Study Abroad and Exchanges



COM2077 : Visual Culture (Inactive)

Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


1. A comprehensive understanding of the role of visual forms of communication in contemporary
society, supported by an understanding of historical visual cultures foundation of historical knowledge.
2. Modalities of accessing, researching and comprehending visual acts of communication.
3. Skills and experiences necessary in understanding and generating visual acts of communication.
4. The ability to recognise and discriminate between various types of visual communication.
5. An understanding of the specificity of visual contexts encountered in a social and political context.
6. Familiarity with debates about contemporary visual art and new media.

Outline Of Syllabus

Week 1       Introduction. Reading the visual: analytical tools and theories 1
Week 2       Reading the visual: analytical tools and theories 2
Week 3       Art as visual culture, or art and visual culture?
Week 4       Visual culture, commerce and consumption
Week 5       Religion and the visual
Week 6       Images and the news
Week 7       Visualising time and place
Week 8       Visit – Laing
Week 9       Identity and vision: images of self and other
Week 10       The visuality of protest
Week 11       Visual cultures of gender and sexuality
Week 12       Module review: images and realities

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture112:0022:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching121:0012:00Seminars
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesFieldwork12:002:00Study Visit
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1641:00164:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The lectures in the module will introduce students to various aspects of contemporary visual culture. The module will
draw attention to the prevalence of visual acts of communication in everyday life and will offer strategies to enhance
the understanding of such instances of communication.
The examples of case studies will consolidate the appropriation of research methods that have applicability for an
integrated approach to media studies, cultural studies and communication studies. Students will be constantly
presented with the interdisciplinary implications of analysing visual culture and will be made aware of avenues for
more in-depth study of the area.
The module will review a wide range of aspects of visual instances (painting, photography, advertising, film,
television, new media, design, architecture, urbanism), looking at the political, cultural and social contexts in which
they are produced and interpreted.      
The fieldtrip will enable the students to experience a physical setting they have previously encountered in a new
framework, in light of the theoretical approaches delivered previously.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Oral Presentation301M30Contextualise, interpret and analyse a visual text.
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2A703,000 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

1. Students will have to give a presentation in which they contextualise, interpret and analyse a visual text (to be agreed with module and/or seminar leader). This assesses critical and analytical skills alongside communication skills.

2. Students will write a 3000-word essay EITHER relating the use of images to specific theoretical, socio-historical and contextual issues OR critically assessing a particular theoretical approach or tradition. The analytical essay will allow students to make proof of analytical and critical skills, to develop their information literacy and practice their writing skills. They will demonstrate a thorough understanding of theory and its applicability to other areas, its importance in developing research, as well as its limitations. Alongside this students’ research skills, problem solving abilities, adaptability and initiative will be tested. Students will have to show a thorough understanding of specific research methods used in the area of visual culture, to apply these methods and to present their findings in a coherent, credible and convincing essay.

Reading Lists