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Summer Course Visual Methods


Admission requirements

This course is open to both beginners as well as more experienced media makers, researchers and artists. 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 (4 weeks full-time in August) and acquire 6 ECTS.
Contract participants start August 3rd and finish 21st (3 weeks) and acquire 5 ECTS.

Please see Application further below for the registration procedure.

[NB: The course is open for 7 to 12 participants only and will only go ahead provided enough particiants have registered by May 1st.]


The enrollment fee for the Summer Course is € 900,- for premaster students and € 1250,- for contract/a-la-carte participants. This fee applies to all participants, including students who are already enrolled to any Dutch university (including Leiden).
Camera’s as well as editing equipment can be provided. Participants do need to provide their own external hard disc (approx. 500 GB disc space) and cover the costs of recording material (memory card 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. 16 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 at least one short edited film (aprox. 12 min.).

Course objectives

Students acquire:

  • practical and theoretical understanding of audiovisual methods & narrative techniques

  • 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)

  • premasters: basic overview of ethnographic film history & theory

Timetable and location

Starting date: August 3rd 2015, 10 – 17 h (editing facilities open till 8 pm)
Some days may not be spent at the university when executing practical or theoretical work. The 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 5-6 ECTS, resp. 140-168 study hours consisting of

  • lectures

  • tutorials

  • practicals

  • producing a short video film

  • premasters: various assignments in text and image

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

  • film self-study ca 10 hr

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 May 1st.
[NB: Premaster students have priority when more than 12 participants register]

The course is primarily meant for students who are applying for the MA programme CA-DS, and more specifically the methodological track Visual Ethnography as a Method . In that case, registration for this 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:

  • First apply online for the master’s programme in Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology (either of the two specializations) via the Masters in Leiden website . In your motivation letter, which is one of the application documents, please indicate that you would like to take part in the methodological track “Visual Ethnography as a Method” starting in September 2015.

  • Then send an email to the coordinator of Visual Ethnography to indicate that you have started the MA applicatuon procedure and would like to apply for the Summer Course.

To apply for the Summer Course as a contract student:

Contact information



The course will only go ahead provided enough particiants have registered by May 1st 2015.