MP6040 - Experimental Film

What will I learn on this module?

This module will introduce students to experimental filmmaking and encourage them to explore modes of creativity beyond the mainstream. It will provide critical overviews of selected experimental filmmakers and movements and encourage students to combine practice and theory through critical evaluation of their own productions. The module will alternate critical and historical sessions with practical sessions that will encourage students to produce critically informed work that challenges prevailing conventions. Students will also explore different types of experimentation and interrogate the boundaries between experimental and mainstream film.

How will I learn on this module?

The module is taught via a lecture (two hours) and associated seminar/workshops (one hour) and peer learning sessions (one hour). The lectures will introduce students to key historical and conceptual issues, and relevant film examples. Seminar/workshop activities will strengthen student knowledge and critical and analytical reflection upon the issues under discussion. Peer learnings will be geared towards be geared to focus on developing practical work and to partake in film analysis (whereas seminars will be mostly aimed towards discussion of theoretical/conceptual elements). Finally, tutorials support students with specific issues, not least concerning assessment. Students are required to make positive contributions to the learning experience. Each week, students will be required to watch a relevant film that will provide a case-study for that week’s lecture and seminar. They are also expected to prepare for each seminar by undertaking the weekly required reading, made available via the e-learning portal. They are also encouraged to develop communication and teamwork skills by taking an active part in group seminar tasks.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

The module combines critical and historical analysis with practical elements. As such, the teaching will combine critical lectures, critical seminars, and practice-oriented workshops. The critical elements provide conceptual tools and historical awareness of experimental film and should feed into the practical components. Class material (such as Powerpoint slides, links to film clips and discussion points) will be accessible via Blackboard, along with weekly essential and further reading material (see the Learning Resources and Activities folder to access all this material, organised by week). The electronic reading list will link you directly to key sources, allowing you to access them anytime and anywhere.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge and Understanding:
• Demonstrate awareness of a range of experimental filmmakers and the conceptual ideas underpinning their work
• Understand key theoretical and critical approaches to experimental filmmaking

Intellectual/Professional Skills and Abilities:
• Create a film linked to specific conceptual and aesthetic traditions within experimental filmmaking
• Critically interrogate experimental filmmaking through engagement with academic work on experimental film

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
• Question prevailing filmmaking norms and explore aesthetic avenues beyond mainstream conventions

How will I be assessed?

FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT: To prepare you successfully to undertake the summative assessment(s) on this module, formative assessments will be set by the module team. These may take the form of in-class tasks or projects, developmental activities undertaken between classes, or learning exercises/activities set over a longer period. Feedback (written and/or oral) will be provided to help you learn from, reflect on, and develop in light of these formative assessments.

SUMMATIVE ASSESSMENT: Assessment will be a 90-second film with an accompanying critical reflection of 1000 words.

The assessment will map against all the MLOs. Written feedback will be provided to students via Turnitin.





Module abstract

Experimental Film will introduce students to modes of filmmaking that fall outside of the mainstream and which experiment with the possibilities of film as a medium. The module blends practical and theoretical components: you will gain an understanding of various filmmakers and movements that have informed various traditions of experimental filmmaking and an insight into the underlying conceptual motivations that drive experimental filmmakers. You will be introduced to avant-garde filmmaking and artists’ filmmaking, but you will also learn about how elements of avant-garde filmmaking have fed into more commercial areas, including music videos, advertising, as well as commercial feature films. You will create a short film that relates to an area of experimental filmmaking and reflect on your work critically through a short, reflective essay

Course info

UCAS Code P315

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years Full Time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Arts

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024 or September 2025

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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