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Unit information: Audio-Visual Culture in 2021/22

Unit name Audio-Visual Culture
Unit code HART30053
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Matt Wates
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of History of Art (Historical Studies)
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description including Unit Aims

This unit looks critically at the interdisciplinary interaction between audio and visual culture in the second half of the 20th century and into the first half of the 21st century. It builds on the 2nd year special unit Art and Music by considering the emergence of a multi-media sensibility. Artists and musicians considered might include, John Cage, Christian Marclay and Laurie Anderson, and topics explored could range from Fluxus to the impact of art schools on emergent pop music sensibilities and music in film. The course seeks to interrogate such concepts as intermediality, sensory-specificity, and synaesthesia.

This unit therefore aims to:

  • Give students a solid understanding of the interaction between ‘audio’ and ‘visual’ culture in the second half of the 20th and early 21st centuries, and to consider this in a wider historical context.
  • Develop students’ abilities to offer interdisciplinary analysis of a range of works by artists and musicians.
  • Allow students to engage with broader conceptual issues raised by this material and the works.
  • Further develop students’ abilities to express their ideas orally and in writing.

Intended Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  1. articulate a detailed knowledge and in-depth critical understanding of key aspects of audio-visual culture in the long twentieth century;
  2. evaluate extracts from key pieces of audio-visual culture from the period;
  3. identify and evaluate pertinent evidence/data in order to illustrate/demonstrate a cogent argument;
  4. display high level skills in evaluating, analysing, synthesising and critiquing images, texts and ideas;
  5. present and frame their ideas for a variety of audiences.

Teaching Information

Classes will involve a combination of long- and short-form lectures, class discussion, investigative activities, and practical activities. Students will be expected to engage with readings and participate on a weekly basis. This will be further supported with drop-in sessions and self-directed exercises with tutor and peer feedback.

Assessment Information

Summative Assessments;

1 x Digital Presentation (25%) [ILOs 1-5]

1 x Timed Assessment (75%) [ILOs 1-4]


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. HART30053).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.