As well as your theoretical and technical skills, you'll need determination and resilience to succeed in the competitive film industry

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 so having relevant work experience can really help you to get a foot in the door. Networking is also an effective way of finding opportunities, so start making contacts early to give yourself the best chance of success.

While some film studies degrees combine both technical and theoretical knowledge, others focus more on the theory of film and filmmaking, and work experience will help you to decide which direction to take after your degree.

Developing a portfolio of your work is essential if you're hoping to pursue a career in film. Take advantage of opportunities during your degree to showcase your work, for example at festivals and competitions, and attend guest lectures and events from people in the industry.

Explore the possibility of work experience at local media outlets and cinemas and 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.

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

Typical employers

The most common sectors you may find work in are the media, creative, cultural and heritage industries. As well as traditional destinations in the film and broadcasting industries, you may also be interested in other media sectors such as publishing, journalism and research.

Employers include:

  • large broadcasters such as the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Sky, Amazon and Netflix
  • cinemas
  • independent production companies
  • newspapers and specialist film magazines
  • market research companies.

Other types of employer include:

  • advertising, PR and marketing companies
  • organisations involved in festival and cultural event management
  • cultural and heritage organisations involved in film preservation, curating and archiving
  • multimedia authoring and digital design companies
  • further education and higher education institutions (for teaching and academic research roles).

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

Skills for your CV

During a film studies degree, you'll typically develop subject specific skills in both film theory and film-making practice. Courses vary and some may have more emphasis on the theory of film.

Your technical skills may include camera operation, studio production, sound recording and editing, and you may have the opportunity to specialise in an area of particular interest, for example screenwriting or film journalism.

Theoretical skills are based on the analysis of film and you develop skills in areas such as film and culture, cinema traditions, specific film genres and how directors approach their work.

You also develop a broader range of skills, including:

  • critical analysis
  • research skills
  • communication skills and the ability to effectively articulate an opinion
  • the ability to work to a set brief independently or collaboratively
  • a flexible approach to work
  • the ability to respond creatively to ideas and questions
  • self-discipline and self-direction
  • the ability to tailor your writing to suit different audiences
  • the ability to develop ideas through to outcomes
  • a resourceful and creative approach to work.

Further study

Masters courses are available in film studies, providing an opportunity to research further into your degree subject. Check specific details carefully, as different courses may have research strengths in particular areas, for example in film history or film theory.

Opportunities are also available at Masters level in related areas such as international film production, filmmaking, film curating, scriptwriting, documentary film and film directing, allowing you to develop a specialism. Some Masters courses include television, video or creative media as well as film. You could also continue postgraduate research to MPhil and PhD level.

You may also use further study to tailor your career into a specific area. For example, some film studies graduates want to move into media and may study journalism, or perhaps PR, advertising or event management to work within film promotion.

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

What do film studies graduates do?

Nearly a fifth (18%) of film studies graduates are working in artistic, literary and media occupations (15%) or as media professionals (3%).

Further study5.3
Working and studying10.4
Graduate destiniations for film studies
Type of workPercentage
Retail, catering and customer service26.2
Arts, design and media19.3
Clerical, secretarial and administrative14.5
Marketing, PR and sales9.6
Types of work entered in the UK

Find out what other film studies graduates are doing 15 months after finishing their degrees in What do graduates do?

Graduate destinations data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency.

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