English with Film & Visual Culture at Aberdeen gives you all the advantages of the UK’s second most highly-rated research hub for literature, language and creative writing, combined with rigorous training in the history and theory of the moving image in the 21st century. Aberdeen is the perfect university to kick start your career in the arts and creative industries with sought-after transferable skills being your passport to many other options.
This programme is studied on campus.
Aberdeen is a leading centre for the study of literature, language and creative writing, rated second in the UK for its research output. You will study poetry and prose through the dynamic relationship between author, reader and literary text, covering every period from Chaucer to contemporary English, Scottish, Irish, European and American writing. You will learn about the cultural and critical impact of powerful and controversial modern works. You will be inspired by enthusiastic teachers and researchers, themselves acclaimed authors and poets and be encouraged to develop your own creative writing skills.
Our unique Film & Visual Culture programme complements this perfectly, exploring the history and theory of the moving image within the shifting terrain of 21st century visual culture, with close analysis of visual objects and artefacts – analogue and digital, moving and still, underground and mainstream – with theories of visual representation, production and circulation. You will gain specialist knowledge and skills in the academic study of cinema and the opportunity to develop skills in digital video production and web design.
You will be perfectly prepared for a career in the film industry, broadcasting, publishing, new media, journalism, teaching and other related fields, core writing, research, and communication skills vital to many other careers.
Key Programme Information
At a Glance
- Learning Mode
- On Campus Learning
- Degree Qualification
- 48 months
- Study Mode
- Full Time
- Start Month
- UCAS Code
What You'll Study
- Year 1
- Academic Writing for Language & Literature (AW1008)
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.
- 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
- Acts of Reading (EL1009) - 15 Credit Points
This course introduces students to the study of English by exploring the dynamic relationship between author, reader and text in a series of classic works of fiction and poetry. It covers a broad historical range (from Folk Tales and ballads to 21st century postmodernity) and offers a basic grounding in key elements of literary theory, literary history and the varieties of literary form.
- 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.
- Controversial Classics (EL1513) - 15 Credit Points
Literature can provoke, offend and disturb as well as entertain. This course considers some of the most powerful and controversial works of modern literature. It examines the circumstances of publication, the nature of the controversy, and the cultural and critical impact of each work. The course shows how poems, plays and novels can raise searching questions about national, racial and personal identity, and looks at the methods used by writers to challenge their readers, as well the responses of readers to such challenges.
- 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 FS1006 student will be able to recognize and communicate the ways in which meaning is made in cinema.
Select a further 60 credit points from courses of choice
- Year 2
- Encounters with Shakespeare (EL2011) - 30 Credit Points
So you think you know Shakespeare? This course invites you to think again. Studying a range of plays we get behind the mythology of Shakespeare, and rediscover the dynamic inventiveness of the Elizabethan theatre. Shakespeare and his contemporaries were the principal players in a period of literary experimentation that reinvented the possibilities of literature. Encounters with Shakespeare is your chance to find out more.
- 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.
- The Tragedy of Knowledge (EL2512) - 30 Credit Points
This course traces the use of key Western myths from antiquity to the present to examine the way knowledge is often presented as both dangerous and compelling. As well as introducing students to a range of historical, social, and formal variations on the theme of knowledge, the course also highlights the role of storytelling and adaptation in the formation of knowledge and understanding.
- 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.
- Year 3
Select a total of two courses from the following groups, each from a different group:
Group 1: Medieval/ Renaissance Literature courses:
EL3008 Writing Revolt: Literature and Politics in the 17th Century
EL30CP Page and Stage: Renaissance Writings 1500-1600
EL35DQ Knights, Virgins and Viragos: Chaucer and Medieval Writing
Group 2: Romantic/Victorian Literature courses:
EL3009 American Innovation
EL30GK Mind and Monstrosity: Realism and Gothic in the Long 19th Century
EL30HK American Insurrections: Writing, Self and Nation1776-1865
EL30QA Sympathy for the Devil: Scottish Short Stories
EL35GK Mind and Monstrosity: Realism and Gothic in the Long 19th Century
Group 3: Contemporary/Modern Literature courses:
EL30FF Modernism: Make it New
EL35KM Perversion of the Interior: Women’s Fiction 1925-1975
EL35KN Haunted Texts
EL35UT Art and Atrocity: Representations of Violence and Trauma
Group 4: One course from the following:
EL30JS Anglo-American Children’s Literature
EL35EH Classical Epic
EL35YB Creative Writing: Creativity and Craft
Plus 60 credits from the following Film and Visual Culture courses
- Page and Stage: Renaissance Writings 1500 - 1640 (EL30CP) - 30 Credit Points
This course explores the poetry, drama and prose of a period often referred to as the golden age of English literature. A period which saw Shakespeare and his contemporaries produce innovative new literary works in which the language of desire took centre stage.
- Knights, Virgins and Viragos: Chaucer and Medieval Writing (EL35DQ) - 30 Credit Points
An introduction to late medieval-literature, challenging modern assumptions about the medieval and exploring the diverse range of medieval literary culture, from Chaucer's Canterbury Tales to the autobiographical narrative of Margery Kempe and surprising profanity of medieval lyric.
- Classical Epic (EL35EH) - 30 Credit Points
This course is your opportunity to study four of the most influential and gripping texts of world literature. We begin in the oral culture of ancient Greece, with the Iliad's stark meditation on war and death, and the Odyssey's consolatory reflections on divine justice, poetry and love. In imperial Rome, we see the genre transformed into a monument to political power in Virgil's Aeneid, then thrown into disarray by Ovid's irreverent anti-epic, the Metamorphoses. We end by considering some of the ways these texts have been exploited and adapted across the intervening centuries, in poetry and prose, art and film.
- American Insurrections: Writing, Self and Nation, 1776 - 1865 (EL30HK) - 30 Credit Points
This course follows the development of American literature in English from the printing of the Declaration of Independence, the defining document of the American Revolution, in 1776, to the end of the Civil War, in 1865. It focusing on the idea of America, both as the subject of American writing, and as the context in which that writing was produced. Among the authors studied in the course are: Benjamin Franklin, Charles Brockden Brown, Washington Irving, James Fenimore Cooper, Edgar Allan Poe, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry Thoreau, Margaret Fuller, Frederick Douglass, Herman Melville, Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson.
- American Innovation (EL3009) - 30 Credit Points
This level-three course offers an introduction to American literature and culture between 1850 and 1950, a century in which the United States was transformed from a rural economy to an industrialised super-power. You will learn about the key writers of this period, the issues that sparked their imaginations, and the literary strategies which they adopted, or at times invented, to express their response to the changing world around them. This course is delivered through a combination of lectures and seminars.
- Mind and Monstrosity: Realism and the Gothic in the Long 19th Century (EL35GK) - 30 Credit Points
Exploring connections between Gothic monstrosity and psychological realism, this course investigates an exciting range of texts and contexts from the long nineteenth century. Focusing on novels from 1789-1914, with some attention to other genres and adaptations, we ask what it means to be human, and how cultural anxieties and scientific/technological developments have affected literature (and vice versa). From doubling to degeneration, madness to the metropolis, villain to vampire, empire to the threat of extinction, we examine the work of writers such as Mary Shelley, Dickens, Poe, Charlotte and Emily Brontë, Wilkie Collins, George Eliot, Bram Stoker and H.G. Wells.
- Union, Enlightenment and Modernity: Scottish Literature 1750 - 1850 (EL3507)
- Romanticism (EL35XR) - 30 Credit Points
The Romantic movement swept Europe in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries and produced some of the most innovative and exciting literature that has ever been seen. This rule breaking art helped shape the way that we consider art today and underpins many of our ideas about imagination, originality, creativity and self-expression. This course will explore the ways in which the Romantic movement manifested itself across Britain and Ireland and will consider writers such as Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Scott, Austen and Byron.
- States of Mind: Contemporary Irish and Scottish Writing (EL30IH) - 30 Credit Points
This course explores a range of contemporary Scottish and Irish texts and looks at the key developments in the literatures of the two nations; indeed, new modes of urban writing, working-class writing and women's writing have altered the landscapes of Scottish and Irish literature. The course looks at 'states of mind' in a dual sense: imaginative projections of the 'nation' and psychological explorations of the mind.
- Art and Atrocity: Representations of Violence and Trauma (EL30UT)
- Modernist Poetry (EL30FC)
- Creative Writing: Creativity and Craft (EL35YB) - 30 Credit Points
This course offers students the opportunity, through lectures and interractive workshops, to develop their understanding of, and practical skills in, the writing of prose fiction, poetry and creative non-fiction. Taught by widely published, award-winning writers, it provides a thorough, practice-based understanding of creative process and of the technical challenges involved in developing an original idea into a completed literary artefact, presented to a professional standard. It also contributes to students' future career potential, whether as ‘creative’ or other kinds of professional writers/communicators.
- Perversion of the Interior: Women's Fiction 1925 - 1975 (EL35KM) - 30 Credit Points
Gothic, Romance, Autobiography: these are the central topics of mid-twentieth-century fiction by and for women, and yet have often been critically neglected. Looking at a range of women's fiction in this period, including popular and middlebrow titles as well as literary classics, this course looks at what women wrote, what women read, and who deemed these works important. This course especially focuses on the relation between physical space (the home, the village) and psychological space (including representations of mental illness) in order to discuss the space of women's writing.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Year 4
- Dissertation in Film & Visual Culture (FS4506)
- Select a further 60 credit points from level 4 courses in English
- Select a further 30 credit points from level 4 Film courses in Film
- English Dissertation (EL4502)
- Select a further 30 credit points from level 4 courses in English
- Select a further 60 credit points from level 4 Film courses in Film
- English Dissertation (EL4502) - 30 Credit Points
Students will have the opportunity to write a dissertation on a topic of their choosing within English literature.
- Dissertation in Film & Visual Culture (FS4506) - 30 Credit Points
This course will provide students with guidance on writing a dissertation on a topic approved by the programme co-ordinator for the Head of School.
- 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.
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
- Individual Projects
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.
- 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.
Learning Methodscheduled: 28%
Learning Methodscheduled: 20%
Learning Methodscheduled: 17%
Learning Methodscheduled: 12%
Why Study English and Film & Visual Culture?
- Rated second in the UK for the quality of Aberdeen research in English language and literature in the 2014 REF national assessment of research quality at UK universities.
- Scotland's top centre for creative writing in the Complete University Guide rankings for 2017.
- An international profile through major literary projects such as the Cambridge Edition of the Works of Jane Austen and the Edinburgh Edition of the Waverley Novels of Sir Walter Scott.
- The WORD Centre for Creative Writing, promoting creative projects in fiction, non-fiction and collaborative mixed-media in all the languages of northeast Scotland (from Doric to Polish).
- The spectacular, award-winning Sir Duncan Rice Library, home to literary treasures collected over 500 years, charting the power of the written word from ancient papyri and medieval manuscripts to contemporary e-books and other media.
- Historic collections including rare printed books, the 12th century Aberdeen Bestiary, MacBean Stuart and Jacobite Collection, the novels of Sir Walter Scott, and an exceptional collection of Charles Dickens' first editions.
- A packed campus programme of student and public events, exhibitions, seminars, invited speakers and the annual May Festival which welcomes internationally acclaimed authors to campus every spring to discuss literature, including European writers.
- Research centres include the nationally recognised Centre for the Novel, the Centre for Modern Thought, and the Research Institute of Irish and Scottish Studies.
Why Film & Visual Culture
- A curriculum which perfectly balances creativity with broad study, theory and critical analysis as you learn to think within the movements of cinema, and pursue questions beyond the film frame.
- Director's Cut, the University’s popular events series which invites leading international film-makers onto campus for masterclasses with students, and packed public 'in conversation' events, filmed for the web and for teaching.
- Sir David Attenborough, Nicholas Roeg, John Akomfrah, Raul Ruiz, Kevin MacDonald, and film editor Peter Lambert (Love Actually to Twilight Saga) all among previous guests for Director's Cut.
- The George Washington Wilson Centre for Visual Culture, promoting interest and organising events in visual culture, including film, photography, art history, anthropology and museum studies.
- A programme which also looks at the practical elements of film and visual culture, including the production and circulation of film.
- A packed campus programme of student and public events, exhibitions, seminars, café discussions and film showings, including the annual May Festival which features Director’s Cut events as highlights of each spring's programme.
- Strong emphasis on applied learning as well as theory, so you develop a range of practical skills that will give you a good grounding in your future career.
- An exciting and flourishing cultural scene in north-east Scotland, including the independent Belmont Filmhouse which celebrates world cinema in all its brilliance and diversity, and frequently partners with this academic programme.
- The spectacular, award-winning Sir Duncan Rice Library providing a stunning, iconic and inspiring study environment with state-of-the-art learning technology and reference works on film and visual culture.
You will find all the information you require about entry requirements on our dedicated 'Entry Requirements' page. You can also find out about the different types of degrees, changing your subject, offers and advanced entry.
The information below is provided as a guide only and does not guarantee entry to the University of Aberdeen.
Please note: entry requirements may differ for 2018 and 2019 entry.
Entry Requirements (2018):
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)
Entry Requirements (2019):
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.
Standard offer: BBB
Adjusted / Access Threshold: BB (or below)
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:
OVERALL - 6.0 with: Listening - 5.5; Reading - 5.5; Speaking - 5.5; Writing - 6.0
OVERALL - 78 with: Listening - 17; Reading - 18; Speaking - 20; Writing - 21
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
Fees and Funding
You will be classified as one of the fee categories below.
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.
|Home / EU||£1,820|
|Students Admitted in 2018/19 Academic Year|
|Students Admitted in 2018/19 Academic Year|
International non-EU Applicants
- 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.
There are many opportunities at the University of Aberdeen to develop your knowledge, gain experience and build a competitive set of skills to enhance your employability. This is essential for your future career success. The Careers Service can help you to plan your career and support your choices throughout your time with us, from first to final year – and beyond.
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 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
Student Recruitment & Admissions Service
University of Aberdeen