SHE Level 4
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code MHP325473
Module Leader Catriona Miller
School Glasgow School for Business and Society
Subject Media and Journalism
  • B (January start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge

Media Analysis 1

Summary of Content

The aim of this module is to understand how film works as a text through a range of film theories, to critically evaluate its development as an academic discipline, and use it to explore a variety of film texts. The first part of the module will concentrate on a firm grounding in the structuralist foundations of film theory (semiotics, Freud and Marx) featuring case studies based around named film texts. The second part of the module will explore the challenges of post-structuralism and the work of a variety of post-structualist writers will be applied to film, such as Derrida, Kristeva and Jung, as well as a philosophical perspective drawn from Phenomenology.


The syllabus will consider a selection of the key themes and intellectual trends from the field of film theory, such as: Film as Text Structuralist foundations of film theory - semiotics, Marxism Psychoanalysis - Freud & Lacan and the gaze Feminist revisions of Freud, post Lacan, and Kristeva Derrida and the open text Jung - structuralist and post structuralist Phenomenology Digital criticism

Learning Outcomes

1 Learning OutcomesOn successful completion of this module, the student should be able to:- Understand the functioning of film as a text at an advanced theoretical level.- Engage critically with a range of major writings on film theory.- Develop a detailed knowledge of the major debates and intellectual threads within the field.- Place film theories themselves within their cultural and historical contexts.- Apply a range of advanced theoretical approaches to film texts.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

-360 -Lectures -Screenings -Seminars -Small tutorials for specific assignments

Indicative Reading

-567 Barker, J (2009) The Tactile Eye: Touch and the Cinematic Experience, University of California Press Bordwell & Carroll (1996) Post-Theory: Reconstructing Film Studies, University of Wisconsin Press Branigan, E. & Buckland, W. (2015) Routledge Encyclopedia of Film Theory, Routledge Elsaesser, T (2010) Film Theory: An Introduction Through the Senses, Routledge Hauke, C & Hockley, L (2012) Jung and Film II. The Return, Routledge Hockley, L. (ed) (2018) The International Handbook of Jungian Film Studies, Routledge Laplanche, J & Pontalis, J (2012) The Language of Psychoanalysis, Karnac Books Lapsley & Westlake (2006) Film Theory: An Introduction, Manchester University Press McGowan & Kunkle (2004) Lacan and Contemporary Film, The Other Press Metz, C (1974) Film Language: A Semiotics of the Cinema, Mouton Royle, N (2013) Jacques Derrida, Routledge Sobchack, Vivian (1992) The Address of the Eye: A Phenomenology of Film Experience, Princeton University Press, USA Wayne, M (2005) Understanding Film: Marxist Perspectives, University of Michigan Press. Online sources:

Transferrable Skills

b7 self-discipline b7 self confidence b7 ability to reflect b7 desire to go on learning b7 time management b7 interpersonal skills b7 presentational skills b7 ability to work in teams and leadership skills b7 independence and risk taking

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Tutorials 4.00
Seminars 12.00
Practicals 36.00
Assessment 12.00
Lectures 12.00
Independent Learning Hours 116.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Essay n/a 50.00 n/a Essay (2000) wk14
Essay n/a 50.00 n/a Essay 2000 words- Week 8