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Film Studies (TSM)

  • Course Type: Undergraduate
  • CAO Course Code: TR001 (TSM)
  • No. of Places: 30
  • Min Entry Points for 2014: 455* – 535 points (Points per TSM combination)
  • Duration: 4 Year(s) Full Time
  • Award: B.A.
  • Course Options:

    Film studies cannot be studied as a single honor course. It must be combined with one other subject within the two-subject moderatorship (TSM) programme. TSM is a joint honor programme. An honors degree is awarded in both subjects.

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

  • How to apply: See how to apply

Admission Requirements

For 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


Since 2003 Trinity has pioneered the Republic of Ireland's first specialist undergraduate Film studies course leading to an honors degree. The four years of the course allow students to sample a wide range of film movements and film styles and to gain some experience of practical filmmaking. Through lectures, class discussions and practical courses, students will gain a wide knowledge of film as art, as industry, and as creative practice with film-making and screenwriting core second year subjects, and options during years three and four. The staff in the Department of Film Studies combine academic expertise in their fields with extensive publishing of their research.

Is this the right course for you?

If you enjoy watching a wide range of films and if you are interested in acquiring the critical tools to analyse them in relation to questions of style, technology, society, and industry, then this is the course for you. This course will examine film styles and movements from cinema's beginnings in 1895 right up to the present day. While you will learn about practical issues involved in film production, including how to write a script and how to produce short videos, this course is primarily academic and geared toward critical engagement with film.

Course content

Film studies covers the history and critical framework of film production and consumption from the 1890s to the present day. In the Freshman (first two) years, you will be introduced to film theory and criticism and to a very broad range of American, European and world cinemas. In addition, you will be given an introduction to digital video production. In the Sophister (final two) years, students choose from a wide range of options. Topics may include various national cinemas, transnational cinemas, classical and contemporary Hollywood cinema, genre studies, documentary theory and practice, avant-garde, experimental, and cult cinema, film theory and criticism, cinema and censorship, and editing. In addition, Sophister students can take option modules in scriptwriting and digital video production, building on the knowledge acquired in second year.

The Freshman years

Courses taught during the Junior and Senior Freshman (first two) years may include:

  • Film theory and criticism

These modules begin by studying the evolution of film as a visual language with its own specific codes and conventions. In the second-year students will build upon the issues raised by Film theory and criticism 1 and further strengthen their engagement with the subject by examining the various approaches to reading, understanding and evaluating films that have developed over the course of film history.

  • American cinema from the 1890s to the 1960s

The first module introduces aspects of American cinema in the silent and early sound era by considering classical narrative structures, important industrial developments and key generic texts. The second module, covering the 1930s to the 1950s introduces the student to influential examples of film criticism that American films from this period have generated. Film genres examined may include the Western, the melodrama, the musical, the gangster film and science fiction films of the 1950s.

  • European, Irish and world cinemas

These modules serve as an introduction to a variety of national cinemas from around the world. They will examine the relationship between nations and the cinemas that they produce, or through which their national identities, societies and cultures are projected. In their second year of the degree, students will be given the opportunity for a more detailed consideration of some of the issues raised.

  • Introduction to screenwriting and digital video production

These modules introduce students to the basics of film production. There are six hours of classes and six hours of screenings per week.

The Sophister years

In the final two years of the degree course students can choose from the wide range of optional modules available to them. Topics covered may include aspects of Hollywood cinema, avant-garde and experimental cinema, documentary film, European cinemas, film music, world cinemas, genre studies, gender and film, film theory and criticism, film style and performance, digital filmmaking, editing and other aspects of film practice. In their final year, film students come together with students from Drama and Music in an optional module to make short films involving all disciplines. Completed student films are available for viewing on our website.


In the first two years Film studies may be assessed by a combination of essay, examination, project and class presentations, while Sophister years may be assessed by a combination of essay, assignment, class participation, and/or oral presentation, as well as a dissertation in the final year.

Filmmaker-in-residence, Lenny Abrahamson, on the set of Garage. The Department of Film Studies will hold workshops with Lenny Abrahamson during the year.

Career opportunities

A degree in Film studies offers career opportunities in many areas such as the film industry; television; journalism; digital media; film reviewing and criticism; arts administration; advertising; marketing. Recent graduates of Film studies at TCD 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, etc.

Further information Tel: +353 1 896 2617 E-mail:

Graduate Profile

Neasa Hardiman Writer Director for film and television

Neasa Hardiman is an award-winning film and television Writer-Director. Her work has screened throughout the world and has won a BAFTA, two RTS awards and several other international prizes. Most recently she was nominated for a second BAFTA as well as winning the Best First Feature screenplay prize at the London Film Awards. Neasa acts as Advisor to the Media ScriptEast initiative, fostering the best in European film. She holds a Masters in Aesthetics and Politics and a second, scholarship-based Masters in Visual Communication from the Universität der Künste Berlin. She is currently completing her PhD in Film at Trinity.

“I chose to study film at Trinity because of its reputation for excellence. The students and professors at the University have a history of robust engagement with ideas, and the library and academic facilities are unsurpassed. My studies at Trinity gave me the opportunity to broaden and develop my cinematic frame of reference, as well as equipping me with the ability to articulate and defend my creative ideas. Delivering my ideas from the podium at international conferences helped me to hone my thinking, as well as offering me unparalleled opportunities to discuss and develop my work with scholars from all over the world.

Outside the formal curriculum, organisations like Trinity Players and the Film Society offer great opportunities to experiment to a high standard in drama, film and music. The many friends I made in this way at Trinity continue to inspire me through formal and informal collaborations.

My studies at Trinity gave me the opportunity to explore, experiment and exceed my previous limits. Through my time here, I learned to develop a robust creative vocabulary.

My Trinity experience honed my ability to develop and defend my own ideas, and kick-started my successful career in film and television.”