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Summer Course Visual Methods


Admission requirements

This course is open to both beginners as well as more experienced media makers. Previous audiovisual experience is not necessary, previous training in scientific or artistic research is useful. The level is pre-master upwards, including PhD researchers and working professionals.
Premaster students need to be available for the full course (July and August).
Contract/A-la-Carte participants may start on August 5th.
Please see Application further below for the registration procedure.

[NB: The course can not take place if there are less than 10 participants.]


The enrollment fee for the Summer Course is lies between € 950,- and € 1250,- (the exact fee depends on type of supervision and facilities required). In those instances where due to prior education students need less than 10 EC the fee can be brought down to € 750,-
This fee applies to all participants, including the students who are already enrolled to any Dutch university (including Leiden).

Camera’s as well as editing equipment can be provided. All participants do need to provide their own external hard disc (approx. 100 GB disc space) and cover the costs of recording material (memory card or tapes, ca. 25, euro per person).

Students living outside Leiden, using public transport, need to take extra travel expenses during the summer into account (as the regular student discounts don’t apply). Those who do the full course are expected aprox. 20 days in Leiden.


This course provides a hands on training in the use of photography, sound and video for anthropological research. It includes the making of two small video projects, applying elicitation techniques and discussing a variety of styles, genres and contexts in which ethnographic films and other audiovisual media are being used. In specific cases it can be possible to work with the audiovisual material towards a website, pdf or other multimedia environment. Each participant will make a short edited film (aprox. 12 min.).

Course objectives

Students acquire:

  • practical and theoretical understanding of audiovisual methods & narrative techniques that can be used in ethnography

  • experience with photo and video elicitation

  • experience with systematic observation of non-verbal patterns

  • an understanding when to use which medium (word, audio, image)

  • experience in camera handling and editing from an ethnographic perspective

  • basic skills in the use of video equipment and digital editing (Adobe Premiere)

  • very basic overview of ethnographic film history & theory

Timetable and location

July 1st – August 31rd 2014, Tuesdays and Thursdays (10 – 17 h)

Required presence at Leiden University:

  • Premaster students: 1 – 4 July (compulsory), and after that all Tuesdays and Thursdays in July and August.

  • Contract/A-la-Carte students: 5 – 8 August and after that each Tuesday and Thursday in August.
    The days not spent at the University are meant for doing practical and theoretical work, either individually or in a team of two. This course is intensive and requires full-time attention.

Location: Faculty of Social Sciences, Leiden University.
Address: Pieter de la Court Building, Wassenaarseweg 52, Leiden
Room number: to be announced

Mode of instruction

Total 10 ECTS = 280 study hours (sbu)

  • lectures

  • tutorials

  • practicals

  • producing a short video film in a team of two students (aprox. 10 minutes)

  • various assignments in text and image

  • literature self-study ca.300 pages of selected reading

  • film self-study ca 10 hrs

Assessment method

  • written assignments about the lectures, audiovisual sources and literature (25 % of the final grade)

  • ethnographic film (50 %), accompanied by text and still images (25 %).

  • presence and active participation in lectures, practicals and tutorials is compulsory (missing more than two sessions disqualifies for the course)

  • when failing final deadline or grade, only one re-examination will take place, before sept 15th

Reading & viewing list

To be assigned individually.


Application must take place before April 1st.
[NB: The course can not take place if there are less than 10 participants.]

This course is primarily meant for students who are applying for the MA programme CA-DS. In that case, registration for the summer course should be preceded by application for the Master Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology.

To apply for the Summer Course as a premaster student:

  • Apply for the master’s programme at the Masters in Leiden website for the MA pogramme Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology (it is optional to indicate a specialisation)

  • Send an email to the coordinator of Visual Ethnography to indicate that you have started the applicatuon procedure.

To apply for the Summer Course as a contract student / a la carte:

Contact information



This course will only be taught if a minimum of 10 students register before April 1st 2014.