Film and Literature (BA)
We live in a world of moving images. Studying them provides a unique means for you to better understand the world you live in. At Warwick you’ll explore how they work and what they mean. We live in a visual culture: audio-visual literacy is a central marketable skill in the workplace. So join us to explore history, politics, philosophy, sociology, drama and literature through the prism of film and television.
This course brings together a traditional discipline (literature) with a newer, pervasive and essential one (film and television studies).
You will develop your understanding of:
- television and literature
- their history
- aesthetics and
- social and cultural significance.
Literature modules for the course are designed by English and Comparative Literary Studies.
As you move through the degree, you’ll be able to specialise in topics of particular interest. Our small classes mean you’ll be taught by world-leading academics who share your passion for the subject. You’ll also be able to take advantage of our thriving extracurricular culture. This can include writing, blogging about, making or screening films. You will graduate with the skills to research and write to a very high standard. You will also have an exceptional level of audio-visual literacy.
Enabling you to follow your passion in the Arts, we are awarding Scholarships of £1,000 to home/UK students who achieve AAA or above, or equivalent qualifications if you start your course in 2020 and you have applied through UCAS, adjustment or clearing.
In the first year on the film side of your degree you will delve into the history of cinema, the fundamentals of film and television criticism, film theory and film and television analysis. You will also study Aspects of French and German Literature taught by the School of Modern Languages and Cultures, and Modes of Reading from the English department.
In the second year, you’ll have more flexibility to tailor the course to your own interests, and core modules will focus on Hollywood Cinema and explore the concept of World Cinemas using case studies linked to the expertise of your tutors.
In the third year, you will have the opportunity to apply to write an independent supervised dissertation and the opportunity to apply for a place on a specialist film production module delivered exclusively by the world-renowned London Film School. You can also explore a wide range of specialist topics supported by the research expertise of staff in the department.
Screenings are an essential part of our teaching and attendance is compulsory.
Lectures are typically 50 minutes long and contain a lot of information about that week’s topic.
Seminars are perhaps the biggest change from school or college. A seminar is a small group discussion led by a tutor. We teach in groups of around 8-11 students to give everyone focused attention and to allow each student plenty of space to speak.
Degrees in our department are 3-year programmes made up of smaller units called modules. You’ll take between 4-6 modules per year of your degree. Typically there will be 4-6 hours contact time per module per week. For each module you take you can expect to have 1-2 screenings per week, a lecture per week and a seminar per week.
Seminars are taught in groups of around 8-11 students.
Assessment varied by modules studied. The second and third year count 50% each towards your final mark.
You also have the option of a four year full-time BA Film Studies degree with a Study Abroad year. You will spend your third year at one of our partner institutions, and return in fourth year to complete your degree.
Choose from a range of leading universities around the world including:
- Tokyo University
- The University of Amsterdam
- Monash University in Australia
- Monash University in Malaysia.
By choosing to add a Study Abroad year you will:
- Develop your knowledge by looking at a range of topics from different perspectives
- Gain a specialist understanding of local and national media and film cultures of the area in which you study
- Be taught using different teaching styles
- Have a chance to experience the underlying international nature of film.
We have embedded employability skills throughout our Film Studies degree. There are also many opportunities for applied learning and assessment across our modules.
In particular, our optional final year modules offer training in:
- critical writing on film
- digital editing
- film production
- curation and festival design.
A level: ABB including English Literature or English Language and Literature combined
IB: 34 including 5 in Higher Level English Literature
BTEC: We welcome applications from students with other recognised qualifications. Applicants with BTEC qualifications are consider on an individual basis, taking into account both (a) the degree of focus on close analysis of texts, and (b) GCSE qualifications. Our typical BTEC offers are as follows:
BTEC Level 3 Extended Certificate plus 2 A-Levels: Merit plus AA including English Literature or English Language and Literature (combined) OR Distinction plus AB including English Literature or English Language and Literature (combined)
BTEC Level 3 Diploma plus 1 A-Level: DD plus grade B in A-Level English Literature or English Language and Literature (combined) OR DM plus grade A in A-Level English Literature or English Language and Literature (combined)
Additional requirements: You will also need to meet our English Language requirements
Interviews: all applicants being considered for an offer will normally need to submit a piece of written work and attend an interview. Separate arrangements can be made for international students who are unable to attend an interview.
Contextual data and differential offers
Warwick may make differential offers to students in a number of circumstances. These include students participating in the Realising Opportunities programme, or who meet two of the contextual data criteria. Differential offers will be one or two grades below Warwick’s standard offer (to a minimum of BBB).
- Warwick International Foundation Programme (IFP)
Af you complete the Warwick IFP and apply to Warwick through UCAS you will receive a guaranteed conditional offer. This is for a related undergraduate programme (selected courses only). For full details of standard offers and conditions visit the IFP website.
- We welcome applications from students with other internationally recognised qualifications. For more information please visit the international entry requirements page.
Taking a gap year
Applications for deferred entry welcomed.
Please note that Core modules are expected largely to remain the same except for the minor changes expected of a developing curriculum.
Film and Television Analysis
Look closely. No, closer still. Let’s watch that again.
In this module, the text is king. We want to give you intensive practice in looking at and listening closely to films and television programmes.. Lectures will equip you with the technical and analytical vocabulary of textual analysis. In the discussion-based seminars that follow, you’ll get to practice using and applying these terms yourself in a supportive environment, building up your confidence and command of the terminology that will be your academic language for the next three years. Written work is designed to build you up to a point where you can create your own reasoned and carefully argued interpretations of film texts. We’ll set readings each week that introduce you to the best of critical scholarship, and get you to begin to evaluate and reflect upon other accounts and interpretations of film.
We think it’s really important that you are exposed to a variety of films from different times, in different styles and from different nations. Each year, we carefully choose our film screenings to offer you the chance to experience and compare different approaches to the expressive use of film form and mise-en-scène. We want you to be able to examine, in detail, the ways in which stylistic choices create meaning and affect interpretation.
What might you watch? Sunset Boulevard (Billy Wilder, US, 1950), Elephant (Gus Van Sant, US, 2002), La Règle du jeu (Jean Renoir, France, 1939), Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Thailand, 2010), Edge of Heaven (Germany/Turkey, Fatih Akin, 2007), M (Fritz Lang, Germany, 1931), The West Wing (NBC, 1999-2006), Miranda (2009-2015), This Morning (ITV, 1988- present), The Wire (HBO, 2002-2008)
Film and Television Criticism
In this module you will be introduced to key critical debates in Film and Television Studies. You will explore a range of approaches to critical writing about film as well as the key critical turns in the study of television. There will be a historical focus to this work which will think about the development of film and television scholarship over time.
As your skills develop you will be encouraged to make reasoned and carefully argued interpretations, and to reflect upon the validity of other accounts and interpretations, both in group discussion and through reading of critical scholarship on module films and programmes.
What might you watch? The Wizard of Oz (Victor Fleming, 1939), Gun Crazy (Deadly is the Female) (Joseph H. Lewis, 1950), Thelma and Louise (Ridley Scott, 1991), Alice in den Städten (Wim Wenders, 1974), Texas Chainsaw Massacre (Tobe Hooper, 1974), Gogglebox (Channel 4, 2013-), Ghostwatch (BBC Television, 1992), The Royal Wedding (BBC1, 2011); London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony: Isles of Wonder (BBC1, 2012); Dallas (Lorimar Productions, CBS, 1978-1991); 24 Hours in A&E (The Garden Productions, Channel 4, 2011-present); CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (Jerry Bruckheimer Television, Alliance Atlantis, CBS, 2000-present); Seinfeld (Castle Rock Entertainment, NBC, 1989-1998).
You will connect your growing understanding of film’s technological development with its industrial and social history. In exploring the relationship between cinema and society, you will increase your understanding of the role of the state in film production, and the place of cinema in mass culture. These fundamental theoretical approaches will be accompanied by case studies, giving you a firm grounding in film history as well as an enhanced understanding of different ways of analysing the historical record.
Theories of the Moving Image introduces key theoretical concepts related to film form, spectatorship, and politics. The module will enable you to read film theory as a written text and a historical document, and to use it as a theoretical tool for interpreting screen media. As a theory course, the module will give you the skills needed to approach theoretical texts, and we will be focusing as much on analysing written arguments as discussing the screenings.
By the end of the module you will be familiar with some of the key theoretical frameworks and debates in film scholarship, and their position within broader interdisciplinary contexts. You should be able to read complex critical writing with confidence and precision, and to deploy theoretical arguments in your own writing with similar confidence and rigor. You will be able to apply theoretical frameworks to screen media texts in both oral and written communication.
What might you watch? Le Crime de Monsieur Lange (Jean Renoir, 1939), The Gleaners & I (Agnès Varda, 2000), The Bourne Ultimatum (Paul Greengrass, 2007), Il posto (Ermanno Olmi, 1961), Written on the Wind (Douglas Sirk, 1956), Gilda (Vidor, 1956), Mahogany (Berry Gordy, 1975), Starship Troopers (Paul Verhoeven, 1997)
Adaptation: From Page to Screens
On this module, Adaptation is considered in its broadest sense: from the traditional conception of the printed page to the filmic image, to the multiform texts crossing contemporary multimedia platforms. The module covers key debates, such as the issue of fidelity, the role of heritage cinema and the rise of contemporary multimedia forms.
Students will engage with the work of major theorists in the field, including Robert Stam and Allesandra Raengo, Sarah Cardwell and Linda Hutcheon, contextualising their approaches within the wider movements of post-structuralism and postmodernism. In the second term, students will undertake detailed analyses of a specific case study. One such case study might, for example, encompass the multiple iterations of hardboiled crime fiction – including radio and filmic adaptations – and the many faces of Sherlock Holmes. The case study will be determined by the research expertise of the module leader.
Modes of Reading
This module offers an introduction to the practices of criticism. The module aims to enable you to work with a variety of critical approaches, and to develop an informed awareness of the possibilities available to them as readers and critics. Thematically organised lectures provide a frame of cultural reference on which you will draw in your close readings in seminars.
What you might study? I Love Dick (Chris Krauss, 1997); Zong (M. NourbeSe Philip, 2008); The ArchAndroid (Janelle Monae, 2010); Soiree for the 5th of June (Saadallah Wannous, 1967); Fun Home (Alison Bechdel, 2006)
There’s a good chance you’ll be familiar with Hollywood cinema. It dominates film culture here in the UK and across the world and for many people, ‘Hollywood’ is synonymous with ‘film’. But this meaning is not fixed, and the term ‘Hollywood Cinema’ can be used as a shorthand for films that are seen as commercial, and lacking in depth and substance, or alternatively to suggest a benchmark for quality film production. Indeed, when we talk about Hollywood, we are referring to both an industrial system – with specific practices and cultures of film production – and an aesthetic tradition, with codes and conventions that dictate how films look, sound and tell stories. In this module, we engage with the full historical range of Hollywood sound production from the late 1920s to the present day. Examples are chosen because they illustrate important aspects of the industry, including style, genre, stars, directors, technology, censorship, and politics.
Topics might include: genre; authorship; stardom; the studio system; gender; race; Hollywood as ‘mass culture’; ‘New Hollywood’; the blockbuster franchise.
What you might watch? Singin’ in the Rain (Gene Kelly/ Stanley Donen, 1952); Footlight Parade (Lloyd Bacon, 1933); Swing Time (Mark Sandrich, 1936); Meet Me in St. Louis (Vincente Minnelli, 1944); Robin Hood (Michael Curtiz, 1938); Angels With Dirty Faces (Michael Curtiz, 1938); Mildred Pierce (Michael Curtiz, 1946); Casablanca (Michael Curtiz, 1941); Blonde Bombshell (Victor Fleming, 1933); Bonnie and Clyde (Arthur Penn, 1967); Dirty Harry (Don Siegel, 1971); Mission Impossible (Brian de Palma, 1996); Wonder Woman (Patty Jenkins, 2017); Black Panther (Ryan Coogler, 2018);The Avengers (Joss Whedon, 2012)
Film is a global medium, but different countries are often seen as having specific ‘national’ film cultures. It is not unusual to hear talk of a ‘British film’ or a ‘Japanese film’, but these terms are far more complex than they might initially seem. The very idea of a national cinema is itself an actively constructed category, and this module will draw upon the work on textual analysis and film history that you carried out in Year One to explore issues and concepts related to national and international film cultures.
In each term, you will undertake a detailed case study of a specific national cinema as a framework within which to explore wider concepts. Case studies are chosen based on staff research expertise, and in the past have included: Italian cinema, Brazilian cinema, global film culture, British cinema, post-war German cinema, Japanese cinema, Swedish cinema, amongst others.
Topics might include: the representation of national history; ideas of genre, realism and authorship; transnational circulation; definitions of national identity and questions of cultural specificity
What you might watch? Run Lola Run (Tom Tykwer, 1998); Aguirre, the Wrath of God (Werner Herzog, 1972); Ali: Fear Eats the Soul (Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1974); Good Bye Lenin! (Wolfgang Becker, 2003); The Baader Meinhof Complex (Uli Edel, 2008); Stray Dog (Akira Kurosawa, 1949); Sansho Dayu (Kenji Mizoguchi, 1954); Tokyo Story (Yasujiro Ozu, 1953); Crazed Fruit (Ko Nakahira, 1956); Face of Another (Hiroshi Teshigahara, 1966); Ring (Hideo Nakata, 1998); My Neighbour Totoro (Hiyao Miyazaki, 1988); Still Walking (Hirokazu Kore-eda, 2008)
Optional cores - choose one or two of the following:
This module explores the silent period in Europe and America – a period in which some of the most important films, filmmakers and filmmaking trends emerged. In this module, we treat films of early cinema as complex, rather than ‘primitive’ texts. You’ll get hands-on with trade periodicals and fan magazines from this period to bring these films to life and develop your skills in historical research.
You’ll investigate the social and cultural context into which cinema emerges and evolves, and become familiar with the international film industry of the 1920s, covering topics like its commercial structure, major directors, stars, landmark films and aesthetic developments. This will give you context for understanding the complexities of Hollywood’s journey to dominance and the rise of cinematic nationalism after the end of World War I. We’ll also explore how issues of class and gender come to the fore at particular moments of social upheaval and cultural crisis in this era.
Topics might include: The magical attractions of early cinema; D.W. Griffith and the emergence of a narrative grammar; the evolution of slapstick; serial pleasures; the emergence of feature films; classical Hollywood cinema in the 1920s; cinema and modernity; the mobilisation of ‘Film Europe’; silents in the age of sound; the aesthetics of silent cinema
What you might watch? The Impossible Voyage (Méliès, 1904); A Drunkard’s Reformation (Biograph, 1909); Last of the Line (Domino, 1914); Mr. Flip (Essanay, 1909); The Tramp (Essanay, 1915); The Perils of Pauline (Pathé, 1914); Traffic in Souls (Universal, 1913); The Cheat (Lasky, 1915); Intolerance (Fine Arts, 1916); Steamboat Bill, Jr. (Charles F. Reisner, 1928); It (Clarence Badger, 1927); Man With a Movie Camera (Dziga Vertov, 1929); The Last Laugh (F.W. Murnau, 1924); La Passion de Jeanne d’Arc (Carl T. Dreyer, 1928); Sunrise (F.W. Murnau, 1927); Piccadilly (E.A. Dupont, 1929)OR
Television History and Criticism
Television is dead. Television is everyday. Television is everywhere. Television is online. Television is domestic. Television is spectacular. Television is public. Television is all this and more.
In this module, you’ll unpick and complicate some of the accepted cultural positions about what television is and what it does. Building upon your introduction to television studies in the Visual Cultures module in Year One, this module will deepen your understanding of television as a historical, critical and theoretical object of study. It comes at a particularly key moment in the discipline’s history, as new technologies once again threaten our understanding of this complex, yet everyday, object. The focus will be on exploring a wide range of examples from television’s early years to the present day, and on giving opportunities for you to engage critically with some of the most interesting work in television studies, including both foundational work of the discipline and cutting-edge research into this ever-changing medium.
Topics and texts change each year in line with staff research interests and expertise, and you’ll be encouraged to become a co-creator in new work. Recent topics have included regionalism, children’s television and music television. You’ll develop key skills in the close analysis of television and its texts, and be introduced to a range of theoretical concepts and methodologies of television studies. You’ll emerge with a complex understanding of television as a textual, institutional, historical and cultural object.
What might you watch? Doctor Who, Brideshead Revisited, Happy Valley, Sherlock, Poldark, The Sopranos, Sex and the City, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Band of Brothers, Game of Thrones, The West Wing, Lost, Breaking Bad, Orange is the New Black, House of Cards, Stranger Things, Arena, Panorama, Driving School, Made in Chelsea, Wife Swap, Geordie Shore, Ghostwatch, The Day Britain Stopped, Modern Family, The Office, A History of Britain, Who Do You Think You Are, Downton Abbey, The Great British Bake-Off, Planet Earth, Cunk on Britain.
What exactly does ‘avant-garde’ mean? And how does it differ from terms such as ‘underground’, ‘experimental’ and ‘subcultural’? In this module you’ll explore the history of avant-garde film, video, sound, and installation work by engaging conceptually and practically with its forms, movements and practices.
We’re also interested in exploring the exchange and interaction between avant-garde and popular cultures. We’ll think about where the term ‘avant-garde’ comes from, placing it within the context from which it emerges and then tracing how it has been employed at different times and in different places, from the early twentieth century to the present day.
You’ll take a wide-ranging look at ideas of the avant-garde and study a diverse range of texts, movements and trends, from the 'high art' domain of 1920s avant-garde film to the popular eruptions of early 80s hip-hop.
What might you watch? Entr'acte (René Clair, 1924), Rose Hobart (Joseph Cornell, 1936), A MOVIE (Bruce Connor, 1958), Jack's Dream (Joseph Cornell, c.1938), The Phoenix Portal (Soda Jerk, 2005), Invocation of My Demon Brother (Kenneth Anger, 1969), Flaming Creatures (Jack Smith, 1963), Empire (Andy Warhol, 1964), Ruhr (James Benning, 2009), Hand Catching Lead (Richard Serra, 1968), Time As Activity (Dusseldorf) (David Lamelas, 1969), Andy Warhol's Exploding Plastic Inevitable (Ronald Nameth, 1966), Three Transitions (Peter Campus, 1973) Two Dogs and a Ball (William Wegman, 1972), Vertical Roll (Joan Jonas, 1972), TV Interruptions (David Hall, 1976), Semiotics of The Kitchen (Martha Rosler, 1975)
Film Aesthetics blends philosophical and theoretical questions of aesthetics with detailed close textual analysis of a range of films from different national and historical contexts. There are three primary strands intertwined throughout the module: the concept of aesthetics in general; film aesthetics more specifically; and the particulars of the individual film we will be looking at each week.
Questions of aesthetics are also often imbricated with questions of value and our first purpose will be to address some overarching questions such as: what is art? What is beautiful? What is good? Are these notions subjective or universal? How do social, historic and contextual particularities affect the attribution of value in aesthetic discourses? Are considerations of politics and ethics essential or contingent when discussing those of aesthetics?
The strand on film aesthetics will explore how general questions in aesthetics have been historically deployed in relation to film: what is ‘the cinematic’ and is ‘medium specificity’ important? How has realism been used as a criterion of value in film? What are the roles of intentionality and interpretation in valuing films? How important is place, experience and feeling to attributions of value? What role does genre play in the interpretation of films and how does this affect their value? What is the role of the social in the aesthetic?
What you might watch? The Room (Tommy Wiseau, 2003); Vertigo (Alfred Hitchcock, 1958); Apocalypse Now (Francis Ford Coppola, 1979); Sleepless in Seattle (Nora Ephron, 1993); Morvern Callar (Lynne Ramsay, 2002); Do the Right Thing (Spike Lee, 1989); 12 Years a Slave (Steve McQueen, 2013); Mad Men (AMC, 2007-2015); Friends (NBC, 1994-2004)
Examples of optional modules/options for current students
Dissertation; Film Production; Horror and the Gothic in Film and TV; Screenwriting; Film and Social Change; Eco-Cinema; Envisioning the World in Screen Media; Science Fiction: Theory as Film; Issues in Documentary; The Practice of Film Criticism; Film and Television Stardom; The Art of Animation; Experimental Documentary Practices; Film Cultures
Film Studies graduates have pursued careers such as:
- arts officers
- producers and directors
- authors, writers and translators
- business and related associate professionals
- newspaper and periodical editors
- audio-visual and broadcasting equipment operators
- public relations professionals and education professionals.
"I enjoyed the world of work, but knew I wanted to study further."
"I wanted to study at a leading institution and knew Warwick was the best, being number one in the UK for Film and Television when I applied. It’s always great to study something you love so there was no doubt I would enjoy my course.
The enthusiasm from staff was really inspiring and although I decided to enter the world of work after finishing my degree, I’m now back studying my MA Research in Film and Television Studies here. I had always wanted to study further but the staff here at Warwick made the decision to return very easy for me. "
Daisy Richards - MA Research in Film and Television Studies
Studied 'Film and Television'
Bachelor of Arts (BA)
Film and Television Studies
3 years full-time/4 years full-time with Study Abroad year
28 September 2020
Location of study
University of Warwick, Coventry
Find out more about fees and funding
Additional course costs
There may be costs associated with other items or services such as academic texts, course notes, and trips associated with your course. Students who choose to complete a work placement will pay reduced tuition fees for their third year.
This information is applicable for 2020 entry.
Given the interval between the publication of courses and enrolment, some of the information may change. It is important to check our website before you apply. Please read our terms and conditions to find out more.
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