module specification

SJ4030 - Approaches to Film and Television (2023/24)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2023/24
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
90 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
210 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 20%   Textual analysis
Coursework 30%   Evaluation
Coursework 50%   Essay 2000 words
Running in 2023/24

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year North Monday Morning

Module summary

This module introduces students to key theoretical approaches to film, forming a basis for future study through the Film Studies film course.

Students will learn how to apply these approaches through independent textual analysis, developing an understanding of the relationship between text, theory and the wider study of film.

Prior learning requirements



 The module will explore a number of key theoretical approaches to film and Television studies. LO2-3

This include authorship, genre, star studies, psychoanalysis and the male gaze, feminist film theory, documentary theory, television studies, audience studies and cultural studies, post-modernism. LO2-3

In addition, the module addresses issues of film style and mise en scene, enabling students to develop skills of textual analysis. LO1

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

The Learning and Teaching Strategy in this module combines

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.

• Lectures

• Seminars

• Individual coursework

• Blended learning through the use of Virtual Learning Environments (VLE)

Formative and summative feedback is provided after each coursework, in written form on WebLearn, in-class after the in-class textual analysis, by email or in person after an individual appointment.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module the student should be able to:

LO1: Undertake close textual analysis of specific film texts

LO2: Evaluate the theoretical approaches to film and television that they have learned to review.

LO3: 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.

• 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 assignment.


Identify core and additional reading
Liaise with Library Services to confirm availability of on-line licenses in academic year

Where possible, the most current version of reading materials is used during the delivery of this module.  Comprehensive reading lists are provided to students in their handbooks.  Reading Lists will be updated annually.

Core Text:

David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson, Film Art. An Introduction (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1979) (any edition – page numbers for reading may vary).
Leo Braudy and Marshall Cohen (eds.), Film Theory and Criticism, 6th edition, (New York: Oxford University Press, 2004).
Stella Bruzzi, New Documentary, 2nd Edition (London: Routledge, 2006).
Pam Cook (ed.), The Cinema Book, 3rd Edition (London: BFI, 2007).
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).
Joanne Hollows, Peter Hutchings and Mark Jancovich (eds.), The Film Studies Reader (London: Arnold, 2000). 
Richard Maltby, Hollywood Cinema: An Introduction (Oxford: Blackwell, 1995).
Joanne Hollows and Mark Jancovich (eds.), Approaches to Popular Film (Manchester and New York: Manchester University Press, 1995).
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).
Paul Ward, Documentary: The Margins of Reality (London: Wallflower, 2005).

      Other Texts:

André Bazin, What is Cinema? Vol. I (Berkeley and London: University of California Press, 2005).
André Bazin, What is Cinema? Vol. II (Berkeley and London: University of California Press, 2005).
Keith Beattie, Documentary Screens: Non-Fiction Film and Television (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004), 10-25.
Bernie Cook (ed.), Thelma and Louise Live! The Cultural Afterlife of an American Film (Austin, Texas: University of Texas Press, 2007).
Glen Creeber (ed.), Tele-Visions: An Introduction to Studying Television (London: BFI, 2006).
Kevin J. Hayes (ed), Martin Scorsese’s Raging Bull (Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2005).
Jane Gaines and Charlotte Herzog (eds.), Fabrications (London and New York: Routledge, 1990).
Christine Geraghty and David Lusted (eds.), The Television Studies Book (London: Arnold, 1998).
Sue Holmes and Deborah Jermyn (eds.), Understanding Reality Television (London: Routledge, 2004).

Journal of Popular Film and Television

Library Talis link: