BA Film Studies and Spanish / Course details

Year of entry: 2022

Course description

BA Film Studies and Spanish aims to develop your understanding and awareness of the rich possibilities of this creative medium and encourages you to approach the study of film from a range of historical and theoretical perspectives.

You will also develop a thorough grounding in the language and culture of the Spanish-speaking world as well as the opportunity to learn Catalan. 

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. 

Spanish

  • Alongside your study of Spanish language, you will explore a range of options in visual culture (including film), area-specific history, linguistics and literature.
  • The breadth of expertise among staff across Spanish and Latin American Studies means an unusually rich and broad curriculum.
  • 80% of our staff are first-language Spanish-speakers, and language courses are taught by native speakers with specific training.
  • You will also benefit from us working closely with the Centre for Latin American and Caribbean Studies and we maintain strong links with the Instituto Cervantes located here in Manchester.

Aims

  • Develop your understanding and awareness of the rich possibilities of Film.
  • Encourages you to approach the study of Film from a range of historical and theoretical perspectives.
  • Develop a thorough grounding in the language and culture of the Spanish-speaking world.
  • Give students the opportunity to learn Catalan.

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 a Spanish-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.
  • Join the Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Student Society and enjoy a wide range of cultural events and activities.

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, addressing significant post-Second World War developments in the cinema of countries such as France and Japan.

This is alongside the core and optional Spanish Studies course units, enriching your cultural awareness and solidifying your language abilities.

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
Introduction to World Cinema SALC11002 20 Mandatory
Cultures of the Hispanic World SPLA10410 20 Mandatory
Themes in Spanish and Latin American Studies SPLA10420 20 Mandatory
Spanish Language 1 SPLA51011 20 Mandatory
Spanish Language 2 SPLA51022 20 Mandatory
Spanish Language 3 SPLA51030 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 Spanish 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
Spanish Language 4 SPLA51040 20 Mandatory
Spanish Language 5 SPLA51050 20 Mandatory
American Film Studies AMER20072 20 Optional
Contemporary British Cinema DRAM20031 20 Optional
Black on Screen DRAM20092 20 Optional
God at the Movies DRAM20632 20 Optional
Introduction to Documentary Film Practice DRAM21091 20 Optional
Horror Film: Genre, Periods, Styles DRAM21262 20 Optional
Virtual Realities DRAM21282 20 Optional
Introduction to Screenwriting DRAM21552 20 Optional
Discipline and Punish: The Modern Prison on Stage and Screen DRAM21902 20 Optional
Gender and Sexuality in French Cinema FREN21332 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
God at the Movies RELT20632 20 Optional
Visual Culture in Modern Spain: Film, Painting and Photography SPLA20061 20 Optional
Empire and its Aftermath: The Making of Modern Portugal in Literature, Art and Film SPLA20141 20 Optional
Writing Women in the Spanish Golden Age SPLA20161 20 Optional
History of Latin America SPLA20362 20 Optional
Modern Latin American Literature SPLA20881 20 Optional
Catalan Language & Culture 1 SPLA53010 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 23 course units for year 2

Course content for year 3

Your third year of study will be completed in a host University in a Spanish speaking country. You will have the opportunity to gain advanced language skills and an in-depth knowledge of Spanish 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 Spanish 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
Spanish Language 6 SPLA51060 20 Mandatory
Docufiction Filmmaking DRAM30062 40 Optional
Queer Bodies and the Cinema DRAM30332 20 Optional
Social Lives of Cinema DRAM30842 20 Optional
Extended Dissertation DRAM30990 40 Optional
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
Introduction to Interpreting: Context, Skills and Modes ELAN30242 20 Optional
Screening the Holocaust GERM30482 20 Optional
Dissertation in Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies SPLA30000 40 Optional
Social Issues in Portuguese and Spanish Film SPLA30642 20 Optional
The Politics of Business in Latin America SPLA31091 20 Optional
The Supernatural in Latin American Literature and Film SPLA31132 20 Optional
Memory and Culture in Post-Franco Spain SPLA31141 20 Optional
History of the Spanish Atlantic World: Empire, Trade, War SPLA31151 20 Optional
Culture and Empire in the Spanish Golden Age SPLA31162 20 Optional
Catalan Language & Culture 1 SPLA53010 20 Optional
Catalan Language & Culture 2 SPLA53020 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 19 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