Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 1

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Essay 5,000 words  60%
Semester Assessment Annotated detailed close analysis 3,000 words  40%
Supplementary Assessment Resits of assignments when necessary. The essays will follow a similar structure but focus on a different topic.  100%

Learning Outcomes

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

  • demonstrate a clear and advanced understanding of the film theory that has established Film Studies as an academic discipline.
  • employ skills of close textual analysis and interpretation to films.
  • evaluate in a sophisticated manner certain canonical film theories, in the light of their applications to film and their relation to film culture more generally.
  • demonstrate an understanding of the complex relationship between film, film theory and the issues that have animated public debate about films.


This module provides a foundation in terms of film theory and close textual analysis for the MA Film Studies, joining theory and issues-based approaches to Film Studies at the site of close film analysis

Brief description

The module will be centred on a small group of related films (likely to be the Alien series) and will involve students in detailed close analysis and the practice of film interpretation. As a backdrop to this, the module will be founded upon a bedrock of traditional film theory, which students will be asked to re-consider. Some of the theory will be concerned with issues surrounding film (and remain important arguments in the public sphere), while much of the theory will be important canonical writings that have served to establish and develop Film Studies as a discipline


Across the semester an array of issues and approaches will be explored, including:

Textual analysis
Realism debates
Genre theories
Acting and stardom
Cognitive film approaches
Psychoanalytic criticism
Ideological criticism
Reception studies
Technologies, formats, and viewing experiences.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Communication Students will be expected to contribute to in-class discussions and relate their own research progress orally.
Improving own Learning and Performance In the course of the module, there will be points where students will be asked to think reflexively about their reading and viewing, as well as how their research is progressing.
Information Technology Students will have to word-process essays, and can make use of the internet for research purposes.
Problem solving Through student thought about and evaluation of the appropriateness of film theories in the use of film analysis. Some of the learning will focus on issues or key questions.
Research skills This element is developed through students' own investigations into written and audiovisual material that they can bring to bear upon the course and their essays.
Team work Although there is no official groupwork on the course, it is hope that students will work together in seminars for small tasks and small-group discussions.


This module is at CQFW Level 7