GM2CG-Cinema of Germany

Module Provider: Modern Languages
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites: GM1L2 and GM1L3 or equivalent
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Dr Ute Wolfel


Type of module:

Summary module description:

The module familiarises students with the origins and development of German national cinema from the end of World War I to German unification including film-making in National Socialist German, and post-war East and West Germany. We will look at the different periods of film-making and discuss the changing topics and typical film genres characteristic of the various political regimes. The close-reading of individual films and the discussion of cinematic means linked to the historical contexts of the films’ production will be at the centre of the module.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module, students will have examined the history of the most important medium in Germany of the 20th century; they will have gained an overview of the periods contributing to the development of national cinema and detailed knowledge of individual key films. Students will also have learnt to look at film more critically and analytically. They will have practised the selection, evaluation and presentation of material to others in order to further discussion and pursue own ideas.

Students will develop their research and writing skills as well as their ability to analyse films.

Additional outcomes:
This module will also encourage the development of close reading and oral communication skills and enhance students’ effectiveness in group situations.

Outline content:

Employing the new medium as an effective means of propaganda, film underwent a rapid development during World War I which resulted in a boost of film as mass entertainment after the war. We will begin with the films of the Weimar Republic (1919-1933), the ‘classical period’ of German film-making and some of its prominent genres such as horror film and melodrama. As some of the genres persisted beyond Weimar, their specific use during the Third Reich (1933-1945) and the post-war period (1945-1990) will be analysed. At the same time we will look at other genres typical of the respective periods such as the anti-Semitic propaganda film of the Third Reich, the antifascist film of the GDR and the so-called Heimat film of the FRG. The module will end with a look at the films produced by unified Germany focusing on the question of how current film-making takes up and reflects on these traditions and their political and cultural histories. 

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

The module consists of introductory lectures followed by seminars which comprise of open discussions, group work, and presentations. 

Students may also undertake an academic placement, through which they will learn how to apply the knowledge and skills gained in studying for this module in a professional context outside the University.


Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 3 3
Seminars 12 10
Project Supervision 2
Guided independent study 85 85
Total hours by term 100.00 100.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 60
Written assignment including essay 30
Set exercise 10

Summative assessment- Examinations:
2 hrs

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Students will present ONE poster (10%) based on a formative oral presentation and submit ONE essay of approximately 2,500 words (30%).

ONE two-hour examination (60%); answers may not rely substantially on material used in the essay or poster.

One piece of assessment worth no more than 50% of the module mark can be replaced by a report produced after an academic placement. The placement must be agreed in advance by the module convenor; the length of the report is to be equivalent to standard departmental practice for coursework.

Formative assessment methods:
ONE oral presentation

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convener will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day[1] (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at:
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Assessment requirements for a pass:

    Reassessment arrangements:

    Written examination in the re-sit period in the event of failure in this module and in Part 2 as a whole; assessed coursework mark over 40% to be carried forward, otherwise coursework to be resubmitted by 12 NOON on the third Friday of August or, if the University is closed, the first working day thereafter.  

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
    1) Required text books:
    2) Specialist equipment or materials:
    3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
    4) Printing and binding:
    5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
    6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

    Last updated: 20 April 2018


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