Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2020 to 2021
(version 2)
Autumn 4 30 (15) PROF M Smith checkmark-circle


The course introduces students to the language of film, from aspects of mise-en-scène (setting, performance, costumes, props, lighting, frame composition) to framing (camera movement, shot scale, lenses), sound (fidelity, volume, timbre) and editing (from requirements for spatial orientation through matches on action, eyeline matches and shot-reverse-shot structures to temporal manipulations through ellipsis and montage). The study of these elements enables students to understand the spatial and temporal construction of films, as well as the stylistic, expressive and/or dramatic functions of specific strategies


This module appears in the following module collections.

Contact hours

Total contact hours: 72
Private study hours: 228
Total study hours: 300

Method of assessment

Essay (2000 words) (40%)
Seminar Participation (20%)
Examination, 2 hour (40%).

Indicative reading

Bordwell, D. & Thompson, K. (2010) (9th ed.) Film Art: An introduction. McGraw-Hill, New York.
Corrigan, T. (2009) A Short Guide to Writing About Film. Harper Collins, New York.
Kawin, B. (1992) How Movies Work. University of California Press, London

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

- Have studied all aspects of film form (elements of mise-en-scène, camera work, editing, sound) and the principles guiding the spatial and temporal construction of films from a variety of modes, genres, historical periods and national traditions.
- Engage with the scholarly literature in an analytical manner, and allowed for the literature and the films to inform each other. Frameworks for the systematic study of film should be applied and explored, understanding the usefulness of the approaches taken.
- Execute close analysis of films, providing detailed discussion of the workings and significance of specific film sequences, both in seminars and in essay writing.
- Communicate clearly the knowledge and understanding appropriate to the study of film, using appropriate terminology and accurate, coherent and effective written and oral expression.


  1. Credit level 4. Certificate level module usually taken in the first stage of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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