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Film Theory and Criticism (Online) (10 credit points)

Course Times & Enrolment

Wednesdays from 17th April 2024 (Code FM191-301) Wednesdays from
17th April 2024 6:30pm - 8:30pm • (10 classes)
Online • Tutor: Anthony McKibbin BA
This course is now closed for enrolments

Course Summary

Would you like to know more about semiotics, structuralism, gender in film? This course explores key concepts in film theory and criticism, and applies them to relevant film excerpts of some of the greatest films in cinema history. Join us and find out how some theoretical approaches can reveal essential forms and functions of cinema.

Course Details

Pre-requisites for enrolment

Students will need to be able to confidently use videoconferencing software and be comfortable with using websites.

This course would benefit and add to knowledge for those who have previously taken introductory film courses, but is also accessible to those with no prior knowledge of film.

Special Information

In order to participate in this course, you will need access to a computer with a speaker and an internet connection.

Content of Course

1. Introduction

2. Formalism

3. Realism

4. Structuralism

5. Semiotics

6. Authorship

7. Psychoanalysis

8. Ideology and Politics

9. Gender

10. Spectators

Teaching method(s)

This course will be delivered via live online sessions. Lectures, screenings, and discussion.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course, students will have gained:

  • An understanding of how cinema works and how films can be "read";

  • Familiarity with various analytical tools and methodologies which will be used with reference to film clips;

  • A critical appreciation of film, including (for credit students) the ability to express this in written form.


Core Readings


  • Cook, P. ed., 1999. The Cinema Book, British Film Institute, UK


  • Cohen, M. and Braudy, L., eds., 1998. Film Theory and Criticism: Introductory Readings, 5thed., Oxford University Press, UK

  • Easthope, A., ed., 1993. Contemporary Film Theory, Longman, UK

  • Hayward, S., 1996. Key Concepts in Cinema Studies, Routledge, UK

  • Orr, J. and Taxidou, O., 2000. Post-War cinema and Modernity: a Film Reader, Edinburgh University Press

Web Sources


Senses of Cinema:


10 credit courses have one assessment. Normally, the assessment is a 2000 word essay, worth 100% of the total mark, submitted by week 12. To pass, students must achieve a minimum of 40%. There are a small number of exceptions to this model which are identified in the Studying for Credit Guide.

Studying for Credit

If you choose to study for credit you will need to allocate significant time outwith classes for coursework and assessment preparation. Credit points gained from this course can count towards the Certificate of Higher Education.


If you have questions regarding the course or enrolment, please contact COL Reception at Paterson's Land by email or by phone 0131 650 4400.

Student support

If you have a disability, learning difficulty or health condition which may affect your studies, please let us know by ticking the 'specific support needs' box on your course application form. This will allow us to make appropriate adjustments in advance and in accordance with your rights under the Equality Act 2010. For more information please visit the Student Support section of our website.