Documentary Filmmaking and Society - SO743

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2018-19 2019-20
Canterbury Spring
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6 15 (7.5) DR DW Redmon
(version 2)
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6 15 (7.5)


One of: SO305, SO337, SA300, SO334


Available to Stage 2 & 3 Students ONLY Module restricted to 16 students due to availability of equipment needed. Acceptance onto the module will be by interview.



The ability of documentaries to entertain, engage, and reach audiences online, on television, and in movie theatres has rapidly increased with the rise of new media. This module provides a hands-on approach to instruct students how to make documentaries from sociological, cultural, and criminological frameworks. Central elements of the module involve watching documentaries, identifying and negotiating entrée into a research site, recording a story, editing footage, and exporting your project online to wider academic and popular audiences. Cameras, software, and audio equipment will be provided to students. Students will develop transferable skills that can be utilized in marketing, business, criminal justice, educational, policy, entertainment, medical, and social justice industries. You can work in groups or individually.


This module appears in:

Contact hours

21 hours in total: 11 hours of lectures and 10 hours of seminars (no seminars in Reading Week). Attendance for this module is compulsory.

Method of assessment

50% coursework (one up-to 2,000 word essay) and 50% (one documentary between 3 and 10 minutes)

Preliminary reading

Bates, Charlotte. (2014) (ed) Video Methods: Social Science Research in Motion. New York: Routledge.
Hayward, Keith and Mike Presdee. (2010) Framing Crime. London: Routledge Press.
MacDougall, David. (2006) The Corporeal Image. Berkeley: Univ. of California Press.
Redmon, David. (2014) Beads, Bodies, and Trash. New York: Routledge.

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

See the library reading list for this module (Medway)

Learning outcomes

Apply the methods and techniques of audio and visual analysis to initiate and carry out the making of a documentary
Apply concepts and methodological skills to outline, design, frame, shoot, edit, and complete a short documentary
Visually demonstrate how audiovisual methods depict knowledge and communicate the relationship between theories to specialists in the field and non-specialist audiences
Communicate the differences between explanatory, autobiographical, and experiential documentaries
Critically evaluate the key methods, arguments, and theories used to make short documentaries

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