Courses - Faculty of Arts


Media, Film and Television

Stage I

MEDIA 101
15 Points

Film Studies

An introduction to the feature film and the main traditions of film criticism. A series of significant films, from 1915 to the present, are explored in detail. The aim is to develop a historical perspective, an awareness of film-making as an art and an interest in the relationship between films and society, including debates about race, gender, censorship.

Restriction: FTVMS 101

Stage II

MEDIA 201
15 Points

Contemporary Chinese Media

Focuses on the evolution of media industries and the growth of new media in contemporary China. Investigates a range of media formats in relation to media policies and media production, circulation and consumption. Addresses these issues against the backdrop of the broader aesthetic and socio-cultural influences in contemporary China.

Prerequisite: 15 points from COMMS 100, 104, FTVMS 100, 101, 110, MEDIA 101 and 45 points in BA courses

Restriction: MEDIA 301

MEDIA 202
15 Points

Hollywood and its Others

An investigation of Hollywood with a particular focus on its industrial, aesthetic and cultural aspects. Students will gain a historical understanding of classical Hollywood cinema, which will serve as the basis for comparison to other national cinemas and/or American independent productions of recent decades.

Prerequisite: 15 points from COMMS 100, 104, FTVMS 100, 101, 110, MEDIA 101 and 45 points in BA courses, or 30 points in Transnational Cultures and Creative Practice

Restriction: FTVMS 202, 307, MEDIA 307

MEDIA 205
15 Points

Screening Hong Kong

An examination of the cinema of Hong Kong through some of its major genres (e.g., martial chivalry, kung fu, action, romance, comedy, fantasy, ghost, melodrama). Aims to develop both an appreciation of filmic styles and an understanding of post-1980s changes in Hong Kong’s film industry and their relation to Hong Kong society.

Prerequisite: 15 points from COMMS 100, 104, FTVMS 100, 101, 110, MEDIA 101 and 45 points in BA courses

Restriction: FTVMS 205, 308, MEDIA 308

MEDIA 210
15 Points

Settlement, Indigeneity and Media

Looks at the range of media involved in the representation and implementation of the settlement of Aotearoa New Zealand in terms of questions of indigeneity. Media considered include cartography, photography, film, television and digital media. Materials include selected photographic work, New Zealand films, Māori television, and writings by Paul Carter, Giselle Byrnes, Barry Barclay and Jo Smith.

Prerequisite: 15 points from COMMS 100, 104, FTVMS 100, 101, 110, MEDIA 101 and 45 points in BA courses

Restriction: FTVMS 210, 325, MEDIA 325

MEDIA 211
15 Points

Watching Television

Explores the historical development and distinctive aesthetic style of television; examines television’s role in the production of individual, national and global identities; and interrogates television’s negotiation of social meanings in the context of everyday life. Specific topics include domestic context; audience reception and negotiation; fandom and celebrity; the regulation of childhood; commodity culture and tabloid television.

Prerequisite: 15 points from COMMS 100, 104, FTVMS 100, 101, 110, MEDIA 101 and 45 points in BA courses

Restriction: FTVMS 211, 309, MEDIA 309

MEDIA 212
15 Points

Video Games: Theory and Culture

A study of video games as a new media form situated in the broader context of media theory and history. Considers video gaming as an industry, as a leisure activity, and as a site of aesthetic and narrative innovation. The course examines what makes video games a distinctive media form.

Prerequisite: 15 points from COMMS 100, 104, FTVMS 100, 101, 110, MEDIA 101 and 45 points in BA courses

Restriction: FTVMS 212, 328, MEDIA 328

MEDIA 213
15 Points

Cinema of Aotearoa New Zealand

Traces a thematic history of filmmaking in Aotearoa New Zealand from the mid-1980s until the present. Locates a range of films in their historical, social and political contexts by concentrating on issues that arise for a small nation defined by indigenous and settler relations, immigration and globalisation.

Prerequisite: 15 points from COMMS 100, 104, FTVMS 100, 101, 110, MEDIA 101 and 45 points in BA courses

Restriction: FTVMS 208, 300, MEDIA 313

MEDIA 218
15 Points

Popular Music on Screens

Explores relationships between popular music and visual media, such as film, television and online media. Includes analysis of documentaries, feature films, TV shows, music videos and social media platforms. Themes include stardom, fandom, songs, dancing, music genres, technologies and industries. Texts are situated in debates about music media and power relations marked by class, gender, sexuality, race and ethnicity.

Prerequisite: 15 points from COMMS 100, 104, FTVMS 100, 101, 110, MEDIA 101 and 45 points in BA courses

Restriction: FTVMS 218, 323, MEDIA 323

MEDIA 219
15 Points

Memory and Media

Explores the relationship between memory and the ways in which it is experienced, represented and embodied through media technologies. Students will examine how film, television and new media have depicted processes of memory and forgetting, and the extent to which these media forms themselves serve as a type of surrogate memory.

Prerequisite: 15 points from COMMS 100, 104, FTVMS 100, 101, 110, MEDIA 101 and 45 points in BA courses

Restriction: FTVMS 219, 326, MEDIA 326

MEDIA 220
15 Points

Mockumentary and Docu-Genres

Considers the development of mockumentary and fakery in relation to documentary genres. Introduces students to basic concepts related to documentary realism and then explores a range of film and television examples that refer to, subvert, and problematise notions of visible evidence and factuality.

Prerequisite: 15 points from COMMS 100, 104, FTVMS 100, 101, 110, MEDIA 101 and 45 points in BA courses

Restriction: FTVMS 220, 316, MEDIA 316

MEDIA 221
15 Points

Action Films

Investigates action films as a genre and a “spectacle” in world cinema. Considers the aesthetic qualities of the genre and its interaction with the wider context. Issues studied include the relationship between conventions and inventions, the combination of visual and aural spectacle, as well as how identity is articulated through the discourse of nation, gender, ethnicity, age and the landscape.

Prerequisite: 15 points from COMMS 100, 104, FTVMS 100, 101, 110, MEDIA 101 and 45 points in BA courses

Restriction: FTVMS 221, 315, MEDIA 315

MEDIA 222
15 Points

Comics and Visual Narrative

Explores the medium of comics both as an expression of popular culture and as a visual language. Beginning with a history of sequential graphic narrative, the course considers issues around the legitimacy of a popular art form and means of story-telling, as well as the problem of censorship that dominated comics culture especially in the 1950s.

Prerequisite: 30 points in Media, Film and Television or Communication or Transnational Culture and Creative Practice, or ARTHIST 115

Restriction: FTVMS 222, 327, MEDIA 327

MEDIA 224
15 Points

Science Fiction Media

A critical study of science fiction film, television and new media in terms of themes, aesthetics, technologies, markets and audiences. Emphasises the unique and prominent role of science fiction media in contemporary public culture as a site for engagement with political questions about humanity’s technological, ecological and biomedical futures.

Prerequisite: 15 points from COMMS 100, 104, FTVMS 100, 101, 110, MEDIA 101 and 45 points in BA courses

Restriction: FTVMS 224, 319, MEDIA 319

MEDIA 226
15 Points

Special Topic: Race, Indigeneity and the Media

Prerequisite: 15 points from COMMS 100, 104, FTVMS 100, 101, 110, MEDIA 101 and 45 points in BA courses

MEDIA 227
15 Points

Special Topic

Prerequisite: 15 points from COMMS 100, 104, FTVMS 100, 101, 110, MEDIA 101 and 45 points in BA courses

MEDIA 229
15 Points

Recorded Music and Media Formats

Cultural studies of the sounds and significance of popular recorded music through the media formats in which it has been manufactured, distributed and consumed. Provides a critical introduction to the role of technologies and industries, studios and producers, musicians, music scenes and everyday listening in relation to vinyl records, radio, cassettes, CDs, the MP3 and streaming music.

Prerequisite: 15 points from COMMS 100, 104, FTVMS 100, 101, 110, MEDIA 101 and 45 points in BA courses

Restriction: FTVMS 229, 331, MEDIA 331

MEDIA 231
15 Points

Eco/media

Eco/media introduces students to the increasingly important and varied role that nature, environment, and ecology play in media, film, and television studies. Students explore how environmentalism is communicated through various media, how the mediation of flora, fauna and the earth’s atmosphere offers powerful new insights into media texts, and how media production and consumption can be analysed using ecological frameworks.

Prerequisite: 15 points from COMMS 100, 104, FTVMS 100, 101, 110, MEDIA 101 and 45 points in BA courses, or 30 points in Global Environment and Sustainable Development

Restriction: FTVMS 231, 332, MEDIA 332

MEDIA 233
15 Points

Special Topic

Prerequisite: 15 points from COMMS 100, 104, FTVMS 100, 101, 110, MEDIA 101 and 45 points in BA courses

MEDIA 236
15 Points

Horror Media

Explores horror’s aesthetic, experiential, and political dimensions, investigating why and how it has persisted as one of popular culture’s most vigorous and influential genres. Closely considers a range of classic and contemporary films, TV shows and video games, confronting questions of power, affect, mediation and representation.

Prerequisite: 15 points from COMMS 100, 104, FTVMS 100, 101, 110, MEDIA 101 and 45 points in BA courses

Restriction: FTVMS 236, 336, MEDIA 336

Stage III

MEDIA 301
15 Points

Contemporary Chinese Media

Focuses on the evolution of media industries and the growth of new media in contemporary China. Investigates a range of media formats in relation to media policies and media production, circulation and consumption. Addresses these issues against the backdrop of the broader aesthetic and socio-cultural influences in contemporary China.

Prerequisite: 30 points at Stage II in Media, Film and Television or Communication

Restriction: MEDIA 201

MEDIA 307
15 Points

Hollywood and its Others

An investigation of Hollywood with a particular focus on its industrial, aesthetic and cultural aspects. Students will gain a historical understanding of classical Hollywood cinema, which will serve as the basis for comparison to other national cinemas and/or American independent productions of recent decades.

Prerequisite: 30 points at Stage II in Media, Film and Television or Transnational Cultures and Creative Practice

Restriction: FTVMS 202, 307, MEDIA 202

MEDIA 308
15 Points

Screening Hong Kong

An examination of the cinema of Hong Kong through some of its major genres (e.g., martial chivalry, kung fu, action, romance, comedy, fantasy, ghost, melodrama). Aims to develop both an appreciation of filmic styles and an understanding of post-1980s changes in Hong Kong’s film industry and their relation to Hong Kong society.

Prerequisite: 30 points at Stage II in Media, Film and Television Studies

Restriction: FTVMS 205, 308, MEDIA 205

MEDIA 309
15 Points

Watching Television

Explores the historical development and distinctive aesthetic style of television; examines television’s role in the production of individual, national and global identities; and interrogates television’s negotiation of social meanings in the context of everyday life. Specific topics include domestic context; audience reception and negotiation; fandom and celebrity; the regulation of childhood; commodity culture and tabloid television.

Prerequisite: 30 points at Stage II in Media, Film and Television

Restriction: FTVMS 211, 309, MEDIA 211

MEDIA 313
15 Points

Cinema of Aotearoa New Zealand

Traces a thematic history of filmmaking in Aotearoa New Zealand from the mid-1980s until the present. Locates a range of films in their historical, social and political contexts by concentrating on issues that arise for a small nation defined by indigenous and settler relations, immigration and globalisation.

Prerequisite: 30 points at Stage II in Media and/or Screen Production

Restriction: FTVMS 208, 300, MEDIA 213

MEDIA 315
15 Points

Action Films

Investigates action films as a genre and a “spectacle” in world cinema. Considers the aesthetic qualities of the genre and its interaction with the wider context. Issues studied include the relationship between conventions and inventions, the combination of visual and aural spectacle, as well as how identity is articulated through the discourse of nation, gender, ethnicity, age and the landscape.

Prerequisite: 30 points at Stage II in Media, Film and Television

Restriction: FTVMS 221, 315, MEDIA 221

MEDIA 316
15 Points

Mockumentary and Docu-Genres

Considers the development of mockumentary and fakery in relation to documentary genres. Introduces students to basic concepts related to documentary realism and then explores a range of film and television examples that refer to, subvert, and problematise notions of visible evidence and factuality.

Prerequisite: 30 points at Stage II in Media, Film and Television

Restriction: FTVMS 220, 316, MEDIA 220

MEDIA 317
15 Points

Screen Tools

Designed to enable students to produce a serial drama, recorded in the television studio with inserts shot on field location. As well as developing technical skills in multi-camera television production, single camera location shooting and digital editing, students will explore the processes of script breakdowns, casting and directing actors. This is an intensive, workshop-style production class drawing on creative and technical skills from drama scripting through to acting, directing and producing.

Prerequisite: Academic Head or nominee approval

Restriction: FTVMS 317

MEDIA 319
15 Points

Science Fiction Media

A critical study of science fiction film, television and new media in terms of themes, aesthetics, technologies, markets and audiences. Emphasises the unique and prominent role of science fiction media in contemporary public culture as a site for engagement with political questions about humanity’s technological, ecological and biomedical futures.

Prerequisite: 30 points at Stage II in Media, Film and Television

Restriction: FTVMS 224, 319, MEDIA 224

MEDIA 323
15 Points

Popular Music on Screens

Explores relationships between popular music and visual media, such as film, television and online media. Includes analysis of documentaries, feature films, TV shows, music videos and social media platforms. Themes include stardom, fandom, songs, dancing, music genres, technologies and industries. Texts are situated in debates about music media and power relations marked by class, gender, sexuality, race and ethnicity.

Prerequisite: 30 points at Stage II in Media, Film and Television or Anthropology

Restriction: FTVMS 218, 323, MEDIA 218

MEDIA 325
15 Points

Settlement, Indigeneity and Media

Looks at the range of media involved in the representation and implementation of the settlement of Aotearoa New Zealand in terms of questions of indigeniety. Media considered include cartography, photography, film, television and digital media. Materials include selected photographic work, New Zealand films, Māori television, and writings by Paul Carter, Giselle Byrnes, Barry Barclay and Jo Smith.

Prerequisite: 30 points at Stage II in Media, Film and Television, or Māori Studies

Restriction: FTVMS 210, 325, MEDIA 210

MEDIA 326
15 Points

Memory and Media

Explores the relationship between memory and the ways in which it is experienced, represented and embodied through media technologies. Students will examine how film, television and new media have depicted processes of memory and forgetting, and the extent to which these media forms themselves serve as a type of surrogate memory.

Prerequisite: 30 points at Stage II in Media, Film and Television

Restriction: FTVMS 219, 326, MEDIA 219

MEDIA 327
15 Points

Comics and Visual Narrative

Explores the medium of comics both as an expression of popular culture and as a visual language. Beginning with a history of sequential graphic narrative, the course considers issues around the legitimacy of a popular art form and means of story-telling, as well as the problem of censorship that dominated comics culture especially in the 1950s.

Prerequisite: 30 points at Stage II in Communication or Media, Film and Television or Transnational Cultures and Creative Practice

Restriction: FTVMS 222, 327, MEDIA 222

MEDIA 328
15 Points

Video Games: Theory and Culture

A study of video games as a new media form situated in the broader context of media theory and history. Considers video gaming as an industry, as a leisure activity, and as a site of aesthetic and narrative innovation. The course examines what makes video games a distinctive media form.

Prerequisite: 30 points at Stage II in Media, Film and Television

Restriction: FTVMS 212, 328, MEDIA 212

MEDIA 329
15 Points

Special Topic: Race, Indigeneity and the Media

Prerequisite: 30 points at Stage II in Media, Film and Television

MEDIA 331
15 Points

Recorded Music and Media Formats

Cultural studies of the sounds and significance of popular recorded music through the media formats in which it has been manufactured, distributed and consumed. Provides a critical introduction to the role of technologies and industries, studios and producers, musicians, music scenes and everyday listening in relation to vinyl records, radio, cassettes, CDs, the MP3 and streaming music.

Prerequisite: 30 points at Stage II in Media, Film and Television or Anthropology

Restriction: FTVMS 229, 331, MEDIA 229

MEDIA 332
15 Points

Eco/media

Eco/media introduces students to the increasingly important and varied role that nature, environment, and ecology play in media, film, and television studies. Students explore how environmentalism is communicated through various media, how the mediation of flora, fauna and the earth’s atmosphere offers powerful new insights into media texts, and how media production and consumption can be analysed using ecological frameworks.

Prerequisite: 30 points at Stage II in Media, Film and Television or Global Environment and Sustainable Development

Restriction: FTVMS 231, 332, MEDIA 231

MEDIA 333
15 Points

Special Topic

Prerequisite: 30 points at Stage II in Media, Film and Television

MEDIA 334
15 Points

Special Topic

Prerequisite: 30 points at Stage II in Media, Film and Television

MEDIA 336
15 Points

Horror Media

Explores horror’s aesthetic, experiential, and political dimensions, investigating why and how it has persisted as one of popular culture’s most vigorous and influential genres. Closely considers a range of classic and contemporary films, TV shows and video games, confronting questions of power, affect, mediation and representation.

Prerequisite: 30 points at Stage II in Media, Film and Television

Restriction: FTVMS 236, 336, MEDIA 236

Postgraduate 700 Level Courses

MEDIA 704
30 Points

Documentary: The Real Returns

A theoretical and historical study of the documentary, focusing on significant works in the canon. The syllabus includes topics such as reality and representation; documentary modes and forms of address; ethnographies and cultural difference; documentary, politics and human rights.

Restriction: FTVMS 704, 722

MEDIA 711
30 Points

Feminist Film Theory

Examines the long and rich tradition of feminist film theory and provides students with an understanding of its concerns. Topics will include the Anglo-American feminist film theorists of the 1970s and 1980s, close examination of Hollywood films which have inspired feminist debate, as well as recent film reconceptions of gender and sexuality.

Restriction: FTVMS 711, 735

MEDIA 713
30 Points

Media, Sound and Music

Interdisciplinary scholarship on sound and music media. Topics include: listening and soundscapes; noise/music; popular culture; the politics of sound and music; audio technologies; affect, feelings and emotions; identities; stardom, celebrity and fandom; voices; material cultures; audiovisual media; social media; and the political economy of music.

Restriction: FTVMS 713, 730, 738

MEDIA 715
30 Points

Visualising Difference

Critically examines the representation of racial and ethnic difference in cinema and broadcast television. This course explores and discusses how difference has been conceptualised in colonial, post-colonial, and multicultural frameworks using examples from the USA, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

Restriction: FTVMS 715

MEDIA 716
30 Points

Love in/Loving the Cinema

Critically examines the theme of love in the cinema. Looks at why the love story has been such a staple of movie narratives and what films can teach us about love. Also explores the nature of the love of cinema itself, cinephilia.

Restriction: FTVMS 716

MEDIA 726
30 Points

Research Projects

MEDIA 729
30 Points

Film Evil

Explores the theme of evil in the cinema. What films can teach about evil and why it is that conceptions of evil - its nature and source as well as distinctions between natural and moral evil - have formed so much of the subject matter of cinema. The course also considers the proposition that some films may themselves be evil.

Restriction: FTVMS 729

MEDIA 741
30 Points

Time and the Moving Image

Explores how moving images mediate our experience of time, from the actualités of early cinema to video games and digital special effects. Addresses the representation and articulation of time across documentary and narrative cinema, experimental film and video, television and new media, with reference to key concepts in philosophy and media theory.

Restriction: FTVMS 741

MEDIA 742
15 Points

Directed Study

Restriction: FTVMS 742

MEDIA 743
30 Points

Chinese Film Genres

Explores the evolution of major film genres of the Chinese-language cinemas (i.e., cinemas of mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and the Chinese diaspora). Investigates the formal styles of such genres as melodrama, youth, avant-garde, and documentary as well as how the changing styles reflect some big issues of sociocultural significances.

Restriction: FTVMS 743

MEDIA 744
30 Points

The Politics of Digital Media

Digital media technologies are a major political battleground in the twenty-first century. This course examines a range of political controversies associated with the digital age, such as: piracy and copyright; surveillance, privacy and digital espionage; hacking, hacktivism and cybersecurity; internet censorship, regulation and free speech; hate speech and harassment; the open web and digital enclosure; big data and algorithmic governance.

Restriction: FTVMS 744

MEDIA 745
30 Points

Special Topic: Communication Excess and Avoidance

Silences and absences make communication possible. Each medium, whether spoken or printed, projected or computed, has peculiar silences ranging from elegant to tragic, comic to painful, fleeting to eternal. Superabundant digital media raise acute questions about communicative excess and possible needs to disconnect. Such questions will be addressed alongside the cultural and technological history of communication excess and absence.

MEDIA 746
30 Points

Special Topic: Žižek Through Hitchcock

Slavoj Žižek is known for elaborating psychoanalytic and Marxist theory through the use of film and popular culture. In this course we shall read Alfred Hitchcock’s films and Žižek’s idiosyncratic citation of them to develop a theory of Žižek’s own work. To achieve this, each lesson looks at a film by Hitchcock and explores a key aspect of Žižek’s ideas.

MEDIA 781
30 Points

Research Project

Directed research on an assigned topic. Following an introduction to the key issues in conducting such sustained research, students will develop their project through workshops, discussions and group supervisory sessions. This is a required course for all BA(Hons) students in Film, Television and Media Studies, or Media, Film and Television.

Restriction: FTVMS 781

MEDIA 792
45 Points

MEDIA 792A
22.5 Points

MEDIA 792B
22.5 Points

Dissertation

Restriction: FTVMS 792

To complete this course students must enrol in MEDIA 792 A and B, or MEDIA 792

MEDIA 793
60 Points

MEDIA 793A
30 Points

MEDIA 793B
30 Points

Dissertation

Restriction: FTVMS 793

To complete this course students must enrol in MEDIA 793 A and B, or MEDIA 793

MEDIA 796A
60 Points

MEDIA 796B
60 Points

Thesis

Restriction: FTVMS 796

To complete this course students must enrol in MEDIA 796 A and B

MEDIA 797A
60 Points

MEDIA 797B
60 Points

Research Portfolio

Restriction: FTVMS 797

To complete this course students must enrol in MEDIA 797 A and B

Top