UCL Centre for languages & international education (CLIE)


London on Film

Key Information

Module code
Taught during
Session Two
Module leader
Dr Roland-Fran├žois Lack
None. Standard UCL Summer entry criteria apply.
Assessment method
Essay (25%), Examination (75%)
Download syllabus (PDF)
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Module overview

This module introduces students to important and distinctive aspects of London as a centre of film-making, since 1895.

The module focuses on three key topics: London-based studio-production, with examples from pioneer R.W. Paul and from the Ealing Studios, post WW2; the gangster film as city-centred genre, with examples from the 1980s onwards; and London-made cinema as document of the changing city, with examples from across the history of film-making in London. Through the close analysis of London-made films and the study of their context, students will come to understand the significance of London for the history of cinema, and will be encouraged to think about place in general as key to the appreciation of cinema as art and as spectacle.

Learning outcomes

Upon successful completion of this module, students will:

  • Be familiar with the history of film-making in London
  • Be able to analyse films in terms of location and the representation of place
  • Have developed more general film-analysis skills, in particular, regarding genre
  • Understand how film documents the changing city
  • Understand how film creates perceptions of the city, both for its residents and for those who come to visit.

Module prerequisites

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


  • 1,500-word essay on a particular film studied (25%)
  • Desk-top examination on the concepts covered in the course (75%)

Module leader

Dr Roland-Fran├žois Lack teaches in the French Department and on the MA in Film Studies, at UCL. He is a specialist in the relation between film-making and place, in particular regarding London and Paris.

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