BA Film Studies and History of Art / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Screen, Culture and Society

Course unit fact file
Unit code DRAM20041
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 2
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Available as a free choice unit? No


This course will introduce students to the key concepts and debates that have developed out of film and cultural theory within the past fifty years, and apply them to specific case studies, across national cinemas and genres. The key ideas of the course — ‘screen culture’ and ‘society’ — will be offered to students in ways which address constructed aesthetic, socio-cultural and industrial processes that go into the production and reception of screen media, including the experiential. The course will explore aspects of ideology, gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, sensory cinema, national allegory, slow cinema, political filmmaking, technology and representation. A range of case studies will be used for close textual analysis and theoretical elaboration.


Pre-requisites:  Any L1 core Drama (DRAM) film study module


  • To interrogate the notion of a 'screen culture' through modes of production and reception
  • To explore the relationship between screen media and wider socio-cultural contexts
  • To employ textual analysis within a contextual framework

Teaching and learning methods

The lectures for this course unit will be delivered online.

Knowledge and understanding

  • relate the close textual analysis of the films to wider socio-historical processes and contexts

  • understand the impact of social change and attitudes on screen media

  • understand screen media’s potential for socio-political commentary and intervention

  • read screen texts across genres and national industries

  • analyse screen texts in relation to wider cultural theories

  • apply theories and secondary readings critically to their understanding of screen texts

Intellectual skills

  • develop a critical language for analysing and evaluating narrative content and aesthetic forms in screen media within wider socio-historical contexts

  • conduct in-depth research into screen media and their histories

  • apply theoretical readings to questions of screen production, exhibition and reception

Practical skills

  • conduct close textual analysis of screen texts

  • construct a persuasive argument in clear language, grounded in research

  • work individually and collaboratively with other members of the group

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  •  demonstrate an ability to communicate effectively with others about intellectually demanding concepts, topics, materials

  • demonstrate an ability to draw with accuracy, focus, detail and precision on complex materials in independent and group work

  • demonstrate an ability to effectively present – through discussion and in writing – complex topics, drawing convincingly on oral, written and visual media as appropriate to the topic

Employability skills

Group/team working
- an ability to work productively as part of a group and independently in learning environments that present complex challenges
- an ability to develop detailed, planned and multi-layered approaches to tasks
Problem solving
- a good level of critical thinking and problem-solving skills
- an enhanced ability to effectively adapt self-presentation to different audiences/contexts, especially when communicating complex topics

Assessment methods

Summative: Group Visual / Video Essay, 30%
Summative: Essay question, 70%

Feedback methods

Feedback methodFormative or Summative
Group Visual / Video essayFormative and summative
Exam – oral and writtenSummative


Recommended reading

  • Aaron, Michelle (2004) New Queer Cinema: A Critical Reader. Edinburgh, Edinburgh University Press
  • Braudy, Leo and Cohen, Marshall eds. (1999) Film Theory and Criticism: Introductory Readings.
  • New York: Oxford University Press. Latest edition.
  • Edgar, Andrew and Sedgwick, Peter eds. (2002) Cultural theory: the key concepts. London:
  • Routledge.
  • Hayward, Susan (2006) Cinema Studies: The Key Concepts. 3rd ed. London: Routledge.
  • hooks, bell (1992) Black Looks: Race and Representation. Boston: Southend Press.
  • Turner, Graeme, ed (2002) The Film Cultures Reader. London: Routledge,


Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 11
Seminars 16.5
Independent study hours
Independent study 172.5

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Darren Waldron Unit coordinator

Additional notes

Weekly screening

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