At Kent, Cultural Studies is taught in the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research where you benefit from a large choice of specialist modules on race, social change, criminal justice or disability and the arts. You are taught by leading academics in fields like gender, race and the body.
You explore the links between culture, film and society drawing on critical theories and methods from the social sciences and the humanities. We examine a range of areas, from digital media, to the creative and cultural industries, to social identities and movements.
The School of Arts’ Jarman building is a creative hub for students of film, drama, media studies and art history.
Our degree programme
The programme begins with an overview of different cultural and sociological theories that address ‘culture’, ‘media’ and ‘society’ as part of a broader global and historical context. You are also introduced to different film styles and genres.
You then go on to learn how to conduct and apply qualitative sociological research that engages with different cultural products like mass media; spoken word poetry; digital media technologies; television and film.
During all stages of your studies you have the opportunity to choose specialist modules that suit your interests and include topics like documentary cinema, screenwriting, digital culture, animated worlds and cultures of embodiment.
In your final year of study, there is an option to take a dissertation module on a subject of your choice or to complete an independent film project. This allows you to focus in detail on an area you are particularly passionate about.
Facilities to support film studies include: our own cinema, which screens ten to 15 films a week 8,000 DVDs and videos in the library individual and group viewing facilities in the library.
Our film production facilities are industry-standard and include the following: sound-proofed production studio with projection, chroma-key green screen and black serge cycloramas extensive lighting grid sound-dubbing studio individual editing suites equipped with Final Cut Pro digital studio with post-production software.
Kent’s Templeman Library also gives you access to a wide range of topical journals and books in hard copy and digital format.
Your designated academic advisor provides guidance for your academic and professional development throughout your studies. Our Student Learning Advisory Service offers useful workshops on topics like essay writing and academic referencing.
There are a number of student-led societies at Kent which you may want to join, for example:
UKC Digital Media Socrates Society Film Society Feminist Society B-Movie Society.
The Gulbenkian, our campus arts-centre, has two large cinemas and screens block-busters as well as independent art films. It also holds regular events that might be of interest to you such as round-tables with directors and screenwriters.
There are also events available throughout the year for students from the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research. These may include: research seminars and webcasts career development workshops informal lectures by guest experts followed by group discussion.Cultural Studies
We use a variety of teaching methods, including lectures, case study analysis, group projects and presentations, and individual and group tutorials. Many module convenors also offer additional ‘clinic’ hours to help with the preparation of coursework and for exams.
All modules involve lectures, small group seminars and film screenings (where relevant). On average, you have two lectures and three hours of seminars each week, plus four to six hours film viewing.
Depending on the modules you select, assessment varies from 100% coursework (extended essays or dissertation), to a combination of examination and coursework.
Knowledge and understanding
You gain knowledge and understanding of:
- aesthetic judgement
- particular forms of film and culture, including the way they organise understanding and meaning
- the historical evolution of particular genres, aesthetic traditions and forms
- cultural and social contexts that affect the meaning of film and television works
- conceptualisations of meaning, pleasure and identification in film and culture
- how the modes of production/consumption of film and cultural texts and products shape contemporary life
- the nature and impact of new technologies
- major theories of film and cultural studies.
You gain intellectual abilities in how to:
- analyse critically a wide range of film and cultural forms
- understand forms of film and culture as they have emerged historically
- clearly express your own ideas in oral and written presentations
- evaluate and draw upon sources and conceptual frameworks appropriate to research in relevant areas
- apply film, and cultural, theory to familiar and unfamiliar contexts, products and milieu
- draw and reflect upon the relevance and impact of your own cultural assumptions to the practice of research and evaluation.
You gain the following subject-specific skills:
- conception and application of cross-disciplinary strategies of investigation of film and cultural issues, themes and topics
- drawing upon and bringing together ideas, knowledge of narrative and stylistic forms and structures in film and culture
- the ability to articulate understanding of visual and oral media in a written medium
- the ability to evaluate theoretical models and paradigms of cultural production, consumption and reception
- effectively deploying terms and concepts specific to the study of film and television
- the ability to integrate diverse sources of cultural information and produce new knowledge.
You gain the following transferable skills:
- working in flexible, creative and independent ways
- showing self-discipline, including time management, as well as self-direction and the ability to reflect on one’s own practices
- sustaining focus and applying attention to detail
- organising and managing supervised, self-directed projects
- researching and evaluating sources in the process of carrying out independent study
- communicating effectively and appropriately orally and in writing, and (where undertaken) in other media
- working productively in a group or team, showing abilities at different times to listen, contribute and lead effectively
- showing insight in and understanding of the social and ethical
issues surrounding contemporary communications, media, culture and
society; demonstrating the ability to draw on this understanding and
knowledge in your engagement and contribution to contemporary society as workers and citizens
- draw upon IT skills, including (where taken) skills in digital technology in relation to practice.
The programme aims to:
- develop students' ability to undertake critical analysis in film and cultural studies
- provide teaching informed by current research in the fields of film and culture
- provide a coherent, flexible and progressive curriculum which includes options from a wide range of disciplinary and interdisciplinary areas, particularly in the study of film and culture
- provide broad knowledge of relevant concepts, debates and theoretical approaches in the study of film and culture
- develop students' awareness of, and sensitivity to, the contexts of production and consumption involved in film and culture
- provide opportunities for the development of personal, communication, research and other key skills appropriate to graduate employment in a range of cultural, media and education-related spheres, and for further research in the fields of film and cultural studies.