BA Film Studies and English Language / Course details

Year of entry: 2023

Course description

Our BA Film Studies and English Language course will enable you to study film from a range of historical and theoretical perspectives while delving into the unique human faculty of language - an everyday phenomenon which impacts our lives on an individual and a global scale.

You will learn 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 both mainstream and non-mainstream films 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.

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, encouraging you to develop as an independent critical thinker able to work in a diverse range of assessment scenarios, taking in solo written assignments, presentations and, on certain units, group work and creative projects that enable you to put theory into practice.

Through your English Language units, you will explore the history of the English language and the variation between English dialects in the UK and further afield. 

You will acquire the skills required for analytical language study alongside the means to apply those skills to the study of historical and present-day English. 

In addition, you will practise key transferable skills, such as essay writing and how to give a presentation.

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.

Special features

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.

Study abroad

You may apply to spend one semester studying abroad during Year 2. Exchange partners are offered through the Erasmus Exchange scheme (in Sweden) and the Worldwide Exchange scheme (such as USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Singapore).

Get involved with interesting projects

Our students are encouraged to take an active role in funded teaching-enhancement projects, whose outputs benefit them individually and collectively. 

For example, some of our students have developed an online atlas of dialect variation in the UK and storyboards for the use in fieldwork.

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.

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.

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).

In English Language, you'll be taught through a mixture of formal lectures, tutorials and one-to-one supervision.

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.

Coursework and assessment

In Film Studies, assessment includes:

  • essays
  • seminar presentations and participation
  • exams
  • practical work.

In English Language, assessment includes:

  • written examinations
  • oral presentations
  • different types of 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 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.

In English Language you'll study the foundations of English grammar and be introduced to the history of English and varieties of English in the UK and further afield. You may also choose additional optional units, including those in which you learn about the study of meaning or of sounds, or learn how to investigate English using corpus methods.

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
English Word and Sentence Structure LELA10301 20 Mandatory
History and Varieties of English LELA10342 20 Mandatory
Introduction to World Cinema SALC11002 20 Mandatory
Language, Mind and Brain LELA10201 20 Optional
The Sounds of Language LELA10322 20 Optional
Study of Meaning LELA10332 20 Optional
From Text to Linguistic Evidence LELA10401 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?

For English Language, you will be studying two compulsory units in subjects like language change, sociolinguistics, stylistics or pragmatics. You may additionally choose from a wide range of optional units tapping into academic expertise in specialist fields such as phonology and experimental phonetics, and psycholinguistics.

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
Introduction to Documentary Film Practice DRAM21091 20 Optional
Horror Film: Genre, Periods, Styles DRAM21262 20 Optional
Virtual Realities DRAM21282 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
Language, Mind and Brain LELA10201 20 Optional
The Sounds of Language LELA10322 20 Optional
Study of Meaning LELA10332 20 Optional
From Text to Linguistic Evidence LELA10401 20 Optional
Phonology LELA20011 20 Optional
Analysing Grammar LELA20022 20 Optional
Typology LELA20031 20 Optional
Societal Multilingualism LELA20102 20 Optional
Quantitative Methods in Language Sciences LELA20231 20 Optional
Semantics LELA20282 20 Optional
Pragmatics: Meaning, Context, and Interaction LELA20291 20 Optional
The Changing English Language LELA20401 20 Optional
Variationist Sociolinguistics LELA20502 20 Optional
Psycholinguistics LELA20962 20 Optional
Stylistics of English LELA21511 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
Spanish Linguistics SPLA20772 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 31 course units for year 2

Course content for year 3

You can select from a wide range of Film Studies units covering different countries, genres and issues, as well as English Language units spanning a range of subjects as diverse as historical linguistics, sociolinguistics, child language development, formal semantics and syntax, and forensic linguistics.

You will also have the option of writing a dissertation, where you explore and write about a particular topic in depth.

Course units for year 3

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 Drama/Film (Semester One) DRAM30001 0 Optional
Dissertation in Drama/Film (Semester Two) DRAM30002 0 Optional
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
Screening the Holocaust GERM30482 20 Optional
Phonology LELA20011 20 Optional
Analysing Grammar LELA20022 20 Optional
Typology LELA20031 20 Optional
Societal Multilingualism LELA20102 20 Optional
Quantitative Methods in Language Sciences LELA20231 20 Optional
Semantics LELA20282 20 Optional
Pragmatics: Meaning, Context, and Interaction LELA20291 20 Optional
The Changing English Language LELA20401 20 Optional
Variationist Sociolinguistics LELA20502 20 Optional
Psycholinguistics LELA20962 20 Optional
Stylistics of English LELA21511 20 Optional
Dissertation LELA30000 40 Optional
Topics in the Study of Meaning in English LELA30031 20 Optional
Language Contact LELA30291 20 Optional
The Study of the Speech Community: Manchester English LELA30522 20 Optional
Topics in Language Development LELA30671 20 Optional
Language Policy and Planning LELA30752 20 Optional
Forensic Linguistics LELA31632 20 Optional
Romance Linguistics LELA32001 20 Optional
Quantitative Methods in Language Sciences LELA32011 20 Optional
Experimental Phonetics LELA32022 20 Optional
Computational Linguistics LELA32051 20 Optional
Spanish Linguistics SPLA20772 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 35 course units for year 3

Facilities

Phonetics Lab
Undergraduate students can use the Phonetics Lab under supervision.

Study with us and you'll have exclusive access to award-winning learning resources, including some of the city's key cultural assets such as John Rylands Library, Manchester Museum and the Whitworth.

For Film Studies, the Martin Harris Centre for Music and Drama is a purpose-built creative facility that includes a flexible, fully equipped performance space, workshops, rehearsal rooms and screening rooms, as well as the Lenagan Library - our dedicated performing arts library.

For English Language, you will be able to access various resources to enhance your learning, including an extensive collection of linguistics texts and our psycholinguistics and phonetics laboratories, with facilities for:

  • signal analysis
  • speech synthesis
  • laryngography
  • electropalatography.

Find out more on the Facilities pages for Drama and English Language .

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