Universiteit Leiden

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Film and Photographic Studies (MA)

About the programme

The Film and Photographic Studies programme will equip you with a broad and interdisciplinary knowledge of lens-based media.

Semester 1

The first semester focuses on various aspects of the study of film and photography through the two lecture series: Contemporary Theories of Film and Contemporary Theories of Photography. You will also choose an elective, either Curating Film and Video or Curating Photography and Multimedia Projects. The aim of these courses is to provide you with insights into the various theories and practices surrounding film and photography, and to get you acquainted with both academic and practical-professional debates on lens-based media.

Semester 2

The second semester focuses on theoretical discussions in the broader field of art and media studies through the lecture series Media, Art, Theory, in which the various meanings, forms and functions of the media apparatus during the twentieth and twenty-first century are explored.  This semester also comprises the writing of your thesis.

You will write this thesis under the guidance of a supervisor. Students who are actively engaged in work as a photographer, film-maker or visual artist may submit a visual thesis as their final project.

During the programme you will focus on the following areas of study:

  • Interdisciplinary research methods in the study of photography, film and video;
  • Aesthetic, social and political theories of photography, film and video;
  • Avant-garde, documentary, independent, and mainstream practices of photography, film and video
  • The interconnections between photography, film and video, and other visual art practices;
  • The relationship between film, photography, and video art and dominant popular media practices such as television or Hollywood cinema;
  • Media archaeology;
  • The presentation forms of photography, film and video (exhibitions, festivals, websites, publications, reviews, etc.);
  • Photography, film and video as research practice;
  • Strategies in the fields of curating and programming;
  • Recent developments of lens-based media technologies such as digitalisation and new multi-media constellations.

Ali Shobeiri

University Lecturer

Ali Shobeiri

“Being constantly exposed to moving/still images, ranging from YouTube videos and Facebook photos to feature films and official ID photographs, our generation has become ineluctably reliant on visual literacy. In this programme we do not only look at cinematic and photographic images, but also with and through them, aiming to recognise their aesthetic judgements as much as their socio-political agendas.”

Admission and Application

Do you want to find out if you are eligible for this Master's Programme?

Check the entry requirements

For a detailed programme, please check the Prospectus.

Please note that this guide applies to the current academic year, which means that the curriculum for next year may slightly differ.

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