Introduction

Film & Visual Culture and History of Art at Aberdeen adds to your rigorous training in the history and theory of the moving image in the 21st century with a fascinating exploration of how we as humans approach the ‘big questions’ of fundamental importance to us throughout the ages to the present day. Combined with your specialist studies, the intellectual skills you will develop will make you a very attractive graduate with wide career options, including business.

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.

Philosophers attempt to answer questions such as: What is knowledge? What is the nature of truth? Why should we act morally? Philosophy is just as much the study of reasoning and argument as it is the application of thought to specific problems. What makes Philosophy at Aberdeen especially attractive is the breadth of courses, the user-friendly materials you will use, and the experts who will teach you. In your first year alone, you will study topics such as How Should One Live? Controversial Questions, and Experience, Knowledge and Reality.

Your specialist film studies will prepare you for a career in film, new media or creative arts and the intellectual skills you will develop through studying philosophy will make you a very attractive graduate for a range of career options, including 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
WV65

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.

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 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 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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Experience, Knowledge and Reality (PH1023) - 15 Credit Points

How “real” is reality? How does the mind relate to the world? This course introduces two approaches to answering these questions: rationalism and empiricism. By Rene Descartes’ Meditations on First Philosophy, we learn about Descartes’ rationalist approach to knowledge, reality, mind-body dualism, and God’s necessary existence. Through David Hume’s Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding see how Hume grounds knowledge in experience. We read Hume on impressions and ideas, induction, causality, miracles and critically compare and examine Descartes’ and Hume’s arguments by drawing on readers and critics. Download course guide

View detailed information about this course

Optional Courses

Select at least one of the following:

  • Controversial Questions (PH1027)
  • How Should One Live? (PH1522)

Select further credit points from courses of choice to reach 120 credit points

Controversial Questions (PH1027) - 15 Credit Points

Watch this course video! We examine questions such as: Is eating animals immoral? Is being a good or bad person a matter of luck? If so, are we justified in punishing bad people? Should anyone be able to set limits on what you can do with your own body, even if it's ‘for your own good’? Should everyone be allowed to state their mind, even if their views are harmful or offensive? Is censorship ever justifiable? Do you have a moral obligation to help those worse-off? Are you unknowingly biased against underprivileged groups? Download course guide

View detailed information about this course

How Should One Live? (PH1522) - 15 Credit Points

Why do the morally right thing when you have much more to gain by doing evil and know you could get away with it? Should you save five lives even if this requires you to kill someone in exchange for them? Would you lie on the witness stand to protect your guilty mother from life in prison? We will read and discuss responses to these questions that have been presented in both historical and contemporary texts, including those by Plato, Aristotle, Epicurus, Kant, John Stuart Mill, Bernard Williams, Judith Thomson, Shelly Kagan, and T.M. Scanlon.

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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.

View detailed information about this course

Gender Equality (PH2535) - 15 Credit Points

For a course description, watch this brief video!

In recent times equality among genders has attracted increasing attention. This is no longer a matter of concern to a fringe movement, but a central issue to contemporary society. In this course we will examine some of the crucial issues in the debate and assess the merits of key arguments. The topics we’ll discuss include the gender pay gap, the underrepresentation of women in positions of power and popular culture, pornography, abortion, the objectification of women, gender equality in sports, and epistemic injustice.

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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.

View detailed information about this course

What We are: Mind in A Physical World (PH201B) - 15 Credit Points

Watch the course video! In this course we explore a series of arguments which suggest that it is hard to fit the mind into the physical world. In particular, we focus on three topics: the Mind/Body Problem, Free Will and Determinism, and Personal Identity. Each topic starts with an argument which suggests that we are not merely physical entities like brains, the central nervous system or other biological entities. Taken together, these arguments offer a serious challenge to the view that we can explain human cognition in terms of the physical characteristics of human brains and bodies. Download course guide

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Metaphysics, Epistemology and Language (PH2538) - 15 Credit Points

This course provides students with an introduction to central issues in metaphysics, epistemology, logic and philosophy of language. The emphasis is on introducing some of the central issues in these areas; issues that have shaped the contemporary debate. In addition to introducing a number of central issues in metaphysics, epistemology, logic, and philosophy of language, this course also teaches and further develops a number of essential skills including extracting and evaluating philosophical arguments, critical writing, and the application of logical concepts to philosophical problems.

View detailed information about this course

Optional Courses

  • Select further credit points from courses of choice to reach 120 credit points
Year 3

Year 3

Optional Courses

  • Select a further 60 credit points from level 3 Film courses (listed below)
  • Select a further 60 credit points from level 3 Philosophy courses
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.

View detailed information about this course

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

Optional Courses

Option 1

  • Dissertation in Film & Visual Culture (FS4506)
  • Select a further 30 credit points from level 4 Film courses (listed below)
  • Select a further 60 credit points from level 3 or 4 courses in Philosophy

Option 2

  • Philosophy Dissertation (PH402D)
  • Select a further 60 credit points from level 4 Film courses (listed below)
  • Select a further 30 credit points from level 3 and 4 courses in Philosophy

Note that a minimum of 90 credit points should be from level 4 courses

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

Philosophy Dissertation (PH402D) - 30 Credit Points

The dissertation is on a topic in philosophy. The specific topic will be chosen by the student with the approval of the supervisor. The choice of topics is restricted insofar as it must fall within the teaching competence of the supervisor. 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.
  • 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: 32%
independent: 68%
placement: 0%
Assessment
written: 48%
coursework: 49%
practical: 3%

Year 2

Learning Method
scheduled: 14%
independent: 86%
placement: 0%
Assessment
written: 43%
coursework: 57%
practical: 0%

Year 3

Learning Method
scheduled: 13%
independent: 87%
placement: 0%
Assessment
written: 0%
coursework: 99%
practical: 1%

Year 4

Learning Method
scheduled: 6%
independent: 94%
placement: 0%
Assessment
written: 22%
coursework: 74%
practical: 4%

Why Study Film & Visual Culture and Philosophy?

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 Philosophy

  • Ranked top in Scotland for teaching and course content in the last National Student Survey.
  • Famous philosophers who worked at the University include Thomas Reid, founder of the 18th century Scottish School of Common Sense Philosophy, and Alexander Bain, who helped lay the foundations for modern scientific psychology.
  • The Aberdeen Philosophy in Education Group (APEG), which is unique in Scotland, trains students to discuss philosophical questions with local primary and secondary school pupils.
  • Café Philosophique brings philosophers and the local community together, using popular films and novels to explore philosophical puzzles in an informal atmosphere.
  • The Centre for the History and Philosophy of Science, Technology and Medicine acts as the focus for research, teaching and engagement in the history, philosophy, ethics, literature and museology of science, technology and medicine.
  • The spectacular, award-winning Sir Duncan Rice Library offers superb collections, including early printed works of natural philosophy and medicine, the archives of Thomas Reid, and records of the Aberdeen Philosophical Society.
  • We offer a packed programme of public events, lectures and debates, including the annual May Festival, which attracts high profile scientists, scholars, authors, actors and broadcasters discussing and debating the big issues of today.
  • The skills you learn in Philosophy—for example, to think and write clearly, to explain complex ideas, to challenge orthodoxy—lend themselves to many careers.
  • Studying Philosophy will change how you think about things and how you approach life’s challenges.
  • Philosophy is interesting! Students from all disciplines often report that studying Philosophy was the most rewarding experience of their studies.

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

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

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.

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