Skip to main content Go to Site Map

MA Film Practice Welcome Guide

Preparing for your course

We're delighted that you've chosen to join our creative community at Arts University Bournemouth. We can't wait to see what you'll create.

Welcome to the MA Film Practice course

This welcome pack is designed to give you an idea of what to expect during the first weeks of your course. Please take the time to read it carefully and take particular note of the pre-course preparation. We hope that you'll enjoy a happy and productive time with us, and we look forward to meeting you.

A message from your Course Leader

I’m really pleased that you’ve chosen to study MA Film Practice and we will have the chance to learn and work together.

MA Film Practice is a uniquely positioned programme that offers students the opportunity to develop and realise their creative ambitions through practice-based research, in an inclusive, integrated and stimulating environment.

The course asks you to be a reflective practitioner, a universalist with specialist interests, to interrogate your practice and its context. Also, we encourage you to partake in connected activities, engage with the world around you and be a critical being. This awareness will enable the production of thoughtful and dynamic work, which in turn supports your professional and practice related development.

Our programme of study initiates a process of (re)defining, developing and realising your intentions through individual and collaborative projects that are designed to focus your creative research, ideas and their resolution in an exciting and relevant manner.

The film staff and students look forward to meeting you!

- Dr. Andrew Vallance, Course Leader

Before you join us

Before your arrival, please start to formulate your Research Question:

  • Consider what it is you really want to examine – in my experience the more you’re invested in your subject the more chance you have of producing a worthwhile and satisfying resolution. 
  • Think through your creative and conceptual intentions – be inventive and experimental, instinctive and reflective, consider form and content, balance realistic aims with innovative ambitions.
  • Your ideas will undoubtedly alter with time, but this will give you a strong initial position. 

How to submit your pre-course project

One of your first activities will be to present your research (e.g. main themes, issues, aspirations) to the course.

The Library here at AUB is extremely well-resourced and includes all key texts that you will need. The Course Handbook will be given to students during Induction Week and this contains key and recommended texts.

For now, you can get started with some of the following:

  • Altman, R. B. (1992). Sound Theory, Sound Practice, London: Routledge.
  • Alton, J. (1995). Painting with Light, Berkeley: University of California.
  • Beck, J. (ed.) (2008). Lowering the boom: critical studies in film sound. Illinois: University of Illinois Press.
  • Begleiter, M (2011). From Word to Image: Storyboarding & the Filmmaking Process (2nd ed.), San Francisco: M. Weise Productions.
  • Bresson R. (2017). Notes on cinematography, New York: New York Review Books.
  • Chion, M. (2019). Audio-vision: sound on screen, New York: Columbia University Press.
  • Cooper, P. and Dancyger K. (2000). Writing the Short Film. Boston: Focal Press.
  • Christie, I. (2009). The Art of Film: John Box and Production Design, London: Wallflower Press.
  • Eisenstein S. (1990). Sergei M. Eisenstein's Potemkin: A Shot-by-Shot Presentation. New York: Da Capo Press.
  • Field, S. (2005). Screenplay: The Foundations of Screenwriting, New York: Random House.
  • Goldman, W. (1996) Adventures in the Screen Trade: A Personal View of Hollywood. Tunbridge Wells: Abacus.
  • Gulino, P. J. (2004). The Hidden Structure of Successful Screenplays: The sequence Approach. New York: The Continuum International Publishing.
  • Lane, C. & Carlyle, A. (2013). In the Field: The Art of Field Recording. Axminster, UK: Uniformbooks.
  • Lopate, P. (2013). To Show and To Tell. New York: Free Press.
  • Maras, S. (2009). Screenwriting – History, Theory and Practice. London: Wallflower Press.
  • Marshall, P.D. (2017). Making the Magic Happen: The Art and Craft of Film Directing. Studio City: Michael Wiese Productions.
  • Mars-Jones, A. (2011). Noriko Smiling, London: Notting Hill Editions Ltd.
  • Ross, L. (2019) Picture. New York: The New York Review of Books.
  • Schaefer, D. (2013). Masters of Light: Conversations with Contemporary Cinematographers. California: University of California Press.
  • Tarkovsky, A. (1989). Sculpting in Time: Reflections on the Cinema, Austin: University of Texas Press.
  • Tanizaki, J. (1991). In Praise of Shadows. Harper, T. J. and Seidensticker, E. G. (trans.) London: Cape.
  • Tashiro, C. S. (1998). Pretty Pictures, Austin: University of Texas Press.
  • White, H. (2010). The Fiction of Narrative. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.
  • Yorke, J. (2014) Into the Woods: How Stories Work and Why We Tell Them. London: Penguin.

  • Appiah, K. A. (2010) The Ethics of Identity, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
  • Azoulay, A. A. (2019). Potential History: Unlearning Imperialism. London: Verso Books.
  • Berger, J. (1972). Ways of Seeing, London: Penguin.
  • Bourdieu, P. (1993). The Field of Cultural Production: Essays on Art and Literature. Cambridge: Polity Press.
  • Buikema, R. et al. (eds) (2017). Doing Gender in Media, Art and Culture: A Comprehensive Guide to Gender Studies. London: Routledge.
  • Bruno, G. (2007). Atlas of Emotion: Journeys in Art, Architecture and Film. London: Verso.
  • Clisby, S., Johnson, M. & Turner, J. (eds) (2020). Theorising Cultures of Equality. London: Routledge.
  • Cullen, G. (1960). Townscape. London: The Architectural Press.
  • Denzin, N. K. (1997). Interpretive Ethnography: Ethnographic Practices for the 21st
  • Century. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
  • Erlmann, V. (ed.) (2004) Hearing cultures: Essays on sound, listening and modernity, Oxford: Berg.
  • Evans, J., Hall, S. (eds.) (1999) Visual Culture: The Reader, London: Sage
  • Hall, S. & Morley, D. (2019) Essential Essays: Stuart Hall: Selected Writings, Durham, NC: Duke University Press Books.
  • Fanon, F. (2020). Black Skin, White Mask. London: Penguin Books.
  • Gale, K. (2018). Madness as Methodology: Bringing Concepts to Life in Contemporary Theorising and Inquiry. London: Routledge.
  • Guerin, F. (2018). On Not Looking: The Paradox of Contemporary Visual Culture. London: Routledge.
  • Hall, S. (ed.) (1997) Representation: Cultural Representations and Signifying Practices, London: Sage.
  • Johnson, A. L. & LeMaster, B. (2020). Gender Futurity, Intersectional Autoethnography: Embodied Theorizing from The Margins. London: Routledge.
  • Krukowski, D. (2019). Ways of Hearing, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
  • Le Febvre, H. (1992). Rhythmanalysis: Space, Time and Everyday Life, London: Continuum.
  • Massey, D. (2013). Space, Place and Gender. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.
  • Mitchell, W. J. et al. eds. (2002). Landscape and Power, Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
  • Neumann, D. (ed.) (1996). Film Architecture: From Metropolis to Blade Runner. Munich: Prestel.
  • Perec, G (1997). Species of Spaces and Other Pieces, London: Penguin Books.
  • Pallasmaa, J (2012). The Eyes of the Skin: Architecture and the Senses, Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
  • Stallabrass, J. (2006). Contemporary Art: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Root, D. (2018). Cannibal Culture: Art, Appropriation, and the Commodification of Difference. London: Routledge.
  • Seale, C. (ed.) (2004). Researching Society and Culture. London: Sage.
  • Turner, G. (2006). Film as Social Practice (4th ed.), London: Routledge.
  • Thrift, N. (2007). Non-­Representational Theory: Space, Politics, Affect. Abingdon: Routledge.
  • Zembylas, T. (2014). Artistic Practices: Social Interactions and Cultural Dynamics. London: Routledge.

  • Balsom, E. (2014). Exhibiting Cinema in Contemporary Art. Amsterdam University Press.
  • Baron, J. (2013). The Archive Effect: Found Footage and the Audiovisual Experience of History. London: Routledge.
  • Bazin, A. (1967). What is Cinema? vol.1, Berkeley, Los Angeles: University of California Press.
  • Bordwell, D. (1985). Narration in the Fiction Film. Madison, Wisconsin: University Wisconsin Press.
  • Bordwell. D. (2006). The Way Hollywood Tells it: Story and Style in Modern movies. Berkeley, LA: University California Press.
  • Bordwell, D. & Thompson, K. (2009). Film History: An Introduction. New York: McGraw-Hill.
  • Branigan, E. (1992). Narrative comprehension and Film. New York: Routledge.
  • Buckland, W. (ed.) (2009). Puzzle Films: Complex Storytelling in Contemporary Cinema. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell.
  • Butler, J. (1990). Gender trouble. New York: Routledge.
  • Chanan, M. (2007). The politics of documentary. London: BFI.
  • Chopra-Gant, M. (2008). Cinema and History: The Telling of Stories. London: Wallflower.
  • Cook, P. (2007). Cinema Book (3rd ed.) London: BFI.
  • Cook, P. (2005). Screening the Past: Memory and Nostalgia in Cinema. New York: Routledge.
  • Cousins, M. (2008). The story of film: A Concise History of Film and an Odyssey of International Cinema. London: Pavilion.
  • Curtis, D. (2007). Artists’ Film and Video in Britain. London: BFI.
  • De La Garza, A. et al. (eds.) (2020). Transnational Screens: Expanding the Borders of Transnational Cinema. London: Routledge.
  • Deleuze, G. (1986). Cinema 1. Tomlinson, H. (trans.), London: Continuum.
  • Deleuze, D. (1989). Cinema 2. Tomlinson, H. & Galeta, R. (trans.), London: Continuum.
  • De Jong, W. (2011) Creative Documentary: Theory and Practice. London: Routledge.
  • De Luca, T. & Jorge, N. B. (eds.) (2015). Slow Cinema: Traditions in World Cinema. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
  • Gage, J. (2013). Colour and Meaning: Art, Science and Symbolism, London: Thames and Hudson.
  • Gaal-Holmes, P. (2015). A History of 1970s Experimental Film: Britain’s Decade of Diversity. London: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Gombrich, E. H. (1995). The Story of Art. London: Phaidon.
  • Kelly, E. (1951). Line Form Color. Harvard: Harvard University Arts Museum.
  • King, H. (2015). Virtual Memory: Time-Based Art and the Dream of Digitality. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.
  • Macdonald, K. & Cousins, M. (1996). Imagining Reality: The Faber Book of Documentary. London: Faber and Faber.
  • Manovich, L. (2001). In the Language of New Media. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press.
  • Maty Bâ, S. & Higbee, W. (eds.) (2012). De-Westernizing Film Studies. London: Routledge.
  • Modleski, T. (2005). The Women Who Knew Too Much: Hitchcock and Feminist Theory (2nd ed.) New York & London: Routledge.
  • Mulvey, L. (2006). Death 24x a Second: Stillness and the Moving Image. London: Reaktion Books.
  • Mulvey, L. (2009). Visual and Other Pleasures (2nd ed.) London: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Nichols, B. (ed.) (1985). Movies and Methods: An Anthology (2nd ed.) Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California.
  • Nichols, B. (1991). Representing Reality: Issues and Concepts in Documentary. Bloomington, Indianapolis: Indiana University Press.
  • Penley, C. (ed.) (1988). Feminism and Film Theory. London and New York: London: BFI Publishing.
  • Pollock, G. (2003). Vision and Difference: Feminism, Femininity and Histories of Art.
  • Abingdon: Routledge.
  • Rees, A. L. (1999). A History of Experimental Film and Film. London: BFI.
  • Rich, R. (1998). Chick Flicks: Theories and Histories of the Feminist Film Movement. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.
  • Robertson, R. (2011). Eisenstein on the AudioVisual. London: I.B. Tauris.
  • Rose, G. (2007). Visual Methodologies. London: Sage Publications.
  • Rosenstone, R. A. (2006). History on Film/Film on History; History: Concepts, Theories and Practice. Edinburgh: Pearson Education Limited.
  • Schrader, P. (2018). Transcendental Style in Film: Ozu, Bresson, Dreyer. Berkeley, California: University of California Press.
  • Sinha, A. and McSweeney, T. (ed.) (2011). Millennial Cinema: Memory in Global Film. London & New York: Wallflower.
  • Sobchack, V. (2004). Carnal Thoughts: Embodiment and Moving Image Culture. Berkeley, Los Angeles: University of California Press.
  • Ward, P. (2005). Documentary: the margins of reality. London: Wallflower. 
  • Witt, M. (2013). Jean-Luc Godard: Cinema Historian. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
  • Winston, B. et al. (2017) The Act of Documenting: Documentary Film in the 21st century. New York: Bloomsbury.

  • Barrett, E. & Bolt, B. (eds.) (2010). Practice as Research: Approaches to Creative Arts Enquiry. London/I B Tauris & Co Ltd.
  • Batty, C. and Kerrigan, S. (2018). Screen Production Research: Creative Practice as a Mode of Enquiry. London: Palgrave.
  • Bell, J. (2010). Doing your research project. Buckingham: Open University Press.
  • Chivers, B. & Shoolbred, M. (2007) A Students Guide to Presentations: Making your Presentation Count. Los Angeles: SAGE Publications.
  • Cottrell, S. (2013). The Study Skills Handbook (4th ed.) London: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Craswell, G. (2012). Writing for Academic Success: A Postgraduate Guide (2nd ed.) London: Sage.
  • Gray, C. & Malins, J. (2004). Visualizing Research: A Guide to The Research Process in Art and Design. Aldershot: Ashgate.
  • Ivanic, R. (1998). Writing and Identify: The discoursal Construction of identify in Academic Writing. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
  • Nelson, R. (2013). Practice as Research in the Arts: Principles, Protocols, Pedagogies, Resistances, London: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Potter, S. (2006). Doing postgraduate research. London: Sage.
  • Rose, G. (2012). Visual Methodologies: An Introduction to the Interpretation of Visual Materials (3rd ed.) London: Sage.
  • Yin, R. (2018). Case Study Research and Applications: Design and Methods. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Concerning representation

  • Border (Ali Abbasi, 2018)
  • Tangerine (Sean Baker, 2018)
  • The Family (Rok Bicek, 2017)
  • Moonlight (Barry Jenkins, 2016)
  • The Gleaners and I (Agnes Varda, 2000)
  • Hoop Dreams (Steve James, 1994)
  • Killer of Sheep (Charles Burnett, 1978)
  • Ali: Fear Eats the Soul (Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1974)
  • Portrait of Jason (Shirley Clarke, 1967)
  • Scorpio Rising (Kenneth Anger, 1964)
  • India: Matri Bhumi (Roberto Rossellini, 1959)

  • The Sky Trembles and the Earth is Afraid and Two Eyes are not Brothers (Ben Rivers, 2015)
  • Leviathan (Lucien Castaing-Taylor & Véréna Paravel, 2012)
  • Ten (Abbas Kiarostami, 2002)
  • Histoire(s) du Cinéma (Jean-Luc Godard, 1998)
  • The Thin Blue Line (Errol Morris, 1988)
  • Close-Up (Abbas Kiarostami, 1980)
  • Light Reading (Lis Rhodes, 1978)
  • The Girl Chewing Gum (John Smith, 1976)
  • (nostalgia) (Hollis Frampton, 1971)
  • Symbiopsychotaxiplasm: Take One (William Greaves, 1968)
  • Sedmikrasky (Daisies) (Věra Chytilová, 1968)
  • 8 ½ (Federico Fellini 1963)
  • Bout de Souffle (Jean-Luc Godard, 1960)

  • London Road (Rufus Norris, 2015)
  • Damnation (Bela Tarr, 1988)
  • The Emperor's Naked Army Marches On (Kazuo Hara, 1987)
  • The Leader, His Driver and the Driver’s Wife (Nick Broomfield, 1991)
  • Thriller (Sally Potter, 1979)
  • Manthan (The Churning) (Shyam Benegal, 1976)
  • Jeanne Dielman, 23, Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (Chantal Akerman, 1975)
  • Gimme Shelter (Albert and David Maysles, Charlotte Zwerin, 1970)
  • Innocence Unprotected (Dušan Makavejev, 1968)
  • The War Game (Pete Watkins, 1965)
  • The Saragossa Manuscript (Wojciech Has, 1956)
  • Peeping Tom (Michael Powell, 1960)
  • Night of the Hunter (Charles Laughton, 1955)
  • Senso (Luchino Visconti, 1954)
  • The General (Buster Keaton, 1926)

  • Dark Night (Tim Sutton, 2016)
  • Russian Ark (Alexander Sokurov, 2002)
  • Tren de Sombras (Jose Luis Guerin, 1997)
  • Handsworth Songs (John Akomfrah, 1986)
  • Cabaret (Bob Fosse, 1972)
  • Memories of Under Development (Tomas Gutierrez Alea, 1968)
  • A Man Vanishes (Shohei Imamura,1967)
  • The House Is Black (Forough Farrokhzad, 1963)
  • La Jette (Chris Marker, 1962)
  • Hiroshima Mon Amour (Alain Resnais, 1959)
  • Night and Fog (Alain Resnais, 1956)
  • Rashomon (Akira Kurosawa, 1950)
  • The Third Man (Carol Reed, 1949)

  • The Tribe (Myroslav Slaboshpytskyi, 2014)
  • The Act of Killing (Joshua Oppenheimer, 2012)
  • White Material (Claire Denis, 2009)
  • Colossal Youth (Pedro Costa, 2006)
  • Consolation Service (Eija-Liisa Ahtila, 1999)
  • Cyclo (Tran Anh Hung, 1995)
  • Halgato: A great gipsy story (Andrej Mlakar, 1995)
  • Short Film About Love (Krzysztof Kieślowski,1988)
  • Punishment Park (Peter Watkins, 1971)
  • Playtime (Jacques Tati, 1967)
  • Cathy Come Home (Ken Loach, 1966)
  • Mahanagar (The Big City) (Satyajit Ray, 1963)
  • Chronique d’un été (Edgar Morin and Jean Rouche, 1961)
  • Critiquede la separation (Guy Debord, 1961)
  • Listen to Britain (Humphrey Jennings, 1942)
  • M (Fritz Lang, 1931)
  • Man with a Movie Camera (Dziga Vertov, 1929)

  • The Giraffe (Anna Sofie Hartmann, 2019)
  • Victoria (Sebastian Schipper, 2015)
  • Lie of the Land (Molly Dineen, 2007)
  • In the City of Sylvia (Jose Luis Guerin, 2006)
  • Robinson in Space (Patrick Keiller, 1997)
  • Island Race (William Raban, 1996)
  • Bombay (Mani Ratnam, 1995)
  • Stalker (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1979)
  • Battle of Algiers (Gillo Pontecorvo, 1966)
  • l’Eclisse (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1962)
  • Kanchenjungha (Satyajit Ray, 1962)
  • Meshes of the Afternoon (Maya Deren and Alexander Hammid, 1943)
  • Night Mail (Cavalcanti and Basil Wright, 1936)
  • Land Without Bread (Luis Buñuel, 1933)
  • A propos de Nice (Jean Vigo, 1930)

What to bring on your first day

  • Notebook and pens/pencils.
  • An open mind!
  • You may also require an external hard drive for backing up work.

Follow Graduate School on social media

Explore more


We’re delighted for you to join us at AUB – we can’t wait to see what you’ll create.

Two university buildings with square shaped trees in front of them.

Next Steps

Find out the useful dates and contact before you start here

Latest news and events