SOAS University of London

International Foundation Courses and English Language Studies

Introduction to Film Studies

Academic Subject Summer Course

  • Overview
  • Structure
  • How to Apply


Featured events

The course is an introduction to Film Studies with a particular focus on cinema in London. It will introduce students to broader aspects of Film Studies, including key moments and movements in cinema history, film production and the studio system, genre, film style and film adaptation.

Students will discover and investigate key themes, debates and filmmaking strategies through lecture and seminar discussions of a wide range of films (in the form of clips and extracts) from early London Hitchcock to post-2000 crime and James Bond films.

There will also be screenings of a total of five feature films during the course

The following are some of the areas we will explore:

  • Key film theorists from Bazin to Deleuze
  • Hitchcock’s pioneering film Blackmail and the transition from silent to sound film
  • The cinema of ‘swinging 60’s’ London
  • Literature on film: Shakespeare, Austen and Dickens
  • The crime-detective genre from Sherlock Holmes to Guy Ritchie’s Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels
  • London: the global and the local, from Notting Hill to Harry Potter
  • Iconic films of Ken Loach, Michelangelo Antonioni, Roman Polanski and Stephen Frears

The course also includes a tour of London film locations and a visit to either one of the London film studios or the British Film Institute (BFI).

Click on the Structure tab for more details and to see what structure the lectures will follow.


English language recommendations for students choosing subject courses: Students will need at least an intermediate level of English in order to understand the lectures, which are delivered at undergraduate level, and to engage in lively discussion in the seminars and tutorials. See our brochure for further details of appropriate language test scores. 


Order of Topics

  1. Silent to sound film debates including Hitchcock’s Blackmail
  1. Documentary film and its influence on the social realism movement, looking at key documentaries and early Ken Loach films
  1. Sexual Liberation and Social Revolt: Swinging 60’s cinema through to 1980’s cinema under Thatcherism
  1. Literature on film: the heritage film debate and adaptations of Dickens, Shakespeare and Austen
  1. The crime-detective genre. Sherlock Holmes, The Long Good Friday to Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels
  1. The city as cinematic space – London, the local and the global: Naked, Dirty Pretty Things, Wonderland. Post-2000 James Bond films and ‘global London’



How to Apply



(31st March 2020): Due to the Covid-19 crisis, we are unable to run the Summer Programme in 2020 and it is, unfortunately, cancelled. The information below is for reference only and we expect to provide details of the programme for 2021 from October onwards.


2020 Course Fees
  • 3 weeks (1 block): £1,500 GBP
  • 6 weeks (2 blocks): £2,900 GBP (save £100*)
  • 9 weeks (3 blocks): £4,000 GBP (save £500*)

*compared to the cost of a 3-week block

Accommodation Fees
  • per 3-week block: £790 GBP

We recommend you apply early, especially if you want accommodation in the SOAS Halls of Residence.

You will be sent an invoice and receipt for the course fees when you have accepted the offer and paid for your place on the course. A letter of registration will also be provided for visa purposes when you have paid the full fees. Refunds of accommodation and course fees are only made at the discretion of SOAS in exceptional circumstances.

If you have any queries, please email



Please fill in the online application form or print off the IFCELS Summer Programme 2020 Application Form (pdf; 147kb)   and post it to:

Head of Department, International Foundation Courses & English Language Studies (IFCELS)
SOAS University of London
Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square
London WC1H 0XG
United Kingdom

Please ensure you send a scanned copy of the photo/issue page of your passport with the application.

Summer Pathway Preparation Course PCI 2020 (pdf; 163kb)