nl en

Visual Methods


Admission requirements

A very limited number of places are available for this course so only the following categories of students may register:

  • Students enrolled for the Bachelor’s programme “CA-DS” at Leiden University who have passed the Propedeuse. Only ONE third year's course at level 300 is obligatory according to your programme.

  • Students enrolled for the Minor CA-OS who have not followed another CA-OS course at level 300.
    If because of an excess of applications a selection of participants must be made, students who have already followed other "exploration" courses at level 300 will not be considered.

The following two categories will be registered by our administration after the admission procedure:

  • Pre-Master’s students who have completed the admission procedure for the Master of Visual Ethnography course and have been formally admitted to this course as part of the Pre-Master’s programme.

  • Students studying Cultural Anthropology at other Dutch universities and who have applied for the course as indicated below.

Please see below for the Registration Procedure for this course.


Students must bring their own external hard disks to the course (500GB/1TB, USB 3.0 connection, price from 65 Euro). Owners of Apple equipment should ensure that disks are formatted for Mac & PC; i.e., exFAT..

Course description

This course provides a general theoretical introduction to visual methods, as well as hands-on training in the anthropological use of video. Students are introduced to how photography and video can be used in anthropological research through the production of a short ethnographic video. They are also introduced to the theory of visual anthropology and the history of ethnographic film.

NB: This course is also an admission requirement for the track Visual Ethnography as a Method within the MA programme in Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology.

Course objectives

Students will acquire:

  • a general understanding of audiovisual methods and techniques that can be used in ethnography and an understanding of when to use which medium (word, audio, image, video) for research and reporting.

  • experience with using various audiovisual methods and techniques such as: (a) observing patterns of behaviour, technical processes and social interactions; (b) conducting photo and video elicitation and copyright (©) recording, analysing and editing still and moving images from an ethnographic perspective.

  • basic skills in the use of consumer video equipment and digital editing software.

  • basic knowledge and understanding of ethnographic film history & visual anthropological theory.

  • experience of presenting visual ethnographic research in an academic multi-media report, including a short edited video.


Dates and room numbers can be found on our website, under "3e Jaar, Semester 1, Hoorcolleges" and "Werkgroepen Visual Methods". Usis registration for Werkgroepen (Tutorials) is not necessary.

Methods of instruction

Total 10 ECTS = 280 study hours (sbu)

  • lectures

  • tutorials

  • practicals

  • producing a short ethnographic video (approx. 10 min.) and an academic multi-media report (approx. 10 pp) in a team of two students

  • various assignments in text and image

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

  • film and video lecture self-study ca. 10 hrs

Reading list

Available through Blackboard.

Assesment method

  • practical assignments (20 % of the final grade)

  • ethnographic video (40 %), accompanied by an academic multi-media report (40 %)

  • attendance at and active participation in lectures, workgroups and practicals is obligatory

  • If necessary, there will be one chance to re-take the examination before July 1st.


Please see “Admission requirements” above in order to see whether you are entitled to register for this course.

Registration in Usis is obligatory for the lectures (H). Please consult the course registration website for information on registration periods and further instructions.

  • Registration for the exam is NOT necessary because this course does not have one final (classical) exam.

  • Registration for tutorials (werkgroepen) is NOT needed.

Registration on Blackboard is obligarory for all participants and will be possible after September 4th 2017.

Pre-master students who have been formally admitted to this course as p[art of their pre-master programme, will be registered in Usis by the faculty administration.

Students of Cultural Anthropology from other Dutch universities: Registration is possible between 15 June and 15 August 2018 via an e-mail to [](mailto:
Please e-mail a brief explanation of the following points: study phase, previous experience with visual means, possibly the intention to do the master CA-OS in Leiden (containing specialisation Visual Ethnography as a Method.
You will be notified no later than 25 August 2018 whether you have been selected, and if so, how you must enroll as a guest student at Leiden University. You do not pay extra tuition fees for this enrollment because you are already enrolled at your own university, but you must have already completed enrollment at your own university for 2018-19.

Contact information

For issues related to registration/admission see above.
After admission: Drs. Metje Postma