Module and Programme Catalogue

Search site

Find information on

2021/22 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

COMM5825M Film Theory and Practice

30 creditsClass Size: 35

Module manager: Rafe Clayton

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2021/22

Pre-requisite qualifications

Experience in practical photography or digital film at undergraduate intermediary or advanced level, or equivalent

Module replaces

COMM5815M Cinematics and Photography

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

This module explores film theory alongside creative practice and experience of short film production. The film short is studied as a way of addressing ontological questions about cinema in the 21st century, media convergence and digital creation/dissemination. Critical relationships are investigated through a combination of academic research into the changing nature of film and exploration of theoretical concepts through digital filmmaking.


Film Theory and Practice aims to establish a better understanding of short film as a distinct form, whilst contextualising it within the broader cinema and digital media landscapes. The lecture programme will encourage students to think critically about both cinematic form and content, and then challenge the conventions of audio-visual structure and narrative in their creative work. Students will have the opportunity to experience practical production of a short film project, underpinned with analysis of cinematic form-content in an essay on film theory

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module, students should be able to:
1. demonstrate knowledge of ontological questions regarding film and photography and their ongoing convergence
2. contextualise and situate the short film within contemporary cinema and other changing media environments
3. understand how their own filmmaking practice relates to current and historical creative contexts
4. Show cinematographic and/or other communication skills through digital filmmaking practices.

Skills outcomes
Digital filmmaking skills including camera, location sound, picture grading and image manipulation, professional production workflows. Film production and creative lens-based practice informed by theory and academic research.


Indicative lecture content includes:
• What is short film and what is it for?
• Bazin, cinematic ‘realism’ and the ontology of film
• Psychoanalytic film theory and cinema of intersection
• Documentary on the big screen
• The essay film – where fact meets fiction
• Experimental shorts: materialism, video art and cinema in the gallery
• Convergence and its history: cinema as ’24 photographs per second’
• Narratology and film structures
• Deleuze, duration and cinematic time

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
Private study hours267.00
Total Contact hours33.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)300.00

Private study

Group seminar and work-in-progress session research and preparation. (60 hours)
Essay research, development and production. (67 hours)
Individual and group production planning and organisation. (70 hours)
Production and post-production practice. (70 hours)

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Students will be monitored through a number of ongoing mechanisms throughout the duration of the module including attendance, participation in classes and through assessments. In addition further monitoring will take place through:
Tutor/peer discussions and reflective feedback on group presentation during week 3.
Group and individual feedback during practical workshops throughout the semester.

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
Essay or Dissertation3000-3500 words50.00
Group Projectvideo 5 minutes50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Groups can choose between three different types of video submission: short fiction, essay film and non-narrative

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 06/08/2021


Browse Other Catalogues

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

© Copyright Leeds 2019