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Unit information: British Cinema and Television in 2021/22

Unit name British Cinema and Television
Unit code FATV20001
Credit points 20
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Samuel
Open unit status Not open

FATV10002 Close-up on Film



School/department Department of Film and Television
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description including Unit Aims

This unit examines the history, constraints and characteristics of British cinema and television since the early twentieth century. Key areas to be studied include issues such as gender relations and social issues; film/TV stars and performance; popular genres including heritage, comedy and gangster films; television drama and its hybrid forms; indigenous and exportable qualities of British film and television; audiences; distribution, exhibition and public service broadcasting; relations between the film and television industries and the impact of new media in contemporary global contexts. As part of this unit, students create a short film that develops out of and engages with these issues.

Unit aims:

  • To understand and evaluate major debates, themes and problems in British cinema and television;
  • To closely analyse a range of films and television programmes from different periods, styles and genres;
  • To engage in research-based investigation of appropriate primary and secondary material;
  • To produce a short film which develops out of and engages with issues related to British cinema and television.

Intended Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

(1) respond to major debates, themes and problems in British cinema and television, in relation to the past and to contemporary trends;

(2) evaluate different interpretations of British films and television programmes and their contexts of production, distribution and reception;

(3) analyse and write about films and television programmes at a detailed level;

(4) engage with and make critical use of primary and secondary sources;

(5) work within the disciplines of production and project processes, working to deadlines and within set production limits;

Teaching Information

Weekly 2-hour seminar/workshop + weekly 3-hour screening/workshop, production tutorials (within workshop sessions) and practical work (both independent and partially supervised)

Assessment Information

2500-word essay (50%) ILO (1-4)

4-6 minute film engaging with the historical and critical work encountered on the unit (50%) ILO 1, 5

Films can be made either individually or in groups, at the unit convenor’s discretion and within a defined range (i.e. individual projects and small groups, or larger groups and no individual projects). The required length of the film will vary, depending on the number of students involved and the specific nature of the project. Films made in groups will be awarded a single grade.


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. FATV20001).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.