Honours modules


FM4099 | FM4107 | FM4110 | FM4114 | FM4118 | FM4206 | FM4207 | FM4308

FM4099: Film Studies Dissertation

Semester: Whole year

Dr Paul Flaig (Lecturer)

This dissertation offers students the possibility of personal advanced study on a topic in Film Studies on which they already have adequate basic knowledge and for which a suitable supervisor can be found. Guidance will be offered on research methods and on presentation. The dissertation will, as a rule, consist of a study of a given body of primary material in a defined perspective. Its length should be 10,000 words maximum. It should be submitted in accordance with guidelines and deadlines, and be written in English. The topic must be agreed in advance by the Chairman of Department following a favourable report from the Supervisor, whom students should contact in the first instance. (Guidelines for printing and binding dissertations can be found at: http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/printanddesign/dissertation/)

Recent dissertation topics include:



Something Old, Something New: The Recognition of Cinema in Video Games

Reinvention and Relevance: How ‘The Joker’ Reflects Anxiety in America

The Home and the World: Tracking new models of female aspirational desire in Contemporary Hindi Popular Cinema

Italian Dubbing: Translating and Voicing Gender Stereotypes in Contemporary Cinema

Dangerous Misrepresentations of the Arab Onscreen: An Exploration into Spatial Confinements and Orientalist Understandings



Aestheticising Disruption and Finding Home: Style, Gender, and Cultural Appropriation in the Hip Hop Videos of MIA

The Intention of Feeling: An Examination of Texture and Generic Affect in Film

Speaking the Way to New Genre Identities: a Critical Study of Dialogue in 1930s Hollywood Cinema

Everything to Lose but their Chains: Class Oppression, Patriarchy, and Masculinity, as Represented in the Films of Ken Loach

The Remediation of Cinematic Codes in Virtual Reality

If the Glass Slipper Fits: Examining the Disney Princesses as Models of Womanhood

A History of the Female Android in Science Fiction Film


They Grow Up So Fast: Drag Performance, Abjection, and the Subversion of the Shōjo in Hayao Miyazaki’s Films

Making the Impossible: Special Effects from Méliès to del Toro

The Outsider as Protagonist: The Parodic Lens of Mel Brooks in The Producers, Blazing Saddles, and Young Frankenstein

When in Hollywood do as the Romans did: Building an Empire through Cultural Appropriation

Dreams of Waking: Satoshi Kon’s Anti-Escapist Animations

How Does the Changing Tone of the James Bond Films Affect its Portrayals of Gender?

Contemporary Women in New Mexican Cinema: Three Case Studies


FM4107: Cinema and Nation

Semester: 2

This module addresses the central notion that a national cinema can be more fruitfully understood in terms of the conflicts and discrepancies within a given culture to which its constituent films give a voice. These conflicts point to the fact that film does not simply represent the homogeneous characteristics of a national culture: national cinemas can be seen as sites of contestation where the meanings and interpretations of national culture and history can be debated, dismissed or fortified. As a site, the cinema can be conceptualised as a public arena where the meanings of a culture are negotiated, not simply disseminated. What has been forgotten, what has been elided, and what should be remembered? What is the relationship between these cultural histories and the work of individual filmmakers? The module will introduce different methodologies for the study of national cinemas, either through a specific national cinema (such as the cinemas of Britain, Canada, India, Italy, South Korea or Spain) or through a comparative focus. Case studies will vary from year to year depending on staff availability. For further details, students are advised to contact module coordinator.

FM4110: Images and Impact

Semester: 1

Dr Leshu Torchin (Co-ordinator)

Screen media, whether broadcast news, commercials, documentaries or docudramas, or even mass entertainment, are presumed to act as agents of social change. They inform us about the world around us and encourage our views and responses. This module investigates the relationship between visual media – specifically film and video – and action from historical, practical and theoretical perspectives. Examining styles and content alongside strategies of distribution and exhibition, we will explore the ways in which various producers (for instance, governmental and nongovernmental organisations, marginalised communities, social movements, and ‘culture jammers’) have used screen media for political and social purposes.

FM4114: Film Genres

Semester: 1

Film Genres will re-examine, and problematise, film genre today by exploring the topic in a variety of contexts. The module will incorporate a combination of approaches (theoretical, industrial and textual) and, in its assessments, will encourage students to think innovatively about, amongst other things, genre markers, global industry practice and exhibition culture. The module will ordinarily be organised in three related clusters. These clusters may include, but will not be limited to: Genre studies in Classical Hollywood; Genre and authorship (e.g. Hitchcock, Ford, Miike, Woo); Genre and Stars (eg. Clint Eastwood, Jackie Chan, Hugh Grant); Historicising Genre; Global genres; Genre and adaptation; Genre hybrids; Genre and blockbusters; Film Noir as a genre, cycle or mood; Genre and violence; Asian Genres; Genre and studios.

FM4118: Film and Fashion

Semester: 2

Professor Dina Iordanova (Co-ordinator)

The module explores two aspects of the interaction between film and fashion: On the one hand, it looks at the ways fashion intersects with film in the area of costume design and general approaches to style. On the other, it surveys the variety of representations that the fashion world has enjoyed in global cinema. It looks at matters of taste, style, glamour, creativity, celebrity, global fashion hubs and gurus, consumerism, but also at the way fashion is produced, managed, and sold, from glossy magazines and advertising through to luxury brands and sweat-shops. Students will have the opportunity to view and discuss documentary and feature films made by a host of important international directors (including, but not limited to Wim Wenders, Albert Maysles, Jun Ichikawa, Bertrand Bonello, Tom Ford, Ben Stiller, Robert Altman, Nora Ephron, and Gillian Armstrong), as well as to research and write on these matters. The discussions will also touch on matters of fashion photography and film.

FM4206: Cinemas of India

Semester: 2

Dr Anuja Jain (Lecturer)

This module will go beyond Bollywood and survey the extraordinary range of cinematic production in India since Independence. In addition to classic and contemporary examples of Popular Hindi Cinema (“Bollywood”), we will also study films from other major industries, such as Tamil and Bengali, as well as a range of cinematic practices, such as documentary, avant-garde and state-funded realist cinema. The module will also allow students to explore the various methodologies currently used to study this hugely important cinema (e.g. auteurist, transnational, ethnographic, sociological).

FM4207: British Cinemas: Conventions, Subversions, and Outsiders

Semester: 1

Dr Elisabetta Girelli (Co-ordinator)

This module approaches British cinema as a site of cultural and formal multiplicity, focusing on its shifting balance between tradition and rebellion, belonging and alienation. The module raises questions about representation and inclusion, as well about formal and narrative strategies. Students will have the opportunity for independent research, by writing a case study of their chosen British star. Weekly topics may include the problematic emergence of queer identities (The Killing of Sister George, Robert Aldrich, 1968), the ambivalent portrayal of British spies and defectors (Another Country, Marek Kanievska, 1984), British filmmaking outside Britain (The Third Man, Carol Reed, 1949), the modernist mockery of British tradition (The Draughtsman’s Contract, Peter Greenaway, 1982), and a British star case study.

FM4308: Film Sound

Semester: 2

Dr Lucy Fife Donaldson (Lecturer)

Film Sound challenges our critical focus on the film image and explores the expressive contribution of sound to film. Sound has the capacity to shape environment, mood and ultimately the ways in which we engage with film, thus making it a vital consideration in critical and aesthetic approaches. The module engages with central critical topics representation, aesthetics, affect and technology – and with the production of sound (through case studies of selected practitioners). The module utilises innovative ways of thinking about sound to help students gain a detailed understanding of the different elements of sound in film. The topic is explored through a range of case studies and draws on a diverse mix of sources, including production materials and interviews with industry personnel. The emphasis on the work of practitioners will help confront and nuance assumptions about watching and making film.