module specification

SJ4030 - Approaches to Film and Television (2018/19)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2018/19
Module title Approaches to Film and Television
Module level Certificate (04)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Computing and Digital Media
Total study hours 300
192 hours Guided independent study
108 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Group Presentation 20%   Textual analysis
Coursework 30%   Evaluation 1200 words (Weblearn Submission)
Coursework 50%   Essay 2000 words (Weblearn Submission)
Running in 2018/19
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year North Monday Morning
Year (Spring and Summer) North Monday Afternoon

Module summary

Module Code:
Module Title: Approaches to Film and Television
Description: This module investigates key approaches to the study of film as an academic discipline. 
It will introduce students to a broad range of theories, encompassing such topics as authorship, genre theory, star studies, historical poetics, film style, theories of spectatorship and psychoanalysis, feminist film theory, developments in audience studies and cultural studies. The module will examine a variety of theoretical approaches to film In addition, the module addresses issues of film style, enabling students to develop skills of textual analysis.
Teaching Period: Year Long (30 weeks)
Assessment: Textual analysis in-class test (20%), Evaluation (30%), Essay (50%)

Module aims

The aims of this module are to:

• provide an understanding of key theoretical approaches to the study of film and television

• apply theoretical models  and framework to film analysis

• develop and practice skills of close textual analysis of specific film texts

• provide the opportunity to evaluate different theoretical frameworks

• develop transferable skills of communication, planning and presentation and to gain feedback on ability to do this.


This module introduces students to key theoretical approaches to film, forming a basis for future study through the Film Studies course. Students will learn how to apply these approaches to independent textual analysis, developing an understanding of the relationship between text, theory and the wider study of film. Theoretical approaches explore include genre, star studies, historical poetics, authorship, mise-en-scène, cultural studies, screen theory, psychoanalysis and the male gaze.

Learning and teaching

This module introduces key academic skill for students of film such as textual analysis, referring to secondary sources in academic writing and essay writing so that students acquire the necessary knowledge and theoretical background to move to level 5.

Learning outcomes

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

• Undertake close textual analysis of specific film texts

• Evaluate the theoretical approaches to film that they have learned to review

• Apply key theoretical models in Film and television studies to specific film texts.

Assessment strategy

On this module, through on-going coursework, assessments are both formative and summative. 
The textual analysis is aimed at testing skills of visual interpretation, while the evaluation is aimed at informing students how effectively they have understood the main theoretical concepts  introduced in the module which they need for the final assessment.


David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson, Film Art: an Introduction (New York: McGraw Hill, 1993).
David Bordwell, Janet Staiger and Kristin Thompson, The Classic Hollywood Cinema:  FIlm Style and Mode of Production to 1960 (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1985).
Leo Braudy and Marshall Cohen (eds.), Film Theory and Criticism, 6th edition, (New York: Oxford University Press, 2004).
Patrick Fuery, New Developments in Film Theory (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 2000).
John Gibbs, Mise-en-scène: Film Style and Interpretation (London: Wallflower, 2002).
Christine Gledhill and Linda Williams (eds.), Reinventing Film Studies (London: Arnold, 2000).
John Hill and Pamela Church Gibson (eds.), The Oxford Guide to Film Studies (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998).
Joanne Hollows, Peter Hutchings and Mark Jancovich (eds.), The Film Studies Reader (London: Arnold, 2000).
Toby Miller and Robert Stam (eds.), A Companion to Film Theory (Oxford: Blackwell, 2004).
Tanya Modleski, The Women Who Knew Too Much: Hitchcock and Feminist Theory (London and New York: Methuen, 1988).
Sue Thorham (ed.), Feminist Film Theory: a Reader (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1999).