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BA Film Studies and History / Course details
Year of entry: 2021
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The Joint Honours in Film Studies provides you with a thorough grounding in film history and key theoretical approaches to studying film as well as the opportunity to develop specialist areas of interest alongside your History 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.
- We offer one of the most diverse history courses in the UK, with our course units covering almost all of human history, including British, European, American, Asian and African history, and ranging from the classical era (Greece and Rome), through the medieval and modern periods, to the late 20th century.
- We offer a wide variety of approaches to history, from political and economic history, to gender, social, cultural, and colonial history.
- You will benefit from studying in the historically rich city of Manchester; itself is a living history book - from Peterloo to the anti-slavery movement, and from Roman and Anglo-Saxon forts to medieval monuments.
- You can draw on the abundant library, archive and museum holdings of the local area, including Chetham's Library, The Museum of Science and Industry, The People's History Museum and the Working Class Movement Library.
- You will also have access to one of only five National Research Libraries, including the special collections of The John Rylands Library, as well as the exclusive holdings of Manchester Museum.
- Our course content is directly informed by our world-leading research - the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (a UK-wide benchmark for research excellence) ranked History at Manchester 4th in the UK for the quality of our research outputs, with 82% of our overall research activity recognised as `world leading' (4*) or `internationally excellent' (3*).
- Develop your understanding and awareness of the rich possibilities of Film.
- Encourage you to approach the study of film from a range of historical and theoretical perspectives.
- Expand and deepen your understanding of history from one of the UK's most politically significant cities.
Placement year option
Apply your subject-specific knowledge in a real-world context through a placement year in your third year of study, enabling you to enhance your employment prospects, clarify your career goals and build your external networks.
Connect with likeminded students
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.
Or you could 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.
The History Society plays a key role in building a community among History students at Manchester by organising trips (in the UK and on the continent), hosting social events, and coordinating the student magazine, The Manchester Historian .
Teaching and learning
You will learn through tutor-led lectures, seminars and tutorials. For some course units you'll join in group work and other forms of collaborative learning.
Classroom time is frequently supplemented by new media, such as the virtual learning environment, Blackboard. You will also have access to other digital resources to support your learning.
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, or revising for examinations.
A significant part of your study time will be spent reading, taking notes, preparing presentations and writing essays (which examine particular aspects of a subject in greater depth).
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.
Your second-year work counts toward 33% of your final degree result. Your third-year work accounts for the remaining 67%.
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, addressing significant post-Second World War developments in the cinema of countries such as France and Japan.
This is alongside the core and optional History course units, enriching your understanding of global history and approaches to interpreting history.
Course units for year 1
|The Art of Film||DRAM10031||20||Mandatory|
|Introduction to Early and Classical Cinema||DRAM13331||20||Mandatory|
|History in Practice||HIST10101||20||Mandatory|
|Introduction to World Cinema||SALC11002||20||Mandatory|
|Modern China: from the Opium Wars to the Olympic Games||HIST10152||20||Optional|
|Histories of the Islamic World||HIST10171||20||Optional|
|Capitalism in Historical Perspective: 1700-1913||HIST10181||20||Optional|
|Imperial Nation: The Making of Modern Britain, 1783-1902||HIST10191||20||Optional|
|Forging a New World: Europe c.1450-1750||HIST10301||20||Optional|
|States, Nations and Empires. Europe, c.1750-1914||HIST10312||20||Optional|
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 History course units, which will expand on your first year learnings allowing you to dive into specialisms.
Course units for year 2
|Screen, Culture and Society||DRAM20041||20||Mandatory|
|American Film Studies||AMER20072||20||Optional|
|Visual Cultures in China and East Asia||CHIN22521||20||Optional|
|Contemporary British Cinema||DRAM20031||20||Optional|
|Black on Screen||DRAM20092||20||Optional|
|Video Project 1: Documentary||DRAM21091||20||Optional|
|Horror Film: Genre, Periods, Styles||DRAM21262||20||Optional|
|French Cinema to 1980||FREN20142||20||Optional|
|Making of the Modern Mind: European Intellectual History in a Global Context||HIST20181||20||Optional|
|Displaying 10 of 21 course units for year 2|
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Course content for year 3
Course units for year 3
|The Visual Culture of US Empire||AMER30522||20||Optional|
|Athens and Attica||CAHE30052||20||Optional|
|Families in the Greek and Roman Worlds (6th c. BCE - 3 c. CE)||CAHE30441||20||Optional|
|The Roman Army and the North-West Frontiers||CAHE30882||20||Optional|
|Greek Epic Poetry||CAHE31041||20||Optional|
|Slavery in the Ancient Greek World||CAHE34501||20||Optional|
|Video Project 2 - Docufiction||DRAM30062||40||Optional|
|From Documentary to Mockumentary||DRAM31011||20||Optional|
|Falstaff and Gandalf go to the Movies: Adapting Fantastic Texts to Screen||DRAM31042||20||Optional|
|Displaying 10 of 58 course units for year 3|
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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.
The University of Manchester owns the Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester Museum and Tabley House, giving you unique access to outstanding cultural and historical resources.
Learn more on the Facilities page.