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Unit information: Contemporary British Cinema in 2021/22

Unit name Contemporary British Cinema
Unit code MODL30007
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Ms. Taylor
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Modern Languages
Faculty Faculty of Arts


This unit introduces students to contemporary British cinema through the study of a range of films by British directors produced over the last twenty years. The course opens by introducing students to the technical aspects of cinematic production and the basic principles of film theory and criticism. The films are studied in the chronological order of their production. In the study of individual films students examine the stylistic features of particular directors' work, the national and cultural climate in which each film appeared, the degree to which economic factors influenced the representation of national identity. Students also study other aspects of film production including casting, language, genre, narrative and ideas of realism and comedy. The films on the course are chosen to offer students a wide variety of the different genres (including heritage, realism and comedy) in contemporary British cinema.


  • To introduce students to a significant body of knowledge of a complexity appropriate to final year level. The content matter will normally include one or more of the following: literature; social, cultural or political history; linguistics; cultural studies; film, television or other media.
  • To facilitate students’ engagement with a body of literature, including secondary literature, texts, including in non-print media, primary sources and ideas as a basis for their own analysis and development. Normally many or most of these sources will be in a language other than English and will enhance the development of their linguistic skills.
  • To develop further skills of synthesis, analysis and independent research, building on the skills acquired in units at level I.
  • To equip students with the skills to undertake postgraduate study in a relevant field.

Intended learning outcomes

By the end of the unit, students will be able to:

1. demonstrate a sound knowledge of contemporary British film;

2. evaluate and analyse relevant a significant body of source materials;

3. select and synthesise relevant critical material;

4. formulate independent judgements in an appropriate style and at an advanced level of complexity;

5. develop effective presentation skills.

Teaching details

Teaching will be delivered through a combination of synchronous sessions and asynchronous activities, including seminars, lectures, and collaborative as well as self-directed learning opportunities supported by tutor consultation.

Assessment Details

3000 word essay (75%) testing ILO's 1-4

Presentation (25%) testing ILO's 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. MODL30007).