Module Identifier TF20410  
Academic Year 2003/2004  
Co-ordinator Ms Janet Jones  
Semester Semester 2  
Other staff Mr Jamie Medhurst, Dr Mikel Koven  
Pre-Requisite TF10210 , TF10410  
Course delivery Lecture   20 Hours LECTURES PLUS PRE- VIEWINGS  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Exam2 Hours  50%
Semester Assessment Essay: ESSAY (2500) For information on due dates for submission of assessed work, please refer to the departmental web pages at 50%

Learning outcomes

By the end of this module students should be able to::

Deconstruct the visual text distinguishing the discreet production elements characteristic of each documentary.
Question the concept of objectivity in documentary-making
Understand mediation in its various forms (e.g. an ability to distinguish different modes of authorship within the genre)
Analyse the spectrum of `indexical truthfulness? as defined by the relationship between the production and its audience.
Demonstrate how modern audiences relate differently to factual texts making reference to the new politics of reception.
Appreciate how technology drives content and vice versa (from the first mag track to the current use of web-cam and the creation of e-docs and I-docs)


The Documentary has undergone a period of significant change over the last decade. Who could have predicted, even three years ago, just how long a shadow Big Brother was to cast over the world? Should we view this as an aberration or a beginning of a redefinition of factual programming? Some commentators talk of the `Post Documentary` culture and project a future where the non-fiction film no longer exists; where the forces of commercialisation, cultural norms and technological change have mutated the genre beyond recognition. The aim of this module is to travel down a path from Grierson to Nasty Nick to see what forces dominate out television factual culture today and where they originated. We will analyse a wide range of films from different periods in order to understand the nature of documentary reality both from a producer and consumer angle. We will move through to an examination of what impact the television/computer is having in our living rooms and offices and how the nature of mediated documentary reality is changing to keep up with the forces of technology, competition and cultural preferences.

Reading Lists

PLEASE SEE MODULE HANDBOOK FOR READING LIST Tailored, specific readings will be assigned at each lecture although students are greatly encouraged to read widely from the priority reading list on page 9 of that Handbook..


This module is at CQFW Level 5