module specification

SJ5087 - Hollywood Industry and Politics (2023/24)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2023/24
Module title Hollywood Industry and Politics
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%   1,000 Word Summary of Academic Writing
Coursework 70%   3,000 Word Essay
Running in 2023/24

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

Module summary

This module explores Hollywood cinema by exploring both key moments in its industrial development as well as by positioning Hollywood filmmaking as a national cinema affected by America’s culture and politics. Examining the history of Hollywood from the beginnings of the studio system to the contemporary industry, students will consider the development of an industry and its filmmaking practices, its relationship to wider cultural and political moments, as well as some of the films which define the shifting patterns of Hollywood cinema.

This module aims to:

• Provide students with an historical overview of the development of Hollywood cinema
• Develop students’ knowledge of key industrial moments and their significance
• Develop students’ understanding of Hollywood cinema as a national cinema
• Enable students to critically analyse Hollywood film in relation to American culture and politics


In the first part of this module, students will consider the industrial development of American filmmaking and the Hollywood studio system from the 1920s, considering key issues and moments in the developmental history of Hollywood cinema such as the star system, censorship, the House Un-American Activities Committee, the impact of television and the importance of the blockbuster. The module will examine the significance of these topics in relation to further industrial developments, as well as to the culture and politics of the United States.

Throughout the module, Hollywood cinema will be explored as a national cinema, examining connections between topics, events and ideas that demonstrate the industrial and cultural specificity of Hollywood film.

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. The developing assessment strategy provides opportunities for personal development as students are able to reflect on and develop their learning and skills of research and critical analysis in conjunction with tutor feedback from their first in-depth examination of a piece of academic writing to their final extended essay.

Learning outcomes

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

(1) Demonstrate knowledge of the development of American cinema from the beginning of the studio system to the contemporary industry

(2) Demonstrate an understanding of the significance of key moments in its industrial history

(3) Critically analyse Hollywood film in relation to American culture and politics

(4) Demonstrate an understanding of American cinema as a national cinema

Assessment strategy

The module’s strategy of assessment both promotes developmental learning and research and enables students to demonstrate key skills and engagement with module content. The first assignment provides the opportunity for students to demonstrate an understanding of key aspects of module content as well as their ability to engage critically with relevant academic research. Formal feedback will be provided to students to ensure appropriate levels of engagement and understanding in advance of the final essay assignment. Through the final essay, students will have the opportunity to demonstrate their in-depth understanding of a specific area of content and its relationship to the over-arching theme of Hollywood as a national cinema.