Art History and Film Studies BA

Film Studies

Key information

Duration:
3 years full time
Typical A-level offer:
AAB-ABB
UCAS code:
VP33
Start date:
September 2018

Bring your passion for visual culture to life with our Art History and Film Studies BA.

From day one, you engage with art in all its forms – making the most of Sussex's on-campus facilities including the Art History Lab and the Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts.

You learn to analyse and find meaning in images, gaining skills in critical analysis and communication.

You can also expand your experiences and practical skills at Sussex by getting involved with the University’s TV station or by volunteering at one of Brighton’s arts festivals, for example.

The trip to Rome felt like a once-in-a-lifetime moment. When else would I have the opportunity to travel with such like-minded people who share my passion for art.Violeta Marcenkova
Art History and Film Studies BA

Entry requirements

A-level

Typical offer

AAB-ABB

GCSEs

You should have a broad range of GCSEs (A*-C), including good grades in relevant subjects.

Other UK qualifications

Access to HE Diploma

Typical offer

Pass the Access to HE Diploma with 45 level 3 credits at Merit or above, including 24 at Distinction.

Subjects

The Access to HE Diploma should be in the humanities or social sciences.

International Baccalaureate

Typical offer

32 points overall from the full IB Diploma.

Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma (formerly BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma)

Typical offer

DDD

GCSEs

You should have a broad range of GCSEs (A*-C), including good grades in relevant subjects.

Scottish Highers

Typical offer

AABBB

Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced

Typical offer

Grade B and AB in two A-levels.

GCSEs

You should have a broad range of GCSEs (A*-C), including good grades in relevant subjects.

International baccalaureate

Typical offer

32 points overall from the full IB Diploma.

European baccalaureate

Typical offer

Overall result of at least 77%

Other international qualifications

Australia

Typical offer

Relevant state (Year 12) High School Certificate, and over 85% in the ATAR or UAI/TER/ENTER. Or a Queensland OP of 5 or below.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Austria

Typical offer

Reifeprüfung or Matura with an overall result of 2.2 or better for first-year entry. A result of 2.5 or better would be considered for Foundation Year entry.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Belgium

Typical offer

Certificat d'Enseignement Secondaire Supérieur (CESS) or Diploma van Hoger Secundair Onderwijs with a good overall average. 

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Bulgaria

Typical offer

Diploma za Sredno Obrazovanie with excellent final-year scores (normally 5.5 overall with 6 in key subjects).

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Canada

Typical offer

High School Graduation Diploma. Specific requirements vary between provinces.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

China

Typical offer

We usually do not accept Senior High School Graduation for direct entry to our undergraduate courses. However, we do consider applicants who have studied 1 or more years of Higher Education in China at a recognised degree awarding institution or who are following a recognised International Foundation Year.

If you are interested in applying for a business related course which requires an academic ability in Mathematics, you will normally also need a grade B in Mathematics from the Huikao or a score of 90 in Mathematics from the Gaokao.

Applicants who have the Senior High School Graduation may be eligible to apply to our International Foundation Year, which if you complete successfully you can progress on to a relevant undergraduate course at Sussex. You can find more information about the qualifications which are accepted by our International Study Centre at  http://isc.sussex.ac.uk/entry-requirements/international-foundation-year .

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Croatia

Typical offer

Maturatna Svjedodžba with an overall score of at least 4-5 depending on your degree choice.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Cyprus

Typical offer

Apolytirion of Lykeion with an overall average of at least 18 or 19/20 will be considered for first-year entry.

A score of 15/20 in the Apolytirion would be suitable for Foundation Year entry. Find out more about Foundation Years.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Czech Republic

Typical offer

Maturita with a good overall average.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Denmark

Typical offer

Højere Forberedelseseksamen (HF) or studentereksamen with an overall average of at least 7 on the new grading scale.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Finland

Typical offer

Finnish Ylioppilastutkinto with an overall average result in the final matriculation examinations of at least 6.0.

France

Typical offer

French Baccalauréat with an overall final result of at least 13/20.

Germany

Typical offer

German Abitur with an overall result of 2.0 or better.

Greece

Typical offer

Apolytirion with an overall average of at least 18 or 19/20 will be considered for first-year entry.

A score of 15/20 in the Apolytirion would be suitable for Foundation Year entry. Find out more about Foundation Years.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Hong Kong

Typical offer

Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE) with grades of 5, 4, 4 from three subjects including two electives. 

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Hungary

Typical offer

Erettsegi/Matura with a good average.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

India

Typical offer

Standard XII results from Central and Metro Boards with an overall average of 75-80%. 

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Iran

Typical offer

High School Diploma and Pre-University Certificate.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Ireland

Typical offer

Irish Leaving Certificate (Higher Level) at H1,H2,H2,H3,H3.

Israel

Typical offer

Bagrut, with at least 8/10 in at least six subjects, including one five-unit subject.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Italy

Typical offer

Italian Diploma di Maturità or Diploma Pass di Esame di Stato with a Final Diploma mark of at least 81/100.

Japan

Typical offer

Upper Secondary Leaving Certificate is suitable for entry to our Foundation Years. Find out more about Foundation Years.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Latvia

Typical offer

Atestats par Visparejo videjo Izglitibu with very good grades in state exams.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Lithuania

Typical offer

Brandos Atestatas including scores of 80-90% in at least three state examinations (other than English).

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Luxembourg

Typical offer

Diplôme de Fin d'Etudes Secondaires.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Malaysia

Typical offer

Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM). As well as various two or three-year college or polytechnic certificates and diplomas.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Netherlands

Typical offer

Voorereidend Wetenschappelijk Onderwijs (VWO), normally with an average of at least 7.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Nigeria

Typical offer

You are expected to have one of the following:

  • Higher National Diploma
  • One year at a recognised Nigerian University
  • Professional Diploma (Part IV) from the Institute of Medical Laboratory Technology of Nigeria
  • Advanced Diploma

You must also have a score of C6 or above in WAEC/SSC English.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Norway

Typical offer

Norwegian Vitnemal Fra Den Videregaende Skole - Pass with an overall average of at least 4.

Pakistan

Typical offer

Bachelor (Pass) degree in arts, commerce or science.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Poland

Typical offer

Matura with three extended-level written examinations, normally scored within the 7th stanine.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Portugal

Typical offer

Diploma de Ensino Secundario normally with an overall mark of at least 16/20. 

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Romania

Typical offer

Diploma de Bacalaureat with an overall average of 8.5-9.5 depending on your degree choice.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Singapore

Typical offer

A-levels, as well as certain certificates and diplomas.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Slovakia

Typical offer

Maturitna Skuska or Maturita with honours, normally including scores of 1 in at least three subjects.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Slovenia

Typical offer

Secondary School Leaving Diploma or Matura with at least 23 points overall.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

South Africa

Typical offer

National Senior Certificate with very good grades. 

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Spain

Typical offer

Spanish Título de Bachillerato (LOGSE) with an overall average result of at least 8.0.

Sri Lanka

Typical offer

Sri Lankan A-levels.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Sweden

Typical offer

Fullstandigt Slutbetyg with good grades.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Switzerland

Typical offer

Federal Maturity Certificate.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Turkey

Typical offer

Devlet Lise Diplomasi or Lise Bitirme is normally only suitable for Foundation Years, but very strong applicants may be considered for first year entry. Find out more about Foundation Years.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

USA

Typical offer

We look at your full profile taking into account everything you are studying. You must have your high school graduation diploma and we will be interested in your Grade 12 GPA. However, we will also want to see evidence of the external tests you have taken. Each application is looked at individually, but you should normally have one or two of the following:

  • APs (where we would expect at least three subject with 4/5 in each)
  • SAT Reasoning Tests (normally with a combined score of 1300) or ACT grades
  • and/or SAT Subject Tests (where generally we expect you to have scores of 600 or higher). 

We would normally require APs or SAT Subject Tests in areas relevant to your chosen degree course.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

My country is not listed

If your qualifications aren’t listed or you have a question about entry requirements, email ug.enquiries@sussex.ac.uk.

English language requirements

IELTS (Academic)

6.5 overall, including at least 6.0 in each component

IELTS scores are valid for two years from the test date. Your score must be valid when you begin your Sussex course. You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test.

If you are applying for degree-level study we can consider your IELTS test from any test centre, but if you require a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) for an English language or pre-sessional English course (not combined with a degree) the test must be taken at a UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI)-approved IELTS test centre.

Find out more about IELTS.

Other English language requirements

Proficiency tests

Cambridge Advanced Certificate in English (CAE)

For tests taken before January 2015: Grade B or above

For tests taken after January 2015: 176 overall, including at least 169 in each skill

We would normally expect the CAE test to have been taken within two years before the start of your course.

You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test. Find out more about Cambridge English: Advanced.

Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE)

For tests taken before January 2015: grade C or above

For tests taken after January 2015: 176 overall, including at least 169 in each skill

We would normally expect the CPE test to have been taken within two years before the start of your course.

You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test. Find out more about Cambridge English: Proficiency.

Pearson (PTE Academic)

62 overall, including at least 56 in all four skills.

PTE (Academic) scores are valid for two years from the test date. Your score must be valid when you begin your Sussex course. You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test. Find out more about Pearson (PTE Academic).

TOEFL (iBT)

88 overall, including at least 20 in Listening, 19 in Reading, 21 in Speaking, 23 in Writing.

TOEFL (iBT) scores are valid for two years from the test date. Your score must be valid when you begin your Sussex course. You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test. Find out more about TOEFL (iBT).

The TOEFL Institution Code for the University of Sussex is 9166.

English language qualifications

AS/A-level (GCE)

Grade C or above in English Language.

Hong Kong Advanced Level Examination (HKALE)/ AS or A Level: grade C or above in Use of English

French Baccalaureat

A score of 12 or above in English.

GCE O-level

Grade C or above in English.

Brunei/Cambridge GCE O-level in English: grades 1-6.

Singapore/Cambridge GCE O-level in English: grades 1-6.

GCSE or IGCSE

Grade C or above in English as a First Language.

Grade B or above in English as a Second Language

German Abitur

A score of 12 or above in English.

Ghana Senior Secondary School Certificate

If awarded before 1993: grades 1-6 in English language.

If awarded between 1993 and 2005: grades A-D in English language.

Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE)

 Level 4, including at least 3 in each component in English Language.

Indian School Certificate (Standard XII)

The Indian School Certificate is accepted at the grades below when awarded by the following examination boards:

Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) – English Core only: 70%

Council for Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) - English: 70% 

International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB)

English A or English B at grade 5 or above.

Malaysian Certificate of Education (SPM) 119/GCE O-level

If taken before the end of 2008: grades 1-5 in English Language.

If taken from 2009 onwards: grade C or above in English Language.

The qualification must be jointly awarded by the University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate (UCLES).

West African Senior School Certificate

Grades 1-6 in English language when awarded by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) or the National Examinations Council (NECO).

Country exceptions

Select to see the list of exempt English-speaking countries

If you are a national of one of the countries below, or if you have recently completed a qualification equivalent to a UK Bachelors degree or higher in one of these countries, you will normally meet our English requirements. Note that qualifications obtained by distance learning or awarded by studying outside these countries cannot be accepted for English language purposes.

You will normally be expected to have completed the qualification within two years before starting your course at Sussex. If the qualification was obtained earlier than this we would expect you to be able to demonstrate that you have maintained a good level of English, for example by living in an English-speaking country or working in an occupation that required you to use English regularly and to a high level.

Please note that this list is determined by the UK’s Home Office, not by the University of Sussex.

List of exempt countries

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Australia
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Canada**
  • Dominica
  • Grenada
  • Guyana
  • Ireland
  • Jamaica
  • New Zealand
  • St Kitts and Nevis
  • St Lucia
  • St Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • United Kingdom
  • USA

** Canada: you must be a national of Canada; other nationals not on this list who have a degree from a Canadian institution will not normally be exempt from needing to provide evidence of English.

Admissions information for applicants

Transfers into Year 2

No

If your qualifications aren’t listed or you have a question about entry requirements, email ug.enquiries@sussex.ac.uk.

Why choose this course?

  • 93% for overall satisfaction in Art History (National Student Survey 2016).
  • 91% of our Art History students, of those available, were in work or further study six months after graduating (Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education Survey 2015).
  • Access to dedicated media laboratories, film and sound studios, and an in-house DVD library of over 5,000 films and TV programmes.

Course information

How will I study?

You learn through a combination of lectures, seminars, work on site and film screenings.

You are introduced to the histories of art – from the classical to the contemporary – and to the study of art on site, taking advantage of the numerous galleries and museums in Brighton and the South East.

You also learn key critical approaches to cinema. This includes the use of the video essay as a tool of audio-visual analysis.

Modules

These are the modules running in the academic year 2017. Modules running in 2018 may be subject to change.

Core modules


Customise your course

Our courses are designed to broaden your horizons and give you the skills and experience necessary to have the sort of career that has an impact.

Gain programming skills and apply them to areas such as digital media, business and interactive design. Find out about our Year in Computing

How will I study?

You choose to study the periods of art history that most interest you, and develop your film studies interests through a range of options. 

From feminism to postmodernism, you’re introduced to key terms and theories. On a one-week trip to Rome you learn about the city in which incredible examples of art from a range of periods sit side by side.

You study the major traditions in film theory and also explore the workings of the Hollywood industry.

Modules

These are the modules running in the academic year 2017. Modules running in 2018 may be subject to change.

Core modules

Options


Customise your course

Our courses are designed to broaden your horizons and give you the skills and experience necessary to have the sort of career that has an impact.

Gain programming skills and apply them to areas such as digital media, business and interactive design. Find out about our Year in Computing

Study abroad (optional)

Apply to study abroad – you’ll develop an international perspective and gain an edge when it comes to your career. Find out where your course could take you.

Placement (optional)

A placement is a great way to network and gain practical skills. When you leave Sussex, you’ll benefit from having the experience employers are looking for. Find out more about placements and internships.

Please note

If you’re receiving – or applying for – USA federal Direct Loan funds, you can’t transfer to the version of this program with an optional study abroad period or optional placement. Find out more about American Student Loans and Federal Student Aid

How will I study?

You can shape your year based on your interests. Art and empire, or the representation of women – you choose to study themes in art history. The thematic approach is distinct to Sussex, designed to help you forge connections between diverse ideas and materials.

You explore a film studies topic that particularly fascinates you – from Hollywood cinema to activist filmmaking.

Learning is through lectures and seminars, site visits and workshops. You also write your dissertation.

Modules

These are the modules running in the academic year 2017. Modules running in 2018 may be subject to change.

Options

Find out about studying Art History at Sussex

“The exhibition I co-curated for the Science and National Media Museums was discussed on BBC World Service, Radio 4, and in the Telegraph.” Dr Benedict BurbridgeLecturer in Art History

Fees

Fees are not yet set for entry in the academic year 2018. Note that your fees, once they’re set, may be subject to an increase on an annual basis.

The UK Government has confirmed that if you’re an EU student applying for entry in September 2018, you'll pay the same fee rate as UK students for the duration of your course, even if the UK leaves the EU before the end of your course. You'll also continue to have access to student loans and grants. Find out more on the UK Government website.

Find out about typical living costs for studying at Sussex

Scholarships

Details of our scholarships are not yet set for entry in the academic year 2018.

Careers

Graduate destinations

91% of Department of Art History students were in work or further study six months after graduation (HESA EPI, Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education Survey 2015). Recent graduates have gone on to work as:

  • creative director, Big Al’s Creative Emporium
  • exhibitions and collections assistant, Ditchling Museum
  • individual giving officer, English National Opera.

(Department of Art History careers database)

Your future career

By studying Art History and Film Studies BA at Sussex you prepare yourself for a wide range of careers, both within and outside the arts. You can work in areas such as:

  • publishing and journalism
  • museums and education
  • media and advertising.

Our graduates are intellectually agile, highly skilled communicators, and have excellent capacities in creative problem-solving, critical thinking, organisation and planning. They also understand how visual culture works – an essential skill in an image-saturated society.

Working while you study

Our Careers and Employability Centre can help you find part-time work while you study. Find out more about career development and part-time work

Film Analysis: Hollywood Narrative and Style

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 1

This module explores the diverse ways that filmmakers use key techniques of cinematic expression, such as narrative, cinematography, mise-en-scene, editing, sound, performance and special effects.

You explore how such techniques are accomplished (i.e. the creative choices available to filmmakers) but also the potential they have for generating meaning and pleasure when combined together to produce filmic texts.

The module is based around a series of reading assignments, which will be discussed in seminars along with the week's set film and extracts from other films. In particular, we examine one of the most influential and most pervasive models of cinema: the classical narrative film produced during the era of the Hollywood studio system (from approximately 1915 to 1960).

You will consider several films from this era, as well as films produced subsequently, in the light of influential propositions by David Bordwell and other film scholars regarding the systematic organisation of stylistic and narrative norms within classical Hollywood storytelling.

Issues in European Cinema B

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 1

This module explores key critical inquiries which have become central to Film Studies as a discipline (realism, national cinema, popular genres, authorship, and ‘alternative’ or experimental film styles), through an engagement with examples of European cinema from the 1920s to the early 1960s. Using a series of case studies, you will learn to situate film texts according to their historical, cultural, and social contexts, in addition to relevant theoretical debates. Topics may include: German expressionism, surrealism, Soviet montage, the ‘enhanced’ realisms of Italian and British film movements in the post-war years, the French New Wave, and popular genres in European cinema.

Stories of Art I: Shaping Art

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 1

This is a twelve-week lecture-based module that forms part of the First Year teaching for the Art History single-honours module and all joint honours modules with Art History. It provides an introductory experience of studying art history at undergraduate level.

You will be introduced to a wide range of works of visual art across time and across cultures. We will consider many different kinds of works of art – paintings, sculptures, architecture, prints, drawings, and the so-called decorative and applied arts – and acknowledge that such objects raise a wide range of questions that can be answered in many different ways. The module is based on the principle that there are multiple Stories – rather than one single Story – of Art.

Issues in Global Cinema A

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 1

Issues in Global Cinemas extends your understanding of critical issues associated with the study of film. We will introduce you to the global history of the medium from the 1950s to the present.

The module focuses on critical analysis of distinct modes of global film culture, from the emergence of "world cinema" as a category of “foreign” cinema in the 1950s to today’s global blockbusters.

We examine the ways films relate to social and political change, including struggles associated with post-colonialism. And study the ways popular modes – such as melodrama – explore the relationship between gender, national history and identity. We will also look at how films function as commodities in a global marketplace.

The module introduces you to a broad range of cinema, and we cover films from India, Brazil, Senegal, Argentina, Tunisia, Iran, China, South Korea and Australia.

Stories of Art II: Making Modernity

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 1

This is a twelve-week lecture-based module that continues from Stories of Art I in forming part of the First Year teaching for the Art History single-honours module and all joint honours modules with Art History.

On this module, you will be introduced to a wide range of works of visual art across time and across cultures. We will consider many different kinds of works of art – paintings, sculptures, architecture, prints, drawings, and the so-called decorative and applied arts – and acknowledge that such objects raise a wide range of questions that can be answered in many different ways. The module is based on the principle that there are multiple Stories – rather than one single Story – of Art.

Film Theory

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 2

Film Theory introduces you to a range of theoretical approaches that have shaped and continue to shape Film Studies as a discipline. The module is organised around topics that have been central to the theorisation of film as a technology, an industry and an experience.

You will explore and examine:

  • the ways theorists have sought to understand film’s fundamental characteristics as a medium
  • its relationship to our (real and imagined) experience of the world
  • its unique manipulation of our pleasures and desires.

We will also be evaluating key theoretical concepts by applying them to specific film texts, testing their value for critical analysis and interpretation. Students examine theoretical approaches by testing them out in a range of films from the classical and post-classical period, including The Hurricane, San Andreas, Blonde Venus, The Lady from Shanghai, Django Unchained and Spring Breakers.

Reading Art History: Critical Texts

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 2

The interrelationship between text and image is one of the critical issues in visual culture from classical antiquity to the present day. From Chinese calligraphy, which blurs the divide between painting and writing, and medieval manuscripts where pictures appear in margins of the text to contemporary advertisements that use graphics and photography, these connections have influenced our attitudes towards images and information. This module asks how objects as diverse as Chinese porcelain or a Dyson vacuum cleaner, a pair of jeans or a designer dress, acquire meaning and value, both in the past and in the present. It raises questions about materials and techniques: how things were made and what form affects how they look. This module takes one or a number of places and periods to explore the way text and image functioned in society and the different interdisciplinary approaches required to study the two together.

Art and the City

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn & Spring Teaching, Year 2

Art and the City is a twelve-week module taught in the Spring term.

The module forms part of the second year teaching for the Art History single-honours module and all joint honours modules with Art History. 

Towards the end of the Spring term, all Art History single and joint-honours students go on a compulsory study trip to a major European centre of art, usually Rome.

Art and the City is concerned with the physical and social contexts for the production and consumption of works of visual art and is built around specific geographical case studies.

Living Through Art: Art and Society in Renaissance Italy

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 2

This module examines Italian art of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, focusing particularly on its role in constructing and maintaining social relationships. It encompasses a range of Italian urban and courtly centres, exploring how distinctive regional contexts influenced the design, content and location of works of art. Investigating the networks of people involved in commissioning and creating art objects, it explores how viewers engaged with them in civic, sacred and domestic settings. The module considers the traditionally privileged 'art' of the Renaissance - painting and sculpture - in relation to luxury 'arts' - ceramics, glass, metalwork and textiles - to investigate the changing visual and material culture of Italy in this period. Finally, it addresses the term 'Renaissance', examining how this concept has been historically constructed and reinforced.

Selling yourself: 18th Century Art and Society

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 2

The Film Festival Circuit

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 3

British Cinema A

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 2

This module provides a historical survey of British cinema as well as an introduction to critical and theoretical debates associated with national cinema. Specifically, we cover the relationship between British cinema and British culture, history and identity.

 You examine how British cinema has represented other dimensions of identity such as class, ethnicity and sexuality. You consider a range of films in order to explore how British cinema:

  • responded to the Second World War and the decline of the British Empire
  • has reflected transformations of society associated with multiculturalism
  • functions in a transnational or even post-national era
  • and how specific genres such as the crime film and the period drama have functioned in the national and international marketplace.

 Films to be studied include Submarine, Brief Encounter, Fires Were Started, Black Narcissus, Performance, A Room With A View, Bend It Like Beckham and Red Road.

British Cinema B

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 2

The module begins by examining critical approaches to a history of British cinema and the dominant ways this cinema and its characteristics have been understood. We then examine British cinema from the 1920s to the contemporary era beginning with the factors which shaped it, in particular the debates about the social and cultural importance of a specific British cinema against the background of the massive influence of Hollywood, and the representations of ‘Britishness’ this produced. The later weeks of the module examine in more detail British cinema’s attempts to deal with the various forms of ‘otherness’, which it has sought both to define and to contain in the changing cultural and political climate of the post-war years and with the different ‘British cinemas’ this produced.

Chinese Cinema B

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 2

This module looks at Chinese-language film from the PRC, Hong Kong, Taiwan and beyond. Since 1949, China has been divided between two competing centres of ideological and cultural legitimation: the People’s Republic of China, and the Republic of China on Taiwan. This division, combined with the influence of Hong Kong and diaspora cultural production, means that Chinese-language cinema is an excellent case study through which to explore the limits of the ‘national cinema’ model of Film Studies.

This module does so by considering how Chinese cinemas have responded to social, political and industrial change across and between their three key sites of production, in ways that both intersect with, and often complicate, the concerns of ‘national cinema’ studies. A variety of material will be covered, both historical and contemporary, potentially touching on issues of representation, genre, form and style, and industrial and policy challenges.

Debates in Screen Documentary A

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 2

This module will introduce you to the major debates in documentary film studies, a burgeoning field within the discipline of film studies. The documentary is notoriously difficult to categorize or define, but John Grierson’s provisional definition as ‘the creative treatment of actuality’ is as good a place as any to start the investigation of this shapeshifting form.

Gaining in popularity and expanding in form well beyond its traditional televisual format, documentary studies has become an exciting area of research with a literature that is expanding exponentially. A survey of the field will include (but is not limited to) interrogations into questions of:

  • representation of reality
  • documentary authorship
  • objectivity and subjectivity
  • the essayistic and experimental modes
  • other key themes.

Movements and trends in documentary will be covered including a range of practices that have spurred heated debate, such as the mockumentary, the interactive documentary, and the incursion of documentary into the art world. Case studies from international documentary will be integrated into the module, depending on the specialism of the convenor.

Debates in Screen Documentary B

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 2

This module will introduce you to the major debates in documentary film studies, a burgeoning field within the discipline of film studies. The documentary is notoriously difficult to categorize or define, but John Grierson’s provisional definition as ‘the creative treatment of actuality’ is as good a place as any to start the investigation of this shapeshifting form.

Gaining in popularity and expanding in form well beyond its traditional televisual format, documentary studies has become an exciting area of research with a literature that is expanding exponentially. A survey of the field will include (but is not limited to) interrogations into questions of:

  • representation of reality
  • documentary authorship
  • objectivity and subjectivity
  • the essayistic and experimental modes
  • other key themes.

Movements and trends in documentary will be covered including a range of practices that have spurred heated debate, such as the mockumentary, the interactive documentary, and the incursion of documentary into the art world. Case studies from international documentary will be integrated into the module, depending on the specialism of the convenor.

French Cinema A

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 2

This module will examine a range of films produced in France from World War I to the present day. It will move between popular cinema and the art film and review a number of national styles and genres, such as the moment of the Nouvelle Vague (the New Wave) including Francois Truffaut, Jacques Rivette and Jean-Luc Godard; the lyrical social documentary of Jean Vigo; policier detective dramas such as Pepe le Moko, the musical, including Jacque Demy’s Les Parapluies de Cherbourg, and the horror film Les Diaboliques. A series of directors will be studied, including Claude Chabrol, Rene Clair, Alain Resnais, Roger Vadim, Luis Bunuel, Francois Truffaut, Jacques Rivette and Jean Luc Godard. There will be close readings of specified films, as well as an examination of them in terms of their larger social and cultural meanings.

French Cinema B

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 2

This module provides a historical, critical, and theoretical survey of developments in French cinema. It focuses on key historical issues (aesthetic, social, political) that have shaped French cinema over the last century, examining the intersections of film with French politics, culture and identities. A range of directors (possible examples: Godard, Franju, Denis) and types of film (popular genres, art cinema, avant-garde) will be studied, with films ranging from the 1920s to the present day. The module will combine close attention to textual analysis with contextual study of the period in which films were produced, and with comparative readings of critical approaches to films.

Period in Art History: Selling yourself: 18th Century Art and Society

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 2

This module considers the production of visual culture in the 18th century within its social contexts. Rather than simply looking at a list of artists, you will consider the visual arts against the backdrop of contemporary social and ideological issues: commerce and luxury, urbanization and the rise of industry, the impact of empire and colonialism.

The approach will be a thematic one, looking at topics such as the representation of labour, the image of the family, the cult of individualism, the representation of war, as well as the more conventional genres of portraiture, landscape or history painting. You will also relate the visual arts to 18th century literary culture: the rise of the novel, georgic and pastoral poetry, and developments in social philosophy.

Picasso to Kahlo: Transatlantic Dialogues

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 2

You will explore around fifty years in the history of 20th-century art, during which the exchange between European and North-American artists intensified.

Starting with the shocking art of Dada artists in New York (Marcel Duchamp, Francis Picabia, Man Ray and the Baroness Elsa von Freytag), we will go back to Paris to examine the queer enclave of American artists and critics (Romaine Brooks and Gertrude Stein). Passing via the Degenerate Art exhibition in Munich, we will return to New York and discuss the significant role of Peggy Guggenheim in supporting those artists who fled from Nazi Europe (Leonora Carrington, Salvador Dalí, Max Ernst, Joan Miró).

The module will also look at representations of African-American artists in Paris and Berlin (Josephine Baker), and the stories around the controversial murals of socialist Mexican artists in New York and Detroit (José Clemente Orozco, Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo).

Pop Life: After Modern Art

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 2

This module examines developments in western art from 1945 to the present, placing them in a variety of social and cultural contexts. It begins with Pop Art and its relation to 1950s consumerism, before charting the rise of conceptual art practices in the context of 1960s counter-culture.

It goes on to explore the emergence of postmodernism, and the challenge presented to a predominantly white, male, Eurocentric art establishment by identity politics and feminism in the 1980s. The module concludes by looking at 'relational' art practices in the 1990s and 2000s, along with the rise of the art biennial.

Statues to Saints: The Art of Late Antiquity

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 2

This module examines the world of Late Antiquity as it moves from paganism to Christianity. You will use art to explore how values and beliefs are transformed in this period and how this transition affects society on every level. You will focus on the interaction of art and ideology, and how art not only reflects the changing ideology of a society but also influences that change.

Late Antiquity is the period in which Classical Greek and Roman culture becomes moulded into a Christian model, a model on which our perceptions of the Classical world are based. The range and variety of art surviving from the period bears witness to the intricacies of the ancient world.

Victorian Visions: Art, Industry, Modernity

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 2

This module takes as its themes: artistic identities and the art market; the global relations of culture and the representation of the body and of difference. You will consider a wide range of images of modern life in paint and in print, including urban and rural spaces, domesticity, work and leisure, and explore critical interpretations of the subject.

Adaptation: Filming Fiction

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 3

This module examines film adaptations of fiction from the silent period to the present day. A diverse range of film texts will be considered, along with critical and theoretical perspectives on adaptation. You focus on film adaptations of short stories, novels, graphic novels and children's illustrated literature, including picture books. 

The adaptations themselves represent a variety of film modes, from popular mainstream cinema to experimental and avant-garde film. The module approaches adaptation as both an industrial mode of commercial exploitation and a creative mode of critical interpretation. We will consider the significance of the idea of fidelity for the reception of film adaptation.

Students examine adaptations of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, ‘The Fall of the House of Usher,’ Wuthering Heights, The Virgin Suicides, Where the Wild Things Are, Kick Ass, The Borrowers and Under the Skin.

City of Dreams: Florence 1400-1500

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 3

In Rome at the beginning of the 16th century Popes Julius II and Leo X, their courtiers and followers commissioned buildings, paintings and sculpture that politically argued the power of the Papacy and artistically sought to rival the achievements of the ancients. You will examine some of the major projects of the time, looking at the intellectual rationale for these works and their relationship to the contemporary discoveries of the fabric of the ancient city.

Film and Revolution (A)

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 3

Since the advent of film it has been harnessed in the service of political change, whether as witness, catalyst or mouthpiece.

Film has been used to document momentous historical events, celebrate or vilify them in retrospect, indoctrinate future generations and to both construct and contest the master narratives of history. Lenin recognized film as “the most important art” for revolutionary movements, and since the Russian Revolution it has remained a key component of every revolutionary struggle.

This module reviews radical and revolutionary film movements in history and through today's contemporary wave of revolutionary expression, most notably from 2011 onwards in the Middle East and North Africa.

You examine film texts and movements in relation to questions of aesthetics, ideology and political expediency. What makes a film revolutionary? What are the strategies for filming revolution in all of its aspects? What is film's role in social and political change?

Students will engage with theories, manifestos and historical writings as well as a range of powerful filmic examples from around the world.

Hollywood Industry and Imaginary

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 3

This module examines one of the world's most commercially and culturally significant media institutions. It addresses Hollywood as a set of interconnected practices, industrial and symbolic.

 The module develops points of contact between two ways of envisaging films – as commodities within a moving image economy, and as symbolic forms – by situating film texts in historical contexts. It focuses in particular on the period from the late 1960s to the present day.

 As this is a final year module, you will draw on the range of methods, skills and approaches that you have encountered in your earlier work.

 You will also develop an account of the political economy of Hollywood. You look for ways of understanding why and how films are produced, and how these commercial imperatives shape the form and nature of Hollywood movies. Hollywood will be examined as a system of publicity encompassing marketing procedures, journalistic commentary, etc. 

Of course, you’ll also look at the films themselves. Their narrative structures, systems of representation, cinematographic properties, thematic concerns and the pleasures they offer – all in the specific historical and institutional contexts of the 'heavy industry of dreams’.

Inhuman Bondage: the Image of Slavery 1750-1850

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 3

In this module, you focus on the impact of slavery and the slave trade on western visual culture - until recently, a subject little considered in art-historical scholarship.

You consider not only the iconography of slavery and the representation of enslaved Africans and slave plantations, but also how the ideologies of slavery infused the commercial society that was the context for artistic production - to what extent were art and aesthetics directly or indirectly implicated in the slave trade?

The role of visual imagery in the campaign for the abolition of the slave trade in the late 18th century is of central concern to this module.

You look at a wide variety of visual culture, not just works of 'fine' art, but also prints, textiles, applied and decorative arts, and furniture, to assess the significance of this conventionally overlooked, but important and problematic subject.

Sex and the City: The Origins of Modernism in Britain 1870-1910

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 3

In this module, you consider the techniques and materials of art produced during the late 19th and early 20th century, in addition to issues around the role of the academic system and other institutions in artistic practice.

The fundamental concern is to examine art and modernity in its context - not just the artworks themselves but the construction of a cultural discourse around art and art history.

You explore topics ranging from artistic identities and the art market to inter-cultural relations and critical interpretations of the subject.

The movements you cover may include:

  • late Pre-Raphaelitism
  • Aestheticism
  • Realism
  • Impressionism
  • Postimpressionism
  • the Symbolist movement
  • Expressionism
  • Art Nouveau.

The Order of Things: The Museum and its Objects

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 3

This module uses the expertise of a specialist from one of the national museums, who will be present as part of an academic exchange. Currently, the exchange is with the Victoria and Albert Museum, but it may include specialists from other museums in future years.

The focus of this module is on a particular body of material drawn from the collection of the museum, dating from a specific time and place. This is employed as a basis for you to study issues in museology and museum history, as well as in art history and the history of culture.

You will undertake some general reading in the history of museums and debates in museology. Further reading is provided by the specialist in the field addressed.

Viewing Women

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 3

Early work on the relation of women to film considered woman's 'to-be-looked-at-ness', examining representations of women as objects of the male gaze, constructions 'cut to the measure of [male] desire' (Laura Mulvey). You will consider the female spectator, positioned by particular film and television genres (melodrama, the 'woman's film', and soap opera). More recently, attention has shifted to women as social audiences and producers of meanings, differing from one another and constructing from texts their own meanings and pleasures. This module traces these developing and interacting strands of research, considering questions around the location of meaning, the relationship between text and context, and the usefulness of different strands of feminist research in enabling us to understand film texts and their representations and positioning of women. It considers a range of popular and feminist film texts and their viewers.

Adaptation: Filming Fiction

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 3

This module examines film adaptations of fiction from the silent period to the present day. A diverse range of film texts will be considered, along with critical and theoretical perspectives on adaptation, authorship and intertextuality.

The module focuses on film adaptations of 19th-century and 20th-century novels, short stories, picture books and graphic novels, including works by Lewis Carroll, Edgar Allan Poe, Emily Bronte, Raymond Carver, William Trevor and Maurice Sendak, and films by directors such as Roger Corman, Spike Jonze, David Cronenberg and Andrea Arnold. We will consider the significance of the idea of fidelity for the reception and theorisation of film adaptation.

The module will approach adaptation as both an industrial mode of commercial production and a creative mode of critical interpretation. Cinematic strategies deployed to reproduce literary devices will be analysed in order to think about adaptation's value for theories of medium specificity. The module will also examine the politics of crosscultural adaptation.

Album to Algorithm: Photography in Context

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 3

The module provides an interdisciplinary perspective on the place of photography in American and Western European culture from the medium's invention in the 1830s to the present. It pays particular attention to the relationship between photography as art and its applications within mass culture. We consider the different contexts in which photographs are encountered and how these affect issues of status and meaning, along with the impact of technological changes upon the production and dissemination of photographic images. We also examine how historic photographic traditions have been extended and disrupted by more recent practices.

Art and Letters: Visual Culture in its Literary Contexts

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 3

This module takes an interdisciplinary perspective on the links between visual and literary imaginations. Depending on the tutor, the module may look at any one of a variety of periods from the medieval to the 21st century. A typical module may focus on the late 19th century and the first half of the 20th century, in one of the great capitals of Modernist experimentation - London. The presence of international artists and writers such as Henry James, John Singer Sargent, Ezra Pound and Henri Gaudier-Brzeska will be examined, as well as the distinctive developments in painting and writing around the Bloomsbury Group, the Vorticists, the Camden Town Group and the London Surrealists.

Commemorative Art: Images, Monuments, Memory

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 3

In this module, you deal with a theme - commemorative art - which you explore in a variety of different contexts and over an extended period.

Your studies move freely between cultures and periods, working towards the final dissertation and the assessed presentation for this module - and responding to your own individual interests and to the availability of primary and secondary material. You're encouraged to consider the many and varied resources in these subject areas that are available in local and national collections.

In this module, you consider the relationship of monuments and memory from a number of perspectives, such as:

  • genres and hierarchies within art-historical discourse
  • the roles of mourning and commemoration within the contexts of theology and sociology
  • varied anthropological accounts.

Eastern European Cinemas: myth and memory

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 3

This module enables you to engage with key critical debates, films and historical contexts from the cinemas of Eastern Europe, in both communist and post-communist eras.

Topics of inquiry will consider interfaces between aesthetics, politics and society, and may include such topics as:

  • socialist realism, critical realism and antirealism
  • popular genres and 'new waves'
  • history, memory and narratives of war and nation
  • representations of gender, the individual, and the collective
  • the work of auteurs (e.g., Tarkovsky, Wajda and Wolf)
  • state propaganda and censorship
  • filmmaking after the collapse of communism
  • methodological implications of a retrospective and Western perspective.

In addition to exploring such issues, you will deepen your skills in independent research and higher-level contextual and textual analysis.

Film Studies Dissertation

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 3

The dissertation module allows you to work on a sustained Film Studies project of your choosing that builds on appropriate critical, theoretical or historical approaches encountered in your study of the subject.

It functions both as a summary experience, enabling you to draw together and reflect on skills and knowledge acquired earlier in the course, and as a self-directed project that allows you to focus on material you have chosen and planned.

Introductory lectures, tutorials, research workshops and peer review will guide you through the process of choosing the subject, devising research questions, and preparing and refining the proposal and dissertation.

Hollywood Comedian Comedy

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 3

Comedian-comedy has been one of the most persistent genres of popular Hollywood cinema since the silent era, but until recently it has received little serious critical attention. This module will consider a range of individual performers and the diverse historical, cinematic and extra-cinematic contexts in which they worked. Drawing upon a range of critical and theoretical paradigms, the module will examine the key fictional and extra-fictional features of the genre; the relations between performance, gags and narrative; the shifting relationships between comedy in film and other media (such as vaudeville and television); and the representation of class, gender, ethnicity and race. Films studied may include comedies featuring such performers as Charles Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Laurel and Hardy, Mae West, the Marx Brothers, Jerry Lewis, Jim Carrey and Eddie Murphy.

Sexualities and the Cinema

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 3

This module centres on the critical study of sexualities and how they are represented in a range of film texts. Through screenings, lectures, seminars and self-directed study, you will be introduced to the various ways in which sexualities have been both theorised and represented in a range of film texts.

Debates considered in the module may include:

  • the politics of sexual identification
  • the idea of sexual ‘perversity’
  • sexual stereotyping (especially of lesbians and gays)
  • and the critical concept of ‘queer’ in theory
  • identity politics and cinematic genre (queer cinema).

The Cinematic City

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 3

This module examines the multifaceted relationships between cinema and the city as they have developed over the 20th century and beyond. Since the emergence of cinema in the 1890s, the city has been a persistent onscreen presence as setting and backdrop, subject and theme. Cities have also continuously played a central role in the production, circulation and exhibition of films. Urban centres such as Paris and Berlin, New York and Los Angeles, Hong Kong and Mumbai have operated as bases for film studios and location shoots, as sites of spectatorship and consumption, and as key nodes of film culture. Moreover, the dynamic interplay between city and film has also been the subject of theoretical enquiry as far back as the 1920s, when the correlations between the modern metropolis and cinematic spectator were first analysed in depth.

On this module, you will examine these interrelated issues across a range of cinematic and theoretical texts. Paying attention to style, narrative and ideology, we will investigate how films have represented cities as both real and imaginary spaces of excitement, pleasure, creativity and revolution, as well as poverty, crime, alienation and control. With reference to specific historical and geographical contexts, we will consider how films have engaged with and participated in processes of urban growth, decline and redevelopment, and examine issues of space, politics and identity with reference to race, gender and sexuality. Throughout, you will engage with an interdisciplinary body of critical literature on cinema and the city in film studies, urban geography, architecture and visual culture and place films within analytical frameworks such as ‘modernity’ and ‘postmodernity’.

The World Encompassed: Art and Empire

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 3

This module consists of an in-depth consideration of the visual arts in relation to imperialism. It will thus pick up on Edward Said's important intervention in proposing a critical relation between 'culture and imperialism'. This module will look at the ways in which the visual arts were influenced and informed by the material processes and ideologies of empire – from imperial/colonial war to architectural settlement. It will consider not just how artists reacted, referred to and exploited empire in their work (by, for example, taking the opportunity to cultivate new markets in newly colonised territories), but how empire was represented to domestic audiences and informed visual and aesthetic dismodule.

Return to top of page