Film Criticism - FILM5850

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2024 to 2025
Spring Term 6 30 (15) Cecilia Sayad checkmark-circle


This course introduces students to the history and theory of film criticism, emphasising the coexistence of different approaches to the analysis, evaluation and appreciation of film. The module will also have a practical aspect, offering students the opportunity to write critical pieces on the films screened for the class. In addition to traditional lectures and seminars, some sessions will be devoted to writing and to analysing fellow students' work. Participants will also be encouraged to reflect critically on different media of film criticism (newspapers, magazines, academic journals, the internet, television) and on the current state of film criticism.


Contact hours

Private Study: 267
Contact Hours: 33
Total: 300

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods:
Creative Portfolio (50%)
Project (50%)

Reassessment methods:
Like for Like

Indicative reading

The University is committed to ensuring that core reading materials are in accessible electronic format in line with the Kent Inclusive Practices.
The most up to date reading list for each module can be found on the university's reading list pages:

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1 Demonstrate knowledge of the history of Anglophone film criticism in the context of both other forms of criticism as well as other language criticisms and have the ability to coherently articulate their understanding of the relationships between these developments;
2 Understand the different modes of analysis made possible by key methods of enquiry and be able to demonstrate their relevance to understanding the impact of film criticism on both moving image making and the ways in which an audience engages with moving images;
3 Devise a discussion of film criticism through a sustained engagement with key methods of enquiry based on a synthesis of historical, theoretical, and aesthetic approaches;
4 Understand the interplay between film criticism and film culture through their research into relevant scholarly literature.

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1 Develop skills of critical and historical analysis of the moving image, together with generic intellectual skills of synthesis, summarisation, critical judgement and problem-solving that will allow for the construction of original and persuasive arguments;
2 Develop the skills of communication, improving performance, problem-solving, and working with others;
3 Communicate ideas and arguments effectively using a variety of methods;
4 Read critically, analyse and use a range of primary and secondary texts;
5 Locate and use appropriately a range of learning and reference resources (including moving image resources) within the Templeman Library and elsewhere, including the internet;
6 Employ information technologies to research and present their work;
7 Demonstrate the acquisition of an independent learning style; for example in the preparation and presentation of course work, in carrying out independent research, in showing the ability to reflect on their own learning and by mediating complex arguments;
8 Approach problem-solving creatively, and form critical and evaluative judgments about the appropriateness of these approaches to a level where a substantial degree of autonomy and self-reflexive awareness is achieved in these tasks.


  1. Credit level 6. Higher level module usually taken in Stage 3 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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