5 Courses in a Film Studies Program

Key Takeaways:

  • Introduction courses offer foundational knowledge, helping students decide if film studies is their passion.
  • History and analysis courses deepen understanding of film’s evolution and critical aspects, essential for industry insights.
  • Technical and genre-specific courses enhance practical skills and explore film types, preparing students for diverse film careers.

Courses in film studies are truly fascinating. These classes teach students all aspects of what goes into making films and prepares them for going into the film industry themselves. These are five of the most common types of courses taught in film studies degree programs.

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1. Introduction to Film Studies

Most film programs start with an introductory course on film studies. The purpose of these courses is to give students an introduction to film and a taste for how the rest of the program is going to go. Students frequently take these classes to see if film studies might be of interest to them and if they have a good time in these classes they will typically go on to take other film studies classes. The basic information students learn in an intro class equips them to move on in their studies.

2. History of Film

History of film classes are sometimes broken up into eras, such as classical and modern films. Film history is important for students to understand so they know how film has developed over its relatively short history and where it might be going in the future. Pupils need to know the directors and other professionals who have come before and contributed their creative ideas to the film industry. Once students understand this, they can push the boundaries and continue to evolve the medium of film into the future.

3. Film Analysis and Criticism

A huge aspect of a film career is being able to analyze film and understand film criticism. It is important for students to be able to analyze existing films to both gain inspiration and see what works and what doesn’t in both filmmaking and storytelling. Some film students will likely go on to be film critics in some regard so it is critical they receive education of this nature. Students who go on to make movies need to understand and be able to take criticism of their films so they can improve and not get discouraged.

4. Film Techniques

The technical aspects of film and the techniques that go into filmmaking are also heavily taught in film school. Often, individual classes are dedicated to certain technical aspects of film such as sound, special effects, art design and more. Technical courses teach the differences of various film techniques and when they are especially useful, such as long shots, tracking shots, Dutch angles and other methods filmmakers have at their disposal to bring movies to life. Empire Magazine outlines these various camera angles and techniques. Editing techniques are also taught, such as cutaways, dissolves and wipes.

5. Film Genres

Many courses in film studies programs focus on a specific genre or type of film. For example, courses in American film are common, as are Chinese, French, German and Japanese film. Courses dedicated to certain film genres, such as science fiction, horror, animation, and comedy are also common electives within a film studies program. Most students have a particular interest in a certain type of film. These courses are taught to give students a more in-depth look at the types of things that make various genres of film unique and special.


Different Types of Animation

A good education on the subject is a solid foundation for launching a career in film. This is why it’s important for students to know what courses they will be taking once enrolled in a program. Students can expect to encounter these courses in film studies during their time in a college-level film studies program.