AMU1305 - Film studies: Forms and approaches - 2017

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Organisational Unit

Malaysia School of Arts and Social Sciences


Dr Jonathan Driskell

Unit guides



  • First semester 2017 (Day)


Film studies: Forms and approaches gives students an overview of the discipline of Film studies. Weeks are devoted to the close analysis of film, with topics focusing on key formal and stylistic elements, such as narrative, mise en scene, camerawork, editing and sound. In addition, students will become familiar with some of the main theoretical approaches used in Film Studies, such as authorship, genre and national cinema. Throughout the unit emphasis is placed on situating films within their broader social, political and historical contexts, and in doing so students will engage with the ideological significance of cinema - how films offer particular, politically-loaded visions of life. Exploration of these issues is supported through weekly screenings, with a variety of films being shown, spanning a range of historical periods, genres and countries.


Upon successful completion of the unit, students should be able to:

  1. Analyse films with particular attention to their main formal and stylistic features;
  2. Identify techniques used to create meaning in films;
  3. Apply theories from Film Studies to facilitate the analysis of films;
  4. Evaluate critical debates on cinema and on particular films;
  5. Plan and conduct written work on how meaning is created in cinema.


Within semester assessment: 100%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. A unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study