• Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Social and Political Sciences
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: No

Short Description

This course enables students to combine social sciences and arts insights to explore the changing relationships between media, the past and the future. This includes the ways in which the past is made relevant in the present, to effect relations of power, identity, and inequality.


It addresses how media and culture shape individual, group, organisational and societal remembering and forgetting. Key course themes include: identity, rights, nostalgia, ethics, nostalgia, art, archives, records, testimony, museums, activism, generations, war and conflict, commemoration, memorialisation, autobiography, distortions, images, digital afterlife, erasure and obsolescence.

At the centre of this course is an innovative programme of visiting screenings and talks, including from: artists,
photojournalists, international peace and conflict practitioners, policy-makers and other expert scholars.


10 x 3 hours sessions

Requirements of Entry

None for the course specifically, but entry to the MSc programme requires a good first degree in a relevant discipline.

Excluded Courses





1. Group presentation: students will work in teams of 4 or 5 to analyse how digital media is shaping the characteristics, forms and consequences of remembering and/or forgetting nowadays and present their findings in an oral presentation (20 percent, collectively marked)


2. 3,500-word case study research essay: students will conduct original research by using a conceptual, theoretical and historical lens discussed in class to critically analyse a key contemporary media and memory event or issue exploring how the past has been used in a contemporary context for particular ends (80 percent).


A list of essay questions will be provided in the course guide, although students may instead answer a question devised in consultation with the Course Convenor.


Students must use at least 12 course-relevant references in their assignments.


For students with protected characteristics, flexibility with deadlines of assignment submission will be considered (although not overriding the late submission policy).

Course Aims

The aims of the course are to:

■ Probe the tensions and relationships between changing media, and human, social and cultural remembering and forgetting.

■ Enable students to engage with a diverse range of practitioner perspectives on the shifting relationship between media, culture and memory.

■ Equip students with an advanced understanding of the historical development of media and culture in transforming the individual, organisational and societal capacity, control, and power to remember and to forget, and to be remembered and to be forgotten.

■ Interrogate the media and culture of memory to understand the importance of connecting work across multiple fields (human, cognitive, social and computational sciences).

■ Engage with ideas, concepts, theories, debates, and approaches as to the distinctiveness of the characteristics and consequences of remembering and forgetting in the digital age.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ Demonstrate interdisciplinary (social sciences, arts and humanities) knowledge and a critical understanding of the principal theories, concepts and principles to the study of media, culture and memory.

■ Apply knowledge, skills and understanding in applying a range of techniques of enquiry to the study of media, culture and memory.

■ Identify, conceptualise and define new and abstract problems and issues.

■ Communicate with peers, staff and other external specialists in the field.

■ Exercise substantial autonomy and initiative in written work.

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.