Film & Television Studies MA

Censoring the Screen FTV4093

  • Academic Session: 2022-23
  • 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
  • Available to Erasmus Students: Yes

Short Description

This course explores historical film censorship practices taking an international approach. The main objective is to emphasize the multiplicity of censorship systems that existed during the twentieth century through looking at a small sample of examples.


1 x 5 hr session per week (comprising 1.5 hours lecture, 2 hours screening and 1.5 hour seminar per session) over 10 weeks as scheduled on MyCampus.

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

Excluded Courses





Essay (2,500 words) - 40%

Essay (2,500 words) - 50%

Seminar Participation - 10%

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which 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: 

■ develop students' understanding of conceptual issues around the study of film censorship: conventional academic approaches and recent departures

■ support a dynamic and international view of censorship that gives students the ability to recognize different types of censorship systems and an understanding of 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students with key films and their significance in a respective national context and encourage the reading of these as historical documents indicative of prevalent societal values

■ foster the ability in students to consider the implications different legal and administrative frameworks had 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:

■ engage in scholarly debates around the history of film censorship and discuss key conceptual issues: prohibitive and dynamic concepts of censorship

■ 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

■ to differentiate between practices within the two main categories covered by the course and draw out common themes

■ recognise and discuss censored films as social historical documents

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.