Subject Guide

Film Degree

Uni Compare  · Oct 28th 2020

Film degrees are perfect for individuals who consider themselves a film buff or obsessed with the silver screen.


Whilst film studies doesn’t necessarily open many doors to ready-made careers, the skills and knowledge that you develop during a film degree can be an excellent leg-up into the industry.

Certainly, a film degree UK graduate with a determined attitude and bit of work experience can go far.

In this section, we go through some of the practical film degree jobs - the careers that involve hands-on media-making - and then in the next section (‘What can you do with a film degree?’) we look at the kind of careers that use the analytical and appreciative side of the course.

Film Degree

What to do with a film degree

Within the film and TV industry, a common entry point is to become a runner, a supporting member of the broadcasting team. A runner facilitates the smooth recording of a project by being the oil in the well-oiled machine, grabbing props, fetching actors, relaying scripts and welcoming visitors to set. This is a great opportunity for someone with patience and a ‘can-do’ outlook.

Someone with great organisational skills and an eye for design could be a location scout or location manager, while someone with excellent attention to detail and resourcefulness might become a researcher for broadcasting projects. A physically fit graduate with a film studies degree might become a film or TV camera operator, and technically skilled candidates (maybe with physics at A Level, or as a film degree elective module) could become an audio visual technician.

And although it’s not unheard of to achieve a senior position such as director or producer straight away, many people work their way through the ranks to get to these points, gaining experience and skills on the job first as a runner, researcher or camera person.

If you have an English and film degree (which will be similar to a film and creative writing degree), you might have the chance to become a screenwriter, or a video game designer, since there isn’t a film director degree available anywhere.

As with undergraduate courses, the type of degree received is dependent on the focus of the course.

What can you do with a film degree?

Clearly, there are plenty of exciting film studies degree jobs on the ‘making’ side of things. Let’s move on to the other side of the film studies coin: the knowledge, understanding and appreciation of arts and culture.

If you study for one extra year on a teacher training course, you could teach media studies or film studies in schools or sixth form colleges. Similarly, another job requiring good people skills and cultural knowledge is to become an events planner.

One dream role for many a person with a film production degree would be to bring culture to the masses via an arts officer, community arts worker, or cultural programming role (through organisations such as the BFI or city-based film festivals).

All films are subject to age certification, so why not consider a role with the BBFC in film categorisation? Similarly, an archivist records, stores and organises recorded material according to specialised systems.

Or perhaps you’re searching through the film studies degree league tables because you want to work towards a masters degree in film or a masters degree in film production? Check out our section on further study down the page for more information. On top of all those options, there’s also the opportunity to join a graduate training programme.

There are many career paths within the film industry from behind the camera, production and producing. Film-making degrees or Film Studies provide candidates with the necessary skills and experience to gain access to employment and projects. These courses will have a strong focus on practical work and offer hands-on experiences.

Film Degree

What A Levels do I need?

Film Studies is more than just watching a movie; individuals will be required to conduct analytical thinking and essay writing to pass the course.

Each university requires varying grades and UCAS entry points for their applicants; therefore, students are required to check these film studies degree entry requirements before applying for any film making degree.

What are my study options?

Film studies tend to be considered a flexible course that pairs up perfectly with other subjects, such as English and film studies degree, Media Studies, Film and TV production degree, Journalism, Philosophy, History, Marketing, Advertising or with a practical aspect such as film-making. Film studies degree UK that feature a practical aspect may also be called digital film-making or film production.

Studying a joint degree is well-suited to those who are not focused on studying one area or wish to combine both areas of knowledge to benefit them or point them in the right direction, such as becoming a film critic and choosing to study film and journalism.

Film studies is a degree course sought-after by individuals who love film and everything that is poured into the process of the creation of that film.

What should I expect from studying Film Studies and Filmmaking?

Firstly, Film students do not spend the entire time watching their favourite films and writing about why they are so wonderful – there will be core modules you have to take that won’t interest you but will build up your basic knowledge of film. There will also be modules that interest you, confuse you and others that you never thought would have existed, such as Iranian Cinema, Gender and the Cinema or Sexuality in the Cinema.

Film studies is theoretical based; students will write essays, work through theories and discuss films, whereas film-making will involve a heavy workload and lots of time editing, planning, producing, storyboarding, negotiating and denying sleep.

How will I be assessed?

Dependent on the module and course, theoretical modules and courses will be assessed through essays, coursework and examinations, while practical modules will be a big part of the final piece, the process, working with others, production and planning.

However, those who prefer the practical side of film, there will still be academic work presented throughout the course to show that individuals understand what they are doing and the process involved. Practical modules tend to ask students to provide a written piece alongside their practical pieces.

Each university will assess the course differently, this why it’s important to visit university open days to ensure student choose the right university and course that suits their preferences best.

Film Degree

What skills will I learn from studying Film Studies and Filmmaking?

The practical side of film-making will offer students skills in; developing creative ideas, editing, directing, project management, technology and programmes, working towards a deadline, organisation, working independently and as part of a team as well as self-evaluation.

Why study Film Studies and Filmmaking?

Film studies is a degree course sought-after by individuals who love film and everything that is poured into the process of the creation of that film. It also tends to centre on why the film was made, what it means, and what the message of the director or writer is.

Film-making will interest individuals that want to understand how to create a film but lack the technical skills and techniques on how to perform this task. As well as studying, universities usually offer workshops and training in these skills for students to complete their coursework and assignments.

What happens after I graduate?

Plenty of opportunities are available for film graduates from studying a postgraduate degree and then studying a doctorate qualification in the subject, or to head into the world of work.

Within the film and TV industry, a common entry point is to become a runner, a supporting member of the broadcasting team.

Will it help me get a job?

A Film degree augmented with work experience, contacts and skills gained will see individuals on to an incredible career path. The three years candidates spend studying, researching and learning throughout their degree will aid them in narrowing their employment scope and find out what they want to upon graduation.

Furthermore, the time during studying is the most vital for completing work experience, and the majority of students won’t have the time or resources to do this after graduating. Utilise the time during a degree effectively.

Film Degree

What jobs can you get with a film degree?

The vast array of jobs available for those with a film and media degree or film-making and practical skills include; Camera Operator, Production Assistant, Runner, Film Editor (this is better suited if you have a film editing degree), and roles within the production of a film. Whereas individuals with theoretical degrees may find themselves working in Journalism, PR, Marketing, Advertising, and within the Media – as it is a media-related degree.

These jobs are also well suited to those that have completed a TV and film production degree or a film and TV degree too, although they're unlikely to discriminate if you have any other degree in film making.

Within the film and TV industry, a common entry point is to become a runner, a supporting member of the broadcasting team.

What can I study after Film Studies and Filmmaking?

Candidates who wish to study after they graduate will be able to obtain a Master’s qualification in subjects such as, animation, cinematography, editing or film-making.

As with undergraduate courses, the type of degree received is dependent on the focus of the course. Technically-centred degrees will lead to a Master’s of Science (MSc) qualification, and a creatively-orientated degree awards a Master’s of Art or Master’s of Fine Arts (MFA) qualification, or maybe even something like a Bachelor degree in Film production, all of which could prove to be an important degree in film to have, even an online film production degree.

Famous Film Studies and Filmmaking alumni

Matthew McConaughey, actor, starred in Interstellar and Dallas Buyer’s Club studied a BA in Film Direction at the College of Communication at the University of Texas in Austin. Aso, Zach Braff, who played JD in hit television show Scrubs studied a BA in Film at Northwestern University.

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