University of Sydney Handbooks - 2013 Archive

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Film Studies

The Film Studies program is situated within the Department of Art History and Film Studies and forms part of the School of Letters, Art and Media. People have been making, watching and writing about movies for just over a century. In a culture that increasingly relies on visual information, an understanding of the moving image is essential to understanding society. The major in Film Studies at the University of Sydney is a vibrant interdisciplinary program that develops this critical visual literacy. It equips students with a range of skills for understanding and analysing cinema as a vital and yet everyday part of modern life. Through close familiarity with a range of case studies, students come to understand the social, cultural, aesthetic and political dimensions of cinema in different contexts and at different times.

Film Studies students learn scholarly terms that enable them to describe what they see on screen in relation to, for instance, camera movements and editing techniques or traditions of screen performance. They develop rich understandings of concepts such as national cinema, genre and spectatorship through a range of diverse case studies. They study the historical development of film as a cultural and technological form and analyse its transformations across the twentieth century to the present day.

Requirements for a Major

For a major in Film Studies, students must complete the following:

  • 18 credit points of junior units of study (including 6 credit points from ARHT1002 Modern Art and Times and/or ENGL1011 Introduction to Film studies) is required before undertaking senior units in Film Studies.
  • 36 credit points from senior units of study listed in the subject area of which 24 credit points must include Core and compulsory senior units of study

Refer to Table A in this Handbook for units of study available in the current year.

Cross-listed units
The remaining units can be selected from a list of cross-listed units of study offered by the participating departments. A maximum of 12 credit points of cross-listed units of study may be counted towards the major. Art History is a complementary subject area to Film Studies.

Film Studies Honours
The prerequisite for Film Studies honours is a credit average in 48 senior credit points of Film Studies. The honours year comprises two semester-long units of study and a thesis of 18,000–20,000 words in length.

Refer to the degree resolutions in this Handbook and to the Faculty Admissions Policy for Honours:

Summer and Winter School
The department will be offering the following undergraduate units of study as part of the 2013 University of Sydney Summer School:

ARHT1002 Modern Times: Art and Film
ARHT2657 Contemporary Hollywood

For further details see the Summer School webpage:

Contact/further information
Film Studies program website:

Undergraduate Coordinator: Dr Richard Smith

Phone: +61 2 9351 4208