Hollywood degree course launched

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Watching the latest Hollywood blockbuster might seem like a fun night out but for students at the University of Nottingham, a trip to the cinema will soon be an essential part of their work towards a master's degree in "Hollywood studies".

The students will look at the influence of Hollywood movies in shaping public opinion as well as providing mass entertainment. They will also study Hollywood's industrial practices and the origins of some of the great studios.

Dr Paul Grainge, deputy director of the Institute of Film and Television Studies – which is based at the university's School of American and Canadian studies – said that entertainment in the US was big business. "The Star Wars franchise alone earned more than the GDP of most African states. Hollywood is, in this way, central to our cultural and economic life."

Modules include one on film and film-making, one on blockbusters and a third on Hollywood's influence in the US and abroad.

The MA can be taken full-time over one year from this October or part-time over two years.