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Film & Media Studies

BA (Hons)
Film and Media Studies
3 years (full-time)
6 years (part-time)
UCAS VW36

This course aims to challenge and engage you through a combination of intellectual and creative tasks, working with film, television, graphics, animation and comics. You can incorporate a practical element into your studies, such as photography, scriptwriting, journalism, filmmaking and advertising whilst specialising in specific theoretical areas, considering social and historical contexts of film and media. The theory options also have the choice of a creative assignment. This integrated style of study and work experience enables you to develop an understanding of your preferred career, and gain fresh perspectives on knowledge and ideas, so you may graduate as a skilful, critical thinker and as someone who is fluent in their chosen creative field. There are also study visits to the Berlin Film Festival and Erasmus study abroad opportunities with the Huston School of Film and Digital Media, NUI Galway.

Unit X is an innovative unit offered to students across Manchester School of Art; it encourages interdisciplinary study and collaboration on an external-facing project.

Special Features

  • Provides the opportunity to get creative alongside learning about media context and the history of film.
  • A European dimension: students have previously undertaken study visits to the Berlin Film Festival and participated in the Erasmus exchange programme with the National University of Ireland, Galway.
  • An ideal location with links to the professional media bodies in the North West, including Cornerhouse, Grimmfest, BBC Manchester, The Printworks Odeon and Granada Studios.

Course Content

Year 1

In Year 1 you will be introduced to historical, theoretical, and practical concepts in screen-based media forms, including film, television, and broadcast media. Units studied include introductions to film, media, creative practice and thinking creatively within Manchester.

30 credits

Unit X

30 credits

Film: History and Theory

This unit will Indentify and analyse historical and national film movements, teaching students how to engage in critical analysis of the moving image and understand key elements of theoretical and formal discussion of the cinema industry.

Unit X

This unit provides an opportunity to explore collaborative and interdisciplinary art and design practice by undertaking work alongside students from Design/Art programmes within Manchester School of Art. The unit covers set project(s) which encourage collaborative, interdisciplinary practice and shared experience. You will engage in lectures and talks from key research staff and students, tutorial group meetings and presentations. The set projects will vary from year to year and are designed to be responsive to creative opportunities.

Practice

Introduction to cross disciplinary creative practice. This unit provides a basic knowledge, understanding and experience of a variety of creative processes. You will engage in a series of practical exercises, engage in analysis of contemporary art, develop their self evaluation skills along with an introduction to research for practice skills.

Practice with Language

Introduction to cross disciplinary creative practice. You also undertake language study with Uniwide.
This unit provides a basic knowledge, understanding and experience of a variety of creative processes. You will engage in a series of practical exercises, engage in analysis of contemporary art, develop their self evaluation skills along with an introduction to research for practice skills. Assessment is through course work collected and presented in a research folio.

Year 2

In Year 2 you will study further methods and research techniques and professional business practice for creative and theoretical activities within film and media. You will also undertake options from a range of areas based on staff research specialisms; including gender in film and media, documentary cinema, television studies, mythology and media, genre fields of comedy, horror and science fiction, Hollywood and World cinemas, British cinema, graphic novels and animation, youth and consumer cultures and the practice fields of photography, journalism, scriptwriting, filmmaking and advertising.

Optional Units

FMS Process

Screen media theory, concepts and practices, with an emphasis on new media. 'New media' are contradictory; at once singular and plural, determined and determining, still emerging and yet (by any definition) some decades old. It is worth remembering that all media were new once. The purpose of this unit to explore a range of concepts, theories and practices that are useful for approaching new media as objects (or alternatively, an object) of study. Wherever it can it will map the concerns and approaches of new media studies onto those of 'traditional' media studies: are the tools developed to study media audiences, institutions,  narratives and texts 'before new media' still relevant, or do they need updating? It will also seek to historicise new media, tracking changes in the way the cultural significance of digital and networked media has been understood, and attaching particular concepts to particular moments

Advertising

The unit offers students a greater understanding of in-depth advertising analysis and discourse, in particular the ability to manage other areas of creative commercial rendition. This would include illustration, photography, film, creative copy, editing and other media outlets to the direction of original concepts as answers to a specific set of problems.

Contextualising Practice 2

Delivery of critical, historical and professional issues to enhance your development within practice-based clusters. Delivery to clusters of cognate practice areas. Content consists of selected thematic options in critical and historical areas plus cluster-wide professional and employability issues, facilitating and enhancing the development of both studio-based work and identity as a practitioner.

Contextualising Practice with Language 2

Delivery of critical and historical issues to enhance the student's development within practice-based clusters.  Content consists of selected thematic options in critical and historical areas facilitating and enhancing the development of both studio-based work and identity as a practitioner. Modes of delivery include lectures, seminars, tutorials, guest speakers, visits and placements.

Documentary

This unit offers a critical analysis of the history and practice of documentary activity within film and photography.  Key documentary movements are considered here, with a view to appreciating their historical and cultural importance and also to tracing the integration of the documentary form into social commentary with its acceptance as mainstream media. 

Documentary (Creative)

The unit examines the discursive relationships across a broad range of cinematic, photographic, visual and media representations produced by documentaries.

European Cinema

This unit examines European national cinemas from 1945, looking at how the past is re-interpreted by the successive generations of film makers.  It will consider Italian, Spanish and Polish national cinemas amongst other national schools, looking at how the past is re-interpreted by the successive generations of film makers.

Gender

This subject will explore the concepts, practices and theories of gender and sex in commercial and alternative film, television and media formats.  The subject will enable students to develop frameworks for the study of interactions between the aesthetic and historical demarcations of sex and gender; those freely practised and those subject to censorship.

Gender (Creative)

This unit develops your understanding and knowledge of the key debates surrounding the representation of gender in cinema, through close reading of films, and the study of historical texts and critical theories of gender.

Media Narratives

Media Narratives covers the ways different media produce stories. Topics covered include:

  • Adaptation
  • Myth
  • Fairy tales
  • Classical narratives and non linear narratives     

Media Narratives (Creative)

The unit explores media narratives for specific topics in film & media, engaging new fields of transdisciplinary studies as well as covering the core critical, theoretical and practical approaches to media narrative.

Media Process and Collaboration

The unit offers a unique introduction to new media practice and web 2.0 technologies. The unit explores in-world online practice and development of virtual learning environments through mass multiplayer online gaming.

Photography: Images, Narratives, Culture & Capture

The unit offers a critical analysis and contextual understanding of the practices of photography. You develop photographic skills in light of historical and contemporary influences in the photographic field.

Scriptwriting

The unit explores scriptwriting practice for film and broadcast media production. The unit explores techniques, practices and theories of narrative that underpin the creative writing process.

Television

This unit examines the histories and theories of television and places the format within contemporary media.  It uses case-studies from the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, Asia, European Television and also from public service broadcasting networks.

Unit X

This unit explores collaborative and interdisciplinary art and design practice.  You will have the opportunity to engage in a range of external facing learning opportunities which will encourage collaborative, interdisciplinary practice and shared experience; this may take the form of spending time outside of the university and working within the creative community and the public domain.

Year 3

In Year 3 you work on the processes of film and media through your own self-chosen, year length research project. This will result in either a 10,000 word dissertation or a practical work project such as a script, or film/media production piece. You will also continue to tailor the degree to your own preferences through your choice of a range of theoretical and practice optional units.

Optional Units

Dissertation

You produce a research project comprising of a 10,000 word written dissertation. The work is the culmination of knowledge and skills gained over the three-year degree. Individual supervision is provided by a suitable member of the department as determined by the year3 tutor & program leader. Research guidance is also provided by a series of support lectures and seminars on research methods & concepts, contexualising theory, information management, and academic writing skills.

Dissertation (Creative)

Self-directed research project.  You produce a research project that takes the form of a creative work, with accompanying 5,000 word research and reflective discussion and analysis. The work will demonstrate the cumulation of knowledge and skills over the three-year degree. Individual supervision is provided by a suitable member of the department as determined by the year3 tutor & program leader. Research guidance is also provided by a series of support lectures and seminars on research methods & concepts.

Animation and Commodity Cultures

The unit explores the animation of commodity cultures through the industry, materiality, and cultural production of animation.

British Cinema

The unit explores the British film industry from the 1930s to the present day, encompassing important paradigms and film makers such as Ealing Studios, and looks at changing ideas of British National Identity as seen over the relevant time period

Comedy

This unit examines the way in which comedy is constructed and understood through various media including comics, cartoons, animation, radio comedy, stand-up, TV, film and the internet.

Comedy (Creative)

This unit examines the way in which comedy is constructed and understood through various media including comics, cartoons, animation, radio comedy, stand-up, TV, film and the internet.

Evaluating Journalism

The unit studies a range of practices in film production, and the processes of the conceptualization, production and distribution of film. You explore a number of film production methods and theoretical concepts of film and representations of film history to develop ideas of practice and the construction of film narrative, both in terms of dramatic story construction and narrative composition.

Film: Process of Production

This unit explores notions of filmmaking by looking at the key areas of film production. A range of film histories, theories and approaches are engaged  to produce ideas, and develop your own film practice.

Horror

This unit will examine the horror film considering earlier material for its emphasis on the monster and moving to post-1960 cinema for its emphasis upon human monsters and the psychology of horror.   It will examine the construction of monstrosity through mythic, psychological and ideological frameworks and will also explore the production and reception of horror texts. 

Horror (Creative)

This unit explores the discourses and genre of horror, through a range of mythic, religious, psychological, historical and ideological frameworks. The unit analyzes the production and reception of horror texts.

Reading the Graphic Novel

The unit examines the parameters and definitions of the graphic novel, the comic strip and the comic book.
It explores differing national characteristics and cultural positions of the various forms of the comic in Europe, America and Japan. Issues of structure, form, narrative and cultural status are investigated and evaluated.

Science Fiction

The unit explores philosophical issues relating to technology, human identities, time and realities in science fiction media texts.

Science Fiction (Creative)

The unit explores philosophical issues relating to technology, human identities, time and realities in science fiction media texts.

Stars and Genre

This unit will consider the changing nature of genre in Hollywood film production and marketing, concentrating in particular on the test cases of film noir and the musical.  It will also examine the nature of the construction and consumption of the star image within the Hollywood system.

Unit X

On the third year Unit X, there is a student authored final project leading to a showcase of finished work. The unit includes a brief generated by the student, which leads to the presentation of a significant body of final work. Collaborative and interdisciplinary work can be incorporated into the project in relation to the professional context and ambition of the student.

World Cinemas

This unit will examine the phenomena of global circulation within cinema, exploring the historical and theoretical frameworks developed in relation to this field.  It will consider colonial discourses and third world cinemas looking amongst others at examples from Japan, Hong Kong, Korea, China, Thailand, India, Africa and South America.

World Cinemas with Language

This unit explores film and other screen-based media as objects and commodities of global circulation that produce meanings that are both nationally specific and transglobal in character. You also undertake language study with Uniwide.

Youth: Cultures and Subcultures

‘Youth: Cultures and Subcultures’ deals with subcultural production, style and music and how they express communal identities. Topics may include: Mods and rockers; Goths; Online identities; and extreme sports.

Youth: Cultures and Subcultures (Creative)

The unit examines subcultural theory applying it to primary sourced materials and, where appropriate, using qualitative research methods to discover materials.

Assessment

Group work, projects, essays, examinations and a dissertation in Year 3.

Placements

There is an assessed work experience report as part of Year 2 which may involve work with television companies, advertising agencies or other media. Second year students are also able to undertake a half year placement at the National University of Ireland, Galway on the Erasmus Exchange system.

You can find further details about the curriculum in the Programme Specification Document

Staff


Graduates

Graduates of this course have gone on to further research film & media and work in programme development for television and radio, film education, teaching and journalism.

Making an Application

How to Apply

Apply through UCAS.

You will be notified of our decision through UCAS.

Entry Requirements

UCAS Tariff Points/Grades Required240-280.

General Studies not accepted unless taught A level.

Specific GCSE Requirements

GCSE Grade C or above in English Language (or acceptable alternative)

Non Tariffed Qualifications

A relevant Level 3 Access to HE Diploma will be considered for entry to this course.

International Baccalaureate28 Points

International Students

A minimum IELTS score of 6 with no element below 5.5 is required.

Check our MMU International site for further information if you are applying with non-UK qualifications.

Fees

UK and EU full-time students: £9,000

Non-EU full-time international students: £11,000

See Money Matters for further information and advice.