also available in 2018
A Level Requirements
see all requirements
see all requirements
Full time 3 Year(s)
Lancaster’s combined Film and Philosophy degree is taught jointly by academics in the Lancaster Institute for the Contemporary Arts (LICA) and the Department of Politics, Philosophy and Religion, which is home to 10 philosophers. Your degree will provide you with the information and theoretical frameworks for understanding films as crucial cultural artefacts. You’ll examine cinema’s aesthetic importance in the context of an increasingly visual and media-oriented culture, while investigating the connections between contemporary art, theatre, music and film. Lancaster’s course is academic rather than vocational, but you will have the opportunity at each year of the programme to make your own digital film using the University’s state-of-the-art equipment. You’ll be able to select from a wide range of options in both disciplines to complement your compulsory courses, beginning with the core first-year modules Introduction to Film and Introduction to Philosophy. In your second year, your courses include Global Cinema and you’ll complete a Film Dissertation in your third and final year.
A Level ABB
Required Subjects Film, Media or one other humanities subject considered desirable but not essential
IELTS 6.5 overall with at least 5.5 in each component. For other English language qualifications we accept, please see our English language requirements webpages.
International Baccalaureate 32 points overall with 16 points from the best 3 Higher Level subjects
BTEC Distinction, Distinction, Merit
We welcome applications from students with a range of alternative UK and international qualifications, including combinations of qualification. Further guidance on admission to the University, including other qualifications that we accept, frequently asked questions and information on applying, can be found on our general admissions webpages.
Contact Admissions Team + 44 (0) 1524 592028 or via firstname.lastname@example.org
Many of Lancaster's degree programmes are flexible, offering students the opportunity to cover a wide selection of subject areas to complement their main specialism. You will be able to study a range of modules, some examples of which are listed below.
This module is intended to provide you with the essential knowledge and competencies to undertake the academic study of film at university level. The first term provides you with an understanding of the formal and technical composition of films to allow you to undertake detailed analysis of films, from the level of close scrutiny of individual images, and their interrelation with the soundtrack, to the narrative assembly of shots and scenes. Through the analysis of a range of examples, you will become familiar with the key formal and semantic conventions of cinema. The second term is designed to provide you with a framework knowledge of world film history. By focusing on a selection of key films and filmmakers, this section of the module will explore historically significant movements and themes within international cinema from the 1920s to the present day. This term is thematically organized around issues of ideology and realism, and explores the shifting social and political status of cinema during the last century. In the third term you will undertake a practical project, working with a small group to produce a short film.
This module introduces students to some of the central problems of philosophy and the theories produced in response to them. It also introduces some of the subject's technical concepts and vocabulary, and some of its techniques of reasoning and analysis. Reading includes both classical and contemporary material.
Philosophy has a significant role to play, both in acquainting students with some of the ideas which have helped shape Western culture, and in the critical understanding of ideas and methods in many other disciplines. The level of the module does not presuppose previous knowledge of philosophy. If students have studied philosophy before, the module will enable them to deepen and broaden their understanding of the subject and to improve their philosophical skills. The module aims not only to inform students with what philosophers have said but also to encourage them to engage with the issues. Topics will be drawn from the range of philosophical problems, approaches, and canonical figures.
This core module has two main objectives. Firstly, it is designed to develop further your analytical skills in order to examine individual films in greater detail. Secondly, it is intended to encourage you to understand world cinema in relation to a variety of social, cultural, political and industrial contexts. The module will explore such issues as the relationship between film form and modes of production (from industrial film-making through to low-budget art film), theories of film style and aesthetics, and the political function of cinema. In the first term, we focus wholly on various modes of American film production, and in the second term we explore some broader theoretical questions through an analysis of films from a number of different national traditions. Across the whole module, you will gain a thorough grasp not only of the historical factors shaping various national and international cinemas, but also of some key critical and theoretical concepts within the field of film studies.
This module focuses on the shifting landscape of British theatre in the twentieth century, approached through the conceptualising lens of the state of the nation. It aims to: introduce a decade-by-decade overview of British theatre from 1945 to 2000 by presenting key playwrights and plays; introduce readings of the works which embrace an understanding of both dramatic form and content; situate the works socially and politically. Assessment is by group presentation and written examination.
This course provides an introduction to critical theory in the arts and its application to aesthetics and art. The first term concentrates on 'structures' in artworks and the second on 'identities'. The structure of the course is six three-week blocks: (1) Form and Structure, (2) Semiotics and Authorship, (3) Phenomenology and Spectatorship, (4) Sex/uality and Gender, (5) Race and Ethnicity, and (6) Class and Society. Weekly plenary lectures make connections across the arts, and weekly two hour seminar/workshops allow students to work in their subject groups (art, film, theatre, design) on ideas and examples specifically tailored towards these disciplines.
This module will enable students to develop a range of graphic skills to allow them to approach and represent ideas, issues and experiences in a documentary manner. The module is designed to be relevant to creative practice in Theatre, Film and Fine Art. It will enable students with a specific interest in drawing to expand their knowledge and experience of observational and on-site drawing, and develop their learning and experience by engaging in further technical training and by introduction to drawing beyond the studio and 'in the field'. On completion of this module it is expected students will have significantly developed their drawing skills and ability to select a meaningful topic, demonstrate ability to engage in independent study and develop a substantial personal project for assessment.
This module aims to provide students with an understanding of some historical and contemporary approaches to the subject of ethics. It addresses central issues by engaging with classical texts in the history of the subject, such as Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics, David Hume’s Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals, Immanuel Kant’s Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals and John Stuart Mill’s Utilitarianism.
The module will also explore selected topics in moral philosophy, such as the nature, strength and weakness of consequentialism, deontology, and virtue theory. In addition to this, students will study topics in meta-ethics, such as the ‘moral problem’, non-cognitivist realism, and quasi-realism.
Other topics covered include topics in applied and practical ethics, such as issues of life and death in biomedical practice, the ethics of war, and the ethics of personal life; as well as the nature of moral motivation and moral psychology.
Western philosophy has a long and rich history, and many of the questions occupying present-day philosophers have been around for hundreds or even thousands of years.
The exact structure of this module may vary from year to year, but core themes will normally include:
Students will study these problems, amongst others, by close consideration of a selection of texts from the history of Western philosophy. This may include selections from the ancient (classical), medieval, early modern (17th/18th centuries) period, and the 19th century. Thinkers who may be considered include Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Scotus, Descartes, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, Kant, Hegel, and Nietzsche.
The principal objective of this module is to provide a relatively comprehensive and integrated foundation to the study of international relations by introducing students to its basic conceptual vocabulary and theoretical concerns and by applying this conceptual knowledge to an understanding of changes and developments in the international system.
The module covers the historical development of the discipline in the 20th century into the 21st century, moving from the orthodoxy that has come to dominate mainstream Anglo-American international relations (Realism and Liberalism) through to the various challenges that have emerged from critical schools of thought. The module examines how different theories of international relations illuminate and interrogate some of the central ethico-political problems of the 'international' in modern history.
This module provides amongst a range of other issues: a study of war, its causes and consequences; violence at personal and structural levels within society (especially racism); positive definitions of peace; and misperceptions and enemy images through the media.
The module investigates and examines theoretical and practical issues surrounding peace and violence within modern society. It also examines the conditions of peace and war, assessing the scope for conflict resolution, non-violence and reconciliation. The first term introduces the main approaches within Peace Studies, exploring the development of ideas in the field as they bear on the roots of violence and understandings of peace and peace-making. The second term applies this thinking to contemporary conflicts, focusing on policies of conflict prevention and conflict resolution.
The module is taught in a non-dogmatic and interdisciplinary manner, encouraging students to develop their own perspectives and conclusions following discussions and debates throughout the year.
The module will enable you to understand how a work environment functions and how you can contribute to this. It will enable you to develop a range of transferable skills and apply your knowledge and understanding to a project linked to your placement organisation.
You will work with an external organisation for between 45 – 60 hours and attend lectures and seminars which will provide you with guidance and support. The placement will take place in a cultural organisation (such as a Gallery, Theatre or Studio) or a schools-based placement in Primary, Secondary or Special Needs dedicated school. The module will provide you with the opportunity to combine practical work and develop your interest in relation to a specific subject related issue. The module will prepare you for placement by providing you with the academic skills that will enable you to reflect upon your experiences.
This module aims to introduce key issues and practical skills in the production of video for media, performance, new media art and documentary film. The module will introduce the historical and practical applications of media technologies in art, theatre and performance by presenting the key practitioners in the areas of installation, multimedia performance, video, and new media art.
A group practical project will introduce the use of video cameras, filming and editing, project planning, team work and the practical use of installation technologies. The module offers students the opportunity to work in interdisciplinary teams to produce a short film, performance, installation or documentary, including video and other media where appropriate.
This module is designed to improve students' knowledge and understanding of some key issues in metaphysics as determined by the syllabus. The module will focus primarily on some issues concerning space and time, the nature of physical objects and persons, and some key philosophical distinctions. Topics will include:
Studying this module should enable students to see connections between various philosophical issues that should be of value to them with regard to other philosophy modules that they are studying.
This module combines theoretical and practical approaches to provide an introduction to some of the greatest American and German modern dance pioneers of the twentieth century. It compares their systems of technical training, choreographic methods, signature dance works, and considers the relationship of those systems, methods and works to the social context and philosophical ideas of their time. Assessment is through the choreography and performance of a short trio, and an essay. The module prepares students for more advanced dance and physical theatre projects in later modules.
The aim of this module is to provide a broad grounding in some important aspects of the discipline of politics that are conceived of as both an attempt to understand the nature of politics and to assess the worth of various political arrangements. It involves consideration of notions such as politics, citizenship, democracy, government, state, welfare, individualism, utilitarianism, conservatism, socialism and, social democracy, together with an examination of the various ways in which political studies have been understood as a disciplined investigation of things political. The module covers four broad topics: freedom, markets and the state; citizenship, nationalism and democracy; equality and welfare; and politics and political science.
The module is divided into two sections over two terms. In the first term students will read, examine and discuss thinkers who make a contribution to the understanding of the notions of liberty and the individual (Hobbes, Locke, J S Mill, and Hayek). In the second term students will explore the thought of thinkers who are associated with the ideas of equality and community (Rousseau, Marx, the Fabians, and Rawls).
This module combines theoretical and practical approaches to explore the historical avant-garde. Key examples from each of the selected movements (e.g. Futurism, Dada, Surrealism) allow for an examination of the ways in which the avant-garde engaged with the disciplines of performance, fine art, film, design and sound in creating its diverse practices. Assessment is through practical workshop and essay.
This module considers some of the difficulties involved in gaining knowledge about human societies. It focuses especially on economics and politics, disciplines which raise some of the largest questions about society – for example: Who gets what? Who rules whom? Can individual choices generate social change?
In this module students will not address such questions empirically, but instead step back to ask what sort of methods have been used to answer them, what sorts of modes of explanation or understanding are appropriate, and what assumptions are built into the ways economists and political scientists frame their enquiries. The aim of the module, then, is to critically examine methods and assumptions in both disciplines, in order to appreciate the scope and limits of their claims to knowledge.
This module aims to introduce students to a wide range of connected topics in the theory of knowledge, philosophy of mind and philosophy of language, drawing on both classical and contemporary writings. It examines issues such as: the nature and justification of our knowledge of the external world, and the relations between knowledge and belief; the mind-body (or mind-brain) problem; the place of mental life and bodily continuity in the identity of individuals; and the different theories of truth, meaning and the language-world relationship, including logical positivism.
This module begins by examining issues in the metaphysics of mind, before moving on to epistemological issues: How can we gain knowledge of our own mental states, or of other people’s? How should psychologists seek to investigate the mind?
For the most part, this module will be structured around contemporary texts.
This module introduces students to the main approaches to development. It provides students with an overview of the main theoretical approaches, especially modernisation theory, world systems analysis, feminist theories, and post-colonialism. It relates these theories to issues and case studies including the debt question, the impact of globalisation, global governance, corporate social responsibility, poverty and inequality, social movements and the activities of NGOs.
The module comprises two interrelated parts. The first term deals with the main theoretical approaches to development. Topics here include global integration, disengagement, democracy-autocracy, aid-trade, the case of drugs, Islam, southern organisations, and theories of modernisation and dependency.
The second term pursues links between the conceptual issues raised in term one and connects them to global- and national-focused perspectives on the politics of development. The instability of third world states will be examined in terms of competing legacies from the pre-colonial and colonial periods and high social expectations of development. Perspectives and examples will be drawn from Africa and Latin America.
This module examines the origins, workings and policies of the European Union. It begins by considering the treaties that led to the contemporary union and focuses on the key strains of thought that have given rise to contemporary debates about the form the European Union ought to take.
At a time of unprecedented financial crisis and the prospect of a British exit from the EU itself, the module offers a comprehensive focus on all key issues from European politics, government, and economics, to public policy. It includes an analysis of the process and dynamics of European integration, especially since the collapse of the Soviet Union; an account of the various European institutions which have developed (including the work of the Commission in Brussels), a discussion of key public policy areas (with an emphasis on the European Social Model) and finally a focus on European party politics, covering influential European ideologies such as Social Democracy, Christian Democracy and also Euro-scepticism.
This module aims to deepen students' understanding of the major ideas, arrangements, policies and controversies which have characterised post-war British politics.
The module examines the evolution of the politics of the United Kingdom from an era broadly characterised by consensus and stability (1945-70) to one which has proved much more turbulent in a variety of ways (1970 onwards). This examination is set within the context of rival political traditions and of competing theories of representative government. Topics covered in the first term include changes in electoral behaviour and developments in the political parties, as well as consideration of the problems of governing the component parts of the United Kingdom (Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland). In the second term the focus is on the key institutions of central government (parliament and the executive) and on the UK's changing relationship with Europe. The last part of the course examines the development of public policy in the areas of welfare and the economy.
This module introduces central issues, problems and theories in philosophical aesthetics by critically examining specific topics in the philosophy of art, and by examining the theories of major figures who have contributed to the tradition of philosophical aesthetics. The module uses concrete examples from most of the arts, including painting, literature, film, and music, to illuminate theoretical debates and issues.
Topics and major aesthetic theorists covered may include the following (note that this list is not exhaustive and indicative only, not all topics will be covered) :
African states are among the poorest, most artificial in the world. This means their relations with the global system have a critical impact on African politics from the global to the local level.
This module aims to:
This module provides a historical and thematic introduction to the issues facing Africa in the international system today. The module is divided into four sections. The first focuses on the impact of colonialism on shaping the economy, the state and perceptions of race. The second section examines the first four decades of independence. The third and fourth look at key contemporary issues such as HIV/AIDS and actors such as China and South Africa.
Topics studied will normally include:
Introduction – Hollywood breakdown (Easy Rider, Medium Cool)
The future of allusion: New Hollywood’s nostalgic mode (The Godfather)
Popular feminism (Klute, Woman Under the Influence)
Politics and conspiracy (The Parallax View, All The President’s Men)
Disaster movies (The Poseidon Adventure)
Comedy (Annie Hall)
Exploitation cinema I: blaxploitation (Coffy, Foxy Brown)
Exploitation cinema II: horror/body genres (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre)
Blockbuster cinema and the franchise film (Star Wars)
The end of the New (Apocalypse Now)
This module presents a detailed analysis of the major developments in British foreign policy since 1945. It explains these developments within a global context, offering rival interpretations of Britain's changing role and status. The major themes include: the consequences of Britain's participation in the Second World War; the retreat from Empire after 1945; the 'special relationship' with the United States; and the prolonged attempt to redefine Britain's global role in the context of perceived economic and geopolitical decline. Understand the major developments in Britain's role in the world since the Second World War.
The syllabus will include the following topics:
This module aims to provide students with a solid knowledge base and understanding of a range of important issues, key concepts, contemporary debates, and approaches regarding Buddhism and modernity in Asian countries. It covers different historical, social, political, and economic factors that have impacted on the development of Buddhism in respective societies as well as looking at the intersection between secular power and religious authority.
On successful completion of this module students will be able to make informed judgements and present their own views on key concepts and issues that have impacted on Buddhism in the past and present of select countries in Southeast Asia and in the Far East. They will also be able to articulate the differences and describe critically the transformations taking place in regard to Buddhism through discussing concepts of modernity, authority, gender, development, and power.
China's rise is commonly understood as a key factor that will shape future world order. In this seminar-based module students will become familiar with different approaches to understanding China's rise, and critically evaluate the opportunities and challenges this poses to both China and the surrounding world. In each seminar, students will consider a key issue in China's relation to the world from different perspectives.
Issues that will be explored include: the possibility of an alternative modernity; sources of party-state legitimacy; Chinese nationalism; the limits of Chinese identity; new tools of China's soft power; the Chinese school of International Relations theory; questions of territorial integrity; and Chinese ideas of world order and the China model. This module will thus offer students an opportunity to discuss familiar concepts like nationalism, democracy and modernity in the context of post-Mao era China. Students enhance their understanding of the complexity of issues in contemporary China, and critically examine conceptual tools of political analysis in the Chinese context.
This module aims to survey and critically examine the main themes, key concepts, debates and approaches to the study of Christianity and theological change in the modern word. Students will develop an analytical and interpretive framework within which to situate competing Christian traditions and theologies in a historical context.
Throughout the module students will learn to demonstrate a systematic understanding and critical awareness of established debates, theoretical literature and emerging insights in respect of the modern history of Christianity, as well as evidence an understanding and critical evaluation of developments and debates within Christian theology and history. The module will critically analyse developments in Christianity in relation to changing social and cultural contexts, and apply various theoretical frameworks and critical tools in order to understand, explain and analyse developments in the field.
This module is designed to provide you with a chance to explore one of America's most significant cultural contributions to the twentieth century - the motion picture. You are introduced to the American cinema through a genre approach to a series of selected films. This entails that you frame the formal and aesthetic aspects of Hollywood filmmaking in an appropriate social, historical, cultural, and industrial context. In considering why certain popular narrative formulas (such as the Western and the Gangster) are so deeply associated with American commercial screen art, lectures and seminars will attend to movie production as a dynamic process of exchange between the film industry and its mass audience.
The aim of this module is to offer students from a wide range of backgrounds the opportunity to engage with the most important debates and issues in the study of the politics of the Middle East and Asia, and to locate and contextualise them within wider debates and scholarship of global politics. The module aims to develop enhance critical understanding of a series of key issues in the politics of the contemporary Middle East and Asia, as well as familiarising students with a wide range of case studies.
The module will typically include the following topics:
This module explores the emergence and construction of ethics within the context of two world religions: Christianity and Islam. It examines the ways in which religious attitudes to ethical concern and practice are influenced by traditional, textual and cultural factors.
Some of the ethical concerns to be covered throughout the module are: politics and economics; justice and war; sex and sexual practice; and rights and law. Finally, the module will encourage students to explore some of these areas cross-culturally through the consideration of questions of difference and otherness.
This module combines theoretical and practical approaches to explore important European writers, directors and companies by studying their innovative dramaturgies, scenographies, uses of ‘no longer dramatic’ text, and new acting/performing styles. These aesthetic forms are also discussed in relation to the performances’ thematic and political concerns with developments such as globalization and late capitalism, increasing mediatisation, (anti-)immigration, terrorism and the war on terror and ecological concerns, as well as with the enduring memories of the Second World War and a European history of colonialism. Teaching is through lecture, seminar and practical workshop and assessment is by practical presentation and by seen examination.
This module introduces students to human rights as a political and legal concept. It provides a critical overview of contemporary debates in the field, without losing sight of key theoretical questions. What are human rights? What is their source? In what sense are they universal and inalienable? Following a discussion of philosophical and historical foundations the module will examine the post-World War II international legal regime for the protection of human rights. It will explore the political implications of enshrining human rights at the international level, and engage with questions of culture and diversity, development and globalization, poverty and health.
Students will have the opportunity to research and discuss such issues as gender-based violence, torture in the ‘war on terror’, treatment of refugees and asylum seekers and HIV/AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa. These empirical case studies of recent human rights struggles and controversies will shed light on the complexity of global human rights politics in the early 21st century.
This module introduces students to key issues in Middle East politics today. It explores the people, society and politics of the region and the role that religion, ethnicity, gender and class have played in shaping contemporary issues. It examines the major internal and external actors in the region; conflict and peace; the geo-strategic importance of the region; issues of political economy; political change and reform; the issue of identities in the Middle East and ideologies around this; the emergence of political Islam; rising anti-Americanism; 9/11 and the fall-out in the region from the 'war on terror', the 'Arab Spring' and the unfolding revolutions.
Through class discussions, completion of coursework and the exam, students should be able to understand the complexities of society in the Middle East, and show an in-depth understanding of key themes and issues in the contemporary Middle East.
This module aims to introduce the work of some key figures in 19th and 20th century continental philosophy, such as Hegel, Marx, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Foucault, Hannah Arendt and Habermas. The approach taken is predominantly philosophical rather than historical, and will involve critically examining claims and arguments about such matters as the existence and nature of human freedom, the relationships between knowledge, truth, power and morality, alienation and human labour, and the possibility of mutual recognition and community. It is expected that students will engage with the original texts, formulate the central arguments to be found in them and assess their cogency.
The module begins by looking at Nietzsche’s Toward a Genealogy of Morality, before turning to Foucault, who adapts Nietzsche’s method of historical analysis in order to challenge assumptions about progress toward freedom and welfare in modern societies. Finally students will study Arendt and her political thought on totalitarian politics using a parallel method of historical analysis.
This module explores the analysis of the corporation in the global political economy. It will help students develop their knowledge of the character and practices of corporations and place that analysis within the wider context of analyses of International Political Economy.
At the end of the module students will better understand the variance and multi-faceted character of the corporate (global) sector, be able to account for a range of (political) positions about corporations and have some experience of the interaction between political economic and legal analyses. The module overall is intended to demystify the corporation as a political economic actor and support students in developing a nuanced appreciation of their own analyses of the role and practices of (global) corporations.
This module provides an opportunity for students to develop an understanding of the innovative ways in which creative practitioners produce and deliver their work. It will provide an overview of the challenges faced by freelance practitioners, producers and small cultural companies within the creative industries. You will also develop a working understanding of the key management and enterprise skills involved in delivering creative projects. Working in groups you will put your learning into practice through the delivery of your own live creative arts project. This will enable you to understand the skills, knowledge, attributes and behaviours relevant for employment in the arts and creative industries.
This module will examine philosophical issues that arise in connection with specific sciences, in particular biology and medicine, as opposed to the general philosophy of science.
The following topics will be covered:
This module provides an opportunity for students to choose a topic related to some aspect of Politics and International Relations, Philosophy and Religious Studies which particularly interests them, and to pursue it in depth. The topic may be related to work that is being done on a formally taught course, or it may be less directly linked to course work. The intention is that students will develop their research skills and their ability to work at length under their own direction.
Students are expected to start thinking seriously about the 9,000-10,000 word dissertation towards the end of the Lent term of their second year, and to submit a provisional topic by the end of that term. Work should be well advanced by Christmas in the third year. The completed dissertation must be submitted by the end of the Lent term in the third year.
This core module is directed towards completion of an independent research project on a topic of the student’s choice, presented in the form of a dissertation. The course is taught through lecture/seminars focused on research skills and one-to-one supervision.
This module aims to allow students to pursue independent in-depth studies of a topic of their choice, within the scope of their scheme of study. The topic may be related to work that is being done on a formally taught course, or it may be less directly linked to course work.
Students will develop their employability and research skills, and their ability to work independently at length under their own direction with input from an academic supervisor.
The external collaboration will enhance students’ ability to reflect on the impact of academic work. One option is to incorporate work done through the Richardson Institute Internship Programme, but students may also discuss other forms of collaboration with their supervisor.
This module aims to allow students to pursue independent in-depth studies of a topic of their choice, within the scope of their scheme of study. The topic may be related to work that is being done on a formally taught course, or it may be less directly linked to course work. Students will develop their employability and research skills, and their ability to work independently at length under their own direction with input from an academic supervisor.
The field work element will enhance students’ ability to reflect on the impact of academic work. One option is to incorporate a study trip organised by the University, such as the LUSU Involve Overseas Programme, but students may also discuss other forms of field studies with their supervisor.
This module focuses on the most fundamental component of democratic political systems – elections. In particular, it analyses key political behaviour issues related to models of voting, electoral system design, and party organisation. It adopts a broadly comparative approach, with an emphasis on advanced industrial democracies in the west – especially the UK, but also other parts of the EU and the US.
The module will examine the merits of different voting behaviour models; the politics of electoral system design and choice; the rise of anti-party / anti-politics sentiment; as well as the modern methods parties utilise as they attempt to market themselves to voters. There will also be classes on developments in party organisation; contemporary party ideologies; the nature of party system change and continuity; and finally the relevance of public opinion to modern government and public policy.
The module aims to help students to gain an in-depth understanding of the main historical events, processes and actors that have shaped and continue to shape political dynamics in the Persian Gulf.
Specific focus will be upon the key challenges to peace and security within the region, but the module will also cover a range of other topics including:
Students on this module will form an academically informed, independent and critical knowledge of the Persian Gulf and the relations that states within the region have with ‘the West’.
This third-year core course will add to the theoretical, historical and cultural aspects of film investigated in Years 1 and 2, while focusing more closely on the challenging aesthetic and critical debates surrounding the concept of modernity. It will look at films made in the silent era, in post-war Europe and in Britain and the US. Key writings on film will be considered in conjunction with viewings of particular films, close analysis of specific filmic techniques and methods, and historical and theoretical approaches to film. The course will also pay attention to the debates of classical and contemporary film theory, feminist approaches and other critical traditions (semiotics, structuralism, formalism, cognitivism). Building on the approach to film taken in LICA251 (Film Cultures), this course focuses on film theory as students are introduced to key debates in classical and contemporary film theory, with topics exploring the relations between film and art, cinema and politics, cinema and psychoanalysis, and, above all, the question of how films produce meaning(s).
The aim of this module is to examine the foreign policy developments of the USA, China and Iran, to provide an understanding of their historical development, key concepts and issues, as well as an evaluation of key challenges.
The module will consider and explore:
What moral obligations do we have towards future generations -to those yet to be born, and to people whose very existence (or non-existence) depends on how we act now?
This module explores this question by examining both a series of practical case studies and some of the main concepts and theories philosophers use when thinking about these issues.
Questions considered include, among a range of others:
This module surveys and critically examines the main themes, key concepts, debates and approaches to the study of Hinduism. It pays particular attention to Hinduism in the modern world and Hinduism's relationship with other religions of South Asia during and since the 19th century.
On this module, students will develop an analytical and interpretative framework within which to situate competing Hindu traditions in a historical context. Lectures will include topics such as: religious pluralism, the limitations of the term Hinduism, the impact of colonialism on Indian religious traditions, gender, the caste system, yoga, and the relationship between Hinduism and politics.
This module focuses upon some key aspects of the history of 20th Century Philosophy.
The module begins by examining a revolution in philosophy at the very start of the 20th century with the origins of analytic philosophy. It then focuses on Wittgenstein’s radical philosophy (or anti-philosophy). Wittgenstein’s own philosophical development brings to the fore a deep schism, or tension, that has existed throughout the century’s philosophy, one which lays between those who hold that philosophy should align itself with natural science and mathematics, and those who reject this view. Students will examine whether philosophy should seek to emulate the natural sciences and illustrate the tension between scientistic and humanistic philosophy via mid-20th century debate about the nature of historical explanation.
The final lectures look at the distinction between analytic and continental philosophy in the 20th century, and upon the emergence of applied philosophy later in the century, asking whether philosophy can ever really be applied to real-life problems.
This module aims to introduce and familiarise students to the interplay between politics, society and religion in the world's largest democracy, India. At a time when India is emerging as a global power and economic powerhouse despite persistent poverty and various socio-political fissures, a critical balance must be struck in the understanding between its potential and its problems. India offers powerful lessons on the challenges and achievements of democracy in a deeply pluralistic and unequal society.
An examination of these issues opens up conceptual preconceptions about democracy, religion, secularism, discrimination, globalisation and political mobilisation, which tend to be structured by knowledge of Western polities. The particular issues concerning large populations of many different religions and huge social differences offer pathways of understanding to many pressing global issues.
Some of the main themes covered include democracy, religion and social change, as well as an exploration of the religious minorities and caste politics and Dalits in India.
This module will introduce major themes and issues in Indian philosophy, focusing on the Hindu and Buddhist philosophical traditions. Beginning with philosophical sections in the Upanishads and the dialogues of the Buddha, the module will trace the development of Indian philosophy from the early to the classical periods. Various ethical, metaphysical, and epistemological concepts will be covered, such as: order and virtue (dharma), consequential action (karma), ultimate reality (Brahman), the nature of the self (atman), the highest good (moksha), and the means for attaining knowledge (pramana).
Throughout the module, students will look at the dialogical relationship between the Hindu and Buddhist philosophical traditions, particularly the shared practice of debate.
Globalization remains a buzzword in academic and policy discourses. It is often related to the acceleration of global communication as well as internationalization of the economic, political and social processes. This module addresses some of these changes especially those related to trade, production and investment in the international political economy. There are many approaches in understanding these changes, this module introduces students to both liberal and critical ones (e.g., neo-Gramscianism). Drawing from their insights, it investigates and analyzes the roles of state and non-state actors (e.g., transnational corporations and NGOs) in rebuilding the governance of global production and finance. Finally, it examines the rise of transnational justice movements in offering alternatives to globalization and its uneven development, before and after the financial crisis of 2007.
This module examines the historical formation of Islam; its renewal movements, past and present; and modern reform discourses on gender, politics, and law. The aim of the module is to gain an understanding of continuities and discontinuities in the Islamic tradition in relation to religious authority, theology, politics and contemporary practice.
Some of the topics studied include: the formation of Shari'a (Islamic law); competing Sunni and Shi'i orthodoxies; the rise of radical political movements and global Jihad; Islamic feminists; Islam and the West; and Islam in Britain.
The module offers a strong foundation for more specialised study in second and third year courses.
The aim of this module is to introduce students to the inner dynamics of political Islam and the attendant challenges that comes with it, particularly in contemporary international society.
The module will cover the working of Islam in the governing process; its position in contemporary international order; practical contemporary topics such as governance, violence, terrorism and such; and will deliver an understanding of key concepts and intellectual debates.
The module is designed as much for students with little or no background in Islamic Politics, as it is for students who already have some grounding. It is built around an examination of the principal debates, features, and manifestations of Islamic politics in the twentieth and twenty first centuries.
This module provides an introduction to formal logic together with an examination of various philosophical issues that arise out of it. The syllabus includes a study of the languages of propositional and quantificational logic, how to formalize key logical concepts within them, and how to prove elementary results using formal techniques.
Additional topics include identity, definite descriptions, modal logic and its philosophical significance, and some criticisms of classical logic.
The module will examine the cultural and political relationships and intersections between media, religion and politics in national and global contexts. Both old and new media will be considered, and consideration will be given to the transformative potential of the latter for participation and activism in religion and politics. The research methods used for analysing media content and discourse will be introduced and applied.
Topics may include:
This module, for the most part, concentrates on (Protestant) Christian thinkers from the German-speaking world. These thinkers have dominated the development of Christian thought in Europe and America until very recent times, when various 'political theologies' (Black, feminist and liberationist) started to erode their influence.
The point of departure on this module must be the Enlightenment and its definitive philosopher - Immanuel Kant. The module begins, therefore, by looking at the challenges facing early nineteenth century theologians, consider the responses of five major Christian thinkers of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and shall end by exploring the challenges facing Christian thought today.
This module will examine some of the major debates in religious and atheistic thought, looking in particular at the way in which these debates are framed by a specifically modern epistemological framework, and the ways in which religious thought and atheistic thought might be though to be mutually constitutive and mutually implicated rather than simply oppositional.
The aim of this module is to examine and evaluate some of the most central issues in Enlightenment and post-Enlightenment Western religious and atheistic philosophical debates. The module will begin by looking the philosophy of G W F Hegel and its implications for subsequent religious and atheistic thought. It will then proceed to consider the thought of the post-Hegelian masters of suspicion: Feuerbach, Marx, Freud and Nietzsche. After this, it will look at ways in which religious and atheistic thought have been brought together, as manifested in various forms of Christian atheism. Finally, it will consider postmodern critiques of modern atheism and the nature of the associated return of religion.
The religious landscape in the West has changed significantly over the last hundred years or so. While the emergence of new religions and alternative spiritualities is not a recent phenomenon, the previous century, particularly since the 1960s, has witnessed a remarkable proliferation of new religious trajectories. Factors such as increased travel, advances in global communication, and the virtual worlds of cyberspace have made available a bewildering variety of options for religious seekers. This module enables students to understand what is taking place in this territory. Through an analysis of established organisations (eg Jehovah’s Witnesses) and contemporary developments (eg Paganism and UFO religions), they will be introduced to a number of theoretical perspectives and issues, such as violence, millennialism, gender, and charismatic leadership.
This is an enjoyable course, in which students will be encouraged to incorporate case study research in their work.
Are psychopaths evil or sick? Should the NHS pay for the treatment of nicotine addiction? Is it right for shy people to take character-altering drugs?
Whether a condition is considered a disease often has social, economic and ethical implications. It tends to be taken for granted that what it is to be healthy can be identified and is desirable. Similarly, it is assumed that those who are diseased or disabled can be diagnosed and require help. In this module we question these assumptions via examining the key concepts of normality, disease, illness, mental illness, and disability.
This module will introduce students to a series of understandings of culture. Culture is first outlined with regard to its shape, scope and purpose, before being examined in relation to debates regarding homogeneity, change and conflict. This problematizes popular understandings of culture as fixed and unchanging, enabling students to grapple with two contrasting accounts of the source of conflict: Samuel Huntington’s The Clash between Civilizations and Dieter Senghaas’ The Clash within Civilizations.
The module then examines normative approaches to culture, beginning with the debate between relativism and universalism, which leads into an approach – value pluralism – which appears, at first sight, to offer a middle ground between the positions. This involves introducing and examining the validity of a range of conceptions of wellbeing. The module then examines toleration and recognition as approaches to diversity, comparing and contrasting them and identifying internal contradictions through engagement with real world cases. The political implications of the module are then consolidated and drawn out in full.
What makes the world dangerous? Is global politics the extension of war by other means? Do security policies inscribe peace with the logic of war? How has the RMA, and the digital and molecular revolutions changed the ways in which we think about security and war? In what ways have these revolutions made the world more rather than less dangerous? What happens to security and war when these take the life of the human species rather than sovereign territoriality as their referent object? How and why does securing life pose a wholly different security problem from that of securing states? Why does securing life appear to increase rather than decrease global danger? In the process of exploring these and related questions this course will introduce students to the ways in which biopolitical dismodules of security and war differ from geostrategic dismodules of security and war. The world is said to be dangerous in many changing and conflicting ways. Dismodules of security and war teach us what to fear and prioritise danger differently. They challenge how we think. Part One introduces students to ways of thinking about the problematisation of security and war, including new approaches to understanding power. Part Two applies these new perspectives to interrogate changes in the practices of security and war; especially those introduced by the informationalisation of weapons and the weaponisation of information.
This module is designed to allow students to gain experience of educational environments, to develop transferable skills, and to reflect on the role and communication of their own discipline. The module is organised and delivered collaboratively between Lancaster University Students’ Union LUSU Involve, the school/college where the placement is based, and the department.
The module will give students experience of classroom observation and experience, teacher assistance, as well as teaching small groups (under supervision). In particular, the module will not only give students the opportunity to observe and experience teaching and learners for themselves, it will also require them to reflect on how their own subject area (Religion, Politics and International Relations, or Philosophy) is experienced by learners, delivered in other parts of the educational sector, and applied in a classroom setting. Students will also be asked to reflect on how teaching and learning at this earlier level combines with what is taught and promoted at the level of Higher education (as experienced in the University).
This module is taught intensively at our partner institution in Bangalore, India for four weeks during August. The programme includes daily lectures, seminars, excursions, and cultural activities.
On their return to Lancaster, students will write a supervised dissertation on an aspect of contemporary Indian life. Topics covered could include Bhakti traditions in India, the philosophy and spirituality of Yoga, Vedanta today, Islam in India, the Sikh way of life, Buddhism in India, the inculturation process in Christianity, inter-religious dialogue and pluralism in India today, the role of women in Indian religious traditions and religious festivals in India, debates about secularism and religion in the political sphere.
The module is also open to Politics and Philosophy students, who can write about political or philosophical issues in contemporary India.
This module examines the Buddhist scriptures in the Theravada and Mahayana traditions and offers an opportunity for students to understand some of the key concepts and ideas by reading select extracts of the Buddhist texts in English from both schools and traditions. It also allows them to understand the changes in doctrinal emphasis as well as variations in interpretation in the historical development of Buddhism. This module will be a stand-alone module for third year students but will also be accessible to students who are new to the subject.
Students will study the thought of two seminal thinkers in political theory. This module provides an opportunity to explore texts slowly, methodically and in depth, allowing students to link that thought to wider literature that has developed as a response to the thinkers' ideas, and see how those ideas link-up into a wider systematic and philosophic whole.
Topics include among many others:
This module focuses on key contexts and developments in the inter-relationship between religion and politics across the world.
The major themes will be:
This module introduces the sociological study of religion. It will consider selected key figures in the history of the sociological study of religion and will also tackle a selection of basic issues. Examples drawn from a range of contexts will also be considered. The module may cover Marx, Weber, Durkheim and others, as well as topics such as secularisation, definitions of religion religious organisation.
There are claims that religion is little more than a perverse and irrational scar on the modern world, one that invariably causes violence, while others claim that religion is good and that violence only occurs when religion has been hijacked by other forces. Others still claim that religious violence is a myth constructed for political purposes, and that one should not therefore speak of religion in such terms.
In disentangling such claims, the relationship between religion and violence is examined, asking whether one can draw such associations between the two and whether one can develop broader theoretical understandings about their relationship that enhances our understanding of religion in the modern world. The module continually refers to empirical data and case studies in which religious movements and individuals have been involved in violent activities, as well as examining cases where acts of immense violence have occurred in what appear to be political contexts, but where religious rhetoric may have been used by the perpetrators of violence.
The aims of this module are to critically examine the teaching of religion in schools as it has developed since 1944, current controversies and possible futures; and, to provide relevant knowledge and understanding for those going on to a teaching career in RS/ethics.
Topics include social and political values in RE, pluralism and truth, spirituality in the curriculum, faith schools and secular worldviews. The focus is on the educational system in England and Wales but with reference to the rest of the UK and Europe.
This module is based around weekly seminars, the aim of which is to give students the opportunity to study trends in the manifestation of religion in the modern world, from secularisation to fundamentalism and from Christianity and Islam to the New Age and Paganism.
Please note that these are meant to be friendly discussion groups, for which students are expected to come prepared and contribute. While the tutor convenes the group and suggests readings, there are no lectures. Each student takes his or her turn to provide a short presentation to the seminar, which then forms the basis for that week’s discussion.
Assessment consists of one 5,000-word mini-dissertation on a topic of the student’s choice, in consultation with the tutor.
This course offers an introduction to the broad area of silent cinema and to a range of critical approaches to this rich area of study. You will have the opportunity to view and analyse a number of important films. We will also explore a number of critical questions raised by this material with regard to the writing and study of histories of cinema (and popular culture in general), the relationships between technology and form, the economics of film production, distribution and reception, the relationship between cinema and national identity, the social and cultural impact of new (entertainment) media, the study of cinema audiences.
This module will examine philosophical accounts of the imagination. It will look at theories of the nature of the imagination and its connections to other mental states, such as attention, emotion, memory, beliefs, intentions, and desires.
In addition, a range of topics focusing on the role of imagining in a number of different domains will also be explored, including moral judgement, practical reasoning, perception, pictorial experience, and modal thought.
This module introduces students to a selection of genres of contemporary popular performance and explores the implications of the aesthetic overlap and cross fertilisation between these forms and modes of performance usually defined as political, ‘avant-garde’ or experimental. Exemplary case studies may include Stand-up, Musical Theatre, New Burlesque, New Circus, Immersive Theatre and Fairground attractions. These case studies will be explored with reference to the historical development of these forms, their contemporary elaborations and in relation to issues such as gender, sexuality, ethnicity, class and globalisation. Teaching is through lectures, seminars and practical exercises and assessment is by group presentation and exam.
Complemented by film and video footage, the module surveys and examines the main themes, debates and approaches to ritualised spirit possession in a variety of social contexts. It also engages established social processes and emerging trends as they are expressed through a range of spirit possession motifs, repertoires and patterns.
This module encourages students to develop an analytical and interpretative framework for understanding beliefs, concrete practices and ongoing transformations concerning ritualised spirit-possession.
This module will examine the politics of external intervention in violent political conflicts and the attempts made to manage, prevent and transform these wars into more peaceful situations.
The module aims to develop student understanding of how international organisations have attempted to intervene within conflict zones to prevent an escalation in conflict, to enforce UN resolutions or to assist externally mediated peace 'settlements'.
The module also aims to provide students with an in-depth knowledge of how violent conflict has changed since the end of the Cold War and how transnational organisations such as the EU, UN and NATO have attempted to deal with the new challenges and opportunities presented since the beginning of the 1990s until the present day.
Conceptually, the course will examine the principles of the liberal peace; state failure; international conflict prevention; peace keeping; and global governance. Empirically, the course will focus on post-Cold War conflicts such as Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and China.
Lancaster University offers a range of programmes, some of which follow a structured study programme, and others which offer the chance for you to devise a more flexible programme. We divide academic study into two sections - Part 1 (Year 1) and Part 2 (Year 2, 3 and sometimes 4). For most programmes Part 1 requires you to study 120 credits spread over at least three modules which, depending upon your programme, will be drawn from one, two or three different academic subjects. A higher degree of specialisation then develops in subsequent years. For more information about our teaching methods at Lancaster visit our Teaching and Learning section.
Information contained on the website with respect to modules is correct at the time of publication, but changes may be necessary, for example as a result of student feedback, Professional Statutory and Regulatory Bodies' (PSRB) requirements, staff changes, and new research.
Lancaster’s Film and Philosophy graduates have strong research, analytical and communication skills, which open doors in any sector. Our graduates are highly employable and have a strong track record in finding work, especially in areas of advertising, marketing, arts administration and the media industry. Many alumni go on to follow one of the postgraduate MA degrees offered at Lancaster; undertake vocational postgraduate training in media-related professions such as journalism, or pursue careers in law, computing consultancy, finance and local government.
Lancaster University is dedicated to ensuring you not only gain a highly reputable degree, but that you also graduate with relevant life and work based skills. We are unique in that every student is eligible to participate in The Lancaster Award which offers you the opportunity to complete key activities such as work experience, employability/career development, campus community and social development. Visit our Employability section for full details.
We set our fees on an annual basis and the 2019/20 entry fees have not yet been set.
As a guide, our fees in 2018 were:
Some science and medicine courses have higher fees for students from
the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. You can find more details here:
For full details of the University's financial support packages including eligibility criteria, please visit our fees and funding page
Students also need to consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, photocopying, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits. Following graduation it may be necessary to take out subscriptions to professional bodies and to buy business attire for job interviews.
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Typical time in lectures, seminars and similar per week during term time
Average assessment by coursework