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Unit 2

Meaningful Messages: Communication, Narrative and the Moving Image

This section of the module is concerned with textual analysis of a variety of texts across different media, paying particular attention to narrative in film, television and video games. This analysis gives students the opportunity to investigate the extent to which the medium of the text in question affects its narrative strategies. How do visual media construct and impart narrative to their viewers and consumers? Students will investigate the difference between story and plot, and how this difference is negotiated in different media. Is a filmed documentary’s story fundamentally different to a serialised television programme? How can a videogame ‘tell’ its player a story? This course will give students the opportunity to consider medium specificity and the role it plays in the contemporary analysis and interpretation of moving image narrative. In order to further facilitate this interpretative project, students will interrogate how the plots of these texts are constructed, arranged and revealed through their individual representations of communicative media. Each week, students will analyse these different texts’ representation of media to interrogate the meaning these texts construct, They will study how telephone calls, letters and digital communication technologies are all deployed as mise-en-scène to expressive effect and how the construction of meaning through these modes of communication can be analysed and interpreted.



Lecture 10am-11am

First Screening 11am-1pm


Second Screening 10am-12pm

First Seminar 12pm-1pm

Second Seminar 1pm-2pm


You will be assessed for this unit for the module by Section A of the examination in the Summer Term. You will be required to write one answer to a number of available questions pertaining to the unit. Students will be required to understand and be familiar with the required reading and be able to analyse a number of the film/television/video game texts across the unit in an informed, sensitive and engaged manner.

Unit Outline

(PDF Document)Meaningful Messages 2016