This course interrogates cinema and television as art forms and as industries, locating them within specific historical and social contexts, in particular those of German-language cultures. The course explores screen media texts, producers and audiences, and also gives students a solid grounding in film and television history, aesthetics and reception. This course also offers students the opportunity to take up German through an intensive beginners’ course and to develop it to degree level alongside a wide choice of modules in areas including literature, history, linguistics, film and politics.
In film and television studies, students engage in multi-disciplinary activity in addition to core studies in Hollywood and international film history, the analysis of film and television texts and key critical perspectives, and the development of the television medium. In German, students being a structured course in the language to progress from beginners' to degree level and are also introduced to aspects of German culture and history.
Students deepen their understanding of key critical and theoretical approaches in the study of the production, circulation and cultural reception of film and television. Modules explore the way in which film and television converge in the contemporary media landscape, the phenomena of transnational media flows, and the social significance of the culture industries and issues of representation. In German, students further develop language skills in preparation for the year abroad. Students also undertake more specialised academic work in literature, history, linguistics, politics and society from a wide choice of modules in German studies.
Students will spend this year in Germany or Austria, on a programme of studies in a higher education institution, as an assistant in a school, or on a work placement.
Final year students specialise in specific aspects of film and television studies by choosing from a range of advanced modules. These offer the possibility of investigating new and emerging areas of film and television studies concerning the production of texts, film-going and screen audiences. Students also write an independent research dissertation under staff supervision. In German, students develop the command of German to a high level and use it in increasingly sophisticated contexts.
Alongside advanced language studies, students undertake optional modules drawn from the areas of literature, history, politics, society, media and linguistics. Students may also choose to write a dissertation on an aspect of German studies.
See also the Department of German Studies.
A levels: ABB, Evidence of modern foreign language ability, normally an A at GCSE
English language requirements
IELTS 7.0 (no less than 6.0 in any element)
TOEFL iBT 100 (no less than 20 in speaking and 19 in each other element)
For details please see alternative qualifications page.
Flexible admissions policy
We may make some applicants an offer lower than advertised, depending on their personal and educational circumstances.
The modules we offer are inspired by the research interests of our staff and as a result, may change from year to year. The following list is therefore subject to change but should give you a flavour of the modules we offer.
Typical Year One Modules
Beginners' German Language
This core module is designed to take beginners in German to a level of written and aural comprehension, writing and speaking skills usually comparable to A-level standard. At the end of the module, you will be able to comprehend and respond to written and aural texts over a comprehensive range of current affairs, cultural and everyday topics and engage in everyday social conversation. In this module you will have four 1-hour seminars and one 1-hour lecture each week.
Approaches to Film and Television
This module provides you with fundamental concepts in the study of film and television. It introduces key terms and investigates principal work roles within the industry. You will develop a critical approach to the analysis of film and television media, spending around five hours a week in workshops and seminars.
Introduction to German Studies
This year-long module provides an introduction to the study of German and is compulsory for most students of German. It covers the main fields of German Studies: literature, culture, history, linguistics, media and film. You will be introduced to the study skills required for academic study: critical and analytic skills, reading skills, presentation skills and writing skills. For this module you will have one 1-hour lecture and one 1-hour seminar each week working in small groups in addition to four hours of private study.
Film History 1
This module introduces you to the history of cinema from its 19th-century prehistory through World War Two. You will examine the rise of Hollywood as one of the dominant film-producing centres as well as other schools around the world such as German Expressionism and British documentary. The concept of ‘historiography’ will be introduced, examining the work of film historians to help develop your critical approach. You will spend four hours a week in seminars and workshops each week.
Film History 2
Introducing you to the history of cinema from 1945 to the present, with a focus on the global expansion of film industries and major movements, you’ll consider the influence of international film culture on styles such as Italian neorealism and the French New Wave. You will develop your understanding of historiography by studying different critical approaches to film history, spending four hours a week in workshops and seminars.
This module examines the development of the film and television industries through textual and theoretical exploration. For example, you will examine public services organisations such as the BBC in comparison to commercial broadcast systems such as ITV and US television. You will also compare different systems of media such as British, American and other national television cultures. You will spend five hours a week in workshops and seminars.
German Language (Post-Beginners')
This module will consolidate your proficiency in the four skill areas of the German language (writing, reading, listening and speaking) and develop these further. You will work with texts from newspapers and other sources, which will be used for discussion of translation issues and grammatical structures, linguistic analysis and textual comparison, oral presentation, and essay writing. The module will use texts that cover a broad range of general, journalistic and academic topics, as well as those that will help to prepare students for living, working and studying during their year abroad. You will have one 1-hour lecture and four 1-hour tutorials per week in addition to private study.
You will learn about the concepts of ‘transnational’ and ‘postnational’ media, taking into account the movement and interactions of people, finance, technology and ideas around the world. You will develop a foundation of theoretical knowledge to be applied to case studies in global media to assist your understanding of the subject, spending four and a half hours in lectures, seminars and workshops each week.
New German Cinema
Between the mid 1960s and the mid 1980s West German cinema rose to new national and international success due to the work of a number of young directors who were commonly perceived as representatives of a "New" or "Young" German cinema. This module will analyse selected films from this period. You will be introduced to the individual styles of different directors (Fassbinder, Herzog, Wenders) as well as to their common thematic preoccupations. The analysis will aim to situate the "New German Cinema" within the contexts both of the development of the film industry and of contemporary social and political developments in West Germany. You will have one 2-hour seminar and one 1-hour workshop per week in addition to four hours of private study.
Understanding Cultural Industries
You will learn how show business is broken down into ‘show’ and ‘business’ in film and television industries and examine how technology and legislation influence those industries. You will also learn about how advertising and market research influence the design and production of media in certain regions and how film and television have changed in different contexts and periods. Around five hours a week will be spent in lectures and seminars.
Media in Germany
The aim of this module is to explore the history of print and broadcasting in Germany from 1933 to the 1990s, and investigate the relationship between media content and culture. You will develop a foundation in the key concepts of media studies and gain insight into the connection of media and ideology. For this module you will have one 2-hour seminar per week in addition to four hours of private study.
Film and Television in a Social and Cultural Context
During this year-long module you will think about industries, audiences and surrounding debates from a social and cultural viewpoint. You will learn about the way that social and cultural meaning is produced by film and television programmes. You will also explore the social practices that surround the consumption of media, such as moviegoing and television viewing. Around five hours a week will be spent in workshops and seminars.
Throughout this module, you will build on your awareness of film and television as cultural products and discover new ways to do historical research into screen practice. You’ll begin to see film and television as cultural artefacts and focus on the production, circulation and consumption of film and television around the world, spending around five hours a week in workshops.
Researching Culture, Film and Media
For this year-long core module you will spend two hours a week in lectures and workshops to become familiar with different methods for investigating research topics and determining their suitability for different projects. You will learn the interdisciplinary nature of film, television and media studies and demonstrate this knowledge by choosing your own research project and methods.
Year Three: You will spend this year in Germany or Austria, on a programme of studies in a higher education institution, as an assistant in a school, or on a work placement. For more information, visit the Department of German Studies' Study Abroad page.
Typical Year Four Modules
German Essay and Oral
This core module aims to consolidate the high level of language skills you will have acquired during the time spent in a German-speaking country in Year 3. You will further refine your advanced proficiency in written and spoken German, usually with support from a native speaker. Contemporary texts and discussions of up-to-date topics are a key feature of this module and you will be encouraged to build on the knowledge and skills acquired during your year abroad. For this module you will have two 1-hour seminars each week working in small groups in addition to four hours of private study.
Film and Television Studies Dissertation
You will carry out a major individual research project based on issues and concepts taught on the course so far. Your work will demonstrate your skill for critical argument and understanding on the topic and will be supported by individual supervision, resources such as film databases, and workshops on research methods throughout the semester.
Translation from German
This core module will enhance your practical command and effective understanding of written and German and English on the basis of your progress during your year abroad through translation from German of a variety of texts and passages. This module will develop your translation skills towards professional standards for translation into English. For this module you will have one 2-hour seminar each week working in small groups in addition to four hours of private study.
Film and Television Genres 1
You’ll be introduced to the key concepts and theoretical work on specific film genres. Each year, the module investigates a particular genre or cycle such as action cinema, television drama, film noir and more. Combined with what you have learnt on previous modules you will look at genre in the context of production and consumption, spending around five hours a week in workshops and seminars.
Translation and Linguistic Exchange
This module offers in-depth discussion of grammatical, lexical and idiomatic aspects of German and English as well as issues of translation, register and cultural difference. You will be taught primarily through the medium of translation, both from and into German, using a variety of texts and passages on a range of topics and in a range of registers. You will work in a team with exchange students who are German native speakers and this will foster dialogue about linguistic and translation issues as well as general cultural exchange. You will have one 2-hour and one 1-hour seminar per week in addition to four hours of private study.
You will examine a number of films to answer the question ‘what is a blockbuster?’ and explore the phenomenon by learning where the term came from and to what kind of films it has been applied worldwide. The social value of the term will also be considered, and you will discuss the global dynamics of the blockbuster. You will spend six hours a week in workshops and seminars.
German Studies Dissertation
This module involves the in-depth study of a topic in German Studies resulting in a dissertation written in German. You will write a 4,000 word essay in German or English on a topic of your particular interest and expertise (normally related to a German module which you have taken in your second or final year). In addition to extensive private study you will have two 1-hour seminars per semester followed by five individual meetings with your supervisor. This module is also available as a 20 credit version where you will write a 7,000 word essay in German or English.
Screen Encounters: Audiences and Engagement
Through four hours a week studying in workshops and seminars, you will gain an in-depth understanding of film and television audiences and why they watch media, taking into account the social, political and historical factors that shape audience experiences. You will also explore the role of marketing systems used to engage specific audiences and how this knowledge is applied in industry market research.
Culture and Society in the Weimar Republic
The Weimar Republic (1919-1933) was one of the most fascinating and culturally productive periods of German history, but it was equally ridden by crises and violent conflicts. This module aims to introduce central issues in the literary and social developments of Weimar Germany. You will study a wide range of materials (literary texts, film, aesthetic and political programmes) to analyse key features of the period. Topics will include the impact of the Great War, developments in the press and the cinema, political confrontations, cabaret, and unemployment. You will have one 2-hour and one 1-hour seminar per week in addition to four hours of private study.
Video Production Project
This module combines the historical and theoretical knowledge you have gained with the practical task of video production. You will investigate the ways that production can alter the end product through recording and editing techniques, and experience the many decisions that must be made through the production process. You will spend time in media labs and in the field making a collaborative video production, alongside four hours a week in lectures and seminars.
The New Hollywood
You will learn about key changes in Hollywood since the 1960s and develop critical thinking about the status and meaning of the ‘New Hollywood’ through comparisons with the so-called ‘Old Hollywood’ and ‘New New Hollywood’, attention to audience demographics, and study of evolving cinemagoing practices and cultural representations. You will also consider industry marketing materials and film-review media to further your engagement with the subject, spending around four hours a week in seminars and workshops.
Recent Women's Writing
In this module you will explore a number of novels and stories written since 1960 by German-speaking women writers. You will also study selected texts on the cultural, political and social contexts of the rise of the second wave feminism in the 1970’s, the changing position of women in the FRG, GDR and Austria, and the increasing awareness of ethnic pluralities. You will compare texts and contexts and explore a variety of reading strategies developed in feminist criticism. For this module you will have one 2-hour and one 1-hour seminar each week in addition to four hours of private study.
Communicating and Teaching Languages for Undergraduate Ambassadors
In this module you will take part in the nationwide Undergraduate Ambassadors Scheme which works with universities to provide academic modules that enable students to go into local schools to act as inspiring role-models. Students split their time between the university-based seminar and their allocated school, where they are placed in the language department as a language assistant. Students are required to design and deliver a teaching project aimed at improving pupil understanding of selected aspects of the German language and culture. Students will be supported by the module convenor and the education specialist on campus, and by their contact teacher at their school. Typically there are fortnightly seminars of 2-hours at university and 7 half-days spent in school. Students can choose to be ambassadors for German or French, Spanish, and Russian. Placements are predominantly in secondary schools, with a limited number in primary schools.
You will have completed an independent research dissertation and will have an in-depth knowledge of specific areas of film and television studies, including production, circulation and cultural reception. You will have developed your command of German to a high level and your international experience will demonstrate to employers that you are independent and adaptable.
Average starting salary and career progression
In 2012, 91.5% of first-degree graduates in the Department of Culture, Film and Media who were available for employment had secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The average starting salary was £16,640 with the highest being £30,000.*
In 2012, 92.3% of first-degree graduates in the Department of German Studies who were available for employment had secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The average starting salary was £19,365 with the highest being £30,000.*
* Known destinations of full-time home and EU graduates, 2011/12.
Careers Support and Advice
Studying for a degree at The University of Nottingham will provide you with the type of skills and experiences that will prove invaluable in any career, whichever direction you decide to take. Throughout your time with us, our Careers and Employability Service can work with you to improve your employability skills even further; assisting with job or course applications, searching for appropriate work experience placements and hosting events to bring you closer to a wide range of prospective employers.
Have a look at our Careers page for an overview of all the employability support and opportunities that we provide to current students.