Bachelor’s study program

Film Studies is offered as a first minor (60 credits) within a Bachelor’s degree program. Students acquire fundamental knowledge, approaches, and methods in film analysis, film theory, and film history. They are equipped with the ability to critically investigate issues of film aesthetics and the pertinent scholarly positions of the field. Beyond providing an overview of the subject area, the program aims to advance students’ competence in methodical, scholarly thinking.

The study program focuses on the theory, aesthetics, and history of the medium of film and the institution of cinema, from the beginnings to the present. Cinematic works are analyzed and contextualized culturally and historically. Course contents include:

  • diverse methods of analysis and specialized terminology
  • the stylistic, narrative, technical, and pragmatic specificity of film in the context of (audio)visual media
  • the analysis of film and cinema in relation to other forms of artistic expression, representation, and phenomena of popular culture
  • national and international film history, film historiography in its diverse perspectives (aesthetical, sociological, economic, technological)
  • film theory and the history of classical and modern film theory, including concepts from aesthetics, semiotics, genre theory, narratology, reception theory, gender studies, cultural and postcolonial studies


Students of Film Studies should possess academic aptitude as well as aesthetic sensibility. The program also requires an international perspective on culture and a high level of flexibility and commitment. The language of instruction is German. Knowledge of other languages, especially English and French, is essential.

Students of Film Studies should

  • be able to read complex theoretical writing in several languages;
  • understand films in their original English or French versions without the help of subtitles;
  • be able adapt their thinking to historical, sociological, psychological, ethnographic, or musical issues;
  • be prepared to watch the films screened at full length after most courses, as these viewings form the basis for a useful discussion;
  • be willing to attend film screenings in theaters, even at inconvenient times.

In addition, it is desirable that students

  • travel to film festivals in Switzerland and abroad (at their own expense);
  • volunteer/work for institutions such as film festivals, cinemas, production companies, TV networks, etc.;
  • have some practical (amateur) experience with photography, film, or video, as this helps the understanding of technical processes and aesthetic decisions.