Triangle

Course overview

Combine your love of film and television with your fascination for one of the world's dominant cultural, economic and political powers.

You'll cover topics unique to each subject as well as how they combine to entertain, promote ideologies and help us communicate and connect across the world.

Film and Television Studies

You’ll look at screen media beyond the film or TV set. In particular you'll examine their:

  • economics and employment practices
  • development and global operation
  • ever changing audiences
  • reflection of, and influence on, society
  • decision makers and processes
  • adoption of new platforms and technologies

American Studies

Looking across both the USA and Canada you'll cover:

  • history
  • politics
  • culture - literature, music and art as well as film and television

Combine the subjects

We have specialist modules that combine the two subjects to make the degree a coherent whole. You'll also be able to write a final year dissertation that integrates both subjects into one substantial piece of work.

 

Through our Creative Student Network you'll also have opportunities to intern at global media organisations (such as Disney in Los Angeles and Red Bee Creative in London).

Your departments

This joint honours degree is a collaboration between two departments. Find out more about what it’s like to study in the:

Why choose this course?

Beginners welcome

No previous experience of either subject necessary

No set programme

Build a degree that suits your interests

Get experience

with bespoke internships, work placements and volunteering schemes

Award winning NSTV

Multi-award winning, student-run TV station

Creative living

Unleash your creativity - live in a UNESCO City of Literature, take part in the student-run New Theatre and on-campus Lakeside Arts, experience a vibrant visual arts scene and legendary music venues

Quality teaching

Over 90% of students in both subjects think staff are good at explaining things

National Student Survey (5 year average)


Entry requirements

All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements below apply to 2023 entry.

UK entry requirements
A level ABB
IB score 32

Extended Project Qualification (EPQ)

If you have already achieved your EPQ at Grade A you will automatically be offered one grade lower in a non-mandatory A level subject.

If you are still studying for your EPQ you will receive the standard course offer, with a condition of one grade lower in a non-mandatory A level subject if you achieve an A grade in your EPQ.

Foundation progression options

If you have faced educational barriers and are predicted BCC at A Level, you may be eligible for our Foundation Year. You may progress to a range of direct entry degrees in the arts and humanities.  

Learning and assessment

How you will learn

You'll be part of large lectures, small seminars and individual tutorials – some will be in person and some will be online. You'll also work in groups on projects and presentations but also be responsible for doing a large amount of individual study.

We encourage you to bring both sides of your degree together. Over 85% of our students agree that they've had opportunities to bring information and ideas together from different topics - a sign of our success with this approach (National Students Survey 2021).

We're a theory-based course but that doesn't just mean reading books. You'll also be looking at newspaper and magazine articles; reviews; academic, trade and industry reports; press releases. And of course, there will be lots of watching of film and TV across all genres and styles.

“I did a module called ‘The Pop Century’, which was on 20th century music, in second year. I loved that because you’d have a playlist every week and reading to go with it. We’d listen to songs and you’d choose your favourite one and link it to the historical context."

Liberty Jones, BA American and Canadian Studies

Teaching support

Across both subjects 94% of our students thought they could contact staff when they needed to – we’re here for you when you need us (National Student Survey 2021)

In addition to staff being generally available you'll also have a personal tutor who will review your academic progress and help find solutions to any issues affecting your studies.

"As a personal tutor, I work with you on your academic progress, but I also have a pastoral role with regards to your well-being. I see how you get on across all your modules, which enables discussions about you as an individual."

Dr Gabriele Neher, Senior Tutor

Teaching methods

  • Field trips
  • Lectures
  • Practical classes
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials
  • Placements
  • Workshops

How you will be assessed

Your assessments will vary according to the topic studied. As well as the expected essays, exams and presentations you might also pitch a media franchise, create a video essay or film a vlogs.

Assessment methods

  • Dissertation
  • Essay
  • Portfolio (written/digital)
  • Presentation
  • Reflective review
  • Written exam
  • Commentary

Contact time and study hours

The minimum scheduled contact time you will have is:

  • Year one – at least 12 hours per week
  • Year two – at least 10 hours per week
  • Year three – at least 8 hours per week

Weekly tutorial support and the accredited Nottingham Advantage Award provide further optional learning activities, on top of these class contact hours.

As well as your timetabled sessions you’ll carry out extensive independent study. This will include course reading and seminar preparation. A typical 20 credit module involves three to four hours of lectures, workshops and seminars per week.

Your lecturers will also be available outside your scheduled contact time to help you study and develop. This can be in-person or online. They will all be members of our academic staff in Cultural Media and Visual Studies and American and Canadian Studies many of whom are internationally recognised in their fields.

Class sizes vary depending on topic and type. Typically:

  • lectures will have around 50 to 60 students
  • weekly seminars will have 15 to 20 students

Study abroad

Pre-pandemic, over 1,500 of our students a year benefitted from living and learning in a different culture. As borders re-open we'll once again be enabling and encouraging our students to take advantage of the opportunities Nottingham's position as a global university brings.

You've a range of options - from short summer schools, a single semester to a whole year abroad.

We've a dedicated team to help you with the practicalities and many opportunities mean you pay reduced fees.

If you need support for your language skills before you go our Language Centre will have resources to help.

Explore the university-wide opportunities

Placements

On your course

Our Work Placement module offers you the opportunity to build workplace skills that apply to whatever career you develop.

Internships, placements and other work experience

Our competitive internships offer you the opportunity to get experience with leading US and UK media companies.

The award winning Nottingham Student Television Station provides opportunities to gain experience on both sides of the camera.

Creative Pathways with Lakeside Arts

Events and internships to help you gain insight and experience of the creative industries sector.

Across the university

Our reputation means we can work with top employers to offer high quality general internships and work experience placements. Check out our Careers and Employability Service for what’s on offer.

Nottingham Advantage Award

Boost your employability with a range of employer-led projects and career development opportunities through the Nottingham Advantage Award.

 

"Throughout my time with the department I’ve been able to undertake a ten week placement at a local radio station, an internship at a PR company and a media teaching placement in a local school."

Nils Berg, Film and Television BA (2019)

Study Abroad and the Year in Industry are subject to students meeting minimum academic requirements. Opportunities may change at any time for a number of reasons, including curriculum developments, changes to arrangements with partner universities, travel restrictions or other circumstances outside of the university’s control. Every effort will be made to update information as quickly as possible should a change occur.

Why study two subjects?

The benefits of doing a joint honours degree.

Modules

We know everyone comes from a variety of backgrounds and experiences so our first year ensures you have the necessary skills and knowledge to thrive and helps you connect with your fellow students.

You'll take a series of core modules across both subjects, with the option to bias your American Studies component towards culture or history.

 

"Each module was taught by a really amazing professor. The passion was infectious. You couldn’t not enjoy the modules!"

Melania Burlacu, Film and Television Studies

Film and Television Studies

Producing Film and Television

This module engages with the narrative histories of film and television, from their origins to the present day, a period involving many significant transitional moments in production histories. You will explore the coming of sound, the rise and demise of the Hollywood studio system, and the emergence of the TV network system. By raising questions such as: what are the industries producing at these moments, and how are cultural products marketed and distributed? this module also asks what transition means at different historical moments. It provides examples of different critical approaches to film and television history and interrogates the key debates around the periodisation of that history. This module is worth 20 credits.

Consuming Film and Television

This module asks questions surrounding the consumption — viewing and listening, in public and private environments including theatres, homes and more — of film, television and other screen media.

It addresses viewing contexts including public spaces such as cinemas, private spaces such as homes, and emerging hybrid spaces.

For you to understand not only consumption environments but also media users, the module also investigates constructions of screen audiences, through historical as well as contemporary cases.

You will complete the module with an understanding of how screen media offer components of experiences dependent on consumption environments and on audiences' attitudes, cultural backgrounds and other activities.

This module is worth 20 credits.

Reading Film and Television

An essential introduction to the key:

  • stylistic and narrative elements in films, television programmes and streaming media
  • roles that are involved in creating these elements

  • language used to analyse these media

Decisions around lighting, sound, scripts and edits all affect how an audience understands and reacts to what they are seeing and hearing. Using case studies across periods and genres you'll develop an ability to "read" these decisions and why they've been made.

You'll also become familiar with who's making and implementing these decisions.

Over the course of the module we'll build a common understanding of the language used when analysing film and television. This will help you both understand the analysis of others and make sure your own voice is clearly understood.

You'll watch plenty of film and television as case studies and work with your fellow students in small groups to tackle questions and present your findings.

Recent films students have worked with include:

  • Nosferatu - a classic black and white horror movie from 1922
  • Vertigo - one of Alfred Hitchcock's most talked about movies from 1958

  • Deadpool - superhero comedy from 2016

By the end of the module you'll have the knowledge, skills and confidence to explain what's happening in what you see, ready for more specialised study in the rest of your degree.

This module is worth 20 credits.

Questioning Culture: An Introduction to Research

This module will support you in your first year as you make the transition into degree level work. You will gain a variety of skills in independent and collaborative learning with the aid of guided and self-directed learning tasks and individual and group research projects. All of which will prepare the ground for subsequent research training and your final year dissertation. This module is worth 20 credits.

American Studies

From Landscapes to Mixtapes: Canadian Literature, Film and Culture

Examine literary, film and visual texts in their historical, political, regional and national contexts.

You will explore debates about cultural definition and the construction and deconstruction of Canada. We mainly focus on the 20th century.

Possible topics include:

  • The wilderness
  • Migration and multiculturalism
  • Indigenous cultures
  • Canadian and Québécois nationalisms
  • Popular culture
  • Canada’s relationship to the US

This module is worth 20 credits.

You will take all modules from either Group A or Group B.

Group A

Race, Power, Money and the Making of North America, 1607-1900

Discover the history of North America, from European contact through to the start of the 20th century.

You will explore how the interactions of European colonizers with Native Americans shaped the future of the region, as well as the rise of Atlantic slavery, its development over time and the eventual emergence of distinctive African-American cultures.

We cover a broad chronological period, which includes European colonization, independence and Civil War. You will also examine the influence and development of attitudes towards race, class, gender, democracy and capitalism.

This module is worth 20 credits.

American Freedom? Empire, Rights and Capitalism in Modern US History, 1900-Present

Discover the history of the United States in the 20th century.

You will explore the changes in the lives of American people, focussing on:

  • Prosperity
  • Depression
  • War
  • Liberal reform
  • Political conservatism
  • Minority protests
  • Multicultural awareness
  • International power

This module is worth 20 credits.

Group B

American Literature and Culture 1: 1830-1940

Gain an introduction to major American literature and culture.

You will explore a wide range of 19th and early 20th century American writers of fiction and poetry.

You will also:

  • Address questions about the nature of the American ‘canon’, raised by critics
  • Explore related developments in visual culture and music

This module is worth 20 credits

American Literature and Culture 2: Since 1940

This module follows on from ‘American Literature and Culture 1: 1830-1940’.

You will explore a wide range of 20th and 21st century American writers, including Richard Wright, Flannery O’Connor, Shirley Jackson, Thomas Pynchon, Toni Morrison, Cormac McCarthy, and Colson Whitehead.

You will also explore related developments in late 20th and early 21st century American culture, including, for example, the films of Alfred Hitchcock and Robert Altman, abstract expressionist art, and the emergence of digital media.

This module is worth 20 credits

Year structure

You'll take 120 credits of core modules.

You must pass year one but it does not count towards your final degree classification.

The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules (including methods of assessment) may change or be updated, or modules may be cancelled, over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for information on available modules. This content was last updated on Monday 11 April 2022.

Year two broadens and develops your understanding of core concepts.

You also get the freedom to choose modules to develop existing interests or explore new ones.

A work placement module gives you the chance to develop skills and experience ready for a future career.

Core modules

Researching Media and Culture

For this year-long core research module you'll spend two hours a week in lectures and workshops to become familiar with different approaches to investigating research topics which interest you. This will include learning about and trying out first-hand a range of research methods and techniques commonly applied in ethnographic, historical and textual study, and determining their suitability for different projects. You’ll learn about the kinds of research that a range of industry professionals from diverse sectors within the media, creative, entertainment and heritage industries pursue, and have opportunities to reflect on how you could incorporate that learning into your own research. You'll also investigate the interdisciplinary nature of culture, film, media, the arts and critical digital studies and demonstrate this knowledge by choosing your own research project and methods. This module is worth is 20 credits.

North American Regions

This module will deploy the concept of "region" and, more broadly, “place” to explore key North American texts— drawn primarily from the spheres of film, television and literature. The notion of the "regional" will be applied expansively as well as conventionally to incorporate everything from the urban to the suburban/exurban; border territories; the transnational. Possible areas of study may include the American West; the Pacific North-West; New York City; the black inner city “ghetto”; "mountain" people and the Appalachians; Hispanic-America; first nations; French-Canada; Texas; Chicago; New Orleans; California; and the transnational impact of extensive US military occupations (post-war Japan; South Vietnam; twenty-first century Iraq). 

Optional modules

You will take two modules from Group A and two modules from Group B. Your module selection should be balanced across Film and Television Studies and American Studies.

Group A

Transnational Media

In this module you'll 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. The module addresses in particular global media interactions emerging from tensions between forces of cultural homogenisation and heterogenisation. You'll also develop a foundation of theoretical knowledge to be applied to case studies in global film, television and other screen and print media. This module is worth 20 credits.

Understanding Cultural Industries

In this module you'll learn how show business is broken down into 'show' and 'business' in film, television and promotional industries and examine how creative decision-making, technology and legislation influence those industries. You'll also learn about how advertising and market research influence the design and production of media in certain regions and how film and television industries have developed in different contexts and periods. This module is worth 20 credits.

Film and Television in Social and Cultural Context

During this year-long module you'll:

  • think about industries, audiences and surrounding debates from a social and cultural viewpoint
  • learn about the way that social and cultural meaning is produced by film and television programmes​
  • explore the social practices that surround the consumption of media, such as movie going and television viewing

Some of the specific questions we might look at together include:

  • How do value judgements shape the way in which movies and television programmes get made
  • What is "good" television?
  • What challenges are public service broadcasters, like the BBC, facing and how should they address these?
  • How have writers and producers attempted to use television drama to enact social change?
  • What kind of TV programmes are preferred by streaming services and why?
  • How might binge watching impact on the viewer's experience and social communication?

This module is worth 20 credits.

Media Identities: Who We Are and How We Feel

This module develops critical modes of attention to the mediation of identity. On our screens and in our headphones, we shape and reshape our selves. Media do not reflect identities but play an active role in bringing them into being. This module takes up the question of 'identity politics', enhancing students' knowledge and understanding of key identity categories that have been advanced and problematized by media scholars, such as gender and sexuality, race and ethnicity, national, regional and local belonging, age, ability and disability, and more. The module also interrogates the mediated forms these identities take, considering the politics of looking and visual culture, the politics of hearing and auditory culture, and the politics of affect, emotions and embodiment. The module encourages historical as well as contemporary perspectives.

The Sixties: Culture and Counterculture

Described variously as an era of dissent, revolution and experiment, the 1960s offers a unique vantage point from which to explore a range of issues and topics pertinent to media and cultural studies. The art of the period brings into view a volatile world where distinctions between different media were becoming blurred (as in performance art, for instance) and where inherited ideas, hierarchies and values were contested, if not exploded. Notions such as the Establishment, the underground, celebrity, obscenity, mass culture, alongside those of personal identity (gender, race, class, sexuality) were all subject to radical questioning in an era where events, such as those of the Civil Rights Movement and the Vietnam War, challenged the received order of things. This module critically evaluates the idea of the 1960s, starting with its status as a fabled decade that is said to cast its shadow today. Historiographical and geographical questions structure the module.  When and, crucially, where were ‘the Sixties’? Was it primarily an Anglo-American phenomenon? Was it the 1950s until 1963? Did it end in the early 1970s, as some believe, with the Oz Trials?  These and other questions will help us to demythologise the period and begin investigating it anew.

European Avant-Garde Film

Explore how film can be regarded as an art form through the study of avant-garde cinema in early 20th century Europe.

We’ll start by looking at what is meant by the term ‘avant-garde’, and consider the development of experimental filmmaking in the context of artistic movements such as:

  • Futurism
  • Cubism
  • Dada
  • Surrealism
  • Constructivism

The focus will be on developments in Germany, France and the Soviet Union and consider key trends from abstract animation to Cinema Pur.

We’ll also explore some key concerns of non-mainstream cinema such as:

  • Narrative
  • Abstraction
  • Reflexivity
  • Spectatorship
  • movement, time and space

You’ll examine how experimental film engaged with modernity, including the aesthetic and political strategies of the European avant-gardes.

By the end of the module you’ll be able to:

  • contextualise the avant-garde in relation to broader artistic and historical developments
  • understand the relationships between film and other media

This module is worth 20 credits.

Digital Communication and Media

Digital communication and media are significantly transforming the ways our societies operate. In this module you will critically explore key issues behind this transformation, and investigate theoretical and practical foundations of digital communication and media and their relationship to contemporary culture. You will study the cultural, political, economic, technical and regulatory contexts from which digital communication and media have emerged and in which they continue to operate. To link conceptual frameworks to real-life experiences and situations, the module also provides opportunities for you to explore the interactive forms and practices that result from the use of digital communication and media through a range of both individual and group activities. This module is worth 20 credits.

Memory, Media and Visual Culture

Media, TV, film and visual culture play a central role in forming our knowledge of the past. There is no memory without its representation in language or images. Using a range of case studies, you will explore how different forms of remembrance add weight to what they represent. Who remembers what, when, where, why and to what purpose? Why do screen and other media retell certain stories over and over again, and how is such remembrance linked to the erasure of other pasts? What is the relationship between national and transnational memories, when set against memories of enslavement and its visualisations? These, and other questions, will guide our approach to an interdisciplinary field of media, film and visual studies. The module will also encourage you to reflect critically on regimes of visibility and narration, and on the distinct ways that memories of certain events are communicated via different genres, institutions, and artefacts. This module is worth 20 credits.

Los Angeles Art and Architecture 1945-1980
This module introduces a number of artistic and architectural practices that emerged in Southern California after 1945. Exploring their cultural and historical context, we will consider the role of Los Angeles in the development of post-1945 American art and architecture, including mid-century modernism, Pop Art, Conceptual Art and Light & Space Art. Central to this module is the question of whether all art made in Los Angeles can be classified as “Los Angeles Art” – that is, the extent to which the art and architecture of the region necessarily reflected the geographical location, climate, and expansive urban layout of Los Angeles. To this end, we will consider the critical reception of art of this period, investigating, amongst other critical constructs, the notions of centre and periphery, regionalism and the cultural construction of the American west that shaped much writing on California during the period.
Work placement

Combine our in-depth sector knowledge with the Careers and Employability Service skills development experience to get noticed when applying for jobs and during interviews.

From constructing an outstanding CV to practicing graduate level interview skills we'll build on your existing abilities.

You'll also get something concrete to talk about through a multi-week work placement. This will be tailored as far as possible to your subject and career aspirations.

This sort of attention to detail is what makes Nottingham graduates some of the most sought after in the job market.

This module is worth 20 credits.

Group B

The American Pop Century

This module surveys the history of American popular music in the 20th century, focusing on the major genres and exploring the artistic, cultural and political issues they raise. In addition to examining the music’s aesthetic qualities genre by genre, the focus will be on key developments within the music industry, on the ways in which commercial and technological changes have influenced the production and consumption of music, and on the ways in which musicians and audiences use pop music to engage with American culture and society. We’ll spend quite a bit of time listening to and analysing music, but you do not need any specialist musical expertise or knowledge to take the module.

Contemporary North American Fiction

This course will consider the contexts and development of contemporary fiction and the novel in the United States and Canada since the 1990s. It will do so by positioning literary works within their wider historical, political and cultural context. The course will examine the dominant ideas and concerns of a number of fictions and novels by writers from a range of ethno-cultural backgrounds. Issues for discussion will include the impact of race, ethnicity, gender, class, generation and sexuality on North American fiction and the novel; the bearing of technology on contemporary fiction; and various debates about the nature of the historical novel in the twenty-first century.

African American History and Culture

This module examines African American history and culture from slavery to the present through a series of case studies that highlight forms of cultural advocacy and resistance and thus indicate how African Americans have sustained themselves individually and collectively within a racist, yet liberal society. These will illustrate the resilience of African American culture via music, literature, art and material culture. Examples may include the persistence of African elements in slave culture, the emergence of new artistic forms in art, religion and music during the segregation era, and the range and complexity of African American engagement with US public culture since the 1960s across art, literature and popular culture. Weekly topics might include material culture in the Gullah region of South Carolina; or the growth of urban black churches in the North during the period of the Great Migration highlighted by the development of Gospel choirs and radio preaching.

American Radicalism

American radicals have been dismissed as impractical, wild-eyed, and subversive - even "un-American"- although many of their most visionary aims have been realized. This module will consider these paradoxes, beginning with the American Revolution in the late 18th century. 19th century subjects will include the abolitionists, early feminism, utopian socialism, anarchism, and farmer populism. 20thcentury subjects will include the Socialist Party in the 1910s, the Communist Party and the anti-Stalinist left in the 1930s, opponents of the Cold War, the 1960s New Left, Black Power militancy, and more recent radicalisms, including the gay liberation movement, women's liberation, and resistance to corporate globalisation.

The US and the World in the American Century: US Foreign Policy 1898-2008

How can we understand the evolution of America's relationship with the wider world? What interests have been behind the execution of American power?

This module offers a critical introduction to understanding America's place in the world. From the war of 1898, to the conflicts of the early 21st century, we examine how America's involvement abroad has changed over time.

Through historical and political analyses of US foreign relations, we will look at the themes that have shaped America's increasing influence in global affairs.

We consider:

  • traditional political and diplomatic issues
  • the link between foreign and domestic policies
  • the role of foreign actors and private organisations, from religious groups, to citizen organisations, to NGOs that have served to shape America's actions abroad

We will also explore contemporary trends in the history of US foreign policy, including race, gender, emotions, and religion.

This module is worth 20 credits.

American Violence: A History

This module seeks to analyse the patterns and prevalence of violence in the USA. You will consider theories such as its origins in frontier settler societies and this may allow comparative study of Canada. You will understand the relationship between violence and the gun control debate and the related issue of American ideological antipathy to state power. You will also look at the celebration of violence as a source of conflict resolution and examine the US government’s use of violence as an instrument of foreign policy. Possible topics include violence incidental to settler-native people contact or plantation slavery, the right to bear arms in the Constitution, the resort to force within US foreign policy including atomic weaponry, ‘state terrorism’, and the military-industrial complex.

Immigration and Ethnicity in the United States

This module examines the history of immigration to the United States from Europe, Asia, and Latin America. We trace the making and remaking of immigrant communities, cultures, and identities from the nineteenth century to the present day. You will analyse models of race, ethnicity, culture, and nation by focusing on the perception and reception of immigrant groups and their adjustment to US society. We will ask questions such as: How have institutions and ideologies shaped the changing place of immigrants within the United States over time? How have immigrants forged new identities within and beyond the framework of the nation state? And how has immigration transformed US society?

Transnational Media

In this module you'll 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. The module addresses in particular global media interactions emerging from tensions between forces of cultural homogenisation and heterogenisation. You'll also develop a foundation of theoretical knowledge to be applied to case studies in global film, television and other screen and print media. This module is worth 20 credits.

Key Texts in American Social and Political Thought

American history, from the period of colonisation to the nation's emergence as a global superpower, has always involved intense social and political debate.

This module analyses key texts in the history of American political and social thought, from the settlement period to the present day.

You will be introduced to debates over issues such as:

  • religion
  • race
  • class
  • capitalism
  • gender
  • sexuality
  • war

We analyse primary sources by a diverse range of thinkers and writers to interpret these debates, showing how they continue to shape American society and politics in the present.

This module is worth 20 credits.

Business in American Culture

This module introduces students to the conflicting views about business that can be heard echoing through American literature and culture in the last two centuries. These views are evident when literature and culture directly represent the business culture-its executives, managers and employees, or the physical and mental conditions of employment and entrepreneurship; they are also evident in the narrative unconscious of works appreciated for qualities other than their treatment of business. This module aims to try and understand not only what drives American culture's preoccupation with business, but also to study the various strategies used as literature and culture represents what the module calls the discourses of business: the way that business as a theme is written and talked about in the United States by presidents, by social critics, by journalists, and by writers and other cultural producers; the way that the historical accumulation of this collective input has fashioned a set of rules that govern the way successive generations can think about business; the way that specialised and professionalised languages of business become tropes and metaphors to be used outside of a strictly business environment. The module examines these discourses in a variety of representational forms from the mid-nineteenth century through to the present day: shorts stories and novels; newspapers, magazines and illustrations; speeches, autobiographies and memoirs; film and television.

Presidential Rhetoric - Genres and Media

This module examines developments in American presidential rhetoric.

It begins with early presidents who set the generic conventions (Washington’s Farewell Address) or became models (Lincoln: Second Inaugural/Gettysburg Address) and established the President as an international leader (Woodrow Wilson).

But the core of the module is the impact of changing media from FDR’s radio “fireside chats” through JFK and Reagan’s use of television to Barack Obama’s and Donald Trump’s use of social media.

Much of the focus will be on speeches and press conferences and the interaction between the White House press corps and the President, his speech writing staff, and press secretary.

Work placement

Combine our in-depth sector knowledge with the Careers and Employability Service skills development experience to get noticed when applying for jobs and during interviews.

From constructing an outstanding CV to practicing graduate level interview skills we'll build on your existing abilities.

You'll also get something concrete to talk about through a multi-week work placement. This will be tailored as far as possible to your subject and career aspirations.

This sort of attention to detail is what makes Nottingham graduates some of the most sought after in the job market.

This module is worth 20 credits.

Year structure

You'll take 120 credits of modules split as follows:

  • core modules - 40 credits
  • optional Film and Television Studies modules - 40 credits
  • optional American Studies modules - 40 credits

You must pass year two which counts one third of your final degree classification.

The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules (including methods of assessment) may change or be updated, or modules may be cancelled, over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for information on available modules. This content was last updated on

You'll create a dissertation that concentrates on one subject or combines both into a single project.

Apart from that you have a free choice of modules balanced across both both subjects.

Dissertation

There are three options:

  • 40 credit dissertation in Film and Television Studies
  • 40 or 20 credit dissertation in American and Canadian Studies
Dissertation in American and Canadian Studies

This module involves in-depth independent study of a subject in American and Canadian Studies. It encourages both student-centred and student-initiated learning. The topic you choose must be appropriate for your course and must be approved by the module convenor. You are assigned a supervisor with expertise in your chosen area of study.

The completed dissertation should be 5,000-7,000 words in length for the 20 credit module and 10,000-12,000 words in length for the 40 credit module. The 20 credit dissertation is for one semester only and the 40 credit version is year-long.

Recent dissertation titles include:

  • To Ban or Not to Ban: Changing Motivations Behind Efforts to Censor African American Literature in America’s Public Schools, 1976-2018
  • The Development of Television in the Canadian North and its Role in the Preservation of Inuit Culture
  • The Feminist Justification for the Afghanistan War: The Cooperation Between the Bush Administration and the Feminist Majority Foundation
  • "The Teeth of the World are Sharp”: James Baldwin’s Protest Novels
  • Towards Humane Borders: Activist and NGO Responses to the Militarisation of the US-Mexico Boundary
  • “A Blended World … A Safe Space for Everybody”: A Case Study of Underground Ballroom Culture
  • “Wild Women Don’t Have the Blues”: The Empowerment of Black Female Blues Singers - Romance or Reality?
  • “Older Arts and Newer Technology”: Cultural Recoding in Bharati Mukherjee’s Desirable Daughters
Dissertation in Film and Television Studies

Throughout your degree you'll come across topics that really engage you and you wish you had more opportunity to explore in greater depth. The dissertation is that opportunity!

You'll agree a topic with your supervisor who'll be there to support and advise you throughout the entire project.

This individual support will be matched by more general sessions that develop your research and writing skills.

By the end of the year you'll submit a well researched and written project of 8,000 - 12,000 words.

The project will not only demonstrate your subject knowledge but also your ability to:

  • critically assess evidence and sources
  • argue coherently
  • work independently

Essential skills any employer wants to see.

 

This module is worth 40 credits.

Optional modules

You will take modules from both Group A and Group B. The balance of optional modules will depend on your dissertation choice.

Group A

Film and Television Genres

Many films share common traits. Together they might be classed as “action”, “made for television” or “low budget”. But how does as film get assigned a genre? Who does the assigning? And what impact does this assigning have?

During the module we’ll delve deep into a particular genre. We’ll examine it’s:

  • key concepts and texts
  • development
  • influence and influences

Building on what you’ve learnt in years one and two you’ll also look at the genre in the context of production and consumption.

As well as knowledge of a specific genre you’ll also develop the skills to apply your learning to other genres.

This module is worth 20 credits.

Screen Encounters: Audiences and Engagement

Through four hours a week studying in workshops and seminars, you'll 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. The module also reconceptualises media users by exploring interactive media experiences such as videogames and smartphone apps. Finally, you'll conduct an audience research project, gaining skills in running questionnaires and focus groups. This module is worth 20 credits.

Video Production Project

This module combines the historical and theoretical knowledge you have gained with the practical task of video production. You'll investigate the ways that production activities contribute to videomaking through recording and editing techniques, and experience the many decisions that must be made through the production process. You'll spend time in media labs and in the field making a collaborative video production, alongside four hours a week in lectures and seminars.

Global Cinema

Almost every country has a cinema industry. Yet what’s shown, and why, varies wildly.

We’ll look at how films outside Hollywood are made, distributed and received globally, and how these reflect local, regional and international trends.

We’ll ask how these cinemas:

  • reflect past and current international film industries setups and audiences’ tastes
  • are driven by local cultural specifics and global changes
  • might benefit different institutions and structures in society

We will also try to untangle categories such as national cinema, transnational cinema and world cinema, as well as to make sense of different filmic traditions, genres and modes around the world. Who creates these categories and who do they serve?

With an entire global cinema to draw from, the focus will narrow in any year to particular regions, filmic genres or movements.

This module is worth 20 credits.

Working in the Cultural Industries

The cultural and creative industries are at the forefront of government strategies across the world for developing post-industrial economies, are seen as exciting places to work, and regularly feature at the top of graduate employment destinations.

  • But what are these industries, and what is it like to work in them?
  • How do you gain entry to these competitive, highly skilled jobs?
  • What is ‘creativity’ and why is it so important to modern economies?
  • And what does the future hold for cultural and creative sectors?

We’ll examine the structure, organisation and working patterns in the creative and media industries alongside more practical exercises designed to help you to identify and evaluate your own skills and interests. This combination of industry knowledge and personal reflection is aimed to help you to find a rewarding and exciting career when you leave university.

You’ll also examine key aspects of contemporary work including:

  • the concept of creativity, the knowledge economy and precarious labour
  • important issues such as internship culture, exploitation and inequality

There will be plenty of opportunity to discuss and build upon your own experiences and aspirations, and to conduct independent research on areas of creative and media work that interest you.

This module is worth 20 credits.

Development and Production

This module considers the main processes and people involved in the development and production of screen content. In particular, it will cover the following areas: People (talent development and management); Ideas (development and content creation); Money (financing and assets); Places (global production trends).

 

This module is worth 20 credits.

Photographing America

This module examines the development of photography in America from roughly 1945 onwards. The module breaks the period down into themes and considers:

1. the transformation of ‘documentary’ photograph;

2. the emergence and importance of colour photography;

3. experimental, conceptual and post-conceptual photography;

4. issues of serialism and seriality;

5. landscape photography;

6. the photobook

7. analogue/digital

The module will draw on the work of a diverse range of photographers, including Walker Evans, Robert Frank, Harry Callahan, Aaron Siskind, Ed Ruscha, Lewis Baltz, Robert Adams, Robert Heinecken, Stephen Shore, Todd Hido, William Eggleston and Doug Rickard.

Teaching Film and Media Studies for Undergraduate Ambassadors

This module is part of 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. You will split your time between the university-based seminar and your allocated school, where you will be placed in an appropriate department as a teaching assistant. You will design and deliver a teaching project aimed at improving pupil understanding of selected aspects of media studies. You will be supported by the module convenor, the education specialist on campus, and the school's contact teacher. The module typically includes fortnightly seminars and seven half-days spent in school. Placements are in secondary schools and Sixth Form or FE colleges.

Gender, Sexuality and Media

Examine how issues of gender and sexuality relate to media and popular culture.

Using the intersectional fields of feminism, queer theory, and media and cultural studies we'll ask some crucial questions such as:

  • How are gender and sexuality represented in media and popular culture?
  • How do media and cultural industries structure gender and sexual inequalities?
  • How are identities and practices of media audiences and users gendered and sexualised?
  • How can gender and sexual norms be challenged in creative and radical ways?

This module is worth 20 credits.

Public Cultures: Protest, Participation and Power

Explore the relationship between public space, politics and technology using overlapping and interdisciplinary fields, including:

  • cultural studies
  • cultural geography
  • digital studies
  • urban sociology
  • cultural politics

You will engage in debates about the changing nature and uses of public space, with an emphasis on urban environments and digital space.

A range of protest movements will also provide case-study material and offer a central focus for your theoretical and practical explorations of the role of new technologies in:

  • controlling space
  • resisting control
  • enabling new forms of civic participation.

This module is worth 20 credits.

Fascism, Spectacle and Display
This module will examine cultural production during Italy’s fascist regime. There will be an emphasis on the experience of visual culture in public settings such as the exhibition space, the cinema, and the built environment. A wide range of cultural artefacts will be examined, paying attention to material as well as visual aspects. Visual material will be situated in the social, cultural and political circumstances of the period. Topics will include: Fascism’s use of spectacle, fascist conceptions of utopia, the regime’s use of the past, the relationship between Fascism and modernism, Fascism as a political religion, the cult of Mussolini, urban-rural relations, and empire building. The module will also consider the afterlife of fascist visual culture and the question of ‘difficult’ heritage.
Media and the Ecological Crisis

There is growing consensus that the climate and ecological crisis is the most pressing concern facing humanity today. In this module, we’ll examine the various ways in which the media impacts the climate crisis in terms of:

  • production - environmental impact of the media industries
  • content – documentaries, fiction, and climate news
  • consumption – social media and activism

Every week, we will examine a challenge in its context, and debate and develop possible solutions. You’ll get to understand the role of the media in both exacerbating environmental issues, and potentially offering ways forward for a more sustainable society.

For your assessment, you will research and analyse an environmental case study, and reflect on your own use of the media to consider how you can be part of the change.

This module is worth 20 credits.

Group B

US Foreign Policy, 1989 - present

Explore US foreign policy in the post-Cold War period.

You will examine the historical narratives of American international relations, considering the drivers behind the foreign policies of Presidents George H W Bush, Bill Clinton, George W Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump.

More specifically, we will consider:

  • Whether the post-1989 period constituted a break from previous traditions in US foreign policy, or whether there has been an essential continuity through the war on terror and beyond
  • The impact of economics, geopolitics, ideology and security issues on post-1989 strategy in different regions of the world
  • The impact of a new international environment, marked by the demise of bipolarity and the rise of globalisation

You'll spend around three hours per week in lectures and seminars on this module.

This module is worth 20 credits.

Popular Music Cultures and Countercultures

This module examines the role played by American popular music in countercultural movements. We focus on the ways in which marginalised, subordinate or dissenting social groups have used popular music as a vehicle for self-definition and for re-negotiating their relationship to the social, economic and cultural mainstream. We explore how the mainstream has responded to music countercultures in ways that range from repression to co-optation and analyse how the music and the movements have been represented and reflected on in fiction, film, poetry, journalism and theory.  Among the key moments examined are the folk revival and the 1930s Popular Front, rock 'n' roll and desegregation in the 1950s, rock music and the 1960s counterculture, and postmodernism and identity politics in the music of the MTV age.

A History of the Civil Rights Movement

This module examines a range of documents and scholarly controversies pertaining to the Civil Rights Movement between 1940 and 1970. Documents will include public and organisational records, photo-journalism, speeches, memoir and personal papers. Controversies will include those relating to the chronological limits, spatial dynamics, and gender politics of the movement, as well as those relating to the movement's goals and achievements.

North American Film Adaptations
This module examines North American short stories and novels and their film adaptations, paying attention to the contexts in which both the literary and the cinematic texts are produced as well as to the analysis of the texts themselves. In particular, the module takes an interest in literary texts whose film adaptations have been produced in different national contexts to the source material.
Varieties of Classic American Film, Television and Literature since 1950

What is a film, television or literary classic? How has this term come under pressure and fractured over the past half century or so? In this module you will consider the concept of the mid and late twentieth century American “classic” in a variety of contrasting and overlapping contexts. These contexts will be elaborated on the basis of their formal, generic, period and/or cultural designations that will cover university and exam curricula reading lists, popular opinion and widespread critical consensus (such as the currently prevalent view, for instance, that the early twenty-first century constitutes a ‘golden age’ of US television).

Recent Queer Writing

This module explores lesbian, gay, transgender and queer writing, focusing especially on the search for agency and the representation of gender and sexuality in selected contemporary texts. The majority of writers studied will be Canadian, although some American examples will also be included. The module is multi-generic, engaging with forms including novels, short fiction, life writing, poetry, drama and graphic narratives. Topics for discussion will include: 

  • LGBTQ sexuality;
  • constructions of masculinity and femininity;
  • the politics of representation: the extent to which writing can enable agency as subjects or citizens;
  • intersections between race, ethnicity, class, nationality, religion, and the construction of gender and sexual identites
  • writing for LGBTQ youth
  • literature studies will be contextualized in relation to relevant debates in feminist, queer, post-colonial and transnational theories

Representative authors for study may include James Baldwin, Jane Rule, Dionne Brand, Dorothy Allison, Shyam Selvadurai, Tomson Highway, Leslie Feinberg, and Ivan Coyote.

American Madness: Mental Illness in History and Culture

Experiences of and ideas about madness, insanity, and mental illness have varied and changed radically within American history and culture. This module will survey and analyse these changes from the mid-19thcentury to the present. We will consider how and why medical authority, gender, and class have all impacted the way in which mental illness is understood, and consider the significance of changing approaches to treatment. Sources used on this interdisciplinary module range from medical accounts and psychiatric theory to memoir, fiction and film. The aim is to place representations of mental illness in their historical context, and to ask what they reveal about related ideas about identity, conformity, social care and responsibility.

Sexuality in American History

From the Puritans to Playboy, sexuality has been a focal point in the culture, politics, and society of the United States. This module will examine Americans' differing attitudes over time toward sexuality. Representative topics covered may include marriage and adultery, homosexuality and heterosexuality, nudity, abortion, birth control, prostitution, free love, and rape.

The Special Relationship, Spit and Slavery - Britain and the US 1776-1877

Reassess the Anglo-American relationship, during an era of major upheaval in both nations.

Spanning from the American Revolution through to the end of the Reconstruction era, you will be challenged to examine how events and ideas forced Britons and Americans to reconceptualize their relationship.

You will engage with concepts that are crucial in the formation of the modern world, including:

  • race
  • ethnicity
  • liberty
  • republicanism
  • class
  • gender
  • manners
  • reform

This module is worth 20 credits.

Feminist Thought in the US: 1970-the present

This module will familiarise students with the major strands of feminist thought which have emerged in the United States since the 1970s: from liberal feminism through radical and materialist to post-structural and neoliberal feminism. Although the module will focus on key texts and thinkers for each strand, we will simultaneously challenge any neat categorisation by exploring the central issues and debates, such as the sex-gender distinction, female sexuality, and pornography, which have preoccupied as well as divided feminist thinkers over the past few decades. Finally, we will contextualise these issues and debates by looking at contemporaneous representations of women in fiction, the mass media, and other cultural sites.

Troubled Empire: The Projection of American Global Power from Pearl Harbor to Covid-19

This module will challenge students to critically engage with the period that Henry Luce referred to as the “American Century”. It will cover a range of case studies between Luce’s injunction and the subsequent US entry into World War Two in 1941 and the recent twin-crises marked by the 2008 Great Recession and the Covid-19 global pandemic. In doing so, it will prompt students to consider both the projection of American power on a global scale after 1941 and the considerable challenges that this project faced. Incorporating a series of focused case studies and reflections on the wider contexts relating to them, it will give students first-hand experience of weighing up the practical challenges US policymakers faced and the way that historians have subsequently assessed their efforts and understood their actions. 

Year structure

You'll take 120 credits of modules split as follows:

  • dissertation - 20-40 credits
  • optional modules - 80-100 credits

You must pass year three which counts two thirds of your final degree classification.

The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules (including methods of assessment) may change or be updated, or modules may be cancelled, over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for information on available modules. This content was last updated on

As a global university we're keen to offer you the opportunity to develop your language skills as well as your subject specific ones.

Language modules can be integrated into your degree and used towards your required credits.

You can take language modules because it or complements your degree (for example, watching a film in its original language), helps your career plans or just for pleasure!

We cater for all levels - from complete beginners upwards.

There are currently nine language options available.

Check out the Language Centre for more information

Fees and funding

UK students

£9,250
Per year

International students

To be confirmed in 2022*
Keep checking back for more information

*For full details including fees for part-time students and reduced fees during your time studying abroad or on placement (where applicable), see our fees page.

If you are a student from the EU, EEA or Switzerland, you may be asked to complete a fee status questionnaire and your answers will be assessed using guidance issued by the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) .

Additional costs

Essential course materials are supplied.

Books

You'll be able to access most of the books you’ll need through our libraries, though you may wish to buy your own copies of core texts.

A limited number of modules have compulsory texts which you are required to buy. We recommend that you budget £100 per year for books, but this figure will vary according to which modules you take.

The Blackwell's bookshop on campus offers a year-round price match against any of the main retailers (for example, Waterstones, WH Smith or Amazon). They also offer second-hand books, as students from previous years sell their copies back to the bookshop.

Volunteering and placements

For volunteering and placements (for example work experience and teaching in schools), you will need to pay for transport and refreshments.

Scholarships and bursaries

Faculty of Arts Alumni Scholarships

Our Alumni Scholarships provide support with essential living costs to eligible students. Find out more about eligibility and how to apply.

University of Nottingham bursaries and scholarships

The University offers a wide range of funds that can provide you with an additional source of non-repayable financial help. See our bursaries and scholarships page for what's available.

Home students*

Over one third of our UK students receive our means-tested core bursary, worth up to £1,000 a year. Full details can be found on our financial support pages.

* A 'home' student is one who meets certain UK residence criteria. These are the same criteria as apply to eligibility for home funding from Student Finance.

International students

We offer a range of international undergraduate scholarships for high-achieving international scholars who can put their Nottingham degree to great use in their careers.

International scholarships

Careers

As well as the extensive subject knowledge you'll get from a joint honours degree you will also get an unusually wide range of skills that employers are looking for:

  • ability to conduct and report on in-depth research
  • critical thinking and analysis
  • working independently and as part of collaborative teams
  • constructing and defending reasoned arguments
  • excellent written and oral communication skills

With these skills your career will be:

  • resilient - as the nature of work changes you can adapt
  • flexible - you can choose across different sectors as you develop and grow and opportunities arise
  • creative - come up with new ideas and responses to developing situations

Find out more about possible careers and opportunities for our Film and Television Studies and American Studies students.

 

"You often think, growing up, that you have to have one of a certain set of jobs – a teacher, doctor, lawyer. But there are so many jobs out there you don’t even know exist which you could do! The film and TV side definitely helped open my eyes."

Elliot Haines, BA Film and Television Studies and American Studies – now Head of SEO at Hallam

 

Graduate profiles

See how some of our graduates have developed their careers using the skills and knowledge gained at Nottingham:

Key fact

Only 14% of employers state that specific degree subjects are a selection criterion. (Institute of Student Employers recruitment survey 2019)

Average starting salary and career progression

72.2% of undergraduates from the Department of Cultural, Media and Visual Studies secured employment or further study within 15 months of graduation. The average annual salary was £21,539.*

*Data from UoN graduates, 2017-2019. HESA Graduate Outcomes. Sample sizes vary.

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.

The University of Nottingham is consistently named as one of the most targeted universities by Britain’s leading graduate employers (Ranked in the top ten in The Graduate Market in 2013-2020, High Fliers Research).

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" The thing I enjoyed the most was definitely the flexibility to pick your own modules. For example, I’d have an American philosophy module, a Canadian literature module, then a more technical film module. Throughout the day you’re dipping in and out of not just different time periods, but almost like different degrees! It had that variation I was looking for. "
Elliot Haines, Film and Television Studies and American Studies BA

Related courses

Important information

This online prospectus has been drafted in advance of the academic year to which it applies. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content) are likely to occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for the course where there has been an interval between you reading this website and applying.