Core Module Information
Module title: Film History

SCQF level: 07:
SCQF credit value: 20.00
ECTS credit value: 10

Module code: LMD07114
Module leader: Ariadne Xenou
School School of Arts and Creative Industries
Subject area group: Screen and Performance


Description of module content:

This module will introduce you to key technological, social, and cultural developments that have marked the international development of cinema. You will learn how filmmakers have exploited a wide range of technologies in their filmmaking, and in doing so shaped the evolution of both filmmaking and film technologies. In doing so you will also evaluate the intricate relationship between film technology and aesthetics. Specific areas of consideration include framing, composition within the frame, colour, tone, lens choices, rhythm, editing, sound, exhibition formats, and genre. This exploration will direct you to consider how film borrowed from and contributed to the other arts. These studies will help you to develop a foundational understanding of film historiography, and to improve your analytical and critical skills. This knowledge will underscore your studies across all practical and academic studies of film across your degree.

Learning Outcomes for module:

Upon completion of this module you will be able to:
LO1: Gain an appreciation of the evolution and use of film technology across the medium’s history;
LO2: Develop insight into the relationship between the evolution of film technology and the medium’s social and cultural contexts;
LO3: Recognise the diversity and complexity of film practice throughout film’s history;
LO4: Explore how historiographic methods that have been used to construct film history.

Full Details of Teaching and Assessment
2022/3, Trimester 2, Face-to-Face, Edinburgh Napier University
Occurrence: 001
Primary mode of delivery: Face-to-Face
Location of delivery: MERCHISTON
Partner: Edinburgh Napier University
Member of staff responsible for delivering module: Ariadne Xenou
Module Organiser:

Learning, Teaching and Assessment (LTA) Approach:
This module aims to provide you with understandings of the historical development of film, and of the various ways in which film historians conceive and communicate their knowledge of the medium’s history. This will be achieved by a combination of weekly screenings, lectures, tutorial classes, and independent study. These provide you with a variety of independent and group learning opportunities. Screenings will precede each lecture to help to expand your knowledge of films and to provide examples to discuss and examine in the lectures and tutorials. Additional clips will be shown and discussed in the lectures and tutorial classes (LOs 1-3). The weekly lectures are designed to explore film as a technological medium and diverse cultural practice that both responds and contributes to modern culture and society (LOs 1-3). Prior to each lecture you will read works of film history that will introduce to you the key issues and canonical films for each week (LOs 1-4). Further readings will elaborate specifically the historiographic methods on which film history relies (LO4). Group discussions in tutorial classes will help you to comprehend filmmaking, film spectation, and film history as interrelated practices (LOs 1-4). Particular focus will be given to the plurality of film histories and film canons (LOs 3 and 4). The lecturer’s weekly office hours will allow you to seek bespoke support and guidance in the module. Additionally, the module is supported by the VLE to promote student discussion and collaboration outside of class hours.

Formative Assessment:
The main formative task is student discussion during tutorial classes. These discussions develop from historiographical issues drawn from the readings, which are then explored through analyses of film clips. All students will contribute to these discussions, although not necessarily each week. In some weeks students will be asked to prepare a written answer to a set question which they will present in class. Feedback for all formative activities will be delivered through peer and lecturer replies in discussion, and the lecturer’s verbal, summary comments.

Summative Assessment:
In this module you will complete two summative assessments. The first is a short essay due in week 6 and is worth 40% of your final mark. The second is a long essay due in week 14 and is worth 60% of your final mark. The first assessment will be evaluated on the quality of your research, argument, essay formatting, referencing, and overall presentation. Mid-trimester feedback will be provided in sufficient time and detail to aid your improvements for your final essay. The second assessment will provide you with an opportunity to improve on your academic and studentship skills assessed in the first essay, supported by mid-trimester feedback and optional individual tuition in office hours. Additionally, it will require you to consider and discuss both the historiographic methodology in your sources and the methodology on which you rely in your paper. This latter aspect of the assessment provides you with an introduction to writing theory, providing an important foundation to skills you will develop in the following years of your degree studies.

Student Activity (Notional Equivalent Study Hours (NESH))
Mode of activityLearning & Teaching ActivityNESH (Study Hours)
Face To Face Lecture 26
Face To Face Tutorial 12
Independent Learning Guided independent study 138
Face To Face Groupwork (Scheduled) 24
Total Study Hours200
Expected Total Study Hours for Module200

Type of Assessment Weighting % LOs covered Week due Length in Hours/Words
Essay 40 1,2,3 6 HOURS= 0, WORDS= 1500
Essay 60 1,2,3,4 14 HOURS= 0, WORDS= 2000
Component 1 subtotal: 40
Component 2 subtotal: 60
Module subtotal: 100

Indicative References and Reading List - URL:
Film History