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2022/23 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

ARTF1003 Introduction to Cultural Analysis 1

20 creditsClass Size: 80

Module manager: Dr Barbara Engh

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2022/23

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module introduces ways of reading different aspects of culture. It should enable students to discuss the full range of cultural forms including film, television, popular literature and music as well as more canonical modes of culture such as opera, philosophy, art and architecture. The module will equip students with the skills to appreciate, criticise, and understand culture through a number of intellectual approaches. The module will cover questions of cultural studies, representation, authorship, meaning, close reading, ideology, race, sexual difference and psychoanalysis. It is intended as a companion module to ARTF1004, however, this connection is not essential for students taking them as discovery modules. Contact Dr Diane Morgan.


- On completion of this module students will have developed key skills in Cultural Analysis.

- They will have examined fundamental questions for Cultural analysis such as:
> What is culture?
> What is theory?
> What is cultural studies?
> What is reading?

- They will also be introduced to both postmodernism and post-structuralism as contemporary sites for cultural analysis.
- They will address these questions and explore these concepts through a mix of theoretical essays and cultural texts (such as film, television, popular literature and so on).
- The emphasis of the module will be on developing reading and analytical skills for the duration of the BA in Cultural Analysis. Accordingly, students will be enabled to develop their own critical practice with regards to Cultural Analysis.
- Students will be introduced to key strategies for critical thinking and oriented within the field of cultural production.

This module is intended as a complement to, but is independent of, the module 'Introduction to Cultural Analysis II'.

Skills outcomes
- Verbal and written fluency in constructing a logical and coherent argument;
- Use of audio visual aids;
- Participation in group discussions;
- Co-ordination and dissemination of a range of historical, contextual visual information;
- Using bibliographies and databases.


The module will be divided into two halves:

1) The first part of the module will introduce the student to the topic of Cultural Analysis through the discussion in lectures and seminars of a number of key questions such as:
What is culture?
What is theory?
What is cultural studies?

These questions will be addressed by reading important critical essays from the canon of cultural analysis, while examining the cultural experience and knowledge each student brings to the course.

The emphasis in this part of the module will be on orienting the student within the subject of Cultural Analysis and the field of culture, and on introducing the student to theoretical reading strategies.

For example, while addressing the question 'What is reading?' the module will explore Roland Barthes' essay 'The Death of the Author' as an exercise in reading skills. While addressing the question 'What is theory?' the module will explore student reaction to a film before and after an examination of Laura Mulvey's essay 'Narrative Cinema and Visual Pleasure'. In this way students will develop their own strategies for critical thinking.

2) The second part of the module will introduce postmodernism and post-structuralism as contemporary sites for Cultural Analysis. It will provide a historical and theoretical context for these concepts, explaining their relevance to the practice of Cultural Analysis. Issues of postmodernism and post-structuralism will be explored through an analysis of key critical essays and cultural artefacts.

The emphasis in this part of the module is on introducing students to contemporary reading and analytical practices in preparation for the work of the BA in Cultural analysis. It will also be of use to students wishing to develop critical skills for other degree programmes.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours170.00
Total Contact hours30.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

170 hours reading, class/essay preparation

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

- Attendance at lectures/tutorials and screenings
- Record of attendance kept
- Participation in class discussions.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay1 x 2,000 word essay75.00
Written WorkShort answers amounting to no more than 1,000 words25.00
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: 29/04/2022 15:22:36


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