Science Fiction Cinema

Module code: HA3480

This module will consider the history of science fiction in the cinema from the 1920s to the present. It will examine the narrative and thematic concerns of science fiction and the formal and aesthetic strategies of the genre. It will consider the relationships between science fiction cinema and literature through adaptations of works by authors including H. G. Wells, John Wyndham, Robert A. Henlein and Michael Crichton. It will locate science fiction films in their historical contexts of production and reception. The module will include films from a range of national cinemas, including Britain, Germany and the Soviet Union in addition to Hollywood, and films by major directors such as Fritz Lang, Andrei Travokskii, Ridley Scott, James Cameron and Steven Spielberg.

Amongst the films we will study are:

  • Metropolis (1926)
  • Things to Come (1936)
  • Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1955)
  • The Time Machine (1960)
  • Solaris (1972)
  • Blade Runner (1982)
  • The Terminator (1984)
  • Jurassic Park (1993)
  • Starship Troopers (1997)


  • 30 hours of supervised time in studio/workshop
  • 20 hours of seminars
  • 100 hours of guided independent study


  • Essay, 2,500-3,000 words (50%)
  • Exam, 3 hours (50%)