Summer School: Media and Film

Immerse yourself in our photographic and video studio, production labs and facilities. Browse our Media and Film modules below, and if you're unsure what to study this summer, follow our top tips for how to choose a module.

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Browse our modules

You can see our full list of media and film modules below.

Session One 

26 June - 14 July 2023

  • The Age of Adolescence: Reading 20th Century Youth Culture

    Module code: IS407

    This module will explore representations of adolescence from the early 20th through to the early 21st century in literature, film and popular culture. We will read texts that range across history, psychology, and writings about juvenile delinquency, but our focus will be on reading novels, short stories, films and graphic novels, that represent the paradoxes of adolescence from the turn of the 20th century. This may include such works as: Back to the Future, Ghost World, Spring Breakers, The Hate U Give, and more.

    We will look at the ways in which the adolescent morphs into the teenage consumer in the 1950s in novels such as Colin MacInnes’s Absolute Beginners. We will consider the adolescent as a site of cultural fantasy and cultural fears in relation to class, race, gender, and sexuality and the adolescent’s relationship to radical politics, subculture, suburbia, and nostalgia.

    If you are interested in literary figures and novels that have pushed boundaries on the representation of adolescence, then this module is for you. This module will provide a theoretical introduction for students wishing to explore a career in film production, youth literature and education sectors. For your assessed portfolio, you can write in a combination of critical and creative ways, depending on your own preferences

    On this experiential module, we will explore how Brighton has been central for pushing boundaries and creating new waves in the medium of literature and film. We will develop a deeper understanding of the construction of the categories of the adolescent and the teenagers in literature, film and theory. This module may include a field trip to Brighton, following the trail of cult movie Quadrophenia.

    Learning outcomes:

    • Demonstrate knowledge of the history of, and an ability to evaluate, 20th-21st century fiction, film and theory
    • Develop an understanding of the construction of the categories of the adolescent and the teenager in literature, film and theory
    • Analyse literature, film, and other discourses, and to dissect rhetoric and understand meanings
    • Develop an argument from close reading and data interpretation.

    Teaching method: Fieldwork, seminars and workshops
    Assessment: 90% portfolio, 10% observation
    Contact hours: 40 hours 
    Credits: 15 Sussex Credits
    Level: 4

  • Video Games: Creative and Critical Writing

    Module code: IS403

    In recent years the gaming industry has been transformed by the addition of auteur-driven indie games to those of AAA studios with Hollywood budgets, as well as by the diversity of technology on which games can be played. We will study examples of successful imagined worlds (Zelda: Breath of the Wild), powerful storytelling (The Last of Us), literary games (Kentucky Route Zero), indie games (Braid), micro-Indies (Problem Attic) and classic adventure games (Monkey Island), amongst others.

    We will explore the possibilities of play, world-building, narrative, character-design, game mechanics, and game dynamics. Technical understanding of the medium will provide us with an array of opportunities for writing and imagining video games: composing narratives and shooting-scripts; creating avatars; developing fictional worlds. We will introduce you to some game development software, though this module is not designed as a coding course. It is ideal for students looking beyond the surface of video games, wanting to engage with thoughtful critique of an emerging industry. We will reflect on the social implications of game design, taking into account discourses around gender, race and sexuality.

    A guest lecture may be offered by an industry expert.

    Learning outcomes:

    • Understand and experiment with common practices of creative writing across multiple computer/video game genres
    • Reflect critically on the social implications of game design, taking into account discourses around gender, race, and sexuality
    • Communicate the results of critical reflection in a collegial group discussion
    • Evaluate the appropriateness of different approaches to solving problems when relating the creative aspect of game design to critical reflection on the social aspects of games

    Teaching method: Workshops
    Assessment: 90% portfolio, 10% observation
    Contact hours: 40 hours 
    Credits: 15 Sussex Credits
    Level: 4

Session Two 

17 July – 4 August 2023

  • Gender and Sexual Dissidence across the Arts

    Module code: IS405

    The University of Sussex has been a pioneer in the study of gender and sexuality for over thirty years. Sussex academics Alan Sinfield and Jonathan Dollimore pioneered the first graduate course in Sexual Dissidence in the 1960s. This module stems from our world-leading Centre of Sexual Dissidence.

    Throughout this module, we will reflect on individuals and cultures that have at one time been considered (and are sometimes happy to be considered) aberrant, not “normal”. The module balances questions of identity (who we are, who we think we are, who others think we are) with questions of desire and sexual aim (who – or what – we are attracted to, if anything). This module asks you to focus on one question throughout: should we understand ourselves, and be understood in turn, as sexual and gendered identities; “straight”, “queer”, “female”, “heterosexual”, etc., or by our attachments; who we love, who we desire?

    Emphasis will be placed on works from Britain or from the British post-colonial diaspora and we will examine mediums including literature, art, and film.

    You do not need any knowledge of theories of gender and sexuality in advance, only an open mind. The module would, however, be helpful for those going on to study literature, film, media, art history, sociology, history, amongst other academic disciplines and would appeal to those interested in Gender Theory.

    The module may include a fieldtrip to the home of filmmaker, theatre practitioner, and writer Derek Jarman (1942 – 1994) at Dungeness.

    The final day of this module coincides with the start of the Brighton LGBTQ+ Pride-weekend, the most popular Gay Pride event in the UK.

    Learning outcomes:

    • Demonstrate knowledge of the history of sexual identities through readings of culture and theory, and to understand the distinction between theories of identity and theories of sexual aim
    • To reflect critically on cultural phenomena that challenge normative notions of sexual and gender identities, and that provide evidence of non-normative sexual aims
    • To communicate the results of critical reflection in a collegial group presentation
    • Develop an argument from close reading and historical context.

    Teaching method: Fieldwork, seminars and workshops
    Assessment: 90% portfolio, 10% observation
    Contact hours: 40 hours 
    Credits: 15 Sussex Credits
    Level: 4

Not sure how to choose?

Follow our top tips for choosing your modules. You can also find out about our teaching structure, assessment process and how your credits transfer back to your home institution.

Find out more.

The University of Sussex reserves the right to cancel modules due to staff availability, student demand, minimum enrolment, or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of such changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.

Which school will I study in?

Depending on the modules you choose, you'll study in either the Department of Media, Film Studies or English, which are part of the School of Media, Arts and Humanities.

Our academics are publishing books and articles, producing award-winning documentaries and films and influencing policy. 

Our students are also producing high-quality productions.

Find out more.

Contact us

If you are studying at Sussex for a summer and have questions, email

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