The MA in Global Cinemas and the Transcultural offers students the unique opportunity to study in-depth regional cinemas outside the now standard research topographies, both geographical and theoretical, of mainstream cinema studies, so opening up avenues for advanced research in areas and methodologies as yet untapped. Alternatively, it provides an avenue of study for those simply wishing to obtain a post-graduate qualification in Cinema Studies without being confined to a European- and/or American-centric world-view.The degree is designed around a compulsory core module, Cinema, Nation and the Transcultural, that simultaneously challenges existing critical paradigms defining 'national cinema' in the simplistic terms of geographical zones of production and reception, while offering alternative methodological approaches to the study of cinema within the local/global, inter-cultural contexts of the post-modern world. The elective elements of the degree allow students the opportunity to specialize in one or more of the many regional cinemas on offer in the School: Japanese, Chinese (mainland, Hong Kong & Taiwanese), mainland and maritime South East Asian, Indian, Iranian, Middle Eastern and African). It also enables students to combine specialist film studies knowledge with a minor module in an Asian or African language or to advance their social and cultural knowledge of a given region through an ethnographic module. Alternatively, through our links with University of London Screen Studies Group , students may choose from a selection of elective modules to further develop cross-cultural perspectives in an east/west framework.
SOAS is exceptional in its geographical focus, and the expertise in the disciplines of Film and Screen Studies makes us unique in the field. In a ‘global’ industry, film and media scholars, and practitioners are increasingly recognising the need for a move toward the study of image cultures and industries beyond the historical hegemonies of the European and Hollywood industries. This has been more than evident in the career trajectories of graduates from the MA Global Cinemas and the Transcultural degree. Graduates from this degree have gone on to find employment in Film Festivals (Venice to name one), DVD distribution companies, the art house cinema circuit, while others with a practice based background have gone onto form their own production companies, in one case producing documentaries for Al-Jazeera (see the Contraimage link on the SOAS Centre for Film and Screen Studies website). Other graduates have followed the more traditional pathway into PhD programmes where they have been singularly successful in competing for AHRC studentships.
Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings
Start of programme: September
Mode of Attendance: Full-time or Part-time
- Minimum upper second class honours degree (or equivalent)
- 1 Year Full Time, 2 or 3 Years Part Time
Students take 180 credits, 60 of which are a dissertation and a 120 from taught modules. Of the taught modules, students must complete the core module Cinema, Nation & the Transcultural - 15PJKC023 (30 credits), 30 credits from List A, a minimum of a further 30 credits from List A or List B. A total of 30 credits may be taken as an open option.
Choose module(s) to the value of 30 credits from List A
Choose module(s) to the value of 30 credits from List A or List B (including selected University of London modules)
Choose module(s) to the value of 30 credits from the Postgraduate Open Options list (including a language)
List of modules (subject to availability)
Other modules on Media
Modules in Social Anthropology
China and Inner Asia
Japan and Korea
Near and Middle East
South East Asia
A list of intercollegiate modules available to students on this programme can be found on the Screen Studies Group page here.
The information on the programme page reflects the intended programme structure against the given academic session. If you are a current student you can find structure information on the previous year link at the top of the page or through your Department. Please read the important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules.
Teaching & Learning
All Masters programmes consist of 180 credits, made up of taught modules of 30 or 15 credits, taught over 10 or 20 weeks, and a dissertation of 60 credits. The programme structure shows which modules are compulsory and which optional.
As a rough guide, 1 credit equals approximately 10 hours of work. Most of this will be independent study, including reading and research, preparing coursework, revising for examinations and so on. It will also include class time, which may include lectures, seminars and other classes. Some subjects, such as learning a language, have more class time than others. At SOAS, most postgraduate modules have a one hour lecture and a one hour seminar every week, but this does vary.
More information is on the page for each module.
- An in-depth knowledge and understanding of the theoretical, methodological and empirical issues involved in the analysis of non-western cinemas with specific reference to Asia, Africa and the Middle East.
- An appreciation of the historical complexities of the symbiotic nature of the relationship between cinema as mass media and the nation-state in the early twentieth century; and relatedly, an understanding of the need to question the existence of ‘national cinema’ as an intellectual concept in view of the transnational nature of the industry in the global economy of the late twentieth century.
- A knowledge and understanding of how to analyse films as cultural texts from within the context of their production and reception.
- Through the study of specific regional cinemas, students will have gained empirical knowledge and understanding of relevant theoretical issues and apply this knowledge at the practical level to a specific regional cinema.
Intellectual (thinking) skills
- The development of appropriate skills for critically assessing a variety of source materials,
- to solve problems of conflicting sources and conflicting interpretations,
- to develop skills in critical judgments of complex source materials,
- to locate materials in print and on line, use research resources (particularly research library catalogues and websites) and other relevant traditional and electronic sources.
Subject-based practical skills
The programme aims to help students with the following practical skills:
- to analyse films in terms of visual-style,
- to retrieve, sift and select information from a variety of sources,
- to present seminar papers, and
- to listen and discuss ideas introduced during seminars.
- to engage in critical understanding and appreciation of differing cultural, social, political and economic contexts
- to develop a refined sense of the complex linkages between local and global cultural influences.
The programme will encourage students to:
- Communicate effectively in writing,
- Write good essays and dissertations.
- Structure and communicate ideas effectively both orally and in writing.