Film Studies and History 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 Studies and History. 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.

The course allows you to choose from a range of core and option modules which provide a rigorous and varied foundation from which to progress to more advanced and specialised study in both of your subjects.

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.

History modules cover periods from the medieval to modern times, and ranging geographically from Britain and Western Europe to North America and Asia allowing you to select the areas you wish to specialise in.

All of our modules aim to equip you with the skills needed by the world of work including good communication and analytical skills, independent and team working, and problem solving.

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

You may also want to see what current History student Claire 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


Clearing helpline:
03301 232 277

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.

Early Medieval Europe: c500 - 1215

This module covers the history of, what was to become, Europe from the decline of the Western Roman Empire to the end of the 11th Century. It explores the religious and social history of the period, in a range of geographic locations and ethnic groups, from Scandinavia to the Eastern Mediterranean. You’ll have the opportunity to examine written sources alongside visual representations and material culture. You’ll also be advised how to find, evaluate and reference supporting material for your work; how to identify arguments and structure essays and document analyses; and how to present material orally, as well as in writing.

Twentieth Century Britain

Using a chronological and thematic approach, you'll be introduced to the major political, social, economic and cultural developments affecting British society in the 20th Century. This module falls within the ‘Communities and Welfare Research Group’ at the University and explores how Britons identified themselves with a variety of communities, relating to place, gender, class and other affiliations. It also explores the development of social policy in relation to the welfare state.

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 three options from a list which may include-

Research Skills

This module helps to equip you with the necessary tools to devise and plan your own independent research project. The module is taught through a series of workshops that support you in becoming a historical researcher in your own right. You'll have the opportunity to identify a historical research topic, locate research questions within an appropriate historiographical context and find relevant primary source material. As such, the course offers a significant underpinning for third-year dissertations and projects.

Hands on History: Voice Film and Material Culture

You'll aim to gain a practical understanding of how non-textual sources can be used to write history. You'll be encouraged to explore at least three different types of source material and look at the variety of ways the past is represented in the historical record and the contemporary world. This may involve organising an oral history project or handling the objects in a museum collection.

Holy Wars: The Age of Crusades

This module explores the Crusades to the Holy Land from the late 11th to mid-13th Centuries in the context of contemporary political, social and religious developments in Western Europe and the Middle East. You'll be directed to different accounts of the Crusades in contemporary sources from the perspective of the crusaders themselves, as well as from the point of view of the Jewish, Islamic and Byzantine peoples who were affected by the influx of Western Europeans to the Eastern Mediterranean. You'll also have the opportunity to examine crusading activities within Europe (e.g. Spain and the Baltic).

Reformation and Revolution

This module aims to introduce students, through a study of primary and secondary sources, to the political and religious history of the Tudor and Early Stuart periods in areas under the control of the English crown. It aims to lead students to an understanding of the way these developments have been debated and still have a resonance in the 21st century. This is a survey module.

Modern India: from Raj to Independence C. 1860-1950

This course is designed to introduce students to the benefits, and complexities, of studying the history of another culture and continent, and the specific issues at stake in studying a colonised society. Thus, the course will incorporate both an in-depth study of the history of India, c.1860-1950, and the historiographical debates that have characterised post-colonial studies. To do so, it will utilise both the records of British colonial rule, and Indian sources (some in translation). Special attention will be paid to regional differences and to the impossibility of treating either ‘the British’ or Indian subjects as homogeneous groups. To facilitate awareness of the complexities of colonial and post-colonial society, the course will often turn to local studies and to biographies of individuals who lived through this period of Indian history – exploring both the diversity of experience, and continuities of thought, custom and practices.

Hitler's Germany: Life and Death in the Third Reich

This module examines the history, memory and historiographical controversy surrounding the Nazi era in European History. It uses a broad range of primary and secondary source material to provide a deep historical analysis, rooted in the debates over the consent or coercion of the German population, the limits of the totalitarian model and the nature of victimhood and commemoration.

Digital Victorians

This module studies the major themes of social, political and cultural development in Victorian Britain and its Empire. It explores the key landmarks in Victorian history and asks a series of historiographical questions about the period. You’ll be introduced to the major digitized primary sources of the era and will be shown how to use digital means for research, analysis and dissemination of your historical work.

Medieval and early modern warfare in England

In this module you will explore the ways in which warfare was conducted in the late medieval and early modern periods. The focus will be principally on battles fought in England, from Hastings to Sedgemoor, viewed from an archaeological and landscape rather than a purely military historical perspective. You will have the opportunity to examine the ways in which the interaction of troops, technology, tactics and terrain influence the character and outcome of the action. You will also consider how warfare can be studied using a combination of written and physical evidence.

Digital History of Nazi Propaganda

This module provides an introduction to film history, history of Nazi Germany and digital publishing. It will examine what was specific about Nazi propaganda movies in contrast to propaganda movies of other nations during World War 2. It will cover the major topics in Nazi ideology and its implementation in Germany in the 1930s and 1940s, in which propaganda movies were crucial to streamline public opinion. The workshops will then introduce you to the Wikipedia system as a platform for the dissemination of historical scholarship, here in the form of critical reviews of Nazi propaganda movies.

Growing up in the past: oral histories of childhood and youth

This module deals with the theory and practice of oral history in relation to the history of childhood and youth. You will conduct at least one interview, and provide all the relevant ethical and archival documentation to accompany it. You will be introduced to the key problems in oral history of memory, ethics, intersubjectivity and narrative. Finally, in order to write about the experience of childhood and youth in the past, you will learn the analytical techniques which can be applied to oral history data.

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 three options from a list which may include-

History and Myth: Writing and Re-writing the Middle Ages

This module will explore aspects of medieval history in depth, focusing on contemporary narrative sources, both historical and literary, and including some consideration of related visual and material sources. You'll also engage with the post-medieval representation of the Middle Ages in both academic and popular terms.

Community and Identity in the Later Middle Ages

This module explores the construction and negotiation of community and identity in the later middle ages, through the lenses of gender and religion. In the 21st Century ‘the religious turn’ has focused attention on the need to understand these interactions, and the module encourages you to develop and explore your own case study and consider how you would share that with a wider world.

Henry's Empire

This module will consider a key era of early modern history with a strong focus on primary materials and the way in which they relate to key historiographical debates.

The Elizabethan Age

This is a specialised module which engages students, through the study of primary and secondary sources, in examining the reign of Elizabeth I (1558-1603). It aims to develop students’ understanding of key themes in the early modern era, such as gender, politics, foreign policy and religion. It also aims to look at perceptions of Elizabeth I’s reign in modern society by examining modern views of Elizabeth in writing, image and popular mediums of television and film.

The Great War: Culture and Society

The module examines the origins of the war, the military course of the conflict, its effect on domestic society and reactions to the war through literature, art and memorial architecture. The focus of the module is on the British experience, though it will consider continental European and imperial experiences too.

Britain on the Breadline

This module studies particular decades of the late 19th and 20th Centuries in order to determine the extent to which Britain experienced discontent in a period of generally improving living standards. You will have the opportunity to study Britain in the 1930s or the 1970s.

The Dark Years, 1940-1944: Collaboration, Resistance and Memory in Wartime France

This module examines the history and memory of the French experience of World War II, focusing on the German Occupation, the Vichy Regime, French collaboration, and the development of internal and external resistance. You'll have access to a broad range of primary and secondary source material to provide a cultural historical analysis, rooted in the debates over silence, truth and representation.

Mindsets, Institutions and Madness

This module aims to develop your understanding of the 18th, 19th and 20th Centuries in relation to the ‘care’ of what we would now call the mentally ill and the learning disabled. By focusing on social and political, as well as medical themes you’ll have the chance to explore both the understanding of mental ill health and learning disability, and the responses to them.

The Body and the City

This module aims to develop your understanding of the late 19th and early 20th Centuries in relation to health, medicine and the urban environment. By focusing on social and political, as well as medical, themes you’ll have the chance to explore key changes in knowledge about the regulation of the body. The primary focus is on Britain but comparative elements from other western European countries are included to put the British experience into context.

Bloodlands: Historical Geography of Interwar East Central Europe

This module will investigate East Central Europe in the period between the two World Wars. Carving states out of the remnants of the Russian, German and Austro-Hungarian Empires created much political (and, in some cases, military) turmoil over border disputes and ethnic exclaves, some of which resurfaced after the end of the Cold War. You will learn about Eastern European history in the 1920s and 1930s, theory and methods of spatial history and historical geography, maps as sources, and digital cartography for analysis and dissemination of historical geographies.

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.


This course offers the opportunity to complete a six week work placement which is an optional element of the second year of the course. Previous placement providers have included Pen and Sword Books, Oldham Evening Chronicle, Lotherton Hall, Rochdale Law Centre and a range of primary and secondary schools.

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 to go into careers such as journalism, broadcasting, publishing, business, the public services, advertising, PR and teaching*. *Source: Linked In.

Teaching and assessment

17.67% 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?

The full-time undergraduate tuition fee for 17/18 entry is £9250.

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) History MA History (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.

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.

100% of research produced by History at Huddersfield is internationally recognised, and two thirds of this is internationally excellent or world-leading; we more than doubled the amount of world-leading research we produced since the last REF. Our impact case studies scored particularly highly, being rated 20% world leading and 50% internationally excellent. - REF 2014

We extend our knowledge and understanding of History through the production of high quality work, with funding coming from the AHRC, ESRC, the Wellcome Institute, the Leverhulme Trust and other significant grant providers. As part of this process we have also invested in early career members of staff with great success.

There are currently three Research Centres in History: the Arms and Armour Research Institute, the Archaeogenetics Research Group, the Academy for British and Irish Studies. Current individual staff research projects also include: Mental Health and Learning Disabilities: Heritage and Stigma, The Anne Clifford Project and Making the Tudor Viol.

For more information, see the Research section of our website.

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