Directing Documentary - master

Directing Documentary - master

The Master's Programme in Film and Media, with specialisation in Documentary Directing is aimed at those who wish to specialise in and deepen their knowledge about directing documentaries. The programme qualifies the student for third-cycle studies and consists of two years of full-time studies at second cycle level.

Traditionally, documentary film is a genre that has its starting point in reality, real people and real stories. So it is still, but documentary film has also evolved to become an art form that has its strength in the film maker's very personal point of view and thus relates freely to reality. This is called creative documentary. The documentary director can have an emotional attitude to their material, enrich it creatively with their own visions and make use of all the narrative elements of film, such as editing, music and photography. Basically, as with all film art, it is about having something you really want to tell, being stubborn and having a strong need to communicate with an audience. Our programme is structured so that the documentary filmmaker learns to work both independently and in teams.

The Master's Programme in Film and Media, with specialisation in Documentary Directing

The Master's Programme in Film and Media is a programme for going more indepth that is also research preparatory and has a common programme structure for all specialisations. In the programme’s theory courses, students are introduced to different perspectives on knowledge, theory, reflection and artistic research methods.

The specialisation in documentary directing is one of the team specialisations in the master's programme that forms film teams and collaborations. The students work together in joint lab courses where they explore different forms of film and new media. Documentary film today has several sub-genres, such as essay film, cinema verité, hybrid film and also investigative journalistic film. Documentary film can be character-driven or may be based on the personal or autobiographical. A narrative can be driven with spoken narration or it can be expressed associatively and dialogue-free with only images and sounds. Thus, you can get the experience of working with different types of film - for different platforms and in shorter and longer formats. You gain in-depth knowledge of filmmaking as a process from idea to finished film, where editing is often a decisive phase in the documentary process.

The programme also has methodology courses specific to the specialisation. As a master student in documentary directing, you can practise managing professional workflows from research and idea development to recording, editing and post-production. The insights and knowledge that you acquire in the courses specific to the specialisation are applied in the lab courses and film exercises, which are sometimes carried out in teams.

During the programme you will have many opportunities for interactions across traditional professional boundaries, for example through elective courses that are common to the university’s departments. Here, each student identifies his or her need for further knowledge.

The programme leads to gaining specialist knowledge that prepares for research and for being able to work as a documentary film director.

Language of instruction

Please note! The language of instruction for this programme is Swedish. If you apply and you are admitted to the programme, you need show that you are eligible in Swedish June 21st 2021 at the latest. Please go to the programme's page on our Swedish website for more information.


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  • Entry requirements

    If you don’t fulfil the formal entry requirements for the programme you may apply for recognition of prior learning, in other words that the knowledge and competence you have acquired through other activities are assessed as the equivalent of the formal merits that are required. Submit your application for recognition of prior learning with your application for the programme.

    You may also apply for an exemption/a waiver, that allows you to proceed to the selection process even though you don’t meet the general admission requirements. Submit your application for an exemption/a waiver together with your application.

    Read more about how you can show that you meet the entry requirements (that you are eligible).

  • Valuable prior knowledge

  • How to apply

    Start your application early

    Don’t delay in submitting your application! You may run into trouble if you wait until the last day and your internet connection happens to be down, or you find that your files are in the wrong format. You will not be able to apply once the last date for applications has passed. Keep in mind that your application has to be turned in by 23:59 (Swedish time).

  • When you have applied

  • Application and tuition fees

    If you are a Swedish citizen or a citizen of another EU or EEA country you are not required to pay application or tuition fees. Some other groups are also exempt from the requirement to pay application and study fees.

    A few years ago Sweden introduced application and tuition fees for higher education. The level of the study fees depends on which course/programme they are for, and the level is set in order to cover the actual costs of the course/programme in question. SKH has some possibilities of offering scholarships that cover the whole study fee or that subsidise it.

    If you are required to pay an application fee, the Swedish Council for Higher Education needs to receive your payment by the last date forpaying the tuition fee. The application fee is SEK 900. If you are required to pay the application fee and the Swedish Council for Higher Education has not received your payment by the last date for paying the tuition fee, they will not process your application.

    Scholarships to Cover the Tuition Fee

    If you are obliged to pay a tuition fee you can apply for a scholarship which covers the tuition fee. The scholarship does not cover any private costs during your studies. Please note that you still need to pay an application fee (900 SEK). The application fee is non-refundable.

    Read more about application and study fees, how to pay to SKH and tuition fees and scholarships.