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Undergraduate Course

Film Studies BA (Hons)

Immerse yourself in the world of film and explore it’s evolving relationship with wider media and culture.

Everyman cinema

Learn to analyse and discuss films from different genres, periods and cultures. We embrace the changing landscape of film. You will explore cinema's evolution and it's interaction with visual art, literature, digital media and more.

York campus

  • UCAS Code – P303
  • Duration – 3 years full time, 6 years part time
  • Start date – September 2022
  • School – School of Humanities

Minimum Entry Requirements

    104 UCAS Tariff points

    3 GCSEs at grade C/4 (or equivalent) including English Language.

Tuition Fees

    UK and EU 2021 entry £9,250 per year full time

    International 2021 entry £12,750 per year full time

Discover Media and Film Studies at York St John University

Course overview

On this degree you will learn the skills needed to investigate the techniques, styles and creative decisions behind film. We will introduce you to a wide range of genres and movements, including:

  • Gothic and horror
  • Animation
  • Documentary film
  • Science fiction
  • Independent film
  • Cult and extreme cinema.

You will also have the chance to study films from around the world, with modules focusing on British, European, American and transnational cinema. As well investigating the history of cinema, you will consider film within it’s wider cultural context. This means exploring its relationship with comic books, video games, television, popular culture and the digital landscape.

When you study film with us we encourage you to become part of the wider film culture both within the university and in York’s thriving cinema scene. This could include:

  • Getting involved with the Aesthetica Short Film Festival, which we take part in every year
  • Writing, producing or marketing for Neutral, our online magazine and web platform
  • Taking advantage of free talks and student screenings at the cinemas in the city
  • Working on a placement with one of our partners in the city as part of your employability module.

Course structure

Year 1

Our academic year is split into 2 semesters. How many modules you take each semester will depend on whether you are st­udying full time or part time.

In your first year, if you are a full time student, you will study:

  • 3 compulsory modules in semester 1
  • 3 compulsory modules in semester 2.

If you are a part time student, the modules above will be split over 2 years.

You can find out which modules are available in each semester on the Course Specifications.

Optional modules will run if they receive enough interest. It is not guaranteed that all modules will run every year.

 

Modules

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

This module is your introduction to film history, theory and analysis as well as some of the technical and commercial aspects of film. You will explore these themes with a focus on key moments in the evolution of film, through the words of filmmakers past and present. We will also introduce you to some of the major approaches used to study and analyse film, such as:

  • Auteur theory
  • Genre
  • Subject positioning
  • Psychoanalysis
  • The gaze
  • Montage.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

On this module you will explore the idea of cult cinema in the context of its history, the film industry and contemporary culture. You will consider how historic examples of legislation around films have affected the status of cultism and cult cinema. This includes investigating how screen and entertainment developments have played a part in enhancing certain filmic cult movements. You will explore ideas about genre and authorship, subcultures and subversion.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

On this module you will explore how Britain has been represented on screen, both internationally and within the British film industry. We will start at a regional level, looking at portrayals of Yorkshire on film, moving towards a wider view of the national film industry. You will consider historical and industrial developments in film history and explore how different eras, ideologies and identities have been represented through this medium.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

This module will help you to build the skills you need to succeed in higher education, and specifically for researching and analysing media. This includes skills in:

  • Researching
  • Referencing
  • Critical thinking
  • Academic writing
  • Presenting
  • Group work. 

We will make sure you are ready to take on the challenges of degree level study.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

Drawing on relevant debates and scholarship, we will introduce you different films and their audiences, such as popular Hollywood film, independent film and world cinema. You will explore issues surrounding reception, taste and consumption, considering the social and cultural contexts in which film consumption takes place. You will also investigate different methods of studying audiences to consider how audiences engage with film.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

This module is your introduction to the use of film as a source of historical evidence for cultural, social and political change. American Studies is always interdisciplinary in its approach, and film is 1 of the many mediums we use to explore American history, identity and culture. You will learn the skills of cinematic analysis which will allow you to make the best use of this important medium, as well as discussing the importance of cinema within American society.

Year 2

In your second year, if you are a full time student, you will study:

  • 2 compulsory modules and 1 optional module in semester 1
  • 2 compulsory modules and 1 optional module in semester 2.

If you are a part time student, the modules above will be split over 2 years.

You can find out which modules are available in each semester on the Course Specifications.

Optional modules will run if they receive enough interest. It is not guaranteed that all modules will run every year.

Modules

Credits: 20

Optional module

On this module we will explore the different ways books and films tell stories, and what happens to literature and literary characters when they are translated onto the screen. We will introduce you to the theory, methods and conventions behind the process of adaptation. In addition to examining specific examples of film adaptation, you can choose to experiment creatively on an adaptation project of your own, using what you have learnt.

Credits: 20

Optional module

On this module you will engage in debates about the production, reception and contexts of media and cultural products that have caused controversy. This includes debates about taste and the reception of text in different traditional, new and emergent media. We will introduce you to the terminology of aesthetic discussion and dispute, defining and discussing terms such as:

  • Propaganda
  • Artistic licence
  • Canonical status
  • Acceptability
  • Pornography
  • Censorship.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

On this module you will develop your research skills in preparation for the more extensive independent research project you will complete in your final year. You will focus on selected science fiction primary texts as well as related theoretical, philosophical, inter-textual and historical secondary material. You will also develop important academic skills through research. Our focus on science fiction includes major discussions within the genre, including:

  • Race
  • The environment
  • The relationship between human and machine
  • What it is to be human.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

On this module you will explore how America has imagined itself through film, identifying historical patterns, trends and continuities. We examine how American myths and ideologies have dominated attempts to define the national imagination – for example:

  • The mythology of the frontier
  • The myth of the open road in the countercultural 1960s
  • Regional identities of the south, California, the midwest or New York.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

This module is an opportunity to engage with the more vocational elements of working with media and explore your entrepreneurial potential. You will work in groups to produce a creative portfolio and will eventually pitch your idea to a panel. This could be, for example, a magazine, a film festival, or an exhibition. You must take into account:

  • Marketing and advertising
  • Business cases
  • Product development
  • Effective communication of ideas.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

On this module you will discuss independent cinema from historical, social, national and international perspectives. We approach independent cinema as an anti establishment voice that stands in opposition to mainstream studio productions. You will explore the wider cultural context of independent cinema, for example:

  • The festival circuit
  • Film preservation
  • Fandom
  • Web communities
  • Cult cinema.

Credits: 20

Optional module

On this module we will consider the significance of various European cinemas and explore the histories and evolutions of these national cinema traditions as indicators of wider cultural change. You will consider cinema’s potential for social, political and cultural critique and contextualise film within counter cultural production, innovation, reception and distribution. This will include discussions about high culture vs low culture and an investigation of the different audiences, institutions and practices that occur within different cultures.

Credits: 20

Optional module

On this module you will use different academic subject areas to approach to the Gothic such as film, art and literature. Topics covered will include:

  • The origins and influence of the gothic
  • Dopplegangers
  • Nightmares of science
  • Normality and abnormality
  • Metamorphosis,
  • Gender in horror and the overlap of romance and horror.

Year 3

In your third year, if you are a full time student, you will study:

  • A Special Study (Dissertation) module studied across semesters 1 and 2
  • 2 compulsory modules in semester 1
  • 2 compulsory modules in semester 2.

If you are a part time student, the modules above will be split over 2 years.

You can find out which modules are available in each semester on the Course Specifications.

Optional modules will run if they receive enough interest. It is not guaranteed that all modules will run every year.

 

Modules

Credits: 40

Compulsory module

This is your opportunity to demonstrate your abilities as an independent learner through an extended piece of research. You will produce an extended critical and analytical examination of your chosen topic, engaging with the existing literature surrounding it and offering your own original take on the subject. You will apply many of the analytical and research skills you have developed over the course of your degree. A dedicated academic tutor will support you through throughout the research process.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

In this module we will explore and analyse different forms of animated film and video games. This will include analysis of the different visual styles and genres in animation. You will examine the production, distribution and consumption of animated films and video games in contemporary culture. You will consider both large media companies like Disney and Studio Ghibli and smaller, independent studios, engaging in debates about realism, hybridity and ideology in animation.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

On this module you will deepen your understanding of the history, theory and practice of documentary film. You will learn about the production and consumption of documentary film through various cultural and historical contexts. You will discuss how ideas about reality, realism and representation can be expressed through documentary film, as well as considering the impact of new and emergent communications technologies.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

On this module you will examine how transnational film can articulate themes of displacement, nomadism, cosmopolitanism, border-crossing, homelessness, diaspora, and hybridity. This includes exploring how transnational cinema, both as a cultural form and a mode of production. We will consider cinematic representations of marginalised groups like immigrants, exiles and asylum seekers and case studies of a diverse range of film makers. This module will also include a field trip relevant to the study of transnational cinema.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

On this module we will explore issues surrounding gender and sexuality. We will debate whether various elements of gender are natural or cultural, as well as how different genders and sexualities are presented in film and literature. We will investigate how do different cultural groups use popular culture and literature to reinforce, challenge, transgress or disrupt traditional gender expectations. This module challenges you to draw on all of the skills, theories and approaches encountered throughout your degree to interrogate the representation of gender roles and sexuality in popular culture.

Teaching and assessment

Teaching and learning

We use a range of different teaching methods to support your learning on this course. You will take part in:

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials
  • Workshops
  • Task focused activities
  • Field trips and excursions
  • Engagement with media practitioners and those working in the creative industry.

You will typically study 3 modules each semester. Each module will normally have 3 hours of contact time each week, so you will have a minimum of 9 hours each week of teaching.

Alongside your timetabled contact time, you will be expected to study independently. You will need to spend time reading around the topics we cover and preparing for your taught sessions. This will ensure that you get the most out of your degree, as well as building valuable time management skills.

Our teaching draws on both our research and professional experience. This means your learning is informed by the most current thinking in the subject area. You can find out more about our research and backgrounds by visiting our staff pages

Assessment

There are no exams on this course. You will be assessed entirely through coursework, which could include:

  • Essays
  • Portfolios
  • Individual and group presentations
  • Interactive digital portfolios (using platforms such as WordPress)
  • Creative visual pieces.

Career outcomes

Your future with a degree in Film Studies

As a Film Studies student you will gain valuable skills which can lead to a variety of different career paths, some of which are directly related to film and some allow you to apply your skills more broadly. You will learn to think critically, form logical arguments and articulate your opinions, work independently and in teams, and manage your own work.

This degree could be the first step toward your career in:

  • Writing or producing for TV and film
  • Location manager
  • Researching for TV and film
  • Marketing and PR
  • Arts administration
  • Advertising.

Discover more career options on Prospects careers advice pages.

You could also progress onto a postgraduate degree and take your learning even further.

Whatever your ambitions, we can help you get there.

Our careers service, LaunchPad provides career support tailored to your ambitions. Through this service you can access:

  • Employer events
  • LinkedIn, CV and cover letter sessions
  • Workshops on application writing and interview skills
  • Work experience and volunteering opportunities
  • Personalised career advice.

This support doesn't end when you graduate. You can access our expert career advice for the rest of your life. We will help you gain experience and confidence to succeed. It's your career, your way.

Entry requirements

Qualifications

Minimum Entry Requirements

    104 UCAS Tariff points

    3 GCSEs at grade C/4 (or equivalent) including English Language.

Calculate your UCAS Tariff points

International Students

If you are an international student you will need to show that your qualifications match our entry requirements.

Information about international qualifications and entry requirements can be found on our International pages.

If English is not your first language you will need to show that you have English Language competence at IELTS level 6.0 (with no skill below 5.5) or equivalent.

International entry requirements

This course is available with a foundation year

If you do not yet meet the minimum requirements for entry straight onto this degree course, or feel you are not quite ready for the transition to Higher Education, this is a great option for you. Passing a foundation year guarantees you a place on this degree course the following academic year.

Liberal Arts Foundation Year

Mature Learners Entry Scheme

If you have been out of education for 3 years or more and have a grade C GCSE in English Language or equivalent, you are eligible for our entry scheme for mature learners. It's a scheme that recognises non-traditional entry qualifications and experience for entry onto this course. Information on how to apply can be found on our dedicated page.

Mature entry offer scheme

Terms and conditions

Our terms and conditions, policies and procedures contain important information about studying at York St John University. You can read them on our Admissions page.

Fees and Funding

To study for an undergraduate degree with us, you will need to pay tuition fees for your course. How much you pay depends on whether you live inside the UK or EU, or internationally (outside the UK/EU). Tuition fees may be subject to inflation in future years.

UK and EU 2022 entry

The tuition fee for 2022 entry onto this course is

  • £9,250 per year for full time study
  • £6,935 per year for the first 4 years if you study part time.

These prices apply to all UK/EU, Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man students.

You can find out more about funding your degree by visiting our funding opportunities page.

Funding Opportunities

Placement year funding

If you choose to take a placement year, and your course offers it, you can apply for the Tuition Fee and Maintenance Loan for your placement year. How much you are awarded is based on the type of placement being undertaken and whether it is a paid or unpaid placement. The tuition fee for your placement year will be reduced.

Tuition Fees

    UK and EU 2021 entry £9,250 per year full time

    International 2021 entry £12,750 per year full time

International 2022 entry

The tuition fee for 2022 entry to this course is £12,750 per year for full time study.

This price applies to all students living outside the UK/EU.

Due to immigration laws, if you are an international student on a Student Visa, you must study full time. For more information about visa requirements and short-term study visas, please visit the International Visa and Immigration pages.

Find out more about funding your degree.

International Fees and Funding

Additional costs and financial support

There may also be some additional costs to take into account throughout your studies, including the cost of accommodation.

Course-related costs

While studying for your degree, there may be additional costs related to your course. This may include purchasing personal equipment and stationery, books and optional field trips.

Study Abroad

For more information on tuition fee reductions and additional costs for studying abroad, please visit our study abroad pages.

Accommodation and living costs

For detailed information on accommodation and living costs, visit our Accommodation pages.

Financial help and support

Our Funding Advice team are here to help you with your finances throughout your degree. They offer a personal service that can help you with funding your studies and budgeting for living expenses. 

For advice on everything from applying for scholarships to finding additional financial support email fundingadvice@yorksj.ac.uk

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