Film Studies and the Visual Arts

BA, 3-4 years

This is for you if... you love watching and appreciating movies, and want to understand how they work and their importance in the modern world.

Course Description

You will explore the growth and development of the visual arts, including one of the most pervasive and influential branches: film.

The Film Studies and the Visual Arts BA is mainly based in the theoretical appreciation and analysis of film and the visual arts. You will gain an understanding of how directors and producers approach their work, as well as how critics and other audiences consume film and give voice to their opinions.

During your second year you will work in groups to create your own short film, using your firm grounding in the theories of film and the visual arts to guide your direction and production.

To add to your solid foundation in the visual arts, you will also complete two supplementary subject modules from one of our partner departments, including American Studies, English, and Modern Languages. Taking an option subject will offer you new insights into a topic that interests you, as well as developing skills and techniques that will complement and enhance your abilities as a student of the visual arts.

Key Facts
Typical offer
UCAS code
Start date
September 2018
History of Art and Film

Admissions enquiries
+44 (0)116 252 5281

Course enquiries
+44 (0)116 252 2620

History of Art and Film website

View Key Information Sets

Why Leicester?

We have excellent facilities, including a fully equipped Film Theatre.

Our 'Film Production' module explores the technical and creative processes that go on behind the camera and how these shape films.

Our Film Studies lecturers have particular expertise in US and British film and television.

We run a rolling programme of visiting public lectures from eminent scholars and creatives in art and film.

Course Structure

Year 1

Year 1

Your introductory modules will provide a grounding in film analysis and the history of film and art. You will learn how to appreciate film beyond the typical viewing experience. Understanding methods of filming and production will help you to highlight the various styles and techniques employed by directors and producers.

Core modules

  • American Film and Visual Culture (double module) 
  • Film and Art: Academic Study and the Workplace
  • Introduction to Film History 2
  • Introduction to Film History 1
  • Studying Film
  • Reading Film
  • Reading Television

Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.

Year 2

Year 2

During this year you will gain practical film making experience. You will also widen your scope to include the cinematic traditions and cultures of countries around the world.

  • Concepts in Criticism
  • Documentary Film and Television (double module)
  • Film Production
  • Film Reception and Consumption
  • Realism and Cinema
  • Researching World Cinemas (double module)

Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.

Year Abroad (optional)

Year Abroad (optional)

If you want to, you can spend your third year studying abroad at one of our partner institutions (eligibility is dependent on your academic performance in Years 1 and 2). Alternatively, you can opt to continue studying at the University and complete your degree in three years.

Studying abroad is not just for people who are interested in travelling and meeting new people. It is about acquiring life skills that are becoming increasingly significant for a wide range of jobs in our modern globalised society. Whether you go on to work in the private sector, the state sector, a non-governmental organisation, or become self-employed you will find the experience invaluable. Find out more from our International Office.

Please note that a year spent abroad still incurs a tuition fee, but this is much lower than for a normal year at Leicester. See our Fees and Funding section for details.

History of Art and Film at Leicester has links with several European universities, administered through the European Erasmus scheme. If you are eligible for a loan from Student Finance you can apply for a travel grant from them. During your second year at Leicester you will receive appropriate language training.

  • For the latest information on the future of the Erasmus scheme at UK universities please see our Brexit microsite 

We have links with the following universities:

Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.

Final Year

Final Year

During your final year you will have the chance to write a 10,000 word dissertation on an area of film and the visual arts that most fascinates you. The rest of your learning will be entirely decided by you. A wide range of optional modules will allow you to tailor your degree according to your interests.

Core module

Option modules

Choose 3 option modules from:

  • Seriality: Film, Television and Other Media
  • Contemporary European Cinema
  • Contemporary Hollywood
  • Stardom and Identities in Chinese and American Cinemas
  • Hitchcock and Film History
  • Film Journalism

Then choose 2 option modules from:

  • Women and Cinema
  • Screen Gothic
  • Screen Affect
  • New Chinese Cinemas

Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.

Major/Minor Degrees

Major/Minor degrees enable you to create your own degree. You can study a core area in depth (your major subject), while also exploring an additional area (your minor subject).

Why not complement your Major with a subject that you enjoyed before, or which has vocational elements that can boost your career prospects? Alternatively, you may want to try something completely new that you’ve always been interested in, like a language.

Find Out More

Teaching and Assessment


Our teaching and learning strategy is designed to help you adjust to the demands of higher education and to develop the knowledge and skills that are valued by employers.

The first year of your degree provides a foundation for the increasingly challenging and focused modules you will take in subsequent years. First-year introductory modules, taught through lectures, screenings, and seminars, provide a grounding in film analysis and film history, as well as preparing you for your career beyond university.

The second year includes the study of American, European, and World cinemas, as well as modules providing practical film-making experience.

In the third year you will select from a range of more specialised options and write a dissertation on a topic of your choice. Dissertation support is provided by one-to-one supervision from a member of staff.


Assessment takes a variety of forms, including essays, exams, reviews, and projects.

You will have regular meetings with your personal tutor to discuss progress in your studies. Your personal tutor will also provide a sympathetic ear for all matters of personal concern, whether academic, financial, housing, career, or social.

Independent learning

When not attending lectures, seminars or other timetabled sessions you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. Typically, this will involve reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking research in the library, preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for exams. To help with your independent learning, you can access the Library and our social study spaces in halls of residence.

Overall workload

Typical workload hours for History of Art and Film courses in 2016/17: 

Year 1: 16% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity

  • Teaching, learning and assessment: 192 hours
  • Independent learning: 1008 hours

Year 2: 18% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity

  • Teaching, learning and assessment: 216 hours
  • Independent learning: 984 hours
Optional year abroad: If you're spending a year abroad, your contact will vary depending on the institution you're studying at. 

Final year: 13% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity

  • Teaching, learning and assessment: 156 hours
  • Independent learning: 1044 hours

While your actual contact hours may depend on the option modules you select, the above information gives an indication of how much time you will need to allocate to different activities for each year of your course.

Academic support

Our Student Learning Development Team provides help in the following areas:

  • study and exam skills
  • academic writing
  • presentations
  • dissertations
  • numerical data skills
  • referencing sources

Our AccessAbility Centre offers support and practical help for students with dyslexia or other specific learning difficulties, including physical, mental health or mobility difficulties, deafness, or visual impairment.

Teaching staff

You will be taught by an experienced teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course. PhD research students who have undertaken teacher training may also contribute to the teaching of seminars under the supervision of the module leader. Our teaching is informed by the research we do. You can learn more about our staff by visiting our staff profiles.

Entry Requirements

  • A/AS-levels: BBB at A-Level. Two AS-Levels considered in place of one A-Level. General Studies is accepted.
  • EPQ with A-levels: BBC at A-Level + EPQ at grade B.
  • Access to HE Diploma: Pass relevant diploma with 45 credits at level 3, 24 of which must be at distinction.
  • International Baccalaureate: Pass Diploma with 28 points.
  • BTEC Nationals: Pass Diploma at DDM.

Other national and international qualifications welcomed. If you do not meet the entry requirements for this course, you can apply for the International Foundation Year run by our dedicated International Study Centre. The ISC provides academic and English language support to help you progress to your chosen undergraduate degree at the University of Leicester.

Second Year Entry may be possible with suitable qualifications.

Selection Process

When considering your application, we will look for evidence that you will be able to fulfil the objectives of the course and achieve the standards required. We will take into account a range of factors including previous exam results.

Applicants are not normally interviewed. If you receive an offer you will be invited to visit the department.

English Language Requirements

IELTS 6.5 or equivalent. If your first language is not English, you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. If you do not yet meet our requirements, our English Language Teaching Unit (ELTU) offers a range of courses to help you to improve your English to the necessary standard.

International Qualifications

Find your country in this list to check equivalent qualifications, scholarships and additional requirements.

Countries list

Fees and Funding

  • Starting in 2018

    • £9,250 in your first year. After 2018/19, the tuition fee you pay may increase annually in line with inflation and is subject to government regulations.
    • Year Abroadyour fee will be £1,250 for that year.

    Find out more about scholarships and funding.


  • Starting in 2018

    • £15,980 per year
    • Year Abroad: your fee will be £3,995 which is 25% of the full-time tuition fee.

    Find out more about scholarships and funding.

Career Opportunities

Modules such as 'Film Production' have an applied focus – helping you develop the skills and knowledge required for careers in these areas. We run a dedicated 'Academic Study in the Workplace' module. We also have a programme of visiting careers talks by leading experts in the arts and film industries who can provide insights into employment pathways.


Our Career Development Service is here to support you, with advice on interviews, CVs, work experience, volunteering, and more. From Freshers’ Week to Graduation and beyond, they are here to help you reach your professional goals.

Course Qualification Duration UCAS Code Availability
Film Studies and the Visual Arts BA 3 years full-time PV33 Apply Now
Film Studies and the Visual Arts with Year Abroad BA 4 years full-time PV33 Apply Now
Film Studies and the Visual Arts
3 years full-time
Film Studies and the Visual Arts with Year Abroad
4 years full-time

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