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Film and Literature

Module titleFilm and Literature
Module codeINT0054
Academic year2021/2
Module staff

Daryl Cox (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks



Number students taking module (anticipated)


Description - summary of the module content

Module description

This module is a compulsory module for students aiming to progress to Film, Literature, Drama, and Visual Culture. It introduces the skills needed to study literature and film. Using examples from the time of Shakespeare to modern Hollywood movies, you will consider how writers have used poetry, stories, plays, novels, and film to explore the rich variety of human experience. Combining elements of history, philosophy, art history, visual cultures, and language you will uncover the different levels of ‘meaning’ in a range of texts. You will see language used in new ways and practice critical and analytical skills as you learn to study literature and film in terms of form, content, and cultural context. Some of the questions this course investigates may include:

  • What is literature and film’s relationship to the culture in which it is produced?
  • Is ‘meaning’ created by the writer or the reader?
  • How have film and literature developed over time?

Module aims - intentions of the module

This module aims to provide you with a good foundation in the study of film and literature in English. We do this by:

Providing an overview of the main types of English literature (poetry, short stories, drama, and novel) from a range of different historical periods, English-speaking cultures, and writers. Using these texts we look at how language is used to create imagery, metaphor, symbolism, ambiguity, themes, mood, character, and setting and how texts are influenced by their socio-historical context.

Considering some of the most influential film movements of the Twentieth Century, among other aspects of film studies, we look at how film is an industry and an art and how directors and editors contribute to the creation of visual narratives.

All students are encouraged to think critically, reason logically, communicate clearly, and read, listen, and watch carefully. These are valuable skills, not only in the study of film and literature, but throughout the academic environment.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Demonstrate an understanding of cultural and/or historical issues that arise from the study of literature and film in relation to its historical context
  • 2. Identify, interpret, and distinguish formal and stylistic aspects of literary and film texts

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 3. Show an ability to use analytical tools and existing criticism as a framework to build a personal interpretation/response to literature and/or film
  • 4. Use appropriate discourses specific to the study of literature and film and show awareness of relevant issues in the wider context of cultural and/or intellectual history

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 5. With tutor support, take responsibility for your own learning and work independently
  • 6. Communicate effectively in a format using scholarly conventions appropriate to this discipline

Syllabus plan

Syllabus plan

Typically, this module consists of three connected strands:

  • Strand A – Literature in History – briefly introduces students to the development of literary forms from the middle ages to the early twentieth century. It considers the relationship between art and selected poetic, literary, and dramatic texts and their socio-historical context. It also introduces and practices the formal and stylistic elements, skills, and terminology required to give a close textual analysis.
  • Strand B – Directors and Spectators – introduces some influential movements in film since 1900. It also examines and practices some of the formal and stylistic terminology required to ‘read’ film through macro (e.g., genre and narrative) and micro (e.g., camera angles and editing techniques) methods. This strand may include a visit to the Bill Douglas Cinema Museum.
  • Strand C – Novels and Adaptations – combines aspects of the previous strands into the study of a novel/novels and its/their film adaptation(s).

Learning and teaching

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning & Teaching Activities90A mix of live and asynchronous sessions including lectures, seminars and group work
Guided Independent Study210Individual and group preparation for scheduled sessions; extensive self-study reading and film-viewing for discussion and written assessment


Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Response papers as response to literary passages/film sequencesWritten response length approximately 150 - 200 words1-6Group and Written
Essay1000 words1-6Group and Written

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Presentation20Individual presentation (10 minutes including examiner questions) on specific topic/text1-6Written and Oral
Essay301500 words1-6Written
Examination (online)502 essays of 800 words completed in a 24 hour period1-6Oral if requested


Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
PresentationExamination1-6As soon as possible
EssayExamination1-6As soon as possible
ExaminationExamination1-6As soon as possible

Re-assessment notes

  • Deferral – if you miss an assessment for reasons judged legitimate by the Mitigation Committee, the applicable assessment will normally be deferred. See ‘Details of reassessment’ for the form that assessment usually takes. When deferral occurs there is ordinarily no change to the overall weighting of that assessment.
  • Referral – if you have failed the module overall (i.e. a final overall module mark of less than 40%) you will be required to take a re-sit exam. Only your performance in this exam will count towards your final module grade. A grade of 40% will be awarded if the examination is passed.


Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Bordwell, D. & Thompson, K. 2010. Film Art: An Introduction, 10th Edition. New York: McGraw-Hill

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Key words search

Film, Literature

Credit value30
Module ECTS


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