MA/Postgraduate Diploma in Film Studies:Theory and Practice (full-time or part-time)
College of Arts, Social Sciences, & Celtic Studies
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. Film today offers a broad mix of employment opportunities, including in academia, film practice and arts administration. This programme responds to this changing environment combining a strong academic focus on the critical and historical study of film with modules incorporating aspects of digital film practice or reflecting on film’s role in arts administration and festival curation. While the programme provides the opportunity for students to take the traditional academic pathway, including the completion of an 18,000 minor dissertation, students may also choose to undertake a final practice-based project to complete their degree.
The programme provides students with a range of important skills for both academic and professional positions. The course is delivered by leading film studies academics and practitioners in related fields who have made substantial contributions to their disciplines in Ireland and internationally. A unique aspect of the Huston School is the pioneering suite of postgraduate progammes the school offers, including in Screenwriting, Production and Direction, Digital Media, Arts Policy and Practice as well as Film Studies, and the connections the school encourages between students in each of these areas. This includes the sharing of modules and also the impressive array of visitors and guest lectures, open to all programmes, during the year. Previous visitors and/or guest lecturers have included Gabriel Byrne, Laura Mulvey, Seamus McGarvey, Fionnula Flanagan, Lenny Abrahamson, Mark O’Halloran, Colin McArthur, James Cromwell, John Boorman, Evan Goldberg, Roddy Doyle, John Carney, Atom Egoyan, Patrick McGilligan, Noel Burch, Rosalind Galt, Mike Figgis and Donald Clarke.
Students taking this programme can acquire:
• a comprehensive understanding of the major developments in film history and theory
• an understanding of the specialized vocabulary of Film and Media Studies as it has developed in the academic context and the film industry, including genre, classic narrative form and non-narrative forms, mise-en-scene, cinematography, editing and sound
• skills in the areas of film practice and arts administration for careers in these areas. This includes an appreciation of the relationship of film with the associated contexts of culture, education and heritage
• knowledge of filmmaking as a craft and a collaborative process
• preparation for professional work and/or graduate study via a portfolio record of academic work and digital films completed
• an ability to analyze, interpret, and critique films and the media more generally including television, from a variety of theoretical perspectives, using relevant critical vocabulary and methodologies
• knowledge of international cinemas both as a means of contextualizing film history globally and of deepening understanding of other cultures and peoples
• skills in oral and written communication
The MA/PDip in Film Studies: Theory and Practice programme emphasises the relationship between film and society while viewing the medium as a unique point of contact between culture, politics and social life. The MA programme is designed to enhance students' prospects for undertaking further research at PhD level, or for participation in a wide range of film-related careers, including teaching, programming and exhibition, curatorial work, and arts journalism, areas in which previous students have found employment.
Huston School of Film and Digital Media
The Huston School of Film and Digital Media was established in 2003 under the active patronage of the (John) Huston family. The School offers a dynamic approach to film and digital media training, with a strong emphasis on critical studies. As well as offering postgraduate programmes, the Huston School also hosts a range of guest seminars during the year with academics and practitioners of film. Visitors have included Gabriel Byrne, Seamus McGarvey, Lenny Abrahamson, Mark O’Halloran, James Cromwell, John Boorman, Roddy Doyle, Colin MacCabe, Laura Mulvey and Mike Figgis.
PLEASE NOTE: The Huston School of Film & Digital Media at NUI Galway has launched the Pat Sheeran MA in Film Studies Scholarship. All students applying to the MA in Film Studies programme for September 2013 entry will be considered for this scholarship, valued at €2,000, based on their application and supporting documentation. Further information on the scholarship is available from:
Pat Sheeran Scholarship
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.
1 year, full-time`
2 years, part-time
Next start date: September 2013
ECTS weighting: MA—90, PG Dip—60
Average intake: 15
Closing date: You are advised to apply early, which may result in an early offer; see the offer round dates
The Full-Time course is taken over a twelve-month period (September to August). The year is divided into two teaching semesters (September to December and January to April). The summer period will be used to complete an 18,000 word minor dissertation OR undertake a practice-based project consisting of a video essay accompanied by a 7000 word dissertation. The programme comprises four core seminar courses during the academic year and a choice of four options (plus a research methods seminar) over two 12-week semesters.
The Part-Time course is taken over a twenty-four month period. Social Welfare recipients should contact the Programme Director for further information if they wish to apply for the Part-Time programme. The year is divided into two teaching semesters (September to December and January to April). The summer period of year 2 will be used to complete an 18,000 word minor dissertation OR undertake a practice-based project consisting of a video essay accompanied by a 7000 word dissertation. Each part-time student will complete two core seminar courses during the academic year and a choice of 4 options (plus a research methods seminar) over four 12-week semesters.
Core Modules in "Film History" and "Critical Theory" examine fundamental issues in film studies, while option modules allow students to focus on specific film and media-related areas, including Irish Cinema and "Gender & Sexuality in Cinema"; practice orientated options "Visual Culture", Film in the Digital Age" and "Filmmaking for the Internet"; and a module examining the relevance and role of film in arts administration, ecuation, and festival curation.
Building on the success of TG4 and Irish-language film production over the past ten years, the programme also includes an Irish-language option 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.
Applications and selections
Applications are made online via The Postgraduate Applications Centre (PAC). Relevant PAC application code(s) above.
To see, in advance, what supporting documents are required to supplement your online application please visit: http://www.nuigalway.ie/postgrad/pac_supp_docs_taught_arts.html
Who teaches this course?
Lecturers on the programme may include:
- Dr. Seán Crosson, M.Phil, PhD
- Dr. Conn Holohan, M.A., PhD
- Professor Rod Stoneman, B.A. PG. Dip.. D.Litt.
- Tony Tracy, M.A.
Requirements and assessment
Find out more
Dr Conn Holohan
Huston School of Film & Digital Media
T 353 91 495 686
Fees for this course
EU (Total): €6,815 p.a. 2013/14 (inclusive of Levy)
- Tuition: €5,791 p.a. 2013/14
- Student levy: €224 p.a. 2013/14
Non-EU (Total): €13,250 p.a. 2013/14
M.A. EU Full time programme: €6,015 (inclusive of Levy) 2013/14
P.Dip. EU full time programme: €5,965 (inclusive of Levy) 2013/14
Download taught and research
Aoife O' Connor
The Huston School offers an excellent Film Studies programme, which served only to bolster and enhance my pre-existing interest in the medium; in fact, I developed a whole new appreciation of film in all its forms. The core modules of Film History and Critical Theory provide students with an in-depth study into the evolution of cinema as well as a fascinating view into how theory is applied to film to create meaning. The optional modules that are offered give students the opportunity to undertake study into specific areas of cinema, resulting in a broader understanding of the area as a whole. The school has introduced me to some filmic gems as well as offering fresh perspectives on films with which I had already been familiar.
The Huston is located off the main campus and its student populace is relatively small. As a result, the school boasts an intimate atmosphere – as well as there being a close knit student community within Huston, there is also a strong rapport between students and staff. In addition to being extremely dedicated, the Huston staff are incredibly supportive and encouraging. Lecturers’ doors are always open and they are only too happy to offer guidance and advice to their students. It is this informal and friendly atmosphere which makes the Huston experience unique, and immensely enjoyable.
For anyone thinking about embarking on a Postgraduate course in Film Studies, I cannot recommend the Huston School enough. Students are provided with the tools to engage with film on an academic level, but in a congenial environment, something which I feel extremely fortunate to have experienced. It’s been a brilliant year – studying something which I am passionate about and meeting some wonderful people along the way.