Approaches to Textual Analysis

Module code: HA7203

Module co-ordinator: Dr Guy Barefoot

In this module you will examine different approaches to the formal analysis of film texts, including both individual films and groups of films. You will analyse the complex formal and ideological processes at work in the creation of meaning and considers different theoretical approaches including authorship, genre, structuralism and semiotics.

Together we will explore different approaches to the formal analysis of individual films and groups of films, including but not limited to:

  • Theories of aesthetics, ideology, authorship and genre.
  • Understanding of the complex formal, cultural and ideological processes that produce meaning within the film text.
  • Knowledge of the key critical literature dealing with the textual analysis of films and the ability to engage critically with that literature.

Topics covered

These issues will be addressed through the study of two contrasting topics, and key approaches to these topics:

  • The films of Alfred Hitchcock
  • Melodrama in Mexican Cinema


This seminar-based module is jointly taught by staff from History of Art and Film and staff from Modern Languages. It is seminar-based and will run over eleven weeks (including a reading week) in Semester 1. 


  • Essay, 3,000 words (50%)
  • Extended textual analysis of a film extract, 3,000 words (50%)