UCL Summer School


The Dark Side of London

Key Information

Module code
Taught during
Session One
Module leader
Dr Lucia Rinaldi
None. Standard UCL Summer entry criteria apply.
Assessment method
500-word report (15%), 500-word report (15%), 2,500-word essay (70%)
Download syllabus (PDF)
The Dark Side of London

Module overview

This module focuses on the visual representation of London from the Victorian to the contemporary period. In particular, it aims to 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). 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.


  • 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).

Application information

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