Taught course

Film Programming and Curating

Institution
Birkbeck, University of London · London Consortium
Qualifications
MA

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Entry requirements

A second-class honours degree (2:2 or above), or overseas equivalent.

As part of the application process, applicants are required to complete a 700-1000-word written exercise. [Identifying a film that you have recently seen, explain how you would programme it for an audience.] Two referees are also required. Successful candidates will be invited to attend an interview.

Applications are reviewed on their individual merits and your professional qualifications and/or relevant work experience in a field relevant to graduate study in the humanities will be taken into consideration positively. We actively support and encourage applications from mature learners.

Months of entry

October

Course content

A first of its kind, this MA in Film Programming and Curating explores the diverse ways in which films are selected and presented to an audience. Studying in the heart of London, one of the world’s leading media hubs, this programme takes full advantage of its location to help you build professional networks, visit various sites of exhibition (from galleries and museums to film festivals and cultural centres) and learn about contemporary film programming and curatorial practice.

The programme provides a strong academic foundation and relates the latest theoretical thinking to critical practice. It encourages an independence of intellectual thought and spirit, equipping you with the necessary skills and historical and critical knowledge to nurture film and film culture. The programme offers a historical, intellectual and conceptual understanding of film programming, curatorial practice and moving image culture. The curriculum involves:

  • theories of spectatorship, the audience and the changing conditions of film reception
  • sites of exhibition and the architecture of the filmic experience
  • the role of the archive, film canons and the exhibition of great collections
  • the practicalities involved in programming a film and locating audiences for it.

The programme combines these strong historical, theoretical and academic foundations with site visits across London, as well as providing internships at leading cultural institutions and film centres, such as the ICA and BFI. You will have the chance to programme events for organisations as diverse as BFI Education, the Korean Cultural Centre and other film centres around London.

Our teachers are internationally distinguished academics, while visits from cultural practitioners will introduce you to experienced film programmers, curators and art practitioners. Making full use of the opportunities offered by our proximity to London’s vibrant film culture, this programme provides a first step towards building a career in film programming and exhibition, or for further research into the cultures of curating and curatorial practice.

Highlights
  • The award-winning Birkbeck Cinema is central to the course, where most of our classes take place. The cinema is equipped with 35mm and state-of-the-art DVD projection, which offers you an opportunity to experiment with programming and watch films in the best possible conditions. Located in central London, in the heart of historic Bloomsbury, Birkbeck is within easy reach of cinemas and galleries, as well as facilities such as the British Film Institute and the British Library.
  • You will receive accreditation, sponsored by Birkbeck, to the BFI London International Film Festival and the Edinburgh International Film Festival.
  • The Birkbeck Institute for the Moving Image (BIMI) runs a busy, intellectually stimulating programme of events, including conferences, screenings and film-related events of all kinds, which students on this course are more than welcome to attend. You will have the opportunity to participate in and attend the Essay Film Festival, jointly run by BIMI and the ICA, with free admission to events hosted at Birkbeck.
  • The School of Arts offers a number of bursaries for postgraduate students.
  • The School of Arts is an official partner of the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) in London. Opportunities for students have included a year’s free membership of the ICA, private views, discounts on all talks and events, free members' screenings and £3 cinema tickets on Tuesdays, up to 25% off ICA Artists' Editions and a monthly e-newsletter.

Information for international students

If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, the requirement for this course is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 7.0, with not less than 6.5 in each of the sub-tests.

If you don't meet the minimum IELTS requirement, we offer pre-sessional English courses and foundation programmes to help you improve your English language skills and get your place at Birkbeck.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MA
    part time
    24 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Name
Student Advice Service
Email
studentadvice@bbk.ac.uk
Phone
+44 (0)20 3907 0700