Having completed a BA in English and Film, postgraduate student Anna MacNeill knew she wasn't done learning about film quite yet. Wanting to expand her skills and learn more about the industry, she was intrigued by the MSc in Global Film Industries. With the student experience being at the top of her priority list, and a love for the city of Edinburgh, QMU was a no brainer for Anna. In this Student Story, she tells us about her favourite parts of the course so far, and what she hopes to do once she completes it. 

Why did you choose to study at Queen Margaret University?

I was very attracted to the idea of studying at a smaller university which prioritised the student experience. I enjoyed my undergraduate degree, however, I completed that at a very large university where I was overwhelmed by the class sizes and sometimes felt very anonymous, like I was just a number. I hoped that my experience at QMU would provide me with a greater sense of belonging in my university life, which thus far it has.


What interested you about your chosen course?

I have had a deep passion for film and media for almost my entire life. I write and self-publish film analysis in my personal time, and I completed a Bachelors in English and Film Studies which I found incredibly fulfilling. I was interested in continuing my studies at a higher level and developing my knowledge of how the industry functions, leading to greater career prospects.


What attracted you to study in Edinburgh?
I had visited Edinburgh many times before moving here for my studies at QMU.

"I have always adored the city, it is a safe and easy to navigate place that felt like home very quickly."

I especially love the way the city of Edinburgh places importance and value on the arts, like film, theatre, comedy and music. It makes it a very attractive place to live for those who are highly creative or immersed in the arts, such as myself.

What have you most enjoyed about your course? What has been the highlight?
The core modules of the course; Scottish Film: Culture, Industry and Practice, Global Film Industries: Theories, Histories, Policies and The Value Chain: Marketing, Sales, Distribution, Exhibition have all been both informative, as well as enjoyable. They deliver high-level scholarly theory in an easily digestible manner, as well as industry knowledge and transferable skills which can hopefully help to set you up for a media-based career. Additionally, they all heavily invite student contribution and the inclusion of our own interests and experience.

"The highlight of the course for me has been my lecturers listening to particular subjects or films I am interested in and incorporating those into their teaching. It creates a learning environment which feels collaborative and tailored around the students."

Have you participated in a course activity you found especially interesting?
Many universities don’t include in-class presentations as an activity or form of assessment. It’s something I had never done previous to this course. However, I have found it to be a really enriching exercise which has pushed me to refine my ideas. It’s a completely different skill to written essays and so has further expanded my analytical abilities beyond written essays.

How have your lecturers supported your learning?
Aided by being a small, intimate class group, we have had open access to our lecturers who have taken a hands-on approach in collaborating with us and supporting our learning. They invite all questions, queries and feedback and are dedicated to creating an inclusive, collaborative space.

Do you have any advice for students who might be interested in applying for this course?
You should enter this course with confidence in your own values, opinions and experiences in reference to the film industry. Be prepared to get involved and be a part of the collaborative learning environment. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or express concerns.

What’s your ‘top tip’ for making the most of being a student?
Don’t allow fear or insecurity to hold you back from expressing yourself inside and outside the classroom.

"Know that your contributions are valued by staff and fellow students, and you will be enhancing the learning experience by offering them."

What are your plans after graduation? Tell us about your ambitions and where you see yourself in the future?
The Global Film Industries MSc course has enriched my knowledge, experience and interest in media and the film industry immensely. I do not yet know exactly what I want to do or where I will end up. However, I can certainly see myself completing a PhD and progressing into a career in academia in the realm of film and media.

 Find out more about our Media, Communications and Public Relations postgraduate courses