2022/23 Undergraduate Module Catalogue
COMM3130 The Documentary and Reality
20 creditsClass Size: 48
Module manager: Dr David Lee
Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable
Year running 2022/23
This module is not approved as a discovery module
ObjectivesOn completion of the module, students should have an understanding both of the development of documentary forms and functions and the character of the debates about 'truth' which have surrounded documentary work since the 1920s. More specifically, they should have knowledge of, and analytic competence regarding major stages in the development of documentary practice; criteria used in the evaluation of documentary both by academics and by the public; key visual and verbal components of documentary organisation; narrative and observational structures in documentary; and current tendencies and new technology.
On completion of this module, students should be able to:
1. Explain the development of and the issues raised by ‘the creative treatment of actuality’ across film, television and digital media
2. Identify key periods and textual forms in the history of documentary giving examples of the impacts of industrial, technological and/or social change
3. Critically evaluate the use of documentary in the contexts of education, marketing, and activism
4. Analyse documentary film and television and digital media with reference to relevant scholarship
Skills of visual and verbal analysis, use of historical documents in the formation of an exposition and judgement, critical debate involving questions of value and the presentation of clear and cogent written and spoken argument will all be developed. Key skills developed in this module include:
- Independent learning
- Critical thinking
- Presentation skills
- Writing skills
This module covers major stages in the development of documentary practice; criteria used in the evaluation of documentary both by academics and by the public; key visual and verbal components of documentary organisation; narrative and observational structures in documentary; and current tendencies and new technology. These topics are explored primarily through an examination of the writings of documentarists and critics, and the viewing of a cross section of the most influential examples of both the film-documentary and the television documentary.
|Delivery type||Number||Length hours||Student hours|
|Private study hours||179.00|
|Total Contact hours||21.00|
|Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)||200.00|
Private studyStudents are required to complete background reading for each seminar (est. 10 hours per seminar). The remaining private study time should be dedicated to researching, preparing and writing the set essays.
Opportunities for Formative FeedbackStudents have a tutorial in which to individually discuss essay preparation. Seminars will inform and discuss their essay choices.
The VLE will also be used, with students required to post a response to the week’s set reading in advance of the seminar. This will enable the tutor to monitor the students understanding of the key issues, as well as direct the group learning more effectively in the seminars.
Methods of assessment
|Assessment type||Notes||% of formal assessment|
|Essay||1 x 2,500-3,000 words||50.00|
|Essay||1 x 2,500 - 3,000 words||50.00|
|Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)||100.00|
To resit this module please select an alternative essay title from the module handbook
Reading listThe reading list is available from the Library website
Last updated: 29/04/2022 15:23:01
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