Please note: there may be some adjustments to the teaching arrangements published in the course catalogue for 2020-21. Given current circumstances related to the Covid-19 pandemic it is anticipated that some usual arrangements for teaching on campus will be modified to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students and staff on campus; further adjustments may also be necessary, or beneficial, during the course of the academic year as national requirements relating to management of the pandemic are revised.

Hollywood In The 1930s FTV4044

  • Academic Session: 2022-23
  • School: School of Culture and Creative Arts
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2 (Alternate Years)
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: Yes

Short Description

Hollywood in the 1930s was a key period of development and transition for American cinema in terms of genre, aesthetics, technology and industry. The course will investigate these developments through a series of case studies, such as: the Warner Brothers gangster movie, the "fantastic" (e.g. horror and gothic melodrama), screwball comedy and the musical, the introduction of Technicolor, the rise of the star system (and the child star), the effect of the Hays Code, the influence of the émigré director in Hollywood.


10 x 5hr sessions (including 2hr screening) over ten weeks as scheduled in MyCampus. This is one of the Honours options in Film and Television Studies and may not run every year. The options that are running this session are available on MyCampus.

Requirements of Entry

Acceptance in FTV Honours programme


Essay (2,000 words), or video essay (5 minutes) with optional 300 word written statement - 40%

Essay (3,000 words), or video essay (8 minutes) with optional 300 word written statement - 60%

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

The course aims to: 


■ introduce students to a variety of different films from a specific historical period;

■ establish a variety of different approaches in the critical exploration of these films;

■ explore how Hollywood films emerged with distinctive aesthetic, industrial and technological features;

■ engage students with deep textual analysis of individual films, and with wider ranging analyses linking a number of films through genre or other thematic and historical links.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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


■ appraise a wide range of films produced in Hollywood in the 1930s;

■ apply a diverse range of critical approaches to one or more films;

■ critique Hollywood filmmaking in the 1930s with a knowledge of its historical and social context;

■ employ skills of critical review and film analysis through the completion of a range of writing and/or video essay assignments.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.