module specification

SJ5030 - Cinema and Television in Europe (2018/19)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2018/19
Module title Cinema and Television in Europe
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Computing and Digital Media
Total study hours 300
81 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
219 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 50%   Essay 3000 words
Coursework 50%   Miniproject 3000 words
Running in 2018/19
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year North Wednesday Morning

Module summary

The module will examine a variety of European, including British, films in relation to their specific cultural, historical and social and political contexts, considering the way in which national identity is imagined, interrogated and contested in these films. The module explores the articulation of nationhood and national identities in European film through a variety of themes. The themes are linked with important contemporary issues of Europe’s historical and social experience. They include European cinema and the idea of Europe; the European and the national; European art cinema; popular European genres; history, memory and the national past; space and place in European cinema; stars as national and transnational icons; diasporic national identities; European co-productions and franchised television dramas and women’s film and television in Europe.

Module aims

The main aims of this module are to:

• explore the textual features of contemporary film and television in Europe and some of the history that has shaped them

• critically analyse the idea of national identity in Europe and to challenge it in the context of global economics and movement of people

• independently research a specific case study of European nations’ film and television production

• work productively with others and present findings effectively via oral presentation to peers and lecturer in a manner which prepares students for work in film and television

• plan, research and write a ‘mini-project’, using organisation, self-management and written presentation skills to a standard commensurate with those required by employers in the field of film and television


The module will begin by examining the concepts of Europe and European in cinema and television. Why and for whom is this concept important? It explores how cinema and television have sought to express specific aspects of national identity in individual nations, such as Britain, France and Germany. The module examines a number of topics which are relevant to contemporary cinema and television across Europe. This may include: History and memory in European film and television; Space and Place in European Cinema and Television; Migrant and diasporic cinema; European art cinema and the director as ‘auteur’; Popular genres in European film and television; Transnational adaptations for film and television.

Learning and teaching

This module builds on the foundation of knowledge of the Film Studies discipline gained at level 4. It also returns to some of the key academic skills introduced at level 4, such as online research, referring to secondary sources in academic writing etc and scaffolds these so that students acquire the necessary knowledge to plan and write a mini project. These skills are embedded at each stage of the module, firstly in the essay, secondly in the development of the group presentation and finally in the writing of the ‘mini project’. The module starts off with teacher-led learning, via lectures, seminars and workshops. It then gradually shifts the balance to the students in the second half of the module, when the students seek their own themes and films to pursue within the initial given framework of topics. Students are grouped according to the topic and support one another in finding resources, research questions, arguments etc within those topics with the lecturer acting as facilitator of learning. This phase of the module culminates in the group presentations and the writing of individual ‘mini projects’. In the group presentations and ensuing discussion, students are encouraged to offer critical insights into their peer’s work and provide a (non-contributory) peer assessment mark.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module, students will be able to:

understand and summarise the received notions of national identity in Europe;

• challenge  these notions through an analysis of films that have addressed them;

• prepare and present on one of the topics of this module, applying the concepts already introduced to another European film of their choice

• conceive, plan and undertake a piece of written work which requires independent research, editing and redrafting;

• prepare a scholarly written ‘mini project’ with attention to presentation, citational and bibliographical conventions.

Assessment strategy

On this module, all assessments have a formative and a summative element. The first essay is aimed at informing students how effectively they have understood the main theoretical concepts introduced in this module before they begin to apply them in their chosen context. This is a context which is different to that within which they are introduced by the lecturer, i.e. to a different film or films, and/or in a different national context.

The mini project is based on the same material the students use for the group presentation. They gain feedback from their peers and their lecturer in the presentation and shape their mini-project in response to this feedback. The mini-project is also a formative exercise for the project at Level 6.


Daniela Berghahn and Claudia Sternberg (eds), European Cinema in Motion: Migrant and Diasporic Cinema in Contemporary Europe (London: Wallflower Press, 2010).

David Clarke (ed.), German Cinema since Unification (London: Continuum, 2006).

Elisabeth Ezra (ed.), European Cinema (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004).

Jill Forbes and Sarah Street, European Cinema (New York: Palgrave, 2000).

Axel Goodbody and Wendy Everett, Space and Place in European Cinema (Oxford: Peter Lang, 2005).

T. Jefferson Kine, Unraveling French Cinema: from L’Atlante to Caché (Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010).

James Leggott, Contemporary British Cinema: From Heritage to Horror (London: Wallflower, 2008).

Eva Mazierska, European Cinema and Intertextuality. History, Memory and Politics (London: Palgrave, 2011).

Eva Mazierska and Laura Rascaroli, Crossing New Europe: Postmodern Travel and the European Road Movie (New York: Columbia University Press, 2006).

Hamid Naficy, An Accented Cinema: Exilic and Diasporic Filmmaking (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2001).