Film studies unlocks the magic of storytelling, and opens a world of imagination, culture, and human connections through the lens of cinema.

A film studies degree or apprenticeship gives an exciting look at cinematic art, giving students an understanding of visual storytelling, film history, and cultural impact.

Beyond the joy of dissecting movies, studying film studies opens doors to diverse career paths such as film production, directing, screenwriting, and digital content creation. The analytical and creative skills gained make graduates valuable in fields like marketing, media, education, and cultural management. Film studies not only nurtures a deep appreciation for the art of cinema but also equips individuals with versatile skills needed in many professions. 

The impact you could make
  • Participate in film festivals where there is a platform for diverse voices and perspectives.
  • Contribute to the preservation of cultural heritage.
  • Contribute to discussions about representation and diversity in media
What you could study
  • Creative cinematography
  • Storytelling for the screen
  • Production skills
  • Analogue and digital technology
  • The business of Hollywood
  • Film and photography’s role in history
  • Principles of creativity
  • Society of the media

Study options

Options to study in this field include:

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Example assignment
"I wrote an essay on a film called ‘Run Lola Run’ which I absolutely loved doing. The essay explored the idea of a forking path narrative which was a concept I had not come across and so I found it super interesting to learn and write about."
Second year drama and film studies student, Royal Holloway, University of London
Example module
"Learning the history behind film and how we’ve progressed to where we are now with film and the drastic changes it’s had over the course of time."
Second year film studies and drama student, Anglia Ruskin University

Subjects it's useful to have studied first

Some film studies courses or apprenticeships will have requirements for previous qualifications in certain subjects. Entry requirements vary, so always check with the provider.

English language or literature
Art and design
IT and computing
Media studies

Second year drama and film studies student, Royal Holloway, University of London

I love how creative the subject is, but also how applicable a lot of the skills we learn are. You learn a lot about life and about humans from studying a creative subject and I think that's one of the main benefits.
Hard skills you'll develop
  • Film analysis
  • Scriptwriting
  • Story structure
  • Project planning and coordination
Soft skills you'll develop
  • Critical thinking
  • Communication skills
  • Creative expression
  • Presentation skills

Careers: Where it can take you

Find out more about your career prospects from studying film studies. The following information is based on a typical arts officer, producer, and director role.

Available jobs
77,347 vacancies in the past year
8.68% growth over next eight years
Average salary
Up to £65,384
80% of students
studying film studies would recommend the subject to others
(UCAS subject guide survey 2023)

What is a…. location scout?

A location scout’s passion lies in discovering the perfect settings that bring scripts to life. They understand visual storytelling and search for the ideal backdrops for film productions from urban jungles to rural retreats. They work closely with directors and production teams, thinking about not only the aesthetic appeal but also the logistical feasibility of each location. Whether unearthing hidden gems or negotiating access to iconic landmarks, they create environments that seamlessly integrate with the story, enhancing the visual language of the films they contribute to. 

Getting in: Entry requirements

Find out more about what you'll need to study film studies at university or as an apprenticeship.

Average requirements for undergraduate degrees

Entry requirements differ between university and course, but this should give you a guide to what is usually expected from film studies applicants.

A levels
Scottish Highers
Other Level 3/Level 6 qualifications (e.g. Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma or SQCF Level 6) may be accepted as an alternative

A day in the life of a Video Production Apprenticeship

Let's talk about... creative and design apprenticeships

Not sure if a traditional degree is for you? Listen to our new podcast to learn more about studying degree apprenticeships in creative and design.

Considering an apprenticeship?

Applying for an apprenticeship is just like applying for a normal job. Here’s what you need to know:

  1. Deadline

    Apprenticeships don't follow the same deadlines as applying to uni, the deadline is down to the employer.
  2. Where to apply

    You apply directly through the employer.
  3. No limits

    You're not restricted to one apprenticeship application; you can do as many as you like.
  4. Apply to university and apprenticeships

    There's nothing stopping you applying to university through UCAS, while also applying for apprenticeship vacancies.

Explore further

Go deeper into topics around film studies with the following:
  1. Annual Academy Awards

    Stay up-to-date with the films that are winning awards for their cinematography, production design, writing, and more.
  2. The UK Film Festival

    Held in November each year, it’s a great opportunity to see new films and have Q&A sessions with new and established filmmakers. 
  3. The Filmmakers Podcast

    Have a listen to this podcast, where guests talk all about their craft – how to make good TV and film happen.

Application advice

Whether it's personal statement tips or what to write in a cover letter for an apprenticeship application, our advice will help you get ahead in your film studies journey.
Skills, experiences, and interests to mention
  • Express your genuine love for film as an art form. Talk about specific films, genres, or directors that have influenced you and shaped your interest.
  • Highlight your creative side by including any personal or academic projects related to filmmaking, storytelling, or creative expression.
  • Do you have any hands-on experience in film production? This could include involvement in student films.
  • How much do you know about the film industry? Can you discuss trends, notable filmmakers, and current developments? This will show that you know about the broader context of film.
  • If you can, mention any interdisciplinary interests that are related to film studies, such as literature, art, psychology, or cultural studies. This shows a broader perspective.

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