KEY MOMENTS IN FILM HISTORY - 2018/9

Module code: MFC1021

Module Overview

This module introduces students to cinema history and to the way it has so far been conceptualized by film historians and film theorists, highlighting important moments and transitions, such as that from the cinema of attractions to the cinema of narrative integration, and from propaganda to protest. It also presents important movements in film history such as Soviet Montage, German Expressionism and the French New Wave covering a wide range of historically significant films.

Module provider

School of Literature and Languages

Module Leader

HUGHES HA Dr (Lit & Langs)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 4

JACs code: P303

Module cap (Maximum number of students): 40

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

None This module has a capped number and may not be available to ERASMUS and other international exchange students. Please check with the departmental exchange coordinator.

Module content

 Indicative content includes:


Early cinema and the cinema of attractions
Classical studio filmmaking
British film propaganda
Expressionist film 
Italian Neo-Realism
French New Wave
New Hollywood

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework ESSAY PLAN 20
Coursework ESSAY 80

Alternative Assessment

Recorded presentation or oral examination.

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate knowledge of an important moment or period of film history, the ability to historicise films and film techniques, and the skills to creatively apply a historical framework of analysis to film case studies.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:


Essay Plan 
Essay 


Formative assessment and feedback


Short reading and writing tasks
One-to-one feedback on essay plans (submitted in week 10)
Feedback in seminars

Module aims

  • Introduce students to the emergence and development of cinema as a medium from the end of the 19th century.
  • Provide students with a framework for the historical analysis of individual films, film movements and changes in the cinema industry taking into account a constellation of artistic, social, economic, political and technological factors that have shaped and continue to shape cinema as a medium

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Differentiate between different types of film history: aesthetic, technological, social, cultural KC
002 Identify how different periods of cinema history have been defined through technology, aesthetics and/or ideology KC
003 Historicise film stylistic and narrative techniques KC
004 Analyse a film or film event in its historical context KCT
005 Share and respond to ideas and debates with peers and lecturer PT
006 Express their knowledge and understanding of film history as detailed above in writing KCPT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Overall student workload

Personal Tutorial Hours: 1

Independent Study Hours: 106

Seminar Hours: 22

Methods of Teaching / Learning

 The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:


Provide students with the necessary knowledge and analytical skills to approach film-related subjects from a historical perspective
Give the students the chance to apply the tools of historical analysis to a case study and share their knowledge with the class


 The learning and teaching methods include:


Lecturer presentations using illustrative materials
Seminar discussions

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list

Reading list for KEY MOMENTS IN FILM HISTORY : http://aspire.surrey.ac.uk/modules/mfc1021

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
English Literature with Film Studies BA (Hons) 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Media Studies with Film Studies BA (Hons) 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Theatre and Performance with Film Studies BA (Hons) 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2018/9 academic year.