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Study film abroad

An in-depth guide to studying film as an international student.

Film degrees abroad

For international students, film degrees can provide insight into the world’s most successful visual industries. Whether you’re interested in studying film for the practical area of production, or the analytical side of film criticism, film qualifications are available across the globe in universities, colleges, and even specialist film schools.

Film program structure

Wherever you decide to study film abroad, you will have a selection of film modules to choose from, which defines your focus on the subject. Film studies modules require many different methods of assessment and ways of learning, including film screenings, lectures, dissertations, seminars, filming, and editing.

You may be required to watch many films in your spare time, which may sound easy but can take up hours of your free time. There will also be many opportunities at university to get involved with film societies, or student media groups to use your skills and knowledge.

Depending on the country you study in, a typical bachelor’s degree in film will take between three and four years, and a master’s degree will take one to two years to complete.

The program curriculum of a film degree would be split into years of study with each year having some compulsory modules, in addition to optional modules to choose from; they would typically focus on the following areas:

  • Sound and composition
  • Filming and editing
  • Culture and identity
  • Foreign language cinema
  • Genres of cinema
  • Film criticism

Why study film abroad

Studying film requires at least an interest in film, but it may be a particular career path that brings you to study it.

Choosing to study film abroad means you'll have a wide range of programs to choose from, and you could study in a country famous for cinema, or a specific style of film you are passionate about.

It will also give you a unique perspective on how another culture approaches film making that could help you stand out in a competitive market.

Where to study film abroad

Where you study film depends on a few factors and reasons why you are choosing to study it.

Most places in the world have educated notable directors, producers, and filmmakers, so you shouldn’t entirely rule out studying anywhere just because it isn’t known for film.

In all cases it is important to look at the exact details of a university or school’s programs in film to check what you’re interested in is covered.

Best countries to study film

There are many countries and areas with large film industries, making them some of the best countries to study film in. These include:

  • USA
  • UK
  • India
  • China
  • Japan
  • Germany
  • France
  • Spain

Countries with large film industries can be good options for studying get practical experience through work experience, or even stay on in the country to look for work following completion of your degree.

Best universities to study film

There may be a particular director whose films you love, or a particular film academic whose work you admire. In both cases there will be specific universities that focus on relevant areas to these interests.

The university or film school you decide to apply to will also depend on how practical you want your studies to be. Traditional universities may focus on film in an academic sense, and not the process of making films, as a dedicated film school would.

See all universities offering film programs

How to study film abroad

  1. University & program search

    Find the right program for you and your career aspirations
  2. Application guidance

    We'll get you to the right place to start your application
  3. Visa & travel advice

    Get help after application, all the way to your first day at university

Our team of advisors is ready to support you at every step of your study abroad journey.
Our services are 100% free for students like you because we're funded by universities.

Film study abroad programs

Film courses at all qualification levels are available across the world to international students. The country, language, and specific university you study in will affect the content of the program, including the types of films focused on and the methods of making them.

At bachelor’s level a film degree would typically sit under a Bachelor of Arts (BA) award, or within a bachelor’s in liberal arts as a major or minor. Master’s degrees in film can be either taught or research.

A doctorate or PhD program in film is likely to be research intensive, with a focus on a very specific aspect of cinema.

Film undergraduate programs

Bachelor's in film

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    3D Animation and Visual Effects - BA (Hons) University of Chichester, UK

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    3 years
    Annual tuition fee
    18,585 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 13,500 GBP

    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about 3D Animation and Visual Effects
  • false

    Acting for Theatre, Film & Television - BFA Long Island University Brooklyn, USA

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Annual tuition fee
    35,736 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 35,736 USD

    Start date
    January, September
    Show program overview about Acting for Theatre, Film & Television
  • false

    Performing Arts: Film TV and Stage - BA (Hons) Buckinghamshire New University, UK

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    3 years
    Annual tuition fee
    17,208 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 12,500 GBP

    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about Performing Arts: Film TV and Stage
  • false

    American Studies & Film Studies - BA York St John University, UK

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    3 years
    Annual tuition fee
    17,552 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 12,750 GBP

    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about American Studies & Film Studies
  • false

    Animation & Visual Effects - BA (Hons) Falmouth University, UK

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    3 years
    Annual tuition fee
    20,650 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 15,000 GBP

    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about Animation & Visual Effects
See all bachelor's degrees in film

Associate in film

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    Film, Television and Electronic Media (for Transfer) - ASc Berkeley City College, USA

    Program type
    Associate
    Duration
    2 years
    Annual tuition fee
    7,950 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 7,950 USD

    Start date
    August, January, June
    Show program overview about Film, Television and Electronic Media (for Transfer)
  • false

    Filmmaking - AA College of the Canyons, USA

    Program type
    Associate
    Duration
    2 years
    Annual tuition fee
    10,000 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 10,000 USD

    Start date
    August, February, June
    Show program overview about Filmmaking
See all associate degrees in film

Diploma in film

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    Acting for Film and Television - UGDip Humber College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning, Canada

    Program type
    Undergraduate diploma
    Duration
    2 years
    Annual tuition fee
    12,265 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 15,412 CAD

    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about Acting for Film and Television
  • false

    Broadcasting - Radio, Television, Film & Digital Media - OCADip Centennial College, Canada

    Program type
    Undergraduate diploma
    Duration
    3 years
    Annual tuition fee
    13,155 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 16,531 CAD

    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about Broadcasting - Radio, Television, Film & Digital Media
  • false

    Film Production - PBcDip University of Regina, Canada

    Program type
    Undergraduate diploma
    Duration
    2 years
    Annual tuition fee
    14,324 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 18,000 CAD

    Start date
    September, January, May
    Show program overview about Film Production
See all undergraduate diplomas in film

Certificate in film

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    Film & Video - Cert Full Sail University, USA

    Program type
    Undergraduate certificate
    Duration
    7 months
    Annual tuition fee
    10,500 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 10,500 USD

    Start date
    January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
    Show program overview about Film & Video
See all undergraduate certificates in film

Pathway in film

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    Filmmaking (Foundation) - FD Leeds Beckett University, UK

    Program type
    Undergraduate pathway
    Duration
    2 years
    Annual tuition fee
    15,006 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 10,900 GBP

    Start date
    January, September
    Show program overview about Filmmaking (Foundation)
  • false

    Media and Film Studies - International Year One - UGP University of Sussex, UK

    Program type
    Undergraduate pathway
    Duration
    1 year
    Annual tuition fee
    25,606 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 18,600 GBP

    Start date
    January, September
    Show program overview about Media and Film Studies - International Year One
See all undergraduate pathways in film

Film graduate programs

Master's in film

  • false

    Directing Film and Television - MA Bournemouth University, UK

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    1 year
    Annual tuition fee
    19,273 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 14,000 GBP

    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about Directing Film and Television
  • false

    Composing for Film, TV and Games - MA University of Chichester, UK

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    1 year
    Annual tuition fee
    19,204 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 13,950 GBP

    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about Composing for Film, TV and Games
  • false

    Contemporary Film Culture - MA University of the West of England - UWE Bristol, UK

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    1 year
    Annual tuition fee
    17,208 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 12,500 GBP

    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about Contemporary Film Culture
  • false

    Documentary Film Production - MA London Metropolitan University, UK

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    1 year
    Annual tuition fee
    18,241 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 13,250 GBP

    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about Documentary Film Production
  • false

    Film - MA Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    1 year
    Annual tuition fee
    15,823 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 22,670 NZD

    Start date
    January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
    Show program overview about Film
See all master's degrees in film

Doctorate in film

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    Film, Media and Communication - PhD University of Portsmouth, UK

    Program type
    Doctorate
    Duration
    3 years
    Annual tuition fee
    22,440 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 16,300 GBP

    Start date
    October, February
    Show program overview about Film, Media and Communication
See all doctorates in film

Diploma in film

  • false

    Broadcasting - Television and Film Production - OCDip Fanshawe College, Canada

    Program type
    Postgraduate diploma
    Duration
    14 months
    Annual tuition fee
    13,831 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 17,380 CAD

    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about Broadcasting - Television and Film Production
  • false

    Digital Visual Effects - OCDip Centennial College, Canada

    Program type
    Postgraduate diploma
    Duration
    2 years
    Annual tuition fee
    13,155 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 16,531 CAD

    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about Digital Visual Effects
  • false

    Fine Arts: Film - PGDipFineArts University of Canterbury, New Zealand

    Program type
    Postgraduate diploma
    Duration
    1 year
    Annual tuition fee
    25,476 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 36,500 NZD

    Start date
    January
    Show program overview about Fine Arts: Film
  • false

    Media, Film and Television - GradDipArts University of Auckland, New Zealand

    Program type
    Postgraduate diploma
    Duration
    1 year
    Annual tuition fee
    24,462 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 35,048 NZD

    Start date
    July, February
    Show program overview about Media, Film and Television
See all postgraduate diplomas in film

Certificate in film

  • false

    Visual Effects and Editing for Contemporary Media - OCGCert Fanshawe College, Canada

    Program type
    Postgraduate certificate
    Duration
    1 year
    Annual tuition fee
    13,831 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 17,380 CAD

    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about Visual Effects and Editing for Contemporary Media
  • false

    Visual Effects - PGCert Sheridan College, Canada

    Program type
    Postgraduate certificate
    Duration
    1 year
    Annual tuition fee
    20,708 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 26,022 CAD

    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about Visual Effects
  • false

    Television & Film - Business - PGCert Centennial College, Canada

    Program type
    Postgraduate certificate
    Duration
    1 year
    Annual tuition fee
    13,155 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 16,531 CAD

    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about Television & Film - Business
See all postgraduate certificates in film

Entry requirements to study film abroad

As it’s unlikely you would have studied film specifically at high school level, university’s and film schools won’t need a specific score for a film class for admission to a bachelor’s, but may want you to show you have experience with media and/or art.

At master’s and doctorate levels, the admission process may need you to prove you have sufficient practical or academic experience with cinema.

Studying film abroad will require an admission process that is set by the specific university for the exact program want to study. Every institution will want you to have passion and an interest in film, but you may also need to provide the university with the following:

  • Academic transcripts
  • An English language proficiency test (e.g. TOEFL or IELTS)
  • Proof of finances
  • References
  • CV
  • Personal statement

Future film careers

Film degrees have a wide range of careers associated with them, as well as transferable skills that are useful in other industries. You’ll have a good ability to analyse and organize following a film studies course.

Common film degree jobs include:

  • Journalist
  • Camera operator
  • Producer
  • Director
  • Broadcast engineer