Master’s program «Theory and History of Film»

The specialized Master’s program «Theory and History of Film» views film as a focal point of media, culture, and the arts. One of the aims is to situate film in relation to other aesthetic, artistic, cultural, and media practices. In addition to courses in Film Studies (e.g. history, theory, narratology, aesthetic aspects of digitization), a module in «Visual Culture» is offered in collaboration with neighboring disciplines.

Unlike the inter-university «Master of Arts in Film Studies» offered by the SWISS CINEMA NETWORK, the specialized Master’s «Theory and History of Film» can be studied exclusively at the University of Zurich. The program consists of 90 credits and must be combined with a minor (30 credits) offered by the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.

The language of instruction is German.

Goals and career prospects

The specialized Master’s builds upon the Bachelor’s minor degree program. It offers in-depth examination of the subject area with an emphasis on film theory, history, aesthetics, technology, and the history of film theory.

The aim is to prepare students for independent research. The program imparts competencies for an academic career as well as for challenging non-academic positions in film culture and the film industry. Career prospects include positions in museums and archives; film production and distribution; teaching in language- and culture-related fields, especially film and media pedagogy; film journalism; editorial work; programming for festivals or cinemas; or positions in cultural policy administration.

Admission requirements

Students must fulfill the following requirements:

  • a completed Bachelor’s program in film studies totaling 60 credits (or in a related discipline with 60 credits earned in film-specific courses). If a small portion of credits is missing, conditional admission with additional requirements is possible.
  • a minimum of 12 credits earned in courses dedicated to the theory and history of film;
  • specialized knowledge of audiovisual culture acquired outside of film studies, for instance in art history, literature, musicology, media philosophy, cultural studies, ethnology, or history (15 credits);
  • knowledge of English (above level B2) and one additional living language; proficiency in German (the language of instruction);
  • passing of an oral entrance exam.