Classical Hollywood Cinema
Salford School of Arts, Media and Creative Technology
In a nutshell
Film is a vital form of cultural output. The way films are produced and distributed is constantly changing, but their ability to educate, entertain and inspire audiences remains the same. If you’re looking for a vibrant programme designed to explore all facets of film and the film industry, this BA (Hons) Film Studies degree is the right choice for you.
What exactly do film studies at university involve? You’ll explore a range of critical approaches to film, from developments in American and British cinema to representations of masculinity throughout Hollywood history. With a truly global focus, you’ll also delve into 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, socio-cultural and artistic proposition. What’s more, this degree in film studies gives you the chance to learn alongside recognised scholars of film culture, with a wide range of specialist modules on offer that will help you align your course with the topics that interest you most. With industry links and a focus, especially, on areas like film journalism, film festivals and distribution and exhibition, this degree is also importantly designed to align you with the sector itself.
- Explore a wide range of critical approaches to film in a variety of contexts
- Study in MediaCity: home to the film, TV, radio sector and creative industries in the north-quest (Greater Manchester)
- Develop your understanding of American, British, Asian and selected global cinemas, from their origins to the present day
- Acquire the techniques needed to research and analyse key film movements in cinema
This is for you if...
You have a passion for cinema, and a keen desire to explore film in a variety of mainstream and alternative contexts.
You’re looking for an opportunity to work with recognised scholars of film culture as well as industry professionals.
You want to develop your skills in critical thinking and analysis.
All about the course
Throughout your film studies course, you’ll explore cinema in a broad range of social and cultural contexts. You’ll begin by deepening your knowledge of film through core modules focused on form, meaning and history, before moving onto optional modules reflecting the dynamic expertise of our academic staff – from film journalism to contemporary Hollywood.
What’s more, unlike other film studies courses at university, the final year of this programme provides spotlights upon the tools and knowledge you’ll need to take the first step in your professional career. Choosing from modules that continue the focus on industry from the previous levels, you’ll have the opportunity to develop skills in film programming for cinemas and festivals, as well as understand the interaction of comics with film and television.
Want to find out more about what film courses at university involve? Gain a deeper understanding of what you’ll explore within each module below.
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.
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?
Film Histories, Film Movements I
By covering a number of influential moments in the development of cinema, this module will enable you to identify and contextualise a range of film movements including early cinema and forms of exhibition, Soviet cinema, German Expressionist cinema, Surrealist cinema, documentary cinema, and others. You will also consider how such film movements may prefigure important technical and contextual strands of cinema today.
Film Histories, Film Movements II
Building on from your learning in ‘Film Histories, Film Movements I’, this module will focus on a number of influential moments in the development of cinema from the second World War to the present. This will include a range of film movements that may include Italian neo-realism, the French ‘new wave’, Eastern European film movements, US Underground cinema, Antipodean cinema.
Critical Approaches to Film I
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 mass culture, authorship, genre and ideology.
Critical Approaches to Film II
Focusing mainly on ‘Screen’ theory, feminism, race and film audiences, this module will allow you to continue your learning from ‘Critical Approaches to Film I’ and study a number of other critical approaches to film.
Film Distribution and Exhibition
You will learn to distinguish between the distribution and exhibition sectors of the UK film industry, and to understand their vital roles. Studying the function of distribution companies within the film industry, and the processes of exhibition, a range of professional roles within these sectors will emerge, helping you to understand the work involved and to identify present challenges faced by the industries.
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 as well as address conflicting definitions of independence within a global marketplace, and the importance of marketing strategies within contemporary film-making.
This module is designed to provide you with an introduction to the history of British cinema, its institutions, its stars and some of its production personnel.
Dissertation (Core Module)
This final module is designed to provide guidance and support throughout your dissertation research. The early part of this module will be delivered in the form of directed staff presentations followed by student discussions. Later, you will be allocated a dissertation supervisor who will engage in one on one supervisory sessions in the run up to student presentations. The latter part of the module will be based around your completion of a written dissertation directed by discussions of your approach with your supervisor.
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: 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.
Hollywood Masculinities-Dissertation Only
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
Building on the previous year’s ‘Film Distribution and Exhibition’, this module will focus on creating programmes for independent cinemas and film festivals. In order to provide the understanding needed of the various industrial contexts involved, you will look at areas and activities such as:
- Film Festivals: - What is a film festival?
- Festival development and change: The Edinburgh International Film Festival case study
- Programming festival retrospectives: Case study in film at the Viva Spanish and Latin American Festival
- Independent Cinemas in the UK
- Understanding the market and programming an independent cinema’s weekly list
- Curating special programmes and seasons: Case study of States of Danger and Deceit - European Political Thrillers in the 1970s (HOME Manchester)
- Initiating Cultural Interventions and working with cinemas: Case study of Chinese Film Forum UK
Alternatives, Independents and the Marginal
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'. This module asks, what is the canon of cinema? What supports it, how should we evaluate its effects, and that which is beyond it?
Film and Theory– Dissertation Only
Building upon work undertaken in Year One and Two, this module will provide you with the intellectual tools to undertake a detailed theoretical analysis of film.
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. Your tutor will be able to advise you as to the available options on or before the start of the programme. 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 film studies degree, you’ll be given a timetable that will include a breakdown of your scheduled lessons with timeslots for you to explore your independent research interests. Your classes will be based at our MediaCityUK campus.
You’ll be taught through a combination of lectures, seminars, workshops and individual tutorials. Your seminars will give you the chance to develop your understanding of topics covered in lectures in smaller groups. In workshops, you’ll focus on specific writing or practical skills, as well as having meetings with your personal tutor.
When not attending lectures, seminars or other timetabled sessions, you’ll be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. We advise that you use ten hours of time on independent study per week. This might involve reading journal articles, working on assignments or undertaking research in the library. You’ll have access to the library and computer laboratory facilities throughout your course.
As part of your film studies degree, it’s important that you are given the opportunity to showcase your academic skills through submitted assignments. All of your assessments will be based on coursework.
BE A PART OF A CREATIVE, SUPPORTIVE COMMUNITY
All our 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 dreams, and we encourage our students, past and present, to collaborate with each other and 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’ll be mentored and supported by experts. And once you graduate, it won’t end there. You’ll join a thriving alumni network across Greater Manchester and beyond, meaning you’ll be supported professionally and personally whenever you need it.
Our MediaCity facilities are industry-standard, so much so that they are used by our industry partners themselves.
Though you may make use of our fantastic radio studio when creating content for your film podcast, you will also have access to other facilities that we won't be utilising directly on the programme including:
TV studios - our TV studios have been used by the BBC for a variety of broadcasts, such as the Olympics and Christmas music concerts, and they’re equipped with the same audio-visual systems used by ITV and Sky too.
The studios have green screen facilities as well as basic props so you can design and build sets for a range of projects.
Green screen facilities - these allow our production-focused students to create effects such as those you see on weather reports and incorporates a camera system and 3D graphics software.
Audio production - we’ve got all the hardware and software our production-focused students need to make sure they’ll know just how to create, edit, mix and master audio for film and television. Our main studios feature Avid S6 consoles – a similar set-up to those at our MediaCityUK neighbours, such as Dock10 and ITV.
MakerSpace - Our production and digital media students bring their designs to life using 3D scanners and printers, power tools and a range of art and craft materials.
Stop-frame studio – we have animation booths equipped with industry-standard lighting, grip, software and cameras and learn just what it takes to make our students ideas and storyboards a reality.
Computer Suites and Editing Studios – our computer suites are equipped with the latest industry-standard software. Depending on the course you choose to explore, you’ll learn from our experienced demonstrators, who’ll teach you the skills needed to turn your concepts into a reality.
Equipment stores - cameras, lighting kits and mics – they’re all essential to media production. But don’t worry, you won’t need to spend thousands of pounds to get the set-up you need – we have a fully equipped equipment store available for you to use and take out industry-standard kit.
MEET THE FILM, TV AND RADIO TEACHING STAFF
Are you looking to learn more about the background of our tutors and demonstrators, or put a face to a name?
Find out who'll work with you throughout your academic journey at the University of Salford.
What about after uni?
A degree in film studies provides you with a combination of theoretical and technical skills that are transferable to a whole host of professional roles within the creative industries. Our recent graduates have utilised their film studies degree to go on to establish successful careers in a range of related areas, from working in distribution for the British offices of a Hollywood studio to managing festivals and starting award-winning youth cinema projects.
But the possibilities don’t end there. Many of our graduates have also found employment in sectors as diverse as publishing, lecturing, management of arts centres and teaching. What’s more, in both 2015-16 and 2016-17, 100% of our film studies students reported that they were in work or further study within six months of graduating (DHLE survey data).
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.
This degree in Film Studies has strong links to the local culture industries, in particular: HOME, Greater Manchester Arts Centre; and the Viva: Spanish and Latin American Film Festival. This will give you an insight into the practicalities of film distribution, exhibition and programming. Graduates of this course have gone on to work in a number of film related-careers such as film journalism, cinema administration, cinema programming and film festival/events organisation.
What you need to know
To gain a place on this film studies degree, you’ll have to submit a personal statement and meet our entry requirements when you apply.
Within your film studies personal statement (up to 4,000 characters), we’ll want to understand:
- what motivates you and what current experiences do you have in terms of thinking critically around film and media?
- what did you do; did you write essays, create podcasts or have a personal blog?
- are you a creative thinker and how do you develop ideas?
- do you have any knowledge of the film industry or film sector; are there any projects that inspire you?
- and why the University of Salford and this film studies degree is the right choice for your future goals.
English Language at grade C/level 4 or above (or equivalent).
You must fulfil our GCSE entry requirements as well as one of the requirements listed below.
UCAS tariff points
104-120 points. Film Studies or Media Studies preferred but not essential. General Studies accepted.
BTEC National Diploma
Access to HE
104-120 UCAS Tariff points from Level 3 QAA approved Access programme in relevant subjects.
Irish Leaving Certificate
Pass Diploma with 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||2023/24||£9,250per year|
|Full-time international||2023/24||£15,120per year|
You should also consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding 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 P303