Best Film Academy

Top Film Schools Around the World

Although not currently covered in the QS World University Rankings by Subject, film studies is a hugely popular area at universities and colleges around the world, often taught at specialized film schools and academies.

Course options range from undergraduate film studies programs at large universities, to more specialized postgraduate programs at specialized arts institutes. Film studies qualifications include the BA (Bachelor of Arts), BFA (Bachelor of Fine Arts), MFA (Master of Fine Arts) and, in some cases, an MPhil/PhD. It’s also possible to complete a one- or two-year diploma instead of a full degree.

Read on for an insight into the top film schools around the world, divided by region, along with current tuition fee information (at time of publishing).

American Film Institute (AFI)

The school which David Lynch said he would give up everything “in a heartbeat” to attend, the American Film Institute (AFI) is perhaps the most famous of all film schools in Los Angeles, or even the whole of the US, hosting festivals and star-studded events throughout the year. Despite some challenges in maintaining its previously faultless reputation, the American Film Institute in recent years has settled back on track, now enabling students to produce as many as four personal films during their studies and to get advice from visiting industry experts including the likes of Steve McQueen. Boasting 28 Emmy nominations among alumni in 2014 alone, the American Film Institute also counts South Park producer Anne Garefino and Black Swan director Darren Aronofsky among its past fellows.

Los Angeles Film School2015/16 tuition fees: US, 030 (The AFI Conservatory Program, 1st year students); , 216 (2nd year students)


The CalArts School of Film and Video, dreamt up by Walt Disney shortly before he died in 1966, joins AFI as another of the most prestigious film schools in Los Angeles (CalArts is located in the suburb of Valencia), now a stomping ground of many of the best animators and filmmakers in Hollywood. Tim Burton, one of CalArts’ earlier graduates, was followed by a series of notable Disney animators including Andrew Stanton (Finding Nemo), Brad Bird (The Incredibles) and Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee (Frozen). In 2014, CalArts students were lucky enough to be taught by Academy Award-nominated actor and director James Franco. Film studies degrees offered at CalArts include the BA, MA, MFA and DMA (Doctor of Musical Arts).

2015/16 tuition fees: US, 400 (all students)

Located slap-bang in the middle of Hollywood on Sunset Boulevard, it’s easy to see how the Los Angeles Film School got its name as one of the most notable schools for budding Hollywood filmmakers. Offering bachelor and associate degrees in all areas of the entertainment industry, the Los Angeles Film School also encompasses the Los Angeles Recording School, home of the famous RCA building where Elvis Presley and The Rolling Stones once recorded their music. The Los Angeles Film School also offers online programs in digital filmmaking and the entertainment business.

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