University of Sussex

University of Sussex

Digital Documentary

This programme offers you the chance to develop your filmmaking and critical skills in a supportive and stimulating environment. The course is unique in offering you the chance not only to make documentary films for the single screen but also to create work across other platforms and in other media of your choice such as the web, photography and mobile media. It allows you to pursue your specific interests through a broader study of media theory and research methods, or film studies. You learn about the current trends in documentary and how the form can encompass a variety of styles from highly personal first person films to journalistic investigation to provocative experiments in re-enactment; you learn skills as a self-shooter and working in small teams and develop your own approach to exploring topics that matter to you. Through a series of projects and exercises, you learn to develop, pitch, research, script, budget, shoot and edit creative documentaries, with 24-hour access to the School's broadca-ststandard equipment including HD cameras and a range of post-production facilities. Your documentary is screened at the MA degree show, and the School of Media, Film and Music promotes the best films to competitions and festivals. You: Develop a portfolio of films and master all the different aspects of producing a good documentary - conceptual, organisational, technical and industrial; take seminars exploring key issues in contemporary and historical examples of the genre alongside your practical workshops; develop your own voice by conceiving and realising a personal project, your final 20-minute film; learn alongside a diverse international and UK student body; attend an exciting programme of dedicated MA masterclasses run by media and arts practitioners, as well as numerous other events, and screenings within the School; have the option of part-time study with one day of classes on campus per week.

Entry requirements

A 1st- or upper 2nd-Class undergraduate Honours degree in an appropriate discipline. We also welcome applicants who do not have this academic qualification who are able to demonstrate in their application that they have relevant professional/creative skills and experience.

Course modules

Each term you work on practical documentary projects alongside conceptual and theoretical study. Autumn term: Documentary practice; writing documentary: Sound/image/text. Spring term: Research and project development; short documentary: research and production; and one option from a list that may include: activist media practice; animal life and the moving image; digital humanities; first person film; global news industries; media audiences, media histories and cultural change; media, culture and communication; media, technology and everyday life; music and the media of performance (theory); new developments in digital media; new moving screens; photography: documentary, landscape, politics; queering popular culture; research and prototyping for interactive practice; sound environment (theory); the cinematic body; the politics of promotional culture. Summer term: You undertake either a digital documentary dissertation or project.

Assessment methods

Assessment is by practical video/media work and production documentation and critique. The final assessment is a major documentary project plus essay, or a dissertation.


Qualification Study mode Start month Fee Course duration
MA Full-time October 2016 GBP 7,900 per Year 1 (England) 12 months
MA Full-time October 2016 GBP 15,350 per Year 1 (International) 12 months
MA Full-time October 2016 GBP 7,900 per Year 1 (Northern Ireland) 12 months
MA Full-time October 2016 GBP 7,900 per Year 1 (Scotland) 12 months
MA Full-time October 2016 GBP 7,900 per Year 1 (Wales) 12 months
MA Part-time October 2016 - 24 months

Campus details

Campus name Town Postcode Region Main campus Campus Partner
Sussex House Brighton BN1 9RH South East

Key information

Telephone number: 
01273 877538