Introduction

Film & Visual Culture at Aberdeen takes you on a fascinating and unique journey through the history and theory of the moving image over the last 100 years of cinema. You will study in the vibrant environment of a leading teaching and research university with a buzzing regional cultural scene, in a region of outstanding natural beauty and inspiration.

This programme is studied on campus.

Our unique Film & Visual Culture programme at Aberdeen offers a rigorous training in the history and theory of the moving image, as well as the shifting terrain of 21st century visual culture.

You will combine the analysis of visual objects and artefacts– analogue and digital, moving and still, underground and mainstream – with theory to explore a range of underground and mainstream cinematic movements. You will also look at the practical elements of film and visual culture, including the production and circulation of film.

This broad, rigorous and enquiring approach is a great preparation for further study or for a career in the film industry, broadcasting, new media, journalism, teaching and other related fields. New opportunities in Scottish broadcasting are available through our Joint degree in Film and Visual Culture and Gaelic Studies.

As you learn, you will be inspired by our friendly and vibrant international community, on a beautiful medieval campus with great facilities for learning, sports and leisure and will have many opportunities to develop the extra skills and interests that will boost your employability further and to broaden your horizons through study abroad.

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
W690

What You'll Study

Film & Visual Culture at Aberdeen explores the movements of film and cinema over the past 100 years. The range of courses on offer will enable you to develop your knowledge and understanding of themes that particularly interest you. You will develop advanced analytical and evaluation skills by studying topics such as mise-en-scène, narrative structure, cinematography, cinematic style and ideology, cinema and revolution, visual art and science; global silent cinema and new media.

Year 1

Year 1

Compulsory Courses

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.

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.

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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 90 credit points from courses of choice
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.

View detailed information about this course

Optional Courses

  • Select a further 60 credit points from courses of choice
Year 3

Year 3

Optional Courses

  • Select 90 credit points from Film Studies courses (listed below)
  • Select a further 30 credit points from courses of choice
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.

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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.

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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

Year 4

Year 4

Compulsory 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

Optional Courses

  • Select a further 90 credit points from the following:
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

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

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

Film is a popular subject and therefore first and second-year courses involve large lecture classes. Weekly tutorials, however, enable closer work with the tutor and with other students. Marks for the course are normally based in part on participation in these tutorials and involve research, essays, exams and My Aberdeen written submissions, depending on individual course requirements. Honours courses are based on seminars which encourage active participation.

Learning Methods

  • 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: 28%
independent: 72%
placement: 0%
Assessment
written: 44%
coursework: 55%
practical: 1%

Year 2

Learning Method
scheduled: 18%
independent: 82%
placement: 0%
Assessment
written: 38%
coursework: 59%
practical: 3%

Year 3

Learning Method
scheduled: 14%
independent: 86%
placement: 0%
Assessment
written: 13%
coursework: 82%
practical: 5%

Year 4

Learning Method
scheduled: 12%
independent: 88%
placement: 0%
Assessment
written: 5%
coursework: 84%
practical: 11%

Why Study 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.
  • Directors Cut, the University’s popular events series inviting leading international film-makers to campus for masterclasses with students, and packed public events, filmed for the web.
  • Previous Director's Cut guests include Sir David Attenborough, Nicholas Roeg, John Akomfrah, Raul Ruiz, Kevin MacDonald, and Peter Lambert, film editor with successes from Love Actually to the Twilight Saga.
  • 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.
  • The spectacular, award-winning Sir Duncan Rice Library providing a stunning study environment with state-of-the-art technology.
  • A packed campus programme of student and public events, exhibitions, seminars, café discussions and film showings, including the annual May Festival and Director’s Cut events as highlights of the programme.
  • 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.
  • Your programme also looks at the practical elements of film and visual culture, including the production and circulation of film.
  • 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.  

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

Our Film & Visual Culture programme at Aberdeen is designed to advance your knowledge in the academic study of cinema and you will also have the opportunity to develop skills in digital video production and web design. This programme will provide you with an invaluable platform for further study or a career in the film industry. Previous graduates of our programme have gone on to work in areas such as broadcasting, teaching, new media and journalism.

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.

A Unique Scottish Film and Visual Programme

Unique in Scotland for combining Film with Visual Culture and a hybrid study of theory, history and production.

Features

Teaching Excellence

Teaching staff on our Film & Visual Culture programme adopt a range of teaching methods to ensure that you learn in a way that fits your learning style. Our small tutorial groups enable you to work closely with your tutor and other students. Many of our staff are actively involved in research of film and visual culture, and you will benefit from their first-hand insight.

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