Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Film Studies (BA) (Full-Time, 2021 Entry)

If you would like to study at Warwick, there are other courses available for 2024 entry.

Explore our undergraduate courses for 2024 entry


Bachelor of Arts (BA)

3 years full-time

Start Date
27 September 2021

Department of Study
Department of Film and Television Studies

Location of Study
University of Warwick

We live in a world of moving images. Studying them provides a unique means for you to better understand the world in which you live. 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.

Course overview

Gain a close-up view on the diversity of film and television culture as you explore how the moving image relates to history, politics, philosophy, sociology, the visual arts, drama and literature. This course will move you through the foundations of film and television analysis, and interpretation, theory and history to develop your understanding of specific national and historic film cultures.

Having explored the breadth of the subject, you’ll then be able to follow your academic curiosity by specialising in topics of particular interest. In your third year, you’ll also have the opportunity to apply for a place on a specialist film production module.

Within the framework of our traditional focus on film history, theory and criticism, we offer innovative teaching, including practice-led learning and assessment, as well as conventional essay writing. Our vibrant extracurricular culture means you’ll be surrounded by others who share your love of the subject. Students and staff also engage with film and television through writing, blogging and screening films in cinema clubs. You’ll 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 related issues, and with an exceptional level of audio-visual literacy.

Course Structure

Year One

In your first year, you will be introduced to the foundations of film and television analysis, theory and history. You will also encounter new, exciting topics which allow you to specialise your degree. These include:

  • Theories for Film Studies
  • Visual Cultures
  • Screen Technologies

Year Two

In your second year, you will study World Cinemas and Hollywood Cinema modules. These modules will develop your understanding of specific world and transnational film cultures.

You will also choose one (or a maximum of two) of the following modules:

  • Silent Cinema
  • Television History and Criticism
  • Film and Television Stardom
  • Audio-Visual Avant-Gardes
  • Post-Classical Hollywood Cinema
  • Queer Screens
  • World Cinema

You may be able to select one further optional module from within the Faculty of Arts, subject to approval from the Head of Department.

Year Three

In your final year, you will be able to specialise in a wide range of topics led by staff with specific expertise. These will be taught alongside the compulsory year-long core module on Film Aesthetics. You can also apply to make a short film on our Film Production module in partnership with London Film School. Or you can choose to write and research an independent dissertation project of your choice.

How will I learn?

Most core modules in your first year are taught by means of one lecture, one seminar and several screenings per week in terms one and two. In your second and third years, optional modules are more varied and might include lectures, seminars, workshops, student presentations and peer-review sessions.

In terms of assessment, you will write essays, deliver presentations, and take exams—you might also produce a short film or video essay, or design a film festival.

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.

Contact hours

Degrees in our department are 3-year programmes made up of smaller units called modules. You’ll take between 4 and 8 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, 1 lecture and 1 seminar per week.

Class size

You will take part in seminars with around 8-11 other students.

How will I be assessed?

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 applying in Year 2 to extend your BA Film Studies degree with a study abroad year. If your application is approved, you will spend your third year at one of Warwick's partner institutions, and return in the fourth year to complete your degree

Places are allocated to the department each year at international institutions, which may include:

  • Monash University in Melbourne, Australia
  • Monash University in Malaysia
  • University of Amsterdam
  • Tokyo University

By studying abroad for a 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.

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

General entry requirements

Film Studies requires skills in critical writing and applicants must be able to demonstrate experience and a high level of achievement in such skills.

A level:

  • ABB
  • You will also need to meet the additional requirements below.


  • 34
  • You will also need to meet the additional requirements 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 Extended Certificate plus 2 A levels: AA plus Merit or AB plus Distinction
    • BTEC Level 3 Diploma plus 1 A level: DD plus grade B or DM plus grade A
    • BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma: DDM

    You will also need to meet the additional requirements below.

    Additional requirements for BA Film Studies:

    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.

    You will also need to meet our English Language requirements.

    International Students

    We welcome applications from students with other internationally recognised qualifications.

    Find out more about international entry requirements.

    We can make separate interview arrangements 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)

    All students who successfully complete the Warwick IFP and apply to Warwick through UCAS will receive a guaranteed offer for a related undergraduate programme (selected courses only). For Film Studies, applicants on certain streams of the Warwick IFP course are guaranteed an invite to interview, but are not guaranteed an offer.

    Find out more about standard offers and conditions for the IFP.

    Taking a gap year

    Applications for deferred entry welcomed.

    Year One

    Film and Television Analysis

    Look closely. No, closer still. Let’s watch that again.

    In this module, 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.

    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)

    The Business of Film

    In this module you will gain a historical, conceptual and practical grounding in the nature of film as a national, transnational and global industrial and economic practice. It will introduce you to a range of key issues and approaches that have shaped global film industries from the end of the Second World War through to the present day. You will explore many of the elements by which film may be understood as not just a cultural, but also a socio-economic phenomenon. These will include such themes as the evolution of international trends in film finance, production, distribution, exhibition and marketing, and the application of enduring concepts such as authorship, genre and stardom to many of these aspects.

    You will also examine matters related to political economy and film policy with weekly topics that might include: the role of government policy, funding and support; the intervention of state and cross-cultural organisations such as the British Film Institute, Channel 4, the BBC and the EU; questions of censorship and regulation; and the management of issues related to social and cultural diversity.

    Overall, the module will help you to contextualise much of the foundational teaching and learning from across your first year.

    Theories for Film Studies

    In this module you will explore theoretical models that have been taken up by scholars within Film Studies but were originally developed in other subject areas. These include English Literature, Philosophy, and Psychology. You will engage with a range of theories that offer different constructions of textuality, meaning and interpretation. You will gain knowledge of major shifts in theorisation by addressing key paradigms such as structuralism, psychoanalysis, Marxism, semiotics, deconstruction and postmodernism. You will also apply these theoretical models to specific film texts, adding a conceptual dimension to your textual analysis.

    Screen Technologies

    Cinema didn’t get to where it is today by standing still.

    There are innovations that changed cinema forever – its invention, the introduction of synchronised sound, digital imaging technology. But these events didn’t happen overnight, and nor did they happen in a vacuum.

    This module will connect an understanding of film’s technological developments with its industrial and social history. You’ll gain new perspectives upon the history of moving image media by studying key moments of transition. You’ll become familiar with important theoretical and historiographical approaches to technological change. By the end of the module you’ll have a firm grounding in technological film history and will be able to apply these new ways of thinking to the other films you encounter as you progress through your degree.

    What might you watch? 2001: A Space Odyssey (Stanley Kubrick, 1968); Sortie d’usine (Louis Lumière, 1895); The Jazz Singer (Alan Crosland, 1927), Citizen Kane (Orson Welles, 1941), Leave Her to Heaven (John M. Stahl, 1945), Lola Montès (Max Oplüls, 1955), Jurassic Park (Steven Spielberg, 1994), Festen (Thomas Vinterberg, 1998), Tangerine (Sean Baker, 2015)

    Visual Cultures

    In this module, you will explore the relationships between different types of visual media, including film, photography, video games and artwork, and develop a wider understanding of them to complement and extend that gained in the Year One film modules. You will also explore the basics of television studies, a strand that you will have the option to continue as you progress through your degree programme.

    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

    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.

    This module will introduce you to a range of world cinemas, through which you will learn about the critical, theoretical and historical frameworks for approaching and understanding the concept of ‘world cinemas’. Case studies are chosen based on staff research expertise, and in the past have included: African cinemas, Italian cinema, Brazilian cinema, 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)

    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.

    Examples of optional modules/options for current students:

    • Dissertation
    • The Practice of Film Criticism
    • British Film and Television Fiction
    • The Art of Animation
    • Postmodernism and Hollywood
    • Horror and the Gothic in Film and TV
    • Television History and Criticism
    • Postwar Japanese Cinema
    • Issues in Documentary
    • Screenwriting
    • Queer Screens
    • Film Cultures
    • Science Fiction Theory as Film
    • Film Production
    • Ecocinema
    • Film and Social Change

    Explore our modules in more detail.

    Tuition fees

    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 or study abroad will pay reduced tuition fees for their third year.

    Warwick Undergraduate Global Excellence Scholarship 2021

    We believe there should be no barrier to talent. That's why we are committed to offering a scholarship that makes it easier for gifted, ambitious international learners to pursue their academic interests at one of the UK's most prestigious universities. This new scheme will offer international fee-paying students 250 tuition fee discounts ranging from full fees to awards of £13,000 to £2,000 for the full duration of your Undergraduate degree course.

    Find out more about the Warwick Undergraduate Global Excellence Scholarship 2021

    Your career

    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

    Helping you find the right career

    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.

    "The Film and Television Department at Warwick has provided me with a nurturing and supportive context in which to pursue and excel in a subject I am truly passionate about.

    Not only is the department outstanding technically, with state of the art viewing facilities and a vast library of texts, but the lecturers are some of the leaders in their field, meaning you have the best possible experience of the films being studied.

    The small size of the department meant that it only took a few weeks for me to get to know my fellow classmates and teachers, contributing to a close-knit community.The content is both stimulating and fascinating, covering a wide range of ground, ranging from the silent cinema of the late 19th century, to the superhero blockbusters of the modern day.

    It has been an absolute pleasure to come into university every day to study a subject that I love. I would therefore recommend this course without hesitation to anyone who has a passion for film and is eager to learn more about it."


    BA Film Studies

    About the information on this page

    This information is applicable for 2021 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.