Academic analysis of cinema began internationally as early as the 1960s and was most often associated with English literature departments. In India, however, a scholarly attention to cinema began in the early eighties but SCCE’s MA Film Studies Programme is among the very few of its kind in the country. Cinema in India has had, of course, a long history – of indigenous production and consumption of films from around the world. Indian mainstream cinema is known for specific narrative features (song and dance sequences, melodramatic appeal) and its place in the socio-cultural life of India as well as its transnational movement and popularity. Slowly but steadily, over the last twenty years there has been an intensification of the study of Indian cinema and cinematic cultures in India.
SCCE’s MA Film Studies Programme builds upon this tradition while not losing sight of the several layered histories of cinema as a global art form. It focuses on the task of studying cinema in India in all its varieties in a global comparativist mode without subscribing to any pre-set hierarchy of aesthetic merit and artistic excellence. While keeping this focus intact, it does not preclude the study of other national cinemas or cinema and culture industries. The programme seeks to bridge the gap between a philosophical understanding of film as an art form and the cultural studies understanding of its role as mass media by drawing on the rich theoretical legacies of Benjamin, Kracauer, Deleuze, among others. Particular attention is paid to the multi-sited production and consumption of film in India so as to promote an understanding of the pluralisation of film culture in India. The programme is invested in fostering historical, anthropological and textual analysis of cinema paying close attention to its embedded nature in social and political history. Simultaneously, the programme also encourages an engagement of cinema in an intermedial frame, allowing cinema to become a way of entering questions of TV, radio, video and digital cultures.
While focusing upon a historical and theoretical understanding of film, the programme also tries to promote film-making practice through courses and workshops as necessary. In order to facilitate research and writing skills, the programme runs regular academic writing workshops for students.
The programme’s duration is a two year divided into four semesters. A semester is sixteen weeks long. A course meeting for a minimum of four hours a week for the duration of a semester enables students to earn 4 credits. Students should register for a minimum of 16 credits each term and need to earn 64 credits to complete the programme successfully. All the students of SCCE need to take three common Foundational Courses, one each in the first three semesters, for 12 credits in total. They should also take four Elective Courses offered by the School or any other School in the University, one each in all the four semesters, for 16 credits in total. They need to take seven compulsory Core Courses from their respective discipline (in this case Film Studies) for 28 credits in total. Their MA dissertation in the final semester will earn them 8 credits. They may register for more credits on payment of extra fees.
M.A. Film Studies (64 credits)
|Semester I||Semester 2||Semester 3||Semester 4|
Evolution of Cinema as Art I (4 credits)
Facets of Indian Cinema (4 credits)
Cinema in India: Nation and Region (4 credits)
Stardom, Industry, Commerce (4 credits)
Sequence and Script Analysis (4 credits)
|Evolution of Cinema as Art II (4 Credits)|
Introduction to Film Theory (4 credits)
Basics of Visual and Sound Images (4 credits)**
Basics of Film-Making (4 credits)
Sound and Music in Cinema (4 credits)
Media Objects/Media Theory (4 credits)
Contemporary Critical Theory – I Critical Theory (4 credits)
Contemporary Critical Theory – II Cultural Studies (4 credits)
Contemporary Critical Theory – III Theories of Marginality (4 credits)
Dissertation (8 credits)
**Electives also offered by Film Studies faculty:
Does the programme teach us how to make films?
No, this programme does not teach filmmaking. It has a few courses, offered as electives, and conducts workshops around the year that teach filmmaking practice. The programme’s main purpose however is a critical reflection on films. It trains students to read and write, academically, about film and media.
What are the career paths that emerge after an MA Film Studies?
The MA Film Studies Programme is designed to enable students to critically engage with cinema as film narrative and as an entry into broader questions of film, media (old/new) and culture. The programme designs itself in a way to allow students a strong backing to become researchers and/or academics in film and related fields. It also enables students to demonstrate their awareness of the intricacies of the art to secure placements in the television and entertainment industry, various sites of film-making, publishing/editing focused on art-related terrain, or work as a film journalist or critic in the press/media. The course also forms a strong foundation to allow students to enter film curation and preservation.
How do I apply?
Online applications open usually between April to June each year. Please check the university website regularly around this time of the year. There is an entrance test and an interview.
How do I prepare for the MA Film Studies entrance test?
The test consists of three parts: objective, multiple-choice style questions which test your familiarity with some film terms, trivia and an awareness of film genre. The second part consists of short and long answer questions. Lastly, there are audio-visual based questions which require you to view clips that are screened and answer questions based on that.
What should I get along with me for the interview?
Basic admission documents (admit card and identity card)