DJM311 Documentary Photography

1 semester
Course code: 
Credits (ECTS): 
Level of study: 
Teaching semester: 
2017 Vår
Assessment semester: 
2017 Vår
Language of instruction: 
Required prerequisite knowledge: 

Bachelor (BA) degree (in Arts or Humanities) or equivalent sufficient to follow a Master’s degree level of study. Verifiable practical skills in photography, and mastery of the English language sufficient to participate in dialogue lecturing. Admission will be based on study programmes and a letter of application to include reasons for applying, as well as an academic CV (all to be submitted in English), together with a portfolio of 12-15 recent photographs by the applicant relevant to the course framework. The photographs should be submitted as one PDF-file not exceeding 5 MB. Applications are to be handed in to the VUC Student Support Office by email: Please mark the application DJM311. Students following relevant master programs will be given priority.Required personal equipment: Personal equipment fit for documentary photography plus access to digital photographic post-production software.

Course content: 

The course is designed for Master level students who wish to develop their skills as professional photographers as well as students who wish to develop their academic understanding of documentary photography. Main elements of the course will be: 1. Learning through experience – the opportunity to work on in-depth documentary projects within the boundaries of set assignments and self-directed work. 2. Learning through peer-reviewed and tutor-assessed critique within a supported academic environment.3. The opportunity to undergo in-depth research and practice within documentary photography.

Learning outcome: 

In accordance with the National Qualifications Framework the student will have following learning outcome after completing the course:

Learning outcome knowledge: 

1. Students can analyze existing theories, use methods and interpretations in the field, and work independently on practical, theoretical and ethical problems
2. Students can evaluate contemporary discourse on representation, technological change and ethics within documentary practice.
3. Students can critically analyze documentary photography within both historical and theoretical frameworks and engage in self-reflection and critique.

Learning outcome skills: 

1. Students can analyse and deal critically with various souces of information and use them to structure and formulate scholarly arguments.
2. Students will have conducted rigorously planned and academically informed self-directed photographic work, to industry standard, for documentary projects within an appropriate critical, contextual and theoretical framework.
3. Students will have produced focused and self-directed written work to an academic standard based on an approved summary, framed within documentary theory or practice.
4. Students will have learned to demonstrate a broad and clear understanding of visual storytelling, based on the experience of understanding narrative both in theory and practice.
5. Students will have learned to demonstrate proficiency in photography, editing and "versioning" of work for different outputs.

Learning outcome qualification: 

1. Students can use methods for research and scholarly and /or artistic development work in an independent manner
2. Students can carry out an independent, limited research or development project in accordance with applicable norms for research ethics
3. Students will have acquired communication and advocacy skills through the experience of exploring and presenting critical research and argumentation.
4. Students can apply his/her knowledge and skills in new areas in order to carry out advanced assignments and projects 

Working and learning activities: 

Teaching is organized as a combination of lectures, seminars and tutorials to take place during five gatherings, each to be held over four days. Students will complete a series of coursework requirements between the gatherings, to be handed in electronically at set deadlines or brought to class for plenary review. Submitted photographic work will be discussed both in plenary sessions and in tutorials during the gatherings, as a part of the course.

Assessment requirements: 

Students will complete two written assignments. One will be a short 700 review. The other will be a longer 2500 essay on an approved topic within the framework of documentary photography. In addition, students will be required to complete one short photographic assignment and one in-depth photographic project to be assessed, as the work progresses, in class and finally at the exam. It will be necessary to supply a written proposal ahead of starting the in-depth assignment, and relevant captions to the photographs must be submitted. The course has compulsory attendance of an active and engaged character. To qualify for the final exam the student will need to have attended the course for a minimum of 80% of class time in Volda.

Evaluation system: 

Grading will be done in accordance with the Regulations governing admission, studies and examinations at Volda University College. (


The course will be evaluated in accordance with the University College’s routines for quality assurance. (

Minimum number of students: 
Maximum number of students: 
Person in charge: 
Stuart Franklin
Form of assessmentGroupingDurationType of durationGrading scaleProportionCommentSupported material
MappeeksamenIndividuell semesterA-F, der A er best og E er siste ståkarakter
Form of assessment:Mappeeksamen
Type of duration:semester
Grading scale:A-F, der A er best og E er siste ståkarakter
Supported material: