Module and Programme Catalogue

Search site

Find information on

2019/20 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

COMM3899 Social Issues on Screen

20 creditsClass Size: 39

Module manager: Dr Beth Johnson

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2019/20

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

British directors, producers and television writers have sought engagement with social issues, and many leading directors/writers have striven to cast a critical eye on contemporary social and political events. This level 3 module aims to introduce you to the dominant thematic issues/representations addressed in a selected number of 21C, socially conscious British film and television texts. Alongside this, you will also analyse how screen aesthetics intersect with themes such as identity, race, social class, nationality, sexuality and gender.The overall focus of the module will be a dual one: each text will be considered in critical cinematic/televisual terms, while equal regard will be paid to the socio-cultural issues and developments as they emerge in each work. You will learn through the study and research of key screen texts and associated written critical materials and focus on a particular area of interest to produce both a Sight & Sound style 2 page review including images (for example, see link: of one the films studied, and an extended essay.


On completion of this module, students should be able to ...
To enable students to understand key issues in the development of contemporary on-screen social consciousness.

To enable students to understand the role of aesthetics in the production of narrative meaning.

To enable to student to undertake close-analysis of key study texts in line with scholarly themes such as identity, nationality, gender, sexuality, race and class.

To enable students to develop independent working and time management skills.

To encourage students to develop reflective thinking skills.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module students should be able to:

1. Demonstrate knowledge of key elements of socially conscious filmic and televisual texts in the works studied.
2. To understand the social, cultural and political importance of film and television as forms of mass communication.
3. To engage in detailed analysis of socially conscious British filmic and televisual texts using appropriate theory and terminology.
4. Discuss the role of different aspects of film aesthetics in the production of narrative meaning in the texts studied.


Indicative content which may vary year to year.

Weeks 1-10
1. What is social consciousness and how can screen texts represent social issues?
2. Dead Man’s Shoes (2004) Dir. Shane Meadows - Drugs
3. Fish Tank (2009) Dir Andrea Arnold - Poverty and gender
4. The Arbor (2010) Dir. Clio Barnard - Family, Community, Memory
5. Pride (2014) Dir. Matthew Warchus - LBGT
6. I, Daniel Blake (2016) Dir. Ken Loach - Benefits
8. The Battle of Orgreave (Channel 4, 2001) Miners’ Strike
9. Shameless (Channel 4, 2004-2013) TV Drama
10. People Like Us (BBC3, 2013) Reality Television

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 Screenings82.5020.00
Private study hours160.00
Total Contact hours40.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Students should devote private study time to reading and preparation for lectures (60 hours), writing their reflective log (40 hours), essay planning, research and writing (60 hours).

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Student progress will be monitored through weekly seminars and ‘thinking point’ responses, guided screenings and assessment progress.

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 2,500 - 3,000 words70.00
AssignmentProfessional style Film Review. Sight & Sound style review of one of the key films. Requirements are 2 x A4 pages including written review text and key images from the selected film. (Indicative Sight & Sound example here:
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Resit arrangements: In each case a repeat/re-submission of the outlined task will be requested

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 17/09/2019


Browse Other Catalogues

Errors, omissions, failed links etc should be notified to the Catalogue Team.PROD

© Copyright Leeds 2019