Short Courses

Focus On Film

A spotlight on the Short Courses Summer Edit Film courses.

Image of Edinburgh International Film Festival

Calling all movie buffs, film enthusiasts and budding scriptwriters!

Whether you’re looking to develop your understanding of film and media cultures, explore a range of theoretical and practical skills in film analysis or experiment with different forms of dramatic scriptwriting – the University of Edinburgh’s Short Courses Summer Edit has something for you! 

Across June, July and August the Centre for Open Learning will present three exceptional courses with a focus on film. Find out more below….

An Insight into the Edinburgh International Film Festival

Running for almost 20 years, this course is almost as much of an institution as the festival itself. An Insight into the Edinburgh International Film Festival offers access to the worlds’ longest continually running film festival. This begins with the invitation-only Opening Night Gala and includes six film premieres, a festival In-Person event, industry events and press screenings.

Students will enjoy structured and engaging lectures and discussion based on the films seen at the festival. The sessions will explore key elements including narrative, camera movement, cinema history context, aesthetic approaches. The course fee also includes a Student Delegate Pass and selected public tickets!

Imagining Scotland on Screen

From haunted castles and mysterious mists to jolly bagpiping, kilt-clad laddies and lassies, this course will explore some of the images of Scotland presented by Hollywood and other cinemas. Using film clips and discussion, students will explore the different practices or commercial and independent cinemas and debate questions such as Which aspects of Scottish culture appear more often in film? Why are certain traits highlighted and not others? Can we trace some of these images and ideas to literature?

The course will explore supernatural and romantic versions of Scotland through the lens of films such as ‘The Ghost Goes West’ (Rene Clair, 1935) and ‘Seven Dead in the Cat’s Eye’ (Antonio Margheriti, 1973). As well as the cinematic representations of Scottish customs and people in films like ‘Brigadoon’ (Vincente Minnelli, 1954) or ‘Fantomas vs. Scotland Yard’ (André Hunebelle, 1967).

Exploring Scriptwriting

Whether you’re interested in writing for radio, film or TV (or all three!) this course is a fantastic introduction to the different forms of dramatic scriptwriting.

The course starts by exploring questions such as: What is dramatic writing? How is scripting drama different from writing prose? Then, using the furore created by Orson Welles’s 1937 broadcast of ‘The War of the Worlds’ as a case study, the power of radio drama will be revealed. Students will discover the differences in writing drama for the big and small screen with a focus on image, action and dialogue and have the opportunity to broaden their range of techniques through exercises in how to write an extended speech by a single character. The course will culminate in the reading and workshopping of the scripts created during the course (dramatic performance optional!)  


Sound good? Click the links below to explore these courses even further!

An Insight Into The Edinburgh International Film Festival 

Imagining Scotland On Screen

Exploring Scriptwriting