module specification

SJ5089 - British and European Cinema (2023/24)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2023/24
Module title British and European Cinema
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 15
School School of Computing and Digital Media
Total study hours 150
105 hours Guided independent study
45 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 30%   Essay plan & annotated bibliography 500 words
Coursework 70%   Essay 3,000 words
Running in 2023/24

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Spring semester 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 contexts, considering the way in which national identity is imagined, interrogated and contested in these films. You will explore European film through a variety of themes. The themes are linked with important contemporary issues of Europe’s historical and social experience. They might include European cinema and the idea of Europe; from national to transnational cinema; European art cinema; popular European genres; history, memory and the national past; the European road movie; the city film; space and place in European cinema; stars as national and transnational icons; Post-colonial cinema; migrant and diasporic identities in contemporary Europe; ‘Fortress Europe’; transgender and queer cinema; European co-productions and women’s cinema in Britain and Europe.


The module will begin by examining the concept of Europe and European cinema. 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. The module examines issues which are relevant to cinema across Britain and Europe. This may include: history, memory and the national past; post-colonial cinema; ‘Fortress Europe’; transgender and queer cinema; the road movie; art cinema, popular genres and women’s cinema.

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.

This module builds on the foundation of knowledge of the Film Studies discipline gained at level 4. It also return to some of the key academic skills introduced at level 4, such as online research, referring to secondary sources in academic writing and scaffolds these so that students acquire the necessary knowledge to plan, research a topic of their choosing. These skills are embedded at each stage of the module, firstly in the portfolio and annotated bibliography 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. This phase of the module culminates in the writing of an individual ‘mini project’.

Learning outcomes

The aims of this module are to:

L01: Demonstrate a strong understanding of a variety of thematic issues in British and European cinema including some of the history that has shaped them.

L02: Critically analyse the idea of national identity in the context of global economics and movement of people.

L03: Demonstrate the ability to critically analyse British and European film in relation to issues of race, gender and sexuality.

L04: Conceive, plan and undertake a piece of written work which requires independent research, editing and redrafting.

L05: Prepare a scholarly written ‘mini project with attention to presentation, citational and biographical conventions.

LO6: Demonstrate confidence, resilience, ambition and creativity and will act as inclusive, collaborative and socially responsible practitioners/professionals in their discipline.

Assessment strategy

On this module all assessments have a formative and a summative element. The portfolio and annotated bibliography are aimed at informing students how effectively they have understood the main historical and 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 lectures, 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 student use for the first assignment. They gain feedback from the module leader and shape their mini project in response to this feedback. The mini project is also a formative exercise for the project at Level 6.