Documentary Video (P4078)

30 credits, Level 5

Spring teaching

This module offers an exploration of the documentary production process. You'll be guided through each stage and learn the key techniques and creative and organisational approaches needed for successful production.

The module concentrates on the documentary genre, a genre that has an increasingly high profile in the cinema as a medium for both raising awareness and for entertainment.

Documentary also has a history of creative development by a great range of filmmakers with whose work you should familiarise yourselves.

The techniques you'll learn are relevant to other forms of factual video-making as well as drama production.

Documentary, like filmed drama, depends on the strength of its visual story-telling, on conveying emotions, information and ideas through images and through the imaginative combination of picture, sound and speech.

The best documentaries do not aspire to objectivity as a mythical concept but have an individual style and point of view that encourage the audience to see their subject in a new light. We will view modern and historical documentaries, each with a different approach to portraying the real. 


15%: Lecture
85%: Practical (Practical, Workshop)


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.


This module is offered on the following courses: