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Transcript: Film and Television Studies Pathway

My name is Jon Burrows and I'm currently the Director of Undergraduate Studies in Film and Television Studies at Warwick. I'm just going to briefly explain to you some of the distinctive features of Film and Television Studies at Warwick and then explain how the pathway into Film and Television modules works for Liberal Arts students.

There is typically a lot of confusion around what the study of Film and Television at university level involves and it can differ very significantly across countries and even between UK universities, so I'll start by trying to clear some of this up. We are quite different from Media Studies or Communication Studies departments. Media/Communication Studies is a discipline that emerged from the social sciences and it primarily examines the roles played in society by various forms of mass media and how they communicate information and influence social behaviour. It doesn't revolve very much around the close analysis of individual films and television programmes.

Film and Television Studies on the other hand has its origins directly in arts and humanities disciplines and it has a lot in common with the study of literature or the history of art, except instead of studying novels or paintings we study moving image texts. We put a lot of priority on the study of important directors, particularly important and influential genres, specific elements of audio-visual style, such as cinematography or editing and also how film and television programmes navigate particular ideological issues. Just as each topic studied on a literature module would typically involve the detailed study of a particular piece of writing, our modules in Film and Television Studies generally focus teaching around a specific audio visual text each week.

We are quite distinctive at Warwick in a number of respects but particularly for the calibre of our screening facilities. We believe very firmly that students studying films that were designed to be seen in cinemas should see them for study purposes projected in optimal conditions and on a big screen, so we have dedicated screening rooms with cinema-standard projection facilities. Facilities are actually better than those of most contemporary cinemas in that we are also still regularly screen 35 millimetre celluloid prints of films on our modules, if good copies are available for us to rent.

We're also quite distinctive in the global range of what we teach. A lot of film departments in the UK originated in English or American Studies departments, which means that they have tended to concentrate primarily on the study of English Language moving image texts. We on the other hand have always been focused on the study of cinema in all its global forms. We have researchers and teaching staff who are experts on, for example, French cinema, Japanese cinema, Italian cinema, Spanish language cinemas, Brazilian cinema and so forth, as well as experts on British and American cinema. World cinema at Warwick is studied entirely in translation though via subtitled copies so there are no language skill prerequisites.

It's also important to note that although there are some practice-based modules that we offer such as modules on screen writing, making a short fiction film, producing video essays, or making experimental documentaries, the majority of our modules are analytical, historical, and theoretical in their focus. Most of our teaching activities involve the study of film and television texts and the film and television industries, rather than a focus on learning the practical skills of filmmaking.

Now as a Liberal Arts student, you can apply to enrol on most of the intermediate and final-year modules that we run, but it's important to note that there are two important prerequisites for this. If you want to follow a Film and Television pathway through your Liberal Arts degree at Warwick, there are two introductory modules that you need to take first of all and I'll just put the details of these up on screen.

So you need to take first of all a 15 CATS module called 'Film Analysis and Methods' that runs in the Autumn Term and then in the Spring Term a 15 CATS module called 'Film History and Methods'. Taking these two modules is a prerequisite for subsequent access to the broader portfolio of modules that we run and that you would be able to apply to take in your subsequent years of study, if you've taken these two modules first of all.

You can find out more information about the academic staff who work in Film and Television Studies at Warwick and the kinds of modules that we run at our website, the URL for which is on screen here. If you have any questions you would like to ask us you should contact us at this email address