Popular Film, Literature and Television: A Psychosocial Approach

The details
Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies
Colchester Campus
Undergraduate: Level 4
Monday 15 January 2024
Friday 22 March 2024
10 November 2023


Requisites for this module



Key module for

BA LCJ8 Sociology with Psychosocial Studies (Including Placement Year),
BA LJ8C Sociology with Psychosocial Studies (Including Year Abroad),
BA LJC8 Sociology with Psychosocial Studies,
BA C890 Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies,
BA C89A Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies (Including Placement Year),
BA C89B Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies (Including Year Abroad),
BA C89C Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies (Including Foundation Year)

Module description

This module forms an introduction to psychoanalytic theory (Freud, Jung, and contemporary perspectives) through material from popular culture. How can we use the insights from psychoanalysis (Freud and post-Freudian) and analytical psychology (Jung and post-Jungian) to understand popular cultural productions like film, television, literature and poetry?

Ideas from psychoanalysis and analytical psychology can be applied to understand why it is that cultures produce what they do and why these productions can be so compelling and popular. By understanding the notion of the individual and group unconscious (foundational for both Jung and Freud), psychoanalytic perspectives can also provide insight into cultural phenomena.

Film, television and literature will be used alongside theoretical texts to bring out the major insights of psychoanalytic theory as a method to analyse cultural production.

Module aims

The modules aims:

1. To provide an introduction to depth psychological theory by utilising its unique perspectives on popular film, literature, and theory.

2. To enable a critical approach to the depth psychologies and their applications to popular culture: particularly film, television, and literature.

3. To explore film, television and literary criticism from a depth psychological perspective and explore the validity of such an engagement.

Module learning outcomes

On successful competion of the module, student will be able to:

1. Show an understanding of the major concepts in Freudian, Jungian, and contemporary psychoanalytic theory.

2. Critically demonstrate how such methods and concepts can be applied to cultural phenomena such as film, television and literature.

3. Show how concepts from the depth psychologies have affected the content of certain forms of cultural phenomena.

Module information

For students taking PA108 as an outside option, the module provides both an accessible and critical introduction to Freudian and Jungian ideas. This module also complements 'The Unconscious Psychoanalysis, Culture and Society' (PA208 6 AU FREUD)' and 'The Unconscious Analytical Psychology, Culture and Society' (PA209 6 SP JUNG).

Learning and teaching methods

Weekly one-hour lectures by staff, followed by one-hour seminars led by GTAs, both from the Department of Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies. Students are expected to have seen and be familiar with the films before the seminar in which they will be discussed. In the case of the television series Arrested Development, students are expected to be familiar with the plot line of season one.


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   Essay 1    50% 
Coursework   Essay 2    50% 

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
Dr Chenyang Wang, email:
From the Department of Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies
Student Administrator 5A.202; telephone 01206 87 4969; email 01206 874969 Room 5A.202



External examiner

Dr Angie Voela
University of East London
Available via Moodle
Of 23 hours, 23 (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

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