Study options

cinema seats-film-dpc

The Cinema Studies programme offers students a major and minor for the BA and supervision in all postgraduate degrees.

Course options

Cinema Studies will introduce you to a rich diversity of film styles, movements and directors. You will also learn about important developments in film language, history and theory.

The degree contains a number of courses which you have to take in order to major in Cinema Studies, but also includes a selection of classes that are cross-coded with other programmes (EnglishChineseAotahi: School of Māori and Indigenous StudiesCultural StudiesEuropean Languages and Cultures). This means that you can take those courses as Cinema Studies papers. For this reason, Cinema Studies classes complement study in other Arts subjects.

Why study Cinema Studies?

All students with a love for the movies will find Cinema Studies an interesting academic subject. You don't have to be enrolled in a BA to take a Cinema Studies class. Cinema Studies classes will introduce you to a rich diversity of film styles, movements and directors. You will also learn about important developments in film language, history and theory. 

Planning a major in Cinema Studies

100-level courses provide an introduction to the field of Cinema Studies in an accessible and informative manner. The classes will appeal to students seeking a general interest course but will also lay the foundation for those who plan to major or minor in the subject. There are no special entry requirements although previous classes in Media Studies at high school may be helpful.

If you are planning to major or minor in the subject, you will need a minimum of 30 points of CINE at 100 level. We currently offer several 100-level courses. Check courses for detailed information about each class.

Plan your degree according to the following requirements:

100 level

Required: 30 points of 100 level Cinema Studies
Recommended: 45 points of 100 level Cinema Studies

200 level

Required: At least 45 points of 200 level Cinema Studies, 30 points of which must include 2 courses from CINE201-209

300 level

Required: At least 60 points of 300 level Cinema Studies (Not Including ARTS 395)

Students intending to complete the BA with a major in Cinema Studies must be credited with at least 135 points in Cinema Studies (not including ARTS395), which must include at least 105 points at 200 level or above. 

We recommend that you take the following courses:

CINE101 and CINE102 or CINE104, then CINE201, CINE202, or CINE203 (at least 45 points of 200-level CINE courses, 30 points of which must include two courses from CINE201-209), then CINE301, CINE302, or CINE303.

Further information about Regulations for the Degree of Bachelor of Arts (BA).

Minor in Cinema Studies

Students intending to complete the BA with a minor in Cinema Studies must be credited with at least 75 points in Cinema Studies (not including ARTS395), which must include at least 45 points at 200 level or above.

Recommended pathways for students minoring in Cinema Studies:

CINE101, CINE102, or CINE104; then CINE201, CINE202, or CINE203 (at least 45 points of 200-level CINE courses).

Our Honours courses are listed with those of English, but a Cinema Studies Honours year focuses on film topics and has specific prerequisites.

Cinema Studies Honours students study ENGL444, ENGL445 and ENGL480 (Research Essay) and one optional course. ENGL442 (Directed Reading and Writing) is frequently chosen as a fourth Honours course because it allows Cinema Studies students to work collaboratively on film-based projects. 

ENGL444: Women/Theory/Film

In this course Mary Wiles considers the changing place of women in film - as spectacle and cultural commodity, as spectators and consumers, but also as creators and theorists.

ENGL 445: The Essay Film

Taught by Alan Wright, this course focuses on a hybrid genre which troubles conventional distinctions between documentary and fiction, as the model for a new mode of critical practice. 

If you have questions or would just to discuss your options as a CINE postgrad student, contact us.

Alan Wright

Head of Department
Room 508B, Karl Popper Building
Internal Phone: 7291

Mary Wiles

Postgraduate Co-ordinator
Room 508a, Karl Popper Building
Internal Phone: 7296

Masters Scholarship recipients

Mathew Daniel 

Mat Daniel, recipient of a UC Masters Scholarship, completed an MA in Cinema Studies in 2016. His thesis, “Rethinking Generic Representations of History: The Place of Subjective Perspective in Terrence Malick’s Films,” examines the role of gender and genre in Badlands (1973), The Thin Red Line (1978), The New World (2005), and The Tree of Life (2011). Mat is currently working on his PhD thesis and is also a tutor in the Cinema Studies programme.

Luke Towart

Luke Towart, recipient of a UC Masters Scholarship, completed his Master’s Degree in Cinema Studies in 2014. His thesis, “John Cassavetes: At the Limit of Performance,” examines the director’s unique approach to performance in Shadows (1959), Faces (1968) and A Woman Under the Influence (1974).

See the guidelines for study towards a Master of Arts or contact Postgraduate Coordinator Mary Wiles for more information.

See UC's guidelines for more information about PhD study in the Arts or contact Postgraduate Coordinator Mary Wiles.

A number of scholarships are available to students of Cinema Studies.

See the Scholarships database for the full list of available scholarships.

Entry requirements

All students with a love of movies will find Cinema Studies interesting. There are no entry requirements at 100 and 200-level, although media studies at secondary school may be helpful. Courses in Cinema Studies complement study in other related Arts subjects.

More information

See the Course Information website for more details about studying Cinema Studies.

Explore the full list of courses offered in

Cinema Studies