School of humanities undergraduate Student Handbook 2014–2015 film studies

Download 245.31 Kb.
Size245.31 Kb.
1   2   3   4   5

How We Contact You

For information regarding Film Studies please check the KLE.

  • You will be provided with a Keele email address which you should check on a daily basis.

  • KLE. We will also be posting material on the University’s e-learning server, KLE, so please try to check for module information on these each week.

Help and information on KLE is available at:

Personal Tutors

You will be notified of your Personal Tutor for this year. Personal Tutors offer regular opportunities for Progress Reviews and consultation. They are available to discuss your academic progress, any problems that may affect your academic progress, or any issues you do not want to discuss with a current tutor. You can contact and communicate with your personal tutors electronically through the SCIMS eVision system which you can access here: You will need your Keele username and password to log in.

Director of the Film Studies Programme

The Director of the Film Studies programme this year is Dr Beth Johnson. She oversees all the undergraduate courses within the discipline of Film and is responsible for the implementation and development of the School’s learning and teaching strategy and general student welfare. If you have any concerns about a particular module or general questions about your degree programme, you can go along to one of her consultation hours or make an appointment.


Blackboard is the Keele Learning Environment (KLE) used by Keele to provide every member of staff and each student with a personal teaching and learning workspace that can be accessed through the Internet.

It gives students access to information, activities and resources associated with the modules they are studying. These might include, for example, lecture notes and slide sets, pictures and other material together with interactive features such as discussion groups.
SCIMS and eVision

SCIMS (Student Course Information Management System) is an acronym used to describe the University’s “student records system”. SCIMS holds the university’s definitive official record of the activities, contact and processes from when the student first enquires through to their graduation and beyond.

eVison provides Web access to the SCIMS system for both staff and student.

Personal Tutors

A Personal Tutor has responsibility for general academic advice and provides help and guidance at particularly important times throughout the students’ undergraduate degree programme. In addition, Personal Tutors can act as first port of call in relation to non academic problems and will refer students to the relevant source of support and guidance.
Chapter 1: Your Degree: Modules, Assessment and Feedback

Undergraduate Degree Structure

The table below sets out the pattern of courses that make up the Keele Undergraduate Film Studies degree.

Not all courses will run every year, and some courses will run in different semesters to those advertised here.





FIL-10001 Reading Film

FIL-10003 - Popular British Cinema from the 90s to the present day

ENG-10026 - Reading Literature

ENG-10028 - Telling Tales: An Introduction to Narrative Fiction

MDS-10008 - Mediated World

MDS-10009 - Digital Video

FIL-10002 Approaches to Film

FIL-10004 - Introduction to European Cinema

AMS-10024 - New York, New York: An Introduction to American Culture

ENG-10027 - Becoming a Critic

MDS-10010 - Understanding Culture

MDS-10011 - The Photographic Message


FIL-20001 - Gender and the Cinematic Gaze

FIL-20005 Science Fiction Cinema

ENG-20036 - Twentieth Century Novels into Films

MDS-20024 – Teenage Dreams: Youth Subcultures in Fiction, Film and Theory

MDS-20031 – Researching Media, Communications and Culture

MUS-20047 – Unheard Melodies

FIL-20002 - Film Genre, Narrative and the Star

FIL-20003 – French Cinema

FIL-20004 – Politics and Cinema

AMS-20061 - Alfred Hitchcock’s America


FIL-30001 - British Society through the eyes of British Film: 1960s to the present

FIL-30006 – Representing the Self, Family and Society on Contemporary British and American Television

AMS-30037 – Film Noir

ENG-30070 – Shakespeare on Film: Adaptation and Appropriation

FIL-30004 – British Women Directors

ENG-30053 - Postmodernism: Fiction, Film and Theory

ENG-30074 – Cinematic Modernisms

FIL-30002 Dissertation in Film Studies (Semesters 1 and 2)

Teaching Formats

  • Lectures

For the level 4 core modules, you will attend one lecture a fortnight with the rest of the students on your course. Lectures are designed to provide you with information and academic arguments about the main texts and theories covered by each module.

  • One Hour Tutorials / Seminars

You will also attend a one-hour tutorial once a week with around 15 students. Tutorials give you the opportunity to ask questions about lectures and texts and to share your ideas with your tutor and the tutorial group. In addition to reading the text for the tutorial, you will probably be asked by your tutor to prepare some additional work.

  • Other teaching methods

Fortnightly film screenings are also compulsory on core modules and elective modules in

Film where specified.

You are also encouraged to seek individual advice from your tutor as often as you need it. You can drop in to visit tutors during their office hours, or drop them an e-mail. Office-hour times are to be found on the doors of tutors’ offices.
Tutorial and seminar attendance at all levels is compulsory. You must, therefore, provide a satisfactory explanation for any absences. ‘Satisfactory’ explanation in the case of illness or personal difficulties means notification of absence, or intended absence, to the tutor or to the Humanities School Office on or before the day of the tutorial or seminar (either in person or by a nominated party), and the completion of a self-certification form by the end of the following week AT THE LATEST. The form must be completed before the end of the last week of the teaching session.
It is understood that in certain circumstances, such as bereavement, you may not always be able to notify your tutor before the tutorial or seminar, but in such cases you should contact your tutor or the Office as soon as possible after the event. E-mail or telephone notification MUST be followed up by the completion of a self-certification form for the files. Self-certification forms will be held centrally and will be seen, recorded and initialled by the relevant module tutor.
Non-attendance at seminars/tutorials will, in the first instance, attract a letter or email from your tutor. Failure to respond to this communication or continued non-attendance will result in a warning from the Director of Undergraduate Programme to which you should make an immediate response. Failure to satisfy the conditions of this warning will result in the non-attending student being served with an official University Warning (see Chapter 3).
Students are assessed formally and informally. The formal assessment, a combination of course work and timed examinations, will play its part, from level 5 onwards, in determining your class of degree. The informal assessment – a formative exercise and the tutor’s view of your commitment to the course, and contribution to tutorials and other group activities which is kept on your individual student record – will come into play when tutors write references for employers, other universities, and other agencies.
There are variations between modules in the way that they are assessed, and final-year dissertation modules in particular, are distinctive. However, the general pattern for assessment for double or joined modules is as follows:
Formal assessment
Most modules in Film Studies are assessed in part by essay, KLE test or examination, with a short formative exercise, or by a two-hour examination.
Assessed essays

  • The target length for these will be specified on the essay list and in your module handbook.

  • Essay questions will be provided well in advance of the submission date, which will be recorded on the question paper.

  • Please note the exact time and day of submission from your question paper. There are penalties for late submission, unless there are extenuating circumstances such as illness.

  • You MUST submit your essay by the advertised date and time to the School Office. This copy will be annotated with feedback comments and returned to you.

  • A second copy must also be submitted through the university’s virtual Learning environment, KLE (see instructions below)

  • At all levels, scripts are anonymous and you should submit your essay identified by your student number only. This might be varied for formative exercises, where the mark does not count towards the overall module mark.

  • The essay must be accompanied by a declaration (on a form provided) that the essay is your own work except where indebtedness is specifically acknowledged.

The instructions for submitting work through Turnitin on KLE are as follows:

  • To submit a paper, locate the paper you want to submit on your computer by clicking the "browse" button and enter a title for the paper.

  • Select an enrolled student using the student pull down to associate the submission with a student and click the submit button to upload the paper. This is even clearer when you look at the page itself.

  • Go to the main page of the [insert title of module] KLE page and click on the link '[insert title of assessment, eg. Essay;] to see these instructions.

If the electronic copy is NOT submitted via KLE you will receive a mark of ZERO for the work. Please take a few minutes to have a look at the submission information to ensure there are no problems when you come to submit the work.


  • This will be a written, TWO HOUR examination.

  • For some modules this will be a seen paper; more often it is an unseen paper.

  • Although examiners take account of the conditions in which scripts have been written, they will expect high standards of lucidity, sentence structure, and paragraphing even in timed examinations.

  • If you have to miss an examination for any reason, you should write immediately (if possible BEFORE the examination) to the Director of Undergraduate Programmes, providing documentary evidence of the position.

  • If you fail an examination, the re-examination will be by equivalent timed examination, but this will normally be capped at 40, the minimum pass mark.

  • Students who require special provisions for their examinations must submit a written application to Planning and Academic Administration. The application must be supported by documentary evidence, usually from a qualified medical practitioner or other appropriate source. Special examination provision may be considered for a range of circumstances including dyslexia, visual, physical and sensory impairment or chronic illness. The written application for special provision should be submitted by the end of the fourth week of the First Semester or within four weeks of initial diagnosis. Students granted special provision, usually sit examinations in a specially designated venue.

Tutorial performance

Your tutor will assess your preparations for and contributions to discussion during the semester. This will sometimes contribute up to 10% of your mark for module in Level 4 and Level 5. This is not an attendance mark, but, obviously, if your attendance is poor you will not be able to score very highly.

Informal assessment
Formative exercise

This might be an oral presentation, a draft essay, or a short written exercise such as a close analysis of a scene. The mark for this exercise will not affect your final mark which means you can try out innovative ideas and methods of working without fear of this affecting your module grade.

Extensions for written work
Extenuating Circumstances

What are extenuating circumstances?
As you will have seen from earlier sections, work which is not submitted by the deadlines will be penalised. Work submitted up to a week late will score a maximum of 40%; work submitted thereafter, a mark of Zero. These penalties also apply to work not submitted both in hard copy and via KLE.
As a student you will need to adhere to your assessment deadlines. Sometimes however, circumstances beyond your control can affect your ability to submit work or attend an examination and the University has a policy of taking into account some circumstances which have affected students’ academic study. These “extenuating circumstances” are defined as,
‘A circumstance that is beyond your control and could not have reasonably been foreseen and acted upon that will prevent you from completing an assessment at or by the specified time or will have a significant negative effect on your performance in that assessment.’
What is considered to be an extenuating circumstance?

The following are generally considered to be acceptable extenuating circumstances, providing that they are supported by appropriate evidence:

  • Acute illness or injury

  • Extended illness or injury

  • Acute Illness of another person

  • Bereavement

  • Significant domestic and/or personal problems

  • Court Attendance

  • Unforeseen Work Commitment (Part-Time/Distance Learning/PG Students only)

  • Unforeseen representation of County or Country at Sport

  • Active Exercise of Citizenship

  • Unforeseen Major Transport Difficulties

  • Victim of Criminal Activity

Accepting an extenuating circumstances claim is at the discretion of the School Extenuating Circumstances Panel.

What is not considered to be an extenuating circumstance?

There are a number of areas that are not considered as valid extenuating circumstances. These include general pressure of academic work as you are expected to have planned your work schedule, and personal computer/IT device problems, as you are expected to have taken adequate precautionary measures e.g backups and checking compatibility with University systems. Religious observance is not viewed as a valid extenuating circumstance as such issues are not unforeseen; students should instead discuss with the School whether a ‘special provision’ claim can be made for an assessment.

How do I make a claim?

If extenuating circumstances occur and you anticipate that these will cause a delay in submitting your work or prevent attendance at an examination, you will need to submit an Extenuating Circumstances Claim and appropriate evidence to your School(s). You should submit your claim as soon as you become aware of the problem and prior to the examination and/or coursework deadline. The claim form can be downloaded from the Planning and Academic Administration webpages at:

Claims may also be accepted after the coursework deadline or examination, providing that they are submitted before the meeting of the relevant Discipline Examination Panel (where marks are confirmed). Schools will provide you with its deadlines for ECs submission by email.
Do not delay the submission of your form because you have to wait for a piece of evidence if this means that you will miss the School’s submission deadline (though you will need to tell the School when you will be able to hand the evidence in).
Claims submitted by the deadline will be considered by either the School Extenuating Circumstances Panel or the University’s Sub-Committee on Examination Absences and Course Work Extensions, depending on the nature of the claim. You will be informed of the decision at the earliest opportunity once the Panel or Committee has met.
Further Information and Support

Detailed information on extenuating circumstances criteria, the claims process and evidence requirements can be found in the “Extenuating Circumstances Guide to Students” which can be downloaded from:

Advice and support in making a claim can also be sought from your Personal Tutor, School Office, Student Support and Development Services and ASK at the Keele SU.


All marking is to the scale below, which gives a classification and the numbers which are used to indicate the position within the grade.

First 70-100 Upper Second 60-69 Lower Second 50-59

Third 40-49 Pass 35-39 Fail 0-34

The algorithm on which degree classification is based includes all the second and third year module marks. Special algorithm arrangements apply to students writing dissertations.
Assessment criteria
These notes are intended as guidelines only. The University expects that examiners will use the whole of the marking scale, interpreting these criteria in the context of their subject.



An outstanding answer showing an excellent understanding

of the issues and methodologies; original, independent

thinking informs an answer based upon rigorous

argument accurately supported by evidence derived from a

wide range of source material; could not be

bettered at undergraduate level in the time available.


An answer demonstrating an excellent level of understanding

of the issues and methodologies; the answer displays

independent thought, and strong and well organised argument, using a wide range of sources.


A first class answer showing most but not necessarily all of the above.



An answer demonstrating very good understanding of the

issues, with good and well organised argument

accurately supported by a standard range of sources.


As above with some shortcomings but no fundamental errors.



An answer which shows a satisfactory grasp of the main

issues, familiarity with the basic reading, some minor errors and omissions of essential material. Faithful reproduction of

material without any significant critical judgement.


As above with a larger number of errors and/or the

inclusion of some irrelevant material.



An answer which shows a minimal understanding of some

of the issues raised by the question, but with substantial

omissions or irrelevant material, and limited use of relevant



An answer showing barely adequate and limited grasp of

some of the issues, poorly conceived and poorly directed

to the question set.



Unsatisfactory, but will show skeletal grasp of some relevant

issues and necessary material and/or skills.



Shows some evidence of grasp of material and/or skills but

is not applied appropriately or where relevant; there may be

gross misconceptions which nevertheless show some

evidence of an elementary grasp of issues.


An attempt to answer the questions but without any

significant grasp of material or appropriate skills.


Shows some evidence of having benefited from the course.


No answer offered, or an answer which is totally

irrelevant, fundamentally wrong or plagiarised.

A statement of the University’s assessment procedures, ‘General Regulations for University Examinations and Assessments’, can be found in the Academic Regulations and Guidance for Students and Staff 2014-15 at:


The marking of Film Studies assessed essays can be a time-consuming task, requiring care and deliberation. Errors in essays are corrected and students are also provided with written comments. Within the School these comments have frequently won the praise of External Examiners for their thoroughness and helpfulness. We provide feedback as soon as we can, and you will be informed of the time by email. This will vary from module to module according to the week in which the essay is submitted. Exam feedback will generally be given early in the semester following the examination period.

Essays will be returned to you with corrections and a comments sheet. These will point to strengths and areas for improvement. Initially you will be given a sense of the essay’s classification. All borderline scripts and a further representative sample are moderated; in the final two years they are double-marked. When all internal marking, including moderation, is completed, you will be informed of your provisional mark. The reason that it is provisional is that all University disciplines have an External Examiner, to whom an agreed selection of scripts is sent, and whose job it is to check that marking is fair and accurate. We do not wish to wait, however, until the External has seen our marking, because we feel it is better to give some response to the essay soon after it has been completed, rather than wait until the student’s recollection is less vivid.
Any adjustments made by the External Examiner will be conveyed to the student.
Feedback is generally given by the marker since the marker will obviously have a detailed understanding of the reasons for the mark. The marker will normally be the tutor, but this cannot, for various reasons, always be the case. The feedback interview is also useful for reviewing a student’s general progress. Assessed essays are returned to students by their tutors in feedback sessions once the marking process has been completed. Exam scripts are not returned to students but they are available at feedback sessions.
Publication of Results
You can expect to know the published results of assessments as soon as possible after the examination board has completed its deliberations for your Level at the end of a given semester. You will receive notification of your marks by e-mail and / or via the KLE. Normally, at the end of the academic year, Level 6 results will be published first, followed by Levels 5 and 4. The timing of the publication of Finals results is determined by the University. All results are subject to ratification by the University Senate.

Chapter Two: Written Work, Guidance and Advice


Instructions for the completion of your assessed essay and exam will appear at the top of the question paper. For essays, these will include:

  • the required word length, the number of texts to which you should refer in your answer

  • the time and place you should submit your work.

For exams, you will be told:

  • the number of texts to which you should refer

  • whether there are any other particular requirements, for example about particular work to be used (or not), and what the rules are about duplication.

You should make sure that you follow the instructions carefully as you will be penalised if you infringe the rubric.
Learning Support

You are always very welcome to talk to your subject tutor (i.e. the person who runs your tutorials) about any aspect of your work. If you cannot see them during a consultation hour, contact them to arrange a meeting at another time. We aim to give you detailed feedback on your essays and you can also get feedback on your exams if you consult your subject tutor at the start of the following semester.

Keele also has a Centre for Learning and Student Support: which offers Academic Advice Clinics, Drop-in Sessions (in which you can get advice on essay writing, getting organised, preparing for exams and giving presentations) and a variety of Workshops (on areas including essay writing, revision and exams, presentations, working in groups and time management).
If you need general academic advice, or advice in relation to a non-academic problem, you can also talk to your Personal Tutor. See also

for further information about Personal Development Planning.

If you have any additional circumstances which are affecting your ability to work, you can contact Disability Services: In the past they have helped us to facilitate learning for students with dyslexia, with physical disadvantages, and with ongoing health concerns.
Research and Resources
It is important that you undertake individual research when writing your essays and preparing for exams. You will find that the information you acquire from lectures, seminars and your own reading of the primary texts needs to be supplemented by secondary material taken from critics and other sources.
Keele Library has books and journals relevant to all Film Studies modules. If you have any problems accessing material, inform your tutor or the Library Liaison Officer for Film. The majority of the library’s holdings in Film Studies can be found on the first floor; you should also consult the journals, which are kept in the basement. See for the main library website and for the library’s online catalogue.
The library also provides a number of electronic resources. These can be accessed from any Keele computer, and you can also access many of them from off-campus using your Athens username and password.

Finding material

  • Your first port of call should be the reading list provided at the beginning of each of your courses. Material from the reading list will be found in the library or online.

  • Books and essays on your reading list will have bibliographies of their own. You can use these to find additional material to supplement your reading.

  • Try searching the library catalogue. If a film or book is on loan, make a note of the shelf-mark anyway and see if there are any relevant books on either side of it on the shelves.

Essay Writing Guidelines
A step-by-step guide to writing an essay:

  • Choose your essay question carefully.

  • When you’ve chosen a question, re-watch/read the primary texts (i.e. the films and theoretical notes) that you think you might use to answer it, keeping notes as you go through. Then sketch out how you might answer the question, including the evidence from the primary texts that you might use (i.e. quotations/examples and analysis of those quotations/examples).

  • Think about what precisely the question is asking. Look at this example:

In Rear Window (Hitchcock, 1954), is the character Jeff’s act of looking out of the window and across the courtyard similar to our own act of looking at a film and if so, in what ways? Please discuss and present arguments to support or reject the indicated similarity.

Focusing on the film specified above, you are asked to consider: how in the act of looking represented on-screen by the main male protagonist is similar to the spectator’s act of looking at Rear Window. The essay’s structure could question if and in what ways the two acts of looking specified are similar this, assessing the importance of each of these looks in relation to looking as an act of power.

  • When you have your own ideas about the subject straight you can start doing some wider research.

    • Depending on the length of the essay, select five or more critical essays or chapters in books. Use the reading lists we give you and academic journals. Be careful about which website material you use. If you’re having difficulty finding material, talk to your tutor.

    • Scan through them quickly to see if they are useful and/or relevant to your topic.

    • From those essays select the ones that seem useful. Read them properly and make notes from them. If none of them are useful, start again with another set of essays.

    • Your notes will be most useful to you if you (a) include the full author, title and publication details, (b) put all quotations in quotation marks (so that you can tell which bits you have summarised and which bits you have quoted when you come back to the notes), and (c) make a note of the page numbers for any points/quotations (the margin is a good place to do this).

    • Do these essays contradict anything you have already thought in relation to your topic? Can you disagree with them? (Just because they have been printed it doesn’t mean they are right; your own ideas are also very important!)

    • Have any of the essays helped you to deepen your understanding of the topic? If so, it would be useful to include a quotation from that essay to show how it relates to your argument and how it has affected your thinking.

    • DO NOT ‘base’ your essay on someone else’s – it won’t be your own work and you could inadvertently plagiarise from that person’s essay.

  • Draft a plan for your essay. In order to present an argument effectively you need a clear structure, and you should think carefully about this before you write the essay. In some ways this is the most important part of the whole process!

  • Write the first paragraph of your essay, remembering that you need to state very clearly how you’re approaching the question and what your argument is going to be. Define any key terms in the question.

  • Write the rest of the essay.

  • You should normally include direct quotation from primary texts. These quotations do not necessarily have to be very long – a line, a sentence, or even a phrase can be enough if it illustrates the point you want to make. If you omit part of a quotation, represent the omission by three spaced full-stops: ‘Alfred Hitchcock’s film Psycho (1960) raises various critical questions about gender...relations’.

  • Short quotations (fewer than 40 words of prose or two complete lines of verse) can be inserted into sentences. For example (in an essay on narrative in Groundhog Day (Ramis, 1993):

In Bruce Klein’s description of the looping narrative strategy employed by Ramis, he notes that ‘within the narrative loop, no exact beginning or end can be identified, thus, such a strategy has the potential to cause confusion’ (Klein, 1997, 54).

  • Longer quotations should be separated from your text by a blank line and should be inset from the left margin. They DO NOT need to be surrounded by quotation marks as the insetting does the job and distinguishes them from your own writing.

Bear in mind that quotations don’t answer the question in themselves; they need to be explained, contextualised, analysed and integrated into the answer as a whole.

  • You will also need to quote from critical material. You might present your discussion like this:

Although Valerie Traub argues that ‘exchange – of bodies, of goods, of women – provides the fundamental structure of the societies represented in filmic adaptations of Shakespeare’s plays’, this underestimates the complexity of the society presented in Radford’s adaptation of The Merchant of Venice.

Always follow up a quotation with a discussion of its implications for the primary text and/or an assessment of its usefulness.

  • Make sure that you include a conclusion. This is one of the most difficult things to do well, and it’s all too easy to write a conclusion that too brief. A conclusion should draw together the strands of your argument and reinforce the points that you have been making. Returning to the main terms of the question in order to confirm your response to them can provide a neat ending, and it also enables you to check that you haven’t lost track of these terms.

Download 245.31 Kb.

Share with your friends:
1   2   3   4   5

The database is protected by copyright © 2022
send message

    Main page