Film Studies vs. Communications Studies?


Students considering a career in media have two different majors available to them:  communications studies and film studies.  Both are equally exciting and fast-growing in their own right, but subtle differences exist between the two which could mean quite a bit depending on the direction the student would like for his or her career.

The two majors share a few aspects in that they both use the newest technology and digital format, as well as software to create the finished product, Adobe Creative Suite.  Both deal with documentary filmmaking as news or narrative, and both involve a great deal of critical thinking and application to truly understand the medium.

Communication studies have the purpose to create video and film as a means to inform the general public or to persuade. Many communication studies projects are marketing projects, public service announcements (PSA), news or sports programming.  The use of interviewing in the film is a popular method to express the point of the film.  These projects are not solely informational and dry in nature, and creativity is utilized as a means of expression.  Digital animation is utilized in communication studies, and students will prepare training videos, short form documentaries and promotional videos.

Film studies are more analytical in nature, involving a comprehensive understanding of film history, theory and analysis.   Students will delve into the history and the evolution of film, but they will also perform work in all of the aspects of film: narrative, documentary, and experimental and animation.  Film studies will include both American and International Film.  Many students will have the opportunity at the end of the studies to produce and debut their own production in a film festival.  Film studies will also offer certificate programs in the central aspects of filmmaking:  screenwriting, film production, and documentary production.

The two subjects are both very similar in nature but diverse, as well.  Depending on what direction you would like to pursue in a career, one may be the right option for you.


University of North Carolina Wilmington:

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