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Manchester Metropolitan University: Documentary

Institution Manchester Metropolitan University View institution profile
Department School of Digital Arts
Telephone 0161 247 69 69
Study type Taught


Documentary has had a renaissance during the past few years, which has manifested in its box-office success at the cinema and the expanding ways in which it is being developed for a variety of media and platforms. This course responds to these changes by offering a creative and experimental approach to documentary that goes beyond the traditional.

No longer just the domain of television and cinema, the documentary form has also become integral to internet content, advertising and art installations, all of which have radically changed the boundaries that define the genre. It has also opened up exciting new vocations for independent practitioners, as well as those who want employment in a wide range of media and creative organisations.

The School of Digital Arts (SODA) MA Documentary offers you the opportunity to develop your thoughts, ideas and creative practice about things that matter to you in the world. Documentary is ideally suited to be incorporated into evolving technologies such as AR, VR and interactive and immersive narrative forms. Not only does it consolidate many of the different interests which exist at the heart of SODA, it lends itself to the potentials of interdisciplinary research, so you will benefit from the broad range of academic and cultural activities across the university and its creative partners.

As a documentary student you will be part of SODA. You will study in an environment that is purpose-built for today’s fast-moving creative and digital sectors – offering boundary-breaking and cross-disciplinary learning that reflects modern project-based working practices. You will be based within a cutting edge building, equipped with the latest emerging technologies, to enable you to develop industry-standard skills for creating and researching content across the latest digital platforms. It is a place that offers the opportunity to collaborate within our dynamic creative community of sound designers, photographers, filmmakers, games developers and more.

During the course you will also develop professional links with the creative community and industries both locally, nationally and internationally. For students and creative media professionals alike, SODA is well positioned - Manchester is a great place for building a network and developing your research and practice in the media, games and digital tech industries. SODA is home to staff from a wide range of creative disciplines, who are research active and experts in their chosen areas. They also enjoy well-established links to the wider creative media, arts and digital tech industries.

Features and Benefits - The teaching staff on this course are practising industry professionals working in expanded forms of documentary, making feature-length documentaries for cinema, series for television, installations for galleries, as well as more eclectic content for the internet.

  • The course will regularly host lectures and workshops with practitioners from different areas of documentary production.

  • You will be encouraged and helped in submitting work to international film festivals and will have an opportunity to attend at least one of the important specialist documentary film festivals such as the local Sheffield Doc/Fest or CPH Dox in Copenhagen.

  • You will be able to develop your own personal network of industry connections, benefiting from SODA's established relationships with production companies and commissioning organisations based in Manchester, such as HOME, BBC (Media City), Red Production Company and the Manchester City and Regional Art Galleries.

  • You will become an integral part of a creative community and will have opportunities for collaborations within SODA. For example, you will be able to develop your ideas for documentary story telling with evolving technologies such as AR, VR and interactive and immersive narrative forms.


Manchester Metropolitan University (Manchester Met) is a historic and internationally recognised institution that dates back to 1824. Known for the quality of its teaching, it is also ranked as one of the top 60 universities in the UK*.

The University, which is located in the heart of Manchester’s city centre, is home to a diverse community of more than 4,000 international students from over 100 countries. International students are offered comprehensive support throughout their journey at Manchester Met, including advice on employability skills, careers, accommodation, and immigration.

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