Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 2

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Seminars / Tutorials 15 x 2 hour seminars (wich may incorporate lectures) and a tutorial with each student.
Other Screenings linked to content


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Crirical Essay on a particular research tradition-4000 words  60%
Semester Assessment Dissertation Proposal - 3000 words  40%
Supplementary Assessment In the event of failure on the first assignment, a student will be required to resubmit the essay (60%). In the event of failure on the second assignment, a student will be required to resubmit the proposal (40%)  100%

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module, students should be able to:

  1. Critically evaluate, compare and demonstrate understanding of the different theoretical traditions within film studies;
  2. Make connections between theoretical approaches and methods within film studies;
  3. Formulate research questions and think about the appropriate theories and methodologies to draw on to enable effective, focused and productive research;
  4. Understand the primary requirements for putting together and writing a dissertation.


  • To introduce students, at an advanced level, to a range of critical and conceptual approaches to the academic study of film.
  • To investigate and evaluate different practical methods by which students can themselves undertake independent research.

Brief description

This course will examine advanced approaches to the study of film and outline practical ways that students may undertake their own, independent research. It will thus stress particular traditions within film studies, including the critical analysis of different approaches that have proven influential within historical moments, and then go onto introduce students to broad types of research methodologies. It will encourage students to critically evaluate these ways of analyzing film and to think about what particular approaches they need to adopt for their independent dissertation, which the course will increasingly focus upon as it progresses.


Possible topics include:

  • Humanist approaches to film
  • Structuralism and post-structuralism
  • Screen theory and its legacy
  • Cognitivism
  • The 'empirical' turn within recent film studies
  • The historical study of film
  • Audience and reception studies
The course will also provide sessions on how best to make use of Information resources both within the University and at the National Library of Wales, and individual consultations with students regarding their dissertation proposal.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Communication Students will be expected to contribute to discussions and relate their research progress orally in seminar groups, as well as present their dissertation plans orally.
Improving own Learning and Performance Throughout the module, when students will be asked to critically reflect on their own readings/viewings, as well as how their own research is progressing.
Information Technology Students will be expected to use the web and the numerous e-learning resources within the library throughout the course. As at undergraduate level, students are expected to submit all written assignments in typescript.
Problem solving This element is developed through students' questioning how (i.e what are the appropriate methodologies) to access the kinds of research questions appropriate to their chosen topic. By problematizing the perception of what constitutes 'good research', the students will be required to think differently about their dissertations, and how they are going to achieve this.
Research skills This element is developed in two ways: through students' own investigations into existing materials; and through a particular focus on preparation for doing their own dissertations.
Team work Although group work is not directly assessed, it is intended that students work together in seminars in order to make the best possible use of these sessions. To aid group activity, the module co-ordinator also encourages students to utilise the blackboard environment, specifically the message board, to discuss issues beyond those covered in lectures or seminars.

Reading List

General Text
Anderson, J. and Poole, M (1998) Assignment and Thesis Writing John Wiley Primo search Berry, Ralph (c2000.) The research project :how to write it /Ralph Berry. 4th ed. Routledge Primo search Bordwell, D., and Carroll, N. (eds.) (1996) Post-Theory: Reconstructing Film Studies Universty of Wisconsin Press Primo search Braudy, L., and Cohen, M (eds.) (2004) Film Theory and Criticism: Introductory Readings Oxford University Press Primo search Chapman, J., Glancy, M. and Harper, S. (eds.) (2007) The New Film History: Sources, Methods and Approaches Palgrave Macmillan Primo search Deacon, D. et al (1998) Researching Communications Arnold Primo search Elsaesser, T., and Buckland, W (2002) Studying Contemporary American Film: A Guide to Movie Analysis Arnold Primo search Grieveson, L., and Wasson, H. (eds) (2008) Inventing Film Studies Duke University Press Primo search Hollows, J., and Jancovich, M. (eds.) Approaches to Popular Film Manchester University Press Primo search Jensen K. B., and Janowski N. (eds.) (1991) A Handbook of Qualitative Methodologies for Mass Communication Research, Routledge Primo search Lapsley, R., and Westlake, M. Film Theory: An Introduction, Manchester University Press Primo search Miller, T., and Stam. R., (eds.) (2000) Film Theory: An Anthology Blackwell Primo search Miller, T., and Stam., R., (eds.) (1999) A Companion to Film Theory Blackwell Primo search Staiger, J. (2005) Media Reception Studies New York University Press Primo search Stokes, J. (2003) How to do Media and Cultural Studies Sage Primo search Street, S. (2000) British Cinema in Documents Routledge Primo search Turabian K (1996) A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses and Dissertations University of Chicago Press Primo search Wartenberg, T. E., and Curran, A. (eds.) (2005) The Philosophy of Film: Introductory Texts and Readings Blackwell Primo search


This module is at CQFW Level 7