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Film Studies (TSM)

B.A.; 30 places

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What is Film Studies?

What makes a horror film horrifying? Why did the introduction of sound change film forever? What is a digital story world? Why did the Quiet Man come to Ireland? These and many more are the questions that Film Studies asks students to consider. More than that, we invite you to pick up a camera and put the theory you have acquired into practice. Can you put the ideas you have grappled with in the classroom to the test and make a short film informed by critical concepts and a fresh vision of the world around you?

Film Studies: The course for you?

If you enjoy watching a wide range of films from around the world and if you are interested in acquiring the critical and creative tools to analyse them in relation to questions of style, technology, society, and industry, then this may be the course for you.

Film Studies @ Trinity

Trinity launched its pioneering degree course in 2003 and has since become one of the leading undergraduate courses in the discipline, combining a cutting-edge intellectual environment with the opportunity to gain introductory skills in filmmaking. Classes are taught by experts in their field, notably Irish cinema, film theory and criticism, digital storytelling and screenwriting. While you will learn about practical issues involved in film production, including how to write a script and how to produce short videos, the course is geared toward critical engagement with film and digital media. You will work in small groups to debate the topics that arise in lectures and to create short films and documentaries. Our students are active in many different societies, including DU Film Society and the student-run film magazine, Trinity Film Review.

Graduate skills and career opportunities

A degree in Film Studies offers career opportunities in many areas such as the film industry; television; journalism; digital media; reviewing and criticism; arts administration; advertising; marketing. Recent graduates of Film Studies at Trinity have gone on to be involved in the film industry in a number of ways, from directing feature length films to editing, scriptwriting, production and administration. A number of our graduates have gone on to further study in film and associated areas. This degree also offers opportunities in the many general areas open to arts graduates, such as administration, teaching, civil and public service.

Your degree and what you’ll study

This course will examine film styles and movements from cinema’s beginnings at the end of the 19th century right up to the present day.


In the first and second years, you will be introduced to film theory and criticism, digital media, and to a very broad range of American, European and world cinemas. In addition, you will be introduced to screenwriting and digital video production. There are six hours of classes and six hours of screenings per week.


In third and fourth year, students choose from a wide range of optional modules. Topics may include national cinemas, transnational cinemas, classical and contemporary Hollywood cinema, genre studies, Gothic cinema, theories of digital cinema, 21st century television, documentary theory and practice, Avant-Garde, Experimental, and Cult Cinema, film style and performance, and editing.

In addition, students can take advanced modules in scriptwriting and digital video production, building on the knowledge acquired in second year. Completed student films are available for viewing on our website. 

Sophister Students may also have the option to choose modules offered by the Drama and Music departments.

Junior Sophister (third year) students may elect to take a Broad Curriculum course. The Broad Curriculum modules are designed to offer students the opportunity to study outside their principal discipline.


In the first two years Film Studies may be assessed by a combination of essay, assignment, class participation and presentation, while third and fourth years may be assessed by a combination of essay, assignment, project, class participation and presentation as well as a dissertation in the final year.

Study abroad

The department of Film Studies has exchanges with the Freie Universität in Berlin and the Sorbonne Nouvelle in Paris. Students may also go abroad on arrangements organised by their other TSM subject areas, or to non-EU countries. Students may go for one semester or a full academic year, and may go in second or third years.



Tel: +353 1 896 2617

Social Media:
School of Drama, Film and Music on Twitter - @DFM_TCD

What our graduates say

Matthew McInerney-Lacombe (TSM Film Studies graduate 2008)

Matthew is a screenwriter based in Los Angeles. After graduating from Trinity, Matthew went on to graduate from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts with an MA in Dramatic Writing, and was honored with the 2015 Outstanding Writing for the Screen, Graduate award. Matthew sold his first screenplay to Fox Studios, Spring Offensive, which was listed on the 2015 Blacklist.

“There is so much to say about my time as a Film Studies student at Trinity, but I think the most important thing is just how much I enjoyed it. The movies I watched in class and the ways I was made to examine them developed who I am both as a film fan, and as a screenwriter. The films I was exposed to changed my tastes, while the sensitivity of the teaching allowed me to interrogate not just why I liked them, but also what they were saying, and how they functioned as pieces of art. In Film Studies, being surrounded by both my classmates’ and teachers’ love of film, the impossibility of making a life in film became possible. I think when you study something you love a BA goes from being a requirement for gainful employment, to a really transformative experience.”

What our current students say

Daniel McFarlane, 3rd year, TSM Film Studies.

“Film Studies at Trinity provides an in depth and broad curriculum. We receive lectures in both the academic and practical aspects of film. One of the greatest things about Film Studies is how small the class sizes are, this means many tutors and lectures have the time to meet your needs and provide guidance on a one on one basis. With the demands of college lecturing, not many other universities provide such an helpful thing.”

Course Options



Number of Places


CAO code (Central Applications Office code) is

This is a Two-Subject Moderatorship (TSM) course please read TSM


Film studies must be combined with one other TSM sub-ject. An honours degree is awarded in both subjects.

For subjects that combine with Film Studies see TSM: possible combinations

Admission Requirements

For general admission requirements please click here


Click on the links below to see the available options

+ EU Applicants

Read the information about how to apply, then apply directly to CAO

+ Non-EU Applicants

+ Mature Student – Supplementary Application Form

+ Advanced Entry Applications

CAO code (Central Applications Office code) is

This is a Two-Subject Moderatorship (TSM) course please read TSM


Film studies must be combined with one other TSM sub-ject. An honours degree is awarded in both subjects.

For subjects that combine with Film Studies see TSM: possible combinations