A history of film censorship around the world ADED11791E

  • Academic Session: 2019-20
  • School: Short Courses
  • Credits: 10
  • Level: Level 1 (SCQF level 7)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: No

Short Description

This course explores how different countries have approached film censorship practices. We will consider different censorship systems that existed during the twentieth and twenty first centuries by looking at a selection of examples: Scotland during the early cinema period in the early twentieth century; 1920s Soviet Russia; post-war US; 1970s Japan; Cold War Germany, and China in the twenty first century. The course will consider national nuances and complexities of film censorship as indicators of different social, political and religious values.


Block 2 (10 meetings)

Fridays, 12:00-14:00

Requirements of Entry


Excluded Courses





Essay (1,500 words) - 75%

Oral Presentation (25%) or a poster presentation (25%)

Course Aims

This course aims to:

■ present a dynamic and international view of censorship that recognizes different types of censorship systems and how these have functioned

■ familiarise students with key films and their significance in a respective national context and encourage the reading of these as historical documents indicative of prevalent societal values

■ consider the implications of different legal frameworks on a film's reception in a particular society and at a particular time

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ Compare film censorship systems driven by the film trade with practices determined by government departments and recognise the consequences for film distribution, exhibition and reception

■ Identify common themes causing censorship controversies

■ Explain the social context of censorship and discuss censored films as social historical documents

■ Present ideas and arguments about film censorship in a concise manner

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.