Introduction to Practical Non-Fiction Filmmaking - EN52048

Quick Facts

  • Postgraduate
  • 20 Credits
  • Semester 2
  • English - School of Humanities
  • Coursework 100%

Module Details

Week 1: Introduction: What is Non-Fiction Film

Week 2: Lighting at Interview  

Week 3: Interviewing on Camera

Week 5: Editing an Interview

Week 6: Scripting Non-Fiction Films

Week 7: Researching and Filming the Archives

Week 9: Finding, Clearing and Editing Found Footage

Week 11: Preparing a Rough Cut: Music and Sound

The students will also attend weekly screenings of important non-fiction films and fortnightly one-hour discussion sessions for reflection about theory and practice. 



Dr Brian Hoyle


Teaching staff

Dr Brian Hoyle – Module Leader, all sessions

Malcolm Finnie – Training sessions


The teaching will be all be face-to-face and will involve workshops, tutorials, seminars and training session. The students will have the opportunity to learn practical skill and reflect upon their practice. 


The intended learning outcomes of the module are assessed by a finished scene of around five or ten minutes, directed, shot, scripted and edited by the student. This will count for 70% of the module grade. They will also produce a reflecive essay in which they assess their working process. This will count for 30% of the grade.

Assessment type

Weighting (%)

Finished Scene


Reflective Essay



Access the online reading list system

Module Aims

Upon completion of the module, the successful student will be have gained:

  1. The ability to produce and direct a short documentary or essay film
  2. An appreciation, and practical experience of non-fiction filmmaking
  3. Experience interviewing subjects and building the art of screenplay from interviews and research
  4. A practical understanding and experience of the basic techniques of cinematography and film editing
  5. A deeper understanding of the aesthetics and grammar of the non-fiction film 

Intended learning outcomes

The intended learning outcomes are as follows:

Knowledge and understanding

  • to demonstrate a detailed knowledge of non-fiction film production
  • to understand and apply specific film language, concepts and terminology
  • to demonstrate an ability to apply practical skills by making a short documentary

Subject-specific practical and intellectual skills and attributes.

  • to respond to constructive feedback about their practical work both formally and informally from tutors and peers
  • to exchange views about film practice with others in a constructive and open-minded context and to work co-operatively with other students
  • to express their own opinions and defend their own critical judgments and practical work by drawing on key themes and debates in Film Studies

Transferable, employability and enterprise skills and attributes.

  • acquire a range of transferable skills, graduate attributes and personal qualities, which will enhance their confidence and independence both during and after their studies
  • develop an independent, organised approach to learning, and thereby practise time management skills through working to deadlines