AD3029 - Film and Television Genres

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What will I learn on this module?

The module develops your understanding of the significance of genre within the production, reception and analysis of film and television. It explores what we understand by the term genre in film and television through an analysis of the codes and conventions of major screen genres. It considers how genres change over time according to evolving aesthetic, social, technological and industrial contexts. You will learn about key developments in genre scholarship, and how critical and theoretical approaches can be applied to specific examples. In so doing, you will gain an appreciation of the importance of textual, contextual and critical analysis to an appreciation of film and television production and culture.

How will I learn on this module?

The module is taught by lectures and seminars which are designed to develop your awareness of key critical and historical issues within the study of the genre, and the application of these to specific case-studies. The lectures (two hours, weekly) will provide a grounding for the contextual analysis, and will be illustrated by appropriate excerpts from relevant film and TV examples. The seminars (one hour, weekly) are student-led discussions of the issued covered. You will be required to make positive contributions to the learning experience, by preparing for class by undertaking (where appropriate) reading or viewing activities specified in the module guide. The seminar classes are also intended to develop your communication skills and your ability to develop and respond to ideas in a collaborative environment. There are two formative tasks. In the first semester, you will deliver a 5-10 minute presentation within the seminar sessions, in relation to a particular example of genre film or television. This task will enhance your skills of communication and critical analysis, and help you prepare for the summative assessment task (an essay), which will be based upon the material delivered in the presentation. This first essay is shorter and carries a lighter weighting than the second semester so it also has a formative function allowing you to practice your essay writing in a shorter assessment and feed that into your developing writing skills.

In the second semester, you will deliver a 5-10 minute presentation, again within the seminar sessions, in relation to a specific academic source of relevance to the content covered in the module. The task will enhance your skills of independent learning, the location and retrieval of information, and the communication of the results of your research. This work will underpin the summative assessment task (an essay), which will draw from the same subject and sources used.

You will receive informal feedback by the module tutor on both of these tasks, which will help you to prepare for the summative task for each semester, and for the requirements of undergraduate study more generally. At key points in the module, there will be information and advice given in lectures and seminars relating to the skills required for assessment preparation, such as textual analysis, essay structure, research processes, citation of sources and use of quotations, academic language, etc. As presentations are also a typical form of summative assessment at undergraduate level, there will also be guidance on presentation skills (such as structure, use of visual aids, and communication of ideas).

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Classes will provide a constructive environment for the enhancement of knowledge and understanding of the subject, preparation for the assessment tasks, and the development of communication skills. Class material (such as Powerpoint slides, links to clips and discussion points) will be accessible via the e-Learning portal, along with supplementary learning material (which may include web links, suggestions for further viewing and reading). A list of key and further reading material will be available on the eLP, and an electronic reading list will link you directly to key sources, allowing you to access them anytime and anywhere. The module will also incorporate assessment preparation discussion, with advice on how to approach the essay tasks. Furthermore, the module tutor will offer set office hours for academic support

In addition, you have a designated Personal Guidance Tutor throughout the entire duration of your programme. The academic side of the Personal Guidance Tutor’s role includes:

• monitoring your ongoing academic progress
• helping you to develop self-reflection skills necessary for continuous academic development
• directing you to further available services which can help them with their academic skills (e.g. Library’s Skills Plus)

You are advised to see your Personal Guidance Tutor at least twice each semester to review your academic progress.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:

1. A familiarity with key genres in film and television, and the critical approaches to them

2. An ability to contextualise film and television genres in terms of how they are influenced by broader social, institutional and technological changes

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:

3. An ability to articulate, evaluate and apply key issues associated with genre

4. Demonstration of analytical and communication abilities through verbal and written means

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):

5. Appreciation of the global and cultural contexts of film and television production

How will I be assessed?

The assessment strategy for this module is to encourage you to develop a critically and contextually informed understanding of film and television genres and to be able to communicate this clearly in written form.

The first essay task in semester one (1000 words) (30% weighting) requires you to analyse a self-chosen film or television programme in relation to appropriate critical definitions and discussions of genre. (MLO 1,3,4,)

The second essay task in semester two (3000 words) (70% weighting) requires you to choose one question from a list provided by the module tutor.

In each semester there is also a formative class presentation task, where you are required to deliver a 5-10 minute presentation on an example of genre (semester one) or an academic source relating to genre (semester two). (MLO 1,2,3,4,5)

All tasks address all of the MLOs relating to knowledge/understanding and intellectual/professional skills, in testing: a familiarity with critical approaches to genre, an ability to contextualise a specific example, an ability to evaluate and apply critical/theoretical issues to a case-study, and an ability to communicate ideas in written form. Submission and receipt of feedback for summative assessment is via Turnitin.





Module abstract

This module is concerned with the identification and analysis of key genres of film and television, and gives you an understanding of the importance of genre within the production and analysis of film and television. It explores what we understand by the term genre through a series of case-studies, which may include the Western, film noir, comedy, crime drama, reality television, horror, the musical and others (the precise case-studies may vary from year to year). In studying these examples, you will develop an awareness of the broader contexts shaping film and television production, the historical background to film and television examples, and the importance of close textual analysis. The module is taught by way of lectures and seminars. It is assessed through two essay-writing tasks. The module will prepare you for BA Hons-level study by enhancing your academic skills of research, presentation, critical thinking, citation and independent study.

Course info

UCAS Code P320

Credits 40

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 1 year full-time followed by a further 3 years full-time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Arts, Social Sciences

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2020

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