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Aberystwyth University: Documentary Filmmaking: Landscape and Ecology

Institution Aberystwyth University View institution profile
Department Department of Theatre, Film and Television Studies
Telephone 01970 621517
Study type Taught


The MA in Documentary Filmmaking: Landscape and Ecology provides a unique opportunity to develop skills as a documentary filmmaker within a research-led, cross-departmental and technologically diverse context. Aberystwyth is the perfect location for an immersion in documentary filmmaking that responds to space, place, landscape and ecology. Encouraging students to find their own creative voice, the scheme offers practical instruction in both analogue and digital filmmaking, making use of industry-standard digital equipment, as well as a dedicated film lab and darkroom for Super 8 and 16mm production. Students will explore the history and theory of documentary film alongside specialist modules in Human Geography, allowing them to create innovative and thought-provoking works that negotiate the pressing issues of our time. This new MA provides several different creative pathways, embracing traditional and non-traditional documentary modes and supporting students through a range of technical approaches.

Why study MA Documentary Filmmaking: Landscape and Ecology at Aberystwyth University?

  • Rare access to a range of specialist equipment, with support in both analogue and digital workflows.

  • Unique interdisciplinary focus that combines instruction in both Film and Geography.

  • Develop a unique documentary voice in an environment that encourages experimentation and risk-taking.

  • A vibrant department where drama, theatre, film, media, scenography and theatre design collide.

  • Study with internationally recognised artists, scholars and curators who will help you to identify appropriate modes of address and screening platforms.

  • An annual programme of departmental research seminars, with high-profile visiting speakers and performers.

  • Access to the National Screen and Sound Archive at the National Library of Wales.

  • Extraordinary and inspiring location and environment in close proximity to a range of key environmental organisations (Dyfi Biosphere, Centre for Alternative Technology, Natural Resources Wales).

How will I learn? The taught part of the course is delivered through lectures, seminars, practical workshops and screenings. During semester three (June-September), you will arrange your level of contact time with your assigned supervisor. In addition to scheduled teaching times you will also have access to technical workspaces to pursue independent study and creative practice throughout the course.

What will I learn? In the first two semesters (September to May), you will study a number of modules, together worth a total of 120 credits. Modules include: Documentary Practices; Exhibiting Film; Ecocriticism and Eco-cinema; 16mm Filmmaking; Key Concepts and Debates in Human Geography and Final Production Project. The scheme has been designed to equip you with key transferrable skills and professional experience alongside your development as a creative practitioner in the field of documentary.

In the final semester (June to September), you will undertake a 60 credit practice-based Production Research Project, supported by a dedicated supervisor who will work closely with you.

How will I be assessed? Assessment is designed to extend your critical and creative capabilities. You will engage in at least five practical film projects, write a number of essays, reflective journals and critical reflections and devise a curatorial project related to documentary film. In the third semester, you will complete a substantial research-led film project of 15-20 minutes, with a supporting 5,000 word essay.



This is your place- to master your future  

The University and Town 

Established in 1972, Aberystwyth University has a global reputation for teaching excellence and ground-breaking research. The University offers a range of research and taught postgraduate programmes, with students from across the world choosing to study here. 

Aberystwyth is a cosmopolitan market town nestled between the mountains and the sea. The University’s scenic location (part of the UNESCO Dyfi Biosphere) provides a beautiful place to explore and unwind in-between studying.  

Aberystwyth has a welcoming and modern community with a vibrant social life and culture, which has earned …

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