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Film Studies (JH)

B.A. ; 4 years full-time ; 30 places ; CAO points: 467-499 (2018)

What is Film Studies?

Why do films affect us they way they do? Why did the introduction of sound change film forever? What do we mean by ‘independent cinema’?  What is a digital story world? These and many more are the questions that Film Studies asks students to consider in small-group lectures and seminars. In addition, over the course of your degree you’ll be encouraged to respond creatively to critical issues via projects, presentations, short films and video essays, as well as to develop your screenwriting skills to see if you have a fresh vision to share with 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 and to explore different forms of screenwriting. You will work in small groups to debate the topics that arise in lectures and seminars and to make short creative pieces. Classes are taught by experts in their field, notably Irish cinema, film theory and criticism, digital storytelling and screenwriting. While you will learn some basic practical issues involved in digital video production, including how to write scripts and how short videos are made, the course as a whole is geared toward critical engagement with film and digital media. 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 first and second year you will be introduced to film theory and criticism, digital media, and to a very broad range of American, European and non-western 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, non-western cinemas, genre studies, digital media and culture, documentary theory and practice, avant-garde, experimental, and cult cinema, film style and performance, film theory and criticism, and editing.

In addition, students can take modules in screenwriting and digital video production, building on the knowledge acquired in second year. 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, assignment, project, 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 Capstone research project in the final year.

Study Abroad

The department of Film Studies has exchanges with the Freie Universität in Berlin, Rennes 2, and the Sorbonne Nouvelle in Paris. Students may go for one semester or a full academic year, and may go in second or third year.

Matthew McInerney-Lacombe (Film Studies, Graduated 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 honoured 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.”

Course Options

Film Studies is studied as a Joint Honours subject with one of the following options:

*See language options and requirements

Course Details



CAO Points Required

467-499 (2018)

Number of Places


Minimum entry points required are 467-499 (2018)
More information on minimum entry points

Admission Requirements

For general admission requirements please click here

Get In Touch

Telephone Number

+353 1 896 2617