Approaches to Film and Media

The details
Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies
Colchester Campus
Full Year
Undergraduate: Level 4
Thursday 05 October 2023
Friday 28 June 2024
09 May 2023


Requisites for this module


LT122, LT833, LT834

Key module for

BA T7P3 American Studies (United States) with Film,
BA T7P4 American Studies (United States) with Film (Including Placement Year),
BA T7P5 American Studies (United States) with Film (UK Study),
BA T7W6 American Studies (United States) with Film (Including Year Abroad),
BA T7W8 American Studies (United States) with Film (Including Foundation Year and Year Abroad),
BA PW38 Film and Creative Writing,
BA PW39 Film and Creative Writing (Including Placement Year),
BA PW88 Film and Creative Writing (Including Foundation Year),
BA PWH8 Film and Creative Writing (Including Year Abroad),
BA P303 Film Studies (Including Year Abroad),
BA W620 Film Studies,
BA W623 Film Studies (Including Placement Year),
BA W628 Film Studies (Including Foundation Year),
BA PV33 Film Studies and Art History (Including Year Abroad),
BA VW36 Film Studies and Art History,
BA VW37 Film Studies and Art History (Including Placement Year),
BA VW38 Film Studies and Art History (Including Foundation Year),
BA VW3B Film Studies and Art History (Including Foundation Year and Year Abroad),
BA PQ32 Film Studies and Literature (Including Year Abroad),
BA PQ38 Film Studies and Literature (Including Foundation Year),
BA QW26 Film Studies and Literature,
BA QW27 Film Studies and Literature (Including Placement Year),
BA V1W6 History with Film Studies,
BA V1W7 History with Film Studies (Including Placement Year),
BA V1W8 History with Film Studies (Including Foundation Year),
BA V1WP History with Film Studies (Including Year Abroad),
BA W350 Art History, Visual Culture and Media Studies,
BA W351 Art History, Visual Culture and Media Studies (including Year Abroad),
BA W352 Art History, Visual Culture and Media Studies (including Placement Year),
BA W353 Art History, Visual Culture and Media Studies (Including Foundation Year),
BA P400 Film and Drama,
BA P401 Film and Drama (Including Year Abroad),
BA P402 Film and Drama (Including Placement Year),
BA P403 Film and Drama (Including Foundation Year),
BA P565 Film and Journalism,
BA P566 Film and Journalism (Including Foundation Year),
BA P567 Film and Journalism (including Placement Year),
BA P568 Film and Journalism(including Year Abroad)

Module description

This is an extensive survey of cinema which foregrounds its historical and international diversity. The module is designed to engage with three key areas: cinema as an aesthetic or artistic medium; cinema history and its social contexts, ranging from the late-nineteenth to the twentieth-first centuries; and film and media theory, looking at cinematic media (from celluloid to digital) both as cultural productions and as texts received, and consumed, by audiences.

The module will cover a range of cinema history, from nineteenth-century photographic technology and early cinema projection, to the rise of synch sound, and finally to more recent trends in genre and production innovation. In the first term, central concepts of cinematic form will be explored, such as editing, montage, mise-en-scene, sound, lighting, and camera movement. The second term will delve more deeply into theoretical issues, including concepts of genre, auteur, technology, and postmodernity.

The module features an extensive lecture programme over the year, delivered by Film Studies staff. Every student should attend the weekly lecture/screening, and seminar. A background in writing for the humanities and/or media studies is recommended. Lecturers on LT121 are leading international writers and researchers in film and media studies. One of the key texts on the module, Film Analysis: A Norton Reader (expanded edition 2013), is used worldwide as a film teaching and research resource; it contains useful essays written by lecturers who contribute to the module. These lecturers have themselves published widely in areas such as early cinema, American film, World Cinema, and independent cinema; and it is these areas, among others, that LT121 students will explore in their own research essays. Content note: This module may contain screenings and class clips that contain adult content (including but not limited to violence and sexual violence, themes of suicide or self-harm, and representations of war). If you are concerned that you might be adversely affected by such materials, please contact your module tutor or Personal Tutor. You may also find it useful to consult advisory websites such as the British Board of Film Classification ( and Common Sense Media (

Module aims

The aims of the module are:

1. To provide understanding of forms of communication in film and media as they have emerged historically
2. To promote an appreciation of the processes through which film media come into being, with reference to social, cultural, and technological change
3. To explore the forces and contexts that influence film and media , and support means to understand and explain these forces
4. To encourage critical understanding of a diverse and international range of film and media texts
5. To explore the role of changing technology in film and media production, distribution, access, participation, and diverse modes of reception
6. To introduce established conceptual frameworks and theoretical models for approaching film and media analysis
7. To enhance skills in written and verbal communication

Module learning outcomes

After successful completion of this module, students will have:

1. an ability to analyse communication systems, modes of representation, and systems of meaning in film and media
2. an ability to evaluate the ways in which of a range of media form and organise understandings, meanings, and affects within popular culture
3. an ability to research and explain aspects of the production and consumption of film and media products within their cultural contexts
4. an ability to understand the historical development of a range of film and media texts and their impact within and upon their cultural contexts
5. improved skills in written and verbal communication

Module information

No additional information available.

Learning and teaching methods

Anticipated teaching delivery: Weekly 1-hour lecture and 1-hour class


The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course.
The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students.
Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting
Coursework   Participation    5% 
Coursework   Formative Assignment  13/11/2023  0% 
Coursework   Autumn Term Movie Journal (800 words)  15/12/2023  5% 
Coursework   Autumn Essay (Scene Analysis) (1,500 words)  19/12/2023  25% 
Coursework   Autumn Essay - REASSESSMENT WITHOUT ATTENDANCE  19/12/2023   
Coursework   Spring Essay - TRAILLING REASSESSMENT  19/01/2024   
Coursework   Spring Term Movie Journal (800 words)  22/03/2024  5% 
Coursework   Spring Essay (1,800 words)  26/03/2024  30% 
Coursework   Spring Essay - REASSESSMENT WITHOUT ATTENDANCE  26/03/2024   
Coursework   Summer Essay - REASSESSMENT WITHOUT ATTENDANCE  06/05/2024   
Coursework   Summer Essay (1,800 words)  06/05/2024  30% 

Exam format definitions

  • Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
  • In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary, for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.

Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Prof Shohini Chaudhuri, email:
LiFTS General Office - email Telephone 01206 872626



External examiner

Dr Andrew Birtwistle
Canterbury Christ Church University
Reader in Film and Sound
Available via Moodle
Of 77 hours, 77 (100%) hours available to students:
0 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s), module, or event type.


Further information

Disclaimer: The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its Module Directory is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to programmes, modules, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include a change of law or regulatory requirements, industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to modules may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery or assessment of modules and other services, to discontinue modules and other services and to merge or combine modules. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications and module directory.

The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.