BA Film Studies and Chinese / Course details

Year of entry: 2022

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 Chinese 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. 

Chinese

  • You will study Mandarin Chinese throughout the course, enabling you to develop various linguistic skills such as speaking and writing accurately, understanding and analysing audio, video and written material, using different registers, speaking to a group with confidence, and translating with appropriate sensitivity.
  • At the same time, you can choose China-related topics in literature, film, cultural studies, politics, history, linguistics, economics, development studies, and business, drawing on the wide range of research expertise in Chinese Studies across the Faculty of Humanities.
  • You will benefit from our close links with the Confucius Institute, which fosters interaction between Manchester's large community of Chinese native speakers, our University students and representatives of the wider Chinese-speaking world.

Aims

  • Develop your understanding and awareness of the rich possibilities of Film.
  • Broaden your approach to Film from a range of historical and theoretical perspectives.
  • Develop a firm grounding in Mandarin Chinese and contemporary Chinese culture, society, economy and politics, as well as China's changing relations with the West.

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 China, 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.
  • Celebrate and learn more about Chinese culture and language by joining the Chinese Studies Society and Manchester University Chinese Students Society.

Teaching and learning

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.

Coursework and assessment

Film Studies

Your work will be assessed through a combination of essays, seminar presentations and participation, exams and practical work.

Chinese

Your work will be assessed in various ways: examinations, oral language examinations, presentations and coursework. Coursework may include library research, linguistic fieldwork and data collection, or web-based research. 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 Chinese 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
Introduction to Chinese Studies CHIN10050 20 Mandatory
Modern Chinese Literature and Cinema CHIN12122 20 Mandatory
Chinese Language 1 CHIN51011 20 Mandatory
Chinese Language 2 CHIN51022 20 Mandatory
Chinese Language 3 CHIN51031 20 Mandatory
Chinese Language 4 CHIN51042 20 Mandatory
The Art of Film DRAM10031 20 Mandatory
Introduction to Early and Classical Cinema DRAM13331 20 Mandatory
Modern China: from the Opium Wars to the Olympic Games HIST10152 20 Mandatory
Introduction to Comparative Politics POLI10201 20 Mandatory
Introduction to World Cinema SALC11002 20 Mandatory
Displaying 10 of 11 course units for year 1

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 Chinese 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
Chinese Language 3 CHIN51031 20 Mandatory
Chinese Language 4 CHIN51042 20 Mandatory
Screen, Culture and Society DRAM20041 20 Mandatory
American Film Studies AMER20072 20 Optional
Visual Cultures in China and East Asia CHIN22521 20 Optional
Introduction to Classical Chinese CHIN28572 20 Optional
Contemporary British Cinema DRAM20032 20 Optional
Black on Screen DRAM20091 20 Optional
Core Themes in Animated Film and Visual Culture of Postwar Japan JAPA20131 20 Optional
Hispanic Cinemas SPLA20841 20 Optional

Course content for year 3

Year 3 is completed in a host University in China. You will have the opportunity to gain advanced language skills and an in-depth knowledge of Chinese culture.

Find out more about international study .

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 Chinese 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
Dissertation in Chinese Studies CHIN30000 40 Optional
Business Chinese CHIN38682 20 Optional
Languages-Based Project 1 CHIN51071 10 Optional
Language-Based Project 2 CHIN51072 10 Optional
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 DRAM33301 20 Optional
Screening the Holocaust GERM30482 20 Optional
Political and Cultural History of Italy ITAL30342 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

What our students say

Weekly seminars provide us with the opportunity to engage with other people's thoughts and ideas when discussing screenings, film theory and any independent research we wish to share with the group. 

This creates an environment where we can debate and develop our own arguments, challenging us to think critically in consideration of alternative perspectives and ideas.

Isabella Coombes, Film Studies and English Literature BA

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 industry standard sound editing and video editing suites. 

Manchester also has the second-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