Lights, Camera, Action! - British Cinema in the 21st Century


This course provides the opportunity to study contemporary British cinema and the industry which shapes and creates it. We will watch and discuss excerpts from films including the Bond and Harry Potter franchises, The Banshees of Inisherin, Atonement, A United Kingdom, Aftersun, Rocks, 28 Days Later and Snatch and consider them in terms of their industrial, social and political context.

The course will examine the historical formation of the production, distribution and exhibition sectors in the UK in order to consider how contemporary British Cinema has been influenced by what has come before with a particular focus on the social realist, heritage, horror and gangster genres. We will also use the medium of film to examine cultural and social issues which are central to Britain's history and evolving national identity with particular reference to emerging and established female filmmakers such as Amma Assante, Sarah Gavron, Charlotte Wells, and Andrea Arnold.  

This course is part of the Inspiring Oxford summer school.

Programme details

Seminars meet each weekday morning, with afternoons free for course-related field trips, individual study, or exploring the many places of interest in and around the city.


  • British National Cinema vs Transnational Cinema in the 21st Century  

  • We will explore the idea of what makes a film British and how this can be affected by the increasing transnational flow of people, finance, ideas and technologies.  

  • This will involve analysing how much we can consider so-called British blockbusters such as the Harry Potter or Bond films as actually being British. 


  • Art vs Commerce in British Cinema in the 21st Century 

  • We will explore how British art and documentary cinemas carve out a distinctly British niche and also consider the influence of television in British Cinema since the 1980s and the exploitation of popular British television programmes in cinema 

  • This will involve considering the likes of Aftersun, Touching the Void, Downton Abbey, The Inbetweeners Movie and many more. 


  • British Genre Cinema in the 21st Century 

  • We will look at the concept of genre and how genres including heritage, horror, social realist and gangster films can be both internationally respected and also have their own distinctly British flavour 

  • We will look at Atonement, 28 Days Later, Rocks and Snatch as specific examples of these genres in the 21st Century 


  • Scottish, Irish and Welsh Cinema in the 21st Century 

  • We will look at the ways English cinema tends to dominate in discussions of British cinema and discuss why this happens by examining the cinemas of the other British nations 

  • Examples will include Sweet Sixteen, The Banshees of Inisherin, and Submarine 


  • The Great British Directors of the 21st Century 

  • In this session, we will discuss the established and emerging directors in British Cinema and think about how they are evolving what we think of as British Cinema 

  • We will also think about these directors in relation to all the issues discussed on the course (national/transnational, art/commerce, Genre and regional identity) 

  • Directors discussed will include: Christopher Nolan, Danny Boyle, Andrea Arnold, Lynne Ramsay, Mike Leigh, Edgar Wright, Gurinder Chadha, Steve McQueen, Emerald Fennell, Francis Lee, Rose Glass, Joanna Hogg, Clio Barnard, Amma Assante, Ben Wheatley, Martin McDonagh and more 


Description Costs
Fee option 1 (single en suite accom and meals per person) £2285.00
Fee option 2 (single standard accom and meals per person) £1955.00
Fee option 3 (twin en suite accom and meals per person) £2135.00
Fee option 4 (no accom; incl lunch and dinner per person) £1600.00


Please note there are no sources of funding (scholarships, bursaries, etc) available for applicants.


All fees are charged on a per week, per person basis.

Please be aware that all payments made via non-UK credit/debit cards and bank accounts are subject to the exchange rate on the day they are processed.

Payment terms

If enrolling online: full payment by credit/debit card at the time of booking.

If submitting an enrolment form: full payment online by credit/debit card or via bank transfer within 30 days of invoice date.

Extended stay fee

Participants staying multiple, consecutive weeks will be charged an additional bed and breakfast fee for the cost of the Saturday night between courses.

Cancellations and refunds

1. Cancellation by you

Participants who wish to cancel must inform the Programme Administrator in writing: by email to, or by post to Inspiring Oxford, OUDCE, 1 Wellington Square, OXFORD, OX1 2JA, UK.

The following cancellation and refund policy applies in all cases:

  • Cancellation within 14 days of online enrolment / payment of fees – full refund of all fees paid. 

  • Cancellations received up to and including 30 April 2024 – OUDCE will retain an administration fee of £100 per week booked; all other fees paid will be refunded.
  • Cancellations received between 1-31 May 2024 – OUDCE will retain 60% of the fees paid; the remaining 40% of fees paid will be refunded.
  • Cancellations received on and after 1 June 2024 - no refunds will be made under any circumstances.

Where course fees have been paid in currencies other than pounds sterling, refunds will be subject to the exchange rate on the day they are processed.

2. Cancellation by us

Where there is good reason, OUDCE reserves the right to cancel a course by giving you notice in writing at any time before the course is due to start. In these cases, we will endeavour to offer a transfer to another available course if practical and acceptable to you, subject to payment or refund of any difference in course fees. Alternatively, we will refund the course fees that you have already paid. If we cancel a course, our liability is limited to the fees that we have received from you; this means that we will not compensate you for any pre-booked travel costs or any other expenses incurred. The status of this course will be reviewed on 1 May 2024. If it is likely that the course may be cancelled, anyone affected will be notified by email within 7 days; if you have not heard from OUDCE by 8 May 2024, you should assume that your course will be running. You may wish to delay finalising your travel arrangements until after this date.

OUDCE reserves the right to cancel a course at short notice in exceptional circumstances that would prevent the course from being delivered e.g. tutor illness. In these rare instances, and if we are unable to find a replacement tutor, we will notify you as soon as possible and arrange a transfer to another available Inspiring Oxford course. If we cancel a course, our liability is limited to the fees that we have received from you; this means that we will not compensate you for any pre-booked travel costs or any other expenses incurred.

Where course fees have been paid in currencies other than pounds sterling, refunds will be subject to the exchange rate on the day they are processed.

3. Travel insurance

All participants must purchase travel insurance to cover the programme fee, travel costs, and any other expenses incurred. OUDCE cannot be held responsible for any costs you may incur in relation to travel or accommodation bookings as a result of a course cancellation, or if you are unable to attend the course for any other reason. 


Dr Pete Turner


Peter Turner is a senior lecturer at Oxford Brookes University where he teaches on the Film, Digital Media Production, and Media, Communications and Culture courses. He is the author of Found Footage Horror Films: A Cognitive Approach and a monograph on The Blair Witch Project as part of Auteur’s Devil’s Advocates series.

Teaching methods

Participants will be taught in seminar groups of up to 16 people, teaching methods used during this course may include:

  • Short lectures/Presentations
  • Physical handouts
  • Seminars/group discussions
  • Video recordings
  • Other: In-class debates 

Assessment methods

There are no assessments for this course.


Registration closes on 22 May 2024. Courses can fill up fast so early registration is recommended.

Single accommodation may be booked online by clicking on the “Book now” button in the “Course details” box at the top right-hand side of the course page. 

If you would like a twin en suite room, please send us a completed enrolment form that names the other course participant you will be sharing with. Please note these rooms have limited availability.

If you experience any difficulties enrolling online please contact the Programme Administrator at

Level and demands

Inspiring Oxford is aimed at non-specialists: no prior knowledge is required, and classes are pitched at an introductory level. The courses are designed for an international audience aged 18 and over.


During your course you will stay in typical Oxford student accommodation at Brasenose College, in the heart of the city in buildings overlooked by the iconic Radcliffe Camera. Please note that bedrooms are modestly-furnished and do not have air-conditioning. 

You can find out more about Brasenose by visiting their website.

The following types of accommodation are available:

  • Single en suite
  • Twin en suite: shared between participants that apply to the programme together
  • Standard single: bathrooms are shared between, on average, four participants
  • a non-residential basis whereby participants can take classes and have lunch and dinner at Brasenose, having arranged their own accommodation elsewhere.

    Non-residential participants are encouraged to attend all aspects of the academic and social programme, and they have equal access to Brasenose as residential participants.

En suite rooms include private bathroom facilities (shower, washbasin and toilet).