Film Archives: Theory and Practice FTV4105

  • 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 provides an overview of key theoretical and practical issues and debates relating to the creation, maintenance and circulation of film archives, including topics such as collection policies and management, cataloguing access, etc. The course is intended to introduce students to a range of seminal writings in relation to the study of archives, with an emphasis on moving image archives, and will draw from texts from art history, media and film theory, and archival studies. The course will also explore a wide variety of practical and creative engagements with film archives, including its use by researchers, curators, festivals, filmmakers and artists, taking into account relevant practical considerations such as access, ethics and copyright. 


1 x 2 hour lecture, 1 x 1hour seminar and a 1 x 2 hour screening over 10 weeks as scheduled on 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 on MyCampus.

Requirements of Entry

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

Excluded Courses





Essay (3,000 words) - 75%

Seminar Presentation of 10 minutes duration - 25% (comparing the practices of two different archives and/or collections)

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 the key historical developments relating to film archives and collections. 

■ develop an understanding of contemporary theoretical debates and practical issues relating to film archives.

■ examine a variety of practical and creative methods for engaging with film archives.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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


■ describe key historical movements and figures relevant to the study of film archives. 

■ develop an understanding of issues relating to the archive and ethics, copyright, collection policies, cataloguing, as well as preservation and access. 

■ utilise critical thinking about a range of approaches to engaging with film archives.

■ critically analyse theoretical and practical engagements with film archives through writing and oral presentation 

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.