Postgraduate Taught

MSc Global Film Industries

This new MSc Global Film Industries course offers a critical and practical study of contemporary global film cultures and histories of cinema, with an emphasis on the place of the Scottish industry in the world. It is available full-time and part-time, with a September start each year.

The course develops a comprehensive understanding of the social, cultural, and business frameworks of the film industries. This is informed by and informs central roles in the industry where there are gaps including film promotion, sales and distribution, policy, education and outreach, fundraising and sponsorship, research and consultancy, project management or programming and exhibition.

Why QMU?

  • Unique degree designed to meet current and future developments: This MSc is unique in Scotland and designed to meet not just current industry practice, but also its future developments. On completion, you’ll be well placed to contribute strategically to local and global film industries.
  • Preparing you for a wide range of careers in the industry: You will deepen and expand your knowledge of film as culture, capital, and field of employment, and the course will position you more strongly within the local and global industries of film.
  • Specialist lecturers: You will be taught by well-established and award-winning lecturers specialised in Scottish and UK industries, entrepreneurial strategies and global cinema networks.
  • Industry engagement: The teaching team draws on existing relationships within the sector in policy, sales and distribution, film exhibition, and education. As such, the degree offers real-world scenarios, through industry engagement and observation.
  • Location: Our strength comes from our location in Edinburgh, the ‘Festival City’, as well as Glasgow, another production hub. The course has been developed in collaboration with key players in the Scottish, UK and global film industries. We are close to many film production facilities which allows for strong practical links between the course and the many film festivals and cinema professionals based in and around Edinburgh, across Scotland and the UK.
  • Supportive and encouraging learning environment: Your creativity and entrepreneurship will be nurtured in a collaborative and collegiate environment, which will encourage you to move beyond your comfort zones. We support students to establish their own businesses.
  • Access to facilities to support your future career: You will have access to our on-campus Business Gateway and Business Innovation Zone (BIZ) that provide business incubation spaces for student-led or graduate-led start-up companies and offer: desk space, a QMU business address, meeting facilities, ad-hoc rehearsal space and editing facilities, Business Gateway support and advice, a profile for your company on the QMU website, support with marketing materials and access to entrepreneurial networks within QMU and other universities (including Enterprise Campus, Scottish Institute for Enterprise, Sporting Chance and Converge Challenge).

Who is this course for?

This course is for those who want to work in the film industry, with a particular emphasis on those roles identified as key skills gaps – for example entrepreneurship, marketing and project management.

The course will also appeal to those already working in areas of the film sector, who wish to progress to senior level in pre-production (finance, location), distribution (marketing, sales), exhibition (cinema, festival management), policy or film education by developing their knowledge of the global film industry and professionalising their leadership skills and managerial practice.

More about MSc Global Film Industries and what you will achieve

Behind the scenes, the film industry consists of a complex network of people, companies and institutions. Through this course, film and media studies graduates, professionals and those wishing to work in film will gain a detailed understanding of the different routes and jobs in the industry.

In the film sector, a skills gap was identified among recent graduates, whose current priorities are centred around the creative roles of film director, editor or screen writer. There is however a growing need for professionals whose focus is on the film world as an industry, which requires people with fusion skills, (creative, technical and entrepreneurial skills across the value chain), problem solving and analytical skills (pre- and post-production), and cross-cultural insights in the continued globalisation of the sector. This course engages students with in-depth knowledge of, and insight in, the global film industries’ increasingly networked and professional versatility.

By understanding the elements of production, distribution and exhibition, you will learn how to be most effective as a cog in the world’s film industries. You will gain insight into film policy, pre-production, sales and distribution networks and programming/curation. Drawing on QMU’s existing portfolio of courses in business, PR, film, media and cultural industries, this new course has been inspired by the professional experiences of our academic staff.

Exit awards

MSc (180 credits)/PgDip (120 credits)/PgCert (60 credits)


You can opt to study for the full MSc, a PgDip or a PgCert. You can also register as an associate student to complete a single module for CPD. On completion of a single module, you may wish to complete further modules and progress your studies to a named award.

Teaching, learning and assessment

Our teaching strategies benefit from our experiences and relations with the local, the global and the transnational worlds of film, in ways that make the relationship between production, distribution and exhibition clear and productive. As such, the degree offers real-world scenarios, through industry engagement and observation.

Teaching comprises a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials, workshops, case studies, simulation exercises, field trips and projects. Assessment throughout the course will take a variety of forms, including essays, reflections, reports, group and individual presentations, as well as a dissertation or project for the final MSc component.

You will work in groups during workshops to develop and test your knowledge and work on an individual basis to complete assessments that will include marketing strategies, case studies, a variety of short films and other content. You will also work for an extended period, supervised by a QMU lecturer, to achieve critical knowledge of and insight on an aspect of the global film industry that suits your ambitions.

Teaching hours and attendance

We usually teach our modules over the course of 10 weeks. Each module involves around 30 hours of face-to-face teaching. Timetables will normally be available to matriculated students around one month before you commence your studies. The two taught semesters run from September to December and mid-January to mid-April, while the dissertation project takes place during the summer semester and must be submitted mid-August.

Class sizes

Class sizes will depend on modules chosen but will normally be between 15-30 students. 

Industry links

Being being based in Edinburgh, a true film city, and only 50 minutes from Glasgow, another production hub, means that the course has been developed in collaboration with key players in the Scottish, UK and global film industries, and other bodies with a strategic interest in the development of film business and exhibition. Our location in a ‘Festival Nation’ and close to many film production facilities also allows for strong practical links between the course and the many film festival and cinema professionals based in and around Edinburgh, across Scotland and the UK.

We currently have links with the following: 

  • Edinburgh International Film Festival
  • Glasgow Film Festival
  • Moving Image Archive
  • Alchemy Film & Moving Image Festival
  • Africa in Motion Film Festival
  • IntoFilm
  • Creative Scotland/Screen Scotland


To obtain a PgCert, you will complete:

  • Scottish Film: Culture, Industry and Practice (20 credits): This year-long module explores Scottish film culture and industry in practice through a programme of academic enquiry, field trips (directed and self-directed) and expert talks from those working in the film industry in Scotland. Students will observe and reflect upon the working practices of those in the Scottish film industry and consider local industry in global contexts.
  • Global Film Industries: Theories, Histories, Policies (20 credits): This semester one module is structured along industry nodes on global networks. It describes and analyses institutions, moments and people central to the key developments in film financing, international (co-)production policies, sales and distribution agreements and exhibition platforms.
  • The Value Chain: Marketing, Sales, Distribution, Exhibition (20 credits): This semester 2 module explores the film value chain, with a particular focus on post-production stages, practices, and roles. Drawing on global case studies, the module considers film financing, sales and distribution, film promotion, exhibition and consumption.

To obtain a PgCert, you will complete a further 60 credits from three elective 20-credit modules:

Electives may include:

  • Strategic Communication and Digital Practice (20 credits)
  • Fundraising, Development and Finance (20 credits)
  • Planning and Marketing Cultural Projects (20 credits)
  • Strategy and Leadership (20 credits)
  • Media and Creative Industries (20 credits)
  • The Video Essay (UG elective. Pre-requisite for Video Essay Dissertation) (20 credits)

To obtain and MSc you will also complete a master’s final project (60 credits), which can be theoretical/analytical or practice-based if desired. The final project provides optionality for students. Indicative formats include: a business plan; written dissertation; case study (reflective essay); client-based project (reflective essay); video essay dissertation (reflective essay). This optionality is intended to cater to all post-degree pathways: employment, PhD study or entrepreneurship.  

The modules listed are correct at time of posting (October 2022) but are subject to change. In the event that modules change, QMU will seek to use reasonable endeavours to ensure that there is no detrimental impact on students.

Single modules for CPD

Available. Register as an associate student to study single modules in areas of interest. Contact Michael Stewart or Stefanie Van De Peer for more information.


The course does not include a formal placement, but we do require students to take up industry-based learning opportunities where possible to assist their learning and to put the theory into practice. All core modules include a form of industry engagement and observation, and the teaching team boasts industry relationships that students can benefit from through networking opportunities and field trips that can inspire client-based projects for their final projects.

Indeed, industry-based experiences and opportunities are offered by most of the world-renowned film organisations based in Edinburgh. Although we support students to find opportunities, you are required to secure your own arrangements in line with your personal interests. As we are in Edinburgh, the world’s first and best ‘Festival City’, there is no end of opportunities, and we are well-regarded by our industry peers: many QMU alumni work in these organisations. If you are already working in the sector, you can use your existing employment as the site for your industry-based learning.


You will be qualified for a broad range of film production, distribution and exhibition positions within a wide spectrum of film businesses and organisations. Potential careers include production management, coordination, fundraising, marketing, programming, curation or audience development, as well as many other roles across the global film industries.

We also support entrepreneurial graduates to set up their own businesses. Since 2014 QMU has supported a range of graduate start up media production businesses through our Business Innovation Zone (BIZ)

Entry requirements

A UK honours degree or equivalent OR significant work experience.

International: You will be required to provide evidence of English language competence at no less than IELTS 6.5 and no individual component score below 6.0.

Application deadline


More information and contacts

Contact Programme Leaders Michael Stewart, Stefanie Van De Peer or Admissions

Course presentation 2022

Please Note:

The delivery of this course is subject to the terms and conditions set out in our 2023/2024 Entry - Terms and Conditions (Postgraduate).

Teaching staff is subject to change.


Course Overview

At QMU with some industry-based learning
1 year full-time OR 2-7 years part-time
Start Date
September 2023
Study Abroad
School of Arts, Social Sciences and Management
Fees & Funding

Engage with the Team