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Home > Courses > Undergraduate > Film Studies with Philosophy
More in this section Media Arts

Film Studies with Philosophy BA

UCAS code W6V5
Year of entry 2018
Course Length
3 years full time
Department Media Arts »
Politics and International Relations »

How do film and television interact with society? Do audio-visual media simply reflect the world around us, or do they help to make it what it is?  By combining Film Studies (75% of your course) with Philosophy (25%) you'll bring different and exciting approaches to the understanding of film.

Our unique 360˚ approach to cinema allows you to understand film from every angle: from stars to directors, historical origins to contemporary economics, socio-political contexts, to aesthetic achievements and from the dynamics of screenplays to the global cultures that shape production, reception and film form itself. You'll come away from the course speaking confidently about concepts and ideas, with the ability to deftly critique them, too – ideal skills for the communication industries, creative arts and beyond.

Taking this approach, you will study film and television from Hollywood and Europe, Bollywood, Asia and Latin America alongside a range of more experimental non-narrative film, television and digital media forms.

You'll get a comprehensive grounding in the history and theory of moving image media, including the opportunity to undertake courses in screenwriting.  After a grounding in the key theoretical and historical aspects of film in your first year, you can go on to explore those topics that intrigue you and capture your attention in film and television’s rich artistic, social and political traditions.

  • Work with world-leading experts in European and World cinema, and award-winning practitioners from across the media industry.
  • Join a creative, critical community that ranks in the top 10 for research quality in Media Arts (Research Excellence Framework 2014).
  • Thrive on our creative campus – we have regular industry visitors and close contact with other arts departments and student societies.

Core modules

Year 1

The core modules in Film Studies are:

Film Studies: Film, Television and Digital History

This module introduces you to film, television and digital media history with a particular emphasis on how and where digital media intersect and converge with these moving image forms. The module spans the late 19th century through to the current epoch of convergence media. You will consider how even ‘old’ technologies were ‘new’ at some point, exploring the relationship between technological, social and aesthetic developments in new media forms. This broad historical sweep provides you with a chronological knowledge to complement and contextualise the bespoke theoretical emphasis of other core modules in either Film and Television or Digital Culture.

Film Studies: Introduction to Critical Theory and Textural Analysis

This module concentrates on how we study film and television, introducing you to key debates in critical theory. Over four distinct blocks of lectures and seminars, you will gain an opportunity to explore a range of different methods in studying film, television and digital media—including artistic achievement and critical interpretation; close textual analysis; ideological analysis; national cinema and psychoanalysis. Each method asks questions about the relationship between the intentions of individual film- and programme-makers and wider processes. Across the module you will study films and television programmes in close detail, examining one a week, thinking about the relationship between how something is achieved and what it means.

Film Studies: Introduction to Narrative

This module addresses patterns of narrative across different media (film, television, documentary, digital media). A variety of approaches to the question of narrative are taken, including: narrative structure; patterns and distinctions in storytelling methods and styles; point of view; the social and cultural context of narrative; adaptation; postmodern and open-ended narrative; issue-driven narrative; television’s live and drama narrative structures; transmedia and digital media’s narrative logics.

Film Studies: International Film - Contexts and Practices

This module will introduce you to some key tenets of film theory and apply them to a selection of important pre- and post-war European and international films. It will familiarise you with the analysis of aspects of film style, genre and national and international contexts. The set films on the module will include canonical works from a century of cinema history, by filmmakers such as Joseph von Sternberg, Alfred Hitchcock and Pedro Almodovar, and significant examples of technique and style.

The core module in Philosophy is:

Epistemology and Metaphysics

In this module you will develop an understanding of some of the key problems that have preoccupied contemporary philosophers. You will look at logical questions relating to the structure of arguments, epistemological questions about the sources and limits of knowledge, and consider metaphysical questions that explore the relationship between minds, bodies, and the possibilities of human freedoms.

You will also take one from the following:

Introduction to Logic

In this module you will develop an understanding of the formal study of arguments through the two basic systems of modern logic - sentential or propositional logic and predicate logic. You will learn how to present and analyse arguments formally, and look at the implications and uses of logical analysis by considering Bertrand Russell’s formalist solution to the problem of definite descriptions. You will also examine the the broader significance of findings in logic to philosophical inquiry.

Mind and Consciousness

In this module you will develop an understanding of the relationship between the mind and the brain. You will examine the key theories, from Descartes' dualist conception of the relationship between mind and body through to Chalmers's conception of consciousness as 'the hard problem' in the philosophy of mind. You will also consider some of the famous thought experiments in this area, including Descartes's and Laplace's demons, the Chinese Room and the China Brain, Mary and the black-and-white room, and the problem of zombie and bat consciousness.

Introduction to Aesthetics and Morals

In this module you will develop an understanding of the central problems and debates within moral philosophy and aesthetics. You will look at questions relating to both metaphysical and ethical relativism, including the ways we view our moral commitments within the world, how the individual is related to society, and the value and nature of the work of art. You will also examine approaches from the history of philosophy, including the Anglo-American tradition and recent European philosophy.

Year 2

The core modules in Film Studies are:

The core modules in Philosophy are:

Introduction to European Philosophy 1 - From Kant to Hegel

In this module you will develop an understanding of the major debates in European and some Anglo-American philosophy. You will look at the key texts by eighteenth and nineteenth century philosophers Immanuel Kant and Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, examining the continuing significance of their ideas. You will consider the major espistemological, ethical and aesthetical issues their idea raise, and the the problems associated with the notion of modernity. You will also analyse the importance of the role of history in modern philosophy via Hegel's influence.

Mind and World

Year 3

All modules are optional

Optional modules

In addition to these mandatory course units there are a number of optional course units available during your degree studies. The following is a selection of optional course units that are likely to be available. Please note that although the College will keep changes to a minimum, new units may be offered or existing units may be withdrawn, for example, in response to a change in staff. Applicants will be informed if any significant changes need to be made.

Year 1

Optional modules in Film Studies include:

Year 2

Optional modules in Film Studies include:

Film Studies: Women's Cinema

Film Studies: Documentary

Film Studies: European Cinema and Culture

Film Studies: Hitchcock

Film Studies: French Cinema

Film Studies: Avant Garde

Film Studies: Hollywood Star Performances

Film Studies: Television Genre

Film Studies: Modern European Cinema

Film Studies: Post-Classical Hollywood

Film Studies: Television and Identity

Film Studies: The Cultures of Celebrity

Film Studies: US Television Fiction

Film Studies: Contemporary Chinese Cinema

Film Studies: Beyond Bollywood

Film Studies: Postwar Italian Cinema

Film Studies: International Film 2

Film Studies: Identity in Modern Spanish Film

Film Studies: Mexican Visual Arts

Year 3

Optional modules in Film Studies include:

Film Studies: Media Research Project

Film Studies: The Gothic, Gender and Sexuality

Film Studies: Television Histories

Film Studies: Film Aesthetics

Film Studies: Materials-Procedures - Paradigms-Parameters, 1960 to 1980

Film Studies: World Cinema

Film Studies: Contemporary British Cinema - Issues and Themes

Film Studies: German Cinema: From the Post-war Period to the Present

Film Studies: Cinephilia from 1915 to the Present

Film Studies: Melodrama

Media Arts: Transnational Cinemas 1 - Issues and Identities

Media Arts: Transnational Cinemas 2 - Issues and Identities

Film Studies: Film Aesthetics 1 - Issues of Interpretation and Evaluation

Film Studies: Film Aesthetics 2 - The World and Its Image

Film Studies: Psychoanalysis and Cinema

Film Studies: Cinephilia

Film Studies: Film, Television and the Holocaust

Film Studies: 360 Cinema

Film Studies: Political Cinema: From Eisenstein to YouTube

Film Studies: Media Authorship

Film Studies: Multi Media Modernism

Film Studies: Contemporary British Cinema - Issues and Themes

Film Studies: Dissertation

Optional modules in Philosophy include:

Practical Ethics
Modern French Philosophy
Major Thinker
Philosophy of Language
Modern European Philosophy 1 - Husserl to Heidegger
Modern European Philosophy 2 - Post-structuralism and its Critics
Body and Soul in Ancient Philosophy

You will be taught through a combination of lectures, seminars, small-group tutorials, screenings, practical workshops, media practice including location work, or using our purpose-built TV studio and multimedia labs, group work and guided independent research and study. Private study and preparation are essential parts of every course, and you will have access to many online resources and the University’s comprehensive e-learning facility, Moodle. When you start with us, you are assigned a Personal Tutor to support you academically and personally.

Assessment is carried out by a combination of examinations at the end of your first year, and after that, written assignments (essays, scripts or production papers), extended essays, assessed coursework, and a portfolio of practical work.

Outside the tasks and assessments required by their curriculum, students are encouraged to take full advantage of our technical facilities which are available on a 24/7 basis to create a portfolio of individual creative work.

Typical offers

Typical offers
A-levels AAB-ABB

How we assess your application:  predicted grades lower than our typical offers are considered.  Read more about what we look for here.

  • Where an applicant is taking the EPQ alongside A-levels, the EPQ will be taken into consideration and result in lower A-level grades being required.
  • Socio-economic factors which may have impacted an applicant’s education will be taken into consideration and alternative offers may be made to these applicants.
Required/preferred subjects Required:
At least five GCSE passes at grades A* to C or 9-4, including Maths and English.
Other UK Qualifications
International Baccalaureate 6,5,5 at Higher Level with a minimum of 32 points overall
BTEC Extended Diploma

Distinction*, Distinction*, Distinction in a relevant subject

BTEC National Extended Diploma Distinction, Distinction in related subject plus 1 A Level Grade A
BTEC National Extended Certificate Distinction plus A Levels Grades A,B
Welsh Baccalaureate

A non-subject specified A-Level can be replaced by the same grade in the Welsh Baccalaureate - Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate

Scottish Advanced Highers AAB-ABB
Scottish Highers

AAABB

Irish Leaving Certificate H2,H2,H3,H3,H3 at Higher Level
Access to Higher Education Diploma Pass with at least 24 level 3 credits at Distinction and the remaining level 3 credits at Merit. The Access to Higher Education Diploma is only acceptable if you have had a considerable break from education.

Other UK qualifications

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International and EU entry requirements

Please select your country from the drop-down list below

English language
requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall with 7.0 in writing and a minimum of 5.5 in each remaining subscore

For equivalencies please see here 

For more information about entry requirements for your country please visit our International pages. For international students who do not meet the direct entry requirements, we offer an International Foundation Year, run by Study Group at the Royal Holloway International Study Centre. Upon successful completion, students can progress on to selected undergraduate degree programmes at Royal Holloway, University of London.

You will not only learn a range of key transferable skills across the degree but also underpin these with a thorough grounding in the history and theory of film and TV, and understanding of the economic and power structures behind media production – invaluable for careers in creative companies who want to look ahead to future trends.

Our graduates have gone in to the film, television and digital production sector, a wide-range of jobs in the communications industries and careers in high-level research positions, such as for the House of Lords, Barclays Bank and more.

Home and EU students tuition fee per year*: £9,250

International students tuition fee per year**: £16,500

Other essential costs***: £80 to £500

How do I pay for it?  Find out more about funding options, including loans, grants, scholarships and bursaries.

*Tuition fees for UK and EU nationals starting a degree in the academic year 2017/18 will be £9,250 for that year, and is shown for reference purposes only. The tuition fee for UK and EU undergraduates starting their degrees in 2018 is controlled by Government regulations, and details are not yet known. The UK Government has also announced that EU students starting an undergraduate degree in 2018/19 will pay the same level of fee as a UK student for the duration of their degree.

**Fees for international students may increase year-on-year in line with the rate of inflation. Royal Holloway's policy is that any increases in fees will not exceed 5% for continuing students. For further information see fees and funding and our  terms & conditions.

***These estimated costs relate to studying this particular degree programme at Royal Holloway. Costs, such as accommodation, food, books and other learning materials and printing etc., have not been included.

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