module specification

SJ4031 - Film and Television Histories (2018/19)

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

Module summary

Module Code:
Module Title: Film and Television Histories
This module introduces students to the history of film and television from 1895 to the present.
It explores key developments, movements and trends in countries such as Britain, Italy, France, Japan, Germany, Sweden and America, including the ‘cinema of attraction’; the emergence of narrative cinema; stardom; the development of the sound film; film as propaganda; the Hollywood studio system; animation and European art cinema. Specific case-studies and examples will be used to examine the history of film and television within broader cultural, industrial, political and social contexts. Attention is primarily given to feature films, but documentary and experimental films in both feature and short-film length will also be screened and considered. 
Teaching Period: Year Long (30 weeks)
Assessment: Group presentation (20%), bibliography (30%), essay (50%)

Module aims

The main aims of this module are to:

• explore world cinema from the silent era up to the contemporary period

• cover key national and international film movements by situating them within their wider aesthetic, cultural, social, technological and political contexts

• study the textual features of the films in the context of their historical conditions of production

• deploy transferable skills of communication by collaborating with others and present findings effectively to peers and lecturer.


The module provides an overview of some of key development in international film and television history which will be examined in their broader cultural, industrial, political and social contexts.

The module also examines where relevant aesthetic and formal features including editing, mise en scene, sound, narrative, non-narrative and generic characteristics.

Learning and teaching

Learning and teaching strategy for this module include lectures, seminars and screenings as well as blended online learning. This module introduces key academic skills, such as bibliographical, historical research and group work. These skills are embedded at each stage of the module, firstly in the development of a group presentation, secondly in the compiling of a bibliography and finally in the writing of an essay.

Learning outcomes

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

• Understand and analyse film texts within their contexts of production

• Deploy accurately established models of analysis with the field of film history

• Manage their own learning and make use of scholarly reviews and primary sources appropriate to the subject

• Exhibit skills of oral presentation, groups work and reflexivity through the seminar process and coursework.

Assessment strategy

On this module, all assessments have a formative element. The presentation is aimed at acquiring and/or developing personal qualities (such as independence, ability to take responsibility, self-esteem and confidence) and transferable skills (such as negotiation/working effectively with others, communication, objective-setting, planning and creativity). The second assessment encourages study and research skills which they need to carry out in the essay and throughout the course.


Robert C. Allen, Film History: Theory and Practice (New York and London: McGraw Hill-Hill, 1985). 
David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson, Film History: an Introduction (Boston: Mcgraw Hill, 2010).
David Bordwell, On the History of Film Style (Cam. Mass. and London: Harvard University Press, 2007).
David A. Cook, A History of Narrative Film (New York and London: Norton, 1990).
Pam Cook, The Cinema Book, Third Edition (London: BFI, 2007).
Peter Kramer and Lee Grieveson (eds.), The Silent Cinema Reader (London and New York: Routledge, 2004).
Geoffrey Nowell-Smith, The Oxford Guide to World Cinema (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996).
John Sedgwick and Michael Pokorny, An Economic History of Film (London and New York: Routledge, 2005).