Modes and duration
- Full-time: 1 year
Programme start date
Tuition Fees (2016/17)
- £13,950 (FT)
- £21,320 (FT)
Normally an upper second-class Bachelor's degree in a social science, arts, humanities or science discipline from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. Academically weaker applications will also be considered provided that they are supported by experience in visual arts or film making. Applicants with prior technical knowledge of film making are asked to send a video portfolio of up to 20’ duration (Vimeo link recommended). Applicants without a video portfolio are asked to complete a photo essay. Please see our guidelines on how to make a visual essay. You can submit either by post - a maximum of twenty 20cm x 25cm (8"x10”) stills – or by link to an external site.
All shortlisted applicants will be asked to submit a proposal for a film or video project - to consist of no more than four sides of A4, typed and double-spaced. This should include: an outline of what the film is about; the characters and other elements crucial to the narrative and the film structure/narrative. (You are not committed to the proposal for the final project.)
English Language Requirements
If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.
The English language level for this programme is: Good
Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.
Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.
International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.
Select your country:
Students will learn to devise a visual research project; to apply anthropological and social science approaches to documentary film work; to think critically about the relationship between form and content in ethnographic/documentary practice; to master the technical skills needed to produce different kinds of films of different lengths for varied audiences; and to critically view and review film material.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of 1/2 core module(s) (45/60 credits), 2/3 optional /elective modules (30/45 credits) and a project/diary (90 credits).
- Practical Ethnographic and Documentary Filming and Editing
- Students without a social science background at either undergraduate or Master's level also take Social Anthropology or another social science foundational module in Term One as agreed with the tutor.
- Students choose two (if Social Anthropology is taken as a core module) or three of the following:
- Anthropology and Photography
- Documentary Film and the Ethnographic Eye
- One of the practical film-related options offered as part of Film Studies MA according to provision.
- One of the film history modules taught in the School of Slavonic & East European Studies (SSEES), or Departments of History or English, (for example, Russian Cinema in SSEES), details to be confirmed.
- An Anthropology or other social science module from the Faculties of Social & Historical Sciences, or Arts & Humanities.
- Students may also select one other optional module either from within Anthropology or another department at UCL, in agreement with the tutor.
A major practical film project and diary allowing the students to demonstrate their mastery of the skills of documentary film-making in a film of 20–35 minutes.
Teaching and Learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of practical tutorials, seminars and masterclasses and assessed by camera and editing exercises and a written piece.
Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed (where available) below. For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.
Commonwealth Shared Scholarship Scheme (CSSS) - SUCCESSFUL CANDIDATES HAVE BEEN NOTIFIED FOR 2016/17
- Full fees, flights, stipend, and other allowances (1 year)
- Overseas students
- Based on both academic merit and financial need
More scholarships are listed on the Scholarships and Funding website
The increasing demand for social and scientifically trained moving image specialists in the years ahead will continue, if not accelerate (many of the graduates of our existing programmes now work in organisations such as Ipsos Mori film unit, BBC World Service and BBC Education).
We also facilitate two types of placements. Firstly, we will enable short-term internships at the film companies with whom we already have relationships through Open City Docs. Secondly, we will offer all our students the opportunity to work on the collaborative film-making projects linked to MyStreet Films, such as the Doc in a Day workshops that have proven so successful.
The skills you will acquire will equip you for careers in:
- Mass media including broadcast, cinematic and web-based moving image
- Film and TV industry as camera operators, producers, directors, editors, researchers
- Academia – ethnographic research, visual media and culture
- Marketing and research
- Communication and other media
- Archives, as well as cultural heritage organisations
Why study this degree at UCL?
This MA will allow you to benefit from UCL’s unique position in the heart of London, and from the many activities in film within the Department of Anthropology. The programme is unique in using professional film-makers to teach within a truly pan-disciplinary university research environment.
UCL now houses London’s Global Documentary Film Festival, Open City Docs Fest, created by Professor Michael Stewart. You can participate in the curation and delivery of this festival; gain experience in the delivery of a major public arts event; and benefit from established partnerships with world-famous institutions such as the the Science Museum and the British Film Institute.
Student / staff ratios › 40 staff including 15 postdocs › 149 taught students › 120 research students
Application and next steps
Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.
Who can apply?
Anyone with an interest in the acquisition of the practical craft of documentary film-making can apply. We are particularly interested in those with a social science/arts/humanities background as well as those with a science background who wish to use film as a research or communication tool.
- All applicants
- 12 August 2016
For more information see our Applications page.Apply now
What are we looking for?When we assess your application we would like to learn:
- why you want to study Ethnographic and Documentary Film (Practice Based) at graduate level
- why you want to study Documentary Film (Practice Based) at UCL
- what particularly attracts you to this programme
- how your personal, academic and professional background meets the demands of a challenging programme
- where you would like to go professionally with your degree
Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.