Coronavirus information for applicants and offer-holders

We understand that prospective students and offer-holders may have concerns about the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. The University is following the advice from Universities UK, Public Health England and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Read our latest coronavirus information

BA Film Studies and Arabic / Course details

Year of entry: 2021

Course description

The Joint Honours in Film Studies provides you with a thorough grounding in film theory and history, as well as the opportunity to develop specialist areas of interest alongside your education in Arabic language and culture.

Film Studies

  • You will expand your experience of film through taught units and screenings that focus on both classical and contemporary films, covering a wide range of film cultures from around the world. 
  • You will study mainstream and non-mainstream films in order to broaden your understanding of the history of film, as well as the debates and issues that are informing and generated by current practice in film and shaping its future.
  • As you enhance your skills of close analysis, you will also develop an understanding of how film engages with socio-cultural and political concerns, placing the films you study in their historical context as well as thinking about current debates and future challenges for cinema as a medium.
  • The course emphasises historical and theoretical approaches to studying film rather than practical production. 

Arabic

  • You have the opportunity to achieve near-native proficiency in modern Arabic while studying the language within its cultural and historical context.
  • You will also look more widely at Arab culture and literature from the medieval period to the present day, and be introduced to social and cultural trends in the Arab Middle East and beyond.
  • The range of culture units offered across all years of the programme combine the study of the history, politics, literary, and visual culture of the Arab world and are taught by a range of specialists within these fields.
  • The course is carefully structured so you can measure your progress step by step. Learning modern Arabic also opens the door to the vast literature of classical Arabic, including religious and secular texts, and provides a perfect platform from which to learn one or more of the colloquial dialects.
  • You will spend your third year studying abroad at an academic institution in an Arab country such as Jordan, Egypt or Morocco, an ideal way to improve your fluency in the language while gaining a fascinating first-hand experience of the Arab world.

Aims

  • Develop your understanding and awareness of the rich possibilities of Film.
  • Expand your approach to Film from a range of historical and theoretical perspectives.
  • Develop a comprehensive grounding in Arabic language, literature, culture, history and linguistics, enabling you to become proficient enough in Arabic to live and work effectively in an Arabic-speaking environment.

Special features

  • We're ranked 2nd in the UK for drama research (Research Excellence Framework 2014).
  • Your year abroad will offer the opportunity to gain first-hand experience of life in an Arabic-speaking country, and further develop your language skills.
  • Join The University of Manchester Filmmaking Society, which exists to provide a platform for aspiring filmmakers attending the university to meet, exchange ideas and create their own cinematic productions.
  • Join The University of Manchester Drama Society, which is for anyone with an interest in drama, be that acting, directing, writing, filmmaking, costume, set building, stage managing or just watching. One of the largest in the Student Union, the society has links with many of Manchester's award-winning theatrical venues, including the Contact Theatre and the Royal Exchange Theatre. Each summer the society showcases at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
  • Manchester is a multicultural city that provides excellent general opportunities for contact with speakers of Arabic and the pursuit of Arabic and Islamic interests outside of the University (eg public lectures, societies, cultural events).

Teaching and learning

You will learn through lectures, seminars, tutorials and practical group projects.

There's emphasis on attending film screenings, which are compulsory and designed to enable you to better understand the distinctive qualities of film as a medium.

There's also emphasis on close analysis which is designed to enable you to learn to interpret films and their discursive surround, including relevant paratexts (eg promotional material such as trailers and posters).

You will spend approximately 12 hours a week in formal study sessions. For every hour spent at University, you will be expected to complete a further two to three hours of independent study. You will also need to study during the holiday periods.

The individual study component could be spent reading, producing written work, revising for examinations or working in the University's Language Centre.

Coursework and assessment

You will be assessed in various ways, including:

  • written and oral examinations;
  • coursework essays;
  • research reports;
  • practical tests;
  • learning logs;
  • web contributions;
  • small-scale practical assignments;
  • seminar presentations and participation;
  • library research, linguistic fieldwork and data collection.

Many course units are assessed through a mixture of techniques.

In your final year, you can choose to write a dissertation.

Course content for year 1

In Year 1, you will take three compulsory course units that establish the conceptual building blocks of studying film before progressing into the various new wave movements and contemporary cinema.

The Art of Film covers the core concepts and terminology in studying film. The unit addresses the distinctive properties of film as a medium and engages with debates about film's status as an art. Introduction to Early and Classical Cinema covers the origins of cinema up to the 1950s. Introduction to World Cinema covers a range of film cultures from different countries with an initial emphasis on the various new wave movements, which began to emerge around the world in the 1950s and 1960s.

This is alongside the core and optional Arabic Studies course units, enriching your cultural awareness.

Course units for year 1

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
The Art of Film DRAM10031 20 Mandatory
Introduction to Early and Classical Cinema DRAM13331 20 Mandatory
History and Politics of the Middle East and North Africa MEST10711 20 Mandatory
Arabic Language 1 MEST51011 20 Mandatory
Arabic Language 2 MEST51022 20 Mandatory
Introduction to World Cinema SALC11002 20 Mandatory

Course content for year 2

In Year 2, you take one compulsory unit - Screen, Culture and Society - which covers more advanced theoretical debates about the relationship between film and society. You will be able to select from a range of specialist study options on specific issues in Film Studies and focus on aspects of American, British, Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Russian or Spanish and Portuguese language cinema with a particular interest in questions of identity and representation. How have films perpetuated or subverted notions of gender, sexuality, national identity, ethnicity and class?

This is alongside your core and optional Arabic Studies course units.

Course units for year 2

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Screen, Culture and Society DRAM20041 20 Mandatory
Arabic Language 3 MEST51031 20 Mandatory
Arabic Language 4 MEST51042 20 Mandatory
American Film Studies AMER20072 20 Optional
Contemporary British Cinema DRAM20031 20 Optional
Black on Screen DRAM20092 20 Optional
French Cinema to 1980 FREN20142 20 Optional
Core Themes in Animated Film and Visual Culture of Postwar Japan JAPA20131 20 Optional
Introduction to Post Colonial Arabic Literature MEST20002 20 Optional
Themes in the Histories of Arab and Jewish Nationalisms MEST20271 20 Optional
Women and Gender in the Middle East and North Africa MEST20352 20 Optional
History of Modern Islamic Thought MEST20501 20 Optional
Hispanic Cinemas SPLA20841 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 13 course units for year 2

Course content for year 3

Year 3 is completed in a host university in an Arab country. You will have the opportunity to gain advanced language skills and an in-depth knowledge of Arabic culture.

Course content for year 4

Your remaining units in your final year are all optional and you can select from a wide range of units covering different countries, genres and issues. You can also choose to write a dissertation.

This is alongside the core and optional Arabic Studies course units.

Course units for year 4

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Media and Business Arabic MEST30182 20 Mandatory
Arabic Language 5 MEST51050 20 Mandatory
From Documentary to Mockumentary DRAM31011 20 Optional
Falstaff and Gandalf go to the Movies: Adapting Fantastic Texts to Screen DRAM31042 20 Optional
Screen Acting & Stardom DRAM33302 20 Optional
Screening the Holocaust GERM30481 20 Optional
Political and Cultural History of Italy ITAL30342 20 Optional
Contemporary Debates in Islam MEST30032 20 Optional
Arabic Literature in Translation MEST30121 20 Optional
God at the Movies RELT20631 20 Optional
Social Issues in Portuguese and Spanish Film SPLA30642 20 Optional
The Supernatural in Latin American Literature and Film SPLA31132 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 12 course units for year 4

Facilities

Our comprehensive facilities include the Martin Harris Centre - home to 150-seater The John Thaw Studio and our main 'lab' for exploring performance - and workshops and rehearsal rooms fully equipped with state-of-the-art sound-editing and video editing suites. Manchester also has the 2nd highest concentration of theatres in the UK.

As well as making use of the wider University library network, you will have access to the University Language Centre, a modern open learning facility where you can study independently and make use of a library and audio-visual resources. There are also language laboratories and multimedia facilities.

Learn more on the Facilities page.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: dass@manchester.ac.uk