Film studies

Vision Splendid Film Fest

Understand the world around you through film  

Over its 120-year history, film has evolved from a novelty item to a medium that informs every aspect of society and contemporary life. Film studies at UNSW will help you tell stories, share human experiences, document reality and expand perceptual horizons as an experimental art form.

Film plays a crucial role in establishing and critiquing cultural values and explores the most pressing issues in the world: its social inequalities, political injustices, aesthetic boundaries or ethical values. Film can also act as a source of information, legal evidence and inform medical procedures and training.

Become a visual storyteller 

As a student of UNSW, you’ll acquire foundational skills in film analysis and be introduced to a range of national cinemas, providing you with a window to other cultures. You’ll develop an understanding of the global film industry through the study of Hollywood cinema while also learning about the power and value of independent production.

Through your study of cinematic history, you'll attain a unique understanding of its place in the world and its power to determine what history is. You'll achieve fluency and literacy in the most powerful language in human history: the power of moving images.

Get practical experience from industry professionals 

Beyond film theory, your learning experience will also involve practical instruction in video production, project development, technical analysis and screenwriting. Armed with a camera, microphone, a studio, and a screen, you’ll be able to tell your narrative, your way.

Join our lively film society, student film and video production groups and put theory into practice with access to our multimedia labs and a range of other practical resources. 

Create a valuable network 

Our affiliations and internships with film and media organisations will equip you with real industry experience and valuable industry connections. We frequently collaborate with the Sydney Film Festival, the Vision Splendid Film Festival, the Persian Film Festival, the Ritz Cinema Randwick and many more organisations across Australia.

Study with us

  • The undergraduate course in film studies covers a wide range of cinematic periods, movements and styles, focusing on historical, theoretical and cross-cultural studies of film as well as practical courses in video production. You’ll specialise in our established research-led academic strengths, including film and critical theory, American independent cinema, comedy, film performance, documentary and a range of national and regional cinemas.

    Our curriculum will teach you critical analysis to help you understand the impact of technological, economic, cultural and aesthetic factors on film and the cinema industry. You’ll master the ability to examine how cinema has shaped contemporary life and culture and an international perspective on the place and history of film in global media culture.

    Our degree options 

  • Honours is an extra year of study that combines aspects of undergraduate study with post-graduate research and focuses on critical approaches to film. Studying honours offers you a chance to develop your research and professional skills guided by staff who are passionate about research and the development of new researchers.

  • We offer supervision in film studies in the Doctor of Philosophy and the Master of Arts by Research. Our postgraduate research students produce original research on various aspects of screen culture and contribute to the dynamic developments in film and moving image studies.

    Our graduate students work across a wide range of topics, contribute to the school’s annual postgraduate conference, publish in reputable journals, conduct archival research and regularly present at national and international conferences.

    You’ll play an active role in seminars and workshops with opportunities for collaborative research and publication and have the opportunity to take part in academic exchanges at universities such as the University of California, Los Angeles, the University of Edinburgh and the University of Montreal.

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