module specification

SJ5088 - Hollywood Stardom, Genre and Authorship (2023/24)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2023/24
Module title Hollywood Stardom, Genre and Authorship
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 15
School School of Computing and Digital Media
Total study hours 150
105 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
45 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 100%   3,500 Word Essay
Running in 2023/24

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Spring semester North Thursday Afternoon

Module summary

This module explores Hollywood cinema by exploring key issues in relation to stardom, genre and authorship. Using extended case studies in relation to both themes and comparative examples, the module both considers the significance of both films and personnel in relation to Hollywood history, and critically explores the importance and problems of these approaches to the study of Hollywood cinema. Students will consider ideas of representation from the classical era to contemporary film and television depictions of Hollywood. Issues in relation to industry and culture will additionally be critically explored.

This module aims to:

• Develop students’ understanding of key approaches to the study of Hollywood cinema
• Enable students to explore these approaches through extended critical analysis of case studies
• Develop students’ abilities in comparative critical analysis of various examples of film and television representation
• Consider key approaches and case studies in relation to the Hollywood film industry and American culture.


The module will explore key approaches to Hollywood film as extended case studies, using film and television examples to consider these approaches. The module will therefore be taught in several blocks, while enabling discussion of connections and overlaps between the examples used.

The module will therefore explore approaches to stardom, genre and authorship in sections, considering both classical and contemporary examples that demonstrate these approaches and how they illustrate both similar and contrasting ways in which they represent key ideas. Case studies may include film noir, colour noir and neo-noir, the representation of Bette Davis in 1940s Hollywood film and the 2017 television series Feud: Bette and Joan, and extending film authorship from directors to producers.

In addition, the module will examine the significance of industrial conditions and cultural shifts in film representation and the key approaches being explored.

Learning Outcomes LO 1 - 4

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Learning and teaching on the module will be conducted via lectures, seminars, screenings, blended learning and students’ guided independent study. Students will be expected to enhance their learning in scheduled classes through guided secondary and primary research. Students will gain feedback through seminars and tutorials, enabling them to reflect on and develop their understanding in preparation for their final essay.

Learning outcomes

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

(1) Demonstrate an understanding of approaches to Hollywood cinema in relation to stardom, genre and authorship
(2) Demonstrate knowledge of a variety of contrasting representations as part of case studies
(3) Critically analyse approaches and cinematic examples through case studies
(4) Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of key approaches and case studies through the lenses of the Hollywood film industry and American culture.

Assessment strategy

The module’s strategy of assessment enables students to demonstrate key skills and engagement with module content. An extended essay enables students to engage in an in-depth examination of a wide case study of a key approach to Hollywood cinema. Students will be able to demonstrate both a broad understanding of the topic through a case study and their ability to make connections across the examples used and with additional case studies on the module. Through this essay, students will also be able to demonstrate skills in critical analysis through in-depth consideration of both the approach explored and close textual analysis of films and/or television shows. They will also have the opportunity to place these ideas within the broader background of the Hollywood film industry and American culture.