Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2020 to 2021
(version 2)
Spring 4 30 (15) DR L Brydon checkmark-circle


This module approaches the "big questions" that have surrounded film and the moving image and puts them into historical context. Although specific topics will vary, representative topics may address competing definitions of film and its constitutive elements, the effects that cinema has on spectators, the social, cultural and political implications that moving images reproduce, and the status of the medium between art and entertainment. Students will debate seminal writings on the nature of film and bring their arguments to bear on exemplary film productions.


This module appears in the following module collections.

Contact hours

Total contact hours: 60 hours

Independent learning: 240 hours

Total study hours:300

Method of assessment

Essay (1500 words, 30%)
Seminar Performance (Presentation, 20%)
Exam (3 hours, 50%)

Indicative reading

Allen, Richard and Murray Smith, Film Theory and Philosophy, Oxford University Press, 1997
Balázs, Béla, Theory of the Film, trans. Edith Bone, New York: Dover, 1970
Bazin, André, What is Cinema? Vol. I & II, trans. Hugh Gray, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1967
Mast, Gerald and Marshall Cohen, Film Theory and Criticism, 2004 (5th edition)
Stam, Robert, Film Theory: An Introduction, Blackwell, MA: Blackwell, 2000

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

- understand major debates of how to conceive of film and how the medium has been distinguished from others;
- develop knowledge of underlying concepts on cinema's role in social and political structures;
- develop an awareness of how different authors have approached these debates;
- evaluate how conceptual engagements can be used productively to shape or substantiate interpretation of films;
- demonstrate through coherent and effective written and oral expression an understanding and use of appropriate critical and theoretical terminology.


  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.
Back to top

University of Kent makes every effort to ensure that module information is accurate for the relevant academic session and to provide educational services as described. However, courses, services and other matters may be subject to change. Please read our full disclaimer.