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Visual Methods in the Digital World


Admission Requirements

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.

NOTE: Due to an excess of applications from CADS Bachelor and CADS premaster students the course is in 2022-2023 unfortunately closed for Bachelor’s students from other academic programmes from Leiden University as well as for students studying Cultural Anthropology at other Dutch universities.

Equipment and Expenses

Students who wish to experiment with a handheld video camera, may request – availability permitting, an HD video-camera from the university (Panasonic HC-V700 or HC-V770). Alternatively, the use of a students’ own equipment is also permitted.

Course Description

This course provides a general theoretical introduction to the theory of visual anthropology, as well as an introduction to basic principles of the use of photography and video in ethnographic research. Students are trained in how photography and video can be used in anthropological research through a series of ethnographic research assignments and the design of a multimodal website.

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:

  • basic knowledge and understanding of visual anthropological theory

  • Introduction to basic principles of audiovisual methods for ethnographic research and an understanding of when to use which medium (word, audio, image, video) for research and reporting

  • experience with using various audiovisual methods such as: (a) participant observation and systematic observation of social interactions supported by photography; (b) conducting photo and video elicitation interviews,

  • basic skills in the use of mobile video equipment

  • experience of presenting visual ethnographic research on an academic multi-media website


Dates can be found on our website

Methods of Instruction

Total 10 ECTS = 280 study hours (sbu)

  • Seminars (30 hours)

  • Workgroups (20 hours)

  • Independent-study (online lectures) (ca. 20 hours)

  • Midterm questions compilation (ca. 20 hours)

  • Literature readings & viewings. ca. 240 pages of selected reading (ca. 40 hours)

  • Exercises (ca. 15 hours)

  • Audiovisual assignments (ca. 50 hours)

  • Final Project (ca. 85 hours)

Assessment Method

  1. Audiovisual Assignments (AV Assignments) (20%)
  2. Exercises (pass/fail with Peer Feedback) (5% each, totaling 10%)
  3. Midterm Submission (1200 words, 10%)
  4. Final portfolio (Multimodal Web Portfolio + 2000 word text that responds to the prompt, “how does this portfolio respond to the concepts and theories discussed in first half?”) (50%)
  5. Attendance, participation, peer feedback, presentation (10%)

Registration in My Studymap

Registration for the lectures in My Studymap is mandatory for all students. Registration closes 28 days before the start of the course. Carefully read all information about the procedures and deadlines for registering for courses and exams.

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).

Confirming your exams

Students need not register for the examination via My Studymap, because this course does not include a single final examination.


Brightspace is the digital learning environment of Leiden University. Brightspace gives access to course announcements and electronic study material. Assignments will also be submitted in Brightspace. Announcements about and changes to courses will be made via Brightspace. Students are advised to check Brightspace daily to remain informed about rooms, schedules, deadlines, and details of assignments. Lecturers assume that all students read information posted on Brightspace.

The homepage for Brightspace is: Brightspace

Please log in with your ULCN-account and personal password. On the left you will see an overview of My Courses.

Course Literature

Available through the website (available from 15 January 2022 onward).

Contact information

F. De Musso Dr. B.L. Fogarty-Valenzuela Dr. S.R.J.J. Hölsgens