Skip to navigation | Skip to main content | Skip to footer
Menu Search the University of Manchester siteSearch

Alternatively, use our A–Z index

Visual Anthropology MA

View tabs | View full page

Fact file

Degree awarded
12 months f/t ; 24 months p/t (tbc)
Entry requirements

UK 2:1 Honours degree (or overseas equivalent) in social or cultural anthropology. Those with related backgrounds are also encouraged to apply.

Applicants should indicate via the further information field on the on-line form which of the 2 pathways they wish to be considered for: Ethnographic Documentary with Film or Ethnographic Documentary with Sensory Media.

Full entry requirements

Number of places/applicants
There are 3 deadlines by when all applications will have been reviewed. 1 December (overseas applicants only) 1 March 1 May Overseas students should try to apply before Nov 30 to allow them enough time to organise funding/visas. UK/EU applicants can apply by any of the dates.
How to apply

Course options

Full-timePart-timeFull-time distance learningPart-time distance learning

Course description

This course provides training in practical audiovisual skills combined with the study of visual and sensory anthropology. It is delivered by the Granada Centre for Visual Anthropology

When applying, prospective candidates MUST choose between 2 pathways; Ethnographic Documentary with Film (EDF) & Ethnographic Documentary with Sensory Media (EDSEM). Semester 1 is the same for students on both pathways. It includes intensive hands-on training in ethnographic documentary, modules on the history of ethnographic film & theoretical issues of visual perception/representation. In Semester 2, the pathways diverge. Students on the EDF pathway undertake further film training, whilst those on the EDSEM pathway undergo practical and intellectually-oriented training in other visual & aural media, including photography, sound recording, moving images, art, etc. The kind of practice-based exercises that the students on this pathway may engage in are shown on the following page.

Over the summer, all students carry out a practical field project. EDF students make a documentary film and write a `companion text'. EDSEM students conduct an original piece of ethnographic research & write a dissertation developed around one or more media presentations, which can be photography and/or sound recording, film, drawings, an art project. In principle, students may carry out their field projects anywhere in the world, provided they present a well thought-out proposal. Some students have gone to the most distant locations (Sri Lanka, Kazakhstan, Japan, Brazil), whilst others have chosen topics closer to home in Manchester (asylum seekers, a local beauty parlour, the gay cruising scene).

Recruitment is highly international: roughly one third of students are from the UK, a third from the European Union & the remainder from countries outside Europe. The course is taught by anthropologists who are also film-makers and/or other media practitioners, complemented by highly qualified audiovisual staff. Additional workshops are conducted by visiting professionals, including film-makers, photographers & sound recordists.

Contact: Programme Director:

Dr Andrew Irving

Tel: 0161 275 3917


Open days

For details of the next University Postgraduate open day, visit open days and visits


The fees quoted above will be fully inclusive for the course tuition, administration and computational costs during your studies.

All fees for entry will be subject to yearly review and incremental rises per annum are also likely over the duration of courses lasting more than a year for UK/EU students (fees are typically fixed for International students, for the course duration at the year of entry). For general fees information please visit: postgraduate fees . Always contact the department if you are unsure which fee applies to your qualification award and method of attendance.

Self-funded international applicants for this course will be required to pay a deposit of £1000 towards their tuition fees before a confirmation of acceptance for studies (CAS) is issued. This deposit will only be refunded if immigration permission is refused. We will notify you about how and when to make this payment.


Please see the School's funding page for further information.

Contact details

Academic department
School of Social Sciences
Contact name
Janet Smith
+44 (0)161 275 4471
+44 (0)161 275 2450
Academic department overview

Related subject areas