Screens and Machines FTV4100

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Culture and Creative Arts
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course explores how screen media apparatuses such as projectors, celluloid, and codecs are embedded in and connected to histories of other technologies. It introduces students to archival sources as well as relevant theories to examine the gendered, raced, and classed nature of technological developments since 1895. It considers the moving image in terms of its changing aesthetics, and looks beyond the screen to investigate production, distribution, and exhibition.


1x1hr Lecture

1x2hr Seminar

1x2hr Screening per week over 10 weeks, as scheduled in MyCampus.

This is one of the Honours options in Film and Television Studies and may not run every year. The options that are running this session are available in MyCampus.

Requirements of Entry

Available to all students fulfilling requirements for Honours entry into Archaeology, and by arrangement to visiting students or students of other Honours programmes who qualify under the University's 25% regulation

Excluded Courses





Creative Project - 20% Word count dependent on mode (film review, film poster, newspaper, magazine etc)

Report on creative project - 300 words - 10%

Essay - 2500 words - 50%

Portfolio to accompany essay - 1000 words - 20%

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable for Honours courses

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. Where, exceptionally, reassessment on Honours courses is required to satisfy professional/accreditation requirements, only the overall course grade achieved at the first attempt will contribute to the Honours classification. For non-Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

This course aims to:

■ introduce students to histories and theories of technology that uncover the connections between cinema apparatuses and other machines;

■ develop students' knowledge of the role of screen representation in shaping ideology and the cultural responses to various technologies;

■ empower students to make informed analyses of primary materials by recognising and evaluating bias, and to create their own interpretations of the past with confidence and critical awareness.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ Interrogate a broad range of examples whereby the apparatuses of cinema intersect with other technologies at different historical moments;

■ identify onscreen representations of technology and evaluate how and why films contribute to ongoing discourse about the role of machines in different cultural contexts;

■ analyse a variety of primary and scholarly sources and use them to create new, critically engaged historical narratives;

■ critically reflect on the privileges, biases, and oppressions that inform the labour practices of the film and tech industries, as well as historical narratives and classroom spaces;

■ create research outputs in a variety of formats, including popular forms of film criticism.

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.