Children, film and literacy

A course for education professionals interested in the relationship between film and other kinds of literacy, usually with younger children.

Details of our 2013-2014 courses will be published soon.

January-July 2013


Who is the course for?

This course is for literacy and English teachers, advisors, consultants and trainers.

You’ll be interested in the relationship between film and other kinds of literacy, and probably work with younger children.

You’ll finish the course with a deeper understanding of film, especially in relation to other kinds of text, and how children engage with them in classrooms and at home.

What level is it?

It’s an MA module worth one sixth of the MA in New Media Literacies at Sheffield University. You can either take the module as part of that MA, or on its own as a BFI M-level course.

What does it cover? The course is divided into three units:

  • Children’s experience of film, how it relates to their wider literacy, and the literature and debates that surround those experiences
  • Film and pedagogy – the skills, understanding and knowledge that you might expect to develop
  • How to design and implement teaching and learning strategies for literacy using film

How long is it?

The course runs from the beginning of January until late May. It starts with a face-to-face seminar in early January 2013 and a second one-day seminar in early May, both in London at BFI Southbank (Waterloo) and running 10am–4pm. This might be difficult for overseas students, so we provide plenty of distance learning materials in place of the seminars.

What is distance learning?

It’s a flexible way to learn at your own pace, fitting in around your life and work. It’s particularly good for professional development because everything you learn in this course is relevant to your career.

It’s a mixture of face-to-face teaching, and our online learning software, Moodle. You’ll be able to access all of the course materials (articles, activities and exercises, podcasts, video, lectures or presentations in PowerPoint) securely on Moodle, as well as have online group discussions and get feedback from your tutor.

How is the course structured?

There are three units lasting around six weeks each, and they consist of smaller sessions lasting around two weeks each. There’s an assignment at the end of each unit which goes into your final portfolio for assessment.

Unit 1: Children, Film, Literacy
Session 1: Film, Childhood and You
Session 2: Film and Television Childhoods in the Classroom
Session 3: Theorising Film and Children’s Literacy

Unit 2: Film, Literacy and Pedagogy
Session 1: Film Form and the Classroom
Session 2: Film Pedagogies
Session 3: Film Pedagogy for Primary

Unit 3: Film Education in Practice
You’ll write a film and literacy research project covering an aspect of classroom or other educational practice.

How is it assessed?

We assess a portfolio that’s the equivalent of 5000 words, consisting of short written assignments for each unit and a final small-scale research project based in a classroom or other educational setting.

Who tutors the course?

Cathy Poole, who lectures at the University of the West of England and is the Education manager at the Curzon Cinema in Cleveden.

What materials does the course include?

You’ll be able to print off, watch or listen to all the course materials on the Moodle site.

What can I do when I finish the course?

The course will give you a good grounding in how to practice film literacy. Also, because the course makes up one sixth of the Sheffield University online MA in New Literacies, you can go on to take the full MA, or use it as evidence of Accredited Prior Learning for other film-related MA courses.

How to apply?

Just fill in and return this application form (PDF). The closing date for applications is 17 December 2012.


The course costs for 2013 are £700.

Back to the top