Core Module Information
Module title: Documentary Film

SCQF level: 08:
SCQF credit value: 20.00
ECTS credit value: 10

Module code: LMD08120
Module leader: Demelza Kooij
School School of Arts and Creative Industries
Subject area group: Screen and Performance


Description of module content:

You will be introduced to key debates on and approaches to the representation of ‘reality’. You will develop skills in documentary camerawork, sound recording and editing. You will work in a group and engage in substantial research and fieldwork that culminates in the production of a short documentary film.

You will engage with one or more prescribed themes in developing the film. As a production group, you will work in self-forming crews. You will cultivate skills in documentary research and conceptualisation, in the organisation of location filming, and in the derivation of a structured narrative from documentary material.

In your practical and written work, you will be expected to engage with the technical, critical and theoretical concepts and ideas discussed class lectures and workshops.

An understanding of the different forms that documentary can take within industrial and independent production will make you aware of potential career opportunities. This module encourages you to study independently, effectively manage your workloads and to meet deadlines. You will also work collaboratively and the module provides you the opportunity to develop your creativity (collectively and individually) within the requirements specified by a brief. You will develop study and communication skills, specialist technical skills, critical analysis, and the evaluation of your performance and achievements.

Learning Outcomes for module:

On completion of the module the student will be able to:
LO1: Develop insight into the critical debates surrounding documentary film;
LO2: Consider work in the context of critical debates;
LO3: Extend research skills to extract, synthesise and record appropriate information from a wide range of sources;
LO4: Translate research into ideas for a structured documentary narrative that utilises an appropriate mode of representation;
LO5: Perform collaboratively in documentary direction, production, camera-work, sound recording and editing.

Full Details of Teaching and Assessment
2022/3, Trimester 2, FACE-TO-FACE, Edinburgh Napier University
Occurrence: 001
Primary mode of delivery: FACE-TO-FACE
Location of delivery: MERCHISTON
Partner: Edinburgh Napier University
Member of staff responsible for delivering module: Sana Bilgrami
Module Organiser:

Learning, Teaching and Assessment (LTA) Approach:
The module has three main elements that allow for the acquisition of both research and technical skills within the context of a critical examination of different modes of documentary film. Lectures, screenings and discussions enable you to develop historical, critical and theoretical knowledge of documentary film production (LO1 and 2). Technical workshops and exercises impart skills in documentary camerawork and sound recording (LO5). A collaborative moving image project based on substantial research and fieldwork, allows you to apply these skills using an appropriate mode of documentary representation. Group tutorials assist in the research and the development of these projects (LO 3,4 and 5).

Formative Assessment:
You are expected to keep an ongoing record of all your research, development notes and reflection in a blog that can be accessed and shared by your tutors and peers.

You will receive verbal feedback at regular intervals in a series of tutorials that support the research, development and production of your group documentary project. You are expected to record and reflect on your feedback on your blog using the Tutorial Action form. This process should also help to translate feedback into action points.

You will engage in a constructive dialogue with your peers throughout the collaborative process of development and production. This dialogue and the resulting actions should also be recorded in your research blog.

You will collaboratively submit and be assessed as a group on a written treatment of your ideas for your group documentary, for which you will receive feedback in class. You will also receive feedback from your tutor(s) and peers on your completed group documentary project.

Summative Assessment:
You will undertake two summative assessments during the module. You will be individually assessed on an essay (LO 1 and 2), and a group documentary film (LO3, LO4 and 5). The process of researching and writing an essay will enable you to analyse a documentary film and to critically engage with theory and discourse about documentary film representation. The group documentary film project will encourage you to collaboratively synthesise your theoretical and practical knowledge with research and fieldwork.

Student Activity (Notional Equivalent Study Hours (NESH))
Mode of activityLearning & Teaching ActivityNESH (Study Hours)
Face To Face Lecture 15
Face To Face Practical classes and workshops 6
Face To Face Tutorial 14
Independent Learning Groupwork (Independent Study) 80
Independent Learning Guided independent study 85
Total Study Hours200
Expected Total Study Hours for Module200

Type of Assessment Weighting % LOs covered Week due Length in Hours/Words
Essay 30 1, 2 9 HOURS= 00.00, WORDS= 1000
Project - Practical 70 3, 4, 5 13 HOURS= 00.08
Component 1 subtotal: 30
Component 2 subtotal: 70
Module subtotal: 100

Indicative References and Reading List - URL:
LMD08120 Documentary film