BA Film Studies and French / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

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 alongside your education in French 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. 

French 

  • Over 70% of our staff are native speakers, teaching you in French language classes as well as most culture classes.  
  • You will experience between 3 and 6 hours of French grammar and conversation every week (at post A-Level or beginners' level), in order to reach near-native precision and fluency. This will run in parallel with optional course units on French and Francophone history, politics, literature, popular culture and/or linguistics, from the Early Modern period to the present.  
  • You will benefit from our long-established partnership with the Alliance Francaise de Manchester with cultural events throughout the year, such as film screenings, talks, plays, concerts, exhibitions and intensive language classes. 
  • You will also benefit from our collaboration with the Institut de Touraine in the Loire Valley, which hosts Easter and Summer French language classes that are appropriate for  ab initio  students and finalists.  
  • Our range and quality of courses are regularly cited for praise by external examiners and three colleagues have won University and Faculty Teaching Excellence Awards.

The course unit details listed below are those you may choose to study as part of this programme and are referred to as optional units. These are subject to change and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this programme. Although language units may show here as optional, they are a mandatory part of your modern languages degree and you will take the units relevant to your level of language in each year of study. It is compulsory to study language at all levels of your modern languages degree.

Special features

  • Your year abroad will offer the opportunity to gain first-hand experience of life in a French-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 Francophone Society and benefit from French classes, discussion groups, cheese and wine nights, film screenings, themed socials, and a yearly trip to Paris.

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 core 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 French 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
Drama and Film Study Skills DRAM11111 0 Mandatory
DRAM12220 - Drama and Film PASS DRAM12220 0 Mandatory
Introduction to Early Film Histories DRAM13331 20 Mandatory
Introduction to World Cinema SALC11002 20 Mandatory
French Cultural Studies FREN10070 20 Optional
Identity in Modern France FREN10150 20 Optional
French Language 1 FREN51011 20 Optional
French Language 2 FREN51022 20 Optional
French Language 3 FREN51030 20 Optional

Course content for year 2

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
Contemporary British Cinema DRAM20032 20 Optional
The Child in Global Cinema DRAM20432 20 Optional
God at the Movies DRAM20631 20 Optional
A Score is Born: History and Ideology in Hollywood Film Music DRAM20711 20 Optional
Introduction to Documentary Film Practice DRAM21091 20 Optional
Audio Project 1: The Audio Feature DRAM21222 20 Optional
Horror Film: Genre, Periods, Styles DRAM21261 20 Optional
Virtual Reality (VR) Film Making DRAM21282 20 Optional
Television Drama DRAM21291 20 Optional
Introduction to Screenwriting DRAM21551 20 Optional
Introduction to Screenwriting DRAM21552 20 Optional
Discipline and Punish: The Modern Prison on Stage and Screen DRAM21902 20 Optional
Art in France FREN20271 20 Optional
Temptations of the Tragic: Love and Death in French Literature FREN20682 20 Optional
Media, Performance, & Digital Culture in Contemporary France FREN21212 20 Optional
Stardom in France FREN21771 20 Optional
French Language 4 FREN51040 20 Optional
French Language 5 FREN51050 20 Optional
Weimar Culture? Art, Film and Politics in Germany, 1918-33 GERM20261 20 Optional
Spectres of Fascism: Literature, Film and Visual Arts in Germany and Austria since 1945 GERM20902 20 Optional
Core Themes in Animated Film and Visual Culture of Postwar Japan JAPA20132 20 Optional
Pragmatics: Meaning, Context, and Interaction LELA20291 20 Optional
Visual Culture in Modern Spain: Film, Painting and Photography SPLA20062 20 Optional
Empire and its Aftermath: The Making of Modern Portugal in Literature, Art and Film SPLA20141 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 25 course units for year 2

Course content for year 3

Your third year of study will be completed in a host university in a French-speaking country.

You will have the opportunity to gain advanced language skills and in-depth knowledge of French culture.

Find out more about international study

Course content for year 4

See below 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
French Language 6 FREN51060 20 Mandatory
Dissertation in Drama/Film (Semester One) DRAM30001 20 Optional
Dissertation in Drama/Film (Semester Two) DRAM30002 20 Optional
Docufiction Filmmaking DRAM30061 40 Optional
Queer Bodies and the Cinema DRAM30331 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 DRAM31042 20 Optional
Global Television Industries DRAM32012 20 Optional
Contemporary Documentary Film Making DRAM32102 40 Optional
Screen Acting & Stardom DRAM33301 20 Optional
Introduction to Interpreting: Context, Skills and Modes ELAN30241 20 Optional
Art, Culture and Activism in France in the Age of Social Media FREN30731 20 Optional
History and Memory in Francophone Cinema FREN30832 20 Optional
Wild and Tamed: Nature in French Culture and Politics FREN30841 20 Optional
Screening the Holocaust GERM30482 20 Optional
Dissertation in Modern Languages and Cultures LALC30000 40 Optional
The Supernatural in Latin American Literature and Film SPLA31132 20 Optional
Diaspora and Displacement in Iberian Film SPLA31172 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 20 course units for year 4

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