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Visual Culture Theory (5 cr)

Code: MI00BL32-3008

General information


01.07.2022 - 04.09.2022


29.08.2022 - 16.12.2022

Number of ECTS credits allocated

5 op

Mode of delivery

Contact teaching


Institute of Design and Fine Arts (LAB)


Lahti Campus

Teaching languages

  • Finnish


0 - 36

Degree programmes

  • Bachelor’s Degree Programme in Visual Communication (2017, 2018, 2019)
  • Complementary competence and optional courses, Bachelors


  • Heikki Saros

Teacher in charge

Eija Mustonen

Scheduling groups

  • Luennot (Size: 0. Open UAS: 0.)



Small groups

  • Luennot 1

Learning outcomes

The student is able to
- describe current visual culture theories
- independently search for information about different theories from both printed and digital sources
- apply theoretical models and concepts in design and the evaluation of her or his work

Implementation and methods of teaching

The course consists of lectures, exercises and group work presentations.

Timing and attendance

The course schedule is available in Autumn 2020 lectures take place from October 6th to December 8th, 2020.
Pedagogical solutions are based on tasks and dialogue in the class. Hence 75% active participation is expected.

Learning material and recommended literature

Central course litterature: Seppä, Anita: Kuven tulkinta (2012) or other material agreed.
Further reading and material used in the teaching:
Mäkiranta, M., Piela, U. ja Timonen, E. (toim.) Näkyväksi sepitetty maa. Näkökulmia Suomen Visualisointiin (2017)
Hämäläinen, T. ja Manzos, A. Pelien äärettömät maailmat. Elämän suuret kysymykset digitaalisissa peleissä (2020)
Heinonen, Y. (toim.) Taide, kokemus ja maailma. Risteyksiä tieteidenväliseen taiteiden tutkimukseen (2020)

Alternative completion methods

A separately agreed litterature base exam is an option.

Exam retakes

The course does not include any exam. The evaluation is based on the tasks prepared during the course.

Learning environment

Course materials and tasks are published in Moodle e-learning environment. The task submission is in Moodle as well. Course activity is followed by using the Moodle activity report.

Student time use and work load

Course work consists of thematic discussions bassed on research articles, group works and prsentation of an individual final task. Expected work amount is 135 hours lectures included.


The course functions as an introduction to the theory of visual culture.
Topics and materials of the course concentrate on the 20th and 21st century.
The course offers basics of picture analysis. Theoretical frames of the course are social, semiotic, semantic and psychology of perception in design, communication and art.
The course offers tools for presentation skills on visual topics.
The course content is suitable to visual communication as well as to design students.

Additional information for students: previous knowledge etc.

No previous knowledge on the topic required.

Assessment criteria

Active participation (75% of contact learning). Evaluation of the course tasks.

Assessment scale


Assessment criteria: level 1 (assessment scale 1–5)

Active participation to teaching and shown study of the course materials.

Assessment criteria: level 3 (assessment scale 1–5)

The student shows basic knowledge of central theories of visual culture and is capable of using advised reference materials and databases.

Assessment criteria: level 5 (assessment scale 1–5)

The student is skilled in the visual culture theoretical framework, recognizes connections between theories and the personal professional field. The student applies theory to the practise.