Film and Screen Media

Welcome to the Film and Screen Media website!

How to study film at UCC?

University College Cork has launched a new Major BA Degree in Film and Screen Media in September 2013. The BA is a unique, specialised programme that responds to the growing need for a specific education capable of preparing students for the challenges of our society and of our evolving technologies. Led by internationally recognised experts, and with a thriving visiting speakers and guest practitioners component, this BA immerses students in the history of filmmaking through the study of films from around the world, from the birth of cinema to the age of the Internet. The programme is unique in its combination of film studies and screen media. It offers practical modules and workshops in digital filmmaking and writing for the screen.

Since 2005, University College Cork offers a one-year Master's Degree in Film Studies. This programme is designed to provide a knowledge of the history, theory, and aesthetics of international film that is simultaneously extensive, eclectic and in-depth. As a result, the MA equips students with critical and analytical skills that may be applied to any area and profession, but also prepares them for further studies at postgraduate level in Film or related areas.

Staff affiliated to Film and Screen Media at UCC supervise at PhD level in their areas of interest.

Film and Screen Media also runs evening recreational courses on contemporary cinema and on filmmaking production.

Why study film and screen media at UCC?

Film and Screen Media at University College Cork is a vibrant community of lecturers, researchers and graduate students; it publishes the online international film journal Alphaville: Journal of Film and Screen Media; talks by filmmakers, professionals and scholars, as well as conferences, workshops and masterclasses are regularly organised. Cork hosts a lively community of filmmakers, and the city and region are home to a number of local, national and international film festivals.

UCC Film and Screen Media is a Discipline in both the School of English and in the School of Languages, Literatures and Cultures.

Why study film today?

Each society in history has produced its own visual culture, but never one that is as extensive and dominant as that of contemporary western societies. We live in times that are deeply shaped by the pervasiveness of the image, and by the prominence of the audiovisual media—from the cinema and television to computers, mobile phones, DVD players and videogame consoles. The digital revolution has exponentially increased the presence and relevance of images and of audiovisual products in our lives, so much so that we fully depend on them for both work and entertainment. It has also produced a relocation of the film spectator’s experience, which was previously limited to the cinema theatre, to other screens—TV, computers, portable players and consoles, mobile phones, monitors and urban screens. Indeed, the cinematographic image, which so accurately captured the spirit of the last century, has today been simply, completely and invisibly assimilated into everyday life.

It is evident that audiovisual communication is the present and future of our society; the cultural and financial prominence of the global entertainment industry (cinema, television, gaming) is also apparent. Consequently, the need is strongly felt today for a specific education to the history, values, aesthetic and ideology of the moving image—an education capable of preparing students for the challenges of our society and our evolving technologies, as well as for careers in the media, or further study and research at postgraduate level.

Film Studies is the guiding, founding discipline for all visual, audiovisual, media and new media studies. This is because all the questions that are central to these fields today—what is an image, what is a screen, what is the frame, what is an audiovisual narrative, what is a spectator—have been first posed, probed and answered within the discipline of Film Studies. Questions about identity, representation, ideology, communication, medium, affect, identification, projection, reflectivity, reality and virtuality, have first emerged within Film Studies since its inception and its academic establishment fifty years ago, and continue to be fully relevant today. In a society that cannot do without a critical engagement with the moving image in all its guises, old and new, Film Studies is still the most important and complete frame of reference and enquiry.

Heads of Discipline, Prof Laura Rascaroli and Dr Gwenda Young

University College Cork and the Arts Council are delighted to announce the appointment of Gerard Stembridge as Film Artist in Residence (Screenwriter) for 2015-16.

The Film Artist in Residence role is jointly funded by UCC and the Arts Council, and is offered in association with the Cork Film Festival. It is designed to provide a screenwriter of distinction with a unique opportunity to develop his/her practice in a university environment, while offering students the opportunity to engage with a practising artist in a meaningful way during the course of their studies and their wider cultural involvement in campus life.

Gerard Stembridge is the second film artist to be appointed to the role and follows Carmel Winters who enjoyed a successful residency at UCC in 2014-15.

During his residency, Gerard Stembridge will engage with students in UCC, both specialists in Film and Screen Media and undergraduates and postgraduates more widely through a range of events on campus. He will also participate in a public event at the Cork Film Festival in November 2015.

Speaking of the appointment Fionnuala Sweeney, Head of Film at the Arts Council, said: ‘The Arts Council wishes to congratulate Gerard Stembridge on his appointment as Film Artist in Residence at UCC. He is a masterful screenwriter who is known for the range of his story-telling in film and for his ability to engage wide audiences with his work. We hope that the residency will provide him with the opportunity to further develop his practice in the creative and supportive environment offered by UCC.’ 

Professor Patrick O'Donovan, Head of the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences, UCC, commented: ‘We are all delighted in the College to welcome Gerard Stembridge to UCC as Film Artist in Residence. His residency will bring a wealth of opportunities to students across the campus, and we are very excited to anticipate all of the ways in which the presence of an artist of his extraordinary range and accomplishment will enrich our ongoing commitment to developing a creative environment for the university and the wider community.’

Gerry Stembridge Biography

Gerard Stembridge is an award-winning writer and director for television and film, with works that include The Truth About Claire (1990); and Black Day at Black Rock (2001) for television and films such as Guiltrip (1995); About Adam (2000); and Alarm (2008). As a writer, his work has included Ordinary Decent Criminal (2000) and Nora (2000), co-written with Pat Murphy. He has also worked extensively in the theatre and written four novels.


Film and Screen Media at University College Cork is delighted to welcome Irish film composer Stephen Rennicks to UCC for a seminar to discuss his critically celebrated work in film and television, both documentary and fiction.


The event is open to everyone in UCC, and will take place on Tuesday November 17, at 17.15 in the Windle Auditorium.  


Stephen Rennicks has had an enduring and enriched collaboration with director Lenny Abrahamson from Abrahamson’s first short film Three Joes, through his four-part television series Prosperity, and across five feature-length productions. Adam and Paul, their first feature-length partnership, won Best Film at the Irish Film and Television Awards in 1991, and began for Rennicks a creative vocation that introduced not only some of the most highly-critically acclaimed scores in contemporary Irish cinema, but a diversity of work across genres, continents and artistic alliances. Rennicks’ score for Frank– the fourth feature directed by Abrahamson – pushed conceptual, musical and practical qualities of the score into wonderfully eclectic and imaginative areas, challenging many basic “givens” of film scoring. Its innovation was immediately recognised and won him a British independent Film Award. Rennicks has composed several scores for Irish short and feature productions – including Man About DogBoy Eats GirlThe Stag and Eden – and for the documentary film The Pipe. He has recently finished work on Viva, a film that neatly brings him on one professional cycle back to Adam and Paul – for which he wrote his first feature score – as both were scripted by actor, writer and director Mark O’Halloran.

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