BA Film Studies and Modern Languages
|Typical offer||AAB-BBB; IB: 34-30; BTEC DDD-DDM|
Studying Film and Modern Languages at the University of Exeter is a truly interdisciplinary programme, taught from a distinctly international perspective. With us you will learn about the cultural, political and social contexts in which films are made and watched around the world, from film’s earliest history through to the digital age. You will not only grasp the fundamental language skills such as reading, speaking, translating and writing, but explore the rich cultural backdrop behind your chosen language. In depth study of literature, politics, national and regional identities, film and philosophy will enhance your understanding of the language and let you draw interesting comparisons with your film studies. This four-year degree course includes a well-structured year abroad, which may be spent teaching English, on a work placement or studying at one of our renowned partner universities to further develop your language skills.
Film Studies at Exeter is ranked no. 2 in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2019, The Complete University Guide 2019 and The Guardian University Guide 2019. As a student with us, you will gain access to our Special Collections and Digital Humanities Lab as well as our unique Bill Douglas Cinema Museum, which is the largest library on the moving image in any British university.
Through weekly screenings, lectures, seminars and workshops taught by world-leading academics who are active researchers contributing to the field, you will explore film in all its guises; from Hollywood blockbusters, through art-house and transnational cinemas, and topics as diverse as gender, diaspora, surrealism, and war – you will learn about film in a way that helps you better understand the world around you, and your ability to challenge and change it.
Alongside your Film Studies, you will be on a journey towards learning a new language. Choose from one of the seven modern languages taught at Exeter: French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Chinese and Russian, all ranked in the top 10 in The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2019 and The Complete University Guide 2019. Exeter has a wealth of expertise in covering the cultures of the major European nations and China as well as those in the postcolonial nations where our core languages are spoken, particularly Latin America, Francophone and Portuguese speaking Africa.
At the end of your four-year course, you will graduate with a range of transferable skills that leave you well-positioned for roles both within the film industry and outside of it. Your new language skills will also open new career paths and set you apart from other potential candidates. Recent graduates are now working as Film Makers, Production Runners and PR Consultants for organisations such as Bath Spa University, Freemantle Media and Sugar Films and we’re proud to say that 95% of our graduates are in employment or further study six month after graduation.
The modules we outline here provide examples of what you can expect to learn on this degree course based on recent academic teaching. The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on staff availability and research interests, new topics of study, timetabling and student demand.
The Film Studies and Modern Languages degree programme is made up of compulsory (core) and optional modules, which are worth 15 or 30 credits each. Full-time undergraduate students need to complete modules worth a total of 120 credits each year.
Depending on your programme you can take up to 30 credits each year in another subject, for instance a language or business module, to develop career-related skills or just widen your intellectual horizons.
The first year gives you a foundational knowledge of film and French theory, concepts, texts, and language. You will also gain important analytical techniques that will be useful across a range of subjects and research tasks.
In the second year you will advance your grasp of film and French knowledge, methods, texts, and language through a set of compulsory modules. Optional modules enable you to develop specialist knowledge on a range of topics.
The third year is spent abroad, either on a work placement, studying at a university, or in a school working as a language assistant.
Full module descriptions
Entry requirements 2019
AAB-BBB; IB: 34-30; BTEC DDD-DDM
Dependent on your chosen language; see table below.
Selecting your chosen language when applying
When applying to a Combined Honours degree with Modern Languages you will need to indicate under ‘further details’ in the ‘choices’ section of the application the language and route you wish to study using the codes below. Please note you may choose only one language. For further information on completing your UCAS form, please visit the UCAS website.
For the Beginners' route: GCSE in a Modern Foreign Language grade B
- Grade B at A level is required in any language you intend to study from A level.
- You may only choose one language.
- Students wishing to pursue language study on the basis of a GCSE are normally classed as beginners.
- French, German, Italian, Russian, and Spanish can be studied either from A level or beginner’s level, with both cohorts reaching degree level in the final year. Portuguese and Chinese can normally only be studied from beginner’s level, not from A Level; students of these two languages reach degree level in final year.
International students should check details of our English language requirements and may be interested in our Foundation programme for Humanities, Law and Social Science.
Please read the important information about our Typical offer.
For full and up-to-date information on applying to Exeter and entry requirements, including requirements for other types of qualification, please see the Applying section.
Learning and teaching
Bill Douglas Cinema Museum
Throughout your studies, you will have access to outstanding resources, including the extensive holdings of the Bill Douglas Cinema Museum, the largest library on the moving image in any British university. Find out more.
We use a variety of learning and teaching methods, including lectures, seminars, screenings, student study groups and web and IT resources. All our modules centre the learning experience on seminars, involving groups of between 10 and 20 students, typically running for two hours. Many modules are supported by weekly 50-minute lectures. Students often prepare for seminars by involvement in student study groups, which encourage collaboration and team working.
Typical contact time with academic staff is 10 hours per week, on top of which you’re expected to attend other activities such as study groups, workshop activities and film screenings. Most of your work will be done in group and self-directed study: viewing and reading module material, writing essays or preparing material for seminar presentations. You should expect your total workload to average about 40 hours per week during term time.
We’re actively engaged in introducing new methods of learning and teaching, including increasing use of interactive computer-based approaches to learning through our virtual learning environment (ELE), where the details of all modules are stored in an easily navigable website. Students can access detailed information about modules and learning outcomes and interact through activities such as the discussion forums.
We are committed to your academic development. Through seminar work you’ll be trained in skills of critical analysis and learn to develop evidenced-based arguments. We foster your research skills through training in the use of library-based or electronic resources to research a topic. We offer detailed feedback and essays can be discussed on a one-to-one basis with the tutor who has marked them and Study Skills tutors are also available within the department to work on specific problems in written work and assessment.
As part of our commitment to Personal Development Planning (PDP), all first year students must complete the online student self-appraisal systems, designed to encourage students to reflect upon their strengths and preferences and consider their plans for academic work and employment. All students have the opportunity to discuss their current PDP with their Personal Tutor.
Research-inspired teaching ensures lectures are up-to-date and relevant and you will benefit from access to the latest thinking, equipment and resources. All staff teach second and final year options which are linked to their own interests which include areas such as film history; gender studies; issues of identity; technology and spectacle; European, East Asian and American cinema; time, space and pacing in the cinema; and acting and performance.
Exeter has unique resources which make it ideally positioned to support the study of film. The Bill Douglas Cinema Museum holds a wide-ranging collection of more than 70,000 film related artefacts and the collection is available for all students to use as a research and study resource. The diverse collection includes objects relating to the history of the moving image, such as optical toys, magic lantern slides and a Lumière cinematograph; film publicity such as posters from the Hollywood era to contemporary film; material on film stars such as Charlie Chaplin, Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn; and material on animation, particularly on Disney films. The holdings also include the papers of British producer Gavrik Losey, the director and producer Don Boyd and the producer James Mackay which include papers that relate to the work of Derek Jarman. Many of our film modules exploit these resources, giving students a highly distinctive and valuable experience of studying and researching film using primary materials, documents and artefacts.
Our Audio-Visual collection in the University library comprises over 12,000 films on DVD and video, in addition to books about and recordings of American music of all kinds. Recent investment in our learning spaces has ensured that lectures, screening and seminars take advantage of multimedia equipment.
In Film Studies you’ll be assessed by a combination of exams, essays, presentations and 'sequence analyses' (the detailed analysis of film clips).
French modules are assessed by a combination of exams and coursework (essays, dissertations, projects and other written and oral language tasks).
You must pass your first year assessment in order to progress to the second year, but the results do not count towards your degree classification. The assessments in the second year, year abroad and final year contribute to your final degree classification.
One of the major attractions of a language degree is the Year Abroad; it’s an opportunity to immerse yourself in a foreign culture and develop your language skills.
Your third year is spent abroad (apart from students taking Combined Honours with Arabic, who spend their second year in an Arabic-speaking country). If you’re studying two of our core languages you will normally spend the academic year (a minimum of seven months) in the country of the language in which you are less proficient. If you’re studying at post-A level in both languages, you may be able to spend half of the year in one country and half in the other.
For your Year Abroad (depending on the language studied), you will have the following options:
Studying at a partner university
Teaching English (on a British Council placement)
Working in other employment
Whichever you choose, we will make sure you receive advice and guidance about academic and practical matters before you leave and put in place a well-defined support network for you while you are abroad. You will be able to swap experiences with other Year Abroad students through websites and social media and to ask advice from students who were in your locality the year before.
The Year Abroad helps you develop in several key areas: language learning, employability skills and the ability to engage successfully with a foreign environment. We will help you to get the most out of your Year Abroad and provide you with a skills profile that can be used in preparing job applications.
Through the University’s Global Employability Office we have established links with many international organisations. Support is available for students keen to undertake a work placement and recent students have worked with a wide range of prestigious firms, commercial organisations and in the administrative offices of charities.
Film graduates from the University of Exeter have an excellent reputation with graduate recruiters and compete very successfully in the employment market.
A degree in Film Studies from the University of Exeter will enable you to acquire skills which are attractive to employers and relevant for a wide range of careers. You will develop an informed, critical and creative approach. Alongside strong oral and written communication skills, you will be able to manage your time and workload effectively, work well as part of a team or independently, be flexible when faced with new situations and have strong analytical skills.
Our students have progressed to a wide variety of careers, in sectors such as:
- Events Management
- TV production
- The film industry
- Sales, communications and marketing
Other recent graduates have progressed to postgraduate courses in
- MA English Literary Studies (Film pathway)
- MA Film and Media
- MA Professional Writing
The services offered by the Humanities careers and employability team are complementary to the services offered by our central Career Zone, where you can participate in practical sessions to develop your skills; access paid internships and volunteering opportunities; explore postgraduate study options; meet prospective employers; get one-to-one advice and learn how to secure the right job for you.