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Unit information: The Film Director's Vision in 2021/22

Unit name The Film Director's Vision
Unit code FATV20006
Credit points 20
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Quinlivan
Open unit status Not open




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

Description including Unit Aims

What does it mean to have a directorial voice or vision, and how does it express itself in the works directed by a particular film-maker? This unit will look closely at the work of some key directors in cinema history, to re-examine questions around authorship and the auteur by considering the choices made in the realisation of particular sequences. In this way the question of style will be considered as a product of relationships between theme, mise-en-scene, working with actors and performance, characteristics of rhythm, camera, editing and narrative technique, and the structure of images. The combination of these elements will be considered as an expression of points of view that are both literal and social/psychological.


• To develop students’ skills in the close analysis of film construction, with a particular emphasis on directorial styles and approaches
• To introduce historical understandings of directorial style, temperament and vision
• To explore and contextualise the relationships between society, politics and film directing.
• To equip students to engage with critical and theoretical debates about film directing and authorship.

Intended Learning Outcomes

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

1. critically analyse films and film sequences in relation to the styles and approaches of their directors
2. make relevant distinctions between different directorial styles and approaches
3. consider the relationship between directing and other elements in screen realisation in appropriate historical contexts
4. examine the relationships between society, politics and film directing
5. respond to, and participate in, historical and theoretical debates about film authorship
6. produce work within a group, showing abilities to listen, contribute and lead effectively.

Teaching Information

Weekly seminar and screening, supported by self-directed tasks where appropriate.

Assessment Information

20-minute illustrated group presentation (40%, ILOs 1-6) + 3000-word essay (60%, ILOs 1-5)


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. FATV20006).

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.