BA Film Studies and History / 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 History studies. 

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. 

History 

  • We offer one of the most diverse history courses in the UK, with our course units covering almost all human history, including British, European, American, Asian and African history, and ranging from the classical era (Greece and Rome), through the medieval and modern periods, to the late 20th century. 
  • We offer a wide variety of approaches to history, from political and economic history, to gender, social, cultural, and colonial history. 
  • You will benefit from studying in the historically rich city of Manchester; itself is a living history book - from Peterloo to the anti-slavery movement, and from Roman and Anglo-Saxon forts to medieval monuments.  
  • You can draw on the abundant library, archive and museum holdings of the local area, including Chetham's Library, The Museum of Science and Industry, The People's History Museum and the Working-Class Movement Library.  
  • You will also have access to one of only five National Research Libraries, including the special collections of The John Rylands Library, as well as the exclusive holdings of Manchester Museum. 
  • Our course content is directly informed by our world-leading research - the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (a UK-wide benchmark for research excellence) ranked History at Manchester 4th in the UK for the quality of our research outputs, with 82% of our overall research activity recognised as 'world leading' (4*) or 'internationally excellent' (3*).

Special features

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.

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.

The History Society plays a key role in building a community among History students at Manchester by organising trips (in the UK and on the continent), hosting social events, and coordinating the student magazine, The Manchester Historian.

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.

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

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
History in Practice HIST10101 20 Mandatory
Introduction to World Cinema SALC11002 20 Mandatory
Modern China: from the Opium Wars to the Olympic Games HIST10151 20 Optional
Histories of the Islamic World HIST10172 20 Optional
Capitalism in Historical Perspective: 1700-1913 HIST10182 20 Optional
Imperial Nation: Empire and the Making of Modern Britain, 1783-1902 HIST10191 20 Optional
An Introduction to the Medieval World HIST10261 20 Optional
Manchester's Migration Story: Race, Ethnicity and Belonging in the Industrial Metropolis HIST10272 20 Optional
Forging a New World: Europe c.1450-1750 HIST10302 20 Optional
States, Nations and Empires. Europe, c.1750-1914 HIST10311 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 14 course units for year 1

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
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
Making of the Modern Mind: European Intellectual History in a Global Context HIST20181 20 Optional
Winds of Change: Politics, Society and Culture in Britain, 1899 -1990 HIST20251 20 Optional
Independent Research Project HIST20392 20 Optional
Late Imperial China: the Great Wall and Beyond HIST20422 20 Optional
The Cultural History of Modern War HIST20481 20 Optional
Colonial Encounters: Race, Violence, and the Making of the Modern World HIST21121 20 Optional
The Stuff of History: Objects Across Borders, 1500-1800 HIST21151 20 Optional
Back to the Future: The Uses and Abuses of History HIST21182 20 Optional
Histories of the Islamic World HIST21192 20 Optional
Capitalism in Historical Perspective: 1700-1913 HIST21202 20 Optional
A Transnational History of Europe in the Short Twentieth Century, c.1917-1991 HIST21211 20 Optional
Silk Roads: Eurasian Connections from the Mongols to Manilla, 1200-1800 HIST21242 20 Optional
Revolutionary Cities: The Urban World of the Middle Ages HIST21252 20 Optional
Core Themes in Animated Film and Visual Culture of Postwar Japan JAPA20132 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 31 course units for year 2

Course content for year 3

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 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
History and Memory in Francophone Cinema FREN30832 20 Optional
Screening the Holocaust GERM30482 20 Optional
History Dissertation HIST30970 40 Optional
Wealth and Welfare: Reconceptualising British Economy and Society between 1832 and 1942 HIST31051 20 Optional
China and the West: the Age of Empire and Beyond HIST31202 20 Optional
Heroes and Holy Men: The Irish Sea World in the Viking Age, c. 780-1100 HIST31362 20 Optional
John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, and U.S. Foreign Policy in the 1960s HIST31552 20 Optional
Defining the Deviant: Crime and British Society, 1888-2000 HIST31592 20 Optional
The Aftermath of War in France, Britain and Germany: Violence and Reconstruction after WW1 and WW2 HIST31671 20 Optional
Ceaseless Revolution: France, 1781-1871 HIST31721 20 Optional
War, Memory and Politics of Commemoration in Eastern Europe HIST31842 20 Optional
The Normans in the Mediterranean World (1000-1200) HIST31991 20 Optional
Curating War and Human Rights: methods in cultural and public history HIST32012 20 Optional
Spatial History: Mapping the Past HIST32112 20 Optional
From New Left to New Times: Socialist Ideas in Post-War Britain HIST32151 20 Optional
Black Britain: Power, Neighbourhoods and the Everyday, 1948-1990 HIST32171 20 Optional
Collecting and Exhibiting the Empire in Britain, c.1750-1939 HIST32212 20 Optional
Africa and Development: A Political History of the Social Sciences HIST32221 20 Optional
Cultural Entanglements: Life & Death in Colonial America HIST32242 20 Optional
The Anglo-American Connection & National Identity in the long C19: Race, Reform & National Identity HIST32251 20 Optional
Mixing It Up: A Global Intellectual History of Race and Miscegenation HIST32321 20 Optional
Vanished: Histories of Extinction from the Mammoth to Extinction Rebellion HIST32341 20 Optional
Global China in the Second World War HIST32351 20 Optional
Revolution, Conflict, Democratization: East Central Europe, 1848-1939 HIST32362 20 Optional
Democracy and Authoritarianism in Latin America’s Twentieth Century HIST32372 20 Optional
Islam in China HIST32381 20 Optional
The Supernatural in Latin American Literature and Film SPLA31132 20 Optional
Diaspora and Displacement in Iberian Film SPLA31172 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 39 course units for year 3

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.

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