Documentary Practices


2017 entry

Our MA Documentary Practices course will allow you to undertake cross-disciplinary work between new media, photography and film, positioning the course in response to new trends and discourse within creative documentary practice.

Your outcomes could be in photography, film, interactive or web-based formats - and we'll encourage you to exploit recent developments within the industry.

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Length of study:

One year full-time


September 2017


UCA Farnham

Course overview:

We aim to develop you as a thinking practitioner and help you to manage your career in a freelance industry. You'll learn to analyse and synthesise knowledge and understanding of your subject area on our course, and demonstrate your critical and reflective practice.

Tutorials, lectures, workshops, seminars and critiques support the development of your research and practice. As part of the course, you'll be expected to undertake some form of professional practice such as a work placement.

Course news

Graduate has received a top African journalism award for her investigative documentary into terrorism and security on the Kenya-Somalia border.

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Course content - 2017 entry

You'll be introduced to the University and the technical workshops and facilities available to you. The first stage includes a range of lectures and seminars and you’ll start to explore your creative practice.

Please note, syllabus content indicated is provided as a guide. The content of the course may be subject to change.

Course stages

  • Research and Critical Approaches: Documentary

    This unit explores the different modes of research related to the creative process. It is a critical and practical study in which students will develop their skills in translating imagined film concepts into treatments, project proposals and other forms of communicating film ideas. The first part of this unit is delivered jointly with MA Filmmaking and MA Animation.

  • Skills and Development: Documentary

    This unit allows you to further your knowledge and technical ability within your own documentary practice. Through a series of practical workshops and lectures you will cover pre-production and research, budgeting and scheduling, self-shooting and sound recording, interviewing techniques, and editing.

During stage two you begin developing your MA project, evaluating and testing out the aims of your proposal over a sustained period of self-directed study.

Please note, syllabus content indicated is provided as a guide. The content of the course may be subject to change.

Course stages

  • Production

    Work undertaken in this unit should build on the research questions you initiated and explored in the skills and development unit. This is the period within which you'll undertake the majority of your production work in gathering material for your documentary practice. Within this unit, you may decide to undertake a number of separate 'tasks' with a coherent set of aims or a single project spread across the unit. Throughout the unit, you'll be encouraged to critically reflect on the development of your project.

In the third stage of the course, you'll apply the knowledge gained through your research to create a final body of work.

Please note, syllabus content indicated is provided as a guide. The content of the course may be subject to change.

Course stages

  • Project Delivery and Professional Context: Documentary

    This allows you to reflect on the work that you've produced so far, and resolve it into a form that allows for completion and delivery of your documentary practice.

Please note, syllabus content indicated is provided as a guide. The content of the course may be subject to change.

Course stages

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International study

Find out more about studying in the UK, or studying part of your course abroad at one of our partner institutions (study abroad option not available on all courses).

Course connections

On this course, you'll be exposed to a world of opportunities

This course prepares you for a career within the specialised field of documentary practice, and also equips you with a range of versatile skills that open up a broad variety of career paths. Broadcasters and film funds worldwide have commissioned alumni from related UCA courses such as Film Production.

Graduates have gone on to work in a range of roles within the industry, such as:

  • Directors
  • Producers
  • Editors
  • Eesearchers.


Potential careers for students undertaking this course might include work in archives, curating or distribution.

You may want to undertake further study or research to specialise even more.

How to apply - 2017 entry

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I am not a UK or EU citizen ...

Entry requirements - 2017 entry:

Entry requirements

  • A good honours degree (normally 2.1 or above) or equivalent qualification in your chosen subject or a related discipline


  • Relevant work experience, demonstrating your ability to study at postgraduate level.

Your portfolio

For this course, we'll require an online portfolio for assessment. Further information on how to compile a portfolio and the process for submission of your work will be provided on the Applicant Portal.

Fees & finance

Uncover all the costs involved, as well as the grants, loans and other financial support you may be entitled to.

Student regulations

Find out more about the operation of our courses, student conduct, assessments and examinations.

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