Film and Screen Studies and Study of Religions

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Supported by Pinewood Studios Group

This course offers an exciting route into the study and appreciation of film and screen and their industries together with the opportunity for some practical and creative work in filmmaking.

Why study Film and Screen Studies?

We want to enable you to develop a critical understanding of film and screen theory and criticism and to appreciate the relationship between film, media and culture. But we also want to provide you with the conceptual tools for understanding how society and culture is mediated by cinematic, televisual and electronic images. In choosing this course you will be starting on a journey of critical understanding of the institutions of film and screen production, distribution and exhibition. As part of this we will develop your understanding of reception and consumption practices in film and screen.

Course structure

In the first year there are two cores modules. The first is Introduction to Film in which you will investigate film as a specific academic discipline and how meaning is conveyed through film form and content. As part of your work you will analyse how films are constructed and be introduced to ways of writing effectively about film. The second core module is Understanding Hollywood, which offers an advanced investigation of key theoretical and methodological issues involved in the study of cinema, and explores film as a commercial, cultural and aesthetic institution.

In Years 2 and 3 you can design your programme from a range of exciting modules including film theory, Hollywood cinema, video games, film and national identity, stardom and celebrity, Asian cinema, European cinema, film genres such as westerns and horror, young people and the new media, planning a film and making a film, and documentary filmmaking. You can also take part in organising LineUP, the annual Student Film Festival at Bath Spa University.

Film and Screen Studies aims to produce graduates who have an informed, critical and creative approach to both understanding film and screen in contemporary society and to their own forms of critical, reflective and communicative practice. You will develop intellectual, analytical, research and creative skills that will help you to prepare for employment and have the opportunity to engage in practical filmmaking projects if you wish.

Modules

In the first year you are introduced to the methods and methodologies of film as an object of critical investigation, with special emphasis upon the relationship between film and contemporary popular culture. In Years 2 and 3 you will take one core module and select from a range of module options. There are also some opportunities to engage in film planning and production.

Year 1

  • Introduction to Film*;
  • Single Camera Production
  • Introduction to Television;
  • Framing Film: From Silent Screen to World Cinema;
  • Media/Screen Project
  • Digital Practice.

Year 2

  • Film Theory and Practice: Understanding Hollywood*;
  • Short Film Production
  • Film and British National Identity;
  • Television, Representation and Gender;
  • Stardom and Celebrity;
  • Popular Cinema and Culture;
  • Film and Philosophy;
  • Film Noir: The Dark side of the Screen;
  • Key Movements in World Cinema
  • Film Cultures Project;
  • Asian Film National Cinemas and Global Impacts;
  • Work Placement

Year 3

  • Dissertation;
  • Film Audiences and Cultures of Spectatorship;
  • Wired Up: Computer and Videogames;
  • European Cinema;
  • Power, Pleasure and Feminist Film Criticism;
  • Rock n Reel: Popular Music on Screen;
  • Cartoon Time: Thinking Through Animation;
  • Psychos, Killers and Voyeurs: The Films of Alfred Hitchcock;
  • Media Technologies and Change;
  • Short Form Documentary Filmmaking;
  • LineUp: Student Film Festival;
  • Indian Cinema: From Arthouse to Bollywood;
  • Creative Enterprises Project.

* Compulsory modules.

Course assessment

Assessment includes essays, research reports, journals and group presentations and examinations.

Film and Screen Studies at Bath Spa University comprises an exciting opportunity for you to study film and screen alongside aspects of the new media, together with some optional practical work in film planning and production.

Dr Rebecca Feasey, Senior Lecturer in Film and Media Communication:

“Film and Screen Studies is a wonderfully diverse programme that gives students the flexibility and choice to look at a wide range of cinematic genres, from a number of fascinating theories, perspectives and historical periods.

I am passionate about teaching at Bath Spa because the students are always curious, motivated and interested to learn. Furthermore, because of the small scale of the campus, it is possible to foster genuinely supportive relationships with students.”

Teaching methods

Our modules have well-defined teaching structures consisting of lectures, seminars, workshops and tutorials, which give you wide opportunities to learn progressively, stretch your capabilities, test your ideas and methods and interact positively with staff and other students in the Department.

As you would expect, Film and Screen Studies modules also use parts of the new media in their teaching practice. Students are encouraged to make use of the University's virtual learning environment, 'Minerva' and of the worldwide web in seminars and workshops.

Teaching quality excellence

In the National Student Survey of 2011:

93% of students said that staff were good at explaining things

92% of students said that staff have made the subject interesting

99% of students said that staff are enthusiastic about what they are teaching

Application method

All full time applications are through UCAS

Course enquiries

Please contact our Admissions team (see above)

Entry requirements

280–320 UCAS Tariff points.

Career opportunities

Employers welcome the high level of subject-based, generic and personal skills which are embedded in our programmes. The main focus of interest for our Film and Screen Studies graduates is the creative and cultural industries in the UK. These industries include advertising, journalism, publishing, film and film-related employments, television, radio and the heritage sector. However, there are also employment opportunities in local and central government and the voluntary sector.

Since 2011, employers such as BBC Bristol, Argonon and The Sheffield International Documentary Festival have recruited graduates from this course. Students have also gone into roles including Unit Assistant, Festival Assistant and Film Location Manager.

What students say...

Claire Reynolds, Film and Screen, graduate 2012:

"The course turned my interest into a passion, with the subject covering extensive and wide-ranging areas of film and television. The tutors support you throughout, bringing their own specialist knowledge in various subjects to the course to make it interesting and engaging."

Student statement in the National Student Survey 2012:

“The academic support from tutors has been very good and the enthusiasm of tutors is really great. The willingness and friendliness of the staff are such a benefit.”

Here is what more our students think:

"All aspects of the course have been interesting and useful."

"The lectures are very informative."

"Awesome lecturers."

 

This course explores a wide range of religious traditions, from Buddhism to Christianity to Paganism, with a focus on living traditions. The approach taken is open and exploratory, with an emphasis on direct first-hand experience of religious communities.

The religious traditions studied are diverse, including major traditions such as Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam or Christianity, and the less well known such as newer religious movements. Included in the programme are contemporary developments such as Paganism and Goddess spirituality. We range from the local, such as religions in Bath and Glastonbury, to the global, such as Japanese Religions. Crucial to the study of religions is direct encounter and experiential learning, and the course includes visits and a one-week placement in a religious community. There are opportunities to follow up your own interests or career plans in a variety of special projects, employment related placements and a dissertation.

Study of Religions is offered as a Major, Joint or Minor component of a Combined degree. If you want to combine it with Philosophy and Ethics you should take the Religions, Philosophies and Ethics specialised award.

Why study Study of Religions?

‘My stay at the Buddhist monastery was challenging, yet very rewarding. I learnt a lot about Theravada Buddhism, but about myself too’

Diverse range of traditions

We try to explore as many different traditions as possible, from Buddhism to Christianity to Paganism, with a focus on living religions followed by people you can meet today.

Open and exploratory

We stress that we are studying religions, trying to understand, rather than trying to convert, and we are equally welcoming of those who belong to a religious tradition and those who don’t.

First hand experience and community placement

‘There is no substitute for seeing the architecture, rituals and colours first hand as well as the account of the religion from a believer’

We think it is important to meet people from religious traditions, and the programme includes visit to religious communities, mosques, temples, gurdwaras and churches. You may visit the Goddess temple in Glastonbury, meet a Druid or have an opportunity to interview a Buddhist monk. In the third year all students have the opportunity to spend a week living with a religious or belief community: such as a Buddhist monastery, a Christian convent, the Hare Krishnas, the British Humanist Association or the Salvation Army. For further details see www.livingreligion.co.uk

Excellent teaching 

Our external examiners praised us last year for the excellent quality of our feedback to students on their work. Tutors think it is important to make time for individual students.

Appropriate for teaching RE

A popular career destination for our students is teaching RE in primary or secondary schools, or sixth-form colleges. Every year the numbers of pupils taking GCSE and A level Religious Studies is going up.

Chance to study abroad

One semester can be spent abroad, for example, at the University of Helsinki in Finland or the University of Sibiu in Romania.

Course structure

In Year 1 we offer a core module which explores the meaning of religion and spirituality, examines a variety of methods of studying religions and spiritualities, and illustrates these from a variety of contemporary traditions, from Druidry to the Bahá’í faith. There is also a field visit to Glastonbury. An optional module in global religions and philosophies looks at major traditions and movements, and key thinkers. 

The core module in Year 2 focuses on philosophies and religious or non-religious world views in Indian and Chinese traditions. Optional modules include philosophy, religions and the environment; and in depth study of major religious traditions including Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Buddhism.

There is also a Special Project in which you can explore topics of your choice, engage in a placement or project relevant to employment, or take part in a summer school in another country such as Korea.

In the third year, as part of a core module on religion in the contemporary world, you will undertake a fieldwork placement with a religious community such as a Buddhist monastery, a Christian convent, the Hare Krishnas or the Salvation Army. For further details see our website www.livingreligion.co.uk. Optional modules include religion, philosophy and gender; advanced study of pagan, new and alternative religions; and modules studying the Bhagavad Gita, Muslim migration and Islam in Europe, culture and counter-culture, religion and education internationally, Buddhism, and religion, culture and society in Japan. There is also a special Research Project (past students have helped to run a conference for year 12 students or to digitise an archive on contemporary religions), a Dissertation which allows for in-depth concentration on a topic of your choice, or an employment related project.

NOTE: You will need to study another subject to study with Study of Religions.

 

 

Modules

Year 1

  • Beyond Belief: Introduction to the Study of Religions and Spiritualities (core module);

  • Truth and Value: Introduction to Philosophical and Ethical Enquiry (core module);
  • Global Religions and Philosophies;
  • Spirituality, Culture and Civilisation: An Introduction to faith and Belief in Global Perspective
  • Philosophy and Thinking in Schools;
  • Medieval and Renaissance Worlds.

Year 2

  • Darshana, Dharma and Dao: Philosophy in the Indian and Chinese Traditions (core module);Exploring Global Christianity;

  • Exploring Global Christianity
  • Power, Duty and Desire: Life and Liberation in the Hindu Tradition;
  • Special Project;
  • Buddhism: Historical and Doctrinal Developments;
  • Saints and Soldiers: Mysticism, Militancy and Modernity in the Sikh Tradition;
  • Philosophy, Religions and the Environment.

Year 3

  • Studying Religions in the Contemporary World (core module);
  • Dissertation;
  • Employment related placement (alternative to Dissertation);
  • Buddhism in Practice;
  • Religion, Philosophy and Gender;
  • Life and Meaning;
  • Advanced Special Project;
  • The Song of the Lord: Hinduism, Religion, Scripture and the Bhagavad-Gita;
  • Spiritual Revolution: Pagan, New and Alternative Religions in the 21st Century;
  • Religion, Culture and Society in Japan;
  • Muslim Migration and Islam in Europe
  • Without Fear or Favour: National and International Perspectives on Religion, Culture and Education;
  • Culture and Counterculture: from Orientalism to the ‘Hippy Trail’.

Course assessment

Assessment is mainly by coursework such as essays, reports, projects, presentations, on-line discussion board participation, or even the production of a short film, and there are also some timed elements such as critical analyses or examinations.

Learning is encouraged through participation in a wide variety of activities including lectures, seminars, workshops, tutorials and fieldtrips.

We teach with attention to individuals. We welcome non-traditional entrants and mature students.

Resources include a well-stocked library, on-line materials in our virtual learning platform and our many contacts with faith communities (and ethical associations) locally and nationally.

BACRA (the Bath Archive of Contemporary Religious Affairs) is an archive of ephemera devoted mainly to New Religious Movements and concentrated on the 1980s and 1990s before most movements had their own websites.

 

Teaching methods

Our lectures set out the broad themes and issues, often include visual materials and enable you to participate and raise questions.

Seminars are in smaller groups where you have more opportunities to participate and interact with each other. These might involve you giving short presentations, working in groups, debates and discussions. They help you clarify issues that you find in your readings and raised in lectures; some seminars may include viewing of brief documentaries.

One-to-one tutorials are an important part of our teaching, especially in giving individual feedback on your work.

To give you an experiential understanding of the subjects that you study, we organise educational visits and fieldtrips to religious and pilgrimage centres in Bath, Glastonbury, Bristol, London, etc. We also enable you to take part in a one-week placement in a religious or ethical community to see how religions and philosophies impact on people's daily lives. For examples see www.livingreligion.co.uk.

We encourage you to take part in the study abroad programmes by, for example, participating in the existing Erasmus exchanges in Europe (e.g., University of Helsinki and University of Sibiu).

Application method

Full time applications are through UCAS

Course enquiries

Entry requirements

260–300 UCAS Tariff points.

Career opportunities

A popular career for our students is teaching Religious Education and/or Citizenship in secondary or primary schools, where there is a shortage of specialists. The combination of studying religions and philosophy is particularly good preparation for this, and one module is specially designed as preparation for a career in education. Others have gone on to further academic study and university teaching.

It is increasingly important for people in a wide range of careers to be able to mix with people from different religious and cultural backgrounds, for example past students have had careers in the police, hospital administration, social work, and journalism. Study of Religions comes in useful when working overseas whether in tourism or other businesses.

Since 2010, employers such as Global Xchange. Ethicall, Citizens' Advice Bureau and Birmingham University have recruited graduates from this course. Students have also gone into roles including Healthcare Assistant, Fundraiser,  Children's Home Activities Coordinator and Assistant to the Communications Director.

What students say...

Student Profile: Alex Hyde, Year 3 Study of Religions

I chose my course because I have always been interested in the world and in people.  I am fascinated by the thoughts, needs, beliefs and knowledge of others who have been brought up outside of Christianity.

I really like the structure of the course because the first year enables you to study in breadth and then in the second year focus more deeply on some of the religions studied in the first year. I was enthralled by the prospect of going on a placement for a week in a religious community as part of the course in second year.  I am soon to find out whether I will be going to live with The Community of the Many Names of God or the Hare Krishnas.

The Department has a friendly ethos, with lecturers who are genuinely willing their students to do well and continually supporting them along the way. It is with thanks to this course that my understanding of people in the world is ever expanding and even when the pressure is on with assignments due, I continue to brim with enthusiasm for the knowledge I gain.