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Study abroad : Subject Guides

Why study film and television?

Have you been looking for a creative degree with good graduate prospects? Studying film and television may fit the bill. We tell you why.

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Degrees in creative fields are increasingly popular amongst international students. While you may think of qualifications in the creative arts as being limited to disciplines like music, theatre, or fine art, there is a lot more on offer. A degree in film and television studies provides a mix of practical, creative, and academic elements with several specialisations. We delve into what you can expect when studying film and television, including what you’ll learn and your potential career options.



What is film and television studies?


You may think that a film and television studies degree primarily focuses on exclusively studying the content of these two mediums. Whilst this is true to an extent, the subject also covers the technical, managerial, financial, and administrative aspects of the film and television industry. 


The degree aims to facilitate aspiring producers, scriptwriters, directors, project managers, technicians, and industry professionals. When studying you may find a particular area of interest and focus extensively on this. While not having a degree in film and television doesn’t automatically mean you won’t be able to work in the industry, it does give you an advantage. 


Find out where you can study film and television studies


What will I study during a film and television studies degree?


The curriculum between universities will differ, however for most degrees in the field you will cover theoretical, practical and creative elements. The qualification will aim to combine and balance these for you to have the skills needed when entering the industry. Some of the modules and components you can expect to study include:


  • Narrative and storytelling 
  • Representation and identity
  • Film theory 
  • Modern film and television industry
  • Photography 
  • Modern literature
  • Screenwriting 
  • International cinema
  • Gender studies 
  • Digital culture 
  • Racism and identity


Degrees will also include several practical modules covering industry-standard software, equipment, set design, filming techniques, directing, presenting and editing. 


Find out how to map your study and career path


What film and television studies specialisations are there?


Degrees in film and television studies do facilitate your progression towards a specialisation. This is especially true of your third or honours year of the degree. You may also choose to pursue a postgraduate qualification in the field to gain greater insight into your chosen area. 


Choosing to specialise can increase your employability and allow you to progress within the industry. Remember to evaluate which skills are the most sought after too. Some of the possible avenues you could take include:


  • Film and television production 
  • Directing
  • Editing 
  • Script and screenwriting
  • Media management 
  • Location management
  • Cinematography
  • Broadcast engineering
  • Researcher
  • Communications and marketing 
  • Broadcast journalism 
  • Animation 
  • Visual effects


For some of these specialisations, you may need to study further to gain additional skills. It’s always a good idea to check with your prospective university beforehand and explore the option of undertaking a dual degree.  


Are you wondering why to study abroad?


Can I study for a dual degree?


Some universities will allow you to undertake a dual degree that combines film and television with another complementary major. Not only does this give you a dynamic academic experience it also augments and develops your skillset. 


Popular dual degrees in the field include combining film studies with media studies and journalism. There is a complementarity to the subjects with a combination of practical and theoretical learning. 


Additionally, while learning about the practical aspects of producing or creating a television show, you will also explore media ethics and law. You can gain a greater understanding of how film, television, and media interface and influence representation. 


Another popular dual degree combines film and television studies with modern languages. The advantages of multilingualism in a diverse and fast-paced industry cannot be understated. You’ll develop a greater understanding of culture, have opportunities to work abroad and it will stand out on your CV. 


English is not the only language used in the film industry. There are so many other thriving film industries, including the French, German, Italian, Spanish, Russian, Portuguese, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Indian, and Malaysian industries. 


Think about what you want to get out of your university degree and what you want to do when you graduate. Select the majors that would be the most effective in getting your foot in the door. 


Read about the types of bachelor’s degrees you can pursue


How do I choose the best course and university?


There are a couple of factors that you should consider when selecting the university where you pursue your degree in film and television studies. The first is the ranking and rating of the university overall and then for the subject. Remember not to neglect considering if the country and location suit you as well. 


Consider what the facilities and practical experience of the faculty staff are. You would want to study in an environment that fine-tunes your practical skills and gives you the industry insight and training you need. Look at what types of practical projects are offered, what equipment is available, and the type of student work that is produced. You could even request to sit in on a class to see if the university would suit you. 


You may also want to consider a specialised school. These schools offer courses that a tailor-made to suit specific needs in the film and television industry. Specialised qualifications include animation, special effects, producing, film-making, producing, documentary making, cinematography, and directing. 


Film schools offer short and long-term courses, including bachelor’s degrees, diplomas, and even master’s degree programmes. There are often good graduate work prospects as well because of industry connections. 


Find out more about how to compare universities


What can I do with a degree in film and television studies?


You’re probably wondering where a degree in film and television studies can take you. The industry can be highly competitive so having a good resume and some internship or work experience from when you were studying can help. 


Your degree can help you secure employment in the industry for work such as:


  • Directing 
  • Editing 
  • Screenwriting 
  • Production management 
  • Technician 
  • Location and set management 
  • Production assistant 


Your degree can also help you secure employment in creative industries where technical or related skills are required. Examples include broadcast journalism, photography, broadcast engineering, and even special effects. 


Some employers you could work for include advertising companies, marketing firms, production houses, design companies, the public sector, and charities. Statistics show less than four per cent of graduates from the degree are unemployed six months after graduating, which is good news. 


Hopefully, you have a much better idea of what a degree in film and television studies is all about. You may also find our guide to careers for humanities graduates helpful and our insights into creative subjects you can choose

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