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Unit information: Film Genre in 2021/22

Unit name Film Genre
Unit code FATV20002
Credit points 20
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Pete Falconer
Open unit status Not open




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


This unit will acquaint students with key issues in the study of film genres in Hollywood and other national cinemas. Students will examine both the conventions of individual genres and the idea of genre itself. These aims will be pursued through the detailed analysis of genre movies and their surrounding contexts. The unit will explore formal, historical, ideological and industrial perspectives on genre, and consider some of the ways in which genre has been conceptualised. Students will also consider alternative approaches that potentially complicate the premises and assumptions of genre theory.


  • To examine the issues involved in defining and identifying film genres.
  • To explore the relationship between the conventions of a genre and the particularities of individual film texts.
  • To consider appropriate historical and theoretical contexts in which to understand film genres.
  • To explore the interaction between genre-based perspectives on popular cinema and other approaches.

Intended learning outcomes

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

(1) identify and respond to issues raised in the study of film genre.

(2) critically assess the role genre plays in creating meaning in individual movies.

(3) compare and evaluate different ways of defining genres and genre films.

(4) situate film genres, and changes within them, historically.

(5) evaluate the claims made by genre theory and criticism, in relation to the appropriate evidence.

(6) produce work within a group, showing abilities to listen, contribute and lead effectively.

Teaching details

Weekly seminar and screening.

Assessment Details

20-minute 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. FATV20002).