University of Chester

Programme Specification
Film Studies BA (Hons) (Combined Honours)
2017 - 2018

Bachelor of Arts (Combined Honours)

Film Studies

Film Studies [NEW]

University of Chester

University of Chester


Undergraduate Modular Programme


Classroom / Laboratory,

3 years (for full-time undergraduate programme),

7 Years

Annual - September




17a. Faculty

17b. Department

Arts and Humanities Media

Communication, Media, Film and Cultural Studies



Wednesday 20th March 2013

  • To offer Film Studies as a dynamic and academically stimulating field of study in combination with relevant disciplines both inside and outside the media environment
  • To develop the cognitive potential of undergraduates through degree-level study of film
  • To encourage autonomous critical reflection on the centrality of cinema and film in local, national and global contexts
  • To provide transferable skills to assist the graduate to work in or beyond the creative and media industries
  • To encourage critical reflection on the form and function of film and its economic, social, political and cultural impact upon society
  • To provide a supportive and sequenced framework for students’ learning

The emerging graduate should have a developing knowledge and understanding of film products and institutions and the creative, political and economic contexts within which this particular cultural form functions.

By the end of level 4, the student will be expected to:

  • Deconstruct and apply different methodological and aesthetic approaches to film texts and analyse the historical and institutional contexts within which they are produced and consumed. (ME4710, ME4711, ME4712)

By the end of level 5, the student will be expected to:

  • Develop insight into a variety of national cinemas and genres.  This programme seeks to problematize the extent to which dominant, Hollywood film is viewed as the norm against which all other cinema is judged. (ME5708, ME5709)

By the end of level 6, the student will be expected to:

  • Reflect critically on self-chosen specialised issues, evaluate and compare key paradigms, debates and oppositions in film, or critically analyse particular film genres. (ME6711, ME6712, ME6722)


By the end of level 4, the student will be expected to:

  • Demonstrate basic investigation abilities and academic understanding of film theory. (ME4710, ME4711, ME4712)

By the end of level 5, the student will be expected to:

  • Evidence more thorough understanding, questioning and application of skills and knowledge. (ME5708, ME5716)
  • Develop significant insight into the range of research approaches available regarding academic, media professions, industry and practice. (ME5716, ME5703, ME5709)


At level 6, students will become more independent and have greater choice over their areas of study. By the end of level 6, the student will be expected to:

  • Analyse and evaluate areas of film and cultural principles and practices. ( ME6711, ME6712, ME6722)
  • Critically assess film and other media texts.  (ME6711, ME6712, ME6722)
  • Demonstrate advanced skills in relation to the critical evaluation of, and the synthesis of, key paradigms, past and emerging trends, the debates and issues surrounding the role of film within society through a range of film forms and genres. (ME6711, ME6712, ME6722)


Students will develop and hone their practical and professional skills over the course of the programme.

By the end of level 4, the student will be expected to:

  • Deliver work to a given length, format, brief and deadline, properly referencing sources and ideas and making use, as appropriate, of a problem-solving approach. (ME4710, ME4711, ME4712)

By the end of level 5, the student will be expected to:

  • Gather, organise and deploy ideas and information in order to formulate arguments cogently, and express them effectively in written, oral or in other forms.(ME5708, ME5716)
  • Work productively in a group or team, showing abilities at different times to listen, contribute and lead effectively. (ME5703, ME5709)

By the end of level 6, the student will be expected to:

  • Work in flexible, creative and independent ways, showing self-discipline and self-direction. (ME6711, ME6712, ME6722)
  • Retrieve and generate information, and evaluate sources, in carrying out independent research. (ME6711, ME6712, ME6722)
  • Organise and manage supervised, self-directed study. (ME6711,  ME6712, ME6722)


The dissertation available at level 6 provides students with the opportunity to create a culmination academic study developed from a topic of their own choice that has evolved or developed from their previous study in the programme.

These will be embedded in academic modules at each level.

By the end of level 4, the student will be expected to:

  • Communicate effectively orally and on paper, via information technology. (ME4710, ME4711, ME4712)


By the end of level 5, the student will be expected to:

  • Work autonomously both individually and / as members of seminar and presentation groups. (ME5703, ME5716, ME5708, ME5709)

By the end of level 6, the student will be expected to:

  • Communicate complex ideas with clarity, through a variety of media ( ME6711, ME6712, ME6722)



The programme offered is a combined honours subject programme studied over three years on a full time basis. At all three levels modules are based on a 20 credit system. However, the optional dissertation at level 6 is a double weighted, 40 credit module. Modules are planned around a ratio of 20 credits per 200 hours of teaching and learning. The structure has at its core the establishment and development of knowledge, skills and understanding of film, media, communication and cultural theory including an appreciation of film as part of the creative and communication industries. Level 4 has all compulsory modules, levels 5 and 6 allows for some options on the student’s part.

Modules focus on a wide range of genres, national cinemas and approaches to studying film. Across all three levels students will study the historical, social, aesthetic, industrial and economic pressures that have shaped film into a globally popular cultural form. At each level of study, students explore film form, structure and narrative with opportunities to express knowledge and understanding via short visual creative artefacts such as storyboards or films.  The programme also includes the acquisition of relevant academic research skills and culminates with specialised modules and an optional dissertation route.

Level 4 develops essential knowledge, level 5 sees the development of these capabilities and the opportunity to apply them in more focused contexts, and level 6 will provide opportunities for more critical questioning, synthesis and application in specialist areas. Through the three levels of graduated study students will have developed both subject specific and key/transferable skills applicable in a wide range of contexts.

WB5004 (Learning in the Wider World) is similar in ambition to WB5101 but facilitates undertaking the work based learning placement at a location outside the United Kingdom. WB5004, although available to all students as an alternative to WB5101, must be applied for and participation is restricted to students who meet the criteria of interview, attendance and behaviour during Level 5. All students will be required to receive clearance from their PAT prior to departing on their overseas placement. Students must complete and have a Risk Assessment approved before they are eligible for this module.

WB5008, The Study Abroad Experience, will be offered as a complementary year of study abroad to students who have successfully completed their second-year of study (Level 5). Application will occur in January of Level 5. As such, students may be required to present evidence of successful completion of Level 4, satisfactory on-going assessment, academic references and attendance in order for their application to be accepted. Students must also complete a Risk Assessment to indicate that they are fully aware of the requirements for the exchange, university/college and destination that they are applying for.

The programme modules and available combinations across the department exhibit clear distinctiveness, which may allow students to establish a preferred pathway of studies. Further, modules facilitate engagement with a variety of forms of critical analysis, argument and debate; encourage students to develop the ability to consider views other than their own; foster practical skills such as the construction of basic filmed/animated sequences, presentation and decision-making; and display independent thought and informed critical judgement in analysis.

It should be noted that ME6710, ME6719 and ME6721 are only available for transnational delivery.

Level 4: 120 credits from:
ME4710 20 credits*
ME4711 20 credits*
ME4712 20 credits*
Plus 60 credits from Combined Subject Area

Level 5: 120 credits from:
[Level 5 credits can be substituted for a full year exchange via the module WB5007 120 credits]
ME5708 20 credits*
ME5709 20 credits*

And, 60 credits from:
either ME5716 20 credits
or Combined Subject Area Modules (minimum 40 credits)
And, 20 credits from:
ME5703 20 credits (Experiential Learning),
Combined Subject Area Module 20-credits (Experiential Learning),
or WB5101 20 credits (Enhancing your Employability through Work-Based Learning)
or WB5004 20 credits (by application)
leads to Diploma of Higher Education 240 credits

WB5008 The Study Abroad Experience 120 credits (non-award credits)

Level 6: 120 credits from:

Major - 80 credits from:
ME6710 20 credits#
ME6711 20 credits
ME6712 20 credits
ME6719 20 credits#
ME6721 20 credits#

ME6722 40 credits**
WB6001 40 credits**
Combined Subject 40 credits

Equal - 60 credits from:
ME6710 20 credits#
ME6711 20 credits
ME6712 20 credits
ME6719 20 credits#
ME6721 20 credits#

ME6722 40 credits**
WB6001 40 credits**
Combined Subject 60 credits

Minor - 40 credits from:
ME6710 20 credits#
ME6711 20 credits
ME6712 20 credits
ME6719 20 credits#

ME6721 20 credits#
Combined Subject 80 credits


** Not combinable with each other
# Transnational delivery only

Combined Honours only
Mod-Code Level Title Credit Major Equal Minor
ME4710 4 British Cinema 20 Comp Comp Comp
ME4711 4 Understanding Creative Film Practices 20 Comp Comp Comp
ME4712 4 Introduction to Film - Looking at Movies 20 Comp Comp Comp
ME5703 5 Experiential Project in Media 20 Optional Optional Optional
ME5708 5 European Cinema and Key Movements 20 Comp Comp Comp
ME5709 5 Short Cuts and Animation 20 Comp Comp Comp
ME5716 5 Research for Professions, Practice and Academic Purposes 20 Optional Optional Optional
WB5004 5 Learning in the Wider World 20 Optional Optional Optional
WB5007 5 International Exchange Module – Full academic year 120 Optional Optional Optional
WB5008 5 The Study Abroad Experience 120 Optional Optional Optional
WB5101 5 Enhancing your Employability through Work Based Learning 20 Optional Optional Optional
ME6710 6 Global Cinema 20 N/A N/A N/A
ME6711 6 Frame by Frame: Analysing Auteurs 20 Optional Optional Optional
ME6712 6 Screen Themes 20 Optional Optional Optional
ME6719 6 Creative Media Industries: Careers and Landscapes 20 N/A N/A N/A
ME6721 6 Understanding Celebrity Culture 20 N/A N/A N/A
ME6722 6 Media Academic Dissertation 40 Optional Optional N/A
WB6001 6 Work-based Project (40 Credit) Module 40 Optional Optional N/A

  • 120 credits at Level 4 entitles the student to a Certificate of Higher Education
  • 240 credits by the end of Level 5 entitles the student to a Diploma of Higher Education
  • 360 credits by the end of Level 6 entitles the student to a Bachelor’s degree



Typical Entry 104 UCAS points
GCE A Level

104 UCAS points from GCE A Levels or equivalent. Typical offer - CCC/BCC


BTEC Extended Diploma: DMM
BTEC Diploma - D*D

Irish/Scottish Highers

Grades BBBB

International Baccalaureate

26 points


Access to HE Diploma, to include 45 credits at level 3, 30 of which must be at Merit


OCR National Extended Diploma - Merit 2
OCR Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma - DMM
OCR Cambridge Technical Diploma - D*D*

Extra Information

Please note that we accept a maximum of 8 UCAS points from GCE AS Levels and that the Welsh Baccalaureate (core) and A Level General Studies will be recognised in our offer. We will also consider a combination of A Levels and BTECs/OCRs.


The Subject Benchmark Statements for Communication, Media, Film and Cultural Studies are available on the QAA website ( This programme is strongly linked to these subject benchmark statements. All of the programme's content relates to the statements in varying degrees; however this combined Film Studies programme shows a high level of integration of appropriate benchmarks across its range of modules. For example, level 4 modules (although not exclusively) integrate ‘awareness of the historical formation of their particular objects of study, and their contexts and interfaces’ and ‘an understanding of particular media forms and genres, and the way in which they organise understandings, meanings and affects.' 

Level 5 (although not exclusively) will require students to ‘engage critically with major thinkers, debates and intellectual paradigms within the field and put them to productive use’ and demonstrate ‘knowledge of appropriate research practices, procedures and traditions, and some awareness of their strengths and limitations', particularly in the media specific research modules and through to level 6 via the dissertation modules. 

Throughout the three years of study students will develop 'awareness of the diversity of approaches to understanding communication, media and culture in both historical and contemporary contexts, and of the uses and implications of these approaches'; 'knowledge of a range of texts, genres, aesthetic forms and cultural practices, and the ability to produce close analysis of these, and to make comparisons and connections.’

In sum, the programme content provides for a broad knowledge of the central role that the film industry plays and this is reflected, examined and questioned from a number of angles across a wide range of modules: those that theorise texts and those that engage in examining the film industry, its roles and functions, socio-economic and political contexts. Strong links with appropriate research practices, procedures and traditions are embedded throughout the modules' content provision (this is particularly manifested within the dissertation module). There are also opportunities to study a range of communicative practices.



Students will experience a range of teaching and learning methods which are related to, and relevant for, the acquisition of key and subject specific skills. A predominantly academically oriented course such as Film Studies is effectively delivered through a traditional structure of lectures and seminars but with scope for other methods such as workshops, group projects, group and individual presentations, small group tutorials, independent study, dissertations and work based or experiential learning.  The more practically-focused aspects of the programme will be delivered largely through workshops.

All the students will take a Work Based / Experiential Learning module which will give them the opportunity to apply the critical thinking and analytical skills gained from Film Studies in a practical setting.

Students will be expected to work independently outside timetabled teaching sessions. They will be provided with structured reading and viewing for lectures and seminars and expected to work as individuals or within groups. Students will be expected to keep themselves informed about contemporary media issues in local, national and global contexts. They will be expected to keep up-to-date with current affairs and developments, especially in the area of film, media and communications including new technologies and they will, naturally, be expected to read critically a wide range of media-related academic texts, newspapers, journals and magazines and engage with broad and narrowcast media.

Most of the teaching and learning will take place at Warrington Campus. Work Based / Experiential learning and research may take place beyond the campus.

During the programme, students will move from reliance on tutor guidance in the initial stages of skills acquisition, to greater reliance on their own evolving skills and individual ability to originate, research and develop ideas across a range of academically focused modules, in accordance with level related assessment criteria.

Level 4 will develop essential and core skills, creating an effective platform upon which to build future confidence and success. Level 5 prepares students for more autonomous and reflective practice in Film Studies and the culmination optional Level 6 modules including the double weighted 8,000-10,000 word dissertation provides an excellent opportunity to apply these skills and to refine them for application in future employment or further study.

The Benchmarking Statement for Communication, Media, Film and Cultural Studies sets out specific aims which have been taken into consideration. Although it would be unlikely for a single course to achieve all of them, the specific focus of Film Studies means that it is likely to achieve many, especially the following:

  • Substantial knowledge of the communication, media and cultural forms and processes chosen for study within their degree programme
  • Understanding of a range of concepts, theories and approaches appropriate to the study of those objects and processes, and the capacity to apply these
  • Skills in critical analysis, research, communication appropriate to the learning tasks set by their programme, as well as an array of generic and creative skills.

Assessment on this programme is designed to provide feedback to students on their performance in order to shape future learning, to verify achievement in order that students can progress through and beyond the programme and to evidence for internal and external use the maintenance and enhancement of the quality of the programme. In the early stages of the programme, formative assessments maybe as important in stimulating student learning as the summative assessment for certification.

The assessment strategy of this programme is based on the following assumptions and practices:

  • Assessment is acknowledged to be a major driver of student learning.
  • A variety of assessment practices, such as practical tasks, presentations, essays and exams, will be employed in order to provide students with a range of opportunities to display intellectual, practical and transferable skills, and to accommodate the different learning styles of individual students.
  • Clear criteria for grading and the rules and regulations for assessment and awards will be available for all students throughout their programme.
  • Assessment at early stages of the programme will focus on evidencing the acquisition and development of essential foundation undergraduate knowledge, skills and understanding: later stages of the programme will focus on the demonstration of students’ ability to independently synthesize advanced knowledge and skills. Assignments and projects at the start of the programme will be largely tutor determined. By Level 6 students will have significant elements of self determination in their coursework assessments.

An honours graduate of this programme will have developed an understanding of a complex body of knowledge. Through this, the graduate will have developed analytical techniques and problem-solving skills that can be applied in many different types of employment. The graduate will be able to evaluate evidence, arguments and assumptions, to reach sound judgements and to communicate effectively. An honours graduate should have the necessary qualities for employment in situations requiring the exercise of personal responsibility and decision-making in complex and unpredictable circumstances. Through specific module demands and the work-based or experiential learning modules at level 5, the programme will draw upon and develop students’ professional capabilities as well as their skills in analysis, critique, and synthesis. Furthermore, the opportunities to develop basic practice-based skills mean students can evidence their ability to effectively apply theory in a practical setting.

Graduates from this programme will be equipped with a mix of effective key and transferable skills which are extremely useful in many fields. These skills can also contribute to the students becoming better informed citizens by raising awareness and encouraging reflection on wider issues such as identity, nationhood and nationality, cultural imperialism, manipulation and control, and the relationship between media and society in general.

This programme contains the kind of challenging and rigorous academic training which prepares students for a range of options following graduation, including postgraduate education and employment within many industries including the media industries. 


The University is committed to the promotion of diversity, equality and inclusion in all its forms; through different ideas and perspectives, age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation. We are, in particular, committed to widening access to higher education. Within an ethically aware and professional environment, we acknowledge our responsibilities to promote freedom of enquiry and scholarly expression.


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