M.A. Global Cinemas and the Transcultural

SOAS, University of London

Application deadline: June 30
Tuition fee:
  • € 7,900 / Year (EEA)
  • € 17,240 / Year (Non-EEA)
Start date: September  2015
Duration full-time: 12 months
  • English
Delivery mode: On Campus
Educational variant: Part-time, Full-time

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The MA in Global Cinemas and the Transcultural offers students the unique opportunity to study in-depth regional cinemas outside the now standard research topographies, both geographical and theoretical, of mainstream cinema studies, so opening up avenues for advanced research in areas and methodologies as yet untapped. Alternatively, it provides an avenue of study for those simply wishing to obtain a post-graduate qualification in Cinema Studies without being confined to a European- and/or American-centric world-view.

The degree is designed around a compulsory core course, Cinema, Nation and the Transcultural, that simultaneously challenges existing critical paradigms defining 'national cinema' in the simplistic terms of geographical zones of production and reception, while offering alternative methodological approaches to the study of cinema within the local/global, inter-cultural contexts of the post-modern world.

The elective elements of the degree allow students the opportunity to specialize in one or more of the many regional cinemas on offer in the School: Japanese, Chinese (mainland, Hong Kong & Taiwanese), mainland and maritime South East Asian, Indian, Iranian, Middle Eastern and African). It also enables students to combine specialist film studies knowledge with a minor course in an Asian or African language or to advance their social and cultural knowledge of a given region through an ethnographic course. Alternatively, through our links with Birkbeck College, students may choose from a selection of elective courses to further develop cross-cultural perspectives in an east/west framework.


Each student takes 4 units in total: the Compulsory Course (1 unit), the Dissertation (1 unit), one unit from list 3 and one further unit of options of their choice. In choosing their courses, MA students are advised to pay careful attention to the balance of coursework across the two terms. In particular it is important to ensure that each term you have three taught courses.

However much you might wish to take a mixture of courses that requires more coursework in one term than the other, it is most unwise to attempt to take four courses in one term and two in the other. Experience has shown that students simply cannot manage the load during the heavy term with the result that they either do very badly, fail or are unable to complete the courses in question. As a result Directors of Studies for the degrees and the Faculty staff will not approve a selection of courses which results in an imbalanced workload.

1. Compulsory Core Course

* Cinema, Nation and the Transcultural - 15PMSC001 (1 Unit) - Full Year

2. Dissertation in Global Cinemas and the Transcultural

* Dissertation in Global Cinemas - I5PMSC998 (1.0 Unit)

3. Compulsory courses in Cinemas of Asia and Africa

Each student is also required to take at least ONE course (comprising either one whole course or two half courses) in Cinemas of Asia and Africa from section two below.

* Approaches to the Other in Horror and Science Fiction Films - 15PANH043 (0.5 Unit) - Term 1
* Arab Cinemas - 15PMSH013 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2
* Aspects of African film and video 1 - 15PAFH006 (0.5 Unit) - Term 1
* Aspects of African film and video 2 - 15PAFH007 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2 - Not Running 2012/2013
* Film and Society in the Middle East - 15PNMC230 (1 Unit) - Full Year - Not Running 2012/2013
* Genders and Sexualities in South East Asian Film - 15PSEH011 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2 - Not Running 2012/2013
* Indian Cinema: Its History and Social Context - 15PSAH001 (0.5 Unit) - Term 1 - Not Running 2012/2013
* Indian Cinema: Key Issues - 15PSAH002 (0.5 Unit) - Term 1 - Not Running 2012/2013
* Iranian Cinema - 15PMSH010 (0.5 Unit) - Term 1
* Issues in the Anthropology of Film - 15PANH022 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2
* Japanese Post-War Film Genres and the Avant-Garde - 15PMSH001 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2
* Japanese Transnational Cinema: From Kurosawa to Asia Extreme and Studio Ghibli - 15PMSH017 (0.5 Unit) - Term 1
* Modern Chinese Film and Theatre (MA) - 15PCHH001 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2
* Modern Film from Taiwan and the Chinese Diaspora - 15PCHH002 (0.5 Unit) - Term 1
* (Post) Colonialism and Otherness in South East Asia on Screen - 15PSEH010 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2
* Post-crisis Thai Cinema (1997-2007) - 15PSEH008 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2 - Not Running 2012/2013

4. Optional Courses:

Students may take up to one full course or equivalent from the following list:

Other Courses on Media

* Emerging digital cultures in Asia and Africa - Theory and Practice - 15PMSH018 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2
* Japanese Television since 1953 - 15PJKC006 (1 Unit) - Full Year
* Rethinking Audiences - 15PMSH011 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2
* Studies in Global Media and Post-National Communication - 15PMSH007 (0.5 Unit) - Term 1
* Theoretical Issues in Media and Cultural Studies - 15PMSH005 (0.5 Unit) - Term 1

Courses in Social Anthropology

* Culture and Society of China - 15PANC089 (1 Unit) - Full Year
* Culture and Society of East Africa - 15PANC084 (1 Unit) - Full Year
* Culture and Society of Japan - 15PANC086 (1 Unit) - Full Year
* Culture and Society of South Asia - 15PANC087 (1 Unit) - Full Year
* Culture and Society of South East Asia - 15PANC088 (1 Unit) - Full Year
* Culture and Society of the Near & Middle East - 15PANC097 (1 Unit) - Full Year
* Culture and Society of West Africa - 15PANC083 (1 Unit) - Full Year
* Media Production Skills - 15PANH050 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2

Courses in South Asian Studies

* Modern Bengal: the Evolution of Bengali Culture and Society from 1690 to the Present Day (MA) - 15PSAC289 (1 Unit) - Full Year - Not Running 2012/2013

Courses from the following MA programmes offered by affiliated colleges in the University of London

MA in the History of Film and Visual Media (Birkbeck College); MA Film Studies (Queen Mary); MA Screen Studies (Goldsmiths College); MA Contemporary Cinema Cultures (Kings College); MA Film Studies (UCL)


SOAS students may take up to one half unit (0.5) course from the list below.


European Cinema (Term 1);Avant-garde Film, Video and Beyond (Term 1);TV Practice (Term 1);British Film and Television 1960-65 (Term1);Film Festivals (Term 2);Contemporary American Cinema (Term 2);Exploring the Language of Image and Sound (Term 2);Quality Global Television (Term 2).


Representing Reality (Term 1);Strategies in World Cinema (Term 1);Screen Cultures (Term 2);Cinema & Society (Term 2);Narrative in Practice (Term 2).

Kings College

Film Theory & the Cinema Experience (Term 1);Thinking Cinema (Term 1);Contemporary French Cinema (Term1);American Underground & the Avant Garde (Term 1);Exploitation Cinema (Term 2);London Film Cultures (Term 2);Popular European Cinema (Term 2);Cinema and the City (Term 2);Media Aesthetics (Term 2).


Nordic cinema (Term1);Weimar Nazi Film (Term 1);The French New Wave (Term1);Crime Scenes (Term 2);Theories and Practices of Film (Term 2);How to Make a documentary (Term 2);Art and Moving Image (Term2).

Language course (subject to availability)

One Language Acquisition course taught at SOAS (list available from the Faculty of Languages and Cultures)


Applicants should have a first or good second class honours bachelors degree from a UK university, or equivalent, in a subject appropriate to that of the programme to be followed. As an approximate comparison, an equivalent BA from a US university would have a Grade Point Average of either 3.3 or 3.5 depending on the awarding university. If an applicant does not have a bachelors degree in an appropriate field s/he may be required to complete a qualifying year or a one year diploma before entering the masters programme. Relevant work experience may also be taken into consideration. Individual courses may have specific entry requirements, so you are advised to consult the postgraduate prospectus for further information.

English language requirements
In order to ensure that SOAS students have a sufficient standard of English to study effectively, we require overseas students to submit evidence, during the application process, of their current level of proficiency.

Score for Unconditional Entry

* IELTS: Overall 7+ with at least 7 in all sub scores
* TOEFL: iBT105+ with at least 25 in all sub scores
* Pearson Test of English - Academic: Score of 75 or above with at least 70 in all sub scores

English Language Requirements

IELTS band: 7
TOEFL iBT® test: 105

IMPORTANT NOTE: Per 6 April 2015 only the English language tests from IELTS and Trinity College London are accepted for Tier 4 Visa applications to the United Kingdom. Other tests (including TOEFL, TOEIC, Pearson, City & Guilds) are no longer accepted for Tier 4 visa applications to the United Kingdom. The university might still accept these tests to admit you to the university, but if you require a Tier 4 visa to enter the UK and begin your degree programme, these tests will not be sufficient to obtain your Visa. Since the Trinity College London language tests must be taken in one of their exam centres in the UK, IELTS is now the only language test accepted for Tier 4 visas to the UK that can be taken worldwide.

The IELTS test is most widely accepted by universities and is also accepted for Tier 4 visas to the UK- learn more.

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