Our MA Screen Studies with Production is a new course that reflects the changing nature of the media industries. It combines in-depth theory and practice and encourages you to think and work in a critical and reflective way that will help you to forge a career in the film or TV industries, or in academia.
You’ll learn the key skills needed for working in the mass communications industry, and will examine film and television theory while applying them in your own practice.
Screen Studies MA
See our course that explores popular film, TV and web genres.
As the home to festivals such as Flatpack Film Festival, Birmingham Comedy Festival and Cine-Excess, and to a range of exciting screen spaces, including BBC Birmingham, The Electric Cinema, The MAC and Everyman at the Mailbox, Birmingham is a superb city in which to study this culturally vibrant subject.
You’ll study three modules in depth plus research methods or Production Lab, which will prepare you for your final dissertation, an original academic work on a subject that is of interest to you, or MA by practice project.
You will be supported throughout your studies with guided reading, lectures and workshops, guest lectures, and you will also have the opportunity to become involved in live academic research projects. You’ll have live briefs from industry and the chance to gain professional experience through work placements.
You’ll also have access to short training courses in audiovisual production and in the use of equipment at our state-of-the-art studios.
Throughout this course, you’ll learn from leading academics all of whom are leading exponents in their field. These include Associate Professor John Mercer, Dr Inger-Lise Kalviknes Bore, Dr Oliver Carter, Caroline Officer, and Associate Professor Xavier Mendik.
Our next Postgraduate Open Day will be on Wednesday 23 November, between 2pm and 7pm. Come along to find out more about our courses and see our facilities.
Visit our School site for more student work and extra information.
You may be able to take advantage of the government’s plans to make loans of up to £10,000 available for postgraduate study.
Anyone undertaking this course must possess an upper second class bachelors degree or higher in a relevant subject area. Previous study in Film, Media and or Cultural Studies or professional experience would be an advantage.
We particularly welcome non-traditional applications, particularly from applicants with some professional or production experience. We therefore accredit prior experiential learning.
|MA||Sep 2016||FT||1 year||£6,500|
|MA||Sep 2016||PT||2 years||£3,250 per year|
If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form instead.
|MA||Sep 2016||FT||1 year||£12,000|
|MA||Sep 2016||PT||2 years||£6,000 per year|
If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form instead.
The University reserves the right to increase fees broadly in line with increases in inflation, or to reflect changes in government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament.
Our courses include activities such as performance, exhibitions, field trips and production of works or artefacts which may require you to purchase specific equipment, instruments, books, materials, hire of venues and accommodation, or other items. Many of these activities are essential and compulsory parts of your learning experience.
The link below gives you an estimate of the possible costs associated with key activities on specific courses. Please bear in mind that these are only estimates of costs based on past student experience and feedback. The actual costs could vary considerably (either greater or lower than these estimates) depending on your choices as you progress through the course.
All our students are provided with 100 free pages of printing each year to a maximum total value of £15.
Your personal statement is a highly important part of your application. It gives you a crucial opportunity to say why you’re applying and why the institution should accept you.
Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:
Why does this course appeal? What areas are of particular interest?
If you have a specific career in mind, say how your chosen course will help you pursue this goal.
Mention any work that is relevant to your subject, highlighting the skills and experience gained.
Highlight skills gained at school/college, eg summer schools or mentoring activities.
eg Duke of Edinburgh Award, Young Enterprise scheme.
You should also mention your future plans – if you’re planning to take a year out, don't forget to give your reasons. Talk about any subjects you’re studying that don’t have a formal assessment and any sponsorships or placements you’ve applied for. And don't be scared to add in details about your social, sports or leisure interests.
Get more information on writing personal statements.
Search our Frequently Asked Questions for a range of information about our courses and studying here.
We offer further information on possible postgraduate financial support. This includes the type of loans, grants and scholarships available both from the government and from Birmingham City University.
Did you know that you will soon be able to apply for a postgraduate loan of up to £10,000 for some courses and options?
Screen Cultures 1: Debates, Forms and Practices
In this module, you’ll study affect and emotions, gender and genre, melodrama, horror, porn, the carnivalesque, masculinity as spectacle, sex and sexuality, and the return of the repressed. You’ll agree your assessment with your tutor.
You will choose either:
Preserving the (Un)popular
This module examines the theorising of heritage; alternative economies of film and television heritage; film restoration in the age of digital reproduction; political economy of film and television heritage; cult film heritage; preserving popular television; discourses of preservation and restoration; intellectual property. You have three options for assessment in this module: undertake a practice-based project that explores the preservation or restoration of a specific text; complete a research report that explores a specific issue relating to film and television heritage; or propose a film and television heritage project.
Screen Cultures 2: Theory in Practice
You’ll study comedy industries, comedic genres, comedic performance, comedy critics, comedy audiences, comedy across borders, and transgressive comedy. To pass this module you’ll produce a piece of work that is either comedic in itself or that is part of the processes of production, distribution, promotion or media coverage of comedy. You’ll reflect critically on the relationship between research and practice in this work.
You will also choose one of the following production modules:
Factual Entertainment OR Documentaries and Features
Both of these modules run as if you are in live production and you will work collaboratively with your fellow students mirroring production company structures, learning how to develop original programme ideas and pitch to strict deadlines.
The assessments are embedded in industry practice. For Factual Entertainment they comprise ideas development and pitch presentations, creating, shooting and editing an original short programme pilot for Factual Entertainment, appropriate for transmission on Channel 4. In contrast, the Documentary and Features module focuses on developing content appropriate for the BBC.
If you opt for the MA by Practice route, you will study:
You’ll work with students on a range of MA courses, which will enable you to develop your creative ideas across difference disciplines. For example, it could see you developing a television programme alongside mobile and online platforms. This module is excellent preparation for your final project.
MA by Practice
Using the resources of our world-class media facilities, you’ll produce an original piece of video work. There are no set criteria for this part of the course. Instead, you’ll be encouraged to focus on a subject area that inspires you and you will be expected to incorporate appropriate online, mobile and social media elements.
If you plan to undertake a dissertation, you will take:
This module teaches you the approaches to critical analyses that will help you contribute to the scholarly research in your industry.
MA by Dissertation
You will be expected to complete a significant piece of original academic work on a subject of your choosing, which has been agreed by your course tutor. This will be the culmination of your independent research.
Our MA Screen Studies with Production course is an innovative and rigorous programme that engages with theory though reading, discussion, academic research and practice.
As well as completing four modules, you will undertake a final project, worth 60 credits. You can choose to do an MA by Practice project or a dissertation – it means you can decide to complete a cutting-edge production-based assessment or more traditional theory assessment.
As well as four hours’ tutorial time a week, you will receive additional support from our postgraduate skills development programme to ensure you have everything you need to succeed on the course.
You’ll also have the opportunity to attend and present work at research events in the Birmingham Centre for Media and Cultural Research.
If you are interested in continuing your studies with a research degree (MPhil or PhD), talk to your course tutor, who will advise you on next steps.
Our course is designed to provide you with the rigorous academic understanding that you will need to fulfil a demanding career in the creative sector. We teach highly valued transferrable skills in addition to providing solid academic grounding and practical skills in real-world application.
In addition to developing your core knowledge and gaining a highly respected qualification in an academically rigorous subject, you’ll be able to demonstrate that you can work both independently and in a team to produce innovative commercial ideas, policy proposals and screen industry strategies.
You’ll also be able to demonstrate high levels of evaluation and analytical skills, which will give you the edge over other graduates.
You’ll have the opportunity to be involved in the annual ReThink Media conference, which is held by the University every March. You’ll be able to learn from high profile keynote speakers, which have included Google’s Frank Golding, Ralph Rivera, BBC Head of Future Media and Jonathan Perelman, Vice-President of Buzzfeed at recent events.
There are also a number of extra projects that you will have the chance to participate in. Past projects have included a two-week studio drama course with our MA Acting and BSc Film Production students, led by leading television director/actor James Larkin.
There are opportunities to undertake short work placements as part of this course that are relevant to your professional practice and interests.
OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.
It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.
Birmingham City University is a vibrant and multicultural university in the heart of a modern and diverse city. We welcome many international students every year – there are currently students from more than 80 countries among our student community.
The University is conveniently placed, with Birmingham International Airport nearby and first-rate transport connections to London and the rest of the UK.
Our international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:
International students who have a serious interest in studying with us but who perhaps cannot meet the direct entry requirements, academic or English, or who have been out of education for some time, can enter Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC) and begin their degree studies.
BCUIC is part of the global Navitas Group, an internationally recognised education provider, and the partnership allows students to access the University’s facilities and services and move seamlessly through to achieving a Bachelor’s degree from Birmingham City University.
When you join Birmingham City University, the first thing you will notice is the high standard of our campuses. With an investment of £260 million across our buildings and facilities, we are committed to giving you the very best learning environment to help shape your experience.
Birmingham School of Media is recognised as a key centre of excellence in interactive media training, television production and education by Creative SkillSet, the UK Sector Skills Council for the audio visual industries.
You will learn in our state-of-the-art facilities - including the £62m fully-digital Media Centre - located on the City Centre Campus. You will enjoy access to extensive studio and workshop space including four TV studios, six radio studios and broadcast-standard edit suites, as well as cutting-edge equipment and software.
Facilities include the largest TV floor of any university in the UK, a ‘green screen’ and the MILO motion control camera - we are one of just two universities in Europe to offer MILO technology.
Our four broadcast-standard edit suites are based on the industry-standard Avid editing system, used in almost all films and the majority of UK television. Two of the suites are specialised for Audio Finishing and Colour Grading. Our six digital radio studios are all linked an equipped with the best news and production software.
You will have access to our full broadcast-standard dubbing suites, which are based on a multi-layered ProTools desk and can dub both film and TV with up to 120 simultaneous sound sources. We also have an ADR (Additional Dialogue Recording) booth and the ability to record Foley (additional live sound).
The Parkside Building has been designed to maximise light and encourage collaboration between artists and students. It is the perfect setting for the workshops and teaching spaces of our design courses, as well as the state-of-the-art media centre for the advanced teaching facilities of Birmingham School of Media.
All this ensures that The Parkside Building offers a first class learning environment and a true central location for students in Birmingham City Centre.
Xavier is Associate Professor in Film and Director of Postgraduate Studies for Birmingham School of Media, from which he runs the Cine-Excess International Film Festival.
He has written extensively on cult and horror film traditions, and his publications (as author/editor/co-editor) include Bodies of Desire and Bodies in Distress: The Golden Age of Italian Cult Film 1970-1985 (2015), Peep Shows: Cult Film and the Cine-Erotic (2012), 100 Cult Films (with Ernest Mathijs, 2011), The Cult Film Reader (with Ernest Mathijs, 2008), Alternative Europe: Eurotrash and Exploitation Cinema Since 1945 (with Ernest Mathijs, 2004), Shocking Cinema of the Seventies (2004), Underground USA: Filmmaking Beyond the Hollywood Canon (2002), Dario Argento’s Tenebrae (2000) and Unruly Pleasures: The Cult Film and its Critics (2000).
He is currently preparing the new feature-length documentary That’s La Morte: Italian Sex and Death Cinema of the 1970s, as well as working on a new collection entitled Shockers, co-edited with Julian Petley.