Gwybodaeth Modiwlau

Module Identifier
Module Title
British Cinema
Academic Year
Semester 1
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Viewing 10 x 3 Hour Viewings
Lecture 10 x 1 Hour Lectures
Seminar 10 x 1 Hour Seminars


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Essay (1,500 words)  30%
Semester Assessment Essay (3,000 words)  70%
Supplementary Assessment Essay (1,500 words)  30%
Supplementary Assessment Essay (3,000 words)  70%

Learning Outcomes

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

1. Identify representations of British cultural identity in films.

2. Analyse specific instances of the portrayal of cultural identity in British films.

3. Relate these instances to other elements of the films, including their status as examples of British national cinema.

4. Work with the theories and concepts of cultural identity in studying film.

Brief description

This module introduces students to studying British film history and British national cinema primarily in relation to the key concept of cultural identity. ‘Cultural identity’ refers to the ways in which films are linked to and comment back on the cultural background they come from. As such, the module aims specifically to introduce you to a range of practices that have been used to read films as representations of cultural identity, and to think about films as vehicles for the exploration of the problems and issues associated with cultural identity in different historical periods and contexts.

Britain is a nation with a long and particularly chequered social, political and cultural history, which still informs its cultural identity to this day. Britain was also once an imperialist nation, with a large empire under its control; it was one of the first countries to become a modern, industrial nation; it has had, and some would say still has, a rigid class structure (with clear separations between working, middle and upper class); and it was centrally involved in the two world wars of the last century.

Britain, since the end of World War Two, has been faced with a new set of identity problems and struggles – both external (in terms of maintaining its sense of being a world power, in relation to Europe and the USA), and internal (the empowerment of women, the supposed disempowerment of men, the constantly conflicting identities of the English, Welsh, Scottish and Northern Irish, and the increasing ethnic diversity of British society). All of these past and contemporary factors make Britain and the British, as they are reflected and explored in its national cinema, a particularly rich and fertile area in which to explore and learn about the issues, problems and struggles of national identity, and its relation to a series of conflicting identities (whether regional, ethnic, or gender, class or age related).

We have structured the module so that we begin by thinking about what might constitute the ‘British identity’ or ‘British character’ as a whole, and then move to consider the different challenges that have been made, through cinema, to this idea that there is one coherent British identity. Because some of the lectures will focus on such issues as realism, race, gender, and youth culture, we hope that the module will serve as an introduction to these issues in general, as well as in terms of how they have been explored within the context of British cinema.


Course delivery:

10 x 1 hour Lectures
10 x 1 hour Seminars

This is the indicative content of a number of topics that will be studied on this module:

British film comedy

British social realism

British fantasy

British horror on film

British film and race

Wales on film

British costume drama/heritage film/adaptations

British art cinema

Relationship between British cinema, Hollywood and Europe

Social, political and cultural contexts of British films

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number
Communication Seminar discussion and feedback; written assignments.
Improving own Learning and Performance Seminar discussion and feedback; tutorials and feedback.
Information Technology Extensive use of blackboard.
Personal Development and Career planning Communication (written and oral), teamwork, IT.
Problem solving Seminar questions (working in teams).
Research skills Requirement for essays.
Subject Specific Skills Knowledge of British cinema.
Team work Seminar discussion – in small teams.


This module is at CQFW Level 4