MA Film Studies

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Docufiction Filmmaking

Course unit fact file
Unit code DRAM70061
Credit rating 30
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Available as a free choice unit? No


The course is designed to teach students different dramatic styles by integrating theory and analysis with practical work. In addition to attending seminars and screenings, the students will develop video production techniques and post-production skills to discover how different narrative forms are achieved with industry level camera equipment and editing software. Smaller production groups will be formed to devise a short dramatic film using documentary film techniques, which will then go into production, overseen by the tutor. The students will conduct research, develop a working script and learn how to cast and direct non-professional actors on location and through improvised acting. Each student will be required to carry out a variety of functions which could include: director, camera-person, sound-person, editor, production assistant and researcher.


  • To give students an opportunity to explore different approaches to video production conducted in the borderland between fact and fiction, and to test those strategies through undertaking practical work on docufiction preproduction, production and postproduction.
  • To conduct practice-based research on docufiction film by drawing on docufiction history and theory.
  • To develop a critical understanding of media objectivism in historical and contemporary media by understand how the artifice of authenticity can be devised in media productions.

Knowledge and understanding

Demonstrate a critical and systematic understanding and knowledge of:

  • the artifice of authenticity
  • docufiction history and theory
  • film production processes

Intellectual skills

Demonstrate critical understanding and ability to use -

  • critical film analysis
  • reflective practice
  • editing skills


 - in order to develop, create and produce short films of industry standard or approaching industry standard.

Practical skills

Demonstrate advanced practical skills in -

  • preproduction of docufiction film
  • production of docufiction film

postproduction of docufiction film

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • Advanced interpersonal communication and team-working skills
  • Advanced critical thinking skills and creative group-work practice skills (problem-solving, thinking innovatively, drawing on creative approaches of others, evaluating arguments, giving and receiving feedback, time-keeping)
  • Using effective leadership and group-work skills to solve complex problems
  • Performing with confidence and precision for specific audiences/contexts, making use of diverse creative approaches and media

Employability skills

Analytical skills
Ability to develop informed critique of professional practice (own and others), drawing on understanding of high quality standards Development of a professional identity and skills/knowledge base to inform further professional practice, training and learning
Ability to work independently and as part of a group to conceive, plan, undertake and evaluate original, well-developed projects that involve complex and unpredictable scenarios Ability to work independently and as part of a group to solve problems arising from engaging with challenging and unpredictable scenarios Advanced skills in group-work, leadership, reflexivity, planning and project management Understanding of and adherence to industry-level professional and ethical standards in practical work

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Other 60%
Written assignment (inc essay) 40%
Production of a project proposal, working script and a docufiction film 60%
Reflective Essay 40%


Feedback methods



 Feedback method

Formative or Summative

Film - written


Reflective essay - written


Formative feedback points throughout the process, via dedicated tutorial hours and in-class sessions



Recommended reading

Hight, C. & Roscoe, J. 2001. Faking It: Mock-Documentary and the

Subversion of Factuality


Owens, J. and G. Millerson. 2012. Video Production HandbookMurch, W. 2001. In the blink of an eye


Rabiger, M. 1992. Directing the Documentary


Rhodes, GD. and JP Springer. (eds.) 2006. Docufictions: essays on the intersection of documentary and fictional filmmaking


Rosenthal, A. 2002. Writing, Directing, and Producing Documentary Films and


Ward, P. 2005. Documentary: The Margins of Reality

Study hours

Independent study hours
Independent study 300

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Johannes Sjoberg Unit coordinator

Additional notes

Scheduled activity hours

  • Weekly workshops – 2.5 days
  • Extra-curricular filming and editing
  • Screenings as appropriate


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