About the Department
The Department of Film and Media Studies at UC Irvine provides students with a strong liberal arts background by combining theory and practice, giving our majors the tools necessary to navigate the complex film, broadcast, and digital media landscape. As professionals and scholars, Film and Media Studies majors acquire skills in theoretical, visual, historical, and cultural analysis and broad knowledge of the history of moving image studies, broadcast policy, popular culture, and social media. Students are trained to actively read and explore audio-visual media through both theoretical and practical approaches. They strengthen their writing through active engagement with all aspects of cinematic, broadcast, and digital culture. We also teach courses in screenwriting and production with the goal of both deepening the understanding of media through hands-on, practical training across and within multiple media platforms. Production and screenwriting are similarly enriched through a rigorous training in film and media history, analysis, criticism, and theory.
Film and Media Studies focuses on nurturing our diverse student body and our students’ varied backgrounds and interests. Courses reflect an interdisciplinary and historically grounded approach to the study of moving images, on big and small screens alike. From parsing the history of television policy to writing for video games, our students get a unique interdisciplinary education in the historical and social background of the study of film, television, and new media. Our outstanding faculty are engaged in innovative research on topics like globalization, gender studies, queer theory, broadcast studies, intellectual history, new media and critical game studies, history of photography, and national cinema approaches to the analysis of Film and Media Studies, and our courses give our students access to this cutting-edge research. In our production and screenwriting courses, students get hands-on experience creating short films, television pilots, webisodes, computer games, and other visual media.
Film and Media Studies students join their professors and industry professionals in attending some of the most important film festivals in our area. The department regularly invites film directors, scholars, and industry professionals to offer a rich array of programming including screening original films and media and hosting production-based workshops. UC Irvine’s location in the heart of Southern California, close to studios and some of the most important film and television archives in the United States, makes outstanding internship opportunities and serious research possible for our majors. Our location makes it convenient for our students to do internships for credit at some of the leading companies in the entertainment industry. Students also have the opportunity to collaborate on filmmaking through our student-run club, the Film-Arts-Drama Alliance (FADA). FADA members write, direct, produce, and craft short films through the Zotfilm program in fall and winter quarters. In spring quarter, FADA screens these and other student-created films at Zotfest, one of the longest-running student-organized film festivals in the United States.
Film and Media Studies encourages students to take advantage of the many opportunities that UC Irvine offers to study abroad. Our students have studied in UCEAP programs all over the world and regularly earn credit towards their degrees. Information on these programs is available through the UCI Study Abroad Center.