Film studies

Amber Woodfull, employer engagement co-ordinator
March, 2016

A degree in film studies provides you with a combination of theoretical and technical skills that are transferable to a whole host of careers in the creative industries

Job options

Jobs directly related to your degree include:

Jobs where your degree would be useful include:

Remember that many employers accept applications from graduates with any degree subject, so don't restrict your thinking to the jobs listed here.

Work experience

Careers within the film industry are notoriously competitive and you will need resilience and determination to succeed. Work experience is essential and will help you to decide which direction to take after your degree, whether that has a more theoretical or practical focus. Be aware that you may need to complete unpaid work experience before gaining paid work.

You should explore the possibility of work experience at local media outlets and cinemas. Try contacting independent filmmakers to see what projects you can get involved in. You could also approach your local BBC office, as well as independent production companies.

Developing your portfolio is fundamental if you are going to pursue a career in film. As well as the larger regional and national film events and festivals, you may find more events in your area, including competitions and festivals which showcase amateur films. Do some research and explore what could be available in your local area as a way of building up contacts and promoting your work.

Search for placements and find out more about work experience and internships.

Typical employers

The focus of your degree will dictate whether you are more suited for jobs with a theoretical or practical focus. As well as traditional destinations in the film and broadcasting industries, graduates may also be interested in other media sectors such as publishing and research.

Popular employers may include:

  • large broadcasters such as the BBC, Channel 4 and Sky;
  • cinemas;
  • independent production companies;
  • market research companies.

Opportunities may be found directly via websites or through specialist creative agencies such as Creative Skillset and the Arts Council.

Due to the nature of the sector, work experience and networking will be the most likely way to open doors to the right opportunities, so it is important to start making contacts early to give yourself the best chance of success.

Find information on employers in creative arts and design, marketing, advertising and PR, media and internet and other job sectors.

Skills for your CV

A degree in film studies develops a broad range of desirable skills, including:

  • thinking analytically, logically and critically;
  • the ability to conduct research in a variety of modes;
  • communication skills and the ability to articulate opinion;
  • the ability to work to a set brief independently or collaboratively;
  • the ability to work flexibly and independently with self-discipline and self-direction;
  • tailoring writing to suit different audiences;
  • the flexibility to thrive in uncertain external environments;
  • developing ideas through to outcomes;
  • being resourceful, creative and entrepreneurial;
  • technical skills, if these formed part of your study or experience.

Further study

There are many options for those wanting to pursue a postgraduate qualification in film studies, providing an opportunity to specialise in areas such as scriptwriting and professional writing.

Postgraduate study can be an opportunity to develop your specialism, which can be more attractive to potential employers. Some jobs would also require a postgraduate qualification, such as teaching or lecturing.

There is also the option to do postgraduate research in filmmaking.

For more information on further study and to find a course that interests you, see Masters degrees and search postgraduate courses.

What do film studies graduates do?

Six months after graduating, over 70% of graduates are in employment, with many working in arts, design and media roles.

Further study11.1
Working and studying2.5
Graduate destiniations for film studies
Type of workPercentage
Retail, catering and bar work29.7
Arts, design and media18.7
Secretarial and numerical clerks11.6
Marketing, PR and sales9
Types of work entered in the UK

Find out what other graduates are doing six months after finishing their degrees in What Do Graduates Do?

Graduate destinations data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency.