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Introduction to Film and Multi-Media Studies (FMS 201) Teaching Manual

With the unbundling of Mass Communication programme in Nigeria, the face of communication education in the country has changed. The programme has transited into a full college/faculty while individual courses have adapted to the change. While several new courses now exist in the seven new departments, some of the courses you used to know before have also taken a new shape. We have done a thorough research on what these courses offer in universities across the world; and we have provided prototype syllabus for students to study ahead. This is also to assist lecturers who might be facing new challenges with several new courses to have an idea of what the syllabus of each course offers. Here’s is the course compact for Introduction to Film and Multi-Media Studies (FMS 201).


Faculty: Communication and Media Studies                                            Department: Film & Media Studies

Course Code: FMS 201                                           Unit(s): 2                      Semester: FIrst

Course Title: Introduction to Film and Multi-Media Studies

Lecturer:                                                       Programme: B.Sc.



Rapid developments of digital technologies have impacted the film business across the world. From the time cinema was invented at the end of the 19th century to the present information technology era, film and cinema have evolved from the traditional photographic era to the digital era. Film, television, and digital media have become increasingly ubiquitous and complex in the 21st century. This underscores the need to understand, control, and create media in the workplace and professional, civic and private lives with a view to adapting to evolving trends in the society.

This course explores the specificity, history, and function of media forms, focusing on the language of cinema and important issues, film/media theories, movements, and histories of media throughout the globe. It exposes students to the dynamics of film as an art, a text, a technology, a commercial product, a psychological experience, and a social practice. The course will emphasize specific aspects of film style and narrative form through analysis of scenes from films. Students will be trained to comprehend, analyze, and participate in local and global film and screen media cultures and industries. They will further gain both theoretical and practical knowledge of the many ways of making and distributing screen media, including video production, computer animation, and studies and practices in multimedia, interactive media, and new technologies.

The course is structured to develop skills of students in film analysis, expose them to the vocabulary of film form and how to construct an argument about what a film’s sounds and images mean, including how it structures and achieves its meanings. At the end, students will be conversant with an introduction to the theories, methods, and concerns of film and media studies as a discipline, and they would have been equipped with the requisite practical knowledge to work in the field. The course will prepare them for careers in media and technology, education, journalism, filmmaking, and audio-visual archives.


By the end of this course, students will have learned:

Basic concepts associated with film and the cinema

History, functions, and specificity of media forms,

Film style and narrative form

Language of cinema

Film/media theories

Movements and histories of media throughout the globe

Formal analysis of film narrative and cinematic technique (the art of film)

Contextual approaches to film

Various film genres

Basics of film production


Practical Classroom Sessions


1. Introduction

Conceptual understanding of Film and Multimedia

Brief history of the cinema

Functions of film

Movements and histories of media throughout the globe

Significance of film in the society

Course overview

2. Three Basic Types of Films




3. Film Theories

What is film theory?

Brief history of film theory

Elements of film theory

A look at basic film theories

4. Dimensions of Film

Film as an art

Film as text

Film as technology

Film as commercial product

Film as psychological experience

Film as social practice

5. Film Style

What is film style?

Key elements of film style

Categories of film style

How to choose your film style

6. Film Genre

What is film genre?

Basic film genres

Genre Hybrids

7. Film Narrative

Defining film narrative

Components of film narrative

Purpose of film narration

Dimensions of film narrative

Narrative theory and film literature

How to read a film

8. Contextual Approaches to Film

Understanding the concept of approaches to film

Semiotic approaches

Structuralist approaches

Contextual approaches

9. Film Criticism

What is film criticism?

Approaches to film criticism

Film as an aesthetic form

Basics of film analysis and review

Writing a critical film review

10. Specificity of Media Forms

What is medium specificity?

Medium specificity film theory

Origin of medium specificity

Medium specificity and new media art

What differentiates film from other modes of representation?

Boundaries and intersections between expressive media

Medium specificity in Cinema

Medium specificity in photography

11. Brief Look at Major Film Industries Across the World




Cinema of China

Cinema of Japan

Cinema of the United Kingdom

South Korean Film Industry

Cinema of France


12. New Technologies and the Film Industry

Introduction: how new technologies have impacted the film industry

Basics of graphics design, photo editing and motion graphics animation

Principles of digital photography

Computer animation

Interactive media

Preparing videos for online streaming and playback on different devices

Multimedia practices

13. Film Production

What is film production?

Elements of film making

Pre-production stage

Production stage

Post-production stage

Brief look at film distribution

14. Mise en scene

What is mise en scene

Elements of mise en scene

15. Film Careers



Creators (Production team)




16. Class Activities



Nelmes, J. (2012). Introduction to Film Studies, 5th Edition. London: Routeledge.

Barsam, R. & Monahan, D. (2016). Looking at Movies, 5th edition. New York: Norton.

Oyero, O., Amodu, L. O. & Usaini, S. (2015). Film History and Production Techniques. Ibadan: Stirling-Horden.


Defining Film Narrative

How to Choose Style for Your Film

Medium Specificity in Post-Media Practice, by Alssio Chierico

Medium Specificity – A Syllabus

Film Theory: A Beginner’s Guide

Understanding film theory: An Essential Guide, by Jason Hellerman

A Guide to Basic Film Genres and How to Use Them, by Jourdan Aldredge

Film Basics: Learning to “Read” and Write About Films


READ ALSO: Syllabus for Writing For The Media (CMS 104)

READ ALSO: Syllabus for Traditional African Communication Systems (CMS 105)

READ ALSO: Syllabus for Feature Writing (CMS 201)

READ ALSO: Syllabus for Critical and Review Writing (CMS 202)

READ ALSO: Syllabus for Editing & Graphics of Communication (CMS 203)

READ ALSO: Syllabus for Theories of Communication (CMS 204)

READ ALSO: Syllabus for Foundations of Communication Research (CMS 205)

READ ALSO: Syllabus for Media and Information Literacy (CMS 209)

READ ALSO: Syllabus for International Communication (CMS 301)

READ ALSO: Syllabus for Communication and Society (CMS 302)

READ ALSO: Syllabus for Gender & Communication (CMS 303)

READ ALSO: Syllabus for Media Law (CMS 401)

READ ALSO:Syllabus for Media Ethics (CMS 402)

READ ALSO: Syllabus for Data Analysis in Communication Research (CMS 403)

READ ALSO: Syllabus for Safety of Media Professionals (CMS 404)

READ ALSO: Syllabus for Media Economics and Sustainability (CMS 405)

READ ALSO: Syllabus for Communication for Development (CMS 406)

READ ALSO: Fundamentals of Film and Multi-Media Technology (FMS 202) Syllabus



About Chinenye Nwabueze

Nwabueze is a writer with passion for cutting-edge news

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