Core Module Information
Module title: Film Theory

SCQF level: 08:
SCQF credit value: 20.00
ECTS credit value: 10

Module code: LMD08121
Module leader: C. Paul Sellors
School School of Arts and Creative Industries
Subject area group: Screen and Performance


Description of module content:

This module introduces you to a wide range of theoretical debates that examine numerous concerns for narrative film, including story conception, editing, sound, image construction, setting, acting, genre, realism and formalism, narration, perception, emotional response and meaning. This module is equally applicable for those studying film practice and film as an academic discipline, and makes no assumptions about your technical knowledge of film technology or practice. Where an understanding of technology or practice is required to understand a theory, it will be covered in class.

Learning Outcomes for module:

Upon completion of this module you will be able to
LO1: comprehend the relationships between film theory and film practice
LO2: develop insight into the principles of narrative construction.
LO3: explore connections between originality, genre, and narrative conventions
LO4: explore connections between film form and meaning
LO5: discuss relationships between film and other forms of art and communication

Full Details of Teaching and Assessment
2022/3, Trimester 1, 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: C. Paul Sellors
Module Organiser:

Learning, Teaching and Assessment (LTA) Approach:
This module uses lectures, screenings, tutorials, and independent study to provide you with a variety of independent and group learning opportunities. It is supported by the VLE to promote independent study, discussion, and collaboration outside of class hours. By focusing on the interrelationships between film theory, film production, and reception, this module aims to explore closely the relationship between the academic and practical study of film (LO1). The lectures are more discursive than is perhaps normal, functioning at times like a cross between a lecture and a seminar. You are encouraged to raise questions and debate theories throughout lectures and tutorials. Discussion helps you to process and comprehend the arguments analysed in class. To prepare for lectures and discussions, you are expected to complete and take notes on required readings before the lecture (LOs 2, 3, 4, 5). Screenings and group tutorial discussions then help you to apply your understandings of theories to films, and to test the premises and reasoning in the arguments studied (LOs 1-5).

Formative Assessment:
There are four main approaches to formative activities and feedback in this module. First, in both the lecture and in tutorial groups, you will have the opportunity to ask questions about and to discuss your understanding of theories. This discursive environment will provide immediate peer and lecturer feedback on your comprehension and reasoning. These activities are available to you each week. Second, during office hours you are welcome to discuss essay drafts with the lecturer prior to submission. This immediate verbal feedback will provide you with indications of where your comprehension of theories can be improved. Third, you will be provided with extensive feedback on your essays. During office hours, you are encouraged to discuss with the lecturer your essays and the feedback provide to help you improve your ability to comprehend and discuss theory. This opportunity for discursive feedback will be available both after the first essay has been returned, and after the second essay has been returned at the beginning of the second trimester. Fourth, you are encouraged to attend office hours in any week to discuss your understanding of any theory covered in the curriculum.

Summative Assessment:
In this module you will complete two summative assessments, in the form of a short and a long formal essay. The short essay is due in week 6 and the long essay is due in week 13. Summative assessments will be evaluated on the quality of research, comprehension, argument, essay formatting, referencing, and overall presentation. Feedback for the first essay will be provided in sufficient time and detail to aid improvements for the final essay.

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 162
Total Study Hours200
Expected Total Study Hours for Module200

Type of Assessment Weighting % LOs covered Week due Length in Hours/Words
Essay 40 1, 4, 5 6 HOURS= 0, WORDS= 1500
Essay 60 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 13 HOURS= 0, WORDS= 2500
Component 1 subtotal: 100
Component 2 subtotal: 0
Module subtotal: 100

Indicative References and Reading List - URL:
Film Theory