Cultural Studies and Film - BA (Hons)

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What do we mean by ‘culture’ and why is its meaning often contested? Film, from experimental cinema to Hollywood block-busters, is an exciting subject through which to approach these questions. Our joint honours programme Cultural Studies and Film is a rewarding course that allows you to follow your passions.

Overview

At Kent, Cultural Studies is taught in the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research where you benefit from a large choice of specialist modules on race, social change, criminal justice or disability and the arts. You are taught by leading academics in fields like gender, race and the body.

You explore the links between culture, film and society drawing on critical theories and methods from the social sciences and the humanities. We examine a range of areas, from digital media, to the creative and cultural industries, to social identities and movements.

The School of Arts’ Jarman building is a creative hub for students of film, drama, media studies and art history.

Our degree programme

The programme begins with an overview of different cultural and sociological theories that address ‘culture’, ‘media’ and ‘society’ as part of a broader global and historical context. You are also introduced to different film styles and genres.

You then go on to learn how to conduct and apply qualitative sociological research that engages with different cultural products like mass media; spoken word poetry; digital media technologies; television and film.

During all stages of your studies you have the opportunity to choose specialist modules that suit your interests and include topics like documentary cinema, screenwriting, digital culture, animated worlds and cultures of embodiment.

In your final year of study, there is an option to take a dissertation module on a subject of your choice or to complete an independent film project. This allows you to focus in detail on an area you are particularly passionate about.

Study resources

Facilities to support film studies include:

  • our own cinema, which screens ten to 15 films a week
  • 8,000 DVDs and videos in the library
  • individual and group viewing facilities in the library.

Our film production facilities are industry-standard and include the following:

  • sound-proofed production studio with projection, chroma-key green screen and black serge cycloramas
  • extensive lighting grid
  • sound-dubbing studio
  • individual editing suites equipped with Final Cut Pro
  • digital studio with post-production software.

Kent’s Templeman Library also gives you access to a wide range of topical journals and books in hard copy and digital format.

Your designated academic advisor provides guidance for your academic and professional development throughout your studies. Our Student Learning Advisory Service offers useful workshops on topics like essay writing and academic referencing.

Extra activities

There are a number of student-led societies at Kent which you may want to join, for example:

  • UKC Digital Media
  • Socrates Society
  • Film Society
  • Feminist Society
  • B-Movie Society.

The Gulbenkian, our campus arts-centre, has two large cinemas and screens block-busters as well as independent art films. It also holds regular events that might be of interest to you such as round-tables with directors and screenwriters.

There are also events available throughout the year for students from the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research. These may include:

  • research seminars and webcasts
  • career development workshops
  • informal lectures by guest experts followed by group discussion.

Entry requirements

You are more than your grades

At Kent we look at your circumstances as a whole before deciding whether to make you an offer to study here. Find out more about how we offer flexibility and support before and during your degree.

Entry requirements

The University will consider applications from students offering a wide range of qualifications. Some typical requirements are listed below. Students offering alternative qualifications should contact us for further advice. Please also see our general entry requirements.

If you are an international student, visit our International Student website for further information about entry requirements for your country, including details of the International Foundation Programmes. Please note that international fee-paying students who require a Student visa cannot undertake a part-time programme due to visa restrictions.

Please note that meeting the typical offer/minimum requirement does not guarantee that you will receive an offer.

  • medal-empty

    A level

    BBB

  • medal-empty Access to HE Diploma

    The University will not necessarily make conditional offers to all Access candidates but will continue to assess them on an individual basis. 

    If we make you an offer, you will need to obtain/pass the overall Access to Higher Education Diploma and may also be required to obtain a proportion of the total level 3 credits and/or credits in particular subjects at merit grade or above.

  • medal-empty BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (formerly BTEC National Diploma)

    Distinction, Distinction, Merit in Health and Social Care or Public Services.

  • medal-empty International Baccalaureate

    34 points overall or 15 points at HL

  • International Foundation Programme

    Pass all components of the University of Kent International Foundation Programme with a 60% overall average, including 60% in LZ028.

English Language Requirements

Please see our English language entry requirements web page.

If you need to improve your English language standard as a condition of your offer, you can attend one of our pre-sessional courses in English for Academic Purposes before starting your degree programme. You attend these courses before starting your degree programme.

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Course structure

Duration: 3 years full-time (plus option of one full year abroad), 6 years part-time

Modules

The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This listing is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.  

On most programmes, you study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. You may also be able to take ‘elective’ modules from other programmes so you can customise your programme and explore other subjects that interest you.

Stage 1

Compulsory modules currently include

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.

Find out more about FILM3130

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.

Find out more about FILM3150

This course examines film history and historiography through a series of case studies. In carrying out this investigation students will be invited to work with secondary and primary sources held in the library and will be encouraged to evaluate the aesthetic, technological, economic, social and political histories presented in this module. Students will understand the role and value of the contextual study of film and will be given the opportunity to research and write on selected aspects of film historiography. The choice of case studies will depend upon the expertise of the module convenor and is not restricted to a particular national cinema or period; case studies may include, for instance, the history of film by means of the study of a particular theme and cultural context in the history of film.

Find out more about FILM3160

This module introduces students to discussions and debates surrounding modern culture. It looks at why culture has always been such a contested sphere and has a decisive impact on society at large. Students will look at culture in the widest sense, ranging from ‘the arts’ to the banalities of everyday life in our consumer society; at how culture has expressed and organised the way people think and live from the days of 'protestantism' to those of post-punk. Books, magazines, radio, TV, movies, cartoons, fashion, graffiti, the cult of celebrity, youth subcultures and pop music will be used to understand class, history, sexuality, colonialism, revolution, conflict and globalisation.

Find out more about SOCI3340

Contemporary culture is 'now-time' culture, but when did 'now’ begin - and, will it be over before the course starts? This module focuses on analysing contemporary culture and media and aims to demonstrate the range of possible interpretations that mediated culture can be open to. It raises questions about how culture can be viewed from aesthetic, political, ethical and economic perspectives. What is culture really for? Is it product or a process? Who owns it? Is it for fun or is it deadly serious? In order to think through contemporary issues such as gender relations, sexuality, multiculturalism and otherness, and what they might imply about our changing perceptions of space, place, and belonging, we'll be taking a case study approach to a range of cultural products and objects, media and institutions, and post-modern practices of communication. This module aims to understand the transformation of culture and media and everyday life we are living through and the way it changes who we are.

Find out more about SOCI3350

Optional modules may include

Crime is a major social and political issue and the source of much academic and popular debate. Key criminological issues will be examined during the course of the module within their wider sociological and social policy context. There will be a particular focus on understanding the nature and extent of crime and victimisation, analysing public and media perceptions of crime, and exploring the relationship between key social divisions (age, gender and ethnicity) and patterns of offending and victimisation

Find out more about SOCI3050

This course is designed to provide students with an introduction to the ways sociologists attempt to document and explain the social experience of everyday life. Each week the category of 'social experience' is held up for analytical scrutiny in relation to a particular component of 'everyday life'. The course aims to illustrate the value of sociology for helping individuals to better understand the contents and conditions of their social experience of the world. It also aims to document the ways in which sociological theories and methods have developed in correspondence with the evolution of modern societies. The curriculum will include topics such as: Sex, Gender and Sexuality, Racial and Ethnic Identities, Risk and Society, Crime and Deviance, Health, Media, Religion or Family.

Find out more about SOCI3360

Sociology is the study of human societies. It is a discipline committed to the attempt to map out and explain the constitution of society. It also aims to attend to and explain the distinctive character of people's social experience of the world. Sociologists operate from the premise that, by working to explain human characteristics and behaviours in social terms and as relative products of society, they stand to offer insights into some of the major forces that determine our thoughts and behaviours. They work under the conviction that human beings are fundamentally social beings and are products of distinct forms of society. This course is designed to provide you with a basic introduction to Sociology. A particular focus is brought to how sociologists venture to understand the social structures and determinant social forces that shape our living conditions and life chances. It also outlines some of the ways in which such matters are addressed as problems for sociological theory and empirical sociological research.

The curriculum will include topics such as:

What is Sociology?

Theories and Theorizing

Methods and Research

Cities and Communities

The State, Social Policy and Control

Globalization

Work, Employment and Leisure

Inequality, Poverty and Wealth

Stratification, Class and Status

Find out more about SOCI3370

You have the opportunity to select elective modules in this stage.

Stage 2

Compulsory modules currently include

Indicative topics are:

• The impact of social research upon both social theory and policy-making.

• The primary epistemological and ontological debates and how these affect the research question, method and design.

• The steps in designing a qualitative research project and criteria for assessing its quality as applied to positivist as well critical theorist approaches.

• Ethical considerations in social research and the process of ethical clearance within the University.

• The use of sampling techniques in qualitative research, the main problems with establishing valid samples and how different sampling approaches can undermine the validity of the research findings.

• The variety of qualitative research techniques available to social scientists and their relative advantages and disadvantages in understanding the social world. These include interviewing, visual, comparative/historical, and discourse analytic approaches

Find out more about SOCI5460

This module introduces and applies ideas in critical, cultural and communications theory to debates and issues surrounding media and popular culture, focusing on such themes as cultural elitism, power and control, the formation of identities, the politics of representation, and the cultural circuit of production and consumption. It investigates the relationship between the development of contemporary society and societal values and the changing technological basis of mediated culture.

Find out more about SOCI7500

Optional modules may include

The module will begin with (locally timetabled, formative) training sessions for the students in the Autumn term. These sessions will be run by the Partnership Development Office.

After training the student will spend approximately 6 hours in a school in the Spring term (this session excludes time to travel to and from the School, preparation and debrief time with the teacher). Generally, they will begin by observing lessons taught by their designated teacher and possibly other teachers. Later they will act somewhat in the role of a teaching assistant by working with individual pupils or with a small group. They may take 'hotspots': brief sessions with the whole class where they explain a topic or talk about aspects of university life. Finally, the student will progress to the role of "teacher" and will be expected to lead an entire lesson.

The student will be required to keep a log of their activities and experiences at each session. Each student will also create resources to aid in the delivery of their subject area within the curriculum. Finally, the student will devise a special final taught lesson in consultation with the teacher and with the local module convener. They must then implement and reflect on the lesson.

Find out more about ANTB5560

The art historian Aby Warburg – an avid reader of Thomas Carlyle's philosophical novel about clothes Sartor Resartus (1836) – said that a good costume, like a good symbol, should conceal as much as it reveals. This module will take an interdisciplinary approach to the study of costume and fashion – the art that can be worn – in order to explore their roles in drama, film and the visual arts. The social values encoded by clothes, their relation to class or sexual identity, will be discussed, along with how these assumptions inform the use of costume in adaptations or stagings of texts, or how they colour our view of a character, or of a director’s interpretation (for example, using deliberate anachronism). The role of clothing and costume in the history of art will be analysed from artists’ representation of clothes, contemporary or otherwise, to their involvement in fashion design.

Find out more about ARTS5030

This module will look at disability in the arts, covering theatre, film and visual art. The students will engage with the historical representation of disability within the arts and the way in which disability scholars have critically engaged with it. The students will also look at arts institutions (i.e. theatres, cinemas and galleries) and the disabling barriers within those institutions that prevent the full participation of people with impairments in the arts. This will culminate in an 'accessibility review', whereby the students analyse the adjustments made by arts institutions for people with impairments and the extent to which they are effective. Finally, the students will engage with examples of contemporary disabled artists whose impairments informs the aesthetic qualities of their work.

Find out more about ARTS5220

This is a practice-based module exploring the photographic medium and the contexts of its use through the production of photographs in response to a project brief and group-based critical discussion of the work produced. Students investigate how the context in which photographs are made affect how the world is represented, and how in turn these images shape perception. Students choose two practical project briefs that are designed to enable them to explore the medium creatively and through informed and reflective practice. The emphasis of the module is upon this creative practice rather than the acquisition of specific technical skills, and as such students are at liberty to use any photographic production and post-production technologies they wish to experiment with or find appropriate. A camera phone and access to a computer and printer are all that is needed for this module, though students who wish to make use of digital image processing or analogue processes, including use of a darkroom, are encouraged to do so. Each of the practical project briefs will be supported through a series of lectures closely examining various genres, styles and other contexts of photographic production through the work of those who have shaped them. In addition students will present the work they have produced in response to their project briefs, and engage in a broad critical discussion or their own and other's work.

Find out more about ARTS5230

The module seeks to explore how novels and plays are adapted and interpreted for the screen. We will analyse how certain texts lend themselves to multiple reshaping, such as Laclos' Dangerous Liaisons. We will also analyse lesser-known works that have gone on to become feature films, such as Arthur Schnitzler’s Dream Story, filmed as Eyes Wide Shut. Adaptations directed by internationally recognized filmmakers such as Roman Polanski, Vittorio De Sica, Francis Ford Coppola, Stanley Kubrick, and Pier Paolo Pasolini will be examined with a view to eliciting and understanding their particular approach to, and filmic vision of, written texts.

Find out more about CPLT5180

This is a module about the intersection of colonial power relations, anti-colonialism, postcolonialism, feminism, and identity politics in literature that interrogates the influence of imperialism on a sense of self. It considers the writing of a number of authors from Algeria, Morocco, Nigeria, Cuba and India. In light of the complex relationship between coloniser and colonised, we consider the ideology of many of these writers, as well as the ways in which their politics are articulated in their writing, whether fiction or non-fiction. We also examine to what extent this literature is representative of other postcolonial concerns such as nationhood and national consciousness, hybridity and assimilation, and exile and alienation within the larger context of cultural theory. Particularly significant is our interrogation of the violence inscribed in both the colonial system and the colonised's fight for independence as seen from the perspective of Frantz Fanon in Black Skin, White Masks (1952), A Dying Colonialism (1959), and The Wretched of the Earth (1961).

Studying the primary and secondary texts in English, we bring awareness to the reading scene of the translation process as an important development in the transnational study of comparative literature in a globalised world. In so doing, we acknowledge the significance of indigenous languages and dialects as signifiers of subject-hood in conflict with the coloniser's language. By exploring a variety of anti-colonial resistance and liberation discourses in relation to the development of current postcolonial thinking, the module also offers an insight into the history of the discipline of Postcolonial studies.

Find out more about CPLT6520

This module studies individual genres, which may vary across different academic terms (it may focus on the horror, science-fiction, western, musical, comedy, the noir or the gangster film, among others). It combines aesthetic and narrative analysis with the history of the genre. The theoretical framework draws from traditionally employed methods to study the genre in question (for example, psychoanalytical, postmodern or cognitive theory). The historical portion of the course examines the genre's growing commercial viability, the proliferation of subgenres, and the growing attention of academics. Topics include, but are not restricted to, gender politics, representations of sexuality, political commentary, allegory.

Find out more about FILM5950

Cinema has typically been conceived of as an essentially visual phenomenon – films, it is often said, are essentially moving pictures. Sound has, nevertheless, played an important role from the beginnings of cinema, a fact which has been acknowledged in the detailed historical, theoretical and critical work on film music, and film sound more generally. Sound, Music and Cinema will provide an overview of this field of research, and aim to provide students with a clearer understanding of and greater sensitivity to the soundtrack. The course will begin by setting up an introductory framework for the understanding of sound, which considers the relationship between music and other aspects of film sound (speech, ambient sound, sound effects), as well as the nature of the relationship between sound and image. Subsequent sessions will consider the evolution of sound technology and its impact on the aural aesthetics of film; the use of classical and popular music in film scores; the emergence of sound designers, in contemporary cinema; and the distinctive and innovative use of sound and music by a number of 'sound stylists'.

Find out more about FILM6030

This module offers students an introduction to the terms, ideas and craft, involved in the creation of screenplays. Screenwriting is a unique form of writing with very different concerns from the novel, theatre and radio. Although the screenplay is a vital component of a film's success, it tends to be neglected as a separate art form.

In this module we explore the conventions of dramatic structure, new narrative forms and short film variations. Students are encouraged to think critically about screenplay writing and will have an opportunity to write their own screenplay. A selection of writing exercises have been designed to take them through the writing process; from preparation and initial concept to final draft.

The emphasis here will be on practical knowledge and support as students uncover their creative voice. This module does not aim to provide vocational training for students wishing to pursue careers in the feature film or television industries.

Find out more about FILM6180

This module seeks to investigate some of the most pressing ethical issues in contemporary media culture and the mediated arts. Topics may include: violence in video games, nudity on the screen and in advertising, anti-heroes and villains in fiction, propaganda and manipulation, sexism and racism in humour, shock value in the news and in contemporary art. To answer the many moral questions that arise in this context students will examine basic notions such as truth, objectification, voyeurism, exploitation, offence, harm, gender, and stereotype.

Find out more about MSTU5000

This module provides students with an understanding of the concept of social status: how it differs from (and interacts with) other aspects of social stratification, such as power, class, and material circumstances. Students will explore theories for why human beings value social status so highly, and why they often take such dramatic steps to avoid losing it. The module will examine how considering social status concerns helps us to understand a variety of important social phenomena, encompassing health, violence, education, cultural participation, morality, and identity. Students will become familiar with the empirical tools researchers have used to understand the role of status, along with the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches.

Find out more about SOCI5013

The module provides students with an understanding of the contested cultural meanings underpinning crime. Too often criminology is satisfied taking definitions of criminality at face value, when really it means very different things to different people and in different contexts. The module examines how media representations propagate particular perceptions of crime, criminality and justice. It goes on to consider the manner in which those who 'offend' experience and interpret their own behaviour, which may be focused on the attainment of excitement or indeed on attaining their own conception of justice. The module explores these contradictions in a world where crime, control and the media saturate everyday life. In doing so it considers a diverse range of concepts; youth culture, hedonism, hate crime, risk taking, moral panics, the image, emotionality and consumerism. We examine the nature of a late-modern society where criminality inspires great fear and resentment, whilst at the same time it provides imagery which is harnessed to produce entertainment and sell a range of consumer goods. Students will become familiar with cutting edge research and theory in the fields of Cultural Criminology, Visual Criminology, and Media and Crime, placing issues such as music, photography, street gangs, extreme sports, newspapers and nights on the town in new and exciting contexts.

Find out more about SOCI6050

This module critically examines the historical role that animals have played in the making of modern society and the current nature of human/nonhuman relations in contemporary cultures. Students will also be introduced to intersections of race/class/gender and species. The final part of the course considers collective action and social policy as it relates to past and present efforts to challenge problematic aspects of human/nonhuman relations.

Find out more about SOCI6260

The course aims to develop an empirically grounded and theoretically engaged understanding of how social experience from the Global South informs, corrects and extends contemporary sociological theorisation and norms of sociological investigation. The module consists of three parts: 1) By putting the Global South and its power struggle in historical context, the module starts with critical examination on the blind spots of our presumed 'global' or 'cosmopolitan' social outlook. It problematises the once taken-for-granted universality of Eurocentric norms and discusses what good social research should look like. It also provides in-depth critique on the socio-political limitations of alternative theorisation from the Global South. 2) After establishing a solid historical and conceptual understanding of key debates, this module uses region-specific lectures (e.g. China, India and Africa) to deepen understanding on the Global South’s views on universality and difference, resistance and subversion, national and transnational solidarities. 3) This module concludes with methodological and conceptual reflections on mainstream sociology

Find out more about SOCI6270

This module will examine the impact of digital technology on our social and cultural lives. It will concentrate on how the Internet in particular has challenged some of our more traditional notions of identity and self, the body, relationships, community, privacy, politics, friendship, war and crime, economics, among others. Lectures will show how some of the basic components of culture such as notions of identity, space, the body, community, and even the very notion of what it is to be human, have been complicated by the rise of virtuality and cyberspace. We will also examine these issues through case study phenomena unique to digital culture, currently including gaming, music, cybersex and social networking.

Find out more about SOCI6570

The course is concerned with the relatively new ideas of living in a ‘risk society’ which theoretically capture the heightened sensitivity within Western societies to the numerous ‘risks’ which shape our lives. The course will explore basic concepts of risk, hazard and probability and how risk is managed and communicated. Topics will include risk and globalization, and risk and the media. Developments will be examined through key examples such as ‘mad cow’ disease and genetically modified ‘frankenfoods’. The course will suggest that heightened perception of risk is here to stay, and is leading to a reorganisation of society in important areas.

Find out more about SOCI6590

Images of 'trim, taut and terrific' bodies surround us in contemporary consumer culture. They look down on us from billboards, are increasingly central to advertisers’ attempts to sell us clothes, cosmetics, cars, and other products, and pervade reality television programmes based on diet, exercise and ‘extreme’ makeovers. These trends have occurred at the same time that science, technology, genetic engineering and medicine have achieved unprecedented levels of control over the body: there are now few parts of the body which cannot be remoulded, supplemented or transplanted in one way or another. In this course we explore how culture represents and shapes bodies, and also examine how embodied subjects are themselves able to act on and influence the culture in which they live. We will seek to understand the relationship between the body and self-identity, embodiment and inequalities, and will explore various theories of the body. In doing this we range far and wide by looking at such issues as work, music, sex/gender, cyberbodies, Makeover TV, film, transgenderism, sport, music, work and sleep. Embodiment is the enduring theme of this course, though, and we will explore its many dimensions via a range of disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives, and by asking and addressing a range of questions such as ‘How and why has the body become increasingly commodified?’, ‘Why has the body become increasingly central to so many people’s sense of self-identity?’, ‘If we live in a culture that has been able to intervene in the sizes, shapes and contents of the body like never before, have people have become less sure about what is ‘natural’ about the body, and about how we should care for and treat our bodily selves?

Find out more about SOCI6760

The course discusses the main approaches which have developed in urban sociology through an exploration of some of the major themes. These themes include urbanisation under capitalism, planning, post-industrialism, globalisation, social differentiation, multiculturalism, protest and social movements, and comparative urbanism (Asian and African contexts). Approaches considered within these will include Marx, Weber, the Chicago School, the Manchester school, and post-modernism.

Find out more about SOCI7120

This module is designed as an exploration of both the social history and historiography of 'the Enlightenment'. It draws a focus to the legacy of Enlightenment in contemporary sociological theory. It explores the bearing of Enlightenment ideas and interests upon the intellectual and political cultures of western modernity. It introduces students to ongoing debates concerned with the legacy of the Enlightenment in twenty-first century society. In this context, it explores the influence of the Enlightenment and its cultural portrayal in contemporary sociology in current disputes concerned with the legacy of colonialism, the gendering of the public sphere, the fate of religion and religious culture through modern times, the cultivation of our social and political democracy and the 'tragic' fate of modern rationality.

Find out more about SOCI7640

Stage 3

Optional modules may include

The module will begin with (locally timetabled, formative) training sessions for the students in the Autumn term. These sessions will be run by the Partnership Development Office.

After training the student will spend approximately 6 hours in a school in the Spring term (this session excludes time to travel to and from the School, preparation and debrief time with the teacher). Generally, they will begin by observing lessons taught by their designated teacher and possibly other teachers. Later they will act somewhat in the role of a teaching assistant by working with individual pupils or with a small group. They may take 'hotspots': brief sessions with the whole class where they explain a topic or talk about aspects of university life. Finally, the student will progress to the role of "teacher" and will be expected to lead an entire lesson.

The student will be required to keep a log of their activities and experiences at each session. Each student will also create resources to aid in the delivery of their subject area within the curriculum. Finally, the student will devise a special final taught lesson in consultation with the teacher and with the local module convener. They must then implement and reflect on the lesson.

Find out more about ANTB5560

The module gives School of Arts students across a range undergraduate programmes the opportunity to undertake a written independent research project at stage 3.

Students who wish to take the module must approach a permanent academic member of staff with a proposal, typically in advance of module registration, during the Spring term of the previous year. Students pick a research topic of their choice; however, students are only allowed to register for the module with the permission of a staff member who has agreed to supervise the project, and who has the expertise to do so. Potential supervisors must also ensure before they agree to supervise a project that the resources required to complete the project will be available to the student, and that adequate supervisory support will be available to the student throughout their study on the module.

Students will be supported in the preparation and submission of their work by their supervisor, although a central expectation of the module is that students will take increasing responsibility for their learning, consistent with expectations of Level 6 study.

Find out more about ARTS5000

Students will engage in a work-based situation of their choice. The student will be responsible for finding the work-based situation, though support from the School and CES will be available. The internship should bear relevance to their subject of study or a career they expect to pursue upon graduation. The total of 300 hours will be divided as required for purposes of preparation, attendance of work placement and reflection/completion of required assessment.

Find out more about ARTS5010

This interdisciplinary course will examine historical and current theoretical ideas and research on the ways in which art is created and perceived. Artforms that will be considered include visual arts (painting, sculpture, architecture, popular art), performing arts (dance and theater), music, and film. Readings will interface with subdisciplines of psychology such as perception, psychoaesthetics, neurophysiology, social psychology, and studies of emotion. Principal areas of focus will include aesthetics, arts-experimental design, perception of art, meaning in art, the psychology of the creative process, social and cultural issues, and the ramifications of arts-sciences research. The primary focus will be on Western art forms, though other world art traditions and aesthetics will also be discussed. Assessment methods will test understanding through a summary and critical reflection on a selected text and the proposal, research, and design and oral presentation of a potential interdisciplinary research project.

Find out more about ARTS5200

This module will look at disability in the arts, covering theatre, film and visual art. The students will engage with the historical representation of disability within the arts and the way in which disability scholars have critically engaged with it. The students will also look at arts institutions (i.e. theatres, cinemas and galleries) and the disabling barriers within those institutions that prevent the full participation of people with impairments in the arts. This will culminate in an 'accessibility review', whereby the students analyse the adjustments made by arts institutions for people with impairments and the extent to which they are effective. Finally, the students will engage with examples of contemporary disabled artists whose impairments informs the aesthetic qualities of their work.

Find out more about ARTS5220

The module seeks to explore how novels and plays are adapted and interpreted for the screen. We will analyse how certain texts lend themselves to multiple reshaping, such as Laclos' Dangerous Liaisons. We will also analyse lesser-known works that have gone on to become feature films, such as Arthur Schnitzler’s Dream Story, filmed as Eyes Wide Shut. Adaptations directed by internationally recognized filmmakers such as Roman Polanski, Vittorio De Sica, Francis Ford Coppola, Stanley Kubrick, and Pier Paolo Pasolini will be examined with a view to eliciting and understanding their particular approach to, and filmic vision of, written texts.

Find out more about CPLT5180

This is a module about the intersection of colonial power relations, anti-colonialism, postcolonialism, feminism, and identity politics in literature that interrogates the influence of imperialism on a sense of self. It considers the writing of a number of authors from Algeria, Morocco, Nigeria, Cuba and India. In light of the complex relationship between coloniser and colonised, we consider the ideology of many of these writers, as well as the ways in which their politics are articulated in their writing, whether fiction or non-fiction. We also examine to what extent this literature is representative of other postcolonial concerns such as nationhood and national consciousness, hybridity and assimilation, and exile and alienation within the larger context of cultural theory. Particularly significant is our interrogation of the violence inscribed in both the colonial system and the colonised's fight for independence as seen from the perspective of Frantz Fanon in Black Skin, White Masks (1952), A Dying Colonialism (1959), and The Wretched of the Earth (1961).

Studying the primary and secondary texts in English, we bring awareness to the reading scene of the translation process as an important development in the transnational study of comparative literature in a globalised world. In so doing, we acknowledge the significance of indigenous languages and dialects as signifiers of subject-hood in conflict with the coloniser's language. By exploring a variety of anti-colonial resistance and liberation discourses in relation to the development of current postcolonial thinking, the module also offers an insight into the history of the discipline of Postcolonial studies.

Find out more about CPLT6520

A significant number of films and television programmes are adapted from other sources, and adaptation frequently arouses powerful responses from viewers and critics. This course explores this phenomenon, providing the close study of screen adaptations taken from a variety of other media which may include theatre, classic novels, short stories and comics. This course will provide an overview of adaptation studies, by addressing the particular questions that relate to adaptation, considering the connections and differences between distinct media, focusing on key features such as the manipulation of time and space, characterisation, point of view, style, voice, interpretation and evaluation. Students will be encouraged to consider adaptation within an industrial context and the creative and practical implications of adapting works for the screen. Within the remit of the course, there will be opportunities for students to develop their own creative interests within adaptation studies in conjunction with a deeper understanding of the key theoretical concepts underpinning the discipline.

Find out more about FILM5680

This module explores the contribution made to the study of film, and related artforms such as still photography, music and multimedia, by the cluster of disciplines commonly put under the umbrella of 'cognitive theory.' Cognitive theory emerged in the 1950s with the groundbreaking linguistic research of Noam Chomsky, who demonstrated that linguistic competence depended on innate mental capacities, and that certain universal grammatical norms underlie and unify the variety of languages. Since then, research on a wide variety of aspects of human cognition has been undertaken, taking its cue from Chomsky – on emotion, visual and aural perception, metaphor, and narrative understanding, among many other areas. And since the 1980s, a distinct approach within film studies – cognitive film theory – has emerged, which sets the study of film within this context. The module examines the way in which cognitive film theorists have taken up and developed ideas from the wider tradition of cognitive research, and the debates and controversies that have subsequently arisen between cognitive film theorists and exponents of other approaches to film.

Find out more about FILM5770

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.

Find out more about FILM5850

This module examines the concepts of stardom and celebrity. Often used as synonyms, the two terms in fact relate to different types of media constructs. The module will consider the history of the rise of stardom within the Hollywood context, exploring how the establishment of 'the star' became an integral part of the industry. Students will examine the ‘star system’ and its relationship to a range of topics which may include: performance; genre; the representation of gender and gendered bodies; audiences and fan studies; stars within dominant cultures and subcultural groups; and acting as labour. The topic will be illuminated through the analysis of key theoretical texts – many of which laid the foundations for star studies within film, media and cultural studies – as well as via opportunities for students to explore primary sources, such as movie magazines. The module also traces how the stardom industry described above became a component within a larger network of celebrity culture. Often characterised as a more contemporary phenomenon, the notion of ‘celebrity’ incorporates prominent figures in the public eye to whom the extension of fame is not necessarily based on any specific skill, talent or achievement. The module explores this context in conjunction with the apparent decline of the dominance of Hollywood stars, as a variety of mediated identities are promoted, consumed and commodified within diverse media landscapes. Using scholarship from within the interdisciplinary field of celebrity studies, students analyse how celebrities can take on many forms including actors, TV personalities and influencers, using different media platforms such as film, television, online streaming and social media. The importance of media technologies within both the study of stars and celebrity culture is stressed throughout the course.

Find out more about FILM6340

Throughout its history, film has functioned as a powerful sociopolitical engine. Individuals and groups have used this medium to express their identities (whether gender, sexual, ethnic, class, political, national, taste or intersectional constellations thereof) to various audiences, to portray their histories and current realities, to interrogate social norms, to agitate for civil rights and to imagine more equal futures. By the same token, film's unique capacities to reflect, refract and represent has also meant that individuals and groups have also used the medium to exert power or subjugate, create and reinforce stereotypes about the Other or justify their own dominance in the social order. This module focusses on this vital aspect of cinema. Each year the convenor will focus on one case study or series of case studies, for example: how the portrayal of violent women protagonists in action film and television series challenge notions of femininity; the interrelation between gender representation and genre more widely; the use of film as tool for politically/ideologically motivated State-run cinemas (e.g. USSR, Nazi Germany); cinema’s role in the identity wars of post-Vietnam 1970s America; the History of African American cinema; the construction and interrogation of sexuality and queer identities.

Find out more about FILM6350

Content producers - especially actors and directors – are the most publicly visible representatives of the film industry. However, these individuals stand in for only a tiny fraction of the jobs, roles and institutions that ultimately shape films and frame their horizons of expectations for audiences: e.g. funding bodies, festivals, critics, exhibitors and regulators. This module delves into one such vital value-adding institution, film marketing and distribution, regarding it as much more than a neutral 'pipeline' for delivering films and making audiences aware of them. Using a range of case studies that will vary from year to year, the module illuminates, for example, how marketing is used to mitigate risk and maximise revenue; the various purposes, forms and formats of film publicity; how distributors purchase rights and assemble lists; how distributors and marketers position individual films to certain target audiences and territories; how film audiences select which films to view; how cinematic exhibition fits within multi-platform distribution strategies; and the rise of ‘non-traditional’ distribution portals (e.g. Netflix and Amazon).

Find out more about FILM6370

This module seeks to investigate some of the most pressing ethical issues in contemporary media culture and the mediated arts. Topics may include: violence in video games, nudity on the screen and in advertising, anti-heroes and villains in fiction, propaganda and manipulation, sexism and racism in humour, shock value in the news and in contemporary art. To answer the many moral questions that arise in this context students will examine basic notions such as truth, objectification, voyeurism, exploitation, offence, harm, gender, and stereotype.

Find out more about MSTU5000

In mainstream media franchises, contemporary moving images are now typically transmedial, existing in different forms and across different platforms: for example, the Marvel universe includes comic books, films (released in cinemas and VoD), games, and VR experiences. This multiplicity of platforms generates new, and takes further existing, forms of fan culture as media-makers use transmedial platforms to reach new audiences and create media that can be experienced across multiple devices. The module explores fan culture and its engagement with different media content, and offers a critical and creative perspective on how media exist across different formats.

Find out more about MSTU5003

This module provides students with an understanding of the concept of social status: how it differs from (and interacts with) other aspects of social stratification, such as power, class, and material circumstances. Students will explore theories for why human beings value social status so highly, and why they often take such dramatic steps to avoid losing it. The module will examine how considering social status concerns helps us to understand a variety of important social phenomena, encompassing health, violence, education, cultural participation, morality, and identity. Students will become familiar with the empirical tools researchers have used to understand the role of status, along with the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches.

Find out more about SOCI5013

The module provides students with an understanding of the contested cultural meanings underpinning crime. Too often criminology is satisfied taking definitions of criminality at face value, when really it means very different things to different people and in different contexts. The module examines how media representations propagate particular perceptions of crime, criminality and justice. It goes on to consider the manner in which those who 'offend' experience and interpret their own behaviour, which may be focused on the attainment of excitement or indeed on attaining their own conception of justice. The module explores these contradictions in a world where crime, control and the media saturate everyday life. In doing so it considers a diverse range of concepts; youth culture, hedonism, hate crime, risk taking, moral panics, the image, emotionality and consumerism. We examine the nature of a late-modern society where criminality inspires great fear and resentment, whilst at the same time it provides imagery which is harnessed to produce entertainment and sell a range of consumer goods. Students will become familiar with cutting edge research and theory in the fields of Cultural Criminology, Visual Criminology, and Media and Crime, placing issues such as music, photography, street gangs, extreme sports, newspapers and nights on the town in new and exciting contexts.

Find out more about SOCI6050

This module critically examines the historical role that animals have played in the making of modern society and the current nature of human/nonhuman relations in contemporary cultures. Students will also be introduced to intersections of race/class/gender and species. The final part of the course considers collective action and social policy as it relates to past and present efforts to challenge problematic aspects of human/nonhuman relations.

Find out more about SOCI6260

The course aims to develop an empirically grounded and theoretically engaged understanding of how social experience from the Global South informs, corrects and extends contemporary sociological theorisation and norms of sociological investigation. The module consists of three parts: 1) By putting the Global South and its power struggle in historical context, the module starts with critical examination on the blind spots of our presumed 'global' or 'cosmopolitan' social outlook. It problematises the once taken-for-granted universality of Eurocentric norms and discusses what good social research should look like. It also provides in-depth critique on the socio-political limitations of alternative theorisation from the Global South. 2) After establishing a solid historical and conceptual understanding of key debates, this module uses region-specific lectures (e.g. China, India and Africa) to deepen understanding on the Global South’s views on universality and difference, resistance and subversion, national and transnational solidarities. 3) This module concludes with methodological and conceptual reflections on mainstream sociology

Find out more about SOCI6270

This module will examine the impact of digital technology on our social and cultural lives. It will concentrate on how the Internet in particular has challenged some of our more traditional notions of identity and self, the body, relationships, community, privacy, politics, friendship, war and crime, economics, among others. Lectures will show how some of the basic components of culture such as notions of identity, space, the body, community, and even the very notion of what it is to be human, have been complicated by the rise of virtuality and cyberspace. We will also examine these issues through case study phenomena unique to digital culture, currently including gaming, music, cybersex and social networking.

Find out more about SOCI6570

The course is concerned with the relatively new ideas of living in a ‘risk society’ which theoretically capture the heightened sensitivity within Western societies to the numerous ‘risks’ which shape our lives. The course will explore basic concepts of risk, hazard and probability and how risk is managed and communicated. Topics will include risk and globalization, and risk and the media. Developments will be examined through key examples such as ‘mad cow’ disease and genetically modified ‘frankenfoods’. The course will suggest that heightened perception of risk is here to stay, and is leading to a reorganisation of society in important areas.

Find out more about SOCI6590

Images of 'trim, taut and terrific' bodies surround us in contemporary consumer culture. They look down on us from billboards, are increasingly central to advertisers’ attempts to sell us clothes, cosmetics, cars, and other products, and pervade reality television programmes based on diet, exercise and ‘extreme’ makeovers. These trends have occurred at the same time that science, technology, genetic engineering and medicine have achieved unprecedented levels of control over the body: there are now few parts of the body which cannot be remoulded, supplemented or transplanted in one way or another. In this course we explore how culture represents and shapes bodies, and also examine how embodied subjects are themselves able to act on and influence the culture in which they live. We will seek to understand the relationship between the body and self-identity, embodiment and inequalities, and will explore various theories of the body. In doing this we range far and wide by looking at such issues as work, music, sex/gender, cyberbodies, Makeover TV, film, transgenderism, sport, music, work and sleep. Embodiment is the enduring theme of this course, though, and we will explore its many dimensions via a range of disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives, and by asking and addressing a range of questions such as ‘How and why has the body become increasingly commodified?’, ‘Why has the body become increasingly central to so many people’s sense of self-identity?’, ‘If we live in a culture that has been able to intervene in the sizes, shapes and contents of the body like never before, have people have become less sure about what is ‘natural’ about the body, and about how we should care for and treat our bodily selves?

Find out more about SOCI6760

The module aims to enable students to conceive and execute a major research project in the field of cultural studies. Students attend a Summer term group meeting with the module convenor to explore and discuss ideas for research and the submission of a draft title and plan, which is to be completed during the long vacation prior to the module beginning. In the Autumn term they will receive feedback on this plan and proposal from their supervisor and/or the module convenor. They will then be required to attend a series of meetings with their assigned supervisor throughout the Autumn term and at the end of that term submit a Literature Review for assessment. In the spring term, research and writing of the dissertation continue under the guidance of the supervisor and at the end of the term, the completed assignment is submitted.

Find out more about SOCI6830

The course discusses the main approaches which have developed in urban sociology through an exploration of some of the major themes. These themes include urbanisation under capitalism, planning, post-industrialism, globalisation, social differentiation, multiculturalism, protest and social movements, and comparative urbanism (Asian and African contexts). Approaches considered within these will include Marx, Weber, the Chicago School, the Manchester school, and post-modernism.

Find out more about SOCI7120

This module is designed as an exploration of both the social history and historiography of 'the Enlightenment'. It draws a focus to the legacy of Enlightenment in contemporary sociological theory. It explores the bearing of Enlightenment ideas and interests upon the intellectual and political cultures of western modernity. It introduces students to ongoing debates concerned with the legacy of the Enlightenment in twenty-first century society. In this context, it explores the influence of the Enlightenment and its cultural portrayal in contemporary sociology in current disputes concerned with the legacy of colonialism, the gendering of the public sphere, the fate of religion and religious culture through modern times, the cultivation of our social and political democracy and the 'tragic' fate of modern rationality.

Find out more about SOCI7640

Fees

The 2021/22 annual tuition fees for this programme are:

  • Home full-time TBC
  • International full-time TBC
  • Home part-time TBC
  • International part-time TBC

For details of when and how to pay fees and charges, please see our Student Finance Guide.

For students continuing on this programme, fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic year of study except where regulated.* 

Your fee status

The University will assess your fee status as part of the application process. If you are uncertain about your fee status you may wish to seek advice from UKCISA before applying.

Additional costs

General additional costs

Find out more about accommodation and living costs, plus general additional costs that you may pay when studying at Kent.

Funding

University funding

Kent offers generous financial support schemes to assist eligible undergraduate students during their studies. See our funding page for more details. 

Government funding

You may be eligible for government finance to help pay for the costs of studying. See the Government's student finance website.

Scholarships

General scholarships

Scholarships are available for excellence in academic performance, sport and music and are awarded on merit. For further information on the range of awards available and to make an application see our scholarships website.

The Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence

At Kent we recognise, encourage and reward excellence. We have created the Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence. 

The scholarship will be awarded to any applicant who achieves a minimum of A*AA over three A levels, or the equivalent qualifications (including BTEC and IB) as specified on our scholarships pages.

We have a range of subject-specific awards and scholarships for academic, sporting and musical achievement.

Search scholarships

Teaching and assessment

Cultural Studies

We use a variety of teaching methods, including lectures, case study analysis, group projects and presentations, and individual and group tutorials. Many module convenors also offer additional ‘clinic’ hours to help with the preparation of coursework and for exams.

Film

All modules involve lectures, small group seminars and film screenings (where relevant). On average, you have two lectures and three hours of seminars each week, plus four to six hours film viewing.

Depending on the modules you select, assessment varies from 100% coursework (extended essays or dissertation), to a combination of examination and coursework.

Contact hours

For a student studying full time, each academic year of the programme will comprise 1200 learning hours which include both direct contact hours and private study hours.  The precise breakdown of hours will be subject dependent and will vary according to modules.  Please refer to the individual module details under Course Structure.

Methods of assessment will vary according to subject specialism and individual modules.  Please refer to the individual module details under Course Structure.

Programme aims

The programme aims to:

  • develop students' ability to undertake critical analysis in film and cultural studies
  • provide teaching informed by current research in the fields of film and culture
  • provide a coherent, flexible and progressive curriculum which includes options from a wide range of disciplinary and interdisciplinary areas, particularly in the study of film and culture
  • provide broad knowledge of relevant concepts, debates and theoretical approaches in the study of film and culture
  • develop students' awareness of, and sensitivity to, the contexts of production and consumption involved in film and culture
  • provide opportunities for the development of personal, communication, research and other key skills appropriate to graduate employment in a range of cultural, media and education-related spheres, and for further research in the fields of film and cultural studies.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

You gain knowledge and understanding of:

  • aesthetic judgement
  • particular forms of film and culture, including the way they organise understanding and meaning
  • the historical evolution of particular genres, aesthetic traditions and forms
  • cultural and social contexts that affect the meaning of film and television works
  • conceptualisations of meaning, pleasure and identification in film and culture
  • how the modes of production/consumption of film and cultural texts and products shape contemporary life
  • the nature and impact of new technologies
  • major theories of film and cultural studies.

Intellectual skills

You gain intellectual abilities in how to:

  • analyse critically a wide range of film and cultural forms
  • understand forms of film and culture as they have emerged historically
  • clearly express your own ideas in oral and written presentations
  • evaluate and draw upon sources and conceptual frameworks appropriate to research in relevant areas
  • apply film, and cultural, theory to familiar and unfamiliar contexts, products and milieu
  • draw and reflect upon the relevance and impact of your own cultural assumptions to the practice of research and evaluation.

Subject-specific skills

You gain the following subject-specific skills:

  • conception and application of cross-disciplinary strategies of investigation of film and cultural issues, themes and topics
  • drawing upon and bringing together ideas, knowledge of narrative and stylistic forms and structures in film and culture
  • the ability to articulate understanding of visual and oral media in a written medium
  • the ability to evaluate theoretical models and paradigms of cultural production, consumption and reception
  • effectively deploying terms and concepts specific to the study of film and television
  • the ability to integrate diverse sources of cultural information and produce new knowledge.

Transferable skills

You gain the following transferable skills:

  • working in flexible, creative and independent ways
  • showing self-discipline, including time management, as well as self-direction and the ability to reflect on one’s own practices
  • sustaining focus and applying attention to detail
  • organising and managing supervised, self-directed projects
  • researching and evaluating sources in the process of carrying out independent study
  • communicating effectively and appropriately orally and in writing, and (where undertaken) in other media
  • working productively in a group or team, showing abilities at different times to listen, contribute and lead effectively
  • showing insight in and understanding of the social and ethical issues surrounding contemporary communications, media, culture and society; demonstrating the ability to draw on this understanding and knowledge in your engagement and contribution to contemporary society as workers and citizens
  • draw upon IT skills, including (where taken) skills in digital technology in relation to practice.

Teaching Excellence Framework

All University of Kent courses are regulated by the Office for Students.

Based on the evidence available, the TEF Panel judged that the University of Kent delivers consistently outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for its students. It is of the highest quality found in the UK.

Please see the University of Kent's Statement of Findings for more information.

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Independent rankings

Sociology at Kent was ranked 22nd out of 102 and 1st for research quality in The Complete University Guide 2021.

Sociology at Kent was ranked 1st for research quality in The Complete University Guide 2021 and The Times Good University Guide 2021.

Media and Film Studies at Kent was ranked 6th in The Guardian University Guide 2021.

Careers

Graduate destinations

As part of your degree, you develop critical thinking, transferable knowledge and skills that enable you to work in a variety of professions.

Our graduates have gone on to work in:

  • film and TV production
  • media, journalism, broadcasting
  • the cultural and creative industries
  • international institutions and NGOs
  • arts administration
  • advertising and design
  • tourism and heritage
  • the organisation of social and community projects.

Help finding a job

The University has a friendly Careers and Employability Service, which can give you advice on how to:

  • apply for jobs
  • write a good CV
  • perform well in interviews.

Career-enhancing skills

Our graduates develop substantial transferable skills that are valued in a range of professions.

These skills include:

  • communication
  • organisational and research skills
  • analysing complex information and making it accessible to non-specialist readers
  • writing reports
  • working effectively and considerately in teams.

You can gain additional skills by signing up for our Kent Extra activities, such as learning a language or volunteering.

Apply for this course

If you are from the UK or Ireland, you must apply for this course through UCAS. If you are not from the UK or Ireland, you can choose to apply through UCAS or directly on our website.

Find out more about how to apply

All applicants

Apply through UCAS

International applicants

Apply now to Kent

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Enquire online for part-time study

T: +44 (0)1227 768896

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International student enquiries

Enquire online

T: +44 (0)1227 823254
E: internationalstudent@kent.ac.uk

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Discover Uni is designed to support prospective students in deciding whether, where and what to study. The site replaces Unistats from September 2019.

Discover Uni is jointly owned by the Office for Students, the Department for the Economy Northern Ireland, the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales and the Scottish Funding Council.

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