Summer School: Media, Film and Music

Join our pioneering School of Media, Film and Music this summer. Study at a university ranked in the world's top 150* and the 22nd most international university in the world**.

Media, Film and Music modules

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.

Session One 

  • British Film

    Module code: IS426

    This module provides a historical survey of British cinema as well as an introduction to critical and theoretical debates associated with national British cinema. Specifically, we cover the relationship between British cinema and British culture, history and identity. This module is ideal for students looking to further their studies and careers in Film Studies, Cinematic Arts and Film Production.

    You will examine how British cinema has represented other dimensions of identity such as class, ethnicity and sexuality.

    You will consider a range of films in order to explore how British cinema:

    • Responds to the Second World War and the decline of the British Empire
    • Reflects transformations of society associated with multiculturalism
    • Functions in a transnational or even post-national era.

    Through group discussion in seminars, you will demonstrate an understanding of the changing political and cultural context in which some representations are produced, including the change in British cinema's representation of ‘Britishness’ and how specific genres such as the crime film, and the period drama have functioned in the national and international marketplace. This module will provide you with a critical awareness of how British cinema responded to the Second World War and the decline of the British Empire.

    This module is open to all, and no prior knowledge is necessary. You will just need an open mind and an interest in historical shifts within cinema!

    Learning outcomes:

    • Demonstrate an awareness of the problems involved in constituting a ‘history’ of a British national cinema
    • Demonstrate a critical understanding of British cinema’s representations of Britishness
    • Demonstrate an understanding of the changing political and cultural context in which such representations have been produced
    • Critically analyse specific film texts in the light of these understandings.

    Teaching method: Lectures and seminars
    Assessment: 60% essay, group presentation 30%, 10% report
    Contact hours: 42 hours

  • History of Popular Music Culture

    Module code: IS427

    This module provides a historical survey of popular music; designed to give you an overview of the main developments in pop, rock, and soul music. It will explore the emergence of these key genres, the main musicians associated with them, their historical context and, crucially, some of the scholarly discourses surrounding them. As well as developing your understanding of popular music in the 20th and 21st centuries, this module encourages you to develop skills in writing, critical thinking, research, the production of content and group work.

    You will also have the opportunity to gain practical experience, working in groups to communicate your findings through the medium of podcasts, in the new music studio. The podcast will be in the style of a radio feature, and will ask students to analyse popular music, develop critical thinking and arguments about popular music informed by scholarly discourse.

    This is an introduction for students designed to give an overview of the key developments in pop, rock and soul music. It is open to all, students just need to have an open mind and an interest in popular music!

    The School of Media, Film and Music has established a Centre for Research and Performing Arts, working to foster interdisciplinary collaboration and to connect current work and thinking in the creative and performing arts. The Centre is aligned with Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts, an open space on campus for collaboration across the arts.

    Learning outcomes:

    • Analyse the discourse of popular music from a range of historical and scholarly texts
    • Describe and differentiate the main genres and styles in popular music of the 20th and 21st centuries
    • Develop arguments about popular music informed by scholarship
    • Communicate findings in the form of podcasts and essays.

    Teaching method: Lectures and workshops
    Assessment: 50% essay, 40% project, 10% report
    Contact hours: 40 hours

Session Two 

  • Digital Landscapes

    Module code: IS428

    This module will appeal to students who have an online presence and would like a deeper understanding of the digital environment; explored through the different uses of digital media, with social media platforms used as case studies. You will explore digital media through its saturation of everyday life, and learn how it re-organises cultural production and re-mediates learning environments.

    The module aims to:

    • Examine this digital environment through both practical and theoretical perspectives
    • Examine developments in new media with a particular emphasis on different uses of digital media, enabling students to make distinctions between kinds of material, genres and platforms
    • Deliver practical approach to help equip students to use digital media to understand the digital environment as media and cultural forms.

    Through practical workshops, you will explore word clouds or Google’s N-gram viewer, cover digital ethnography by researching Twitter comments and examine simple ways to track our digital selves via social networks ads and tracking software such as Ghostery. You will demonstrate the use of digital tools to enhance your study and to take a critically informed stance on existing practices, evaluating the social, cultural and political consequences of networked media technologies. The module may include a field trip to The Science Museum in London and guest lectures on digital media tools.

    The Department of Media and Film publish critical research and engage with exciting media projects, including creative writing and drawing workshops for the Brighton Digital Festival; Algorithmic Autobiographies explores writing with your digital self.

    Learning outcomes:

    • Demonstrate knowledge of underlying concepts involved in critically analysing and using digital media systems of all kinds
    • Apply sound judgements in how to treat, develop and create with digital resources and digital tools
    • Understand and differentiate between principle theories and concepts of digital media and of innovation processes in media systems
    • Demonstrate the ability to think critically and evaluate social, cultural and political consequences of networked media technologies.

    Teaching method: Lectures, seminars and workshops
    Assessment: 60% essay, 30% portfolio, 10% report
    Contact hours: 40 hours


About the School of Media, Film and Music

The School of Media, Film and Music combines rigorous critical and historical studies of media, film, music, digital and culture with opportunities for creative practice in a range of musical forms and the media of photograhy, film, radio and interactive digital imaging.

The School has a long history of pioneering research and innovation. Every member of our teaching faculty is research active, and the latest official rankings show that together we represent one of the biggest concentrations of ‘world-leading’ and ‘internationally excellent’ research in our fields in the country. This allows our students to benefit from the knowledge and expertise of those who are shaping the research agenda in their respective fields.

  • 14thin the UK for Communication and Media Studies***

  • 94%of our undergraduate students went into employment or further study within six months of graduating****

  • Top 100in the world for Media and Communications*****

Register your interest

* The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2020, ** THe Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2019, *** The Complete University Guide 2020, **** Destination of Leavers from Higher Education 2017, ***** QS Rankings 2019


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