The MA in Global Cinemas (formerly MA 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 optional 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 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 optional 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 this degree, who have gone on to find employment in Film Festivals (Venice to name one), DVD distribution companies and 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
Occasionally the availability of optional modules changes as a result of staffing and other circumstances. Students who had signed up for such modules will be notified as soon as possible and given the opportunity to choose from available alternatives.
Students must take 180 credits in total, comprised of 120 taught credits and a 60-credit dissertation, as outlined below.
Choose module(s) to the value of 45 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
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 core/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.