Introduction

Film & Visual Culture and History at Aberdeen adds to your rigorous training in the history and theory of the moving image in the 21st century. You will study at Scotland’s top-rated university for the impact of its historical research and will gain the specialist and transferable skills to open up a wide spectrum of career opportunities.

This programme is studied on campus.

Our unique Film and Visual Culture programme combines 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, with an emphasis on building analytical skills in research and critical writing. You will also have the opportunity to develop skills in digital video production and web design.

History research at Aberdeen is rated top in Scotland for its impact and 2nd in the UK in the latest UK Research Excellence Framework, with teaching rated ‘Highly Satisfactory’ in the last national quality assessment, and student satisfaction of 95%. You will be surrounded by 500 years of national, international and local history, enthused and inspired by teachers who are leaders in their fields with expertise as diverse as medieval Scandinavia, early-modern Poland and modern East Asia and be enthralled by our wonderful collections of historic treasures.

You will graduate highly attractive to employers, with specialist and transferable skills opening career options in film, new media, arts and heritage, publishing, journalism, politics, education and many roles in 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
WV61

What You'll Study

Year 1

Year 1

Compulsory Courses

Academic Writing for Divinity, History & Philosophy (AW1007)

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.

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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

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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.

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Making History (HI1027) - 15 Credit Points

This course will introduce students to the subject of university level history. Team taught lectures will introduce students to approaches, sources, and the dilemmas facing academic historians. Download course guide.

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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.

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Optional Courses

  • Select a further 30 credit points from level 1 courses in History and/or History of Art
  • Select further credit points from courses of choice to reach 120 credit points
Year 2

Year 2

Compulsory Courses

Cinema and Modernity (FS2003) - 30 Credit Points

The first half of a film history sequence at the second year level, Cinema & 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.

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Cinema and Revolution (FS2506) - 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.

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Optional Courses

  • Select a further 60 credit points from level 2 courses in History

Year 3

Year 3

Compulsory Courses

Thinking History (HI356J) - 30 Credit Points

This course looks at how history is written. It considers the problems involved in studying and explaining the past, and the many dilemmas faced by historians in reconstructing it. By examining the ways in which history has been written from the Ancient Greeks to Postmodernism, it considers the limits of historical study, asks whether history can ever be a science, and reveals the assumptions behind the various approaches to history that inform its writing. It is designed to provide honours history students with an essential understanding of what they are doing when they study history.

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Optional Courses

  • Select a further 60 credit points from level 3 Film courses (listed below)
  • Select a further 30 credit points from level 3 courses in History
The Narrative Within The Frame (A) (FS30IG) - 30 Credit Points

This practice-based course will investigate different forms of narrative construction in paintings, photographs and films by different artists from a range of historical periods. Narrative form and content will be considered from aesthetic, historical and theoretical perspectives. Working in groups, students will explore approaches to still and moving image making that will culminate in creating a video installation project.

View detailed information about this course

Performance Art (FS30PC) - 30 Credit Points

This course will examine the phenomenon of performance art as it developed both in the capitalist West and the communist East. By considering the artistic production of Western artists in light of what their contemporaries were doing behind the Iron Curtain, we will arrive at a more nuanced understanding of performance art in general, and in the West. Furthermore, by examining these performances from the East in the context of theories expounded on the avant-garde, we will reconsider the idea of the end of the avant-garde and develop an expanded understanding of postmodern art practice.

View detailed information about this course

Cinema and Science: Beyond Science Fiction A (FS3010) - 30 Credit Points

The course will invite students to explore the relationship between cinema and science beyond the paradigm of science fiction cinema. Underground and mainstream fictional, documentary and educational moving image works will serve the discussion of both theoretical and practical questions at the crossroad of film theory, visual culture and science and technology studies (STS).

The course will engage students with a wide range of experimental, documentary, educational and narrative works such as, among others, films by Brackage, Painlevè, Wiseman, Guzmán, Herzog, Rotha, Malick.

View detailed information about this course

Psychoanalysis and Cinema A (FS3021)
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.

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Modern and Contemporary Russian Art (FS35PA) - 30 Credit Points

This course will introduce students to the major artists and artistic movements in Russia from the late 19th century until today. The main focus will be on the interrelation between art and politics in Russia during one of the most turbulent centuries in the country's history. From the social realism of the Wanderers to the propaganda art of Klucis and Rodchenko, through the Soviet years of repression and into the post-independent era, when artists continued to express their concerns about topical issues, art and politics in Russia have been virtually inextricable.

View detailed information about this course

The Animate A (FS3521)
Year 4

Year 4

Compulsory Courses

  • Select one Special Subject (HI40XX)
Special Subject: Irish Troubles (HI4001) - 30 Credit Points

This course examines the events known collectively as the “Irish Troubles”. That is, the origins, development and partial conclusion of non-violent and violent opposition to the continuation of Northern Ireland within the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the mid-1960s until the present day. Download course guide.

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Special Subject: Enlightenment Compared: Ireland, Scotland, Central Europe (HI4003) - 30 Credit Points

This course examines the emergence and the variations of Enlightenment thinking in Scotland and Central Europe (with particular emphasis on the German and East Central European Enlightenment, to which the Scottish Enlightenment had strong historical links). It emphasises the varieties of the European Enlightenment, against the traditional assumption that the Enlightenment was exclusively 'located' in France. Download course guide.

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Special Subject: French Revolution (HI4006)
Special Subject: Women and Men (HI4007) - 30 Credit Points

This course will address a number of themes, including modern studies of marriage; the western medieval church and marriage law, sexuality and gender in the middle ages; attitudes to love, marriage and the family; and sex roles and gender differences. We will examine the way in which gender and ideology influence the lives of both ordinary and not-so-ordinary people in the middle ages by examining a variety of primary and secondary sources. Download course guide.

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Special Subject: Hitler (HI4008) - 30 Credit Points

Hitler is omnipresent in modern life. He appears everywhere in the media and he is invoked all the time in public and private discourse. Yet Adolf Hitler remains an enigma. While he tends to be reduced to a one-dimensional cardboard cutout villain outside of academia, inside academia there has been a tendency in recent years to diminish Hitler’s importance and to push Hitler to the sidelines. Download course guide.

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Special Subject: the Scottish Wars of Independence, 1286 - 1328 (HI4009) - 30 Credit Points

In 1286 Alexander III of Scotland was found dead at the foot of a cliff and Scotland was engulfed in a period of political instability and eventually war that was to have a profound impact on the future development of the British Isles. The course considers key stages of the ‘wars of independence’ period in chronological sequence until the final triumph of Robert I in 1328. Due consideration will be given to international perspectives in trying to understand the Anglo-Scottish struggle, notably in relation to Ireland, France, Flanders and the Papacy. Download course guide.

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Special Subject: European Constitutional Monarchies in the Long 19th Century (HI4023) - 30 Credit Points

On the eve of the First World War Europe was a continent of monarchies. A long 19th century of revolutions, wars, growing literacy, an expanding public sphere, changes in social, economic, intellectual and technological life and imperial expansion lay behind them, but the continent’s monarchical systems had survived in surprisingly rude health. That monarchies had flourished throughout these profound transformations points to their suppleness and ingenuity. This course offers new perspectives on the political cultures of the states and societies of 19th-century Europe. Download Course Guide

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Optional Courses

Option 1

  • Dissertation in Film & Visual Culture (FS4506)
  • History in Practice II (HI4518)
  • Select a further 30 credit points from level 4 Film courses (listed below)

Option 2

  • Undergraduate Dissertation in History (HI4516)
  • Select a further 60 credit points from level 4 Film courses (listed below)
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.

View detailed information about this course

History in Practice II (HI4518) - 30 Credit Points

History is not simply a dry, academic study of the past; it shapes a host of contemporary political, economic and cultural attitudes and is a central underpinning to the tourist and heritage industries - now one of the largest sectors of employment among mature western economies. This course is designed to give a critical understanding of the theoretical and practical links (as well as clear distinctions) between the practice of 'academic' History and 'public' History. This is done by having students assess how heritage and tourist businesses project a particular version of the past.

View detailed information about this course

Undergraduate Dissertation in History (HI4516) - 30 Credit Points

The undergraduate dissertation is the final-year major research undertaking, based on primary and secondary material and providing a critical analysis of a specific subject chosen by the student. It is obligatory for Single Honours students, whereas Joint Honours students choose to write their dissertation in either of the two subjects. After initial sessions about the nature of the dissertation and research approaches, students develop a topic with the help of a member of staff, who will also supervise their project throughout. Download Course Guide

View detailed information about this course

The Narrative Within The Frame (FS40IG) - 30 Credit Points

This practice-based course will investigate different forms of narrative construction in paintings, photographs and films by different artists from a range of historical periods. Narrative form and content will be considered from aesthetic, historical and theoretical perspectives. Working in groups, students will explore approaches to still and moving image making that will culminate in creating a video installation project.

View detailed information about this course

Performance Art (FS40PC) - 30 Credit Points

This course will examine the phenomenon of performance art as it developed both in the capitalist West and the communist East. By considering the artistic production of Western artists in light of what their contemporaries were doing behind the Iron Curtain, we will arrive at a more nuanced understanding of performance art in general, and in the West. Furthermore, by examining these performances from the East in the context of theories expounded on the avant-garde, we will reconsider the idea of the end of the avant-garde and develop an expanded understanding of postmodern art practice.

View detailed information about this course

Cinema and Science: Beyond Science Fiction B (FS4010) - 30 Credit Points

This course shall invite students to explore the relationship between cinema and science beyond the paradigm of science fiction cinema. Underground and mainstream fictional, documentary and educational moving image works will serve the discussion of both theoretical and practical questions at the crossroad of film theory, visual culture and science and technology studies (STS).

The course will engage students with a wide range of experimental, documentary, educational and narrative works such as, among others, films by Brackage, Painlevè, Wiseman, Guzmán, Herzog, Rotha, Malick.

View detailed information about this course

Psychoanalysis and Cinema B (FS4021)
Modern and Contemporary Russian Art (FS45PA) - 30 Credit Points

This course will introduce students to the major artists and artistic movements in Russia from the late 19th century until today. The main focus will be on the interrelation between art and politics in Russia during one of the most turbulent centuries in the country's history. From the social realism of the Wanderers to the propaganda art of Klucis and Rodchenko, through the Soviet years of repression and into the post-independent era, when artists continued to express their concerns about topical issues, art and politics in Russia have been virtually inextricable.

View detailed information about this course

The Animate B (FS4521)

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; and
  • 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.

Why Study Film & Visual Culture and History?

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.

Why History

  • Ranked top University in Scotland for the impact of its History research, and second in the UK in the latest UK Research Excellence Framework.
  • Teaching rated ‘Highly Satisfactory’ in the last national Teaching Quality Assessment, and with student satisfaction of 95% – way above the national average of 86%.
  • Particular strengths in Irish and Scottish studies, Scandinavia, late medieval/early modern period, and research centres studying global empires, history and philosophy of science, technology and medicine, and Russian and Eastern European history.
  • The inspiration of our beautiful historic campus in Old Aberdeen, where King’s College Chapel, begun in 1495 by University founder Bishop Elphinstone, is a treasure-house of history and religious turbulence.
  • Major international treasures including 7,000 early printed books, the magnificent 12th century Aberdeen Bestiary, large Jacobite collection, works of the Scottish Enlightenment, and fascinating local records dating from the middle ages.
  • A packed campus programme of student and public events, exhibitions, seminars, invited speakers and the annual May Festival which welcomes world-famous authors, broadcasters and personalities including well-known historians to campus every spring.
  • Spectacular, award-winning Sir Duncan Rice Library, combining top-class study facilities with state-of-the-art technology, and an online catalogue giving you access to thousands of books and millions of journal articles on the web.

Entry Requirements

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.

Qualifications

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)

Further detailed entry requirements for Arts and Social Sciences degrees.

English Language Requirements

To study for a degree at the University of Aberdeen it is essential that you can speak, understand, read and write English fluently. 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) entering in 2017/18, the 2017/18 tuition fee rate 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 2018/19 Academic Year
International Students £14,600
Students Admitted in 2018/19 Academic Year

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

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.

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.

Key Information Set (KIS)

Unistats draws together comparable information in areas students have identified as important in making decisions about what and where to study. The core information it contains is called the Key Information Set.

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