BA Film Studies and Italian / Course details

Year of entry: 2023

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. 

Italian

  • The course units offered combine the study of history, politics, and the literary, linguistic and visual culture of the peninsula, and are taught by specialists in the fields.
  • We offer a linguistics pathway through the course for those interested in the history of the Italian language and its dialects.
  • Language courses, taught by native speakers at post A-Level or beginners' level, involve comprehension, translation, grammar and oral work.
  • Our excellence in teaching and learning in Italian has been recognised internally and nationally: a colleague won a Teaching Excellence Award and one has secured national funding to develop use of digital resources in teaching by bringing our libraries' special collections into the age of the app.
  • You will benefit from extensive interaction with Italian cultural agencies in the North West.
  • You will also benefit from the world-class Italian holdings of the John Rylands Library, including one of the largest collections of early Italian printed books in the UK.

Special features

  • Your year abroad will offer the opportunity to gain first-hand experience of life in Italy, 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.

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

Film

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 Italian Studies course units, enriching your cultural awareness and solidifying your language abilities.

Italian

In Year 1 Italian language instruction is divided between beginners ('ab initio') and post-A-level groups (with most students being beginners).

'Ab initio' students have 4 contact hours per week with their nominated Italian teacher as part of a course specifically designed to build confidence in comprehension, writing, speaking and listening skills. Post-A-level students have three hours consolidating and building competency on specific language points. All first year students also have an additional linguistics hour, introducing them to the history and structures of the Italian language.

Culture units cover topics from the filmic and literary to the historic and linguistic. Year 1 is specifically designed to begin furnishing candidates with the tools to enable them to read cultural products with confidence, be they texts, pictures, buildings or linguistic constructions.

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
Italian Cultural Studies ITAL10300 20 Mandatory
Reading Italy: Medieval to Modern ITAL10500 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 Italian Studies course units.

Italian

In Year 2, the core language component builds on the grammar topics covered in Year 1, in order to prepare you for the year abroad. Both the post-beginners and post-A-level language modules have three contact hours per week in addition to working on set assignments and undertaking private study.

Your course units in second year are more specialized than in first year, allowing you to explore a diverse range of subjects and approaches. Current options include the Italian Renaissance and Italian Fascism.

All our Italian culture units have three contact hours per week and are augmented by materials and content placed in the unit's Blackboard virtual learning environment.

Our modules are assessed by a variety of different coursework assessment types, including essays and commentaries, book reviews, reports, presentations, and innovative digital projects such as group curated exhibitions. 

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
Italian Language 4 ITAL51040 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
VR Filmmaking DRAM21282 20 Optional
Television Drama DRAM21291 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
Aesthetics and Politics of Italian Fascism ITAL20502 20 Optional
The Italian Renaissance ITAL21011 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
Displaying 10 of 19 course units for year 2

Course content for year 3

Your third year of study will be completed in a host university in Italy.

You will have the opportunity to gain advanced language skills and an in-depth knowledge of Italian 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 course units to be studied in Italian.

Italian

In Year 4, you build on the linguistic authenticity acquired abroad in the core language unit, and can choose from a range of specialised content course units. The final year language course develops your core skills to an advanced level, including translation into English, writing different kinds of target-language texts, and oral work including discussion of texts, debates, and presentations. The language component of the course comprises three contact hours per week, in addition to working on set assignments and undertaking private study.

Course units available in final year are closely related to the research interests of individual members of staff, in areas such as romance linguistics, Renaissance Florence, Italy and the Grand Tour, book history, and the political and cultural history of Italy.

There is also the opportunity to study undertake a research-orientated dissertation (often using the primary sources held in the Rylands Library, which has outstanding Italian holdings) and participate in the Italian department's mentoring and outreach work.

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 Drama/Film (Semester One) DRAM30001 20 Optional
Dissertation in Drama/Film (Semester Two) DRAM30002 20 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
Dissertation in Italian Studies ITAL30000 40 Optional
Introduction to the History of the Book ITAL30431 20 Optional
Travellers' Tales: Italy in the British Imagination ITAL30582 20 Optional
Topics in Romance Linguistics ITAL32001 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 16 course units for year 4

Course content for year 5

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. 

Italian

The course units offered combine the study of history, politics, and the literary, linguistic and visual culture of the peninsula, and are taught by specialists in the fields.

We offer linguistics options for those interested in the history of the Italian language and its dialects.

Language courses, taught by native speakers at post A-Level or beginners' level, involve comprehension, translation, grammar and oral work.

Colleagues in Italian have won University Teaching Excellence awards and are regularly nominated for the annual Student Union teaching awards. They have also been recognised nationally for their innovative use of digital technologies in teaching and learning and for their research.

You will benefit from extensive interaction with Italian cultural agencies in the North West.

You will also benefit from the world-class Italian holdings of the John Rylands Library, including one of the largest collections of early Italian printed books in the UK. 

Facilities

Our comprehensive facilities include the Martin Harris Centre - home to the 150-seater John Thaw Studio plus the John Casken Lecture Theatre, which is fitted with 7.1 surround sound system - and workshops and rehearsal rooms fully equipped with industry-standard sound editing and video editing suites.

Manchester also hosts several film festivals with specialisms ranging from animation and horror to Spanish-language cinema.

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 about facilities

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