Birkbeck, University of London

Birkbeck, University of London

Film Programming and Curating

This programme explores both the traditional and the rapidly changing ways in which films are programmed by curators and received by spectators. In film exhibition today, the old and the new coexist: audiences still watch films in cinemas, but digital technology and the internet have multiplied ways of consuming moving images. Digital technology has also transformed the relationship between film and art: galleries and museums now routinely exhibit film in shows and installations. Film festivals are flourishing in new formats and locations as never before. These changes have profoundly affected practices of curating and programming. This intensive (1-year, full-time) MA includes in its curriculum: the old and the new aspects of programming and curating; theoretical considerations of audience; spectatorship and reception; and the changing spaces and temporalities of film exhibition. The MA combines these strong critical, theoretical and academic foundations with site visits and internships in London galleries and exhibition spaces, as well as screenings and programming in the Birkbeck Cinema. Students will be taught by internationally distinguished academics and cultural practitioners such as Professor Laura Mulvey. Lectures from industry professionals and experienced curators provide a first step towards possible careers in art and film or for further research into the cultures of curating.

Entry requirements

Good honours degree (second class or above, or overseas equivalent). Professional or work experience in a field relevant to graduate study in the humanities may also be taken into account. If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, the requirement for this programme 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.

Course modules

The core course, History Theory Methods, runs over the autumn and spring terms and consists of screenings, site visits or programming exercises alongside weekly seminars. It consists of the following parts: Perspectives on audiences and spectatorship; Spaces and places of film exhibition (London - a case study); Great collections and sites of exhibition; Practices of curating and programming. Autumn term modules: Curating Film, Sharing Passions; Artists' Film: The Museum, The Gallery and Beyond . Spring term module: The Essay Film and the Archive. Summer term: Themes in Film Festivals; In the summer term, you can undertake a placement in a relevant institution. There will also be weekly lectures by visiting film, media or gallery professionals. Final project: For your Final Project, you undertake a dissertation exploring a historical or theoretical problem in the field of curation and/or the mediation or exhibition of screen media.

Assessment methods

Essay assessments and a final project.


Qualification Study mode Start month Fee Course duration
MA Full-time October 2018 GBP 14,450 per Year 1 (International) 1 Years
MA Full-time October 2018 GBP 8,475 per Year 1 (Home/EU) 1 Years
MA Part-time October 2018 GBP 7,225 per Year 1 (International) 2 Years
MA Part-time October 2018 GBP 4,250 per Year 1 (Home/EU) 2 Years

Campus details

Campus name Town Postcode Region Main campus Campus Partner
Bloomsbury Campus WC1E 7HX London

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Key information

Department of History of Art and Screen Media
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