BA in Film Studies: Online and Campus-Based Programs

Learn about bachelor's programs focused on film studies and the classes typically offered in them. Find out about online and on-campus programs as well as career options. Schools offering Film degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Does A Bachelor of Arts Degree Program in Film Studies Entail?

As a student in an online or campus-based B.A. degree program, you'll become educated in the creative, visual and critical elements of film. You'll learn how to identify, create and analyze these elements in film genres, such as drama, science fiction, documentary and animation. You'll also gain a foundational understanding of the importance of film in society. A mix of applied and theoretical coursework will teach you how film and culture have influenced one another in the past, and how they continue to do so as each evolves.

B.A. programs in film studies generally place great emphasis on the aesthetic, cultural and historic elements of cinema. While most such programs include at least basic courses in film production, technical production courses are generally not a prominent part of B.A. curricula. If you're interested in the technical side of film, you can either apply to an undergraduate film production program or, in some cases, declare a production minor to complement your film studies B.A.

Areas of Study Creative, visual, and critical elements in film genres; the importance of film in society; relationship between film and culture
Common CoursesCultural diversity in cinema, film critique and analysis, digital media arts, screenwriting, cinema and social change
Online Availability Fully online programs are available but limited
Career OptionsDirector, marketer, screenwriter, producer, editor

What Kinds of Classes Will I Take?

Required courses in film studies generally focus more on the artistic side of cinema. This includes pre-production elements like story, character development, scriptwriting and direction. Most courses in these areas will generally provide you with both historical and contemporary information, as well as highlighting popular theories and techniques for each concept.

Film studies B.A. programs also emphasize the cultural aspects of film, with required courses often covering the contributions made to the genre by specific countries or demographic groups. In order to provide students with an applied understanding of the theoretical concepts discussed in courses, an internship or final project in film studies may be required. Course topics commonly covered may include the following:

  • Cultural diversity in cinema
  • Theories and techniques of filmmaking
  • Film critique and analysis
  • Project marketing and management
  • Digital media arts
  • Screenwriting
  • Cinema and social change

How Do Online Programs Work?

In an online program, your courses would typically be transmitted through interactive teaching and learning systems like Blackboard Vista or WebCT. These course platforms allow you to register for courses, view and access lectures, submit assignments, take exams and communicate with teachers or fellow students. All you'll need is an Internet-connected computer and some additional software, like a word processing program and media player to view required video and movie segments.

Online B.A. programs in film studies are available, albeit on a somewhat limited basis. Earning your B.A. in an online format will result in the same education and degree you'd receive from a campus-based program.

What Can I Do With a Film Studies Degree?

After earning your B.A., you might find work in the film industry. You could oversee the overall creative development of a film or specialize in a specific creative element, such as characters, sets, storylines or scripts. You might get involved in film directing, marketing or editing; with strong writing skills, you could review films for a magazine or newspaper. However, it's important to remember that you may need to start in an assistant or entry-level position and advance as you gain experience.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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