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Unit information: Contemporary Hollywood Cinema in 2021/22

Unit name Contemporary Hollywood Cinema
Unit code FATV30011
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Moen
Open unit status Not open




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

Description including Unit Aims

This unit will examine key trends and changes in contemporary Hollywood cinema. This includes the exploration of contemporary genres and narrative forms, along with the impact of new technologies and aesthetic approaches, and changing industrial contexts. The unit will also explore broader theoretical ways of understanding contemporary cinema, such as its relation to modernity/postmodernity, globalization and the place of film in contemporary media culture. Students will explore recent popular films in relation to key ways of understanding Contemporary Hollywood, developing a specific area of focus in an individual presentation and combining multiple perspectives in a research essay.

Unit aims:

  • To examine trends and changes in the uses of genre, narrative and aesthetics in contemporary Hollywood film;
  • To examine changing formations of cinema as a medium and popular form;
  • To explore the relationship between popular cinema and society and ideology;
  • To deepen conceptual vocabularies and theoretical frameworks for the analysis of contemporary film.

Intended Learning Outcomes

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

(1) Identify and critically respond to central and emerging trends in contemporary popular cinema;

(2) analyse film narrative, genre and aesthetics at an advanced level;

(3) identify and apply key methodological approaches in the study of contemporary film, and respond to the complexities of these approaches;

(4) identify and evaluate pertinent evidence in order to support a cogent argument;

(5) develop an advanced independent research project.

Teaching Information

Lecture seminar-sessions, weekly tutorials, supported by self-directed assessment preparation activity.

Assessment Information

10 min individual presentation (ILOs 1-5, 30%)

4000 word essay (ILOs 1-5, 70%)


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. FATV30011).

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.