An Introduction to Film Studies Interactive

Course Synopsis

Film and cinema are ubiquitous elements of modern life. Yet the technologically advanced movies that we enjoy today have taken years to evolve, going back even to hand-shadow plays performed centuries ago, and it is only through understanding the roots of modern cinema and man’s desire for moving pictures that we can appreciate the beauty of film today.

This course is designed to guide students through the evolution of film and cinema from its ancient origins in hand shadows all the way through to modern-day blockbusters. It also introduces students to the special phrases and terms used by those within the film industry and teaches methods for critically analysing a piece of cinema, with a view to enabling students to write their own film review by the end of the course.


What’s Included?





Personal Profile

Interactive Tutorials

Quizzes and Exams


Why Take this Course?

This course is ideal preparation for students thinking of studying film, media, communications, or related subjects at university.

Aims and Objectives

  • To appreciate the origins of man's desire to make films
  • To understand the key eras that have come and gone throughout the history of film
  • To appreciate cultural differences in attitudes to film and cinema

Key Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course students will be able to:

  • Understand the major stages of evolution in the history of film and cinema
  • Write their own journalistic film review using the skills acquired


All courses include the following Interactive Tutorial series

Tutorial 1

The Beginnings of Film

1 - 1.5 hours

This tutorial takes you through the first part of the history of film, looking at film's development from moving images and hand shadows right through to the French New Wave movement of the 1960s. Along this historical journey, you will also encounter the origins of cinema with the invention of the movie camera and the arrival of the classic Golden Hollywood era.

Tutorial 2

1970s to the Present

1 - 1.5 hours

This tutorial picks up where the previous tutorial left off. It begins in the post-classic Hollywood era with the rise of American independent film-making before moving on to discuss the impact of the blockbuster and the availability of videotapes and DVDs. The tutorial ends with a consideration of more recent technological advances in HD and 3D effects.

Tutorial 3

World Cinema and Transnational Cinema

1 - 1.5 hours

This tutorial explores two different, but related, forms of cinema. World Cinema explores how films differ from country to country, whereas Transnational Cinema investigates what factors enable these differences to cross national borders. However, the two concepts are often handed somewhat nebulous definitions, so this tutorial will attempt to provide you with a definitive understanding of what both World Cinema and Transnational Cinema entail.

Tutorial 4

Writing Film Reviews

1 - 1.5 hours

This tutorial looks more closely at film criticism and journalism. It considers two very different styles of film review in an attempt to give students an understanding of what constitutes good cinematic critique. It ends by offering useful practical advice as to how to get film reviews published.

What’s Included?

All courses contain the following elements:

Interactive Tutorials
Online Quizzes
Access to the discussion forum
Access to all course resources
Certificate of completion

Key Details

Course Pre-Requisites Fluent / Advanced level of English
General interest in this field of study and a desire to learn more!
Course Level Aimed at: students applying/thinking of applying to university to study film or media-related subjects.
This course is an area-specific course focusing on the history of film, as opposed to being a general introduction to the topic. However, no prior knowledge is required to take this course.
Difficulty Level: Easy
Fees £29.99
Workload 4 - 6 hours

Enrolment Options

Choose one of the following options to take your course:

Single Licence


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Personal learning profile
Course certificate

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3-Month Membership
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6-Month Membership
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Course certificates

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