Film

Film - BA (Hons)

UCAS code W610

2018

Learn the language of film and discover its rich history at Kent, one of the three major universities for film in the UK. Study film from its silent beginnings through to 3D CGI blockbusters, taking in avant-garde and international cinemas on your way, and find your own voice as a critic and a filmmaker.

2018

Overview

For over 30 years, Kent has been at the forefront of developing film as an academic subject. Our expertise means that you have a wide choice of areas to explore.

As a student, you become part of the community based within the School of Arts building – a creative hub for students of film, drama, media studies and art history.

Our degree programme

Our degree is flexible: you study film theory but you also have the option to explore film practice – for example, through developing the skills of a film critic or getting involved in creative film production.

In the first year, you cover the language of film (framing, sound, editing, performance, lighting), learn about the theory and the history of film, and can take a practical filmmaking module.

In your second and final years, you have a huge range of modules to choose from, covering everything from avant-garde to animation, with a variety of practice modules too, including screenwriting and documentary film.

Placement year

It is possible to take this degree with a placement year and gain valuable work experience. For details, see Film with a Placement Year.

Year abroad

You have the option to combine this degree with a year of working or studying abroad. For details, see Film with a Year Abroad.

Study resources

Facilities to support film theory 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
  • an extensive collection of books and journals, including online resources.

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

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

Extra activities

The School of Arts puts on many special events, which you are welcome to attend. In previous years, these have included symposia, seminars, conferences and exhibitions, as well as visits by filmmakers and critics.

You also have the chance to take part in film-related student societies.

  • The Film Society at Kent is run by students and gives you a chance to get involved in film production, film journalism, educational activities and a film festival.
  • Kent Media Centre, run by student volunteers, produces KTV (Kent Television) – a TV station dedicated to student news and events across campus.

For trips to the cinema, we have the Gulbenkian Cinema on campus, which screens arthouse, independent, foreign language and blockbuster films. In Canterbury city centre, there is also the Curzon arts cinema and an Odeon.

Professional network

Film students become part of a wide professional network, thanks to our excellent links with other film bodies. These include:

  • Arts Council England
  • British Film Institute (BFI)
  • Independent Cinema Office
  • Screen Archive South East
  • Kent Film.

Independent rankings

Media and Film Studies at Kent was ranked 3rd overall in The Guardian University Guide 2018. In the National Student Survey 2017, Cinematics and Photography at Kent was ranked 4th for teaching and 9th overall satisfaction. 

Of Film Studies students who graduated from Kent in 2016, over 95% were in work or further study within six months (DLHE).

Course structure

The course structure below gives a flavour of the modules that will be available to you and provides details of the content of this programme. This listing is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.  Most programmes will require you to study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. You may also have the option to take ‘wild’ modules from other programmes offered by the University in order that you may customise your programme and explore other subject areas of interest to you or that may further enhance your employability.

In addition to the Stage 1 modules listed below, you may also be able to select from:

Stage 1

Modules may include Credits

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.. Studied topics will 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.

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Introduction to Filmmaking draws upon concepts in Film Studies to inform an introduction to moving image production that focuses on the exploration of cinematic language. Basic technical skills in DV production and post-production are taught along with craft skills applicable to both narrative and experimental screen production. Through a combination of lectures, screenings, creative and technical workshops, and peer reviews of work in progress, this module encourages experimentation, critical reflection, independent thought, and dialogue between theory and practice. Effective group work is integral to the success of student work on this module. Practical work is designed to trigger both conceptual and creative thinking as well as consideration of audience responses to cinematic language. The essay, a critical analysis of the finished film, is designed to encourage a dialogue between theory and practice.

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Introduction to Filmmaking draws upon concepts in Film Studies to inform an introduction to moving image production that focuses on the exploration of cinematic language. Basic technical skills in DV production and post-production are taught along with craft skills applicable to both narrative and experimental screen production. Through a combination of lectures, screenings, creative and technical workshops, and peer reviews of work in progress, this module encourages experimentation, critical reflection, independent thought, and dialogue between theory and practice. Effective group work is integral to the success of student work on this module. Practical work is designed to trigger both conceptual and creative thinking as well as consideration of audience responses to cinematic language. The essay, a critical analysis of the finished film, is designed to encourage a dialogue between theory and practice.

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You have the opportunity to select wild modules in this stage

Stage 2

Modules may include Credits

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.

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The module is organised around the concept of the "New Hollywood Cinema of the 1970s," and structured through three blocks of inter-related screenings. The first block examines American genre filmmaking (the Western, the hard-boiled detective, and the gangster film, etc.), the second block looks at the road-movie, and the third considers representations of the city.

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In a country with a very strong literary and theatrical tradition, the British have also had a long-standing love of "going to the pictures." For more than a century, British filmmakers have been forging a rich and diverse national cinema in the face of Hollywood's dominance on British screens for most of that time. This course will offer an introductory historical overview of British cinema from its beginnings to the present day, assessing its role in the construction of British national identity, evaluating its major directors—including Carol Reed, Humphrey Jennings, Ken Loach, Mike Leigh and Terrence Davies. The films will be approached through multiple frameworks, including consideration of aesthetics (e.g. the question of realism), culture (e.g. gender and class), and history (e.g. questions of empire and modernity). The institution of cinema and film culture in a larger sense will be considered through the exploration of British film exhibition, criticism, cultural policy, and industry. Both fiction films and documentaries will be addressed with a particular focus on the urban experience. The cinematic city – London, in particular – will be discussed in relation to issues of memory and historicity.

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This module will offer students the rare opportunity to examine in detail the work of a single director or a group of directors. It will thus enable students to acquire a more complex understanding of the issues at stake in the production, distribution, and reception of a specific body of film work. The module will also develop students' knowledge and understanding of the questions, theories and controversies, which have informed critical issues and theoretical debates on film authorship. It will thus appeal to students who wish to extend their skills in analysing film form, meaning, and practice in both a conceptual and a historical context. Furthermore, as the module will enable detailed consideration of what 'film directing’ is, as an artistic and cultural practice, in given contexts, it will be a very useful course to combine with the practical study of filmmaking.

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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 Marxist, psychoanalytical, feminist, and reception theories. 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 gender politics, representations of sexuality, and political commentary and allegory.

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This module addresses a series of documentary films in their historical context and in relation to the different modes of non-fiction filmmaking. Documentary narrative techniques including the use of archival footage, staged reconstructions of past events, and talking-head interviews, are investigated by means of close textual analysis and through a comparative approach to diverse documentary films. This module also explores the boundaries between fiction and non-fiction and, while articulating a definition of documentary film, it studies film forms that present an interplay between the two, such as Mockumentaries and Essay Films.

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This module examines types of cinematic practice whose principal labels have been 'experimental', ‘avant-garde’, ‘underground’ and ‘independent’ – terms which overlap but which are by no means synonymous. It is concerned with traditions of cinema which have, more or less self-consciously, formulated radically different aesthetics from those of the orthodox feature film, in which narrative is either radically reshaped, or displaced altogether by other concerns. Throughout, the course will juxtapose films deriving from the historical avant-garde movements (like the European avant-garde of the 20s, or the post-war American scene) along with contemporary exponents of related forms of filmmaking. The first part of the course provides a conceptual and historical overview of avant-garde filmmaking in the C20th; subsequent weeks focus on specific topics, for example collage, landscape, experimental narrative, and the interaction between film, video and the new media.

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This module examines different forms of narrative and storytelling in cinema in order to place film narration within the tradition of the 'popular' arts. Understanding a film involves making sense not only of its story, its events and actions, but also of its storytelling, of the way in which we come to learn of these events and actions. This module examines the ways in which the specific means of representation of cinema transform a showing into a telling. It looks at theories of narrative in literature and film in relation to the different forms of narration and storytelling in cinema, focusing on questions of structure, reliability and temporality. The psychological and aesthetic role of narrative may be explored through a range of theories and analyses from within film studies and from other disciplines such as anthropology, literary studies, psychology and philosophy. The course will be taught through a series of case-studies using a wide range of films within American and world cinema.

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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 student’s 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.

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This course examines the mechanisms and conditions that facilitate and enhance transnational cultural flows. We will study how filmmakers actively franchise, adopt and rework film styles and genres. A genre or style initiated in one country can be quickly adopted in another, with filmmakers tailoring the genre or style to the tastes of local audiences. We will both analyse some of the generic conventions that these films foreground and/or transform and isolate some of the national subtleties that are only discernible to local audiences. As the number of co-productions continues to rise, critics and viewers feel perplexed, and sometimes even amused, in their attempts to discern and identify the nationality of a film. We will critically assess whether any limitations exist embedded in such a co-production strategy, which blurs and obscures the specificities of each nation-state involved. Finally, we will explore whether the changing mediascape – one of transnational, multi-media corporate conglomerate involvement in film production.

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The proliferation of mobile devices and the rise of online video have had a transformative effect on how moving images are generated and experienced. The ease with which we can now create and share video has impacted on how films are made, by whom, on how they are distributed, and even on what film itself is. This module explores some of the many new forms of 'filmmaking' that have appeared as a result of this technological and cultural change, and encourages students to engage with these forms critically and creatively. Areas of focus may include vlogs, mashups, video essays, music promos, interactive videos, travelogues, short fiction and other forms of film and video aimed primarily at online distribution via platforms such as YouTube and Vimeo. Students will create short works in one or more of these forms, and have the opportunity to harness the potential of mobile devices and social media for artistic ends. Practical work will be contextualised by an essay that situates students’ video exercises within the broader context of digital technologies and online culture.

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Television is the most pervasive media form in daily life. In this introductory module students will look at the various historical, institutional and cultural factors that influence television production and programming. The module will examine a range of formats and genres (such as soap operas, sitcoms and 'reality TV') and students will gain critical understanding of the theoretical frameworks developed for their study. In addition, questions of target audiences (for example, children’s programmes) and key debates (such as the role of a public service broadcaster) will be addressed. The course will be taught through a series of case-studies using a wide range of television texts from Britain and beyond.

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This module provides an introduction to some key current industry practice surrounding working with actors. Students will explore the practice and ethics of the casting, as well as examining current UK and US industry trends and debates. The module also explores the role and expectations of the professional actor working in film. By practical and theoretical exploration of mainstream acting methodologies, and practitioners such as Stanislavski, Mamet and Meisner, students will develop practical skills and vocabularies for engaging productively with actors on shoots and in rehearsal. The module will also examine the practice of working with non-actors as performers, and scrutinise some more unconventional working methods espoused by directors who may include, but are not limited to, Mike Leigh, John Cassavetes, Ken Loach, Roberto Rossellini etc.

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You have the opportunity to select wild modules in this stage

Year abroad

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 including achieving a merit at 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.

Stage 3

Modules may include Credits

This module explores the role of editing as a core element of the film-making process, through a combination of creative exercises and close film analysis. Through hands-on work, students will explore how combining images can fulfil a wide variety of functions including shaping story, guiding point of view, creating emotional affect and aesthetic effects, and generating meaning. As well as focusing specifically on the work carried out by the film/video editor, the module also engages with 'editing' as an approach to shaping raw material that extends across all aspects of film production: from screenwriting, through directing, to post-production. The module will situate this focus within the broader context of ‘montage’ and ‘collage’ as principles that extend across diverse art forms including painting, sculpture, photography, literature, music, and digital media. A series of practical exercises will be contextualised through lectures focusing on the editing choices made in a variety of fiction, documentary, experimental, found footage, and/or interactive films. These exercises will provide students with an opportunity to engage creatively with, and reflect critically on, pre-existing moving images in a range of applications from traditional continuity editing, through documentary ‘storytelling’, to experimental montage.

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This module will investigate "the Gothic" as a significant and recurring cycle within Hollywood film with recognisable tropes and themes, and a dominant tone and style. Beginning with the 1940s cycle of “Women's Gothic” which emerged at the same time as Film Noir, and visually and thematically overlapped with it, the module will explore the particularly filmic ways that such texts manage to evoke the menacing atmosphere and the tone of sexualised danger and suspense achieved by the Gothic’s source novels and short stories. Continuing from the original cycle of films, the module will examine later Hollywood films that have employed the themes and imagery of the Gothic to tap into similar complex anxieties and desires, before inspecting films from other cinemas (for example, those of Europe or Asia) which also make use of the dominant Gothic tropes.

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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.

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Through technical exercises and presentation of film texts, students will engage with key aspects of non-fiction filmmaking. A series of practical projects will be contextualised through lectures drawing on a number of film texts, looking at examples from the history of the non-fiction film e.g. early cinema, direct cinema, cinema verité, and the film essay. The exercises are an opportunity for students to develop their creative practice. The development of a treatment / proposal leading to the production of final film project will use theory and critical analysis to develop students understanding of documentary practice.

Students will build on existing skills of collaboration (learnt on Exploring the Frame), improving competence in the planning, production and editing of practical, creative work. Students will develop an understanding of crucial aspects of non-fiction filmmaking -- in terms of both theory and practice -- and deepen their skills in the critical analysis of such texts. Students will build on existing skills of relating theory and practice, by analysing the implications (e.g. ideological, ethical) of their production decisions; the course will enhance student's ability to reflect self-critically on their own and other student’s practical work. Skills learnt on the module will contribute (along with Exploring the Frame and Introduction to Screenwriting) to the skills needed to progress to Moving Image Production.

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The module explores storytelling in fictional television series, and how the long duration of these series changes the spectator's engagement, as compared to engagement in the relatively short fiction film. Furthermore, this module focuses on case studies in order to investigate their narrative, stylistic and thematic characteristics, their specific genre conventions and their background in television history. Case studies may include The Sopranos, The Wire, Breaking Bad and Madmen in an inquiry into the narrative as well as moral complexity of this recent, so-called quality trend of American drama television series, and the emerging genre convention of the antihero. The module also addresses how various types of television series have been valued in critical reception through the history of television. For example, in relation to the case studies mentioned above, the module may examine critically the implications of the oft-used label 'Quality TV’ and the HBO slogan ‘It’s not TV, it’s HBO’. In addition to introducing the students to current developments in television studies, this module takes a film theoretical, narratological approach to current television series, and trains students in various approaches to the study of television series in and beyond television studies proper.

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From the intimate viewing experience offered by mobile phones to the social interaction required by sing-a-long screenings, this module considers the changing nature of where, when and how audiences engage with film and the moving image. It considers the history of cinema-going, paying attention to the old and new sites of exhibition, especially those facilitated by new technologies. Connectedly, the module analyses the different modes of spectatorship, including audience participation and the desire to prolong or enhance the cinematic experience via extra-filmic activities, such as film-tourism. It also considers film's interaction with other arts and media—for example, its use within theatrical performances and its relationship with television. In doing so, this module reflects upon and reconsiders the definitions and limits of cinema and addresses the implications this has for the academic discipline 'Film Studies'.

As part of this course, students will have the opportunity to attend special screenings, participate in field trips and/or watch films unsupervised.

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Students will engage with key aspects of microbudget filmmaking through technical exercises and the presentation of their own films. A series of practical projects will be contextualised through lectures drawing on a number of films, looking at examples from the history of the extremely low budget genres such as horror, crime, independent and experimental films. The exercises are an opportunity for students to develop their creative practice. The development of a screenplay for the final film project will use theory and critical analysis to develop students' understanding of microbudget filmmaking practice.

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The module primarily focuses on contemporary digital filmmaking practices and film viewing. The first section of the module introduces trick cinema, special effects, the digital intermediate, and a range of computer generated images to explore the different opportunities these offer for manipulating space, constructing narratives and aesthetic innovation. The second section of the module more explicitly engages with a range of theoretical frameworks in order to think about how digital technologies alter our understanding of film, its relationships with other media, and the ways in which we participate in film culture.

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This module examines the creative critical turn made by artists and theorists when engaging with mass culture's quotidian productions. It examines such iterations of this turn as found in the surrealist's play with the violent poetics of arch-criminal mastermind Fantômas and the oneirism of film noir; the Nouvelle Vague’s validation of American hard-boiled fiction and crime films, particularly Kiss Me Deadly; Fritz Lang’s pulp fantasies of criminal conspiracies in his Dr. Mabuse series; abstract painter and film critic Manny Farber's theory of termite art and the art brut style of Samuel Fuller; and film critic Parker Tyler’s configuration of a camp aesthetic. These are all versions of the modernist intervention into the world of commodified culture – transformations of mass cultural artefacts into art through critique.

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Animation is a term covering a diverse range of forms, and this module introduces cell-animation, stop-motion puppetry, abstract animation, as well as computer-generated cartoons and features (including animated documentaries) to explore the animated form. The first section of the module introduces different styles through a study of Disney and Warner Bros cartoons, the stop-motion animations of the Quay Bros, TV Anime, abstract music animation and web-based animation. The second section of the module uses a range of critical approaches to explore contemporary feature length animations from different national contexts.

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This module examines the way New York has been used as a site for filmmaking, looking at the history of the production of films in and about the city, and as a vital centre of film culture -- not just of filmmaking, but also exhibition and film criticism. The module considers questions of modernity, the avant-garde practice in New York during the 1950s and 60s, and the city's representation in mainstream Hollywood productions. The work on New York and film will be contextualised within a cultural history of the city, with a dual emphasis on narratives of immigration and the city as the post-war centre of the world art market.

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Films in certain genres, such as the Western, action film and martial arts film, are often gendered masculine, their powerful, active and typically violent male protagonists seen as representing masculinity. There is, however, also a long tradition of transgressive female protagonists in "male" genres, and this module investigates such characters. In addition to giving an overview of various types of transgressive female protagonists, the module explores in depth one or a few type(s) of transgressive female protagonist depending on the convenor's research interests. Case studies may include American action film, martial arts film, Blaxploitation/exploitation film, rape-revenge film, Western, crime film/television, film noir and horror in film and television. For example, in the action film the female protagonist’s display of power and strength may be seen as masculine, but she is often also portrayed with stereotypically feminine traits such as beauty and a sexy appearance. The female protagonist is thus often perceived as standing between the masculine and the feminine. Among the many questions triggered by transgressive female protagonists, this module might explore whether this character can and should be perceived as feminist or merely as exploitative, and how and why such protagonists may appeal to a female audience in particular.

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On application, students may take this 30 Credit Year Long module. Admission is subject to approval of a project proposal. Proposals must be submitted to the Module Convenor by 07/04/2017. Within your proposal you must state a preferred supervisor with whom you should have consulted. The proposal form can be downloaded from the School of Arts website, see www.kent.ac.uk/arts/current-students/undergraduates.html and click on module availability. Alternatively you can request a copy at Jarman Reception. The Module Convenor will contact you in the summer term to confirm whether your proposal has been accepted. Students wanting to change into ART500 at a later stage maybe permitted to do so (subject to the suitability of the application and the availability of the supervisor) but should contact the Module Convenor and submit a proposal at the earliest opportunity. Proposals will not be accepted after 12/06/2017 unless there are exceptional circumstances, for which there is a separate procedure and timetable in September. If students wish to make an exceptional application for consideration in September, prior to the start of term, this needs to be submitted through the potential supervisor who will write an accompanying supporting statement. This would need to verify the proposal, confirm supervisory responsibility and endorse the student's ability to complete the project on time. Students should expect to undertake preliminary research over the summer and to see their supervisor before the summer vacation begins. Hence, late applications will only be accepted if supervisors are convinced that students are sufficiently prepared for the independent study and have already undertaken prior research. Applications for consideration as exceptional circumstances in September need to be submitted between 04/09/17 and 18/09/17. Students cannot transfer onto ART 500 after the start of term. For more information please speak to the Module Convenor at the School Fair."

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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. For further information please talk to the module convenor at the School of Arts Module Fair.

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You have the opportunity to select wild modules in this stage

Teaching and assessment

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.

Programme aims

The programme aims to:

  • produce graduates with an informed, critical, analytical and creative approach to understanding film as cultural and aesthetic expressive media
  • develop students' creative, intellectual, analytical and research skills
  • develop existing and new areas of teaching in response to the advance of research and scholarship within the subject as well as new developments in film
  • widen participation in higher education among a diverse body of students
  • develop students' knowledge and skills in film studies
  • encourage students' critical, analytical and creative skills in relation to film study and, where undertaken, in relation to screen production
  • develop students' ability to think independently and flexibly
  • enhance awareness of, and sensitivity to, the contexts of production and consumption of film
  • develop students' interpersonal skills and interaction and their reflexiveness in individual and group work.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

You gain knowledge and understanding of:

  • the different genres and the diversity of film forms
  • the historical evolution of particular genres, aesthetic traditions and film forms
  • the ways in which critical and cultural theories and concepts have developed within particular contexts
  • the cultural and social contexts which affect the meaning of film works
  • aesthetic judgement 
  • conceptualisations of pleasure and identification in film
  • narrative processes in film
  • modes of representation at work in film
  • film conventions
  • the ways in which different social groups may relate to, engage with and interact with film works.

Intellectual skills

You gain the following intellectual abilities:

  • engage critically with major thinkers, debates, intellectual paradigms, and scholarly literature within the field
  • understand forms of film as they have emerged historically
  • examine the historical, social and cultural contexts of such forms
  • analyse closely, interpret, and undertake critical evaluation
  • critically reflect upon your own work
  • carry out various forms of research for essays, projects, creative productions or dissertations involving sustained independent enquiry
  • formulate apposite research questions and employ appropriate methods and resources to explore them
  • evaluate and draw upon the range of sources and the conceptual frameworks appropriate to research in a chosen area
  • draw and reflect upon the relevance and impact of your own cultural assumptions to the practice of research.

Subject-specific skills

You gain subject-specific skills in the following:

  • analysing and interpreting sounds and images in time and space
  • understanding and knowledge of narrative and stylistic forms and structures in film and television
  • bringing together ideas from various sources of knowledge and different academic disciplines
  • articulating understanding of visual and oral media in a written medium
  • effectively deploying terms and concepts specific to the study of film and television
  • where practice modules are undertaken: producing work which demonstrates the effective manipulation of sound, image, performance and, where appropriate, the written word
  • utilising effectively relevant technical concepts and theories
  • producing work showing competence in the operational skills of screen production and post-production technologies
  • initiating, developing and realising distinctive and creative work through group collaboration
  • managing time, personnel and resources effectively
  • demonstrating an understanding of communicative strategies specific to film
  • producing work informed by, and contextualised within, relevant theoretical debates you have studied within the programme as a whole.

Transferable skills

You gain transferable skills in the following:

  • working in flexible, creative and independent ways, showing self-discipline, including time-management and self-direction, sustaining focus and applying attention to detail
  • organising and managing supervised, self-directed projects and 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
  • identifying issues and questions and gathering, organising and deploying knowledge and ideas to formulate cogent analysis and arguments, making subtle and discriminating comparisons and applying interpretive skills in diverse situations and contexts
  • working productively in a group, and displaying an ability, 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
  • information technology, such as word-processing, using the internet and, where undertaken, digital technology in relation to practice.

Careers

Graduate destinations

Recent graduates have gone on to work in areas such as:

  • film and TV production
  • arts organisations
  • media outlets (as film journalists)
  • film and TV archives
  • film marketing and distribution
  • university and school teaching
  • local government
  • business.

Our alumni include:

  • bestselling author and filmmaker Leon McCarron
  • feature film scriptwriter Mike Walden
  • film director Simon Savory.

Help finding a job

Kent School of Arts has an excellent reputation and many links to professional practices. This network is very useful to students when looking for work.

The University also 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

As well as gaining skills and knowledge in your subject area, you also learn the key transferable skills that are essential for all graduates. These include the ability to:

  • think critically 
  • communicate your ideas and opinions 
  • work independently.

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

Independent rankings

For graduate prospects, Media and Film Studies at Kent was ranked 5th in The Guardian University Guide 2017.

According to Which? University (2017), the average starting salary for graduates of this degree is £15,000.

The unique modes of expression I learned on the course laid the foundations for my career as a screenwriter and many of the techniques we were taught at Kent continue to inform my current work.

Mike Walden Film BA

Entry requirements

Home/EU students

The University will consider applications from students offering a wide range of qualifications. Typical requirements are listed below. Students offering alternative qualifications should contact us for further advice. 

It is not possible to offer places to all students who meet this typical offer/minimum requirement.

New GCSE grades

If you’ve taken exams under the new GCSE grading system, please see our conversion table to convert your GCSE grades.

Qualification Typical offer/minimum requirement
A level

ABB

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.

BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (formerly BTEC National Diploma)

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.

International Baccalaureate

34 points overall or 16 points at HL

International students

The University welcomes applications from international students. Our international recruitment team can guide you on entry requirements. See our International Student website for further information about entry requirements for your country.

If you need to increase your level of qualification ready for undergraduate study, we offer a number of International Foundation Programmes.

Meet our staff in your country

For more advice about applying to Kent, you can meet our staff at a range of international events.

English Language Requirements

Please see our English language entry requirements web page.

Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of 'pre-sessional' courses in English for Academic Purposes. You attend these courses before starting your degree programme. 

General entry requirements

Please also see our general entry requirements.

Fees

The 2018/19 regulated UK/EU tuition fees have not yet been set. The University intends to set fees at the maximum permitted level for new and returning UK/EU students. Please see further information below.

As a guide only the 2017/18 full-time UK/EU tuition fees for this programme are £9,250 unless otherwise stated: 

UK/EU Overseas
Full-time TBC £18400

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.

Fees for Year in Industry

For 2017/18 entrants, the standard year in industry fee for home, EU and international students is £1,350. Fees for 2018/19 entry have not yet been set.

Fees for Year Abroad

UK, EU and international students on an approved year abroad for the full 2017/18 academic year pay £1,350 for that year. Fees for 2018/19 entry have not yet been set.

Students studying abroad for less than one academic year will pay full fees according to their fee status. 

Additional costs

The following course-related costs are not included in your tuition fees.

For students taking film practice/production modules, we recommend you purchase:

  • a copy of Adobe Photoshop and Premiere Elements. Student price approx. £90
  • a laptop (ideally, but not necessarily, an Apple Mac) to run the above software
  • an SD card (32GB Class 10 UHC1 or better). Typical cost: £20.

Our video production facilities will be Adobe-based. Therefore, if you wish to invest in your own equipment, these purchases will ensure it fits in seamlessly with our technology. However, any student unable to make these purchases will be guaranteed the use of the same, or better, University resources and will not be disadvantaged.

For students taking the Beyond Cinema module:

You have the opportunity to attend special screenings and other activities. Participation is strongly encouraged. The fee for these activities is due in the first few weeks of term and is approx. £20 (based on previous years). 

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. 

For 2018/19 entry, the scholarship will be awarded to any applicant who achieves a minimum of AAA over three A levels, or the equivalent qualifications (including BTEC and IB) as specified on our scholarships pages

The scholarship is also extended to those who achieve AAB at A level (or specified equivalents) where one of the subjects is either Mathematics or a Modern Foreign Language. Please review the eligibility criteria.

Students preparing for their graduation ceremony at Canterbury Cathedral

I joined KTV, a student-run TV station. Last year I produced a TV series and this year I am making a film.

The Key Information Set (KIS) data is compiled by UNISTATS and draws from a variety of sources which includes the National Student Survey and the Higher Education Statistical Agency. The data for assessment and contact hours is compiled from the most populous modules (to the total of 120 credits for an academic session) for this particular degree programme. 

Depending on module selection, there may be some variation between the KIS data and an individual's experience. For further information on how the KIS data is compiled please see the UNISTATS website.

If you have any queries about a particular programme, please contact information@kent.ac.uk.

Teaching Excellence Framework

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.