Top reasons to study with us
10th for Film (Communication and Media Studies)
The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide (2022)
13th for Philosophy
The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide (2022)
Study abroad and placement opportunities
Lancaster’s combined Film and Philosophy degree is taught jointly by academics in the Lancaster Institute for the Contemporary Arts and the Department of Politics, Philosophy and Religion.
Your degree aims to provide you with the information and theoretical frameworks for understanding films as crucial cultural artefacts. You’ll have the opportunity to study the aesthetic importance of cinema 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 film equipment.
You’ll be able to select from a wide range of options in both disciplines to complement your compulsory modules, 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 final year.
The first year philosophy module ‘Introduction to Philosophy' introduces students to key themes in the study of philosophy. Consciously drawing on a broad range of philosophical traditions -- Continental, Analytic, and non-Western -- it aims to present a comprehensive overview of various theoretical sub-disciplines within philosophy, but also to equip students with the ability to reason and think clearly about the most fundamental questions of human existence. The course, though designed as an introduction to the advanced degree-level study of philosophy, will also function as a self-standing introduction to philosophy suitable for those seeking to broaden their understanding of philosophy as it has been practiced throughout various traditions.’ In your second and final years you will be able to choose from a broad range of philosophy modules, including for example: ‘Continental Philosophy; Logic and Language; Aesthetics; Moral Philosophy’.
The study abroad option is an exciting and informative experience for anyone who is thinking of working abroad during their career or who simply wants the experience of living and studying overseas as part of their degree. You will study in your third year at one of our international partner universities. This will help you to develop your global outlook, expand your professional network, and gain cultural and personal skills. During your year abroad, you will choose specialist modules relating to your degree as well as other modules from across the host university.
Lancaster University will make reasonable endeavours to place students at an approved overseas partner university that offers appropriate modules. Occasionally places overseas may not be available for all students who want to study abroad or the place at the partner university may be withdrawn if core modules are unavailable. If you are not offered a place to study overseas, you will be able to transfer to the equivalent standard 3-year degree scheme and would complete your studies at Lancaster.
Lancaster University cannot accept responsibility for any financial aspects of the year abroad.
Lancaster’s Film and Philosophy graduates have had the opportunity to develop strong research, analytical and communication skills, which open doors in many sectors.
Some graduates pursue postgraduate vocational training in media-related professions, such as broadcast and print journalism, or take their skills into promotional and marketing roles.
Many graduates 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.
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 email@example.com
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 to complement your main specialism. 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 please visit our Teaching and Learning section.
The following courses do not offer modules outside of the subject area due to the structured nature of the programmes: Architecture, Law, Physics, Engineering, Medicine, Sports and Exercise Science, Biochemistry, Biology, Biomedicine and Biomedical Science.
Information contained on the website with respect to modules is correct at the time of publication, and the University will make every reasonable effort to offer modules as advertised. In some cases changes may be necessary and may result in some combinations being unavailable, for example as a result of student feedback, timetabling, Professional Statutory and Regulatory Bodies' (PSRB) requirements, staff changes and new research.
Introduction to Film Studies
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 be given the opportunity to become familiar with the key formal and semantic conventions of cinema. The second term aims 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 1960s 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.
Introduction to Philosophy: Knowledge and Reality
This module introduces students to key themes in the study of philosophy. Consciously drawing on a broad range of philosophical traditions -- Continental, Analytic, and non-Western -- it aims to present a comprehensive overview of various theoretical sub-disciplines within philosophy, but also to equip students with the ability to reason and think clearly about the most fundamental questions of human existence. The course, though designed as an introduction to the advanced degree-level study of philosophy, will also function as a self-standing introduction to philosophy suitable for those seeking to broaden their understanding of philosophy as it has been practiced throughout various traditions.
The module will involve the study of European and non-European sources, and areas of study will typically include:
1. Epistemology: the study of the nature of knowledge, belief, and the mind's ability to apprehend the world.
2. Metaphysics: the study of the nature of matter, causation, freedom, and being.
3. Phenomenology: the study of the nature and structure of consciousness.
4. Philosophy of Religion: the study of the nature and existence of God and of religious faith.
5. Philosophy of Mind: the study of the nature of mind and the mental.
Hollywood and beyond: Global cinema
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.
Critical Reflections in Creative Arts
Critical Reflections explores a number of key interdisciplinary philosophical and cultural concepts which will enable you to analyse, engage with, and reflect upon artworks in your own discipline. It also allows you to establish a common set of concepts which can be shared by students from all LICA subjects. The structure of the module consists of six three-week blocks: (1) Aesthetics, Formalism and Beyond, (2) Phenomenology, (3) Semiotics, Structuralism and Deconstruction, (4) Class and Society, (5) Feminism, Queer Theory and Gender, and (6) On Difference.Weekly plenary lectures make connections across the arts, and are supplemented by weekly, two hour seminars/workshops which allow students to work in their subject groups (art, film, theatre, design) on ideas and examples specifically tailored towards these disciplines.
Documentary Film: History and Theory
This module explores different approaches to both the analysis and the production of documentary film. As well as considering a range of styles of documentary film, typically including expository, poetic, observational, reflexive, political, and personal modes of documentary film, you will also examine key debates concerning the ethics of documentary filmmaking. An indicative list of film screenings includes Nanook of the North, Grey Gardens, Dont Look Back [sic], The Arbor, Sans Soleil, Fahrenheit 9/11, The Gleaners and I, and The Act of Killing.
European New Wave Cinema
The module aims to develop an understanding of historically important European films from the 1950s to the 1980s and the stylistic and historical significance of these films. It will explore the thematic importance of these films and consider the critical debates relating to this period of filmmaking enabling students to develop a critical understanding of the conditions of production, reception and distribution of these films.
Film and Comic Books
This module examines a historical genre that now occupies the economic centre of Hollywood film production. The module focuses centrally on film and comic book aesthetics; on questions of narration and visual depiction in these two related media; on the shifting norms of this film genre in relation to technological change across history; and on the significance and uses of the comic-book film in society. The module develops ideas and skills introduced in the core Film Studies modules taken as part of the film studies and combined degrees.
In this module we give you the opportunity to develop your knowledge and understanding of some of the key issues in metaphysics. We focus primarily on issues concerning space and time, the nature of physical objects and persons, and some key philosophical distinctions. Studying this module can also enable you to see connections between various philosophical issues, which can be of value for other philosophy modules.
Peace Studies in the Middle East
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.
Philosophical Questions in the Study of Politics and Economics
Our aim in this module is to consider some of the big philosophical questions underlying social sciences. Economics and politics raise both deep philosophical questions about society and subjectivity; for example: Who gets what? Who rules whom? Who, or what, decides? In this module we will investigate a variety of methods that attempt to address these questions, and what answers might be possible. In sum, the aim is to examine methods and assumptions across central movements in the social sciences, politics and economics, from a philosophical perspective to see the troubles and possibilities in each.
What Is The Contemporary?
This module aims to give students a grounding in “the contemporary” as a key critical concept used in artistic discourses, and provide a number of ways that students can explore and articulate their own contemporaneity. In conversation with cutting edge ideas from art, science, technology and popular culture, the module will enable participants to discuss and identify what they are contemporaries of, how they relate to their own time as artists, citizens and critical writers and what this necessitates in their own practices.
Students will engage in critical discussion of key terms used to define the current moment, such as Anthropocene, Singularity, Post-Truth, and Globalisation, as well as understanding how particular technologies and phenomena, such as distributed and decentralised networks, virtual reality, artificial intelligence and genetic engineering are reshaping the contexts in which the arts are made. These topics are explored through lectures and seminar discussions in which students are encouraged to produce and define their own position and modes for articulating what makes them contemporary.
The module is designed for creative students who wish to use writing and material practice to explore their own relationship to the ecologies, politics, trends, technologies, and aesthetics that typify our experience of the world today.
Women Film Makers
This module will explore the work of some of the most historically important female film-makers from the 1890s through to the present, considering films from around the globe. The module will examine the significant but often marginalized and obscured roles that women have played in industrial, experimental and avant-garde film production across a spectrum of roles from costume and production designers through to screen-writers, editors and directors. You will be invited to reflect upon the fact that, despite playing key roles in the development of the medium, women continue to be excluded at all levels of film production. The decision by Hollywood star and activist Geena Davis to establish a campaigning ‘Institute on Gender in Media’ is a measure of the urgency of this subject.
The module will engage with revisionist film histories concerned with interrogating the dominant bias of academic and popular histories of the medium; it will also draw on feminist film theory concerned both with a critical understanding of mainstream cinema and the development of politicized women’s cinemas. The module will examine a series of female directors and their work, and each week will be oriented around the screening of a case study film that will be the focus for the seminar. An example of directors included is Alice Guy-Blaché, Dorothy Arzner, Leni Riefenstahl, Ida Lupino, Laura Mulvey, Mira Nair, Kathryn Bigelow, Marziyeh Meshkini, Lynne Ramsay.
Assessment is by a combination of coursework essay and exam.
Your Year Abroad
In your third year you will study at one of our international partner universities. This will help you to develop your global outlook, expand your professional network, and gain cultural and personal skills. You will choose specialist modules relating to your degree as well as other modules from across the host university.
Advanced Film Theory
This third-year 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. 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). Students will be 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).
Africa and Global Politics
This module provides a historical and thematic introduction to the issues facing Africa in the international system today. The module is divided into two sections. The first section explores the historical incorporation of the continent into the emerging international system centred on Europe from the sixteenth to the twentieth century. We focus on the impact of colonialism and independence in terms of the economy, the state and the politics of race and the implications these have for the region’s prospects for democracy and development today. The second section looks at key contemporary issues and agents shaping the continent. The latter includes ‘top-down’ actors such as the Chinese state, as well as grassroots actors such as unionised South African workers.
Apocalypse Then: New Hollywood Cinema
This module centres on the artistically and politically adventurous phase of American filmmaking circa 1967-1979. Typically topics studied 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)
Britain in the World
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 – issues whose importance has been underlined by the debates surrounding the 2016 ‘Brexit’ referendum. 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.
China in the Modern World
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.
Christianity in the Modern World: Traditions and Transformations
In this module we survey and critically examine some of the main themes, key concepts, debates and approaches to the study of Christianity and theological change in the modern word. You will also have the opportunity to develop an analytical and interpretive framework within which to situate competing Christian traditions and theologies in a historical context. In addition, we also examine some of the key issues facing the Christian Church in the modern world.
Contemporary Hong Kong Cinema
This module explores Hong Kong cinema from the mid-1980s up to the present – an era whose beginning witnesses the international breakthrough of a new wave of local filmmakers, and which goes on to encompass the early 1990s’ production surge, the 1997 handover to mainland China, the crippling economic crisis, and the outbreak of the SARS virus. The module will give you the opportunity to develop an understanding of a number of basic industrial, aesthetic, social and cultural trends marking Hong Kong films in the contemporary era. These include the emergence and impact of independent production; the rise of ‘high-concept’ filmmaking; the movement toward pan-Asian co-productions; the importance and cross-marketing of star performers and local musical traditions such as Cantopop; the popularity of genres like the swordplay film; and aesthetic tendencies such as episodic plotting and the narrative ‘thematisation’ of politics and identity. Emphasis will be placed not only on representative mainstream product, but also on the emergence of a distinct Hong Kong art cinema, whose presence and success on the international festival circuit has brought artistic credibility to a predominantly popular cinema, and which has heralded the arrival of a fresh wave of local ‘auteur’ filmmakers.
Contemporary Issues in the Middle East
As the Middle East has long been [and still is] one of the most unstable regions in the world, and it is further bedevilled by strong authoritarian states and pervasive ethnic and sectarian violence, what explains this instability and ongoing tensions? By examining some of the key questions surrounding the study of Middle Eastern politics, this module aims to provide you with a critical perspective of the region’s politics. This module introduces you to an analysis of the history, politics, society, culture and religions of the Middle East with attention to major events in the region.
This module introduces three of the most important thinkers from the ‘continental’ tradition of philosophy, with a focus on moral and political questions. The aim is to give you an understanding of their main ideas and help you develop your own critical perspective on them. We begin by looking at Friedrich Nietzsche’s provocative account of the origins and development of morality. We then turn to Michel Foucault, who adapts Nietzsche’s method of historical analysis in order to challenge our assumptions about progress, freedom and welfare in modern societies. Finally, we turn to Hannah Arendt. Using a parallel method of historical analysis, Arendt examines the social and political elements that came together in the disaster of Nazi and Stalinist totalitarianism.
Corporations, Global Political Economy and the Law
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 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.
Darwinism and Philosophy
The module will look at philosophical issues that arise out of Darwin’s theory of evolution. These include questions about how best to understand the theory of evolution, and questions about what evolution implies for our view of the world, and in particular of ourselves. The module breaks down into three broad areas:
- Different ways to understand the theory of evolution, e.g. Is evolution, as some would have us believe, all about genes? Is natural selection the only important factor in evolution?
- Conceptual issues relating to biology, e.g. How do we define ‘function’? Is there one right way to classify living things?
- Implications of Darwinism for understanding human nature, e.g. Does the fact that we have evolved affect how we should see human nature? Why are evolutionary theories of human nature so controversial? Does Darwinism have any implications for moral questions?
This module provides you with an opportunity to choose a topic related to some aspect of Politics and International Relations, Philosophy and Religious Studies which particularly interests you, 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. We encourage you to develop your research skills, and your ability to work at length under your own direction. You submit a 9,000 - 10,000 word dissertation by the end of the Lent term in your third year. To help you prepare for work on the dissertation, typically there is an introductory talk in second year on topics relating to doing one's own research and planning and writing a dissertation
This core module is directed towards completion of an independent research project on a topic of your choice, presented in the form of a dissertation. The course is taught through lectures focused on research skills and one-to-one supervision. Students of Film can choose to make a short film as part of their project, and students of Design are encouraged to do a practical design project.
Dissertation with external collaboration
The aim of this module is to allow you to pursue independent in-depth studies of a topic of your choice, within the scope of your scheme of study. The topic will be formulated in dialogue with one or more external collaborator(s) and may be related to work that is being done on a formally taught course, or it may be less directly linked to course work. You will have the opportunity to develop your employability and research skills, and your ability to work independently at length under your own direction with input from external and an academic supervisor. The external collaboration will give you the chance to enhance your ability to reflect on the impact of academic work. One option is to incorporate work done through the Richardson Institute Internship Programme, but you may also discuss other forms of collaboration with their supervisor. The completed dissertation is usually submitted at the start of Summer Term in the third year. To help you prepare for work on the dissertation, typically there is an introductory talk in second year on topics relating to doing one’s own research and planning and writing a dissertation.
Dissertation with field studies
The aim of this module is to allow you to pursue independent in-depth studies of a topic of your choice, within the scope of your 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. You will have the opportunity to develop your employability and research skills, and your ability to work independently at length under your own direction with input from an academic supervisor. The fieldwork element will give you the chance to enhance your ability to reflect on the impact of academic work. One option is to incorporate a study trip typically organised by the University, via the Global Experience office, but you may also discuss other forms of field studies with your supervisor. The completed dissertation is usually submitted at the start of Summer Term in the third year. To help you prepare for work on the dissertation, typically there is an introductory talk in second year on topics relating to doing one’s own research and planning and writing a dissertation.
Elections, Voters and Political Parties in Europe
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.
Exploring the Persian Gulf
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:
- A theoretical overview/history of region
- States and regimes
- Politics and Islam
- The resource curse?
- Globalisation and soft power competition
- Conflict resolution in the Persian Gulf
- The Arab Spring in the Persian Gulf
- Security, insecurity and stability: future trajectories
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’.
What moral obligations do we have towards future generations – to people who are yet to be born, and to merely possible people whose existence (or non-existence) depends on how we decide to act now? In this module, we explore this question in detail by examining both a series of case studies and some of the main concepts and theories that philosophers use when thinking about these issues
The questions considered normally include:
- Is there a moral obligation to refrain from having children (e.g. for environmental reasons) and what measures may governments take to encourage or enforce population control? Conversely, might there be a moral obligation to have (more) children?
- Should we use selection techniques to minimise the incidence of genetic disorders and disabilities in future populations? Should parents be allowed to use these techniques to determine the characteristics of their future children?
- How should we weigh quality against quantity of life? Would a world with a relatively small number of ‘happier’ people be preferable to one with many more ‘less happy’ ones?
- When considering long-term environmental issues (e.g. climate change, nuclear power) and long-term financial issues (e.g. national debt and pensions) how should we balance the interests and rights of people who exist now against those of future people?
- When considering the future, how should the interests of non-human creatures be weighed against those of humans? How strong are our moral obligations to prevent extinctions, and to preserve wildernesses? Would considerably extending the human life span (to 150 years or beyond) be defensible if this meant that fewer ‘new’ people could be born?
Hinduism in the Modern World
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. In this module, you will have the chance to develop an analytical and interpretative framework within which to situate competing Hindu traditions in a historical context. Typically, 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.
Indian Religious and Philosophical Thought
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.
Islam: Tradition, Community and Contemporary Challenges
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 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 feminisms; Islam and the West; and Islam in Britain. The module offers you the chance to build a strong foundation for more specialised study in second and third year modules.
What is Islamic Politics? This module seeks to introduce you to some of the key debates surrounding the nature and character of political Islam in the historical and contemporary context. While the core inquiry is a political one the module is interdisciplinary in nature. Islamic Politics draws on a variety of related disciplines such as anthropology, contemporary international relations, history, sociology, and religion to construct a cohesive representation of Islam in the political context. As such, we engage with debates surrounding its historical roots, its core political ideology, its relationship to violence, its compatibility with democracy, its representation in the media, the place of Muslim communities in non-Islamic polities and the prospects and possibilities surrounding engagement with radical Islam. In terms of area study focus we cover the greater Middle Eastern region. It is a module designed as much for students with little or no background in Islamic Politics, as it is for students who have already had some grounding.
Logic and Language
The 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.
Media, Religion and Politics
This module takes a case study approach to contemporary issues in media, religion and politics from around the globe. Media will be broadly defined to include Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, tabloids, feature films, documentaries, television, radio, newspapers, magazines, etc. The module may include the study of topics such as: US President Trump’s evangelical council; Brazilian President Bolsonaro’s campaign; Boko Haram and ‘the Chibok girls’; ISIS on Twitter; witchcraft and the ‘Thames torso boy’; Ugandan antihomosexuality campaigns; zombies; Nollywood; and other subjects selected by students. Using both primary and secondary sources, we will contextualise each case study and subject it to historical and critical analysis. Where possible, concerted effort will be made to investigate topics in ways that Politics, International Relations, and Religious Studies students will all find compelling.
Modern Christian thought
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.
Modern Religious and Atheistic Thought
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 at the philosophy of G W F Hegel and its implications for subsequent religious and atheistic thought. We will then proceed to consider the thought of the post-Hegelian ‘masters of suspicion’: Feuerbach, Marx, Freud and Nietzsche. After this, we will look at ways in which religious and atheistic thought have been brought together, as manifested in various forms of ‘Christian atheism.’ Finally, we will consider postmodern critiques of modern atheism and the nature of the associated ‘return of religion.’
New religions and alternative spiritualities
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, 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. In this module we aim to enable you to understand what is taking place in this territory. Through an analysis of established organisations (e.g. Jehovah’s Witnesses) and contemporary developments (e.g. Paganism and UFO religions), you will be introduced to a number of theoretical perspectives and issues, such as violence, millennialism, gender, and charismatic leadership. We aim to make this an enjoyable module, in which you will be encouraged to incorporate case study research in your work.
Philosophy of Art
The aim of this module is to provide you with a through grounding in some of the central issues in philosophical aesthetics within the continental European tradition. The module introduces these issues by looking at the work of some of the most important philosophers who have written in this tradition. These philosophers are not only important in their own right and because of the influence that they have had and continue to have, but also because their work provides a way in to key debates and issues in aesthetics, as well as to enrich experience of and critical engagement with contemporary art in all its forms.
Philosophy of Medicine
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.
Politics of Cultural Diversity
Culture is, perhaps, the most contentious and prominent feature of contemporary political debate. Whether it be religious schism and ethnic conflict, migration, controversy regarding bodily integrity, justifications for development policy and overseas aid or debate over the nature of wellbeing, the issue of cultural diversity looms large. The aim of this module is to provide you with the conceptual, analytical and normative resources to understand and assess the politics of cultural diversity. In essence, the module grapples with the question of whether, and in which ways, we can make judgements about culture.
Politics of Global Danger
This module examines the changing character of war and security in a time of rapid and disruptive technological and geopolitical change. The module combines analysis of contemporary policy documents with the interdisciplinary insights of intellectuals that have examined how war has changed in the modern age. In this module you are introduced to a range of concepts that are currently significant in the policy debates about the future of war – concepts such as ambiguous war, the gray zone, the third offset strategy and the three block war. While the module is grounded in broader debates from social and political thought about war and modernity, it explores a range of evolving and inter-related case studies that are central to understanding how war is changing: cybersecurity/artificial intelligence; cities and urban war; drones and the future of robotics; climate change and ecological insecurity. Each year we try to bring a guest lecturer from the Ministry of Defence or the FCO to discuss questions relevant to the course – and to discuss how the course can be relevant to a broad range of careers.
PPR in Education
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).
PPR in India
(PPR in India) is a special dissertation unit typically open to all PPR students going into their third year. An essential component of the module is three weeks at Manipal University, India. In this immersive three week programme India becomes your classroom as you accompany lecturers to different temples and heritage sites to learn about the India's richly textured culture, vast history, and influential current events. There is no course work do to when you are in India, but upon return you will write a 10,000 word dissertation. The dissertation can be about any topic related to India. Past topics include: political relations between India and Pakistan, India's trade relations with East Africa, the rise of Hindu nationalism, Buddhist ethics, and ancient Indian religious texts.
This module examines the Buddhist scriptures in the Theravada and Mahayana traditions and offers an opportunity for you 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 you 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.
Religion and politics
This module will take a historical and cross-cultural approach to examining the relationship between religion and politics. In the first half of the module, we will look at primary sources from the ancient world, such as Plato’s Republic, the Analects of Confucius, the inscription of Ashoka, and the Laws of Manu. In the second half of the module we will look at contemporary debates about secularism, multiculturalism, and pluralism taking place throughout the world today. Throughout the module we will be addressing the following questions: How has the relationship between religion and politics been characterised in different cultures and at different historical moments? To what extent are ancient discussions about the relationship between religion and political relevant today? Is there something distinctive about recent debates about secularism, or are these debates playing out perennial questions? Is it possible to separate religion and politics?
Religion and Violence
There are those who claim that religion is little more than a perverse and irrational scar on the modern world, one that invariably causes violence, while others (at times driven by political motivations) 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, in this module we examine the relationship between religion and violence, asking whether one can draw such associations between the two and whether one can develop any broader theoretical understandings about their relationship that enhances our understanding of religion in the modern world. It thus challenges you to think through and develop an understanding of these issues. While examining a variety of theories and perspectives on the topic, including close examination of the arguments outlined above, we will continually refer to empirical data and case studies in which religious movements and religious individuals have been involved in violent activities, as well as examining cases where acts of immense violence (including genocide) have occurred in what appear to be political contexts, but where religious rhetoric may have been used by the perpetrators of violence.
Religion in schools
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.
Religions in the Modern World
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 module 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). We will examine 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 and the study of cinema audiences.
Special Subject: The Imagination
This module will examine the philosophical accounts of the imagination. We 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, as well as to other phenomena such as dreams. In addition, a range of topics focussing 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
The Ritual and Social Contexts of Spirit Possession
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.
Transformations and Revolutions in Twentieth Century Philosophy
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.
Understanding External Intervention in Violent Conflicts
The module aims to provide you with an in-depth knowledge of the different facets of contemporary Asian conflicts and how international organisations such as the UN, and how Western and Asian governments have attempted to deal with these challenges in recent times. Conceptually, the module will examine the principles of state failure; terrorism, ‘New Wars’, the New Security Agenda, Islamism, nationalism and sub nationalism, international conflict prevention; peace keeping and global governance. Empirically, the module will focus on conflict zones in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Indian Kashmir, the Indian northeast, Chinese Xinjiang and Tibet. Thus, the aim of this module is to provide you with an overview of the security of a region which is now of tremendous global importance.
Fees and Funding
We set our fees on an annual basis and the 2023/24 entry fees have not yet been set.
Scholarships and bursaries
At Lancaster, we believe that funding concerns should not stop any student with the talent to thrive.
We offer a range of scholarships and bursaries to help cover the cost of tuition fees and/or living expenses.
There may be extra costs related to your course for items such as books, stationery, printing, photocopying, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits. Following graduation, you may need to pay a subscription to a professional body for some chosen careers.
Specific additional costs for studying at Lancaster are listed below.
Lancaster is proud to be one of only a handful of UK universities to have a collegiate system. Every student belongs to a college, and all students pay a small college membership fee which supports the running of college events and activities.
For students starting in 2022, the fee is £40 for undergraduates and research students and £15 for students on one-year courses. Fees for students starting in 2023 have not yet been set.
Computer equipment and internet access
To support your studies, you will also require access to a computer, along with reliable internet access. You will be able to access a range of software and services from a Windows, Mac, Chromebook or Linux device. For certain degree programmes, you may need a specific device, or we may provide you with a laptop and appropriate software - details of which will be available on relevant programme pages. A dedicated IT support helpdesk is available in the event of any problems.
The University provides limited financial support to assist students who do not have the required IT equipment or broadband support in place.
Study abroad courses
In addition to travel and accommodation costs, while you are studying abroad, you will need to have a passport and, depending on the country, there may be other costs such as travel documents (e.g. VISA or work permit) and any tests and vaccines that are required at the time of travel. Some countries may require proof of funds.
Placement and industry year courses
In addition to possible commuting costs during your placement, you may need to buy clothing that is suitable for your workplace and you may have accommodation costs. Depending on the employer and your job, you may have other costs such as copies of personal documents required by your employer for example.
Fees in subsequent years
Fees are set by the UK Government annually, and subsequent years' fees may be subject to increases. For international applicants starting in 2022, any annual increase will be capped at 4% of the previous year's fee.
- Film and Creative Writing BA Hons : PW38
- Film and Creative Writing (Placement Year) BA Hons : PW39
- Film and Creative Writing (Study Abroad) BA Hons : PW40
- Film and English Literature BA Hons : PQ33
- Film and English Literature (Placement Year) BA Hons : PQ34
- Film and English Literature (Study Abroad) BA Hons : PQ35
- Film and Philosophy BA Hons : PV35
- Film and Philosophy (Placement Year) BA Hons : PV36
- Film and Sociology BA Hons : PL33
- Film and Sociology (Placement Year) BA Hons : PL34
- Film and Sociology (Study Abroad) BA Hons : PL35
- Film and Theatre BA Hons : PW34
- Film and Theatre (Placement Year) BA Hons : PW35
- Film and Theatre (Study Abroad) BA Hons : PW36
- Film Studies BA Hons : P303
- Film Studies (Placement Year) BA Hons : P304
- Film Studies (Study Abroad) BA Hons : P305
- Film, Media and Cultural Studies BA Hons : PL36
- Film, Media and Cultural Studies (Placement Year) BA Hons : PL37
- Film, Media and Cultural Studies (Study Abroad) BA Hons : PL38
- Fine Art and Film BA Hons : WP13
- Fine Art and Film (Placement Year) BA Hons : WP14
- Fine Art and Film (Study Abroad) BA Hons : WP15
- French Studies and Film BA Hons : R1P3
- German Studies and Film BA Hons : R2P3
- Spanish Studies and Film BA Hons : R4P3
- English Literature and Philosophy BA Hons : QV35
- English Literature and Philosophy (Placement Year) BA Hons : QV34
- Film and Philosophy BA Hons : PV35
- Film and Philosophy (Placement Year) BA Hons : PV36
- French Studies and Philosophy BA Hons : RV15
- German Studies and Philosophy BA Hons : RV25
- History and Philosophy BA Hons : VVC5
- History and Philosophy (Placement Year) BA Hons : VVC6
- History and Philosophy (Study Abroad) BA Hons : VVC7
- History, Philosophy and Politics BA Hons : V0L0
- History, Philosophy and Politics (Placement Year) BA Hons : V0L1
- Linguistics and Philosophy BA Hons : QV15
- Linguistics and Philosophy (Placement Year) BA Hons : QV16
- Linguistics and Philosophy (Study Abroad) BA Hons : QV17
- Mathematics and Philosophy BA Hons : GV15
- Philosophy BA Hons : V500
- Philosophy (Placement Year) BA Hons : V501
- Philosophy (Study Abroad) BA Hons : V502
- Philosophy and Politics BA Hons : VL52
- Philosophy and Politics (Placement Year) BA Hons : VL53
- Philosophy and Politics (Study Abroad) BA Hons : VL54
- Philosophy, Politics and Economics BA Hons : L0V0
- Philosophy, Politics and Economics (Placement Year) BA Hons : L0V1
- Philosophy, Politics and Economics (Study Abroad) BA Hons : L0V2
- Politics, Religion and Values BA Hons : LV28
- Politics, Religion and Values (Placement Year) BA Hons : LV29
- Politics, Religion and Values (Study Abroad) BA Hons : LV30
- Spanish Studies and Philosophy BA Hons : RV45
The information on this site relates primarily to 2023/2024 entry to the University and every effort has been taken to ensure the information is correct at the time of publication.
The University will use all reasonable effort to deliver the courses as described, but the University reserves the right to make changes to advertised courses. In exceptional circumstances that are beyond the University’s reasonable control (Force Majeure Events), we may need to amend the programmes and provision advertised. In this event, the University will take reasonable steps to minimise the disruption to your studies. If a course is withdrawn or if there are any fundamental changes to your course, we will give you reasonable notice and you will be entitled to request that you are considered for an alternative course or withdraw your application. You are advised to revisit our website for up-to-date course information before you submit your application.
More information on limits to the University’s liability can be found in our legal information.
Our Students’ Charter
We believe in the importance of a strong and productive partnership between our students and staff. In order to ensure your time at Lancaster is a positive experience we have worked with the Students’ Union to articulate this relationship and the standards to which the University and its students aspire. View our Charter and other policies.