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Study information

Interrogating Screens

Module titleInterrogating Screens
Module codeEAF1506
Academic year2024/5
Module staff

Dr Chris Grosvenor ()

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Number students taking module (anticipated)


Module description

Interrogating Screens will introduce you to key skills in formal analysis for film and television. It offers you an essential technical tool kit for interrogating film and television form and style, considering properties of image, audio, editing, storytelling and non-narrative media modes. To do this, the module covers a wide range of big and small screen texts from different historical periods, cultures, genres and movements. By the end of the module, you will be proficient in the use of a range of tools and techniques for close formal analysis and will be able to relate this analysis outwards to an understanding of relevant cultural and industrial contexts and conditions.

Module aims - intentions of the module

The module aims to:

  • introduce you to the essential technical vocabulary for the close reading of film and television form and style;
  • teach you how to apply this vocabulary in oral and written forms in constructing original analyses and close readings of texts;
  • introduce you to a wide range of cinematic and television styles and genres from global media histories;
  • enable you to understand how particular movements and trends in film and television form relate to their particular cultural and historical contexts;
  • develop your core study skills in academic reading, writing, research and presentation;
  • develop your ability to work individually and in a team.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

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

  • 1. Demonstrate a critical appreciation of some of the dominant concepts, methods and debates informing the formal analysis of film and television.
  • 2. Analyse the form and content of particular film and television texts.
  • 3. Describe the variety of ways in which film and television texts can be compared and contrasted with one another.
  • 4. Discuss different traditions of film and television-making in different national and international contexts.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

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

  • 5. Analyse film and television texts of different periods and to relate their concerns and modes of expression to their historical context.
  • 6. Demonstrate fundamental skills in the close formal, thematic and generic analysis of different kinds of film and television texts.
  • 7. Research and evaluate relevant critical and historical materials for the study of film and television.
  • 8. At a basic level, interrelate texts and discourses specific to your own discipline with issues in the wider context of cultural and intellectual history.

ILO: Personal and key skills

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

  • 9. Through seminar and groupwork, demonstrate communication skills and work both individually and in groups.
  • 10. Through the writing of essays and other pieces of written work, demonstrate appropriate research and? bibliographic skills, construct a coherent, substantiated argument, and write clear and correct prose.
  • 11. Through research for seminars, essays, and other pieces of written work, demonstrate a proficiency in information retrieval and analysis.
  • 12. Through research, seminar discussion, group work and the writing of essays and other pieces of written work, question assumptions, distinguish between fact and opinion, and reflect critically on your own learning.

Syllabus plan

Whilst the module’s precise content may vary from year to year, it is envisaged that the syllabus will cover some or all of the following topics:


  • Cinematography
  • Mise-en-scène


  • Hearing screens


  • Approaches to editing
  • Storytelling and non-fiction modes

Within these blocks we will examine a range of case study texts from film and TV history and consider how issues such as genre, realism, modernism, experimentation, technology and industry impact on media form and style.

The module’s range of teaching methods facilitates a diverse and stimulating variety of learning opportunities, which will allow you to develop your foundational study skills in university level research and the analysis of film and television texts.  In addition to weekly lectures, which may at times also take the form of roundtable discussions between staff and/or industry experts, these include engaging with resources via workshops that will develop your individual skills in academic research and writing, participating in group sessions analysing and discussing film and television texts, and at both individual and group level, building an ongoing set of learning materials (such as sequence analyses and resources such as articles or websites) related to each week’s topic of study in an online portfolio.

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 and Teaching11Lectures (11 x 1 hour)
Scheduled Learning and Teaching22Seminars (11 x 2 hours)
Scheduled Learning and Teaching55Screenings 22 x 2.5 hours)
Scheduled Learning and Teaching 11Workshops (11 x 1 hour)
Guided Independent Study95Seminar and workshop preparation
Guided Independent Study106Research and essay writing

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Group Recorded Presentation/Video Essay8 minute Presentation/6 minute video essay1, 3-10Written and oral

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
Sequence Analysis351000 words1-2, 5, 7, 10-12Written and oral
Essay652000 words1-8, 10-12Written and oral

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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Sequence Analysis1,000 word sequence analysis1-2, 5, 7, 10-12Referral/deferral period
EssayEssay (2000 words)1-8, 10-12Referral/deferral period

Re-assessment notes

Deferral – if you miss an assessment for certificated reasons judged acceptable by the Mitigation Committee, you will normally be either deferred in the assessment or an extension may be granted. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of deferral will not be capped and will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the 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 submit a further assessment as necessary. If you are successful on referral, your overall module mark will be capped at 40%.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Indicative reading

  • Bordwell, David and Kristin Thompson. Film Art: An Introduction. London: McGraw Hill.
  • Turner, Graeme and Jinna Tay, eds. Television Studies after TV: Understanding Television in the post-boradcast era. London: Routledge, 2009.
  • Bignell, Jonathan. An Introduction to Television Studies. London: Routledge, 2013.

Indicative Film Texts:

  • The Big Sleep (Howard Hawks, US, 1946)
  • F for Fake (Orson Welles, US, 1973)
  • Man with a Movie Camera (Dziga Vertov, USSR, 1929)
  • Peeping Tom (Michael Powell, UK, 1960)
  • A Quiet Place (John Krasinski, US, 2018)
  • Rashômon(Akira Kurasawa, Japan, 1950)
  • Annihilation (Alex Garland, US, 2018)
  • The Babadook (Jennifer Kent, Australia, 2014)
  • Night of the Hunter (Charles Laughton, US, 1955)

Indicative TV Texts:

  • Blue Planet 2 (BBC, UK, 2017)
  • Cathy Come Home (Ken Loach, BBC, UK, 1966)
  • The Haunting of Hill House (Netflix, US, 2018-)
  • Penda’s Fen (Alan Clarke, BBC, UK, 1974)
  • Inside Number 9 (BBC, UK, 2014-)
  • Twin Peaks: Series 1 (ABC, US, 1990)
  • The Watchmen (HBO, US, 2019)
  • Westworld (HBO, US, 2016-present)
  • The Mandolorian (Disney+, 2019-present)
  • Lovecraft Country (HBO, US, 2020)

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Key words search

Film, television, media, analysis, film form, style, mise-en-scène, cinematography, narrative, editing, sound, narration

Credit value30
Module ECTS


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