5 Things I Love About a Film Studies MA

Rhys, a part-time Film Studies MA

Hi, I’m Rhys! I’m in the second semester of my part-time Film Studies MA at King’s and loving every second of it. KCL is one of the best places in the country to study in this particular field, both for the internal benefits available from the university and the department, but also because of what’s available in the city around you. Here are five things I’ve loved about the course so far:

The diversity and expertise of the course tutors. As a part-time student, I’ve completed two modules so far and I’m taking my third now. In that time I’ve had the pleasure of being taught by some of the leading thinkers and researchers in film studies today, including Dr Elena Gorfinkel, a revered researcher and critic who’s appeared in Sight & Sound magazine; Dr Dominic Lash, a talented double-bassist who comes over from the University of Bristol each week to teach; Dr Chris Holliday, who runs the brilliant Fantasy/Animation podcast; and Dr Jinhee Choi, whose background in philosophy brings a fascinating dimension to our studies.

The variety of the modules. Last term, I took two modules – ‘Formations in Film Studies: An Advanced Introduction to the Field’ and ‘21st Century Hollywood and the Politics of Cultural Identity’ – which could not have been more different. Formations was a fantastic, intensive first look into the main schools of thought surrounding film and we watched a lot of prestigious and essential cinema to go alongside the academia. 21st Century, on the other hand, took the skills we were developing in Formations and had fun with them, using blockbusters like Charlie’s Angels, Hitch and The Hangover to discuss topics like feminism, sexuality and friendship. The two modules balanced each other out brilliantly.

Close to the BFI (and more!). All of my seminars and screenings, as well as a Maughan library, are located at the Strand campus which is just a short walk over the Thames to the South Bank. It’s got plenty of culture to offer with institutions like the National Theatre, the Southbank Centre and the Hayward Gallery. But the real treasure trove for a film student is the BFI Southbank cinema – an absolute goldmine of the latest in UK and international cinema, as well as an extensive programme of re-runs for classics and hidden treasures, and plenty of guest speakers and Q&As. There’s also the BFI library, full of specialist texts whenever you can’t find something at King’s. But best of all is that all tickets are £3 on the day if you’re 25 or under!

Maughan Library is a short walk from Strand Campus and the BFI!


Access to physical media. KCL has plenty to offer itself in terms of filmic treasures, though, having an extensive archive in the Maughan library of videos, DVDs, Blu Rays and even some rare film reels. To help with an essay I wrote last term on postcolonial films in West Africa, I had the chance to watch old VHS tapes of so

me classic Senegalese cinema by directors like Sembene Ousmane and Safi Faye which aren’t even available online.

The Genesis is one of the many independent cinemas throughout London.

London film culture. Just being in London itself is amazing for any film student. There’s the BFI London Film Festival every October just as term is starting, plus other BFI festivals like Flare and Film Futures to enjoy. Plenty of other fringe events are taking place constantly around London, including some of my favourites: the British Urban Film Festival and the London Korean Film Festival. There’s also loads of incredible independent cinemas to support, such as the Prince Charles in Leicester Square, Genesis in Bethnal Green, Rio in Dalston and Peckhamplex in, well Peckham.

Read more

If you want to read more about Film Studies at King’s, check out Jack’s favourite things about being a Film Studies undergraduate.

You can also read Liv’s Day in the Life of a Film Studies student.


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