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Module UXS-2025:
Stanley Kubrick: Auteur

Module Facts

Run by School of Languages, Literatures, Linguistics and Media

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 1

Organiser: Prof Nathan Abrams

Overall aims and purpose

The enigmatic Stanley Kubrick was one of the most well-known filmmakers of the twentieth century. Although not prolific, his work was widely admired both by critics and mass audiences. Kubrick’s films also provide a prism through which we can view the major events of the twentieth century including World War One, the Holocaust, the Cold War and the Vietnam War. In doing so, his films offer the opportunity to explore the key themes of science, technology, history, race, violence, gender, ethnicity, sexuality and war.

Course content

Topics that will be covered in this module include all of Kubrick’s films, as well as how these intersect with events such as World War One, the Holocaust, the Cold War and the Vietnam War and such issues as science, technology, history, race, violence, gender, ethnicity, sexuality and war.

Assessment Criteria


A- to A* Submitted work is of an outstanding quality and excellent in one or more of the following ways: 1. Has originality of exposition with the student’s own thinking being readily apparent. 2. Provides clear evidence of extensive and relevant independent study. 3. Arguments are laid down with clarity and provide the reader with successive stages of consideration to reach conclusions.


C- to B+ Submitted work is competent throughout and may be distinguished by superior style, approach and choice of supporting materials. It: 1. Demonstrates good or very good structure and logically developed arguments. 2. Draws at least in parts on material that has been sourced and assessed as a result of independent study, or in a way unique to the student. 3. Assertions are backed by evidence and sound reasoning. 4. Accuracy and presentation in an appropriate academic style.


D- to D+ Submitted work is adequate and shows an acceptable level of competence as follows: 1. Generally accurate but with omissions and errors. 2. Assertions are made without clear supporting evidence or reasoning. 3. Has structure but is lacking in clarity and therefore relies on the reader to make links and assumptions. 4. Draws on a relatively narrow range of material.

Learning outcomes

  1. Digest, select and organise material and produce a consistent and coherent argument presented in both oral and essay form/practical equivalent to a deadline.

  2. Read a film text, deploying the appropriate critical language;

  3. Comment appropriately on the relationship between film and other issues (science, technology, history, violence, race, gender, ethnicity, sexuality and war) in the work of Stanley Kubrick;

  4. The ability to relate filmic texts to a historical context;

  5. Discuss, in detail, the treatment of these issues in Kubrick’s films;

  6. Identify the key issues and conflicts with which Stanley Kubrick was concerned;

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
Weekly log 20
Discussion 30
Final essay / Podcast 50

Teaching and Learning Strategy


2 hour group workshop x 11 weeks

Study group 134
Study group

1 hour student-led study and reading group x 11 weeks


3 hours screening x 11 weeks


Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
  • Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others

Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses:

Optional in courses: