Major in Documentary Film

Professor in Charge of Major

Executive in Residence Mia Halme

Learning Outcomes

The goal of the major in Documentary Film in the Master’s Degree Programme in Film and Television is to train visionary documentary film directors who create the future of the field.  In Master’s degree studies, the students deepen their vision regarding theory, history and contemporary expression in the genre, and develop their competence in relation to the changing professional field of documentary film.

A broader understanding of development in the field and its future possibilities is built on the foundation of the director’s competence in his/her professional role. Direction of the MA diploma film is an important framework within which students strengthen their specialisation in the professional field of the genre and take part in developing a tradition of expression.

A graduate with a major in Documentary Film (Master’s degree programme in Film and Television) is able to:

  • work as an independent documentary film director, teacher, instructor or be employed in applied professional tasks in the documentary film profession (such as festivals, financing, distribution, production, production of commissioned films)
  • identify his/her style as a director
  • question and develop practices in the field
  • question and reflect on the traditions in his/her field and apply for doctoral film studies.

Education Content

In the major in Documentary Film a student deepens his/her vision of directing a documentary film. The teaching consists of workshops and lecture modules built around different varying themes, where progressing in the diploma film process is integrated with advanced studies in various approaches to the genre and styles, traditions and history, new forms of the modern documentary and the theory of the genre. Directing the diploma film and the related written diploma work are the essential framework of the Master’s degree programme studies, a process that is supported by the other studies.

Teaching is offered in workshop format and as lecture courses, Master courses held by visiting teachers and independent project work.  The students familiarise themselves with the history of film and especially that of documentaries, and are comprehensively introduced to the new forms of modern documentaries. Film analysis, reflecting on the conditions of one’s own medium, writing and thinking are important forms of teaching that support practical activities. Knowledge of other arts and experimental and fictional film as well as familiarising oneself with documentary expression in the fields of new media, visual arts and other media is vital. The students' ability to observe and interpret reality, their readiness to encounter people, critical thinking, willingness to experiment and ability to work in a team are developed through the above-mentioned teaching methods.

Major Studies 90 ECTS

Code

Name

ECTS Credits

Advanced Studies in Documentary Film

90

Students of the major complete 60 ECTS of studies from an annually changing selection of courses so that at least the minimum credit requirements of the study modules are fulfilled. In addition, students complete a master’s thesis.

Art, Theory and Research Studies

10–35

ELO-E1500

Practice Based Research and Filmmaker's Theory

2–4

ELO-E1501

Film Analysis and Essay Writing

4

ELO-E1001

Master Clinic

1–2

ELO-E1002

Advanced Information Literacy

1

ELO-E1502

History of Documentary Film 2

2

ELO-E1503

Theory of Documentary Film 2

2

ELO-E1504

Documentary Film and Ethics

2

ELO-E3000

Seventh Art

1–5

ELO-C3032

Dramaturgy in Music

3

ELO-E3025

Special Areas in Film Dramaturgy

1–5

ELO-E1004

MA Seminar

3–5

Advanced Studies in Documentary Film

20–30

Studies in Directing for Documentary Film

ELO-E1505

Director Atelier

4–10

ELO-E1506

Intermediate Work (Short Film Exercise)

4–8

ELO-E1507

History and Memory 2

6–8

ELO-E1508

Political and Social Documentary

3–5

ELO-E1509

New Trends in Documentary Film

2–4

ELO-E1510

Directing Workshop with Varying Theme

2–6

ELO-E1511

Genre Workshop

2–6

ELO-E1512

Travel Workshop

4–6

ELO-E1513

Planning and Writing Documentary Films

2–4

Field Specific Practices

ELO-E1514

Film Financing

2–4

ELO-E1515

Practices

2–4

ELO-E1516

Documentary FIlm Production

2–4

ELO.trai

Training

2–5

ELO-E1517

Organising a Film Event

2–4

ELO-E1518

Commissioned Film

4–8

Advanced Special Courses

5–30

ELO-E1520

Film and Other Arts

2–4

ELO-E1521

Experimental Film, Video Art, Spatial Film

3–6

ELO-E1522

Advanced Course in Aesthetics of Documentary Film Editing

2–4

ELO-E1523

New Media and Documentary Expression

2–6

ELO-E1524

Television Documentary

4–6

ELO-E1525

Radio Documentary

2–6

ELO-E1526

Dance Film

2–6

ELO-E1005

Courses with Varying Content in Film (MA) (Lastenelokuvan kurssi)

4–6

Special Courses Offered By Other Majors:

ELO-E4508

Music as a Narrative Device in Film (Film Sound Design)

2–6

ELO-E4509

Sound and the Environment (Film Sound Design)

 

ELO-E4003

Character Lighting 2 (Cinematography)

2

ELO-E4013

Digital Cinematography 2

3

ELO-E4007

Color Grading 2 (Cinematography)

2

Master’s Thesis

30

ELO.thes 

Master’s Thesis

30

 

Elective Studies 30 ECTS

All master’s degrees at Aalto ARTS include 30 ECTS of elective studies. As elective studies, students can for example complete courses at Aalto University or other Finnish universities or participate in an international student exchange programme.

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