installations)
  • Non-fiction and documentary media (including histories of useful cinema and activist film and media)

The department maintains a lively research environment of conferences, events, and screenings, undergirded by two research centres, a regular speaker series and a robust PhD programme (ca. 15-20 students).

IMACS students take courses together with our regular MLitt (Masters) cohort, which currently numbers around 6-8 students per year. All visiting IMACS students must enrol in a total of two modules (courses) during their semester at St Andrews in order to meet the university’s full-time enrolment requirements. Typically, visiting IMACS students would take the following courses during their stay:

Fall semester

  • FM5002 (Skills, Methods and Approaches to Film Studies), module co-taught by several permanent staff members
  • One single-taught elective module on offer (e.g. Colonial Cinema, Film Technologies and Aesthetics, etc.)

Spring semester

  • FM5003 (New Directions in Film Studies), module co-taught by several staff members
  • 1 single-taught elective module on offer

Film Studies is centrally located in two buildings on North Street and is next door to the local independent cinema, New Picture House, which screens popular films. The Department works closely with the Byre Theatre, the Edinburgh International Film Festival and the Dundee Contemporary Arts centre.

Instructor Profiles

The department currently consists of eight permanent staff members, all leaders in their respective fields. Our research profiles can be consulted here.

Necessary Language Skills

All instruction and assessment is in English.

Applying to IMACS through St Andrews

Comprehensive information for those wishing to apply for IMACS through the University of St Andrews can be found here.