Science Fiction Film

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Module code


The aim of the module is to introduce you to a wide variety of science fiction films, considering the development of the cinema alongside the science fiction genre.

We will also examine the treatment of various themes in these films, such as technology, invasion, alienation, existential questions, and science fiction as satire.

Indicative weekly topics:

  • Early SF film - “Trip to the Moon” (Méliès, 1902) and Metropolis (Lang,1927)
  • Invasion and Paranoia - The Thing from Another World (Nyby-Hawkes, 1951) and The Thing (Carpenter, 1982)
  • Space/Head Trip - 2001 (Kubrick, 1968) and Solaris (Tarkovsky, 1972)
  • Western and Horror SF - Star Wars (Lucas, 1977) and Alien (Scott, 1979)
  • Existential SF - Blade Runner (Scott, 1982) and Avalon (Oshii, 2001)
  • SF as Satire - They Live (Carpenter, 1988) and Starship Troopers (Verhoeven, 1997)


  • Presentation (20%)
  • Research assessment (80%, 3,500 words).

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module, students should be able to:

  • Show familiarity with the history of the science fiction genre in film
  • Demonstrate a sophisticated understanding of the themes found in science fiction films
  • Articulate independent critical responses to a range of science fiction films


Dr Brian Hoyle


There are fortnightly seminars lasting two hours.