UCL Centre for languages & international education (CLIE)


The Dark Side of London

Key Information

Module code
Taught during
Session 1
Module leader
Dr Lucia Rinaldi
GPA of around 3.3/4.0 (US) or equivalent
Assessment method
500-word report (15%), 500-word report (15%), 2,500-word essay (70%)
Download syllabus (PDF)
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Module overview

This interdisciplinary module aims to examine the representation of London in a variety of cultural outputs, from the Victorian to the contemporary period.

The module will analyse how artists and filmmakers have expressed their perception of the city as a dark site of social tensions, vice, mystery, crime and detective work. The module will introduce the city through illustrations (Doré, Cruickshank) and documentaries (Keiller, Ackroyd), and then will concentrate on key works of crime cinema set in London (Dassin, Hitchcock, Ritchie). It will consist of lectures on historical and theoretical subjects, seminars, screenings, and it will be supplemented by visits to UCL Collections and other London Museums.

Learning outcomes

Upon successful completion of this module, students will:

  • Have gained knowledge of a number of works about London and representations of its dark side;
  • Have developed their ability to approach and compare images/films analytically;
  • Have developed their ability to discuss study material in a written and oral manner through commentaries, presentations, in-class seminars;
  • Have developed their understanding of key critical concepts, laying the foundation for further study.

Module prerequisites

This is a level one module (equivalent to first year undergraduate). Students must have completed one year of undergraduate study. No prior subject knowledge is required for this module, but students are expected to have a keen interest in the area.

Module hours

Classes (usually three or four hours per day) take place on the Bloomsbury campus from Monday to Friday any time between 9am and 6pm.


  • 500-word report (15%)
  • 500-word report (15%)
  • 2,500-word essay (70%)

Module leader

Dr Lucia Rinaldi is a senior teaching fellow in UCL's School of European Languages, Culture and Society (SELCS). Her research interests include 20th Century literature, culture and cinema - in particular crime fiction and film noir. She is the author of Andrea Camilleri: A Companion to the Mystery Fiction (2012).

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