Please note: there may be some adjustments to the teaching arrangements published in the course catalogue for 2020-21. Given current circumstances related to the Covid-19 pandemic it is anticipated that some usual arrangements for teaching on campus will be modified to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students and staff on campus; further adjustments may also be necessary, or beneficial, during the course of the academic year as national requirements relating to management of the pandemic are revised.

Histories of Digital Media FTV4082

  • Academic Session: 2022-23
  • School: School of Culture and Creative Arts
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: Yes

Short Description

Taking an approach grounded in the contemporary practice of 'media archaeology' as described by Errki Huhtamo, the course explores the cultural implications of digital technology -- such as computers, the Internet, and participatory media -- and examines the historical pre-conditions for digital communication. Students engage with key topics and debates in the historical study of digital media, developing the historical perspectives that will inform future practical and scholarly pursuits within digital culture.


Ten weekly four hour sessions

Requirements of Entry

Usual requirements to be granted entry to the honours programme

Excluded Courses






Project (60%) - 3,000 research essay on one of the following topics:


Media Archaeology: The concept of media archaeology is becoming an important part of digital media studies. Using two or three examples and citing key sources in the field, define media archaeology, paying particular attention to its difference to traditional historiography.


Media Art History: Choose two or three examples of contemporary media art. Explain the relationship of these artworks to examples from traditional art history.


Media histories and 'technical code': Using Flanagin et al's exploration of the technical code of the internet, and citing other applicable sources and examples, explain how a technology's history of development impacts on its contemporary use.


Open Question: Students in consultation with the lecturer are given scope to design their own essay question. They must discuss this with the teaching staff prior to beginning work.


Examination (40%) - Students will sit a 90 minute examination. They will be given a selection of questions related to key topics covered in the course. From these, they will choose two questions to respond to in essay form.

Main Assessment In: December

Course Aims

This course aims to:

■ introduce students to the cultural study of digital media history;

■ develop skills of critical reflection and research methods in digital media history;

■ provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary to critically analyse the cultural implications of digital media in a range of platforms and applications.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

Demonstrate an understanding of the diverse histories of various forms of digital media;

Demonstrate knowledge of diverse research methods in the historical study of digital media, as evidenced in a set of key texts;

Demonstrate skills in the historical analysis of contemporary media platforms.

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.