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Visual Methods in the Digital World


Admission Requirements

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

1) Students enrolled for the bachelor’s programme CADS at Leiden University who have passed the propaedeutic phase.

If because of an excess of applications a selection of participants must be made, students who have already followed another Bachelor Year 3 elective (level 300) will not be considered.

2) Premaster’s students who have completed the admission procedure for the master CADS (specialisation Visual Ethnography) and have been formally admitted to this course as part of personal pre-Master’s programmes.
3) Bachelor’s students from other academic programmes from Leiden University who have passed the propaedeutic phase of their programme and who want to follow this course as a level 300 elective.
4) Students studying Cultural Anthropology at other Dutch universities and who have applied for the course as indicated below. For these students the application deadline is 7 December. You can send your application to

N.B.: Because of the limited number of available places for this course, selection may have to take place from among the students from the categories 3 and 4. Students from the catergories 3 and 4 will be informed on the decision after 24 January 2021. Please see below for the Registration Procedure for this course.


Students must bring their own SD-card and external hard-drive to the course (500GB/1TB, USB 3.0 connection, price from 65 Euro). Specifications will be offered at the first tutorial of the Visual Methods course. Owners of Apple equipment should ensure that drives 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 an admission requirement for the specialisation Visual Ethnography within the master’s programme 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 of 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 interview-recording, analysing and editing ethnographic film 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 can be found on our website

Methods of Instruction

Total 10 ECTS = 280 study hours (sbu)

  • lectures

  • tutorials

  • practical assignments

  • coaching through tutorial-supervision

  • performance in teams of two students of a piece of small-scale visual ethnographic research, to include the production of a short ethnographic video (approx. 10 min.) and an academic multi-media webpage (approx. 10 pages)

  • various assignments in text and image

  • essay based on literature, film and video self-study ca. 300 pages of selected reading ca. 10 hrs. of viewing plus related class assignments

Reading & Viewing List

Available through the website (available from 15 January 2021 onward).

Assessment Method

  • practical assignments (10% of the final grade)

  • theoretical essay (circa 4,000 words), based on a selection from the viewing- and reading-list (20%)

  • ethnographic video embedded in a website that contextualizes the film (70 %)

  • mandatory attendance at and active participation in lectures, tutorials and practicals

  • If necessary there will be one chance to re-submit inadequate assignments or adjust the final project after assessment and before July 1st.


  • Registration in uSis is mandatory for this course for all participants. 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 is NOT necessary.

  • Premaster’s students who have been formally admitted to this course as part of their premaster’s programme will be registered in uSis by the Student Service Centre (SSC/OSC).

Contact information

For all information about registration/admission please sent an email to
After admission please contact: Drs. Metje Postma