module specification

SM4021 - Comparing Theatre and Film (2023/24)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2023/24
Module status DELETED (This module is no longer running)
Module title Comparing Theatre and Film
Module level Certificate (04)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Art, Architecture and Design
Total study hours 300
219 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
81 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Practical Examination 35%   Process 1 - Continuous assessment leading to first practical project
Practical Examination 35%   Process 2 - Continuous assessment leading to second practical project
Coursework 30%   Comparative Reflection 1500 words approx.
Running in 2023/24

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
No instances running in the year

Module summary

This module offers a practical exploration of the languages of theatre and film, seen side by side. Focusing on different roles (e.g. acting, directing, writing) and on a range of case studies of play texts and films, the conventions of cinematic and live experiences will be closely compared and reflected upon. Students will engage in practical tasks exploring live performance ideas and alternating these with filming and viewing experiences. In doing so, as according to the Learning Outcomes stipulated below, the module aims to promote a comparative exploration of theatre and film, making connections between practices and providing a foundation for linking the various subjects included in the degree.


The module will be structured around a selection of case studies, applicable both to theatre and film. These may include characterisation, performance, setting, narrative, text, visual and sound effects. For each of these, students will engage in a variety of activities, including practical workshops, seminars, lectures and viewings. Specific focuses will be explored, including the point of view of the actor, director and writer. Through these, they will develop their ability to directly experience and articulate the modes in which theatre and film create meaning. LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Scheduled teaching ensures that independent study is effective and addresses the learning outcomes and assessment tasks. Students are expected to, and have the opportunity to, continue with their studies outside of scheduled classes. There will be a range of learning strategies deployed and individual learning styles will be accommodated. The module’s learning outcomes, its contents and delivery, have been scrutinised and will be regularly reviewed to ensure an inclusive approach to pedagogic practice.

The module and course utilise the University’s blended learning platform to support and reinforce learning, to foster peer-to-peer communication and to facilitate tutorial support for students. Reflective learning is promoted through assessment items and interim formative feedback points that ask students to reflect on their progress, seek help where they identify the opportunity for improvement in learning strategies and outcomes, and make recommendations to themselves for future development. Throughout the module, students build a body of work, including reflections on progress and achievement.

The School’s programme of employability events and embedded work - related learning within the curriculum supports students’ personal development planning. Through these initiatives, students are increasingly able, as they progress from year to year, to understand the professional environment of their disciplines, the various opportunities available to them, and how to shape their learning according to their ambitions.

The following learning and teaching strategies are employed in the course of this module:

• multimedia lectures;
• student-led seminars;
• online activities through blended learning approaches;
• practical creative tasks (occasional practical workshops, creative writing, design, photography and videography);
• visits to relevant points of interest;
• interviews with professionals in the industry;
• an interdisciplinary research project;
• live presentations.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this module students will be able to:

Cognitive intellectual abilities

LO1: understand, both from the point of view of the spectator and of the practitioner, ways in which the languages of theatre and film may be compared;

Transferable skills

LO2: understand and practically engage with the possible ways in which to draw connections between different aspects of study in theatre and film;

Subject specific skills

LO3: practically engage with the conventions of cinematic and live performance experiences;

LO4: apply an introductory understanding of the artistic potential of both theatre and film, informed by aesthetic perspectives.

Assessment strategy

PRACTICAL PROCESS: The module is assessed continuously and through a range of outcomes, including creative projects under the artistic direction of the tutor, which taken into consideration as part of the assessment, typically delivered at the beginning of the Autumn and Spring Semesters. Student participation in set projects and exercises is required and assessed. LO1, LO2, LO3

COMPARATIVE REFLECTION: The module will be concluded with a written task, reflecting on how the student may adapt his/ her approach to a given stimulus, in relation to theatre and film. A specific focus may be chosen in this respect, e.g. acting, directing, writing LO2, LO3, LO4


In addition to reading, it will be important that students visit exhibitions and see performances. There will be an updated list of relevant events circulated during the course. Readings listed here are indicative only and will be regularly updated by the respective tutors.
Core texts
Crone, B. (ed) (2012) The sensible stage : staging and the moving image, Bristol: Picture This
Porter, A. (2008) The Cambridge introduction to narrative, Cambridge: CUP

Additional reading
Barton Palmer, R. and Bray, W. (2013) Modern British drama on screen, Cambridge: CUP
Brewster, B. (1997) Theatre to cinema: stage pictorialism and the early feature film, Oxford: OUP
Esslin, M. (1987) The field of drama: how the signs of drama create meaning on stage and screen, London: Methuen
Paget, D. (1990) True stories? documentary drama on radio, screen and stage, Machester: MUP
Sabatine, J. (1995) Movement training for the stage and screen, London: A&C Black
Satchuel, S. (2004) Shakespeare: from stage to screen, Cambridge: CUP
Waller, G. (1983) The stage/screen debate: a study in popular aesthetics, NY: Garland
William Torbet , L. (1981) Theatre: stage to screen to television. Vol. 1., London: Methuen

Online resources: