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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh College of Art : Design

Postgraduate Course: Film Medicine (DESI11116)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh College of Art CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryFilm in Health Humanities is a developing area of study, and this course draws on a wide spectrum of current film/health innovations. Examples range from hospitals where informed consent for an operation has been replaced by a documentary showing the procedure, to films that explore illness from the point of view of the patient experiencing it, to the therapeutic tool of Video Interactive Guidance, to documentary used in conflict resolution as a tool for listening. You will be guided through introductory sound, camera, and editing techniques to allow you to produce a short documentary project, or audio-visual materials to pitch a documentary, centred in this developing area.
Course description This course encourages you to respond to your own research through making a documentary. There is an emphasis on documentary as story: on story-making as how we make sense of our experience. Documentaries work at the intersection of story and experience. When we show a documentary film we are not the only storytellers in the room - the audience will weave their own story from what they see and hear and how they relate it to their own experiences and values. Our relationship to the audience is central to how we make meaning of our documentary film-making.

Stories are relevant in Health Humanities: they are deeply embedded as a primary form of human learning. They can be catalysts for well-being, and conversely for damage. Ethical training through documentary practice underpins this course. Film is one of the most powerful forms of storytelling, and audio-visual has become a crucial tool for communication.

This course examines a range of documentary interventions associated with health: from Video Interactive Guidance where small physical gestures, for instance, between a mother and child, are captured on screen and played back with a therapist; to documentary as potent reflective listening, to the increasing use of audio-visual information in decision-making before medical procedures, to analysis of an institution, as well as the widely used narrative documentary expressing patient and carer experience.

Cameras, microphones, interview methods and editing are introduced early in the course. You will give a formative presentation to the group of your intentions and research, including ethical implications, in the middle of semester, for which you will receive formative feedback. Guided by individual tutorials and seminars you will then make and edit a short film, or prepare a film 'pitch' for funding. A final presentation in week 11 is the basis of your summative assessment.

You should have some experience of film-making, even if just on your mobile; an interest in visual storytelling and a passion for engaging with audiences.

This is a useful accompaniment to the MSc in Health Humanities and the Arts. It is of particular interest to those who seek to use documentary within health humanities, to health professionals seeking to expand their range of engagement with patients, families, supporting institutions, as well as students from other schools who want to explore a creative project in documentary.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  21
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 6, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 14, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 16, Formative Assessment Hours 1, Summative Assessment Hours 1, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 158 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) The 100% coursework submission is a presentation online of up to five minutes documentary material, and up to ten minutes or 20 slides of critical and ethical context, and creative approach, incorporating oral and visual materials as appropriate.
Feedback Formative feedback
You will prepare and deliver a short presentation around the middle of semester, for which you will receive oral feedback. Your presentation should include an outline of the documentary you intend to make, your background research, and the ethical implications of this particular documentary. Note that this is formative exercise is entirely separate from the Summative presentation described in the Components of Assessment.

Summative feedback
Oral feedback for Component 1 (Presentation) will be provided immediately following the delivery of the presentation at the end of semester.
Written feedback for Component 2 (Short Film) will be provided through Learn.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Describe their own proposed documentary with reference to a critical understanding of historical and contemporary examples of documentary within the Health Humanities.
  2. Design the pre-production, production, and screening of their documentary so as to address the ethical implications of documentary film.
  3. Use or describe techniques of camera, sound, music, and editing that are appropriate to the specific subject of their documentary
Reading List
Bolaki, S (2016) Chapter: 'Animated Documentary and Mental Health'(pp. 177-210) in Illness as Many Narratives: Arts, Medicine and Culture. Edinburgh
University Press.
Cox, S., and K.M. Boydell. 2016. Ethical issues in arts-based health research. In Creative arts in public health: International perspectives, edited by P. Camic
and L. Wilson, 83-91. London: Oxford University Press.
Hardie, Amy (2016) Chapter: 'Movie Making as Palliative Care', in Materialism and Mortality, On the Feminist Philosophy of Gillian Howie, ed Browne and Whistler, Bloomsbury
Huygens, Ils (2007) Article "Deleuze and Cinema: Moving Images and Movements of Thought" in Online Magazine of the Visual Narrative,
Kennedy, Landor and Todd (2011) Book. Video Interaction Guidance: A Relationship-Based Intervention to Promote Attunement, Empathy and Wellbeing, Jessica Kingsley Publishers
Smith, H and Roger Deans (2009) Chapter : Mariposa: the story of new work/creation: taking shape, taking flight (p.166-187) in Practice-led research, research-led practice in the creative arts. University of Edinburgh.
Van Sijll, J (2005) Book. Cinematic storytelling : The 100 most powerful film conventions every filmmaker must know. Studio City, CA: Michael Wiese
Volandes AE, Barry MJ, Wood F, Elwyn (G.2013) article: "Audio-video decision support for patients: the documentary genre as a basis for decision aids." in
Journal of Clinical Oncology vol 31 no 3.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Familiarity with subject research in Documentary
Familiarity and Experience with tools of Documentary: camera, sound, direction and editing.
Understanding of Ethical implications of Documentary making
Understanding principles of audience engagement
Course organiserDr Amy Hardie
Tel: (0131 6)51 5871
Course secretaryMr Aidan Cole
Tel: (0131 6)50 2306
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