Introduction to Studying Film

Ref: C3676704

This course explores different approaches to the study of film and the cinema. It is intended for students who have an interest in film and cinema and wish to explore or develop this further. After an initial introduction, each session will introduce and examine a different approach, building an overall picture of how films function both artistically and socially, and how they can be understood and referenced in different ways. A wide range of film extracts, old and new, will be used both as illustrations and to engender discussion, along with samples of writings on the cinema. Teaching will be extract based, but students will be given option to view whole set films in their own time, to aid learning and understanding, and to increase their enjoyment of the course.

Course aim

The aim of this course is to introduce a range of approaches to the study of film and cinema and to help students understand what studying films as ‘texts’ and in different contexts entails.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • You will need your own personal email address so that you’re able to login to the WEA’s digital learning platform: WEA Canvas. You will need to be able to understand how to follow URL links to pages on the internet. If you want to understand more about Canvas please visit:
  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers
  • No skills or prior experience are needed. This course is intended for beginners who have an interest in or passion for film and cinema and who want to explore or develop this further in a supportive environment.

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • identify a range of approaches that can be used in the study of film
  • select and apply suitable approaches to the analysis and discussion of a range of film texts
  • begin to develop a critical vocabulary to support my analysis or study of individual films or collective cinemas
  • gain confidence in using the techniques introduced to discuss and assess a range of film extracts
  • improve my ability to critically assess and evaluate a range of film sources, including writings on the cinema

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning

What else do I need to know?

  • You will need a personal email address to join the WEA’s digital learning platform, Canvas so that you can receive resources, record your progress and achievement and to work with others and share ideas. If you want to understand more about our digital learning platform please visit:
  • All materials will be provided
  • We will not have time in the classes to watch entire films. If you have the means and time to watch some of the films we discuss at home it will be an advantage and may aid your learning and understanding.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required

What can I do next?

Download full course information sheet

Introduction to Studying Film

Is this course right for me? Request more information

This course has been cancelled.


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2019
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

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