Critical Approaches to Film
English and Film
Salford School of Arts, Media and Creative Technology
In a nutshell
Our English and Film degree explores the richness of literature and film in their critical and creative contexts. You will learn about both art forms individually as well as examining the relationship between them.
As part of your English modules, you will build your core skills in critical and creative thinking, equipping you with the tools you need to analyse a range of literary texts. You will also gain an appreciation of how literature reflects the social and historical contexts in which it was written.
Alongside your study of literature, you will consider the cultural and creative impact of film. From exploring developments in American and British cinema, you will also have the opportunity to examine cinema from across Europe, Latin America, Asia, and beyond, evaluating the role of cinema as a major entertainment industry as well as thinking about film as a political and socio-cultural property practice along the way.
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- Study a wide range of literature and film from around the world
- Develop an understanding of the relationship between texts and their social and historical contexts
- Discover how cinema has become a significant part of international culture
This is for you if...
You want to explore the richness of English Literature alongside cinema from around the world
You would like to develop your ability to critically analyse both film and literature
You want to launch a professional career in the media and creative industries
All about the course
Designed to introduce you to the fundamentals of two creative disciplines, this English and Film degree explores subjects as diverse as postmodern literature, popular fiction, the history of cinema, and the world’s most powerful film industry: Hollywood. You will also be introduced to the expectations of university-level study, developing the skills that you need to excel in your academic work.
As you move into the second and third year of your degree, you will shape your studies to focus on the areas of English and Film that interest you most. Currently available options range from exploring contemporary American cinema and learning the skills required to become a successful film journalist, to examining the female gothic, and workshopping your screenwriting skills. This is your chance to develop a strong portfolio of work in your chosen area. What’s more, you will be learning from leading academic staff who are both committed teachers and active researchers in their fields.
Explore what each of our English and Film modules involve in our full course breakdown below.
You will evaluate a range of critical approaches to film in relation to the social and cultural developments that informed and influenced them. Throughout the module, you will focus on key approaches such as film as art, film as propaganda, film as mass culture, authorship, genre and ideology.
You will be introduced to key concepts relating to the study of popular fiction including critical attitudes towards it. The module develops knowledge of the publishing industry and literary genres with a focus on crime literature spanning from Conan Doyle’s Adventures of Sherlock Holmes to The No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency.
Film Form, Film Meaning
During the course of this module, you will look at the idea of film form and how it contributes to the meaning of a film. Considering various components such as narrative, cinematography, editing and sound, this module aims to answer the basic question of: What is a Film?
Classical Hollywood Cinema
This module introduces the idea of ‘classical Hollywood’ cinema and its role in the development of our understanding of film. Analysing Hollywood as an organising structure for film production, you will identify the production methods employed by the Hollywood studios, the production techniques and practices widely termed as the ‘classical Hollywood style’, and the economic rationale behind the establishment of Hollywood.
Writing and storytelling are as vital now as they have been since history began to be recorded by writers and storytellers. In this module, you will explore and learn about the importance of these fundamentals of literature from different approaches, different forms, and different periods in their use in various media across time.
Introducing students to a number of key directors, onscreen talent, genres, cycles, and movements associated with British cinema, this module will take students on a cultural and historical journey through the cinematic output and production contexts of our very own domestic film industry. Through close textual analysis and an application of a range of critical approaches to film and British cinema students taking the module should also expect to discuss and examine the role of British cinema in articulating and (re)presenting British national identities and sense of ‘nationhood’.
Choose from two Film and three English modules from the following indicative list (the top four modules are Film options):
You will learn to write in a concise and entertaining manner in this module, acquiring the writing and editing skills necessary to undertake film reviews, features and interviews. Whilst the module will focus on film-related matters, the skills learned will be highly transferable into other journalistic realms.
Building upon several ideas covered in Year One, you will begin to take a more in depth look at the range of cinema produced across Asia. In addition to covering a variety of cinematic traditions from countries including India, China, Korea and Japan, you will also articulate the differences in aesthetic forms and strategies and critically assess the place of Asian cinemas in the increasingly global film industry.
Comedy and British Cinema
Focusing on comedy films produced within British cinema, this module will enable you to identify different characteristics associated with various styles of British film comedy. You will also analyse formal strategies employed by comedy filmmakers and various performance techniques utilised by a range of comedic performers within British cinema.
Contemporary American Cinema
The landscape of American film-making has been affected by a range of economic, social, and cultural changes in recent years. This module will consider these tumultuous changes and address conflicting definitions of independence within a global marketplace. Moreover, the module will also consider the importance of marketing strategies within contemporary film-making.
The Romantic Period: the Sublime and the Gothic
The Romantic Period was a time of revolution when radical writers began to argue for the natural rights of mankind. On this module, you will study the literature that emerged in a time of revolution while exploring how a range of writers experimented with new literary forms and styles, including the Gothic mode: a form of writing that captured contemporaneous anxieties in monstrous, terrifying, and horrific forms. By exploring ideas relating to nature, childhood, empire, and the self, you will study the ways in which the “spirit of the age” was expressed through the revolutionary compositions of Romantic writers.
Utopias and Dystopias
Idealised human societies—utopias—have played an important role in the development of literature, sociology, and politics. These Brave New Worlds have envisaged societies where economic and gender divisions are largely eliminated and where science and a moral approach to economic resources is the norm. Authors have also been interested in what happens when a society follows opposite aims to produce social order: when, that is, a dystopian nightmare dominates social life. On this module, you will learn to understand utopian and dystopian texts by studying authors such as Thomas More, William Morris, H. G. Wells, E. M. Forster, Katherine Burdekin, Philip K. Dick , George Orwell, and Ray Bradbury.
Analysing Media Texts
In this module, you will explore what constitutes a media text in the 21st century. You will learn how to deconstruct media texts using tools from linguistics in order to explore ideology and manipulation in texts. You will analyse a variety of media texts ranging from news reports and advertisements to political speeches and social media by using qualitative and quantitative methods from discourse analysis.
Literature, Adaptation and the Screen
On this module, you will study a range of literary texts and their screen counterparts, including Sherlock, Psycho, and Gone Girl. By encouraging you to consider and explore the relationships between literature and screen adaptations, the module will explore the distinctiveness of both cultural forms while investigating the problems of generating visual and dialogic substitutes for psychological and narrative complexity. You will learn about theories of adaptation and the integral role of technical arts such as scenography, music, and sound production; further, you will also learn about techniques associated with writing film and TV synopses, treatments, and step outlines.
Victorian Literature: Progress and Panic
On this module, you will analyse novels, poetry, plays, and autobiography from the beginning of the Victorian era to the late nineteenth-century fin de siècle. The module covers a range of issues, including class, crime, sexuality, empire, urban experience, women’s writing, and identity. It encourages an appreciation of the diversity of nineteenth-century literary, social, intellectual, and political activities and invites a reassessment of received ideas about the Victorians.
21st Century Women’s Writing
This module explores a range of contemporary texts written by women and includes novels and other forms of writing such as manifestos, graphic novels, feminist history writing, and TV shows and music. As a consequence, you will learn about the socio-political and cultural climate of today’s society as it affects and is shaped by women.
The Female Gothic
This module explores a selection of Gothic novels, novellas, short stories, and films, working to trace the development of the Female Gothic in fiction from the eighteenth to the twenty-first centuries. By exploring the significance and the effects of various recurrent tropes—including the uncanny, Gothic spaces, the absent/dead mother, abjection, and the monstrous feminine—you will be introduced to the themes of Gothic writing and to the specialised vocabulary of and theoretical approaches to the Female Gothic.
Introduction to Screenwriting
The module examines fundamental aspects of fictional storytelling: narrative structure, character development, character types, relation of character to plot, and the use of subplots. The module goes on to explore differing conceptual and technical approaches used in screenwriting for theatre, TV and film. You will workshop your screenplay in class, which can be written in any genre or style appropriate to screen work to produce a finished script that is a whole linear narrative.
World Literature and the Environment
On this module, you will examine how global literature engages with environmental concerns, including climate change, species endangerment and extinction, food and water security, and waste and pollution. We will consider a variety of forms and perspectives used by writers from Africa, India, the Americas, the Pacific Islands, and elsewhere in order to uncover how global literatures represent and respond to various environments and crises and how they express resistance, develop strategies of mitigation, and envision solutions.
This module explores a range of post-war and 21st-century texts and links them with debates around the nature of postmodernism. These texts will be used to reflect on central literary critical issues such as authorship, narrative structure, linear progression, and identity which are problematised by postmodern theories. The selected texts include films, novels, novellas, short stories, and are not confined to British sources.
Choose three Film and two English options from the following indicative list (the top five modules are Film options):
Sequential Art (Comics and Graphic Novels)
You will study important examples of international comic strips, series, and ‘graphic novels’. At a time of proliferating texts inspired by material introduced in comics, a section of the module will look at film and TV adaptations, evaluating the importance of comic-derived material to the modern media landscape. The unique ways in which comics can be said to create meanings will be highlighted, and you will experience creating a narrative with expert guidance.
Themes studied may include the following: Comics and Childhood; The Graphic Novel Era: Comics ‘come of age’; Alan Moore; Comics, Ideology and Form: Case Study of 1970s British Comics; Fandom; Comics and Other Media.
This will let students explore key (transitional) representations of men and masculinity throughout Hollywood history. Beginning with an examination of the pre-code ‘mob men’, moving to representations of men (and dangerous women) in film noir and 1980's muscular hero action pics, among other key masculine characterisations, the module will analyse how the representation of Hollywood’s leading men has always been an altering document, drawn and redrawn to meet the demands of the day. Critical skills concerning gender, identity, and representation theories will come to bear on one of the burgeoning, most hotly-debated areas of the film discipline.
Film Programming and Curating for Cinemas and Festivals
The module will focus on creating programmes for independent cinemas and film festivals. The understanding students will need of the various industrial contexts involved will be covered in areas such as the following: Film Festivals with a case study of The Edinburgh International Film Festival; Programming festival retrospectives with a case study in film at the Viva Spanish and Latin American Festival; Independent Cinemas in the UK and understanding their market with a case study in curating special programmes and seasons for an independent cinema; Initiating Cultural Interventions and working with cinemas with a case study of Chinese Film Forum UK.
Alternative, Independent, and Marginal Film
Different and radical forms of production and distribution, particularly in the age of the internet, have questioned the existence of a universal, stable film 'mainstream'. However, institutions such as financial backers, major awards and festivals have received feedback that their measures for success are failing to recognise and include women, people of colour, ethnic communities, and queer/trans groups. The same limitations are detectable in the mainstream cinema 'canon'. Consequently, this module asks what is the canon of cinema, what supports it, and how should we evaluate its effects and what is beyond it?
Film and Theory
In this module, we ask ‘What is Film Theory? How did it evolve and which questions does it address?’. We shall critically engage with a number of theory-based approaches to film associated with a number of intellectual positions (for example, semiotic, cognitive, narrative, and political theories), as well as examining the historical links between theory and the development of film studies as a subject within the academy.
British Theatre Post-1950
This module contextualises post-war British theatre in terms of naturalism, the avant-garde, political contexts, and the epic mode. Examining a varied range of play texts, you will consider the ways in which British theatre since the Second World War has engaged with issues of class, sexuality, gender, and national identity and how form, narrative, action, and character have evolved in different contexts.
Biography: Tradition and Innovation
This module introduces you to the rich, innovative, and subversive traditions of biography as well as ground-breaking contemporary practice. The module will explore the following issues: biography as autobiography; biography as fiction; biography as poetry; biography as visual text; biography as political critique; and biography as a way of understanding our world. Postmodern concerns about what we understand by “reality,” “life,” representation, subjectivity, and “truth” will underpin our explorations, and you will be guided through a range of key research and writing techniques as you embark upon your own biographical project.
In this module, you will explore healthcare communication using a range of theories and methods in linguistics ranging from corpus linguistics to conversation analysis. You will analyse language data from a diverse range of healthcare settings, such as clinical consultations, online discussions, public health campaigns and press reports. In the module, you will learn about the role that language plays in influencing our experiences and beliefs about health and illness, as well as the importance of effective healthcare communication.
Post/Colonial African Literature
This module explores how postcolonial theory can be used to analyse a range of nineteenth- to twenty-first century African literatures, including novels, short stories, and graphic narratives. You will develop the theoretical grounding to aid your analysis of African literature in relation to ideas of race, empire, national identity, language, conflict, and the environment. Collectively, we will consider literature from diverse locations, including South Africa, Rwanda, Nigeria, and Zimbabwe, in ways attuned to cultural, historical, linguistic, and local contexts.
Shakespeare and the Play of Thought
This module explores the various ways in which cultural intertextuality informs and shapes Shakespeare's approach to character and action. To gain a broader understanding of how Shakespearean drama can be seen as 'the play of thought,' we will analyse Shakespeare's work in terms of literary theories, including new historicism, cognitive linguistics, and gender studies.
This module will discuss literature written during the period known as the Northern Irish ‘troubles’, the Peace Process and after. It will consider poetry, prose, drama, and film produced in this period, as well as other visual sources (mural, video, and performance art) to consider a variety of ways of representing the conflict. While a historical narrative will be presented in the first lectures and seminars, the focus will be on considering how form and content intersect in these fictive representations.
The Dissertation module provides you with an opportunity to undertake an independent and challenging research project under the guidance of a member of academic staff. The dissertation expands and hones your research skills, strengthening your ability to engage with complex materials in a productive way and preparing you for further study or a career in the workplace.
Please note that it may not be possible to deliver the full list of options every year as this will depend on factors such as how many students choose a particular option. Exact modules may also vary in order to keep content current. When accepting your offer of a place to study on this programme, you should be aware that not all optional modules will be running each year. Whilst the University tries to ensure that you are able to undertake your preferred options, it cannot guarantee this.
What will I be doing?
As part of your English and Film degree, your timetable will include a breakdown of your scheduled lessons with timeslots for you to explore your independent research interests. Your classes will be based at either our Peel Park campus or our MediaCity campus.
This English and Film programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, and tutorials. Lectures are formal and will consist of a lecturer addressing a large group of students. Seminars and tutorials are smaller and informal. They are either entirely student-led sessions or a combination of student and tutor-led.
As part of your studies of Film, there will also be a series of screenings and talks by visiting experts.
An important aspect of our English and Film programme is how we assess you. As well as giving us an indication of how you are doing, they will also help to inform you of areas you are working well in and areas you need to work on.
You will be assessed through a variety of methods including traditional essays, presentations, written analyses and longer pieces based on your own research interests.
Be a part of a creative, supportive community
All of our English and Film, TV and Radio courses are delivered by the Salford School of Arts, Media, and Creative Technology. Our focus is to ensure that you have the skills you need to pursue your intellectual and career interests, and we encourage our students, past and present, to collaborate with each other and to achieve great things.
Each year--through the Create Student Awards--our school rewards the incredible achievements and successes of our final year and postgraduate students.
Whatever you choose to study with us, you will be mentored and supported by experts. And once you graduate, it will not end there. You will join a thriving alumni network across Greater Manchester and beyond, which means that you will be supported professionally and personally whenever you need it.
EXPLORE OUR ENGLISH FACILITIES
Are you interested in learning your craft by using the same type of equipment that you will use when you are working? Study with us, and you will become confident and comfortable with industry-standard kits and facilities. You will not simply be left to work it out on your own—our experienced tutors and technicians will show you how to master everything that we have on offer.
MEET THE ENGLISH TEACHING STAFF
Are you looking to learn more about the background of our English tutors and demonstrators, or put a face to a name?
Find out who will work with you throughout your academic journey at the University of Salford.
What about after uni?
Your BA (Hons) English and Film degree will enable you to secure professional roles in a variety of related industries, including journalism, cinema programming, teaching, and the direction of film festivals. Our recent graduates have also gone on to work in areas as diverse as the film distribution sector, arts administration, and education. What’s more, you will be well equipped with a portfolio of work that you can use to evidence your critical analysis skills and establish yourself as a professional within the creative industries.
Graduates showing strong academic and research skills can pursue a further postgraduate path through our Postgraduate programmes on a full-time or part-time basis subject to a satisfactory proposal.
The English and Film course boasts strong industry links with several local culture organisations including HOME Manchester, Greater Manchester Arts Centre, The Salford Film Festival, and the Viva: Spanish and Latin American Film Festival. You will gain an in-depth insight into film distribution and exhibition through work placements during the Film Exhibition and Distribution module.
What you need to know
To gain a place on this English and Film degree, you should have a keen desire to pursue academic work and a passion for all things literature and film. In preparation for this course, you should also be exploring texts from a wide range of genres, as well as developing your own ideas around a variety of subject matter. So, if you are well-read, open-minded and able to form your own arguments, you are the type of applicant we’re looking for.
GCSE English Language at grade C/4 or above (or equivalent) is required. Maths at grade C/4 or above (or equivalent) is preferred but not essential.
You must fulfil our GCSE entry requirements in addition to the Level 3 qualification requirements.
UCAS tariff points
104-120 UCAS Tarriff Points.
104-120 UCAS Tariff Points to be obtained from a minimum of two A-Levels or equivalent; must include Grade C or above in a Humanities-based subject. Film Studies or Media Studies preferred but not essential. General Studies accepted.
BTEC National Diploma
Access to HE
Pass Level 3 Access to HE Diploma with 104–120 Tariff Points.
104-120 UCAS Tariff Points.
Irish Leaving Certificate
104-120 UCAS Tariff Points.
Pass Diploma at least 71% overall.
We accept qualifications from all around the world. Find your country to see a full list of entry requirements.
If you are an international student and not from a majority English speaking country, you will need IELTS 6.0 with no element below 5.5.
Salford Alternative Entry Scheme (SAES)
We welcome applications from students who may not meet the stated entry criteria but who can demonstrate their ability to pursue the course successfully. Once we have received your application we will assess it and recommend it for SAES if you are an eligible candidate.
There are two different routes through the Salford Alternative Entry Scheme and applicants will be directed to the one appropriate for their course. Assessment will either be through a review of prior learning or through a formal test.
|Type of study||Year||Fees|
|Full-time home||2024/25||£9,250.00per year|
|Full-time international||2024/25||£15,720.00per year|
You should also consider further costs which may include books, stationery and general subsistence on trips and visits.
Scholarships for International Students
If you are a high-achieving international student, you may be eligible for one of our scholarships. Explore our international scholarships.
All set? Let's apply
Course ID QP33