Research course

Ethnographic Documentary

The University of Manchester · School of Social Sciences

Entry requirements

Applicants will normally be expected to have a first degree in social anthropology or a related field and the necessary film competences. In exceptional circumstances, students with the requisite film competences and a degree in another field, or equivalent practical experience of social research, may also be admitted.

Months of entry

January, April, September

Course content

This programme is aimed at those who have already completed the MA in VIsual Anthropology or an equivalent degree and want to develop their ethnographic documentary-making to a higher level. It is also intended for those who have equivalent professional experience and wish to engage with ethnographic film-making in an environment where there is a high level of lively academic debate and practical film-making constantly going on. This programme may be taken full-time over the course of a year, and over two years on a part-time basis. It is delivered b y staff of the Granada Centre for Visual Anthropology.

After an initial period of preparation, students are expected to carry out fieldwork of at least three months' duration during which they shoot material for one or more films. Students work closely with a supervisor in the preparation of these film projects. This will largely involve independent study, but supervisors may also recommend that students register for courses that could help them in their development. They may also participate in regular seminar events at which fellow postgraduate students and staff screen their filmic 'works-in-progress'.

Once they return from the field, students edit their material with the aid of one-on-one editorial advice from their supervisor and from screenings at the 'works-in-progress' seminar. They submit their work in the form of a DVD of up to four hours' duration. This may consist of a single film, or more commonly, or a suite of films that, in effect, comment upon one another. This DVD should also involve some form of reflexive commentary on the films, but this may be in a visual or a textual form.

Information for international students

For further information about entry requirements, including English Language requirements, please see the University website.

Qualification and course duration


part time
24 months
full time
12 months

Course contact details

School of Social Sciences
0161 275 4743