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Unit information: Screen Research Methods in 2015/16

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Unit name Screen Research Methods
Unit code DRAMM3010
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Maingard
Open unit status Not open




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


This unit provides an in-depth examination of key techniques for research in screen studies, as well as offering insight into the research of related media forms. The unit analyses different approaches to research problems and their investigation by drawing on a range of illustrative case studies. It explores the methodological problems presented by the moving image, partly in relation to protocols established in other disciplines and studies of media. The unit also looks at local and national resources for cinema studies, as well as examining the uses of web-based media and material, archival and moving image resources. Students will engage with key areas of screen research, provoking their own enquiries and advancing plans for disseration research. The unit will offer students experience in deploying and interrogating different methodological approaches, and presenting individual research.


  • To introduce key research techniques in cinema, in relation to textual, historical and contextual paradigms
  • To provide students with transferable skills of researching and presenting a sustained piece of independent inquiry
  • To suggest and explore a variety of different research questions and approaches to research
  • To encourage development of research ideas and their practical realisation
  • To foster a research culture of independent enquiry.

Intended learning outcomes

  • To gain experience on developing a research project
  • To be familiar with a range of research problems and the deployment of relevant methods for their academic exploration
  • To acquire knowledge about different approaches to cinema research
  • To develop skills in testing theories and ideas and in interrogating a range of source materials
  • To gain skills in asking relevant questions of research material
  • To develop skills in presenting research findings in a clear and scholarly fashion.

Teaching details

Seminars/workshops and screenings.

Assessment Details

Essay(5,000 words) 100% OR Presentation(50%) plus write up (2,500 words) 50%.

Reading and References

  • Cook, Pam (ed.), The Cinema Book, 3rd ed. (London: British Film Institute, 2007).
  • Hill, John and Pamela Church Gibson (eds), The Oxford Guide to Film Studies (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998).
  • Klinger, Barbara, 'Film history terminable and interminable: recovering the past in reception studies', Screen, vol. 38, no. 2, 1997
  • Staiger, Janet, Interpreting Films (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1992)
  • Street, Sarah, British Cinema in Documents (London: Routledge, 2000).
  • Gledhill, Christine and Linda Williams, Reinventing Film Studies (London: Arnold, 2000).