Taught course

Film and Media Studies

University of Otago · Division of Humanities

Entry requirements

A postgraduate diploma can usually be taken at any time after the completion of your bachelor's degree.

If your first language is not English you need to meet our English language requirements as follows: IELTS score of 6.5 in the academic module (with no individual band below 6.0); we also accept a number of other English language tests. Due to COVID-19, we currently accept Duolingo English Test (DET), IELTS Indicator Test, and TOEFL iBT Special home Edition.

Don’t meet the English language requirements? The University of Otago Language Centre "English for Otago" programme offers a pathway for Undergraduate and Postgraduate students to meet the English language requirements for undergraduate and postgraduate study.

Months of entry

February, July

Course content

The Postgraduate Diploma in Arts (PGDipArts) requires two semesters of full-time study. It entails a structured programme of postgraduate coursework and, in some instances, a piece of supervised research that counts for one or two of the required papers. The normal admission requirement is a completed Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in the major of the proposed programme.

Graduates are employed in administration, business, education, government, industry and journalism where their advanced knowledge of an academic area, ability to solve problems, research and writing skills are valued. It is also a recognised qualification for admission as a candidate for the Master of Arts (MA) and, if a dissertation is included, the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD).

Film and Media Studies focuses on the historical, aesthetic, cultural and social significance of cinema, television and new visual technologies and their interconnections. It is concerned with the teaching of visual literacy as it applies to moving images since the advent of modernity and beyond, and looks at dominant practices (Hollywood cinema, global media, mass-entertainment), and alternative practices (art-film and avant-garde, local and indigenous media).

From the emergence of cinema at the end of the 19th century to the Internet revolution, the production and consumption of moving images has changed every aspect of our lives and cultures. The major emphasises a range of approaches to media texts and events that include aesthetics, history and sociology while stressing a strong theoretical understanding of the subject.

Students in Film and Media Studies develop a range of skills based on the content of the course, the development of research and presentation methodologies and multimedia literacy’s and skills. These skills will enable students to:

  • Analyse individual film and media texts and present their ideas in a written or oral form
  • Understand the forces at work behind the production and consumption of these texts
  • Appreciate the inter-relationship between the wide varieties of media which operate in the modern world
  • Have the historical, cultural and theoretical knowledge necessary to engage critically with film and media texts
  • Engage with students and lecturers in a variety of contexts such as lectures, tutorials, virtual classrooms.

As such, it can be fruitfully combined with the study of a wide range of other subjects, including Communication Studies, Visual Culture, English, History, Gender Studies, Theatre Studies, Marketing and Psychology.

Students in Film and Media Studies will have access to a range of material and facilities which include resources through the programs website, an audio-visual study centre in the Central Library, a digital recording and editing facility, as well as a screening room in which film prints, brought from within and without New Zealand, are displayed in theatrical conditions. This is the only programme in New Zealand which displays films in all formats: 35mm, 16mm, VHS and DVD.

Level of Award of the Diploma

The diploma may be awarded with distinction or with credit.

Diploma in a Second Subject

A student who has obtained the diploma in one subject may become a candidate for the diploma in any other subject.

Information for international students

Otago offers students an unrivalled campus experience and a vibrant, social student culture. The majority of Otago’s 21,000 students live, work and play in Dunedin - New Zealand’s only true university city. Otago is home to over 3,000 students, from over 100 countries.

Fees and funding

International students
NZ $28,805

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • PGDip(Arts)
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details