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● American Studies achieved 90% overall satisfaction as rated by final-year undergraduate students in the 2017 National Student Survey

● Enjoy the freedom to study your favourite genres and periods of cinema as well as American history, literature and culture

● Develop as a well-informed critical thinker who understands the rich diversity of America and its place in the wider contemporary world

From The Godfather and Pulp Fiction to Jaws and Star Wars, America’s impact on the global film industry has been enormous. Hollywood was the birthplace of movie studios, ushering in a golden era in film and creating new genres such as action films and musicals. Film and American Studies at Winchester taps into this rich heritage and integrates the wider study of global film with America’s fascinating culture and society.

On our lively Film and American Studies course you study a diverse range of film forms, national traditions and historical periods from a variety of perspectives, using film as the key tool to reveal the complexities of US society and the American dream.

You develop the theoretical concepts and methodological skills needed to analyse film in historical, cultural and institutional contexts. The three-year programme draws on the research interests and expertise of staff with subject-specific and strong interdisciplinary backgrounds.

In addition, you may wish to take advantage of outstanding industry-standard facilities at our on-campus Multimedia Centre to learn practical elements in filmmaking and cinema technologies.

In Year 1, you learn critical approaches to film analysis and key skills, studying core modules such as Reading Film, Film Criticism, Introduction to American Studies, and Film Form, History and Culture.

These themes are developed further in Year 2 when you also take core modules in American Modernity, Hollywood Cinema and learn research skills across both disciplines.

In both Years 2 and Year 3, in addition to the mandatory requirements, you take at least two Film Studies and two American Studies optional modules in each year. Your choices may include Contemporary European Cinema, Music and Film, The American Film Western, and Work and Money in American Literature. In your final year, you also write a Film and American Studies dissertation and take a core module on Identity in Contemporary American Film.

You graduate as a well-informed critical thinker who understands the cross-cultural diversity of the contemporary world. Our graduates pursue careers in film-and television-related industries, advertising, media, journalism, teaching, and also in the creative and public sectors. They often find work in professions that value their ability to apply a deep understanding of film and American history, culture and ideology to practical contexts.


Graduates may pursue careers in film- and television-related industries, creative industries, advertising, media and journalism, teaching, professional organisations and the public sector.

94.4% of our 2015/16 graduates (first degree and other undergraduate courses) were in employment and/or further study six months after completing their course (Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education survey).

Pre-approved for a Masters

If you study a Bachelor Honours degrees with us, you will be pre-approved to start a Masters degree at Winchester. To be eligible, you will need to apply by the end of March in the final year of your degree and meet the entry requirements of your chosen Masters degree.


Suitable for applicants from:

UK, EU, World

Work placements

Students have the opportunity to take part in field trips and gain work experience through volunteering.

Study abroad

Our BA (Hons) Film and American  course provides an opportunity for you to study abroad in the United States of America (USA) and Japan.

For more information see our Study Abroad section.

Learning and teaching

Our aim is to shape 'confident learners' by enabling you to develop the skills needed to excel in your studies here and as well as onto further studies or the employment market. 

You are taught primarily through a combination of lectures and seminars, allowing opportunities to discuss and develop your understanding of topics covered in lectures in smaller groups.

In addition to the formally scheduled contact time such as lectures and seminars etc.), you are encouraged to access academic support from staff within the course team, your personal tutor and the wide range of services available to you within the University.

Independent learning

Over the duration of your course, you will be expected to develop independent and critical learning, progressively building confidence and expertise through independent and collaborative research, problem-solving and analysis with the support of staff. You take responsibility for your own learning and are encouraged to make use of the wide range of available learning resources available.

Overall workload

Your overall workload consists of class contact hours, independent learning and assessment activity.

While your actual contact hours may depend on the optional modules you select, the following information gives an indication of how much time you will need to allocate to different activities at each level of the course.

Year 1 (Level 4): Timetabled teaching and learning activity*
  • Teaching, learning and assessment: 300 hours
  • Independent learning: 900 hours
Year 2 (Level 5): Timetabled teaching and learning activity*
  • Teaching, learning and assessment: 288 hours
  • Independent learning: 900 hours
  • Placement: 12 hours
Year 3 (Level 6): Timetabled teaching and learning activity*
  • Teaching, learning and assessment: 264 hours
  • Independent learning: 936 hours

*Please note these are indicative hours for the course.


King Alfred or West Downs, University of Winchester


Our validated courses may adopt a range of means of assessing your learning. An indicative, and not necessarily comprehensive, list of assessment types you might encounter includes essays, portfolios, supervised independent work, presentations, written exams, or practical performances.

We ensure all students have an equal opportunity to achieve module learning outcomes. As such, where appropriate and necessary, students with recognised disabilities may have alternative assignments set that continue to test how successfully they have met the module's learning outcomes. Further details on assessment types used on the course you are interested in can be found on the course page, by attending an Open Day or Open Evening, or contacting our teaching staff.

Percentage of the course assessed by coursework

The assessment balance between examination and coursework depends to some extent on the optional modules you choose. The approximate percentage of the course assessed by different assessment modes is as follows:

Year 1 (Level 4)*:
  • 69% coursework
  • 11% written exams
  • 20% practical exams
Year 2 (Level 5)*:
  • 87% coursework
  • 0% written exams
  • 13% practical exams
Year 3 (Level 6)*:
  • 78% coursework
  • 3% written exams
  • 19% practical exams

*Please note these are indicative percentages and modes for the programme.


We are committed to providing timely and appropriate feedback to you on your academic progress and achievement in order to enable you to reflect on your progress and plan your academic and skills development effectively. You are also encouraged to seek additional feedback from your course tutors.

Further information

For more information about our regulations for this course, please see our Academic Regulations, Policies and Procedures.


2018 Entry: 96-112 points

A GCSE A*-C or 9-4 pass in English Language is required.

International Baccalaureate: 25 points

If English is not your first language: Year 1/Level 4: IELTS 6.0 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in writing or equivalent

Course Enquiries and Applications

Telephone: +44 (0) 1962 827234

Send us a message

International Students

If you are living outside of the UK or Europe, you can find out more about how to join this course by emailing our International Recruitment Team at or calling +44 (0)1962 827023

Visit us

Explore our campus and find out more about studying at Winchester by coming to one of our Open Days.

Year 1 (Level 4)

Modules Credits

Introduction to American Studies II 15

This module continues the study begun in Introduction to American Studies I and examines factors identified with significant elements of American cultural and social identity such as race, immigration, gender, religion and the development and challenges of a multi-cultural America.

Understanding Horror Film 15

This module will focus on the horror film to explore the flexibility of the genre and how it has adapted to industrial, social, political and cultural change. Charting the genre from the 1930s to contemporary horror cinema and across different national cinema traditions, the module will act as a case study of film history through a focused study of a specific area that will exemplify and develop the approach of the Film Form, History and Culture module, while also considering the importance of social and cultural context through exploration of the horrific ‘other’, the uncanny, ideology and genre, the body and body horror and representations of gender, sexuality and ethnicity.

Film Form, History and Culture 15

The module will introduce students to various histories of cinema and the ways that cinema history can be constructed. Through an exploration of a range of national and international cinema movements and styles, students will examine the significance of cultural and historical contexts and their relationship to film texts. Key factors, including economic, social, cultural, political and geographical influences, will be analysed to explore significant moments of film history such as pre-cinema, German Expressionism, the Hollywood studio system, Post-Classical Hollywood, ‘Third Cinema’, the French New Wave and Dogme 95.

Introduction to American Studies I 30

This module introduces some significant themes and concepts of American Studies, and develops initial academic skills. It does so via a combined pattern of work in which a schedule of workshops introduces the topics for study which student blogs and a small group meeting then follow up in detail. Our principal aim is to raise your awareness of the key themes and concepts which recur through the development of America, emphasising the continuity of culture which will connect together your studies in the subject.

Film Criticism 15

This module introduces students to the academic study of film through the analysis of mainstream contemporary cinema. Certain concepts, theories and critical paradigms central to Film Studies will be outlined. These will include notions relating to genre and to star study, the debates attending film authorship and critical and theoretical work that draws upon psychoanalysis and feminism. Students will in addition be introduced to the concepts of semiotics and ideology, and to matters pertaining to spectatorship and audience reception.

Reading Film 15

Running parallel to the theoretical strand, Film Criticism, and focusing on contemporary mainstream films, the module will offer an introduction to the basic procedures for reading film, writing about film and the terminology most widely used in film analysis. Methods of close textual analysis will be explored, foregrounding major filmic devices, or procedures, such as mise-en-scène, editing, sound and narrative. The module will help students explore and evaluate ways in which these devices contribute to meaning.

Year 2 (Level 5)

Modules Credits

Post-Classical Hollywood Cinema 15

This module complements Classical Hollywood Cinema. Historically, it charts the changes in the structures of the major studios from the break-up of the studio system to the present day. Critically, it focuses on the attendant changes in the formal and thematic paradigms of Hollywood films, the industry’s shifting generic regimes and the relationship between particular films and their historical contexts.

Classical Hollywood Cinema 15

Historically, the module studies the emergence and consolidation of the studio system in Hollywood; the rise of its star and genre systems; its intersection with the emergent modern and consumer cultures of 1920s and 1930s USA; and the struggles over and within its functioning during periods of economic, cultural and (inter)national crisis and change.
Critically, the module examines the variable characteristics of classical Hollywood films and their relation to their shifting contexts of regulation, production and consumption. Particular attention will be paid to stars, genres and the reference of both to their classed, gendered and raced audiences.

Researching American Culture 15

This module aims to improve your ability to research, your ability to question and your ability to deal with concepts. To give the module focus, we will examine a particular decade of American history, for instance the Nineteen Eighties. The aim is not to give you a detailed content knowledge of that period. Rather, studying the Eighties gives us a convenient foundation to rehearse different approaches to understanding and interpreting issues, and a way to examine and debate different points of view about the era’s meaning and significance. And as we will find, many of the hotly debated issues of today have their roots in the disputes of 20-30 years ago.

Researching Film Studies 15

The module centres upon the independent research of primary and secondary sources that is an essential part of the successful undergraduate study of film, and through this enables students to pursue their own areas of study. The module correspondingly provides preparation for the Extended Independent Study (Dissertation) that Single Honours students undertake as a compulsory component of their studies in Year 3. Students will engage with research techniques and further develop their critical and theoretical understanding while working on a 3000-word research project on an area of film of their own choice. Each year the module will have, as a way of focusing discussion, a thematic nucleus, which might comprise the consideration of, for example, a particular national cinema, filmmaking within a particular decade, a particular genre or the work of a particular filmmaker.

American Modernity 15

American Modernity deals with the developments which began to make the USA that is familiar to us today—a predominantly urban, industrial, immigrant, consumerist, and technologically developed nation. To exemplify these developments it focuses initially on the city of Chicago, ‘the first of the great cities of the world,’ according to its first important novelist Henry Blake Fuller, ‘to rise under purely modern conditions.’ The second half of the module ranges more widely, from the development of urban Black culture in Harlem, New York (exemplified and represented in Larsen’s novel Passing) to legalised racial oppression in the South (the trials of the ‘Scottsboro boys’), and the trauma of the Great Depression, especially as made present through the quintessentially modern medium of photography.  Taken together, this will allow us to see beyond naïve notions of straightforward linear historical progress, to see American Modernity clearly as being composed of processes, conflicts, and struggles. Many of these are highly significant in determining not only the contours of the contemporary United States, but also the shape of everyday life across the world.

Optional Credits

Optional modules

Contemporary European Cinema 15 Credits

Music and Film 15 Credits

Cinema, Politics and Society 15 Credits

B-Movies 15 Credits

Gangster and Crime Film 15 Credits

Science Fiction and Fantasy 15 Credits

The American Film Western 15 Credits

American Gothic 15 Credits

Region and Environment 15 Credits

American Science Fiction 15 Credits

Writing America 15 Credits

Literature and Film 15 Credits

Work and Money in American Literature 15 Credits

Field Trip

Volunteering for Film Studies 15 Credits

Volunteering for American Studies

Year 3 (Level 6)

Modules Credits

Identity in Contemporary American Film 15

This module focuses on American films from the early 1990s on, placing them in the context of debates over identity that have their origins in the cultural criticism and demands for representation associated with the movements of identity politics: civil rights, feminism, and lesbian and gay liberation. Therefore, particular attention is given to films that explicitly engage with political debates about identity and history, such as Falling Down, Forrest Gump, Disclosure, Daughters of the Dust, Thelma and Louise, Malcolm X, Philadelphia, In and Out, American History X, Three Kings, Bamboozled, Fahrenheit 9/11, Brokeback  Mountain, Crash, The North Country, Grand Torino, and Wall Street II . Links will be made to other films such as Lion King, Independence Day, American Beauty, X-Men, Legally Blonde, Frida, Iron Man, Syriana, Revolutionary Road, and Killing Them Softly whose positioning with respect to these debates is less explicit or covert.

Film Studies Dissertation (Extended Independent Study) 30

The dissertation is a piece of written work of 8-10,000 words. It offers students the opportunity to undertake a sustained and detailed investigation of some area of film and to utilise and develop further a range of research skills and techniques previously introduced and developed on the BA (Hons) Film Studies programme. Subject areas and titles are determined through negotiation with a designated supervisor with whom the student will have regular tutorials to discuss and check the progress of the project.

Optional Credits

Optional modules

Authorship and Film 15 Credits

Stars 15 Credits

Film and the City 15 Credits

Melodrama and Film 15 Credits

Animation 15 Credits

Cult Film and Art Cinema 15 Credits

Film and Reality: Modernity, Modernism and Postmodernism 15 Credits

Gothic Film 15 Credits

Killer Films 15 Credits

American Conspiracies 15 Credits

African America 15 Credits

The Contemporary American Novel 15 Credits

American Crime Fiction 15 Credits

Sex and the City and Beyond 15 Credits

American Women’s Culture in the Nineteenth Century 15 Credits

Liberty and Extremism in America 15 Credits

Please note the modules listed are correct at the time of publishing, for full-time students entering the programme in Year 1. Optional modules are listed where applicable. Please note the University cannot guarantee the availability of all modules listed and modules may be subject to change. For further information please refer to the terms and conditions at
The University will notify applicants of any changes made to the core modules listed above.

Course Tuition Fees 

UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man

If you are a UK or EU student starting your degree in September 2018, the first year will cost you £9,250. Based on this fee level, the indicative fees for a three-year degree would be £27,750 for UK and EU students. Remember, you don't have to pay any of this upfront if you are able to get a tuition fee loan from the UK Government to cover the full cost of your fees each year. If finance is a worry for you, we are here to help. Take a look at the range of support we have on offer. This is a great investment you are making in your future, so make sure you know what is on offer to support you.

Full-time £9,250 p/a

Total Cost: £27,750 (3 years) | £28,450 (sandwich option)

UK/EU Part-Time fees are calculated on a pro rata basis of the full-time fee for a 120 credit course. The fee for a single credit is £77.08 and a 15 credit module is £1,156. Part-time students can take up to a maximum 90 credits per year, so the maximum fee in a given year will be the government permitted maximum fee of £6,938

International Students

Full-time £12,950** p/a
Total Cost: £38,850** (3 years) | £39,550** (sandwich option)

International part-time fees are calculated on a pro rata basis of the full-time fee for a 120 credit course. The fee for a single credit is £107.92 and a 15 credit module is £1,620. Fees for students from Vestfold University College in Norway (who receive a 10% reduction) and NLA are £11,655.



As one of our students all of your teaching and assessments are included in your tuition fees, including, lectures/guest lectures and tutorials, seminars, laboratory sessions and specialist teaching facilities. You will also have access to a wide range of student support and IT services.


We have a variety of scholarship and bursaries available to support you financially with the cost of your course. To see if you’re eligible, please see our Scholarships and Awards.

Key course details

UCAS code
3 years full-time; 6 years part-time
Typical offer
96-112 points
King Alfred or West Downs, University of Winchester