Film Studies BA (Hons)


Overview


Film Studies is delivered at DMU’s city campus and at the Phoenix Cinema in Leicester, which acts as a base for many film events. There, you will watch films on the big screen in a modern cinema environment, and, depending on your specialisation, you will also organise your own festivals and events, and make films using state-of-the-art equipment.

The goal of the Film Studies degree is to take your interest in movies and translate that passion into a broad range of different graduate level skills. You don’t need any experience of filmmaking to apply, and graduates go on to work in a very broad range of different fields, including film and TV but also finance, PR, banking, tourism and other areas.

Study a range of topics including global film history, cult film, audiences and fandom, and writing for the screen.

Film Studies was awarded 92% Overall Student Satisfaction in the National Student Survey 2018.

You will benefit from our relationship with Leicester’s Phoenix Cinema, with placement opportunities, the chance to organise and manage an annual film festival and selected teaching and screenings delivered in a real cinema environment.

Benefit from experts in our prestigious Cinema and Television History Research Institute, as well as guest lectures by well-established film directors, exhibitors, writers, distributors, exhibitors and journalists.

Students have immersed themselves in Hollywood’s fan culture, toured iconic cinemas in Berlin and attended the Cannes Film Festival through #DMUglobal.

Access our multi-million pound facilities featuring audio recording studios, broadcast-standard radio production studios and management systems, alongside standalone film studios equipped with multi-cameras, blue screens and green screens.

Graduates have gone on to work for high-profile employers including the BBC and Odeon Entertainment, in varied roles such as research, teaching, writing for film, public relations and film journalism.

Enjoy further opportunities to broaden your film horizons by joining our student film society which organises a regular programme of free weekly screenings in term time.



Structure and assessment


Course modules

Year one

Introduction to Film Studies – introduces all students to the key issues in cinema scholarship and the key modes of studying cinema. You will learn how film works as a text, with its own language, and also how film functions as a social and economic institution.

Introduction to Global Film History – introduces students to the skills to complete historical research, and to the narrative of cinema history. You will learn how cinema developed from a technological curiosity to the globalised entertainment business it has become. You will also learn how the techniques of filmmaking were established and deployed around the world.

Introduction to Moving Image Production – The focus of this practical module is on audio-visual storytelling. The module provides a solid introduction to moving image production techniques for narrative and factual genres, as well as online platforms. Students will engage in a variety of specialist workshops, lectures, seminars and guided exercises and explore the relationship between key crew members in developing and producing stories.

Writing, Reviewing and Film Criticism – introduces students to the world of film criticism and invites you to establish a critical identity of your own. You will keep a blog, interview filmmakers, and carry out briefs for external partners. Along the way, you will develop your skills as a professional writer.

Film and New Media – explores the current environment for film production, funding and release, and traces the impact of digital technology on the film industry since 2000. By the end of this module, you will have a professional understanding of the modern film marketplace.

Year two

Contemporary British Cinema – explores key aspects of British cinema, the contemporary British film industry and the critical and contextual debates around them. It focuses mainly on the period since 1990, but also looks back to the longer history of UK genre trends, film culture, reception, critique and policy to help us understand the contexts and forces shaping more recent developments.

Disney – focuses on one defining media institution – the Disney Corporation – and traces its development from a small-scale animation producer to the largest provider of family trans-media entertainment in the world. You will combine the study of the animated film with a focus on family audiences and Disney’s various media activities, and by the end of the module you will understand how global media conglomerates function.

The New Hollywood – focuses on one key period in American cinema history, between 1967 and 1980, when Hollywood developed a tradition of challenging art films. This course is concerned with the art of cinema, and the defining contribution made by a series of filmmakers to the development of American filmmaking, and global film culture.

Film and TV Genres – looks at how different genres operate across Film and TV over time. You will focus on what genre is and how it works, but you will also apply your knowledge to a very broad cross section of different texts. By the end of this module, you will have a clearer understanding of how different types of film are constructed, and how they change over time.

Script to Screen – this practical module develops your skills as a filmmaker further, pushing you into new creative territory. In the first term, you will work with professional scriptwriters to produce your own script – in the second term you will film it.

Professional Practice: Film Festivals – looks at the status of the UK film today, and then gives you the opportunity to organise your own film festival at the Phoenix Cinema in Leicester, where you will book films, market events and network with industry figures to lay on a professional, public event.

Media, Gender and Identity – develops your understanding of how film, TV and other media shape our perceptions of gender, and notions of identity more generally. Through a close focus on a range of texts, the course is designed to builds your skills as a critic and thinker.

Film and Material Culture – this module is intended to develop learners critical and research skills, introducing and exploring the cultural, industrial and historical significance of the broader material cultures that surround films, both historically and more recently. This is framed through the introduction of a number of theoretical and critical approaches that can be applied to a range of extra-textual, promotional and fan produced materials linked to film but which are not films themselves.

World Cinema – introduces and explores some of the key theoretical and critical concepts and debates essential to students’ fully-rounded textual and contextual understanding of developments in non-Hollywood World Cinemas, within western Europe and beyond, in the period since 1945. It will focus on questions of transnational cinema, migrant and accented cinema, extreme cinema, slow cinema, ‘new’ realisms.

Year three

Film Studies Dissertation or Major Filmmaking Project – allows you to specialise in one extended area of study for the whole year. You will either work on your own individual film project, or produce a detailed study of one filmmaking issue. In the past, topics have ranged from textual analyses of Studio Ghibli’s films, to investigations of the economics of Star Wars videogames, to detailed studies of national identity in film.

Cult Film – focuses in detail on challenging, obscure and camp films which have developed cult followings over the years. On this course, you will be exposed to stimulating, underground films, learning about their broader social, theoretical, critical and historical contexts and you will develop a clear understanding of cult audiences and cult film culture.

Filmmakers – this module allows you to focus in detail on the work of one significant film director, writer or producer. The module sets the filmmaker within, on the one hand, social, cultural and industrial contexts (e.g. national cinema), and, on the other, wider theoretical issues such as the value of ‘auteurism’ to understanding a collaborative medium.

The Past on Screen – focuses on the representation of history across a range of different films, TV shows and other media. The goal of this course is to develop your understanding of how different genres deal with history, and shape our view of the world, from notions of heritage and prestige, through to the historical epic.

Writing for the Screen – taught by experienced screenwriters, this practical module focuses on developing your scriptwriting skills to a professional standard. You will learn how to pitch, and to write extended creative pieces to a commercially acceptable standard.

Audiences and Fandom – focuses on the people who watch movies and aims to understand how and why we engage with filmic texts. By the end of this module, you will understand how films address viewers, but also what all viewers get out of their relationship with the cinema.

Film Exhibition and Consumption – focuses on the changing ways that we watch, consume and enjoy movies. The course is primarily concerned with ongoing shifts to cinemas, exhibition and impact of digital technology. Various field trips are incorporated into the module.

Documentary – explores the history, aesthetic forms and social practices of documentary film. It covers areas such as post-war commercial and political film-making, avant-garde documentary, the renaissance of the documentary feature and digital documentary forms and themes covered include ethnographic film, propaganda, docudrama, mockumentary, video diaries and home movies.


Opportunities and careers


Placements

As part of this course you will have the option to complete a paid placement year which offers invaluable professional experience.

Our exciting careers programme #DMUworks can help you secure a placement through activities such as mock interviews and practice aptitude tests, and you will be assigned a personal tutor to support you throughout your placement.

Film Studies students have gone on to take up internships with BBC Films, Warp Films and others.

Students on our Writing, Reviewing and Film Criticism module (Year One) run a film blog and are set writing commissions by external partners, including Leicester’s Phoenix Square cinema.

#DMUglobal

This is our innovative international experience programme which aims to enrich your studies and expand your cultural horizons — helping you to become a global graduate, equipped to meet the needs of employers across the world.

Recent trips have included attending Cannes Film Festival, WonderCon in LA and conventions in in San Diego.

Graduate careers

The course provides a broad grounding in film history, criticism, practice and industry skills. On graduation, you may use the skills you have gained to pursue a variety of careers in the film and cultural industries or beyond, or go on to study or research at postgraduate level.

Over the past five years, graduates have gone on to work for employers such as BBC Films, BBC Sport, FilmFour and Odeon Entertainment. They also work in roles such as film and television production staff and researchers, writers for film news media, public relations writers and executives, film journalists in print and online, including Little White Lies magazine, independent filmmakers and camera-people, commercial managers, and as teachers and academics.

Other students have gone on to work in careers where film is secondary to the graduate skills they have developed, in PR, banking, finance and other fields.

Film Studies is also ideal preparation for further study at DMU, and postgraduate options include the Television Scriptwriting MA and Public Relations MA. Every year, a small number of students join our vibrant postgraduate culture.


 

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