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BA Film Studies and Russian / Course details

Year of entry: 2022

Course description

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. 

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. 

Russian  

  • You will be provided with a broad grounding in Russian area studies, with an emphasis on the integrated study of language, culture and society.
  • Independent, monitored self-study will reinforce your knowledge of grammar and vocabulary.
  • Our language courses are taught by native speakers of Russian and English speakers with a superior command of Russian and are supplemented by structured independent language learning activities.
  • There are separate pathways for beginners and post-A level students in the first two years of study.
  • You will benefit from access to a range of Russian cultural and social events to further your study of the language and culture.

Aims

  • 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.
  • Develop your Russian language skills to a superior level, while also developing your interests in and knowledge of a variety of other subject areas (such as film and media studies, sociology, history and politics, literary and cultural studies).

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 Russia, 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.
  • Join The University of Manchester Russian Society and enjoy a variety of social events, such as Russian evenings, cookery, pub crawls, quizzes, film nights and more.

Teaching and learning

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

There's emphasis on attending film screenings, which are 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 Film Histories 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 Russian Studies course units, enriching your cultural awareness and solidifying your language abilities.

You will take only the language units relevant to your level of language in each year of study.

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 Film Histories DRAM13331 20 Mandatory
100 Years of Revolution: Russia from Lenin to Putin RUSS10242 20 Mandatory
The Making of Modern Russia RUSS10251 20 Mandatory
Russian Language 1 RUSS51011 20 Mandatory
Russian Language 2 RUSS51022 20 Mandatory
Russian Language 3 RUSS51030 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 Russian 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
American Film Studies AMER20072 20 Optional
Contemporary British Cinema DRAM20031 20 Optional
Black on Screen DRAM20092 20 Optional
Weimar Culture? Art, Film and Politics in Germany, 1918-33 GERM20262 20 Optional
Spectres of Fascism: Literature, Film and Visual Arts in Germany and Austria since 1945 GERM20901 20 Optional
Core Themes in Animated Film and Visual Culture of Postwar Japan JAPA20131 20 Optional
100 Years of Revolution: Russia from Lenin to Putin RUSS20242 20 Optional
The 1989 Revolutions and their Aftermaths RUSS20472 20 Optional
Hispanic Cinemas SPLA20841 20 Optional

Course content for year 3

Your third year of study will be completed in a host University in Russia. You will have the opportunity to gain advanced language skills and an in-depth knowledge of Russian 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 your core and optional Russian 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
Russian Language 5 RUSS51050 20 Mandatory
From Documentary to Mockumentary DRAM31011 20 Optional
Falstaff and Gandalf go to the Movies: Adapting Fantastic Texts to Screen DRAM31041 20 Optional
Screen Acting & Stardom DRAM33302 20 Optional
Screening the Holocaust GERM30482 20 Optional
War, Memory and Politics of Commemoration in Eastern Europe HIST31842 20 Optional
God at the Movies RELT20632 20 Optional
Dissertation in Russian Studies RUSS30000 40 Optional
Russian Translation: Theory and practice RUSS30442 20 Optional
Culture, Media and Politics in the Soviet Union and post-Soviet Russia RUSS30601 20 Optional
Social Issues in Portuguese and Spanish Film SPLA30642 20 Optional
LEAP Polish 2 ULPL51020 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