Module code: ELI1038

Module Overview

This module is designed to introduce the academic study of drama and film. By studying three modern British plays and their adaptations to the screen you will develop an understanding of how drama and film are distinguished from other printed forms of literature alongside an appreciation of their cultural significance. Students on the module will be encouraged to think about the relationship between texts and their immediate historical and political contexts. You will be trained in the use of technical terms for drama and films, and will be introduced to the visual and audio analysis appropriate to both forms.

Module provider

School of Literature and Languages

Module Leader

PALMER Beth (Lit & Langs)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 4

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 109

Seminar Hours: 22

Guided Learning: 12

Captured Content: 7

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content:

  • An introduction to the study of drama and film.

  • The study of three modern British plays and their screen adaptations (including one week dedicated to creative responses).

  • Assessment preparation.

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework Essay (2000 words) 100

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate achievement of the module learning outcomes; to analyse films and plays, to contextualise the writing and production of films and plays, and to think critically about films and plays.

The summative assessment for this module consists of a critical essay of 2000 words.

The 2000-word critical essay on a play or on its adaptation to the screen assesses:

  • Subject knowledge relating to the close analysis of form, meaning and language of plays and films.

  • Cognitive/analytical skills in critical thinking.

  • Professional/practical skills in communicating ideas in writing.

  • Transferable and professional skills, namely the ability to conduct research for written work in an organised and critical fashion, to develop and communicate imaginative and rigorous arguments, all of which enhance your employability.

Formative assessment and feedback:

  • In-class workshop exercises, designed to enhance confidence in engaging critically with drama and film, for which students will receive informal verbal feedback.

  • An optional written plan from the essay for which students can receive written and/or verbal feedback.

Module aims

  • The module aims to: examine some of the key issues, terminologies, and contexts involved in the academic study of drama and film to provide a foundational knowledge useful in this and many other modules.
  • enable you to identify and describe, using the correct technical language, the formal elements that make up cinematography, editing, mise en scène and sound (including shots, camera movement, framing, lighting, montage and the relationship between sound and image)
  • utilise this greater understanding of content, structure and terminology in drama and film to develop creative capabilities
  • enable you to think critically about differences and similarities between plays as source texts and their adaptation into film
  • develop and strengthen skills in close reading and analysis of literary and film texts
  • train you to research and evaluate sources, debates, and ideas, and to communicate their conclusions clearly and accurately in writing
  • improve oral and written communication skills

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 By the end of the module students will be able to: use critical and contextual material in relation to close textual analysis and critical thinking CT
002 Analyse film sequences and play extracts verbally and in writing CT
003 Communicate orally in group discussion and in written form in the written assessment KCT
004 Work independently and collaboratively in conducting research, demonstrating competency in using digital tools PT
005 Organise and apply the findings of that research in an essay T
006 Construct a coherent and nuanced argument, and present that argument in written form C

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to deliver subject knowledge, to develop cognitive/ analytical skills, and to develop in-depth transferable, practical, and professional skills. Weekly lecture/seminars deliver subject knowledge relating to individual plays and films, approaches to them, and their historical contexts. They will provide you with the necessary knowledge and analytical skills to be able to interpret and analyse plays and films, develop your abilities and confidence in articulating this knowledge, and develop your written and oral skills in terms of writing and talking about plays and films.

This relates to the programme learning and teaching strategy, which, at FHEQ Level 4, is designed to introduce you to subject knowledge through lectures combined with seminars whose emphasis is on student-led involvement, critical analysis and discussion. Further subject knowledge (e.g. web-links, critical reading, podcasts) is made available through SurreyLearn, which enables you to develop IT skills in accessing and utilising resources.

The learning and teaching methods: 2-hour lecture/seminar per week x 11 weeks.

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.

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

Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: ELI1038

Other information

Surrey's Curriculum Framework is committed to developing graduates with strengths in Employability, Digital Capabilities, Global and Cultural Capabilities, Sustainability and Resourcefulness and Resilience. This module is designed to allow students to develop knowledge, skills and capabilities in the following areas:

Employability: This module acts alongside other first year modules in both the English literature and creative writing streams to ground students in the basics of their discipline, setting the scene for more in depth knowledge and practice development in modules throughout the degree which feature drama or film or writing for the screen. All of these facilitate students in homing and developing their skills as critics. In this 1st year module you will get the chance as an English Literature student to examine dramatic and filmic form, to acquire new technical vocabularies to enhance analysis and explore the relation between text and context. This feeds directly into writing, language and analytical skills that your degree will help you develop that are prized so highly by modern employers in literature and writing students. Alongside this, exposure to key critical materials will help hone your analytical skills even further.

The skills developed in this module, expanded and refined in later literature and creative writing modules across your degree, will help equip you for the vast range of employment and career pathways that our students go on to after (and sometimes during) their degree, beyond that of academic or creative writer (screenwriter, novelist, poet, non-fiction writer, for example). Amongst these are: copywriting, editorial roles, teaching, publishing, marketing, proofreading, journalism and social media roles of all types just to name a few. For both English literature and creative writing students, you will get the opportunity to experiment with and present critical work in the workshop settings as well as respond to the work of writers and critics, another set of key skills that English literature and creative writing bring to the table in a host of career and employment settings.

Global and Cultural Capabilities: Literature and creative writing are fields that teach us about the human experience and our part in local and global cultures, facilitating exchange of ideas and experiences and helping to foster creative and cultural empathy in readers and writers of all kinds across the globe. Creative and critical writing in these fields also play a very important recording and preservation role in narrativising and keeping alive and vibrant different cultures and experiences, especially those that might otherwise be silenced or endangered. In this module you will be asked to respond critically or creatively to plays and films from elite and working-class writers from across the nineteenth to the twenty-first century. You are encouraged to share and/or write your experiences and knowledge, and those from your own cultures and backgrounds, to think about that of other students and writers, to respect and value differences in experience and to bring this knowledge into your critical thinking right from the beginning of your study of drama, film, and their varied and diverse cultural and performance contexts.

Resourcefulness and Resilience: English Literature as a discipline exposes us to different, varied and diverse experiences from history as well as our contemporary world. These literatures and the critical material around them teach us many things about ourselves as people, individuals and communities. How and why we behave and think the ways we do, how we cope with the challenges that our lives (and our lives in university!) throw at us. Famously, literature conveys important lessons, comfort and significance (emotional, mental and spiritual) to us through the medium of language, not just in what it says, but how it says it. Drama and film as some of the most accessible forms of literary expression, allow us to experience, understand and express complex and nuanced feelings, themes and concepts.

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 2025/6 academic year.