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Dissertation Project (EAFM204)

StaffProfessor Will Higbee - Convenor
Mrs Victoria Thomas - Convenor
Credit Value60
ECTS Value30
NQF Level7
Duration of Module Term 3: 7 weeks;

Module aims

The dissertation project is the culmination of the Masters programme. It requires you to conceive, plan, research and write-up an international research project. The dissertation provides you with the opportunity to test your learning, display your subject knowledge and methodological skills, and explore in detail a topic that interests you.

The aim of this module is also to provide you with an alternative from of assessment to the traditional 15,000 word written dissertation. In lieu of the written dissertation you will therefore submit a portfolio of practical work relating to the individual project alongside a logbook (reflection on the process of developing the project) and critical essay (a critical evaluation of the final portfolio submission).

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Formulate at an advanced level a research proposal and to plan and execute advanced research
  • 2. Discuss and analyse at an advanced level the economics of international film production, finance and distribution appropriate to their chosen area of enquiry
  • 3. Critically evaluate at an advanced level current research and industry practices in the discipline and in their chosen area of enquiry
  • 4. Use and apply at an advanced level a range of research techniques and methodologies, business models and industry practices appropriate to the discipline and to their chosen area of enquiry
  • 5. Critically evaluate and revise your own academic work and vocational practice in the light of feedback from the supervisor and peers
  • 6. Present your dissertation in accordance with the norms and conventions appropriate to the discipline

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 7. Demonstrate a sophisticated and intellectually mature ability to analyse film and the economics of international film production, finance and distribution of different periods and to relate its concerns and its modes of expression to its historical context
  • 8. Demonstrate advanced and autonomous skills in the research and evaluation of relevant critical and historical materials for the study of film and the economics of international film production, finance and distribution
  • 9. Demonstrate an advanced and autonomous ability to understand and analyse relevant theoretical ideas, and to apply these ideas to films and models of international film production, finance and distribution
  • 10. Digest, select, and organise at an advanced level interdisciplinary material and to trace the development of debate across disciplinary boundaries
  • 11. Make a contribution to a particular scholarly field and body of research in relation to practical models of international film production, finance and distribution
  • 12. Devise, research, and execute a programme of research

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 13. Through the planning and organisation of large-scale research projects, demonstrate independence of thought and confidence in developing ideas and formulating questions
  • 14. Through the writing of large-scale research projects, construct work of substantial length, detail, and some originality
  • 15. Through responses to constructive feedback, demonstrate an advanced and intellectually mature ability to reflect upon and strengthen written and other work

Syllabus plan

You are encouraged to begin to think about potential topics for your dissertation project in the second half of term 2. You should do this in discussion with your course tutors from both Exeter and LFS.

You will be required to develop and submit an initial proposal by the end of term two. Once the initial proposal has been submitted, you are assigned to a supervisor with interests and knowledge appropriate to the chosen topic.

You are also required to pitch your project to course tutors at the dissertation symposium that takes place at the start of term 3.

You will then work closely in term 3 with your allotted supervisor and industry-based mentor, who will be appointed by the course leader from the London Film School to offer practical guidance and advice to you. Working with both your supervisor and mentor, you will develop and bring your project to completion.

Each student will be allowed up to 5 supervision sessions and 3 meetings with their industry mentor.

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching15A workshop and 5 supervision sessions
Guided Independent Study585To include reading, viewing and writing preparation for workshops and supervision sessions. Archival research, development of dissertation proposal and dissertation project and writing up of dissertation proposal and final dissertation project

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Dissertation proposal200 words1-5, 7-13, 15Written feedback will be provided by dissertation supervisor

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Individual presentation of dissertation proposal1010 minute pitch and 7-10 slide pitch-deck.1-5, 7-13, 15Feedback sheet with opportunity for tutor follow up
Logbook (record of the development process of the virtual case study)202500 words1-15Feedback sheet with opportunity for tutor follow up
Critical essay202500 words1-15Feedback sheet with opportunity for tutor follow up
Portfolio of project work50Precise duration, length and format of this material (e.g. pitch-deck, business plan, finance package, creative package, feasibility study) to be confirmed with dissertation supervisor1-13Feedback sheet with opportunity for tutor follow up

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Individual presentation of dissertation proposalDissertation proposal1-5,7-13,15Referral/Deferral period
LogbookLogbook1-15Referral/Deferral period
Critical essayCritical essay1-15Referral/Deferral period
Portfolio of project workPortfolio of project work1-13Referral/Deferral period

Re-assessment notes

Deferral – if you miss an assessment for certificated reasons judged acceptable by the Mitigation Committee, you will normally be either deferred in the assessment or an extension may be granted. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of deferral will not be capped and will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment.

Referral – if you have failed the module overall (i.e. a final overall module mark of less than 50%) you will be required to submit a further assessment as necessary. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of referral will be capped at 50%.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Basic reading:

These will vary, depending on the precise focus of the dissertation, though likely to include:

Primary texts:

  • Finney, A., The International Film Business: A Market Guide Beyond Hollywood, Routledge, 2010.
  • Vachon, C., Austin Bunn, John Pierson, A Killer Life – How an Independent Film Producer Survives Deals and Disasters in Hollywood and Beyond, Simon & Schuster 2006.
  • Elsaesser, T., European Cinema: Face to Face With Hollywood, Amsterdam University Press, 2005.
  • Iordanova, D. et al., The Film Festival Yearbook 1: the festival circuit, St Andrews Film Studies, 2009.
  • Iordanova, D. and Cunningham, S., (Eds.), Digital Disruption – Cinema Moves On-Line, St Andrews: St Andrews Film Studies, 2012.

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International film business