Free web course explores early photography

The Victorian’s craze for recording their life in pictures is being examined as part of a new free online course.

The five week course will examine the pioneers of photography and discover how their interest in the photograph mirrors our own modern-day fascination for pictures.

‘Photography: A Victorian Sensation’ has been developed in partnership with National Museums Scotland (NMS).

Course structure

The course will consist of a mixture of audio lectures, videos, articles, learning activities, quizzes and discussion forums.

It will give students the option to respond to iconic images and create and share their own photographs.

Students who successfully complete the class will receive a Statement of Accomplishment signed by the instructors. The deadline for signing up for the course is 10 November.

Course content

The course has been developed in partnership with Prof. Sian Bayne and Dr Jeremy Knox in the Moray House School of Education. Led by Dr Alison Morrison-Low and Christine McLean at NMS it aims to explore the history of photography, make links to contemporary cultural practices, and create and share images.

The course is the latest in a series of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) offered by the University in conjunction with Coursera, the online platform providing universal access to the world’s best education.

Inspired by the exhibition of the same name, the MOOC, Photography: A Victorian Sensation enables people around the world to access, online and at their convenience, National Museums Scotland's extensive collections of photography, including the Howarth-Loomes Collection which amounts to over 18,000 objects.

Dr Alison Morrison-LowPrincipal Curator Science, National Museums Scotland,

Online sign-ups

The University currently offers over 25 MOOCs. Topics covered in these popular higher education standard courses include The Discovery of the Higgs Boson, an introduction to particle physics based on the work of Edinburgh scientist and Nobel Prize winner, Professor Peter Higgs. Coming soon are the courses, Mental Health: A Global Priority and Nudge-it: Understanding obesity.