Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Issues of Social Concern - Feature Films

LEVEL 01 - Year 1 in Modular Undergraduate Course


DEPARTMENT Social Policy and Social Work

DESCRIPTION This study-unit offers students the opportunity to view, discuss and appreciate selected feature films that have a social message or relevance to social issues. Students will be encouraged to discuss questions concerning the social issues depicted in the films that are relevant to the fields of social work and social policy. Attention will be given to important similarities and differences between the situations portrayed in the films and the relevant local situations. The importance of paying attention to the particular features of each individual case will be highlighted.

Study-unit Aims:

The central aim of this unit is to sensitise students to various aspects of key social issues through analysis, discussion, reflection and the communication and sharing of impressions, feelings, and ideas. This unit will guide the students in their ‘reading’ of the films viewed and will stimulate reflection on what the films are communicating regarding societal concerns. This will be done through an examination of how feature films reinforce or critically question accepted or controversial societal values and norms relevant to social work and social policy. Students will be familarised with portrayals of social issues that relate to a complexity of relationships between individuals, and relationships between individuals, the family and the state.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
• Identify key social themes embedded in a feature film;
• Explain how feature films, as part of popular culture, can have an influence on social values, social prejudices and social norms;
• Analyse issues of social concern within the context of the feature film;
• Relate the issues of social concern encountered in the feature films to the local context;
• Describe how the identified social problems may have arisen mainly as a result of: 1) individual circumstances, or 2) social structures or social injustices, or 3) a combination of (1) and (2);
• With reference to particular situations depicted in the feature films, demonstrate the importance of holistically assessing the outcomes of social work interventions.

2. Skills:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
• Critically analyse the social issues embedded in a feature film
• Research broadly about an issue of social concern
• Participate in a structured and well-planned group presentation of issues of social concern that are portrayed in a selected feature film
• Holistically appraise the goals of social work interventions
• Analyse the particular features of each individual social issue and recommend how the needs of that particular situation could be addressed
• Make informed analysis of significant social issues and values
• Make evidence-based evaluations of the portrayals of issues of social concern viewed in the films.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

- Russell, W. B. (2009). Teaching Social Issues with Film. U.S.A: Information Age Publishing.

Readings will be uploaded on VLE and updated regularly.


Assessment Component/s Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment Yes 40%
Presentation Yes 60%

LECTURER/S Marianne Muscat Azzopardi

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the study-unit description above applies to the academic year 2017/8, if study-unit is available during this academic year, and may be subject to change in subsequent years.