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Studying for a joint honours degree in English Literature and Film gives you the freedom to explore your passion for film while developing skills associated with the study of literature.
English at Kent is challenging, flexible, and wide-ranging. It covers both traditional areas (such as Shakespeare and Dickens) and newer fields such as American literature, creative writing, postcolonial literature and recent developments in literary theory. We also offer you the opportunity to study abroad in the third year of a four-year programme.
The School of English is a large and thriving department but we take great care in ensuring that it is a supportive environment in which to be a student. From the moment you arrive, you are an integral part of a scholarly community of students, teachers and researchers and can participate in a dialogue which seeks to push the boundaries of the subject into new fields of social and cultural inquiry. You are taught by leading international researchers and award-winning creative writers in a location steeped in literary history.
Film at Kent engages with cinema’s rich scope and history, from silent classics and mainstream Hollywood to world cinema and the avant-garde. Modules cover film theory, history and practice, from the basics of form and style to topics including national cinemas, animation, cognition and emotion, fantasy and pulp film.
Students have access to a 62-seat cinema named after the pioneering female film director Ida Lupino. The Lupino has state-of-the-art digital projection and sound, and has been created to provide an intimate atmosphere for film viewing.
The University will consider applications from students offering a wide range of qualifications. All applications are assessed on an individual basis but some of our typical requirements are listed below. Students offering qualifications not listed are welcome to contact our Admissions Team for further advice. Please also see our general entry requirements.
The University welcomes applications from Access to Higher Education Diploma candidates for consideration. A typical offer may require you to obtain a proportion of Level 3 credits in relevant subjects at merit grade or above.
The University will consider applicants holding BTEC National Diploma and Extended National Diploma Qualifications (QCF; NQF; OCR) on a case-by-case basis. Please contact us for further advice on your individual circumstances. A typical offer would be DMM.
30 overall or 15 at HL.
Pass all components of the University of Kent International Foundation Programme with a 60% overall average including 60% in the Literature module.
The University will consider applicants holding T level qualifications in subjects closely aligned to the course.
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.
Please see our English language entry requirements web page.
Please note that if you do not meet our English language requirements, we offer a number of 'pre-sessional' courses in English for Academic Purposes. You attend these courses before starting your degree programme.
Duration: Full-time 3/4 years. Part-time 6/7 years.
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.
Changing Literatures: From Chaucer to the Contemporary aims to introduce students to the major forms of literature: poetry, prose and drama, with a core emphasis on innovation. Students will examine the formal structures and generic features of these major forms and, through studying specific examples, observe how these forms change over time and in response to changes in authorship, literary production, and audience/readership. Students will also be exposed to contemporary literary forms, such as literature written via social media (Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram), literature created by Artificial Intelligence, experimental literature, and asked to critically assess them in relation to traditional forms of literature. Embedded in this module will also be the development of writing and research skills that will equip students to manage successfully the transition.
Adventures in Criticism introduces students to literary criticism, leading them through some of the best and most influential examples from its history, and guiding them on their journey to becoming literary critics themselves. On the module they will read and discuss a wide range of literary-critical texts addressing different genres, periods and theoretical frames. Through these readings, they will make connections between critical approaches and think about how they might inform their reading practices on this and other modules. The module will help students understand the significance and usefulness of criticism and will develop a sophisticated understanding of the dynamic relationship between literature and criticism. The module also includes a series of writing workshops aimed at supporting and developing key writing skills in relation to literary criticism.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
This module aims to introduce students to a wide range of Victorian literature. It will equip students with critical ideas that will help them become more skilful and confident readers of texts in and beyond this period. Students will be encouraged to read texts in a number of contexts: environmental (for example, considering the effects of urbanisation and the Industrial Revolution); imaginative (examining a variety of genres: for example fable, dream-vision, novel); political (class conflicts, changing gender roles, ideas of nation and empire); and psychological (representations of growing up, courtship, sibling and parent-child relationships, dreams and madness). Students will be made aware of such critical concepts as realism and allegory and will be encouraged to think about various developments of literary form in the period. Students will also be asked to reflect critically on the legacies and afterlives of the Victorian period and its literature in contemporary Britain.
This module will introduce students to a wide range of contemporary literature written in English, where 'contemporary' is taken to refer to twenty-first century work. It will equip students with critical ideas and theoretical concepts that will help them to understand the literature of their own time. Students will consider examples of a range of genres: poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction and the essay. They will also be selectively introduced to key ideas in contemporary theory and philosophy. Over the course of the module, students will be encouraged to read texts in a number of contexts. They will consider writers’ responses to, for instance, questions of migration, environmental change, austerity, and crisis. They will also consider a range of aesthetic developments and departures, for example: the turn to creative non-fiction; the re-emergence of the political essay. The module will not focus on a given national context. Instead it will set contemporary writing against the background of identifiably international issues and concerns. In so doing it will draw attention to non-national publishing strategies and audiences. Overall, the module will aim to show how writers are responding to the present period, how their work illuminates and reflects current cultural concerns. Throughout, we will explore both thematic and formal concerns.
Before 1660 there was no English novel, and by the end of the eighteenth century there was Jane Austen. This module asks how such a literary revolution was possible. It investigates the rise of professional authorship in an increasingly open marketplace for books. With commercial expansion came experiment and novelty. Genres unheard of in the Renaissance emerged for the first time: they include the periodical essay, autobiography, the oriental tale, amatory fiction, slave narratives and, most remarkably, the modern novel. Ancient modes such as satire, pastoral and romance underwent surprising transformations. Many eighteenth-century men and women felt that they lived in an age of reason and emancipation – although others warned of enlightenment's darker aspect. Seminar reading reflects the fact that an increasing number of women, members of the labouring classes, and African slaves wrote for publication; that readers themselves became more socially varied; and that Britain was growing to understand itself as an imperial nation within a shifting global context. It asks students to reflect, as eighteenth-century writers did, upon the literary, cultural and political implications of these developments. There will be weekly lectures and seminars.
This module looks at some of the most innovative early twentieth century writers. As well as famous authors, such as the novelists Virginia Woolf and James Joyce, and the poet T. S. Eliot, the module examines a wide range of figures, such as Gertrude Stein, who pioneered the 'stream-of-consciousness' technique; the writer and artist Wyndham Lewis, who imitated the bombastic stance of the Italian Futurists; and the African American poet Langston Hughes, who saw the modernist moment as an opportunity to create a new ‘Negro art’. This period is characterised as much by its lively and often strident artistic manifestos as it is by its sometimes monumental literary works, and we take a close look at this climate of literary debate. We will analyse these writers against the background of changing social and sexual attitudes, examine the connections with literary and artistic developments in France and Italy, and unearth some of the less well-known writers of the period who are increasingly viewed as central to modernist literary history.
The drama of early modern England broke new literary and dramatic ground. This module will focus on key plays across the period. It will explore the development of dramatic writing, the status of playing companies within the London theatres, drama's links to court entertainment and its relationship to the provinces. Dramatic and literary form will be a central preoccupation alongside issues of characterisation, culture, politics, and gender. Shakespeare’s work will be put into context in relation to the plays of his contemporary dramatists as well as the various cultural, historical and material circumstances that influenced the composition, performance and publication of drama in early modern England.
This course will introduce students to the field of postcolonial literature, focusing on the period from the late nineteenth century to the present day. The module will be divided into three consecutive areas: empire and colonisation (three weeks); liberation movements and the processes of decolonisation (either three or four weeks); and migration and diaspora (either three or four weeks). Centred primarily on canonical British colonial texts, the first part of the course may also involve comparison with other less familiar texts and contexts, such as those of Zionist nationalism and settler colonialism, or more popular twentieth-century imperial fantasy and adventure genres. The texts in the second part of the module will be drawn primarily from Africa, the Carribean, the Middle East, and South Asia. The intention is to allow students to bring these disparate regions and texts into a productive dialogue with each other by reflecting on their shared history of decolonisation and their common engagement with colonial and liberation discourses. The course further aims to sketch a narrative of empire and decolonisation that is in part relevant to contemporary postcolonial Britain, to which the final section on migration and diaspora then returns. Some brief extracts from theoretical material on colonial discourse analysis, decolonisation, postcoloniality and migration will be considered alongside a single primary text each week. Students will be introduced to key ideas from the work of (among others) Edward Said, Frantz Fanon, Homi Bhabha, Stuart Hall and Gayatri Spivak. Together with a broad primary textual arc stretching from the British empire to postcolonial Britain, the course will thus give students a cohesive intellectual narrative with which to explore changing conceptions of culture, history, and postcolonial identity across the modern world.
This module will introduce students to a range of writing from the late-medieval period. It focuses on a number of central genres in English literature that emerged between the late-fourteenth and early-sixteenth-centuries (romance, tragedy and fabliaux, miracle plays and devotional prose), and will explore some key topics and themes in medieval literature. In previous years, we have explored, for example: authority and the idea of the 'author', politics and social change, gender, sexuality, piety, personal identity, chivalry, free will, legend, historicism, reading technologies and practices, iconography, and medievalism. The themes and theories covered by the course will vary from year to year in response to the lecture programme, and to the emphases made by individual teachers.
Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales will offer an accessible introduction to many of these core genres and themes, and initiate students in issues that are pertinent to less familiar writers and texts from the period, such as Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Malory's Le Morte Darthur, and The Book of Margery Kempe. During the course of the module you will also learn about the historical and cultural contexts of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, how such contexts influenced the literature of the period, and how modern medievalisms (the versions of ‘the medieval’ presented in, for instance, film, TV , art and historical novels) have shaped twenty-first-century ideas about medieval life and literature.
This module is a study of twentieth-century American literature and culture organized conceptually around the idea of modernity. Students will explore the interconnections between modernity in the United States and the literary and philosophical ideas that shaped it (and were shaped by it) from the start of the century to its close. At the core of the module will be a necessary focus on two versions of American modernity, broadly represented by New York and Los Angeles respectively. Novels, works of art and critical texts will be read alongside one another to explore how these major regional hubs of aesthetic and cultural output developed competing conceptions of "modernity", “American culture” and the place of “the urban” in twentieth-century life, with important effects on contemporary perceptions of the USA. Moving beyond a sense of “modernism” as simply an aesthetic challenge to nineteenth-century modes of romanticism and realism, to consider the embeddedness of “modernist” literature within the particularities of its cultural and historical moment, students will be asked to develop a more nuanced approach to critical reading that pays close attention to the role of differing conceptions of modernity in the USA. The rise of mass culture, the L.A. film industry, the importance of Harlem to the history of race, the role of the intellectual, the urban challenges of the automobile, the birth of the modern American magazine, and questions of conservation and “creative destruction” in cities will all be considered through readings of key novels and critical texts from what Time Magazine editor Henry Luce famously called “The American Century”.
In taking this module, you will have the opportunity to become a future creator, shaping and changing the landscape of how we tell stories. Whether through multi-platform storytelling, alternate reality games, immersive theatre, locked room experiences, interactive art and gallery exhibitions, virtual and enhanced (augmented, integrated, mixed) realities, cross-media marketing campaigns, or hybrid projects, the possibilities for interactive and immersive narratives are constantly growing and developing, as audiences, readers and users begin to expect more from the ways in which stories are told.
This module explores how interactive and immersive fictions enable and empower us to rethink and reshape how stories are told within a range of different contexts. In an interdisciplinary and collaborative environment, students will develop creative skills such as how to build immersive imaginary worlds; how to craft story archaeologies; and how to incorporate user interactivity into different forms of fiction, in order to create experiences that have emotional and psychological value. We will examine questions such as: what makes a meaningful interactive or immersive story? How do interactive and immersive forms change the way we think about terms like narrative and reader? What influences a person's experience of an immersive or interactive story? And what do current, past and future technologies make possible for the telling of stories?
To take the module, students need only have an interest in the craft of storytelling and a vivid imagination; previous experience of gaming or programming may be useful but is not essential. With an emphasis on practical creative work and collaborative learning, this module will interest students from a range of backgrounds, including creative writing, game design, arts, marketing and theatre.
As discussions about mental health and the challenging of stigmas surrounding mental illness, make their way into the mainstream more and more, there has never been a better time to explore the ways in which literary and cultural texts frame and represent mental wellbeing. In this module, students will have the opportunity to examine, respond to, and reflect upon, a range of representations of mental health and mental illness, and the broader social and historical ideas which they reveal.
Drawing on critical texts from the fields of Mad Studies, alongside prose memoir texts, lyric essays, poetry collections, and film and image, the module will explore, critically examine, and creatively respond to some of the various thematic lenses through which mental health and mental illness have been represented. These themes include, for instance, mental health in relation to idleness and work; shame and secrecy; spectacle and morality; sin and punishment; animality and dehumanization; order and disorder; contagion and pathology; leisure and decadence; surveillance and authority; transgression, borderlands and margins; social uniformity and 'family values'; feminisation and silence; and rebellion and protest.
The module will furnish students with the necessary tools required to discuss issues of mental health and mental illness critically and with understanding; as well as providing the opportunity to explore and reflect on these issues creatively in a range of forms. Students are invited to take either a critical or a creative approach to their final projects - or a hybrid of the two – and both approaches will be fully supported throughout the module.
For much of film history and in most of the world, Hollywood productions have dominated the market share of film consumption. Nevertheless, film production is a worldwide phenomenon and these 'world' or 'national' cinemas have significant cultural, social and economic functions both within domestic contexts and abroad. This module investigates cinema from one world country or region. The case study will vary from year to year: for example, Latin America; Scandinavia; Eastern Europe; China, Korea and/or Japan. In introducing films from the case-study nation or region, the module aims to study how filmmakers actively franchise, adopt and rework film styles and genres; respond to the (film) culture and history of the domestic country and also to 'Hollywood' and international cultures; and/or tailor their practice to tastes of local and foreign audiences and gatekeepers. Above and beyond, the module will investigate the funding structures, distribution strategies and/or other industrial structures and norms that incentivise certain topics and representation styles. We will critically assess transnational aspects of the 'national' cinema in question, in the context of international multi-media corporate conglomerates' involvement in creative industries.
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.
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'.
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.
The module studies the emergence and consolidation of the studio system in Hollywood, between the coming of sound in 1929 until the collapse of the studios in 1960. Indicative topics include the rise of the star system; the emergence of genres; self-regulation and censorship; developments in technology; and changes in audience. Examination will be made of the development of the 'classic Hollywood cinema' style of film against the backdrop of varying contexts of production, distribution, exhibition and regulation. A focus on genres (such as the gangster film, western and musical) in their various phases of development and permutation will be a lens for student understanding of the importance of standardization. Studio development and collapse are also seen in broader historical and political contexts, enabling students to appreciate the forces that motivated film production, distribution and exhibition during the period.
The module looks at various philosophical problems as presented in films. This will involve discussing a range of different philosophical topics, from different areas of philosophy. Film here is presented as a way into the philosophical discussion, which will be supplemented by appropriate primary and secondary texts. The course will then consider ways in which the medium of film itself presents philosophical problems.
Topics to be covered will vary from year to year, in light of the expertise of the person convening it and student feedback from previous years. At least some of the module will be devoted to philosophical issues concerning film will itself, such as whether film itself is or can be a form of philosophy.
Students will gain a good understanding of several topics in philosophy. They will also critically explore whether the medium in which philosophy is conducted is potentially a constraint on or a complement to the aims of the philosophy. The module will enable students to evaluate issues, both timely and timeless, in a manner that's informed by an interdisciplinary approach to philosophy.
All our undergraduate degrees are also available with a Placement Year. For more information about this option please see Placement Year.
Going abroad as part of your degree is an amazing experience and a chance to develop personally, academically and professionally. You experience a different culture, gain a new academic perspective, establish international contacts and enhance your employability.
All students within the Faculty of Humanities can apply to spend a Term or Year Abroad as part of their degree at one of our partner universities in North America, Asia or Europe. You are expected to adhere to any progression requirements in Stage 1 and Stage 2 to proceed to the Term or Year Abroad.
The Term or Year abroad is assessed on a pass/fail basis and will not count towards your final degree classification. Places and destination are subject to availability, language and degree programme. To find out more, please see Go Abroad.
The module gives School of Arts students across a range of 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.
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.
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.
This module gives an opportunity for intensive study of one of the major novelists of Victorian England. There are many different views and interpretations of Dickens circulating in our culture. He has been dismissed as a writer of cosy sentimentality, celebrated as a radical critic of his age, and admired for his prodigious output and creative innovation.
Studying a selection of his fiction, we will consider a wide variety of interpretations, in the light of the most current literary criticism of Dickens's works. We will analyse Dickens’s texts in terms of narrative method, genre, characterisation, imagery and book history and – in the process – we will examine how the novels respond to, or challenge, significant aspects of Victorian culture and society such as class, gender, family, nation, childhood, the city, empire, industrialisation, and modernity.
This module raises students' awareness of contemporary issues in postcolonial writing, and the debates around them. This includes a selection of important postcolonial texts (which often happen to be major contemporary writing in English) and studies their narrative practice and their reading of contemporary culture. It focuses on issues such as the construction of historical narratives of nation, on identity and gender in the aftermath of globalisation and 'diaspora’, and on the problems associated with creating a discourse about these texts.
This module presents students with an opportunity to formulate and deliver a research project of their own making, whether it be a dissertation, a portfolio of texts, a publication, a podcast, a documentary, a short film, a performance, an app, or another form of public interaction derived from literary research. Supported by appropriate instruction, this module develops independent research skills and creative practices, provides a chance to engage with material of personal and/or professional interest, and offers the possibility of laying claim to a specific area of study. This is a student's opportunity to devote a sustained period of time to an area for which they feel enthusiasm, curiosity, and passion.
Gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer narratives often hold a revelatory place in the personal identity formation of many British and Irish people in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. Indeed, queer literature offers a powerful site for identity critique and formation. In the nascent genre of the 'coming out' story, in narratives of both personal and systemic oppressions, as well as in tales of outward resistance, queer writers in Britain and Ireland have used (and continue to use) literary modes to speak back to the very cultural homophobia and transphobia, which marginalises them and their communities. This module invites students to explore the unique place that literature and art maintains in the formation of LGBTQ political identities, cultures, pasts, and futures; students will also be prompted to consider how queerness—specifically in Britain and Ireland—intersects with categories such as class, race, nationality and others. The module will consider a broad range of British and Irish LGBTQ writing from the late twentieth century to the present: sampling significant texts in poetry, drama, prose, and television drama.
This module explores the ways in which Shakespeare's plays and Shakespeare as a cultural icon function within historic and contemporary racial politics. It examines intercultural appropriations of Shakespeare on stage and film, and their racial and cultural meanings. In doing so, students are encouraged to address the role that Shakespeare and his plays have in historic racial politics, global, colonial and postcolonial histories, as well as contemporary discussions (often seen in Twitter hashtags such as #ShakeRace, #RaceB4Race and #BLM). It will focus on five texts and productions, such as Titus Andronicus, Richard II, The Merchant of Venice, Othello and The Tempest.
The Unknown asks you to think creatively and analytically about creative non-fiction and autofiction. This module asks how these forms explore and value alternative modes to epistemology, including embracing those things which are difficult to put into language or 'unknown'. You will explore the techniques writers use when writing about their own lives, analyse the success of these techniques, and discuss the ethics of various forms of ‘life writing’. You will then attempt your own writing in one of these genres or a critical commentary on a topic from the module. Many of the texts we read will be contemporary, but there will also be important literary and critical works from the last 200 years, including on topics such as psychoanalysis, desire, ecocriticism, and the non-human. The Unknown asks you to think deeply about how, and why, you read and write and invites you to explore these questions creatively and critically.
This module explores the eighteenth century fascination with bodies and the truths (or lies) bodies were supposed to reveal. Our focus will be on the ways in which the body is read and constructed in eighteenth-century literature and how these readings and constructions reflect various concerns about class, race, gender and sexuality. Efforts to regulate the body (particularly the female, plebeian and racialised body) became the focus of many reformers and philanthropists in the period who sought to recuperate the productive (and reproductive) labour of idle or transgressive bodies to serve the nation's moral and financial economies. Other writers, however, emphasised the body's potential to work against social and cultural norms, focusing on events such as the masquerade, in which women dressed as men and aristocrats as chimney sweeps.
Through the course of this module we will examine a range of literary representations of the body which seek both the control the body and to celebrate its disruptive potential. We will read texts from a variety of genres including medical literature, misogynist satire, sentimental novels, popular fiction, travel writing and pornography. Primary texts will be read alongside recent critical work by Thomas Lacquer, Michel Foucault, Roy Porter, and Peter Stallybrass and Allon White, which illuminate the ideological stakes writers played for when writing about the body. Topics for discussion will include disability and deformity, race, the sentimental body, dress and the body, the body as text and the relationship between the body and the body politic. The primary focus of this option will be literature, but we will also examine visual representations of the body in caricature and satire as well as in the portraiture.
This module explores the history and practice of crime fiction in the United States from Edgar Allan Poe in the 1840s through to the present day. Crime fiction will be understood
broadly to encompass a range of generic categories such as detective, hardboiled and police procedural novels and stories. Attention will also be paid to developments in cinema
and television which parallel those in fiction, such as film noir and the contemporary cop series. Strong emphasis will be placed on historically informed reading and students will be
encouraged to relate the close analysis of texts to shifts in narrative form as well as the establishment and transgression of generic conventions.
The study of American crime fiction reaches directly into the heart of many of the key concerns of undergraduate English. Questions about the distinctions between high and low
culture, the seductiveness of particular narrative forms, and dialectic relations between literary and social history will all be addressed. Students will have the opportunity to read
crime fiction alongside elements of Marxist, narrative and genre theory. Eventually they will be able to consider how crime fiction has evolved in its engagement with questions of
race, gender and sexuality in the United States, from the construction of white masculinity in the hardboiled genre to the policing of black communities in the neoliberal city.
If the Bildungsroman has been criticised for being outmoded and conservative, how do contemporary writers interrogate and expand its scope and importance? Are coming-of-age narratives merely private stories or can they be read in ways which highlight their social functions, and what kind of theoretical, aesthetic and cultural perspectives can we apply to scrutinise these functions? This module will bring together a range of texts and films from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries that can be read within and against the literary tradition of the Bildungsroman or the coming-of-age narrative. Drawing on material from the US, the Caribbean, Asia and Europe, we will spend time analysing the representation of the coming-of-age experience in terms of content and form and assess the ideological functions of the Bildungsroman in a cross-cultural context. Particular attention will be given to questions of racial and ethnic identity, migration, colonialism, memory, trauma, belonging and sexuality. We will also explore the connection of the Bildungsroman with genres such as autobiography, family memoir, young adult fiction, graphic novel, and film. Writers studied in this module include Richard Wright, Jamaica Kincaid, Sandra Cisneros, Sherman Alexie, Jhumpa Lahiri, Marjane Satrapi, and we will watch films including My Beautiful Laundrette and Bend it Like Beckham.
This module examines the development of Virginia Woolf's writing across the span of her life. It explores Woolf’s most important modernist texts alongside some of her lesser-known writings, and considers a range of literary genres she wrote in (novels, essays, short stories, auto/biography). As well as paying close attention to the distinct style of modernist literature, there will be consideration of various historical, cultural, philosophical, political and artistic contexts that influenced, and were influenced by, Woolf’s writing. Students will be introduced to the key critical debates on Woolf, featuring discussion of topics as diverse as feminism, visual art, the everyday, war, sexuality, gender, class, empire, science, nature and animality. With Woolf as its central focus, this module therefore seeks to understand the lasting significance of modernist literature.
What is the relationship between 'animal' and ‘human’, and how is this explored through writing? This module seeks to examine creaturely relations by focusing on literature from the eighteenth century up to the present, alongside key theoretical and contextual material that engages with questions concerning animality and humanity. We will focus on how writers imagine distinct animal worlds as well as how they understand the role of animals in human cultures. A range of novels, short stories and poems will raise questions about how we look at, think with, and try to give voice to animals, and topics covered will include ‘Becoming Animal’, ‘Animal Autobiography’, ‘Observing Animals’, ‘Colonial Creatures’, ‘Animal Experiments’, ‘Taming and Training’, and ‘Questions for Animals’. Students taking this module will gain a firm grounding in the diverse critical field known as ‘animal studies’, whilst also considering the broader cultural, philosophical and ethical implications of how we think about the relationship between humans and animals.
The New Woman, a controversial figure who became prominent in British literature in the late nineteenth century, challenged traditional views of femininity and represented a more radical understanding of women's nature and role in society. She was associated with a range of unconventional behaviour – from smoking and bicycle-riding to sexuality outside marriage and political activism. This module will examine some of the key literary texts identified with the New Woman phenomenon including women’s journalism in the period. The module’s reading will be organised around central thematic concerns such as: sexuality and motherhood; suffrage and politics; career and creativity. We will consider to what extent the New Woman was a media construction or whether the term reflected the lives of progressive women in the period. This module will also examine how the New Woman became a global phenomenon, beginning with the plays of Henrik Ibsen, before spreading to literature, journalism, and political essays produced around the world by writers from Britain (Mathilde Blind, Mona Caird, Margaret Harkness, George Gissing, Amy Levy, Evelyn Sharp, and Augusta Webster), America (Charlotte Perkins Gilman), Australia (George Egerton), India (Sarojini Naidu), New Zealand (Katherine Mansfield), and South Africa (Olive Schreiner). The module will also consider the legacy of the New Woman in a neo-Victorian novel, Sarah Waters’s Tipping the Velvet (1998).
This module provides students with an opportunity to explore literature written by, for and about medieval women. It will consider women as writers, readers and the subjects of literature; as the consumers, compilers and scribes of books; and as the protagonists and antagonists in a variety of literary and artistic forms produced in England and Europe during late-medieval period. In the course of the module, we will explore how literature reflected, and helped to construct and constrain, women's lives, bodies, sexualities, identities and experiences, and the avenues through which they expressed their thoughts, desires and fears. By examining a range of material, including lyrics and romances, devotional manuals, saints lives, plays, letters, conduct books, sculptures, iconography and the everyday objects owned by women, we will encounter, for example: women as they were and how they were supposed to be; female friendship and same-sex desire; women’s diverse roles in society and in the home; how their bodies and relationships were used in polemic and political discourse; their influence on prominent male writers of the period; and the construction and erasure of late-medieval women’s voices in the historiography of later ages. The specific topics, materials and the date range covered by the module may alter from year to year to reflect teaching staff’s specialisms and interests.
In his 1980 essay, 'The Mathematics of Rimbaud', the poet, performer, and painter Allen Fisher observed that – as a consequence of the innovations in artistic practice throughout the 20th century – the idea of "art as objects and poetry as poems" had gradually lost its credibility. In stating this, Fisher not only articulated a compelling summary of the ways in which the study and practice of poetry and art over the last fifty years have consistently challenged the idea that these works are somehow enclosed, autonomous, or didactic units of meaning. He also indicated that sometimes poetry goes beyond text. Whether we think of the developments in the fields of concrete and visual poetry; poetry's interaction with larger art installations; sound poetry; poetry in performance; or any combination of these different practices, contemporary poetry often invites us to think of 'poems’ as something more than just words printed on a page.
In this module, you will have the opportunity to explore and engage with a diverse range of poetry beyond text, both on a creative and critical level. The curriculum will cover topics and themes including performance poetry (as well as poetry and performance more broadly), verbal artefacts, and intersections between poetry and sonic, visual and digital arts. Through both theory and practice, including regular creative exercises, the module offers you the opportunity to engage with these interdisciplinary poetry practices from both creative and critical perspectives. The assessment methods will also allow you the opportunity to pursue independent research projects that can be either creative or critical, or a combination of the two. Throughout, our studies will help to further enhance your understanding of poetry as a kinetic and mutable form of art.
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.
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.
Although both secondary schools and universities are institutions devoted to the distribution of knowledge, universities distinguish themselves crucially: uniquely, they are also sites dedicated to the production of original knowledge. In this module students will engage with cutting-edge research in one topic of film studies. The specific topic of the module varies from year to year according to the expertise of the convenor. (For the year's specific topic, please get in touch with the module convenor.)
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.
This module introduces students to the academic analysis of screen space as well as to the professional careers and practical applications of film and television space in the industry, including location scouting, shooting and production design. Screen Space and Location Scouting investigates films and/or television series shot on location and the staging of real spaces in studio. With a focus on cityscapes and rural landscapes, the module looks both at topographically accurate uses of specific spaces and at creative geographies where cities, towns and streets are made to 'play' the role of other places. This module also introduces students to mapping spatial film data (e.g., using software such as geographic information system, QGIS). Assessments include both an academic analysis of film space as well as a practice-based component focussing on real-world processes of location scouting.
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).
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) and games. 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.
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.
You have the opportunity to select elective modules in this stage.
The 2024/25 annual tuition fees for this course are:
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.*
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.
Fees for undergraduate students are £1,850.
Fees for undergraduate students are £1,385.
Students studying abroad for less than one academic year will pay full fees according to their fee status.
Modules are taught by weekly seminars. Core modules include a weekly lecture, plus individual supervision is offered for the Dissertation module. Assessment at Stage 1 is by a mixture of coursework and examination. Some modules may include an optional practical element.
All modules involve lectures, small group seminars and film screenings (where relevant). Depending on the modules you select, assessment varies from 100% coursework (extended essays or dissertation), to a combination of examination and coursework.
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.
For programme aims and learning outcomes please see the programmes specification for each subject below. Please note that outcomes will depend on your specific module selection:
English at Kent scored 87% overall in The Complete University Guide 2023.
Film at Kent was ranked 7th in The Guardian University Guide 2023.
Drama and Cinematics at Kent scored 89% overall in The Complete University Guide 2023.
Of final-year English students who completed the National Student Survey 2022, 84% were satisfied with the teaching on their course.
By studying Film, you learn to think critically and to work independently; your communication skills improve and you learn to express your opinions passionately and persuasively, both in writing and orally. These key transferable skills are essential for graduates as they move into the employment market.
Our graduates have gone into: journalism, broadcasting and media, publishing, writing and teaching; more general areas such as banking, marketing analysis and project management; or on to further study for postgraduate qualifications.
Recent graduates have gone on to careers in film-making, film and television industries, arts organisations, university and school teaching, local government and business, or to pursue postgraduate academic and practical film courses. In the last few years, students have gone on to take up positions such as film journalists, film/TV archivists and roles in marketing and distribution.
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 apply through UCAS or directly on our website if you have never used UCAS and you do not intend to use UCAS in the future.
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