Course Description

Course Name

Documentary Appreciation

Session: VSJW1122

Hours & Credits


Prerequisites & Language Level

Taught In English

  • There is no language prerequisite for courses at this language level.


Documentary Appreciation
Center for International Programs
Course code: 3400
Total contact hours: 48 hours

Main Objectives

Understand and analyse documentaries as a communication tool.

Secondary Objectives

Critical analysis of documentaries.
Interpret audiovisual communication in documentaries.


Discern good narrative based on investigative work.
Discuss social and natural science topics presented in documentaries.


The student will harness the ability to analyze documentaries in an insightful manner, understanding form and content.

Course Description

Documentary Appreciation will focus on the critical analysis of audiovisual documentaries. The course will explore a variety of social and natural science documentaries, from various countries and in various languages. The students will use the learnings from in-class lectures, their own experiences and personal views to analyze the material presented.


Lively in-class discussions after viewing a documentary. Initial lessons will be used to convey the basis of documentary analysis.


This elective course has no previous academic requirements. It does require university-level essay writing skills and in-class-engagement abilities.

Attendance Policy

No unexcused absences will be permitted. Excused absences must be approved by the instructor, in writing, prior to the date of the absence. Excused absences include religious holidays, medical emergencies and extenuating special circumstances.


The collaboration of each individual student affects the quality and opportunity of the other student?s education, therefore all students are expected to behave in a professional manner. Disruptive behavior will lead to the student?s permanent dismissal from class.

Electronic Devices

The use of cell phones, smart phones, or other mobile communication devices is disruptive, and is therefore prohibited during class. Please turn all devices OFF and put them away when class begins. Devices may be used ONLY when the professor assigns a specific activity and allows the use of devices for internet search or recording. Those who fail to comply with the rule must leave the classroom for the remainder of the class period.


It is essential to be on time to every documentary viewing since participation in the discussions comprises a large percent of the final grade.

Grading Policy

The grades range from 0 to 100%. In order to pass, you will need at least an 80%. Class participation will compose a large percentage of the final score.


Rosenthal, A. (2002). Writing, directing, and producing documentary films and videos (3 ed.). Estados Unidos: Southern Illinois University Press.. [IMC.DO 0004]

Iglesias, K. (2001). The 101 habits of highly successful screenwriters. Insider secrets from Hollywood's top writers. Estados Unidos: Adams Media.. [IMC.G 0023]

Escudero Vilario, N. (2000). Las claves del documental. EspaƱa: IORTV.. [IMC.DO 0002]

Breschand, J. (2004). El documental. La otra cara del cine. Le Documentaire. L'autre du cinema]. Espaa: Paids.. [IMC.H 0022]


Muybridge, E. (2002). Vol. I: The great train robbery and other primary works\Vol.II: The European pioneers\Vol.III: Experimentation and discovery\Vol. IV: The magic of Miles\Vol. V: Comedy, spectacle and new horizons. Inglaterra.. [DVD.PIO 0004]

*Course content subject to change