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 mediums.

Semester 1

The first semester focuses on various aspects of the study of film and photography through the two lecture series Media, Art and Theory and Topical Debates on Photography in Historical Perspective. You will also choose an elective, either Curating Film and Video or the Editorial and Curatorial Training Programme. The aim of these courses is to provide you with insights into the various practices surrounding film and photography, whether these be academic or professional.

Semester 2

The second semester focuses on current debates in the field of cinema, through the lecture series Contemporary Theories of Film, and 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 or documentary film-maker may submit a visual thesis as their final project.

During the programme you will be able to focus on the following areas of study.

  • Interdisciplinary 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 among photography, film and video, and other visual art practices;
  • The relationship between film, photography, video and other media arts to dominant media practices, such as television or Hollywood cinema;
  • Media archaeology;
  • The presentation forms of photography, film and video (exhibitions, internet, publications, reviews, etc.);
  • Photography, film and video as research practice;
  • Strategies in the field of collecting, conservation and arts administration;
  • Recent developments such as digital photography and new media.
  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials
  • Self-study
  • Discussions
  • Excursions
  • Internship options
  • Thesis
  • Exams
  • Peer feedback and assessment
  • Essays, reports and final thesis
  • Oral presentations

Detailed programme

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.

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 aesthetics judgements as much as their socio-political agendas.”

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