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Ethnographic and Documentary Film (Practical) MA

This unique MA programme is based in a university but run by leading film practitioners, ensuring that you not only receive the highest-quality practice-based learning, but you do so in a university research environment where you learn to understand the world we live in. You have your own camera equipment throughout and we provide dedicated Mac Editing suites and a PC suite (for the VR studio) for this degree.

Key information

Programme starts

September 2019

Modes and duration

Full time: 1 year
Part time: 2 years

For two year part timers, please note UCL cannot allow any change in mode of attendance for this programme of study once the programme has started and/or once enrolment has been completed.

Tuition fees (2019/20)

UK/EU:
£16,040 (FT) £8,060 (PT)
Overseas:
£26,110 (FT) £13,340 (PT)

Application dates

All applicants
Open: 15 October 2018
Close: 26 July 2019

Note on fees: The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website.

Fee deposit: All full time students are required to pay a fee deposit of £2,000 for this programme. All part-time students are required to pay a fee deposit of £1,000.

Location: London, Bloomsbury

Entry requirements

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 - a maximum of four sides of A4, typed and double-spaced - to 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.

International students

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:

About this degree

Students will learn to tell stories in various film modes; to draw on anthropological and social science approaches to documentary; 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 one core module (60 credits), two optional /elective modules (30 credits) and a practical project with diary (together 90 credits).

Compulsory modules

  • 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.

Optional modules

Students choose two of the following:

  • Anthropology and Photography
  • Documentary Film and the Ethnographic Eye
  • The Story and I - Finding the Form and/or Time and the Staged Index
  • 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), or offered in the MA Fil
  • An Anthropology or other social science module from the Faculties of Social & Historical Sciences, or Arts & Humanities
  • An Anthropology or other social science module from the Faculties of Social & Historical Sciences, or Arts & Humanities
  • A module elsewhere in the university, by approval of the course director.
  • One of the other communication courses (Audio and Podcast; Writing about International Affairs Journalistic Skills for a multi-platform world; Experimental and Interactive Documentary).

Dissertation/report

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.

Placement

We facilitate two types of placements. Firstly, we will encourage short-term internships at the film companies with whom we already have relationships through Open City Docs. Secondly, as opportunities arise students can work on collaborative or other film-making projects.


Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change.

Funding

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Careers

The programme equips students 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.

Employability

The increasing demand for social and scientifically trained moving image specialists in the years ahead will continue, if not accelerate. Graduates of our existing programmes now work in organisations such as Ipsos Mori film unit, independent production companies, BBC World Service and BBC Education.


Why study this degree at UCL?

This MA will allow you to benefit from UCL’s unique position in the heart of London at the centre of the UK creative industries. The programme uniquely uses professional film-makers to teach within a truly pan-disciplinary university research environment. For a full list of the mentors please visit the Anthropology web page.

UCL now houses London’s global Documentary Film Festival, Open City Documentary Festival. You can participate in the curation and delivery of this festival; gain experience in the delivery of a major public arts event. The festival provides a unique opportunity to engage with the global creative non-fiction industry.

This degree provides a number of studios: non-fiction cinema; broadcast tv documentary; reportage based cinema and the Immersive Factual Story telling studio (including UCL 360, VR and Augemented reality content production). Each of these cultivates your unique filmmaking voice.

Department: Anthropology

Application and next steps

Applications

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.

There is an application processing fee for this programme of £75 for online applications and £100 for paper applications. Further information can be found at: www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught/application.

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.

Application deadlines

All applicants
26 July 2019

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 (Practical) at graduate level
  • why you want to study Ethnographic and Documentary Film (Practical) 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.

Please read the relevant Anthropology pages carefully and submit either a portfolio of work or a photographic essay as described there.

Contact information

Page last modified on 14 November 2017 by UCL Student Recruitment Marketing