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Film and Literature BA (QW26)

Explore our Film and Literature degree at Warwick


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Bachelor of Arts (BA)
3 years full-time
26 September 2022
Film and Television Studies
University of Warwick

Fascinated by how words and images reflect and influence both humanity and society? Our Film and Literature degree lets you study both subjects – Literature, and Film and Television Studies. It also examines how they meet and overlap. This includes the adaptation of material from one medium into another, and the broad cultural shift from literature to film, television, and audio-visual media.


Words and images have always been central to the way cultures have communicated ideas about what societies are, or should be like. They explore what it is to be human in ways that have a philosophical, ethical and moral dimension.

They do so by finding particularly eloquent and beautiful forms of expression and inciting varied responses with different degrees of intensity. With an equal weighting of both subjects, this course brings together a traditional discipline (literature) with a newer, pervasive and culturally essential one (film and television studies). It will develop your understanding of film, television and literature, their history, aesthetics, and social and cultural significance.

As the course progresses, you will have increased freedom to delve into areas that particularly intrigue you. Our small classes mean you will be taught closely by world-leading academics who share your passion for the subject. You will also be able to take advantage of our thriving extracurricular culture, perhaps writing, blogging about, making, or screening films.

You will emerge from your course with the highly valued ability to research, structure, argue and write to a very high standard on a breadth of current media and literature-related issues, and with an exceptional level of audio-visual literacy.


Year One

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 take a module called Adaptation, taught jointly by Film and Television Studies and English and Comparative Literary Studies, as well as Modes of Reading, also in the English department.

Year Two

In the second year, you will have more flexibility to tailor the course to your own interests, and core modules will focus on Classical Hollywood Cinema and explore the concept of World-Cinemas using case studies linked to the expertise of your tutors.

Year Three

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.

You will take part in seminars with around 8-11 other students.
Degrees in our department are 3-year programmes made up of smaller units called modules. You will 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.
Assessment varied by modules studied. The second and third year count 50% each towards your final mark.

Study abroad

You also have the option of a four-year full-time BA Film and Literature degree with a Study Abroad year.

You will spend your third year at one of our partner institutions, and return in the 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

Find out more about Study Abroad.


Placements and work experience

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


Additional requirements

If your application meets our requirements, you will need to submit a piece of written work and attend an interview. If you are from overseas and unable to attend an interview, alternate arrangements will made.


A level typical offer

ABB including English Literature or English Language and Literature combined.

Please also see our additional requirements below.

A level contextual offer

We welcome applications from candidates who meet the contextual eligibility criteria. The typical contextual offer is BBB including B in English Literature/English Language and Literature (combined). See if you’re eligible.

General GCSE requirements

Unless specified differently above, you will also need a minimum of GCSE grade 4 or C (or an equivalent qualification) in English Language and either Mathematics or a Science subject. Find out more about our entry requirements and the qualifications we accept. We advise that you also check the English Language requirements for your course which may specify a higher GCSE English requirement. Please find the information about this below.


IB typical offer

34 to include 5 in Higher Level English Literature.

Please also see our additional requirements below.

IB contextual offer

We welcome applications from candidates who meet the contextual eligibility criteria. The typical contextual offer is 32 including 5 in Higher Level English Literature or English Language and Literature (combined). See if you’re eligible.

General GCSE requirements

Unless specified differently above, you will also need a minimum of GCSE grade 4 or C (or an equivalent qualification) in English Language and either Mathematics or a Science subject. Find out more about our entry requirements and the qualifications we accept. We advise that you also check the English Language requirements for your course which may specify a higher GCSE English requirement. Please find the information about this below.


We welcome applications from students with other recognised qualifications. Applicants with BTEC qualifications are considered 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 National Extended Certificate plus 2 A levels: Distinction plus AB including English Literature or English Language and Literature (combined), or Distinction* plus BB including English Literature or English Language and Literature (combined)
  • BTEC Level 3 National Diploma plus 1 A level: DD plus grade A in A level English Literature or English Language and Literature (combined) or D*D plus B in A Level English Literature or English Language and Literature (combined)

Please also see our additional requirements below.


Year One


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.

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).

Film History

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.

Film Theory

Film Theory 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)

Year Two

Hollywood Cinema

This core module will build on what students have learned about Hollywood in first year modules by expanding their knowledge about Hollywood in what has been deemed its ‘classic’ period. The module will illustrate important aspects about the industrial system that dominated Hollywood filmmaking from the late 1920s to the early 1960s, including style, genre, and stars. By first focusing on Hollywood as an industry, examining the practices and cultures of film production, the module will then consider its ideological influence by promoting specific American values and traditions through political issues, such as race and ethnicity.

World Cinema

The category of ‘world cinema’ represents a point of convergence for both the flattening impulses of a universalizing neoliberalism and the more radical bents of internationalist coalition-building. In other words, such cinema figures large in affective negotiations of global culture, world community and international human rights. This module looks at the wide range of fictional feature films, including the work of Deepa Metha, Akira Kurosawa, Samira Makhmalbaf and Satyajit Ray, among others. This course addresses several specific topics, including: transnational marketing, the touristic gaze, the politics of dubbing/subtitling, and the slow cinema debates.

This module reassesses ‘world cinema’ in light of globalization and global crises. Since the term ‘world cinema’ has always simultaneously invoked industrial, generic and aesthetic categories, our reckoning of the field hopes to expose otherwise unseen geopolitical fault lines. We investigate the historical and current contexts for the widening distribution of non-Hollywood films. We also examine the renaissance of international art cinema practices in recent decades, including new waves from East Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East.

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); Pather Panchali (Ray, 1955); Riso Amaro / Bitter Rice (Giuseppe De Santis, 1949); Rashomon (Kurosawa, 1950); De cierta manera / One Way or Another (Sara Gómez, 1977); The Apple (Samira Makhmalbaf, 1998); What Time Is It There? (Tsai, 2001); Fire (Deepa Metha, 1996); Lan Yu (Stanley Kwan, 2001); Peking Opera Blues (Tsui, 1986)

Year Three

Film Aesthetics

You will begin by exploring overarching ideas about aesthetics and how these relate to evaluative, historical and political discourses. The study of film aesthetics will subsequently see you applying these tenets to the evaluation and interpretation of film, particularly in the light of considerations of representation, mode and genre, and social context. By bringing together philosophical and theoretical questions of aesthetics with detailed textual analysis of a range of films, you will learn to apply such concepts to your understanding of contemporary international cinema.

  • Dissertation
  • Film Production
  • Practice of Film Criticism
  • British Film and Television Fiction
  • Envisioning the World
  • Hollywood Cinema of the 1970s
  • Horror and the Gothic in Film and TV
  • Television History and Criticism
  • Postwar Japanese Cinema
  • Screenwriting
  • Issues in Documentary
  • Ecocinema
  • Global Visions
  • The Art of Animation
  • Science Fiction Theory as Film
  • Film and Social Change
  • Queer Screens
  • Romantic and Victorian Poetry
  • Seventeenth-Century Literature
  • Arthurian Literature and its Legacy
  • The English Nineteenth-Century Novel
  • New Literatures in English
  • Literature, Environment, Ecology
  • Modernist Cultures
  • Asia and the Victorians
  • Shakespeare and Selected Dramatists of his Time
  • European Theatre
  • Twentieth-Century US Literature
  • English Literature and Feminisms 1790-1899
Graduates from these courses have pursued careers such as: • Programmers • Curators • Arts officers • Producers • Directors • Authors • Writers • Translators • Business and related associate professionals • Journalists, newspaper and periodical editors • Photographers • Audio-visual and broadcasting equipment operators • Public relations professionals • Educational professionals
Our department has a dedicated professionally qualified Senior Careers Consultant to support you. They offer impartial advice and guidance, together with workshops and events throughout the year. Previous examples of workshops and events include: • Working in Radio Film and TV • Discovering Careers in the Creative Industries • Warwick careers fairs throughout the year • Creating your Creative Career [Find out more about careers support at Warwick.]