MA in Film Studies

Programme Description

It is internationally recognised that India is one of the largest producers of a variety of narrative films in more than one location in the country. Indian mainstream cinema is also known for its specific narrative features and its central place in the social life of the country, particularly through its song and dance sequences and melodramatic appeal. In contradistinction to the mainstream cinema a significant group of alternative lm makers too have grasped the attention of the world beginning with the inimitable figure of Satyajit Ray. In spite of this extra-ordinary creative output the specific tasks of studying film making and viewing practices as well as the task of critical and analytical approaches to film texts have not been sufficiently addressed by Indian academia. Even though scholarly attention was beginning to be drawn to cinema since the early eighties, the MA Film Studies Programme in the SCCE is among the very few of its kind in the country.

It tries to address 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. It 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 drawing on the rich theoretical legacies of Benjamin, Kracauer and Deleuze among others. Particular attention is paid to the multi-sited film production in India not allowing the undue attention paid to Bollywood to eclipse the pluralisation of film cultures in India. The Programme is equally interested in fostering historical, anthropological and textual analysis of cinema paying close attention to its embedded nature in the social and political history of the country

Programme Objectives:

The Film Studies Programme is designed to enable student to both creatively and critically engage with the art of film narrative. Based on the inclination of the individual student it may launch students in their engagement with cinema and other visual narrative forms as critics or creators. Though an MA in Film Studies is not directly related to employment, a student may demonstrate his/her awareness of the intricacies of the art to secure placement in the entertainment industry, the television industry, various sites of film making, work as a film journalist or critic in the press and other media. A student may also proceed to be a researcher and/or an academic in related fields.

Programme Structure

It is a two year course with two semesters each year. A semester is of 16 weeks duration. The students should register for a minimum 16 credits each semester and need to earn 64 credits to complete the Programme. They may register for more credits on payment of extra fees. 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 for 28 credits in total. Their MA dissertation work and display in the final semester will earn them eight credits.


 The Foundation Courses, common to all students in the School, provide them with exposure to key texts in Critical Theory and Cultural Studies. The Elective Courses offered in the School explore interdisciplinary grounds of all the four programmes.

Core courses in Film Studies provide students with knowledge of the evolution of cinema as an art form in the beginning of the twentieth century, train them in close analysis of film narratives, give them an in-depth knowledge of multiple strands in film theory, give exposure to significant aspects of various kinds of film-making practices in India in terms of regions, genre and aesthetic frameworks. They are also equipped through the courses to analyse cinema as part of popular culture, mass media and ideological apparatuses.

Course Requirements

Each course has its specific set of requirements which are spelt out during the orientation programme where the courses are presented. The requirements may consist of regular attendance and classroom participation, written assignments of different lengths, classroom presentations, take-home exams, diarised observations and so on. There are no term-end exams written without books under supervision.

The completion of the programme successfully and meritoriously will depend on the completion of the required number of courses, voluntary participation in all activities of the School, writing and presenting a dissertation at the end of the second year.


Semester I
Semester II
Semester III
Semester IV
Foundation Course – I
Foundation Course – II
Foundation Course – III
Core Course – VII
Stardom and Film Industry
Elective – I
Elective – II
Elective – III
Elective – IV
Core Course – I
Evolution of Cinema as Language
Core Course – III
Cinema, Narrative, Psyche
Core Course – V
Images and Signs in Cinema
Core Course – II
Sequence and Script Analysis
Core Course – IV
Cinema in India: Nation and Region
Core Course – VI
Facets of Indian Cinema



Monsoon Semester (for Semesters 1 and 3)


Body in the Performative Matrix
Theories on the Avant-Garde
Space and Spectatorship
Lineages of the Contemporary
Visuality: A Historical Overview


Winter Semester (for Semesters 2 and 4)

Sensorium: Building and Debris
Modernism: Imprints of the Political
Post Colonialism: Literature and Arts
Aesthetics and Social Stratification
Art and Social Movements
Critical Theory
Cultural Studies
Theories on Marginality



The minimum eligibility criterion is an undergraduate degree in any discipline with pass marks (or an equivalent grade) from a recognised University. Candidates must have exposure to the historical and formal elements of cinematic art, interest in the critical analysis of cinema and awareness of the varieties of cinema in India and its role in the socio-political life of the country.

Candidates appearing for the final year examination of a degree can also apply.


Fee Structure

Tuition Fees: Rs. 20,960 per semester (Rs. 1310 per credit)

Extramural Interface Cost: Rs. 5000 per year

Caution Deposit: Rs. 5000 (One-time, Refundable)

Student Welfare Fund: Rs. 500 per semester

If a student opts for extra credits an additional fee of Rs. 1310 per credit has to be paid.

*Partial/full fee waiver and scholarships are available.

Admission Procedure

Total number of seats: 14

Selection is based on an entrance test and an interview.

Reservation norms of Government of NCT of Delhi will apply.

Admission Updates

Online Application Form