Recent years have seen a number of changes and developments in Ireland’s third-level education sector. Increasing concerns about student literacy issues have been accompanied by an apparent institutional logic in which generic ‘one size fits all’ modules are privileged on the basis of their expediency in the context of an underfunded, neoliberal educational landscape. While these modules may offer efficiencies at an administrative, teaching and practical level, there is little research that investigates their impacts and effectiveness on students in terms of disciplinary identity and knowledge, grades or quality assurance. As a contribution towards this topic, this exploratory paper discusses data and experiences gathered during the implementation of a discipline-specific ‘Film and Media Literacy’ module, delivered to a first year cohort of Film and Broadcasting BA students in Dublin Institute of Technology. On the basis of the experiences described herein, the paper makes a case for a disciplinary, rather than generic, approach to the teaching of a ‘literacy’ module in the context of media studies. After one year, the module discussed in this paper was found to be a flexible and effective teaching and learning model, permitting also identification of and engagement with student barriers to learning at first year level. However, the paper also argues for a more expansive and considered understanding of ‘disciplinarity’ in this specific context in order to more coherently address the perceived disciplinary literacy issues which were the instigation for the module.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 License.