Introduction

Anthropology and Film & Visual Culture at Aberdeen is a great study combination and will enhance your grounding in what it means to ‘be human’ with an in-depth study of how we communicate thoughts and ideas visually – a key attribute for humans. Your skills in critical thinking, communication and analysis, in addition to your subject knowledge will appeal strongly to employers in film, business and many other fields.

This programme is studied on campus.

Anthropology, with 100% student satisfaction, will give you a thorough foundation in humanity, how human cultures and communities differ and how they have developed. You will gain unique insights into behaviours, beliefs and attitudes all over the world and find connections between aspects of life such as family, economics, politics and religion.

Film and Visual Culture at Aberdeen gives a thorough exploration of one very human trait through rigorous training in the history and theory of the moving image within the shifting terrain of 21st century visual culture. You will gain specialist knowledge and skills in the academic study of cinema and develop skills in digital video production and web design.

You will thrive in the stunning, international environment of a leading teaching and research university, in a vibrant regional cultural scene, set amid an inspiring visual environment of mountain, forest, field and sea. Aberdeen is a city rich in tradition and heritage that also celebrates its modern, diverse cultures.

This subject combination is great preparation for a career in the film industry. You will gain the core writing, research, technical and presentation skills required to pursue a wide variety of careers as diverse as publishing, media, teaching, research, or any sector of business.

Degree marketing image

Key Programme Information

At a Glance

Learning Mode
On Campus Learning
Degree Qualification
MA
Duration
48 months
Study Mode
Full Time
Start Month
September
UCAS Code
LW66

What You'll Study

Year 1

Year 1

Compulsory Courses

Academic Writing for Social Sciences (AW1006)

This compulsory evaluation is designed to find out if your academic writing is of a sufficient standard to enable you to succeed at university and, if you need it, to provide support to improve. It is completed on-line via MyAberdeen with clear instructions to guide you through it. If you pass the evaluation at the first assessment it will not take much of your time. If you do not, you will be provided with resources to help you improve. This evaluation does not carry credits but if you do not complete it this will be recorded on your degree transcript.

View detailed information about this course

Professional Skills Part 1 (PD1001)

This course, which is prescribed for level 1 students and optional for level 2 students, is studied entirely online and covers topics relating to careers and employability, equality and diversity and health, safety and wellbeing. During the course you will learn about the Aberdeen Graduate Attributes, how they are relevant to you and the opportunities available to develop your skills and attributes alongside your University studies. You will also gain an understanding of equality and diversity and health, safety and wellbeing issues. Successful completion of this course will be recorded on your Enhanced Transcript as ‘Achieved’ (non-completion will be recorded as ‘Not Achieved’). The course takes approximately 3 hours to complete and can be taken in one sitting, or spread across a number of weeks and it will be available to you throughout the academic year.

This course, which is prescribed for level 1 students and optional for level 2 students and above, is studied entirely online and covers topics relating to careers and employability, equality and diversity and health, safety and wellbeing. During the course you will learn about the Aberdeen Graduate Attributes, how they are relevant to you and the opportunities available to develop your skills and attributes alongside your University studies. You will also gain an understanding of equality and diversity and health, safety and wellbeing issues. Successful completion of this course will be recorded on your Enhanced Transcript as ‘Achieved’ (non-completion will be recorded as ‘Not Achieved’). The course takes approximately 3 hours to complete and can be taken in one sitting, or spread across a number of weeks and it will be available to you throughout the academic year

View detailed information about this course

Introduction to Anthropology: Peoples of the World (AT1003) - 15 Credit Points

Anthropology is the comparative study of human ways of life through the study of societies and cultures around the world. In this course we introduce some of the key topics of contemporary anthropological inquiry: What is Anthropology? What do anthropologists do? What is ethnography? How can we see the diverse world of societies and cultures around us, not by looking from the outside, but by looking at how people themselves make their own lives and meanings?

View detailed information about this course

Introduction to Visual Culture (FS1008) - 15 Credit Points

What is Visual Culture? Over the last twenty years, the visual landscape has become digital, virtual, viral, and global. A vibrant cross-section of scholars and practitioners from Art History, Critical Theory, Cultural Studies, Anthropology, and Film Studies have responded, not only engaging contemporary image production and consumption, but also the foundations of visual knowledge: What is an image? What is vision? How and why do we look, gaze, and spectate? From the nomadic pathways of the digital archive to the embodied look that looks back, this course will introduce students to the key concepts that shape this fluid field.

View detailed information about this course

Introduction to Anthropology: Questions of Diversity (AT1502) - 15 Credit Points

In this course students will be offered an extended introduction to social anthropology and will focus on topics: language and culture, belief and religion, gender and sex, kinship, and race. Students will develop and refine their understanding of major issues in the discipline of social anthropology through staff lectures, tutorials, and ethnographic films.

View detailed information about this course

Introduction to Film and the Cinematic Experience (FS1508) - 15 Credit Points

This course offers an introduction to the language and practice of formal film analysis. Each week we will explore a different element of film form and analyze the ways in which it shapes the moving image. This course invites students to think about formal elements within and across a wide range of genres, styles, historical moments, and national contexts. By the end of this course, the successful FS1508 student will be able to recognize and communicate the ways in which meaning is made in cinema.

View detailed information about this course

Optional Courses

  • Select a further 60 credit points from courses of choice.

Year 2

Year 2

Compulsory Courses

Key Debates in Anthropology (AT2010) - 30 Credit Points

This course explores some of the key questions that anthropologists have debated: what it is to be human, the nature of human interaction with other humans, with non-humans, and with the environment, and the different ways that people perceive the world and act within it. Themes that will be discussed in this course include the category of the person, morality and ethics, art and aesthetics, what is power, how to engage with Otherness, and how anthropologists engage actively, outside academia, in development, health, or business.

View detailed information about this course

Visualising Modernity (FS2007) - 30 Credit Points

The first half of a film history sequence at the second year level, Visualising Modernity focuses on crucial moments, concepts and cinematic works from the period 1895 to 1945. Students will be marked according to a mid-term essay, a final exam, short assignments on Blackboard, and attendance in lectures and tutorials.

View detailed information about this course

Reimagining Colonialism (AT2515) - 30 Credit Points

This course will explore contemporary colonial expressions from an anthropological perspective. It will be split into two main themes: Material Histories; and Mediated Histories. Within these themes it will address topics such as the "capturing" of cultures in museums, kinship and politics, gendered colonialism, economic development, media, aboriginal rights and contemporary resistance movements.

View detailed information about this course

Visualising Revolution (FS2507) - 30 Credit Points

The second half of a film history sequence at the second year level, Cinema & Revolution focuses on crucial moments, concepts and cinematic works from the period between 1945 and the present. Students will be marked according to a mid-term essay, a final exam, short assignments on Blackboard, and participation and attendance in lectures and tutorials.

View detailed information about this course

Year 3

Year 3

Compulsory Courses

Anthropological Theory (AT3027) - 30 Credit Points

This course explores theoretical issues and key debates in contemporary anthropology. We begin with the questioning of the central concepts of culture and society in anthropology during the 1980s. Following this, we ask: how can anthropology proceed if the targets of its investigation can no longer be understood as objective entities? How can anthropology proceed if the anthropologist themselves is inevitably implicated in and part of those very targets? To look for possible answers, the course examines current anthropological interest in power and history, political economy and phenomenology, experience, embodiment and practice, ontology and things that speak.

View detailed information about this course

Optional Courses

  • Select a further 30 credit points from Anthropology Level 3 Courses.
  • Select a further 60 credit points from the following Film & Visual Culture courses:
Art and Science A (FS3022) - 30 Credit Points

This course offers as an introduction to what is known as visual culture of science and its relationship with the body in the Western world. It provides students with a critical understanding of issues related to the human body and its status in modern and contemporary society, with particular regard to the representation, production and display of still and moving images/visualizations of the body in between art and medicine.

View detailed information about this course

Confronting the Nazi Past in German and Austrian Film A (FS30EA) - 30 Credit Points

The process of confronting the crimes and legacy of the Third Reich in Germany and Austria has been a long and difficult one. This course will look at a number of key films and directors from the past seven decades to examine the changing discourse and shifts in representation of the Nazi legacy in Germany and Austria. The course will proceed chronologically, encompassing both fiction and documentary film, offering the opportunity to compare and draw connections between films from different periods and of diverse genres.

View detailed information about this course

Trapped on Film: the Hero and the Captivity Narrative A (FS30GG) - 30 Credit Points

The course will invite comparisons between key critical texts and themes that focus on variants of entrapment as presented in a range of feature films. Film adaptation, analysing narrative form and constructions of place and the production of space will inform our investigations, in addition to considering the linkage between films and their social and historical contexts within popular culture.

View detailed information about this course

Postmodern Art (FS30PB) - 30 Credit Points

This course will explore a range of approaches to visual culture by artists in the postmodern era, from the explosion of conceptual art and the use of alternative media in the 1970s, to graffiti in the 1980s and the eclecticism of the 1990s and beyond. This course will examine the vast array of artistic expression that developed in the latter half of the twentieth century.

View detailed information about this course

French Cinema A (FS3523) - 15 Credit Points

An introductory overview of the history of the French cinema will be followed by detailed study of a number of films. The introduction will look at the status of film in France and the position of the French cinema in relation to that of the rest of Europe and Hollywood. It will study the cinema's response to and reflection of the major historical events of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. The detailed study will be organised chronologically, from the 1930s up to the 2000s, but will concentrate on the aesthetic and formal aspects of the films to be studied. These will change from year to year, but might include films by, for example, Carné, Renoir, Truffaut, Resnais, Malle and Buñuel.

View detailed information about this course

Cinematic Cities A (FS35FD) - 30 Credit Points

The course will focus on the relationship between the cinema and the urban environment, focusing on specific thematic issues. These include: the city and cinematic visions of utopia/dystopia; the city and the figure of the detective/flaneur/flaneuse; the city as site of cultural encounter and social conflict; the city as a site of globalisation; the city and production and consumption; the city and the development/reworking of cinematic tradition. The course will also explore the relationship between the experience of cinematic space and urban space, and how they have been interconnected throughout the history of cinema.

View detailed information about this course

On Documentary: History, Theory and Practice (FS35IB) - 30 Credit Points

This course will allow students to engage in documentary production by putting into practice methodologies they have studied through a series of seminar discussions, workshops and screenings. Students will research two topics (one assessed and one non-assessed) and work in teams to film them and utilize the Media Lab's facilities to complete the projects through post-production.

View detailed information about this course

Landscapes of Film A (FS35ZA) - 30 Credit Points

This course will invite students to explore the ways films engage with and represent a variety of landscapes, and how, in turn, landscape can influence both the production and the creation of meaning in mainstream, underground and art films of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Students will study films from around the world alongside theoretical and critical writing on film, landscape, space and place.

Filmmakers to be studied may include, among others: Andrea Arnold, Jane Campion, Joel and Ethan Coen, John Curran, Tacita Dean, Werner Herzog, Im Kwon-taek, Abbas Kiarostami, Ang Lee, Terrence Malick, Philip Noyce, Lynne Ramsay, Andrei Tarkovsky, Agnes Varda and Andrey Zvyagintsev.

View detailed information about this course

Year 4

Year 4

Compulsory Courses

  • EITHER Independent Study in Anthropology (AT4036) OR Dissertation in Film and Visual Culture.
Independent Study In Anthropology (AT4036) - 30 Credit Points

This course is open to joint honours students in anthropology. Having chosen a topic for their study, students will be allocated a supervisor and carry out readings, research and writing under the guidance of their supervisor. Students will write a 10,000-word dissertation based on library research.

View detailed information about this course

Dissertation in Film & Visual Culture (FS4506) - 30 Credit Points

Students will have the opportunity to write a dissertation on a topic of their choosing within Film and Visual Culture.

View detailed information about this course

Dissertation in Film and Visual Culture (FS4002) - 30 Credit Points

Students will have the opportunity to write a dissertation on a topic of their choosing within Film and Visual Culture.

View detailed information about this course

Optional Courses

  • Select further credit points from Anthropology Level 4 courses to gain a total of 60 credits in the discipline
  • Select further credit points from the following Film & Visual Culture courses to gain a total of 60 credits in the discipline:
Art and Science B (FS4022) - 30 Credit Points

This course offers as an introduction to what is known as visual culture of science and its relationship with the body in the Western world. It provides students with a critical understanding of issues related to the human body and its status in modern and contemporary society, with particular regard to the representation, production and display of still and moving images/visualizations of the body in between art and medicine.

View detailed information about this course

Confronting the Nazi Past in German and Austrian Film B (FS40ED) - 30 Credit Points

The process of confronting the crimes and legacy of the Third Reich in Germany and Austria has been a long and difficult one. This course will look at a number of key films and directors from the past seven decades to examine the changing discourse and shifts in representation of the Nazi legacy in Germany and Austria. The course will proceed chronologically, encompassing both fiction and documentary film, offering the opportunity to compare and draw connections between films from different periods and of diverse genres.

View detailed information about this course

Trapped on Film: the Hero and the Captivity Narrative B (FS40GG) - 30 Credit Points

The course will invite comparisons between key critical texts and themes that focus on variants of entrapment as presented in a range of feature films. Film adaptation, analysing narrative form and constructions of place and the production of space will inform our investigations, in addition to considering the linkage between films and their social and historical contexts within popular culture.

View detailed information about this course

Postmodern Art (FS40PB) - 30 Credit Points

This course will explore a range of approaches to visual culture by artists in the postmodern era, from the explosion of conceptual art and the use of alternative media in the 1970s, to graffiti in the 1980s and the eclecticism of the 1990s and beyond. This course will examine the vast array of artistic expression that developed in the latter half of the twentieth century.

View detailed information about this course

French Cinema B (FS4523) - 15 Credit Points

An introductory overview of the history of the French cinema will be followed by detailed study of a number of films. The introduction will look at the status of film in France and the position of the French cinema in relation to that of the rest of Europe and Hollywood. It will study the cinema's response to and reflection of the major historical events of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. The detailed study will be organised chronologically, from the 1930s up to the 2000s, but will concentrate on the aesthetic and formal aspects of the films to be studied. These will change from year to year, but might include films by, for example, Carné, Renoir, Truffaut, Resnais, Malle and Buñuel.

View detailed information about this course

Cinematic Cities B (FS45FD) - 30 Credit Points

The course will focus on the relationship between the cinema and the urban environment, focusing on specific thematic issues. These include: the city and cinematic visions of utopia/dystopia; the city and the figure of the detective/fl-neur/fl-neuse; the city as site of cultural encounter and social conflict; the city as a site of globalisation; the city and production and consumption; the city and the development/reworking of cinematic tradition. The course will also explore the relationship between the experience of cinematic space and urban space, and how they have been interconnected throughout the history of cinema.

View detailed information about this course

Landscapes of Film A (FS45ZA) - 30 Credit Points

This course will invite students to explore the ways films engage with and represent a variety of landscapes, and how, in turn, landscape can influence both the production and the creation of meaning in mainstream, underground and art films of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Students will study films from around the world alongside theoretical and critical writing on film, landscape, space and place.

Filmmakers to be studied may include, among others: Andrea Arnold, Jane Campion, Joel and Ethan Coen, John Curran, Tacita Dean, Werner Herzog, Im Kwon-taek, Abbas Kiarostami, Ang Lee, Terrence Malick, Philip Noyce, Lynne Ramsay, Andrei Tarkovsky, Agnes Varda and Andrey Zvyagintsev.

View detailed information about this course

Course Availability

We will endeavour to make all course options available; however, these may be subject to timetabling and other constraints. Please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

How You'll Study

Learning Methods

  • Individual Projects
  • Lectures
  • Research
  • Tutorials

Assessment Methods

Students are assessed by any combination of three assessment methods:

  • Coursework such as essays and reports completed throughout the course.
  • Practical assessments of the skills and competencies they learn on the course.
  • Written examinations at the end of each course.

The exact mix of these methods differs between subject areas, years of study and individual courses.

Honours projects are typically assessed on the basis of a written dissertation.

Further Information

View detailed learning and assessment information for this programme

How the programme is taught

The typical time spent in scheduled learning activities (lectures, tutorials, seminars, practicals), independent self-study or placement is shown for each year of the programme based on the most popular course choices selected by students.

How the programme is assessed

The typical percentage of assessment methods broken down by written examination, coursework or practical exams is shown for each year of the programme based on the most popular course choices selected by students.

Year 1

Learning Method
scheduled: 29%
independent: 71%
placement: 0%
Assessment
written: 51%
coursework: 49%
practical: 0%

Year 2

Learning Method
scheduled: 12%
independent: 88%
placement: 0%
Assessment
written: 50%
coursework: 45%
practical: 5%

Year 3

Learning Method
scheduled: 12%
independent: 88%
placement: 0%
Assessment
written: 39%
coursework: 54%
practical: 7%

Year 4

Learning Method
scheduled: 10%
independent: 90%
placement: 0%
Assessment
written: 10%
coursework: 90%
practical: 0%

Why Study Anthropology and Film & Visual Culture?

  • Aberdeen is one of the fastest-growing Anthropology departments in the UK.
  • Our core staff specialise in regions as diverse as Canada, the Central Asian Republics, Iceland and Scandinavia, Siberia, Scotland and the UK, South America, Tibet and the Himalayas.
  • We offer innovative ideas and a fresh vision of the subject, with an emphasis throughout on work at the cutting-edge of the discipline and research.
  • A vibrant student anthropology society regularly organises academic and social events, bringing together undergraduate and postgraduate students with staff outside the classroom.
  • Film and Visual Culture at Aberdeen offers a unique programme that combines the close analysis of visual objects and artefacts - analogue and digital, moving and still, underground and mainstream - with theories of visual representation, production, and circulation.
  • Our curriculum emphasises comparative thinking and theoretical reflection, as well as an integrated approach to creative practice.
  • Our aim is to train students to become active participants in their own visual culture, as careful scholars and creative practitioners - Film and Visual Culture students learn to think within the movements of cinema and to pursue questions beyond the film frame.

Entry Requirements

Qualifications

The information below is provided as a guide only and does not guarantee entry to the University of Aberdeen.


General Entry Requirements

2018 Entry
2019 Entry

SQA Highers - AABB

A Levels - BBB

IB - 32 points, including 5, 5, 5 at HL

ILC - 5H with 3 at H2 AND 2 at H3 OR AAABB, obtained in a single sitting. (B must be at B2 or above)

SQA Highers

Standard Offer: AABB - BBB
Applicants who have achieved between AABB - BBB are encouraged to apply and will be considered. Good performance in additional Highers / Advanced Highers may be required in order to receive an offer of admission.

Adjusted / Access Threshold: BB (or below)
Applicants who have achieved BB, and who meet one or more Widening Participation criteria, are encouraged to apply and will be considered. Good performance in additional Highers / Advanced Highers will be required in order to receive an offer of admission.

More information on our definition of Standard, Adjusted and Access Threshold entry qualifications.

A LEVELS

Standard offer: BBB

Adjusted / Access Threshold: BB (or below)

More information on our definition of Standard, Adjusted and Access Threshold entry qualifications.

International Baccalaureate

32 points, including 5, 5, 5 at HL.

Irish Leaving Certificate

5H with 3 at H2 AND 2 at H3 OR AAABB, obtained in a single sitting. (B must be at B2 or above)


Further detailed entry requirements for Arts and Social Sciences degrees.

English Language Requirements

To study for an Undergraduate degree at the University of Aberdeen it is essential that you can speak, understand, read, and write English fluently. The minimum requirements for this degree are as follows:

IELTS Academic:

OVERALL - 6.0 with: Listening - 5.5; Reading - 5.5; Speaking - 5.5; Writing - 6.0

TOEFL iBT:

OVERALL - 78 with: Listening - 17; Reading - 18; Speaking - 20; Writing - 21

PTE Academic:

OVERALL - 54 with: Listening - 51; Reading - 51; Speaking - 51; Writing - 54

Cambridge English Advanced & Proficiency:

OVERALL - 169 with: Listening - 162; Reading - 162; Speaking - 162; Writing - 169

Read more about specific English Language requirements here.

Fees and Funding

You will be classified as one of the fee categories below.

Fee Waiver

For international students (all non-EU students) the tuition fee charged upon entry will apply to all years of study; however, most international students will be eligible for a fee waiver in their final year via the International Undergraduate Scholarship.

Most RUK students (England, Wales and Northern Ireland) on a four year honours degree will be eligible for a full-fees waiver in their final year. Scholarships and other sources of funding are also available.

Fee information
Fee category Cost
Home / EU £1,820
All Students
RUK £9,250
Students Admitted in 2019/20
International Students £15,300
Students Admitted in 2019/20

Additional Fees

  • In exceptional circumstances there may be additional fees associated with specialist courses, for example field trips. Any additional fees for a course can be found in our Catalogue of Courses.
  • For more information about tuition fees for this programme, including payment plans and our refund policy, please visit our InfoHub Tuition Fees page.

Our Funding Database

View all funding options in our Funding Database.

Careers

  • Visual Anthropology and Consultancy.
  • Academic Researcher.
  • Film Maker.
Image for useful fact about this Degree

Top in Scotland for Anthropology

Source: National Student Survey 2016

Find out more

Our Experts

Information About Staff Changes

You will be taught by a range of experts including professors, lecturers, teaching fellows and postgraduate tutors. Staff changes will occur from time to time; please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

Unistats

Unistats draws together comparable information in areas students have identified as important in making decisions about what and where to study. You can compare these and other data for different degree programmes in which you are interested.

Get in Touch

Contact Details

Address
Student Recruitment & Admissions Service
University of Aberdeen
University Office
Regent Walk
Aberdeen
AB24 3FX