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2019/20 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

COMM2850 Cinematic Themes

20 creditsClass Size: 80

Module manager: Melanie Bell

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2019/20

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module equips students with a thematic and theoretical overview of the various approaches to the study of the cinema.


On completion of this module students should be able to:

1. Demonstrate knowledge of selected critical themes and theories and articulate their relevance to a scholarly understanding of cinema.
2. Assess the significance of cinematic themes as tools of ideology.
3. Apply thematic and theoretical models to readings of individual films and/or the work of individual filmmakers.
4. Achieve a high technical standard of written presentation in assessed work.

Learning outcomes

Skills outcomes
A solid background knowledge of selected themes, theories, debates and issues which have helped to shaped our understanding of cinema.
- The ability to carry out textual analysis of films (e.g. critically evaluate form, style, narrative, ideological issues).
- The ability to extract pertinent information and arguments from relevant secondary sources, as prescribed in reading lists
- The ability to write a coherent discursive essay in response to a prescribed question, paying attention to factors including the use of evidence, quality of argument and overall essay structure.


This module examines key topics and scholarly debates related to a range of thematic, theoretical and critical approaches in the study of cinema. Indicative content may include the study of representation, ideology, identity and power in both cinematic texts and cinematic industries.

Teaching methods

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Film Screenings102.0020.00
Private study hours159.00
Total Contact hours41.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Students are expected to read and view material related to the module outside taught sessions, consisting both of prescribed books and films, and other relevant material discovered through their own research.

Approx breakdown of study time:
Seminar preparation – 25 hours
Literature review preparation and writing – 30 hours
Essay preparation study (including viewing and reading) – 64 hours
Essay writing – 40 hours

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Monitoring of Seminar contribution

Methods of assessment

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay1 x 3,000 - 3,500 words60.00
Literature Review1 x 1,200 - 1,500 words40.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 15/05/2019


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