Taught course

Visual Anthropology

The University of Manchester · Social Anthropology

Entry requirements

UK 2:1 (or overseas equivalent) in social or cultural anthropology. Those with related backgrounds are also encouraged to apply. Applicants should indicate via the "further information" field on the on-line form which of the 2 pathways they wish to be considered for: Ethnographic Documentary with Film or Ethnographic Documentary with Sensory Media.

Ethnographic Documentary & FilmEthnographic Documentary & Sensory Media

Months of entry


Course content

This course provides training in practical audiovisual skills combined with the study of visual and sensory anthropology. It is delivered by the Granada Centre for Visual Anthropology

When applying, prospective candidates MUST choose between 2 pathways; Ethnographic Documentary with Film (EDF) & Ethnographic Documentary with Sensory Media (EDSEM). Semester 1 is the same for students on both pathways. It includes intensive hands-on training in ethnographic documentary, modules on the history of ethnographic film & theoretical issues of visual perception/representation. In Semester 2, the pathways diverge. Students on the EDF pathway undertake further film training, whilst those on the EDSEM pathway undergo practical and intellectually-oriented training in other visual & aural media, including photography, sound recording, moving images, art, etc. The kind of practice-based exercises that the students on this pathway may engage in are shown on the following page.

Over the summer, all students carry out a practical field project. EDF students make a documentary film and write a `companion text'. EDSEM students conduct an original piece of ethnographic research & write a dissertation developed around one or more media presentations, which can be photography and/or sound recording, film, drawings, an art project. In principle, students may carry out their field projects anywhere in the world, provided they present a well thought-out proposal. Some students have gone to the most distant locations (Sri Lanka, Kazakhstan, Japan, Brazil), whilst others have chosen topics closer to home in Manchester (asylum seekers, a local beauty parlour, the gay cruising scene).

Recruitment is highly international: roughly one third of students are from the UK, a third from the European Union & the remainder from countries outside Europe. The course is taught by anthropologists who are also film-makers and/or other media practitioners, complemented by highly qualified audiovisual staff. Additional workshops are conducted by visiting professionals, including film-makers, photographers & sound recordists.

Information for international students

IELTS - 7.0 with a 7 in writing, TOEFL - 623 (263 computer based) with 5.0 in TWE.Internet based score of 100 with 25 in each element.

Fees and funding


Qualification and course duration


full time
12 months


AssessmentWhat kind of work will I be doing? (proportionally)
Written coursework / continuous assessment50
Creative work50
Dissertation (12000 words)

Course contact details

Postgraduate Admissions Office
+44 (0)161 275 4471