Center for Film & Media Studies, University of Cape Town

Center for Film & Media Studies, University of Cape Town

What can I do with Film and Media?

Established in 2004, the Centre for Film and Media Studies at the University of Cape Town offers a range of courses that equip graduates with the theoretical knowledge and practical skills to embark on a career in the film and media industry. Many of our alumni have found entry level posts in the media, film, and television industries as well as in advertising, marketing, and education.

What is Film and Media?

The Centre for Film and Media Studies offers two majors as well as programmes in Film and Media Production.

The major in Film and TV Studies offers a thorough grounding in the history, theory, and analysis of Film and Television. We also encourage creativity through storyboarding and scriptwriting. The skills provided give students access to careers in academic teaching and scholarship, film journalism, film festival management, and film librarianship. A wide-ranging knowledge of Film and TV also effectively complements creative practice in screenwriting, production, and direction.

The major in Media and Writing weaves together theory and analysis of broadcast and print media with extensive creative practice. Students are trained in writing and editing for awide range of media: they may specialise in news reporting, investigative journalism, freelancing, sports journalism, advertising, documentary, writing for television (soaps and sitcoms), youth culture and the media, writing for magazines, feature journalism, and travel writing.

The six practically and creatively orientated production programmes cover film and television production; digital media and informatics; interactive media; print production; screenwriting; and broadcast journalism. All these courses provide students with basic skills and creative expertise appropriate to the medium, which will help them find internships or entry level posts in the industry. UCT has invested heavily in equipment and editing software, ensuring that students learn skills and procedures that will be directly relevant in their later careers.

While we offer as much opportunity for creativity, intellectual engagement, and practical training as we can, we also emphasise how much success in the “real world” depends on passion, commitment, perseverance, energy, and imagination on the part of the student. In choosing our production students, we take their passion and commitment seriously.

Undergraduate Studies

BA (with Major in) Film & Television Studies

Programme structure:

First SemesterSecond Semester
First year
FAM1001F Media and SocietyFAM1000S Analysing Film and TV
Second year
FAM2004F Introduction to the History of CinemaFAM2013S Television Drama: Theories and Genres
Third year
FAM3005F Film in Africa and South AfricaFAM3003S Advanced Film Studies

* Students majoring in Film and Television Studies cannot take this course as part of the major in Visual and Art History.


It is recommended that students take, in addition, HST3005S Film and History (see entry under Department of Historical Studies).

Prerequisites for this programme:

  • For FAM2004F: FAM1000S and FAM1001F, or at the discretion of the Head of Department
  • For FAM2013S: FAM1000S and FAM1001F and FAM2004F, or at the discretion of the Head of Department
  • For FAM3005F: FAM1000S, FAM1001F, FAM2004F and FAM2013S, or at the discretion of the Head of Department
  • For FAM3003S: FAM1000S, FAM1001F, FAM2004F, FAM2013S and FAM3005F, or at the discretion of the Head of Department

Honours in Film & Television Studies


Dr Alexia Smit

Admission requirements

(a) Faculty requirements are set out under rules FH3.

(b) Specialisation requirements:

  • Completion of BA with a major in Film and Television Studies or a BA in Film and Media Production or a first degree with majors in appropriate cognate subjects.
  • Students transferring from other universities who do not have some background in film and media may apply to the Convener. The programme committee will consider such applications on an individual basis for their suitability to the programme.
  • Normally candidates will be expected to have an average of an upper second or better result for their first degree.

Acceptance is on the recommendation of the Convenor.

Prescribed curriculum:

The curriculum comprises four taught courses and a research essay/project.

Compulsory courses:

NQF creditsHEQF level
FAM4001WResearch Essay/Project308
FAM4037FApproaches to Film & TV248

Elective courses:

Three approved electives (see menu of offerings in the Humanities Postgraduate Studies handbook).

Recommended courses include:HEQF creditsHEQF level
FAM4000WVideo Project308
FAM4004SAvant-garde Film248
FAM4017FAdvanced TV Analysis248
FAM4034STheories and Forms of Adaptation248
FAM4036SFilm and Environment248
FAM4038FAuthorship in the Cinema248
HST4010FAnalysing Historical Documentary Film
(Department of Historical Studies)
Students wishing to take an elective offered by another department should consult the Programme Convenor.


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Contact Us
Tel: (021) 650 3373