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2010/1 Module Catalogue
Module Provider: Dance,Film & Theatre Short Name: MFC2029
Level: HE2 Module Co-ordinator: HUGHES HA Dr (Dnc Flm Thtr)
Number of credits: 20 Number of ECTS credits: 10
Module Availability
Autumn Semester
Assessment Pattern

Components of Assessment








Percentage weighting












40 per cent

















Dissertation Proposal




60 per cent













Module Overview

This module provides students with knowledge and skills to build a viable written or video research project in film studies. Although it is aimed at preparing students for their dissertation in the final year, it also develops general skills relevant for understanding film studies literature and for incorporating film viewing into a broader understanding of research in visual culture.


Module Aims

This module aims to make students aware of current debates on the scope of film studies and the kind of knowledge generated in this field of study. Techniques for using existing data and creating new knowledge will be introduced and practised with a view to formulating a research project which the student will carry out in the final year of study. The research project may culminate in a final year video project or in a written dissertation.




Learning Outcomes

At the end of this modules students will:







  • Be able to select and apply appropriate research methods in the study of audiovisual texts.





  • Be aware of the kinds of materials, useful to film studies, that are stored in archives and libraries, and online, and of issues around the preservation of the film heritage





  • Have an understanding of contemporary issues in research in film studies


  • Be able to design and carry out research interviews for various kinds of record (audiotape, video, or written record)


  • Be able to formulate and plan an independent research project as the basis of students’ final year dissertation or video project.


Module Content

The first part of the module introduces students to different kinds of research projects that can be carried out for the final year dissertation and video project. We will look at defining the project, doing a literature search to find appropriate source material, and deciding on appropriate methodologies to carry out the project.




For the written dissertation we will look at text analysis, genre analysis, and audience analysis. For the video project we will look at deciding on the appropriate mode, appropriate shooting techniques, on whether to use interviews and archive material.




Students will then present a project proposal to the whole class and answer questions in class. They will then write up a written proposal which will form the basis of the final year dissertation.




Methods of Teaching/Learning
Semester 1: weekly 2 hr seminars
Selected Texts/Journals




We will use resources available from the Bfi website







Researcher’s Guide




Approaches to Research




Megan Skinner, Research: The Essential Guide,




Cinema Legislation







The following are guides to written dissertation methods and the planning and writing process







Peter Levin (2005) Excellent Dissertations! Maidenhead, New York : Open University Press, McGraw-Hill




Gillian Rose (2007) Visual Methodologies: An Introduction to the Interpretation of Visual Materials, London : Sage




Jane Stokes (2002) How to do Media and Cultural Studies London : Sage







The following are useful for video documentary work and documentary film theory







Chapman, J. (2007) Documentary in practice : filmmakers and production choice, Cambridge : Polity.

Ruby, J. (2000) Picturing culture : explorations of film & anthropology, Chicago : University of Chicago Press
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