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.
At Royal Holloway we have a unique approach to Philosophy that looks beyond the narrow confines of the Anglo-American analytic or the European tradition of philosophy focus on both traditions, their relationship and connections between them. The result has been the creation of a truly interdisciplinary and collaborative programme that brings together academic staff from departments across the university.
With the opportunity to examine (amongst other things) the mind and consciousness, aesthetics and morals, the self and others, the range of subjects available to Philosophy students at Royal Holloway guarantees that there will be something on offer that really engages you during your time with us.
- World-leading experts in Hollywood, Bollywood, European and world cinema.
- Go beyond the norm, looking at experimental, non-narrative media.
- Learn to question concepts and critically analyse media.
- Gain a grounding in contemporary philosophy.
- Fully optional third year lets you follow your interests.
Core ModulesYear 1
Film, Television and Digital Histories
In this module you will develop an understanding of film, television and digital media history. You will look at how and where digital media intersect and converge with these moving image forms, examining media from the late 19th century through to the present. You will consider how even ‘old’ technologies were ‘new’ at some point, and analyse the relationship between technological, social and aesthetic developments in new media forms.
Critical Theory and Textual Analysis
In this module you will develop an understanding of the key debates in critical theory. You will look at 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. You will examine the relationship between the intentions of individual film and programme-makers and wider processes. You will consider films and television programmes in close detail, analysing the relationship between how something is achieved and what it means.
Introduction to Film Narrative
In this module you will develop an understanding of patterns of narrative in film, television and documentary. You will look at narrative structure, patterns and distinctions in storytelling methods and styles, the relationship between narrative and identity, and points of view. You will also examine the social and cultural context of narrative and consider adaptation, postmodern and open-ended narrative, issue-driven narrative and television drama narrative structures.
International Film 1: Contexts and Practices
In this module you will develop an understanding of the key tenets of film theory and learn to apply these to a selection of important pre- and post-war European and international films. You will look at aspects of film style, genre and national and international contexts.You will consider canonical works from a century of cinema history by filmmakers such as Joseph von Sternberg, Alfred Hitchcock and Pedro Almodovar, and examine significant examples of technique and style.
Epistemology and Metaphysics
In this module you will develop an understanding of how the ‘new philosophy’ of the seventeenth century set the modern philosophical agenda. You will look at the work of some of the most ground breaking philosophers of the period, such René Descartes and John Locke, and consider how later philosophers such as Gottfried Leibniz and David Hume took up and expanded their ideas. You will consider the fundamental questions which became central to the European Enlightenment, including those concerning knowledge and understanding and the relation between science and other human endeavours.
Introduction to European Philosophy 1: 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 epistemological, ethical and aesthetical issues their idea raise, and 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
- Media Arts Dissertation
Optional ModulesYear 1
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.
- Film Theory: Hitchcock and Point of View
- Post-Classical Hollywood
- Television Histories
- Modern European Cinema
- Contemporary Chinese Cinemas
- Exotic Cinema: Encounters with Cultural Difference
- Modernism and Avant Garde Film
- Beyond Bollywood: Indian Cinema in a Transitional Frame
In this module you will develop an understanding of the core concepts of the digital age, looking at how today's computer networks, devices and infrastructure underpin nearly all forms of aesthetic, cultural social and political life. You will consider the concepts of technicity, affective turn, digital subjectivity and extended mind, creative expression and participation in the digital era, amateur production, free software, fun and politics, self-organisation, media archaeology and sonic architectures. You will examine the systematic challenges brought about by digital change and critically interpret and analyse digital phenomena.
The Creative Industries
In this module you will develop an understanding of how creativity is constrained and enabled by the industrial logics of the creative industries. You will focus on film, television and digital media, exploring issues such as economics and financing, pitching and commissioning, policy and regulation, copyright, formats and global trade, ratings and audience measurement, branding and marketing, digital production logics, and production cultures. You will also consider a number of important industry-oriented research skills, such as interviewing, market/demographic analysis, locating and interpreting legal documents, and archival research.
- International Film 2: Readings and Representations
- Cinema in France
- Representations of Childhood and Youth in Modern German Culture
- 20th-Century Mexican Visual Arts and Film
- Constructing Identity in Contemporary Spanish Film
- Rebels, Revolution & Representation in Latin America
- Postwar Italian Cinema: the Auteur Tradition
- Contemporary British Cinema 1
- Digital Cultures
- Film Aesthetics 1: Issues of Interpretation and Evaluation
- Psychoanalysis and Cinema
- Film, Television and the Holocaust
- Media Technologies
- See This Sound - Audiovisuology
- 360º Cinema
- Political Cinema: From Eisenstein to Youtube
- The Poetics of Contemporary Television
- Contemporary British Cinema 2
- Film Aesthetics 2
- Transnationalism, Diaspora and Globalisation in Contemporary Film
- Text and Image in France: from Cubism to the Present
- Ethics and Violence: Murder, Suicide and Genocide in Literature and Film
- National Socialism and the Third Reich in German Film and Visual Culture from 1933 to the Present
- Shooting History: Dictatorship, Terror and Crime in Italian Film
- Horror Cinema in the Hispanic World
- Contemporary Mexican Cinema
- Seducing the Nation: Spanish Film 1940s to 1980s
- Modern European Philosophy 1: Husserl to Heidegger
- Modern European Philosophy 2: Critical Theory and Hermeneutics
- The Varieties of Scepticism
- The Philosophy of Religion
- Philosophy and Literature
- The Good Life in Ancient Philosophy
Teaching & assessment
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.
Required: At least five GCSE passes at grades A* to C or 9-4, including Maths and English.
A Levels: ABB
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. Read more about what we look for here.
Other UK Qualifications
International & EU requirements
English language requirements
We accept the following internationally-recognised English language qualifications:
- Pearson Test of English
- Cambridge ESOL
Your future career
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.
Fees & funding
Home and EU students tuition fee per year*: £9250
International students tuition fee per year**: £16500
Other essential costs***: £80-£500
*The tuition fee for UK and EU undergraduates is controlled by Government regulations, and for students starting a degree in the academic year 2018/19 will be £9,250 for that year, and is shown for reference purposes only. The tuition fee for UK and EU undergraduates has not yet been confirmed for students starting a degree in the academic year 2019/20.
**Fees for international students starting a degree at Royal Holloway in the academic year 2019/20 have not yet been set, and those for 2018/19 are shown for reference purposes only. Fees for international students may increase year-on-year in line with the rate of inflation. The policy at Royal Holloway is that any increases in fees will not exceed 5% for continuing students. For further information see fees and funding and our terms and 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.