Documentary Filmmaking: approaches and practices (022P3)

30 credits, Level 7 (Masters)

Autumn teaching

You will explore documentary methods and structures though practical exercises and projects so as to develop a systematic knowledge of production within the genre. You will engage in analysis of selected historic and contemporary documentary practices to situate you own work within the field and critically reflect on it. You will gain a comprehensive overview of key concepts in non-fiction production, in particular narrative, address, point of view, montage through discussion and making. Advanced skills in research, planning, scripting, shooting and editing will be applied to self-initiated projects.

Concepts of the documentary form are explored and interrogated through practical work to enabling you to articulate a critical and creative approach to the relationship between practice and theory. The term culimates in a substantial project and accompanying critical introduction, which builds on the experimentation and analysis undertaken through the module and asks you to critically evaluate your work in relation to your aims with a critical awareness of related practice.


18%: Lecture
71%: Practical (Practical, Workshop)
11%: Seminar


100%: Coursework (Portfolio)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 300 hours of work. This breaks down into about 33 hours of contact time and about 267 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2023/24. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to COVID-19, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.