Browser does not support script.

Undergraduate Course

Film Studies and Media BA (Hons)

Explore the social, historical and political aspects of film, studying cinema within the wider context of media and culture.

Two students in a lecture. both are wearing glasses

Combining Film Studies and Media lets you study the artistry and contexts of film in great detail, while also learning about how media and culture affect who we are and how we interact with the world around us. You will investigate major films and movements in great depth, while also taking a broad view of the evolving media landscape.

York campus

  • UCAS Code – P391
  • 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 Film Studies and Media at York St John University

Course overview

Joint Honours degrees are a great way to expand your learning and study 2 academic subjects simultaneously. These subjects complement each other and allow you to cover a broad range of topics. Modules in both areas focus on the interaction and cultural exchange between different forms of communication and cultural expression. By studying the two together you will take this multi perspective approach even further.

In Film Studies we do not consider film in isolation, but also in terms of its relationship with comic books, video games, television, popular culture and the digital landscape. You will also expand your knowledge by studying films from all over the world and from many different genres, styles and periods of film.

In Media you will take a wider view of popular culture, which includes film but also advertising, digital media, television and much more. you will study the history, nature and impact of media across all of these forms. This means investigating power dynamics in the media, and considering how media responds to impacts upon contemporary social and political issues.

There are plenty of opportunities to go beyond what you learn on your modules and add something extra to your degree. This could include:

  • Getting involved with the annual Aesthetica Short Film Festival
  • Writing, producing or marketing for Neutral, our online magazine
  • Working on a placement with one of our partners in the city
  • Taking part in field trips, including an international trip in your final year.

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 optional modules in semester 2.

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

This is a joint honours degree which means that you must study at least 1 module from each subject every semester. 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

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

On this module you will explore some of the theories and concepts relating to the analytical interpretation of the media. We will introduce you to major issues that relate media to social and cultural contexts and to key You will also have the opportunity to assess and evaluate approaches to critical and analytical investigation.

Credits: 20

Optional 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

Optional 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.

Credits: 20

Optional module

On this module you will think critically about how media informs, intersects and engages with concepts of identity. You will engage with contemporary discussion and debate surrounding identity, which will include considerations of:

  • Race
  • Gender
  • Nationality
  • Age.

You will use these varied perspectives to evaluate the theoretical, historical and socio-political influences and implications that contemporary mediated identities may communicate.

Credits: 20

Optional module

This module is your introduction to media ecology, which encourages you to understand media as anything in which meaning or communication takes place. You will explore the deep history of media and allied technologies (for example writing, printing and painting) to examine how media can determine the possibilities of communication, creative activity and understanding. You will examine how traditional, new and emergent technologies influence our relationship with information and culture. You will also think about how these factors affect social organisation, aesthetic practice and political structure.

Credits: 20

Optional module

On this module you will explore the concept of ideology by analysing the viewing behaviour and beliefs of media audiences. You will study media communication models and their histories, engaging with research surrounding audiences. Through this you will explore the nature of contemporary mass communication and consider how ideology and meaning impact the communication process.

Credits: 20

Optional 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.

Year 2

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

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

You must choose at least 1 module from each subject every semester. 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 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

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 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

Optional 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

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

Optional module

An understanding of globalisation is essential for engaging with the processes of cultural, political and social change in the modern world. On this module we will introduce you to the major theoretical debates and ideas surrounding the contested idea of globalisation. You will also examine the role media plays in reflecting and reacting to the processes of globalisation, and its influence on emergent, resistant and dominant cultures.

Credits: 20

Optional module

This module considers the various forms and uses of music within the fields of cultural production, focusing on the evolutions of these processes and movements as indicators of cultural change. You will explore the possibilities for social, political and cultural exploration offered by the study of music, considering its use within the context of counter-cultural production, innovation, reception, distribution, protest and socio-cultural moments. You will discuss concepts and theories surrounding authorship, activism, mode of production, meaning and representation.

Credits: 20

Optional module

Through this module you will become familiar with important critical debates surrounding visual culture. You will come to appreciate the vital relationship between word and image, from traditional illustration all the way through to contemporary internet culture. This will allow you to investigate how visual strategies can be used to communicate complex ideas.

Credits: 20

Optional 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.

Credits: 20

Optional module

This module is an introduction to the theory and practice of convergence technology, transmedia activity and network theory. You will discuss the continuing development and evolution of communication technologies and how they shape our everyday lives. You will consider these developments in relation to social, political and cultural factors and speculate on how these may affect the production and consumption of meaning and content through media.

Year 3

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

  • A Dissertation module across semesters 1 and 2. This can be focused on either Film or Media
  • 2 optional modules (1 from each subject) in semester 1
  • 1 compulsory module 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: 40

Optional 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

Optional module

On this module you will explore how new and emergent media, communications and technologies shape our way of living, acting and understanding the world and our place in it. Building on previous modules, you will learn about the development of various technologies and consider our changing relationship with them. You will consider how they contribute to and challenge philosophy, ethics, morals and meaning. We will also think about how these developments might influence aesthetic trends in production, consumption and cultural value.

Credits: 20

Optional 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

Optional 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

Optional module

On this module you will explore concepts and issues surrounding globalisation, localisation, regionalism and national identity, particularly in relation to city cultures. You will consider the representations, symbolic and social structures, development, uses and experiences of the modern city. This will involve the experiential exploration of contemporary cities, as well investigating technological advances and futuristic narratives of the city. You will also have the opportunity to take part in an international field trip as part of this module. previous locations have included Istanbul, Madrid and Amsterdam.

Credits: 20

Optional module

This module requires you to engage with a wide range of media representations of gender and sexualities. In doing so you will critically assess how certain forms, formats and practices of media transgress, reinforce or challenge assumptions and prejudices relating to gender and sexuality. This will build upon previous discussions about identity and representation from other modules, encouraging you to cultivate nuanced responses towards contemporary debates. We will also encourage you to reflect upon the evolution of critical perspectives on gender and sexualities.

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 and Media

Through this degree you will gain varied and valuable skills which can lead to a variety of different career paths. Some are directly related to film and media, while others allow you to apply your skills more broadly. You will learn to think critically and creatively, form logical arguments and articulate your opinions, use digital technology, 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
  • Marketing, PR and communications
  • Media buyer
  • Advertising
  • Culture and heritage.

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

Minimum requirements do not need to be put here. They are pulled automatically from the output. 

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

Course highlights

More to explore

Student writing in notebook at table

Join us in 2022

Two female students smiling in York

What makes us different

Get in touch

Cookie Settings