SOAS University of London

School of Arts

MA Global Cinemas (2019 entry)

Select year of entry: 2019

  • Structure
  • Teaching and Learning


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


Entry requirements

  • Minimum upper second class honours degree (or equivalent)

Featured events

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.

Taught Component
Core module
Module Code Credits Term
Global Film Industries 15PARH098 15 Term 1
Compulsory Module

Choose module(s) to the value of 45 credits from List A

Guided Option

Choose module(s) to the value of 30 credits from List A or List B (including selected University of London modules)

Open Option

Choose module(s) to the value of 30 credits from the Postgraduate Open Options list (including a language)

List of modules (subject to availability)
List A:
Module Code Credits Term
Genders and Sexualities in South East Asian Film 15PSEH011 15 Term 2
Indian Cinema: Its History and Social Context 15PSAH001 15 Term 1
Indian Cinema: Key Issues 15PSAH002 15 Term 2
Japanese Post-War Film Genres and the Avant-Garde 15PJKH008 15 Term 2
Japanese Transnational Cinema: From Kurosawa to Asia Extreme and Studio Ghibli 15PJKH007 15 Term 1
Modern Chinese Film and Theatre (PG) 15PCHH001 15 Term 1
New Taiwan Cinema and Beyond (PG) 15PCHH002 15 Term 1
Postcolonialism and Otherness in South East Asia On Screen 15PSEH010 15 Credits
Post-crisis Thai Cinema (1997-2007) 15PSEH008 15 Credits
Indonesia on Screen (PG) 15PSEH015 15 Credits
List B:
Other modules on Media
Module Code Credits Term
Studies in Global Media and Post-National Communication 15PMSH007 0.5
Modules in Social Anthropology
Module Code Credits Term
Culture and Society of China 15PANH062 15 Term 2
Culture and Society of East Africa 15PANH063 15 Term 2
Culture and Society of Japan 15PANH065 15 Term 1
Culture and Society of South Asia 15PANH064 15 Term 2
Culture and Society of South East Asia 15PANH066 15 Term 1
Culture and Society of Near and Middle East 15PANH067 15 Term 1
Culture and Society of West Africa 15PANH068 15 Term 2
Intercollegiate modules

A list of intercollegiate modules available to students on this programme can be found on the Screen Studies Group page here.


Programme Specification

Important notice

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 and Learning

Teaching & Learning

Contact Hours

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.

Transferrable skills

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.

Find out more