Film Studies and Drama BA(Hons) 2017-18

This course also available for 2018-19 entry

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Jess Softley

Jess talks about her time at University


About the course

This course offers you the opportunity to combine the study of two highly compatible and significant subject areas: Film and Drama. The programme allows you to choose from a range of core and optional modules which provide a rigorous and varied foundation with which to progress to more advanced and specialised study in both subjects as part of the degree programme.

Studying film, you'll explore a diverse range of cinematic forms, from popular Hollywood to avant-garde film and from silent cinema to the moving image in a digital age. You'll also be introduced to national cinemas; individual filmmakers; adaptation; the relationship between film, literature and drama and the key roles played by screenwriting, music and performance in the production of film. There's also a chance to put theory into practice in our documentary film-making modules.

Drama combines theory and practice with opportunities to perform in front of live audiences. The focus is on helping you to develop your own individual style and supporting you to produce intelligent, thoughtful and innovative work.

You'll have the opportunity to explore practical skills such as actor training, performance making, directing, applied theatre, writing and technical theatre and including stage management.

See what current Journalism student Jess has to say about her course.

You may also want to see what current Drama student Flo has to say about her course.

Course scholarships available – up to £3000. More details.

UCAS code:

Start date:
18 / 09 / 2017


3 years full-time
4 years inc. placement year

Course type:

Full Time inc. placement year

Course content

Year 1

Core modules:

Introduction to Film

The module will enable you to develop an understanding of the key issues and concepts which inform the study of film. You will explore a broad range of filmic texts, from silent cinema to contemporary cinema. The module maps the historical and cultural significance of generic categorisation, the development of 'film language' and the various ways in which film, as an artistic and cultural form, has been categorised and critiqued. The module also introduces you to some key skills regarding the production of digital film and encourages you to integrate and implement a creative understanding of the film-making process as part of a broader exploration of film style and language. Assessment is through an essay and an analytical portfolio focusing on a particular genre.

Critical Approaches to Media and Popular Culture

This module introduces you to a number of key terms which provide crucial linchpins to the way we understand and experience popular culture. By exploring a range of relevant case studies, and the relationship between them, you will build a conceptual framework for analysing and understanding popular texts and activities. As part of this exploration, you will focus on a variety of media, such as television, radio and digital platforms, as well as considering the cultural practices which characterise popular media both in some of its historical and contemporary forms. Assessment is through an essay and a presentation.

Documentary Film-Making (1)

This module offers you the opportunity to develop your basic practical skills in film-making. You will learn the initial techniques involved in the planning, pitching, filming and editing processes of making a short documentary film to semi-professional standards. Assessment is through a storyboard, a pitch and then a five-minute documentary film with a reflective report.

Text into Performance

You’ll have the opportunity to explore the ways in which a play script can form the basis for a live theatre production through working together as a company to stage a short text. Questions of character, structure, meaning and dramaturgy can be explored through the challenge of staging the work. Assessment takes the form of the practical project and a written report or portfolio.

Models and Theories of Performance Practice 1B

This weekly workshop/lecture/seminar introduces you to a range of historical performance practices from the late-Victorian period to the present. The seminars are designed to encourage you to probe and debate the issues raised with reference to texts taken from a range of cultures and periods. Each week you will be asked to examine theatrical play texts and performances in historical context using theories of performance. You will have the opportunity to gain insight into how conceptions of character and plot converge and/or diverge over time and explore how social, political, and artistic ideas have affected theatre over time. The assessment of this module is based entirely on coursework consisting of written and presentational assignments.

Year 2

Core modules:

Film Directors and National Cinema

The module will examine the status and work of key directors and their relationship to concepts of national cinema. A diverse range of filmic examples will be explored, drawing on texts from the silent period to the present, experimental to commercial film production, and from a range of world cinemas and film movements. The module will also map and critique a number of theoretical, aesthetic and socio-political debates such as auteurism and the politics of authorship, cinema’s varying roles in constructing ideologies of nation, the development of political filmmaking and film style, and the emergence of the ‘new auteur’ cinema. Assessment is through an essay and a presentation.

Media Sociology and Media Culture

This module offers a broad consideration of the economic, cultural and social role of the media and their content in contemporary consumer society. It will examine key theoretical approaches to the study of mediated culture. Attention will be given to the concept of ideology and its application, the growth of cultural studies as a sub-discipline, the manner in which power circulates, and the ‘cultural shift’ from modernism to post-modernism and post-digitalism. By the end of the module you will be able to identify and apply core critical theories to a range of media and cultural texts. Assessment is through an essay and a portfolio of analytical work.

Documentary Film-Making (2)

Building on Documentary Film-making (1), this module offers you the opportunity to advance your developed practical skills in film-making. You will learn the advanced techniques involved in the planning, pitching, filming and editing processes of making a short documentary film to professional standards. Assessment is through a storyboard, a pitch, and then a 10-minute documentary film along with a reflective report.

Option modules:

Choose one from a list which may include-

Theatre and Performance Making

You’ll be asked to choose from a range of production projects, each offering the opportunity to specialise in a different aspect of theatre, drama or performance. Each project will culminate in a live public production or equivalent event; for example, a performance of an existing playtext, or a devised physical theatre piece or a series of theatre-in-education workshops delivered in schools. Assessment takes the form of the practical project and a written report or portfolio.

Specialist Practice

You’ll be asked to choose to undertake a training project in one of a range of theatre skill areas, such as directing, performing, writing for performance, technical theatre, or workshop facilitation. A programme of training will help to prepare you to undertake an independent project which demonstrates your skills and understandings. The assessment of this module is based entirely on a skills presentation and a practical project.

Plus one from a list which may include-

Models and Theories of Performance Practice 2a

This module focuses on the analytical study of contemporary performance practices. Through a series of workshops, lectures and seminars, you will be encouraged to use particular critical concepts to analyse and critique the work of a range of innovative theatre practitioners, including companies, directors, writers and performers. The assessment of this module is based entirely on coursework consisting of written and presentational assignments. Practitioners previously studied include Marina Abramović Forced Entertainment, Nicola Canavan, Ariane Mnouchkine, Tim Crouch, IOU Theatre, Mojisola Adebayo, Orlan, Split Britches, Augusto Boal and the Wooster Group.

Models and Theories of Performance Practice 2b

This module concentrates on the uses of theatre. You will have the opportunity to explore new practical and theoretical material including a range of Applied Theatre practice and ideology, introduced through lecture-workshops. You’ll then be encouraged to go on to develop researched case studies of contemporary practitioners and practices, concentrating on the uses of Drama, Theatre and Performance. You are encouraged to develop knowledge of practitioners and practices that sit outside of mainstream theatre and performance culture. The assessment of this module is based entirely on coursework consisting of written and presentational assignments.

Year 3 - optional placement or study abroad year

Placement Year

The placement will relate to your course of study and/or desired career It will provide opportunities for the development of a range of personal, interpersonal and professional skills, dependent upon the nature of the working environment and whether the student is working as an individual or within a team. You will be expected to identify a suitable placement for yourselves but will be assisted by the Module Tutor and the Employer Engagement Administrator. It is expected that you will undertake formal recruitment and selection procedures and will be required to prepare a Curriculum Vitae, write cover letters, attend assessment centres and interviews as necessary.


Final Year

Core modules:

Post Classical Cinema

This module explores the industrial, aesthetic and cultural role of cinema from 1970 to the present. The focus is both textual and contextual and key films, drawn from a variety of different American and international film movements, are analysed and situated within the historical, critical, political and institutional contexts in which they were produced. The module explores post-classical Hollywood cinema and its alternatives and the variable relationships that exist between the mainstream and independent film production. Central to the module is an examination of the politics of contemporary film-making and the post-classical film text. Assessment is through two analytical pieces of written work.

Dissertation / Research Project

You will produce an extended piece of individual work based on research into a particular topic of your choice associated with journalism, media or popular culture. The dissertation will be supervised by a member of academic staff, who will act as the dissertation tutor. There will be a regular schedule of supervision and you will be expected to submit evidence of your progress at regular intervals. You'll be assessed on your final 8,000 word dissertation.

Option modules:

Choose one from a list which may include-

Process and Performance Project

The aim of this module is to allow you to engage in depth with a single staff directed process and performance. You will be expected to feed into your work the most relevant areas of skill and knowledge which you have gained elsewhere on your course. In preparing and rehearsing for one or more performances, you will be expected to practise, to extend, to contextualise and to develop the physical, creative, intellectual and practical skills necessary. Assessment takes the form of an individual contribution to a final performance event or other presentation and an individual portfolio.

Practice Analysis: Final Year Project

The Final Year Project is an opportunity to demonstrate practical skills in a significant theatre or performance role. Building on skills developed through earlier study, you will be able to negotiate a practical project that may focus on performing, directing, applied theatre practice, writing or technical and production skills. With input from a supervisor, you will then be asked to work largely independently to deliver the agreed project. Many of the practical projects appear in the Department’s annual Festival. Research and critical reflection on the practice is also developed in the module, which is assessed through a creative practical presentation and a written portfolio.

Critical Context: Dissertation

In this module, you’ll be asked to carry out an extended piece of independent research, and write a 7,000 word thesis. In keeping with traditional academic practice, you’ll then be asked to defend the thesis in an oral examination. The thesis and oral form the assessment for this module.

Plus one from a list which may include-

Critical Context: Perspectives on Contemporary Drama, Theatre and Performance

This is a lecture and seminar series which presents you with a range of critical perspectives on examples of contemporary drama, theatre and performance. You’ll be encouraged to develop research in two areas of interest and assessment is based on coursework.

Practice and Research 3

This module takes the form of a Working Party research process in which you’ll have the opportunity to individually research a particular focussed topic and then collectively design and deliver your research in a group panel session within a student organised conference. Research methodologies can include practice-as-research – using studio-based or fieldwork explorations. You’ll be asked to present the results of the research in a group symposium, and will be assessed entirely on the writing of an abstract, a research summary or provocation, and on your contribution to the curatorship of the symposium.

Important information

We will always try to deliver your course as described on this web page. However, sometimes we may have to make changes as set out below.

We review all optional modules each year and change them to reflect the expertise of our staff, current trends in research and as a result of student feedback. We will always ensure that you have a range of options to choose from and we will let students know in good time the options available for them to choose for the following year.

We will only change core modules for a course if it is necessary for us to do so, for example to maintain course accreditation. We will let you know about any such changes as soon as possible, usually before you begin the relevant academic year.

Sometimes we have to make changes to other aspects of a course or how it is delivered. We only make these changes if they are for reasons outside of our control, or where they are for our students’ benefit. Again, we will let you know about any such changes as soon as possible, usually before the relevant academic year. Our regulations set out our procedure which we will follow when we need to make any such changes.

When you enrol as a student of the University, your study and time with us will be governed by a framework of regulations, policies and procedures, which form the basis of your agreement with us. These include regulations regarding the assessment of your course, academic integrity, your conduct (including attendance) and disciplinary procedure, fees and finance and compliance with visa requirements (where relevant). It is important that you familiarise yourself with these as you will be asked to agree to abide by them when you join us as a student. You will find a guide to the key terms here, where you will also find links to the full text of each of the regulations, policies and procedures referred to.

The Higher Education Funding Council for England is the principal regulator for the University.

Career opportunities

93% of graduates from courses in this subject area go on to work and/or further study within six months of graduating. This course aims to help you to develop the skills needed for roles in journalism, broadcasting, publishing, business, the public services, advertising, PR and teaching*. *Source: Linked In

Teaching and assessment

18.67% of the study time on this course is spent in lectures, seminars workshops etc. You'll be taught by experienced teachers and researchers. Your progress will be assessed using essays, examinations, individual projects, group projects, presentations, practical production, and dissertation or extended project in the final year of study.

Your module specification/course handbook will provide full details of the assessment criteria applying to your course.

Feedback (either written and/or verbal) is normally provided on all coursework submissions within three term time weeks – unless the submission was made towards the end of the session in which case feedback would be available on request after the formal publication of results.Feedback on exam performance/final coursework is available on request after the publication of results.

Huddersfield is the only University where 100% of the teaching staff are Fellows of the Higher Education Academy.*

*permanent staff, after probation: some recently appointed colleagues will only obtain recognition in the months after their arrival in Huddersfield, once they have started teaching.


Our teaching and library services are modern and regularly updated with the resources that you'll need. Film screenings and seminars are due to take place in the School's brand new Oastler Building, opening in January 2017. You'll have access to a wide range of film and literature texts as well as critical material, journals and online sources, while our award-winning Computing and Library Services offer a well-resourced, comfortable space to study.

Studying film, you can benefit from the contemporary facilities housed in the Journalism and Media Building, including the latest professional video cameras and 60 video editing suites equipped with AVID for our documentary film-making modules.

How much will it cost me?

In 2017/18, the tuition fee for UK and EU students at the University of Huddersfield will be £9,250.

Tuition fees will cover the cost of your study at the University as well as charges for registration, tuition, supervision and examinations. For more information about funding, fees and finance for UK/EU students, including what your tuition fee covers, please see Fees and Finance. Please note that tuition fees for subsequent years of study may rise in line with inflation (RPI-X).

If you are an international student coming to study at the University of Huddersfield, please visit the International Fees and Finance pages for full details of tuition fees and support available.

Please email the Student Finance Office or call 01484 472210 for more information about fees and finance.

Course scholarships available – up to £3000. More details.

If you decide to apply for a course that includes a work placement, a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check may be required to enable you to undertake that placement in settings with children (e.g. within a School). Should the organisation you are going to be working in require one to be undertaken, the School will support you to apply for a check. Please note that there is a charge for the DBS check which is approximately £44.

Further study

Progression to a postgraduate course is dependent on successful completion of your undergraduate studies, there may also be minimum qualification requirements such as a first class or higher second (2.1) degree. Please check the course details to confirm this.

You may be interested in studying: Communication Cultural & Media Studies (MA by Research)


If you're an international student (including EU) you can check if you meet our entry requirements (both academic and English language) by visiting our country pages.

If you do not meet the entry requirements you can consider completing a degree preparation programme (if you are from a country outside of the EU) at the University's International Study Centre (ISC). You can call the ISC on +44 (0) 1273 339333 to discuss your options. You can also complete the online application form or to ask a question please fill in the enquiry form and talk to one of our multi-lingual Student Enrolment Advisers.

If your English language is not at the required level (IELTS 6.5 overall), we have a range of Pre-Sessional English programmes that you can enrol on before starting your degree course. You will not need to take an IELTS test after completing one of our Pre-Sessional English programmes.

How to apply

Research community

Media are changing at a rapid rate as we are moving from the era of mass communication shaped by newspapers, radio, television and cinema to the digital age of media convergence and networked societies. Our research in Journalism and Media at the University of Huddersfield is dedicated to the questions of central importance to any student of Journalism, Media and Film: How are media and popular culture including sport and music changing in the face of the rise of digital media? How does this change impact on how media are produced, distributed and consumed? What are the skills that are required as journalist, media worker and those in other industry sectors who work with and through digital media? How will changing user experiences and the rise of ‘prosumers' transform production practices and business models in the media? And what does this change tell us about why media mean so much to so many?

Journalism and Media at the University of Huddersfield is home to one of Europe's leading centres for the study of participatory culture, fans and popular media. The Centre for Participatory Culture brings together preeminent researchers in the field who have explored as diverse topics as animation film and branding, the reception of Disney's Star Wars sequels, football in the digital age, music festivals and music tourism, science fiction fandom, Regional Reality TV Drama, popular culture, identity and globalisation, digital media and political participation, and textual value in convergence media. Alongside studies of media use, our research also explores how the production of media and culture is changing through studies of journalistic practice, media industries and media representations.

Drama research focuses on practical explorations and developing innovative ways of teaching and training. Our academic staff and postgraduate researchers conduct research around areas of actor training, psycho-physicality, ensemble, creativity and improvisation. Other areas of interest include performance magic, theatre and learning disability, new writing forms and contemporary political theatre. There are currently two research groups in Drama, the Centre for Psychophysical Performance Research and the Magic Research Group.

For more information, please refer to our website.

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