Major Overview

A film studies degree at AUP explores how the moving image shapes and reflects our contemporary world. As a student, you will be part of a major that is analytical, interdisciplinary and international in scope. Through your courses you will use film as a lens to study history, culture, politics, theory and aesthetics and our hands-on screenwriting and filmmaking classes give you the chance to put your understanding into action. With our combined approach, you will graduate as a ‘technically savvy’ liberal arts student, able to process and engage the contemporary world.



The educational goals for this major are as follows:

  • You should be able to analyse and differentiate filmic discourses on subjects in terms of narrative structure, cinematic techniques, and cultural contexts.
  • You should be able to trace the rise and development of contemporary cinema as an art form, industry and cultural product.
  • You should be able to distinguish individual styles and techniques of select directors and place the work in context with cinema history and aesthetics.
  • You should gain a basic understanding and ability to produce film language, either mastering of video production or the techniques of screenwriting.

Learning Environment

In an intimate, multicultural setting, you will be encouraged to think critically about the aesthetics and theories of film and will learn the basics of production, direction, writing, and editing, which will ensure your ability to manage small productions. Outside of the classroom, you will have many networking opportunities through our master classes, visits with directors and our trips to festivals and screenings. Additionally, Paris’s broad cinematic selection, as well as its unique resources, including La Cinémathèque, will perfectly complement your education.

Major Components
Build Your Degree

With every single one of our majors, you’ll find a carefully curated medley of core courses and electives, which will provide you with the tools you need to establish an unshakeable foundation in the principles and concepts fundamental to your growth within your disciplines of choice. Many majors also enable you to specialize further within the broader area of study.

Core Courses

Core Courses

We aim to help you develop a range of skills, capacities, and modes of inquiry that will be crucial for your future since employers and graduate schools are looking for the critical thinking and innovative problem-solving skills that are associated with a liberal arts education, including sophisticated writing abilities, willingness to pose difficult questions, and an understanding of the historical and cultural contexts surrounding a topic or decision.

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Each elective provides you with entry to a variety of subject areas which you can choose among to further focus your studies. With the help of your academic advisor, you’ll be able to tailor your major so that it most effectively prepares you for the next step in your academic and professional journey. The Film Studies major offers three main subject areas for your electives: 

  • Film Pragmatics and the Art of Directing
  • Film Genres and Topics
  • International Cinema.

See all Major Electives

Core Courses

The Film Studies core courses, which you must take as part of the major requirements, will provide you with the tools you’ll need to ground your present and future studies. Your introduction to the fundamentals of Filmmaking will help pave the way for your successful completion of other Film Studies courses.

FM1010 Modern Films & Their Meanings

How do contemporary films make meaning? How does cinematic language convey emotion and raise ideas? how do we, as contemporary spectators, relate to and make sense of the screen? This course, while centered on contemporary films, is an introduction to cinematic language, its techniques, and the social and cultural factors that have made it one of the most influential art forms of our time. Looking at international films from just the last 20 years, we will explore and discover the ways these films creatively explore ideas and look at the technological, economic and political forces that fuel their production. Together with readings and screenings, individual and group assignments will help students deepen their understanding of lectures, readings and films and develop new critical skills and aesthetic understanding.

CM1023 Intro To Media & Communication Studies

This course provides a survey of the media and its function in today’s society. It introduces students to the basic concepts and tools necessary to think critically about media institutions and practices. In addition to the analysis of diverse media texts, the course considers wider strategies and trends in marketing, distribution, audience formation and the consequences of globalization. By semester’s end, students will understand the basic structures of today’s media and be able to provide advanced analysis that weighs the social and political implications of its products.

FM1019 Principles Of Video Production

This course is designed to give you strong technical and conceptual skills in video production. Video and the moving image are everywhere in our world and a solid understanding of how they work will help you use them to pursue questions about the world around you. This course will prepare you for future video work in film, journalism, media and communications, studio art, and can be useful across many other disciplines on campus. You will learn to use the camera to raise questions and will work on several projects, each challenging you to explore new skills. Class time will be divided into lecture, screenings, in-class labs and critique. Outside class readings, shooting, editing and screenings will deepen your understanding.

FM2075 Intro To History Of Narrative Film I

Cinema always raises questions about its times -- the silent era from 1895-1930 is no exception. This course looks at silent cinema through a global lens, tracing a range of influences in the development of film language from early film experiments, the rise of narrative, the work of early film pioneers, German and Soviet film explorations of mise-en-scene and montage, consolidation of the film industry and challenges from avant-garde cinema. The films we screen from Europe and the US,along with key works from Latin American, African and Asian cinema, reflect at a time of social and political upheaval and dazzling cinematic invention.

FM2076 Intro To History Of Narrative Film II

Analyzes classical Hollywood style from the 1940s onwards, looking at the work of some of the masters of the American system including Welles, Wyler, and Hitchcock. Studies postwar Hollywood genres including: film noir, the musical, the comedy, the Western, the gangster film, and sci-fi films. Traces important directions of postwar European Art Cinema (in particular Italian Neo-Realism and the Italian and French New Waves) and offers a brief overview of ‘new' cinemas worldwide. Explores the important developments that have taken place in Hollywood from the 1960s through to the present covering topics such as: New Hollywood cinema, the auteur renaissance of the seventies and eighties, neo-noir in the nineties, the digital age, and contemporary cinema.

FM3027 Film Theory & Criticism

Examines film theory with two motives: how does it help us read individual films, and what does it tell us about this medium? Studies theorists such as Sergei Eisenstein, Andre Bazin, Robin Wood, Christian Metz, Joan Mellen, Laura Mulvey, and Gaylyn Studlar, in relation to certain seminal films - Potemkin, Citizen Kane, Vertigo, A bout de souffle, and Pulp Fiction.

FM3096 Junior Seminar

Involves a particularly focused look at an important aspect of film theory or history, a filmmaker, actor or actress, or a cinematic topic or genre. Subjects will vary according to the particular interest of the professor, with the course work aiming at developing methodical and critical skills of analysis.

FM4095 Senior Project

A Senior Project is an independent study representing a Major Capstone Project that needs to be registered using the Senior Project registration form. (Download: