Film Studies MA - Warwick vs KCL vs UCL (vs Edinburgh)

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sherwos
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As the thread title suggests, I've received offers from KCL, UCL, Warwick and Edinburgh for a masters in film studies. I'm a Yank and while I've had some friends go to Glasgow and Bristol to study, none have gone to the above mentioned unis and I know very little about their reputation in the UK for studying film. My question is, if you were me, an American student living in England for the first time and planning on coming back to the states to pursue PhD work, which one would you go to? Any thoughts?
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Noodleman
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(Original post by sherwos)
As the thread title suggests, I've received offers from KCL, UCL, Warwick and Edinburgh for a masters in film studies. I'm a Yank and while I've had some friends go to Glasgow and Bristol to study, none have gone to the above mentioned unis and I know very little about their reputation in the UK for studying film. My question is, if you were me, an American student living in England for the first time and planning on coming back to the states to pursue PhD work, which one would you go to? Any thoughts?
I'm an international student who's applied to UCL, and I'd also like to know what people think about film studies MAs in the UK.

Btw sherwos, how did UCL send their offer?
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sherwos
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I got an email from the director of the program saying they recommended for me to be given an offer and then I got it, the official offer, in the mail about 4 weeks later.
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sherwos
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Anyone?
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stolen life
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I 'm a film critic from Thailand who will study MA in Film Studies in UK too.
I got offers from Queen Mary, KCL, St Andrew, Goldsmiths, Kingston. Finally, I chose Queen Mary.

In my opinion, choose the university with the modules and the lecturer.
Warwick and KCL has a very good reputation.
However, the key point might be "which field do you want to specialize?"
I chose QM because I love French cinema and I want to explore the theories of Trauma, and spatial theory (cinema and city).

However, in case you didn't know, King's, QM, SOAS, UCL, Golds, Birkbeck (all the film department in University of London) are all part of Screen Studies London -http://mercury.soas.ac.uk/screenstudies/about.htm - which means you can take a module (or sit-in) at instututions other than the one you're enrolled on. So, I guess what I'm saying is: just decide which 'core course' you want to do most, then work out the timetables for the other courses you'd like to take most across all the instutions within the Screen Studies Group.
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stolen life
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(Original post by sherwos)
As the thread title suggests, I've received offers from KCL, UCL, Warwick and Edinburgh for a masters in film studies. I'm a Yank and while I've had some friends go to Glasgow and Bristol to study, none have gone to the above mentioned unis and I know very little about their reputation in the UK for studying film. My question is, if you were me, an American student living in England for the first time and planning on coming back to the states to pursue PhD work, which one would you go to? Any thoughts?
I dont know why I cant send a reply. I type the answer very long and they are all gone! : ( Just wanna tell u that I got offers from many place like you but finally I chose Queen Mary. Just go with the field you want to explore. And did u know that all the film studies programme in University of London are in the Screen Studies Group which mean that you can choose 1 module outside the university u study. My guide is - choose the place that you r ok with the core course, and then work ur timetable for the modules u wanna enroll/sit-in.
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sherwos
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Why Queen Mary? What sold it to you?
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stolen life
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(Original post by sherwos)
Why Queen Mary? What sold it to you?
First of all, as an asian who will study abroad for the first time, I want to live in a vibrant city which has cultural/art/film events everyday, that's why I chose London.

However, if you dont need to live in a big city or wanna escape from the chaos of the city and lock yourself in an intellectual town, there are many department of film studies outside London. As I research Warwick might be the best in term of classical theories. St Andrew is up-and-coming place in term of world cinema/film-philosophy/Deleuze and film. There are tons of world class lecturer there, I believe.

For Edinburgh, the modules didnt sell me enough. Though the websites show many interesting modules, most of them were not available anymore. You should download the handbook and you will see that the modules they teach for 2010 are
1.Cinema Auteurs (Vigo, Renoir, Welles, Hitchcock, Ozu, Marker, Tarkovski, Wajda, Kaurismaki, Lynch, von Trier, Kar-Wai, Angelopoulos)
2.Film and the Other Arts
(only 1. and 2. are run by the film departments, apart of this are run by several departments that means you must study with MA in other fields, which I dont like it. I want to hang around with MA Film students.)
-Visual Anthropology
-Documentary
-African Politics, Literature and Film
-Media and Culture
-Impressionism (1865-1900)
-Postcolonial
-Cinemas of the Middle East
-Sound and Fixed Media
-Cinema and Society in Britain since 1895-
-Gender, Revolution and Modernity in Chinese Cinema
-Film Music post 1950
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stolen life
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(Original post by sherwos)
Why Queen Mary? What sold it to you?
About ur question, I chose QM because...

1. My area of interest is Cinema and City, Landscape and Cinema, Trauma and cinema, French cinema and the QM modules really match me. KCL has the most well-known lecturer of French cinema which is Ginette Vincendeau. However, Ginette's research tend to cover the big picture of French and EU cinema which I am not interested, while the modules in QM focus more on the representation of the city (Paris) or the trauma memory from the Occupation/Algeria War, which I like it. Moreover, QM just has new lecturer - Janet Harbord who taught Screen Studies at Goldsmiths and who is an expertise in post-cinematic context theory and experimental cinema.

2.The most important feature that sells me is that- most courses now offer options that are both for BA and MA students, so you would be in a lecture with up 100 students and then in a masters seminar of 25 students. At Queen Mary, we run our options ONLY for our masters students, therefore the class size is likely to be less than ten students on options, which is almost personalised teaching!

I think KCL is very interesting too. The best thing from KCL are

1. Location. KCL is opposite of BFI! That means you just walk across the bridge for 5 mins and you can enter one of the biggest film archive/film library in the world! Also, KCL is in the heart of London and there are many academic events and seminars there. (it's not far from SOAS, UCL, Tate Modern, BFI, etc)

2. While QM students must study 4 modules (and Warwick only 3 modules) KCL asks students to study 5 modules (1 compulsory, 4 optional). That means you will have chance to explore a lot of methodology. However, it depends in your style. For me, I love to study less modules and have time to deepen my thoughts on the methodology I want to be an expertise.

3. KCL is very high standard. It's not only you just write and essay and get the grade but u must have presentation a lot. Also, apart of 5 modules, Film studies at KCL also has a lot of postgrad seminars (10 seminars per year) and have special event with BFI.

4. KCL has lots of "big name" in film studies, such as Richard Dyer, Ginette. However, please be careful because normally these big names will teach only the PhD students or they might be on research-leave.

About UCL, the modules are too "classic" for me, like "French New Wave (OMG!)" "Nordic Cinema (Bergman!)" "Weimar and Nazi film!", etc. I think KCL's modules are based on methodology while UCL modules are based on the concept of (european) nations.

If you have any questions, especially about the size of the class, you can e-mail to the postgrad converner. I believe it will help u a lot.
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Fenwick
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As I believe I have said before, for a Film Studies MA you can't go wrong with KCL or Warwick. They are two of the top departments in the country. Your choice will have to take into account the expertise and the modules on offer, as well as more general things, like whether you'd prefer to live in London or Leamington Spa. Even with this in mind, I'd take a close look at the UCL course, which if I recall is an interdisciplinary program convened by Lee Grieveson, who is very highly thought of.

I am looking to go to the US in 2012 for a PhD so maybe you could return the favour and give me a heads up on the best American schools for Film Studies!
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sherwos
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Thank you Fenwick and stolen life for all your suggestions. Definitely give me some food for thought. As far as PhD Film Studies programs of note, there are the standards, USC, UCLA, NYU as well as many others. I know University of Iowa has been praised in past as a really good program, as has University of Wisconsin-Madison. It used to have David Bordwell teaching there and is still considered a very good university. UT-Austin, any of the UCs, Yale, Columbia, Chicago, Brown, are all supposedly good. For PhD, I'm just looking for a program that will directly correspond with my research.
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Fenwick
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(Original post by sherwos)
Thank you Fenwick and stolen life for all your suggestions. Definitely give me some food for thought. As far as PhD Film Studies programs of note, there are the standards, USC, UCLA, NYU as well as many others. I know University of Iowa has been praised in past as a really good program, as has University of Wisconsin-Madison. It used to have David Bordwell teaching there and is still considered a very good university. UT-Austin, any of the UCs, Yale, Columbia, Chicago, Brown, are all supposedly good. For PhD, I'm just looking for a program that will directly correspond with my research.
Aren't they supposed to be, and I quote a friend of mine, 'ridiculously hard to get in to'?
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sherwos
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(Original post by Fenwick)
Aren't they supposed to be, and I quote a friend of mine, 'ridiculously hard to get in to'?
You know, I've heard different reports about this. One of my friends got into Columbia's PhD program without much trouble. Seems they really wanted him but he only got into one other program beyond that so I'm not sure. Like I said, I think the most important thing is how closely attuned you are to the program. One of my professors went to an unheard of school for his PhD, Northern Illinois University, but he found a professor who really liked his research on Monty Python and since then has become one of (perhaps "the") premiere Python scholars in the world. The small, unknown program hasn't affected him a lick. So in short, I don't know how are they are to get into but I'm also not sure how essential it is to go to them.
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Fenwick
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(Original post by sherwos)
You know, I've heard different reports about this. One of my friends got into Columbia's PhD program without much trouble. Seems they really wanted him but he only got into one other program beyond that so I'm not sure. Like I said, I think the most important thing is how closely attuned you are to the program. One of my professors went to an unheard of school for his PhD, Northern Illinois University, but he found a professor who really liked his research on Monty Python and since then has become one of (perhaps "the") premiere Python scholars in the world. The small, unknown program hasn't affected him a lick. So in short, I don't know how are they are to get into but I'm also not sure how essential it is to go to them.
That is good to know.

At the moment I am not entirely sure where my interests lie. I have a broad sense of where I want to go but nothing as sure and isolated as Monty Python. With that in mind perhaps an American PhD would suit me better as it involves more than just the submission of a book-length thesis. For that, I need to reserve a GRE test and do it before the respective application deadlines.

Sorry to turn your thread into one of my own, but do you know anything about this test? What graduate schools expect from it; how important it is to the application and how difficult it is to prepare for it for example?
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sherwos
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(Original post by Fenwick)
That is good to know.

At the moment I am not entirely sure where my interests lie. I have a broad sense of where I want to go but nothing as sure and isolated as Monty Python. With that in mind perhaps an American PhD would suit me better as it involves more than just the submission of a book-length thesis. For that, I need to reserve a GRE test and do it before the respective application deadlines.

Sorry to turn your thread into one of my own, but do you know anything about this test? What graduate schools expect from it; how important it is to the application and how difficult it is to prepare for it for example?
Haven't taken it and I know next to nothing about what grad schools expect from it. Since I applied to only UK schools I didn't even think about it.
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sherwos
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So Kings it is I think. Seems the best fit, and although the most expensive of the programs I think it will afford the best opportunities for work and networking for the degree. Any suggestions to the contrary?

And Fenwick, are you doing a film degree at oxford? I didn't even know they had one.
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Lux Lisbon
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Totally random question, but what kind of work do most Film Studies graduates go into?
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sherwos
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I'm planning on going on for Phd for teaching, otherwise, they do work at film institutes, curate, write for journals, newspapers.
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BeatriceIulia
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I wanna apply for a Film Studies MA at UCL or KCL this year. Would you please help me with some insights on the application process? Was it easy? What studies did you completed before? Is the there a significant competition? What kind of work experience do they take into account? Was there an interview? How long will it take to get an answer?
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