Film Studies and Media Studies BA (Hons)

Full-time undergraduate (3 years)


September 2017


Explore cutting-edge media and film theory along with historical perspectives, and develop specialist skills like filmmaking, animation and creative publishing.

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Full description


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This course will prepare you for a career or further study in film and video production, film and television post-production, film journalism, cinema and film festival management, film education, film programming and curation, broadcasting and public relations. You’ll also be well prepared for other professions that need an understanding of the media, like web design, publishing, and human resources.

You might enjoy your degree so much that you decide to take a Masters course, like our MA Film and Television Production.

Modules & assessment

Year one, core modules

  • Introduction to Film Studies
    This introductory module will show you an analytic and creative approach to the study of films and film practices, introducing you to some of the key features of film language and theory. As well as contemporary and classical Hollywood, you'll study experimental practices and products, films and film-making contexts from a range of cultures. You’ll look at film as an ideological tool and learn to identify and debate the relative merits of different films, developing the critical judgement skills crucial to the subject. You’ll visit cinemas and film festivals and seminar activities such as shot analyses and oral presentations will help you understand the links between conceptual and practical approaches.
  • Media, Culture and Society
    This module will give you an overview of approaches to the media, including theories of the media and the broader issues and questions that have traditionally concerned media theorists. You'll be introduced to all aspects of the media, including structures and organisations, production processes, contents, and audiences. You'll critically discuss and evaluate theories of the media, along with the different perspectives, including organisational theories of media production, sociological and psychological approaches to media contents and reception, and the challenges posed by the new media.
  • Introduction to Radio and Audio Production
    This module will give you a basis for developing a radio portfolio, as well as a grounding for further study in radio up to major project level. You'll consider the relationship between theory and practice in radio production by studying a wide range of radio programmes and discussing the different requirements of commercial radio stations and public broadcasting. With a focus on the teaching and practice of the basic elements of radio production, writing, presentation, journalism and technical expertise in recording and editing your material, the module will introduce you to the various elements that make up any radio programme, and make you aware of the differences between writing for radio and writing for press, film or television. You'll also look at the art of interviewing, researching and scriptwriting, along with the concept of news and current affairs programming. You'll be expected to adapt print journalism for radio, prepare scripts, record and edit a short current affairs dispatch and short radio programme for a named target audience using music, vox pops, interview clips and sound effects as appropriate. You'll also produce a range of individual radio items that are then compiled into a 15 minute magazine programme, the latter involving group work in the selection and editing together of items.
  • Introduction to Video 1
    Through a series of briefs and exercises that investigate the principles of filmic conventions, this module will introduce you to the language of film and video from the point of view of a practitioner. The projects will encompass the investigation of principles such as: composition and lighting, shot/reverse-shot sequences, matching on action and the rhythmic editing of picture and sound. The aim is not necessarily for you to perfect conventions, rather to experiment and gain an understanding of how they work. No prior technical experience of film and video is required - you'll receive inductions into camera operation, sound recording and editing. Your work will be regularly screened in a critical forum, allowing you to gain invaluable feedback from your peers and tutors.
  • Introduction to Film Theory
    On this module you will focus on theoretical approaches to an understanding of how film works and the relationship between cinema and society, and between cinema and the individual. Through weekly lectures and seminars, you will study a number of key texts and concepts by influential writers who have helped to shape Film Studies as a subject in its own right, and who have contributed to the development of new ways of thinking about cinema. You will discuss the key points raised in each article, debate the strengths and weaknesses of each approach and apply these to clips and films screened throughout the module. You will explore some of the following questions: How does cinema mediate our understanding of reality and of social issues? How can a realist film style help to raise our awareness of aspects of reality that might otherwise go unnoticed? How have semiotic concepts been applied to the study of cinema as a language? How can we appreciate the role of the filmmaker as an auteur? What is the relationship between cinema, politics, and ideology? What is the relationship between cinema and the unconscious mind? How have ideas about gender, ethnicity, race, and sexuality been debated within film theory? Lectures will give you an overview of a particular theory, positioning it within a broader topic. The seminars will give you time to get to grips with the nuances, merits, and limitations of different methods of film theory, to ask questions, and above all to test out theories through a discussion of the films screened. They will also offer you essay writing workshops, to continue the development of your critical and analytic skills, and refine your essay-writing skills. You will be assessed through a 3000-word critical essay, due at the end of the module.

Year one, optional modules

  • Media and Technology
    On this module you'll address the issues of technology and communication, exploring how the introduction of new communication technologies transforms notions of space, place and time. You'll discuss critically a variety of theoretical positions concerned with how we evaluate the role of technology within communication practices. Technologies and associated practices will be situated within their specific historical periods (for example, the role of printing in Reformation Europe and the role of the internet in contemporary culture). You'll also consider the manner in which communication technology affects cognitive processes such as memory, together with how technologies (for example, mobile phones) affect assumptions about the meaning and nature of communicative practices in general.
  • Introduction to Global Cinema
    Traditionally, the concept of 'world cinema' has been used for national cinemas outside Hollywood. By contrast, this module will introduce you to a global and transnational approach, in which Hollywood forms one part of the globalised commercial and artistic film landscape of the last fifty years. You'll study a range of films in order to explore topics which may include Bollywood, Nollywood, Hollywood as global cinema, the cinema of small countries and other emergent cinema. You'll address the aesthetic, economic, linguistic and political contexts of different film cultures, with a focus on how they situate themselves in a global market.
  • The Networked Image
    This module will introduce you to the production of online media, through a series of briefs and exercises that explore representations of self and society online. You'll examine the language and practice of new media in various forms and reflect on its uses with particular reference to online practices of individual and group identity production. Your projects will centre on the use of formats and platforms such as YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, Twitter and Myspace as digital spaces for sharing various media, including the still image, the moving image, sound and text. You'll receive practical and technical inductions on still digital cameras, audio recorders and key audio and visual editing software. Your work will be regularly screened/presented in a critical forum, so you can benefit from the feedback of peers and tutors.
  • Print Media
    This module will introduce you to the theory and practice of print media. You'll explore the principles of desktop publishing, writing copy, and picture, text and graphics management. Throughout the module, you'll examine methods for generating, researching and writing stories in a variety of different formats, including design principles, headline and lead writing, writing to length, to deadlines, and using appropriate sources. You'll have access to a range of desktop publishing and graphics packages. You'll also be introduced to issues of ethics and copyright and you’ll also cover issues of audience, distribution and reception.
  • Introduction to Video 2
    This module will introduce you to creative, practical and theoretical issues concerning self-directed video projects. Working in small production teams, you'll produce a number of short videos in response to a series of briefs set by the tutor. You’ll engage conceptually with the medium, by focusing on an investigation of a series of formal characteristics such as framing, duration, editing, and relationships between sound and image. To support your work, you'll be shown a number of short films and extracts related to the project briefs, which will encompass a range of different types of film-making. Your work will be regularly screened and discussed in a critical forum, so you can benefit from the feedback of your peers and tutors, and you'll have the chance to attend technical workshops to supplement the inductions provided in previous modules.

Year two, core modules

  • Theorising Spectatorship
    You'll address issues of spectatorship and representation through a range of theoretical approaches including psychoanalytic theory. You'll also explore the intersection of pleasure and terror in our encounters with the image, considering the ways in which film taps into our unconscious, and the role of the body, the senses, and emotion in shaping our responses to moving image culture. You'll look at the future of film studies by addressing the changing conditions of spectatorship in the age of digital cinema.
  • Media, Identity and Difference
    You’ll focus on the question of identity in late modern culture and societies, interrogating how individual and collective identities come about, gain solidity and transform as a result of cultural, social, historical, (media) technological, and psychic processes. You'll consider how various media are involved in the construction of our identities, considering how identities are outcomes of the symbolic forms, systems of thought, power relations and techniques of the self, disseminated and enabled by the media. You'll be introduced to leading paradigms of thinking in media studies, critical theory, philosophy and the broader field of humanities that are crucially important when investigating identity. For your assessment, you'll submit a 3,000-word critical essay.
  • Theorising Popular Culture
    On this module, you'll examine popular culture as defined, practised and consumed, against and within 'official' or 'high' culture. You'll explore issues of identity, resistance and consumption, focusing on specific case studies, including sub-cultural practices and style. You'll critically explore the relationships between taste, style and ideology through an analysis of various sites and products, such as the shopping mall, popular musical forms, television, dress, eating, and leisure activities. You'll address contemporary icons for what they are able to indicate about forms of resistance, diversity and identity, and consider the social metaphors a cultural group may employ in terms of the spectacular and the public against the more silent and private strategies of consumption involved in, for example, fashioning of the body and identity.
  • Classical Hollywood Cinema
    On this module you will focus on the practices, products and institutional frameworks of the classical Hollywood period. You will explore the narrative conventions that continue to shape the majority of mainstream commercial cinema and study the formal and stylistic features of the 'realist' text, the ideologies that inform it and its ideals of normative identities and lifestyles. You will explore coupling and heterosexual romance as a motor of plot development and as an intensely ideological aspect of films made in this period. Similarly, you will consider the significance of the ‘happy ending’ in maintaining or challenging key ideological norms and values. Drawing from some of the theoretical approaches encountered on earlier compulsory modules (Theorizing Spectatorship), you will think about classical Hollywood cinema’s positioning of the spectator, and the implications for the construction of gender and racial identities. Finally, you will also consider the style conventions of different classical Hollywood film genres and debate their significance in helping to align spectators ideologically and emotionally in the narrative action.

Year two, optional modules

  • Media and Politics
    You'll consider the significance of the rise of the media in shaping politics, in terms of public opinion, policy formation, formal democratic procedures, public debate and political advocacy. Your studies will include the history of the press and the broadcast media, as well as the emergence of the internet. You'll examine the core concept of the 'public sphere' and explore its rising significance in Europe during the Enlightenment and expansion and management in the 20th century. You'll analyse the crucial role journalism has played in public debate throughout these developments, and look at changes in areas such as privacy, human rights, freedom of speech and civil society. You'll also address and evaluate the contemporary notion of the counter public sphere, and the increasing use of new media to formulate 'subaltern' publics, (which mobilise sections of civil society via issues from environmentalism and gender to 'anti-globalisation' movements), and alternative democratic theories. You'll be assessed through a 2,000-word critical essay and a 1,000-word news commentary.
  • Cinema and Sound
    On this module you'll explore the role played by sound in the development and appreciation of cinema, including: the impact of the introduction of sound, the influence of sound on the perception and experience of the film spectator and the evolving terminology in the field. You'll examine the aesthetics of sound in the cinema with reference to films from the earliest experiments in sound recording, such as W.K.L. Dickson's Experimental Sound Film (1894/5), to early sound films by directors such as Alfred Hitchcock, René Clair and Fritz Lang, and all the way to contemporary cinema, by way of auteurs such as Robert Bresson, Jacques Tati and Andrei Tarkovsky. The theoretical framework for your study will include key texts by a range of critics and theorists who have sought to redress the balance in Film Studies (and culture at large), which often tends to privilege the image.
  • Internet Communication
    In this module, you'll explore, experiment with and develop skills in internet technology and web design, applying techniques of interface, navigation and manipulation to creative composition to make small-scale web-based products. Using textual, graphic, moving image and audio material, you’ll create an internet product that serves a specific purpose for an identified client/audience. You'll engage with the computer tools, software packages and terminology required for effective work in this medium and gain a working knowledge both of the strengths and limits of the medium. You'll consider ethical issues, such as pornography and privacy, as well as legal issues such as copyright and libel. Multimedia studio-based sessions will allow you to explore a range of selected internet sites and assess critically the features that contribute to their aesthetic, clarity of purpose, ease of use and mode of address to projected audiences. Your assessment will comprise these practical outcomes along with a reflective commentary and an evaluation of both your process and product.
  • Radio Production
    This practice module will build on the technical, editorial and production skills you develop in Introduction to Radio. Using specialist facilities for audio recording and for on-screen editing, you'll learn to produce the short 'package' format, a staple of the radio 'magazine programme' and a widely used form of the feature genre. You'll learn good practice through a variety of broadcast examples that illustrate suitable subject matter for packages, and develop your critical skills by reviewing these and through class discussion, as well as further developing your skills for writing cues and links. You'll practise presenting skills, and develop your skills in recording, editing and mixing audio material. Your studies will also include a basic study of media law with particular reference to defamation, and a discussion of using 'bad' language on radio programmes. The radio products you'll submit for assessment will include work produced individually and in production groups. You'll also submit a critical commentary and an evaluation of the group product.
  • Intercultural Encounters in Global Cinema
    On this module, you'll examine how the effects of increasing globalisation and the expansion of the European Union have been closely monitored and discussed not only in political discourse but in media as well. Cinema and TV are no exceptions, and such media portrayals are of key importance, be it as potential reflections of popular attitudes, ideas and preoccupations towards migration, or their likely impact on popular views and opinions on the topic. You'll investigate how the global perspective goes beyond the exploration of individual films in their national frameworks, and is therefore better equipped to address questions linked to the legacy of globalisation and international migration.
  • Digital Media Theory
    Contemporary media culture is primarily a culture of the digital. This module will introduce you to key themes and debates through which you can understand digitality not only as a technical characteristic but a cultural phenomenon. You'll develop an understanding of the characteristics specific to digital media culture, with themes ranging from aesthetics to new forms of knowledge and communication. You'll be introduced to key forms of recent digital media theory debates and will discuss themes including game cultures, social media and human-computer. For your assignment, you'll produce a lecture diary, allowing you to reflect on and summarise themes from lectures. You'll also produce an essay, allowing you to apply theoretical skills to an analysis of a specific theme of digital culture.
  • Documentary Film Theory
    This module acts as a co-requisite for the Level 5 practical Video Documentary module for Film Studies students. Students on other courses may choose to take the practical module as a free standing module. The module will introduce you to many of the critical discussions and debates surrounding the historical, technological, aesthetic and socio-political developments of the documentary approach to film and video-making. As well as paying full regard to the key trends and film-makers to have contributed to the history of this important genre, you will consider the renewed public interest in documentary film and its crossover into the mainstream with recent commercial and critical hits such as "When We Were Kings" (Leon Gast 1996) and "Bowling for Columbine" (Michael Moore 2002). You will focus on the nature, specificity and evolution of the documentary form, and its relationship to cinematic realism, and address the historical and theoretical contexts of the study of documentary film, as well as an engaging with topical debates regarding the relationship between reality and representation, documentary ethics, and the role of cross-cultural documentary and ethnographic film. You will also discuss different modes of address in documentary film-making, the role of the documentary film- maker, and the relationship between film-maker and subject(s), and explore current and future modes of distribution and exhibition for the documentary film, including specialist festivals devoted to documentary. Throughout the module there are opportunities for you to critically analyse key film texts. Your assessment will take the form of a 3000-word critical essay.
  • News and Feature Writing
    This intensive reading and writing module will introduce you to the techniques of print journalism, focusing on news reports and feature articles. The skills required for effective news and feature writing are a key component of writing craft in any genre of fiction or non-fiction. It's a discipline that improves the imaginative work and communicative power of those who practice it. You'll explore the significance of journalistic writing in contemporary life using examples from a range of British tabloid, broadsheet and local publications. You'll practise sourcing news reports, developing feature articles and sub-editing for style and content. In seminar workshops, you'll combine analysis of journalistic techniques with practical writing exercises, covering topics that include: researching and pitching a story; interviewing; puns and rhythm; and economical use of language. Early on, you'll produce a set of briefs that must be approved by the seminar leader, then produce copy for these briefs and, in editorial teams, giving and receiving constructive criticism.
  • Media and Economy
    You'll examine the role of economics, politics and culture in relation to the media and communication industries, considering this in the context of local, national and global developments in communications technologies and institutions in the early 21st century. You'll explore the tradition of the political economy of communication, from a perspective rooted in Marxist thought and critical theory, and contestations around the influence of 'base' on 'superstructure'. These relationships will give you a framework in which to investigate specific questions emerging from the areas of ownership and control, individual agency, professional practice, technological change, distribution and markets, competition and regulation. You’ll also look at specific case studies, for example the impact of the vertical integration of global media corporations on freedom of choice and expression or the role of the BBC in a multi-channel digital age. You'll be assessed through a critical essay of 3,000 words.
  • Independent Cinema: US and Beyond
    You’ll focus on the development, features and impact of independent cinema in the US and beyond. Alongside close examination of a number of key films, you'll consider areas such as the financing and promotion of independent film-making, and investigate how and why certain directors choose to work outside the protective infrastructures and high budgets provided by a studio system. You’ll also look at US-based film-makers starting out in the late 1970s and early 1980s, such as John Sayles, Jim Jarmusch and Joel Coen, and how they influenced later international filmmakers, such as Quentin Tarantino, Gregg Araki, Vincent Gallo and Lukas Moodysson. You’ll explore how Awards ceremonies and Film Festivals can showcase 'peripheral' cinema, and critically examine the role of independent distribution companies. Your assessment will take the form of a critical essay and an oral seminar presentation on the work of an independent film-maker of your choice.
  • Animation
    To study this module you must have already taken the Introduction to Video module. You’ll become more familiar with the discipline of animation, emphasising the creative possibilities of the frame-by-frame manipulation of time. You'll be introduced to a range of conventional and experimental works that will develop your understanding and practice of animation. You'll watch a series of screenings covering a range of key figures and movements in animation, from the geometric abstraction of Hans Richter and Viking Eggeling to the early films of the Disney studio, the camera-less films of Len Lye and Stan Brakhage, the reflexive strategies of Chuck Jones and Robert Breer, and the pioneering work of Lotte Reiniger. You'll take part in a number of practical workshop projects that will develop various skills, from camera-less filmmaking to collage and pixilation, encouraging you to take an idea-driven and experimental approach to the medium. Your final project can be completed individually or in a pair.
  • Non-Fiction Filmmaking
    To take this module you must already have taken Introduction to Video. You'll explore the nature and practice of documentary filmmaking, addressing the aesthetics of documentary in relation to expository, poetic, observational, performative, and reflexive modes of practice. You'll consider, reflect and implement appropriate responses to the range of issues that might arise in your work, including the ethical, creative, methodological, theoretical, and technical concerns relating to documentary. To rationalise the subject of non-fiction film and video in terms of forms and conventions of documentary language, you'll examine in detail various examples of contemporary, historical, independent, and mainstream documentary.

Year three, core modules

  • Major Project
    The individual Major Project will allow you to undertake a substantial piece of individual research, focused on a topic relevant to your specific course. Your topic will be assessed for suitability to ensure sufficient academic challenge and satisfactory supervision by an academic member of staff. The project will require you to identify/formulate problems and issues, conduct research, evaluate information, process data, and critically appraise and present your findings/creative work. You should arrange and attend regular meetings with your project supervisor, to ensure that your project is closely monitored and steered in the right direction.
  • Theorising the Global Information Age
    In an age increasingly dominated by flows of information, understanding and theorising this phenomenon is becoming an imperative, not just in the context of the study of media and communications but for grasping social change, the formation of subjectivity, and the functions of the economy. You'll explore strategies, approaches and methodologies for capturing the multiple issues, conflicts and dynamics of the information society. This includes issues such as the impact of computer mediated communication (CMC) on work practices and the shift in the nature of production from a material to immaterial economy. You'll also consider the significance of the revolution in person-to-person communications (P2P). You'll be assessed on your understanding and critical response to the material studied through a presentation and a critical essay of 2,500 words.
  • Multiplexed: Contemporary Popular Cinema
    On this module you'll explore trends in the aesthetics and production practices of Hollywood movies, and their contexts of distribution and reception, based on a representative selection from the last four decades. You'll discover how the style and output of American popular cinema in this period has responded to changing socio-political, economic and cultural circumstances. Alongside close readings of a number of films (bookended by the box-office record breakers Jaws and Avatar), you'll consider some of the broader tendencies they represent: What lies behind the so-called 'blockbuster syndrome' supposedly initiated by Spielberg's monster movie? What is the impact of new locations or technologies for viewing on the aesthetics of popular cinema? Did the blockbuster destroy or save Hollywood? These are just some of the questions you'll answer over the course of the module.

Year three, optional modules

  • Language, Bodies, Subjectivity
    On this module, you'll focus on language as a symbolic system and practice in which meaning is produced and reproduced under specific cultural conditions and characterized by fragmentation and conflict as much as by cohesion and consensus. You'll consider the body as a site of signification in the constitution of subjectivity. Challenging the Cartesian tradition of mind/body split, this module will allow you to query the role of language in creating bodies and the ways in which the flesh is a historical discursive site that can both confirm and transgress traditional operations of power. You'll also consider how the interaction between bodies and oppressed subject positions can overthrow dominant regimes of language and bodies. You'll be assessed through 3,000 word textual analysis, supported by a 15 minute interactive class presentation.
  • Music, Media and Culture
    On this module you'll explore the role and functioning of a variety of musical forms within contemporary Western culture by focusing on places of consumption (such as clubs and concert halls), modes of reception (such as fandom, aural mnemonics, and identity formation) and modes and sites of production where the focus is on the diverse functioning of the music industry. You'll consider music as a form of communication practice, and the relationship of aurality to vision through an analysis of the use of music in film. You'll consider music within specific cultural and historical movements, including romanticism and nationalism. Throughout, you'll look at issues of ethnocentrism and the constructions and contestations of identity, value and power systems through music. For your assessment, you'll write a critical essay of 3,000 words.
  • Narrative in Global Cinema
    On this module you will explore the way stories are told in films from around the world. You will study key aspects of cinematic narrative structure, including order, duration, cause-and-effect patterns, and the distinction between fabula (story) and syuzhet (plot). You will also examine how character and voice are handled in film, the function of 'point of view', focalisation, and internal vs external characterisation. You will address theoretical aspects such as narrator and narratee, reception theory, suspense vs surprise, the key 'seven' narrative functions, narrative and genre, and the ideology of 'show vs tell'. You will analyse non-narrative (and anti-narrative) aspects of narratives, such as description, iconic shots, music, and other disruptive elements. You will also be thinking about the different roles of words (dialogue, text, sub-titles) and imagery. You will study all of these narrative topics with regard to global cinemas. You will compare and contrast mainstream commercial Hollywood movies with non-American examples, ask to what extent continuity narrative has become the dominant pattern across the globe, examine narrative structures that do not fit the mainstream model, and analyse the intersection of global narratives with diverse identity formations. You will view films and clips from various European countries and non-Western regions, in addition to co-productions and transnational examples. Your assessment will comprise a narrative analysis (1000 words) and a critical (2000 words).
  • Special Topics in Film Studies
    This module gives you the opportunity to study a topic taught by a member of staff whose particular academic interests and/or research is reflected in the area. You will extend your knowledge and understanding of a specific subject area that you may have encountered earlier in your studies, and in which there is deemed to be scope for more reading, critical commentary, analysis and discussion. Alternatively, this module may be used to introduce you to a topic which is not found elsewhere in the existing degree provision. A topic may be the study of a single filmmaker (e.g. Charlie Chaplin; Claire Denis) or cognate group of filmmakers (e.g. the French New Wave; New Queer Cinema), a genre (e.g. Global Horror; the Teen Movie), or a topic that allows for in-depth discussion and consideration of a defined area in film theory (Cinema & Sexuality; Digital Aesthetics in Contemporary Cinema; Film-Philosophy). The designated topics vary from year to year, you will be told what is available before making your module choice. You will not attend formal lectures - the module is taught in seminars in which group discussion is encouraged.
  • Independent Film Practice 1
    This module will allow you to develop your own mode of creative film practice. Whether your projects are informed by considerations associated with drama, documentary, animation or experimental work, you will be expected to show a critical and reflective attitude towards your practice. Early in the module, you'll present your project proposal to tutors and the rest of the group, then, at a later stage, show and discuss your work in progress in the context of individual tutorials and class seminars. To develop your proposed project, you'll undertake preliminary practical projects, conduct research, begin pre-production and openly discuss your ideas, with advanced technical workshops being organised as required. You can work individually or in small groups. After completing the module, you'll attend a screening and a crit, at which every student will show at least one finished piece of work. The film that you show in the crit constitutes the first element of your assessment. You'll also submit a commentary and evaluation, discussing the intentions behind your project and the formative features of your work.
  • Creative Publishing
    This module will provide you with a reflective environment in which to apply techniques of electronic publishing to your own writing, selected from your broader portfolio or created through a commission. You'll need to draw on your learning experiences from other modules and then research and produce a design plan suitable for directing the production of a published document from initial thumbnail sketches through to finished product. Experimenting with appropriate software, you’ll generate, store and transfer information, then move on to copy editing, proofreading and production. You'll consider such questions as house style within the broader context of message and audience and the impact of diverse and developing technology on the reproduction of writing in paper based media. You'll engage critically with a range of case studies. You'll be assessed through your portfolio of work, as well as a commentary on and an evaluation of your process and product.
  • Working in English and Media
    This module, with a focus on work experience, will help prepare you for targeted entry into the world of multimedia, film, television, cinema, radio, video, teaching, publishing, arts administration and related creative and cultural industries. You'll identify, negotiate and carry out a work placement, or produce a commissioned product, in a chosen area, with guidance from the relevant Course Leader and Module Leader, who will provide ongoing consultation, supervision and support in association with the University's Careers Service. You'll develop a portfolio and write a critical essay, both of which you'll submit at the end of the semester. Your portfolio should include: your CV; copies of a range of academic work (including a DVD showreel, where appropriate); evidence of extra-curricular activities; evidence of work experience. Presentation is crucial to your portfolio, and you should make use of all available multi-media when refining your work. This module will form part of your ongoing programme of Personal Development Planning.
  • Avant-garde Film and Experimental Video
    On this module, you'll take an historical approach to the various movements and themes associated with avant-garde film and experimental video. You'll consider these in aesthetic and socio-political contexts, but you’ll also study the work of a number of key film and video-makers in close detail. Throughout the module, you'll consider and reflect upon the history of experimental film and video and its association with other artistic forms, as well as its rebellious relationship with the mainstream. In addition, you'll examine the movement of the avant-garde film between cinema and modern art, while still focusing on it as an independent form of art practice with its own internal logic and aesthetic discourse.
  • Media and Philosophy
    On this module, you'll explore the philosophical implications of the media. You'll engage with the history of philosophy, as it has touched on questions of technology, media, communication and language (itself a form of mediation), as well as the evolution of technology as a product of human agency. Specific issues you'll address include the roles of the philosophy of science in forming our technological imaginary and our conceptions of subjectivity and the relationship between military technology and video gaming. You’ll draw from a wide range of thinkers from both philosophy and contemporary media theory including Spinoza, Heidegger, Baudrillard and Deleuze. You'll explore various media such as film, television and video games in order to generate epistemological and ontological questions regarding the world as representation, cultural artefact, simulacrum or chaotic system. You'll be assessed through a 2,500 word critical essay and a group panel discussion, including a position paper of up to five minutes.
  • Gender, Media and Culture
    You'll explore the question of gender, one of the major concerns of contemporary (media) cultures, art, and several scholarly fields including media studies, philosophy, cultural theory and feminist criticism. You'll discover the importance of gender as an analytical category and you’ll investigate gender from a variety of angles such as systems of power/knowledge, the organisation of social relations, lived experience, aesthetics (what is given to our perception), and capacities to affect and be affected. You'll examine this variety through the introduction of theories by key scholars and cutting-edge debates linked to instances, trends and elaborations of gender in the media. You'll approach gender as a multi-faceted problem, a highly useful concept, and a set of practices - expressions, experiences and experiments - that are central to our existence and to current media cultures. You'll be assessed through a 3,000-word critical essay.
  • Contemporary Television
    You’ll explore a range of different genres, including drama, comedy and 'reality' shows. In screenings and seminars, you'll explore and analyse television programmes not simply as texts but as specific examples around which larger areas of debate and discussion can be explored. You'll also explore the wider context in which these programmes are situated (technology, institution, audience and the changing context of television). You’ll be assessed through a 500-word reception study, in which you'll analyse a cross section of reviews of a television programme, and a 2,500-word critical essay. Possible programmes for discussion include Twin Peaks, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Modern Family, X Factor, Doctor Who and Girls.
  • Independent Radio Practice
    In this practice module, you'll demonstrate a high level of editorial and technical expertise in radio production as you experiment with, develop and consolidate these skills by planning, writing and producing imaginative work for an appropriate radio market. You'll consider current models of practice in a variety of radio networks/stations, and initiate and carry forward ideas already suitable for or adaptable to radio. You'll also show critical reflection of your own practice by completing a thorough and rigorous commentary and evaluation.

Optional modules available all years

  • Anglia Language Programme
    The Anglia Language Programme allows you to study a foreign language as part of your course. You'll take one language module in the second semester of your first year in order to experience the learning of a new language. You must select a language you've never learnt before from the following: Chinese (Mandarin), French, German, Italian, Japanese, and Spanish.


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For a full breakdown of module options and credits, please view the module structure.
You’ll show your progress through many different methods, reflecting the range of skills demanded by employers. Your written assignments might include case studies, critical essays, screenwriting, journals and log books, evaluation reports, film reviews and analyses. You’ll demonstrate your presentation skills, and create portfolios of work. We also use a range of 'hands-on' methods including internet, print and video production and commissions.

Where you'll study

Your department and faculty

The Department of English and Media is a community of more than 800 students, exploring subjects that further their understanding of culture and communication in the global age, from film studies to applied linguistics. We focus on skills and knowledge valued by employers, and provide our students with valuable industry insight through our links with creative partners.

Our students take part in many activities to help prepare them for the future, like work placements, study abroad opportunities, talks by internationally acclaimed guest speakers, and research conferences. They even have the chance to get writing advice from our Royal Literary Fund Fellow.

We’re part of the Faculty of Arts, Law and Social Sciences, a hub of creative and cultural innovation whose groundbreaking research has real social impact.

Where can I study?

Lord Ashcroft Building on our Cambridge campus

Our campus is close to the centre of Cambridge, often described as the perfect student city.

Explore our Cambridge campus

Study abroad

You can apply to spend one semester in years 2 or 3 studying at Marshall University in West Virginia, USA; Roskilde University in Denmark; or Università Roma Tre in Italy.

Work placements

You’ll build relationships with film and media-related organisations through work placements, internships and other volunteering opportunities. Our previous students have undertaken placements with BBC, CBBC, MTV, ITN, London Weekend Television, the New York Film Academy, Zenith Productions, London Studios, Red TV, Cambridge Arts Picturehouse and the Cambridge Film Festival.

These placements could form part of your assessed work, and in many cases have led directly to employment.

Specialist facilities

We’ll give you access to the kind of equipment you can expect to work with in the professional media industry. This includes film and television studios, HD cameras and 16mm film cameras, Final Cut Pro editing suites, Steenbecks for 16mm editing, animation rostrum cameras, multimedia studios, screening theatres and radio suites.

Fees & funding

Course fees

UK & EU students, 2017/18 (per year)


International students, 2017/18 (per year)


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For more information about tuition fees, including the UK Government's commitment to EU students, please see our UK/EU funding pages

How do I pay my fees?

Tuition fee loan

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Most English undergraduates take out a tuition fee loan with Student Finance England. The fees are then paid directly to us. The amount you repay each month is linked to your salary and repayments start in April after you graduate.

How to apply for a tuition fee loan

Paying upfront

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If you choose not to take out a loan you can pay your fees directly to us. There are two ways to do this: either pay in full, or through a three- or six-month instalment plan starting at registration.

How to pay your fees directly

International students

You must pay your fees up-front, in full or in instalments. You will also be asked for a deposit or sponsorship letter for undergraduate courses. Details will be in your offer letter.

Paying your fees
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Funding for UK & EU students

We offer most new undergraduate students funding to support their studies and university life. There’s also finance available for specific groups of students.

Grants and scholarships are available for:

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Funding for international students

We've a number of scholarships, as well as some fee discounts for early payment.

Entry requirements

Loading... Entry requirements are not currently available, please try again later.

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Important additional notes

Our published entry requirements are a guide only and our decision will be based on your overall suitability for the course as well as whether you meet the minimum entry requirements. Other equivalent qualifications may be accepted for entry to this course, please email for further information.

We don't accept AS level qualifications on their own for entry to our undergraduate degree courses. However for some degree courses a small number of tariff points from AS levels are accepted as long as they're combined with tariff points from A levels or other equivalent level 3 qualifications in other subjects.

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International students

We welcome applications from international and EU students, and accept a range of international qualifications.

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English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you'll need to make sure you meet our English language requirements for undergraduate courses.

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Improving your English language skills

If you don't meet our English language requirements, we offer a range of courses which could help you achieve the level required for entry onto a degree course.

We also provide our own English Language Proficiency Test (ELPT) in the UK and overseas. To find out if we are planning to hold an ELPT in your country, contact our country managers.

UCAS Tariff calculator - 2017 entry

Add all your qualifications to the tariff calculator and check your total score against the entry requirements for your chosen intake, which can be found above

How to use the Tariff calculator

  • Select your qualification from the drop down list provided
  • Select your grade
  • Hit "Add"
  • Repeat until all your qualifications have been added
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Get more information

UK & EU applicants

01245 68 68 68

Enquire online

International applicants

+44 1245 68 68 68

Enquire online