autumn 2021
SVF-3105 Film in cross-cultural research - 10 ECTS

Last changed 30.03.2022

Application deadline

Applicants from Nordic countries: 1 June. Applicants from outside the Nordic countries: 15 April.

Type of course

This course may be taken as a singular course.

Admission requirements

Students who are not registered for the Master`s programme of Philosophy in Visual Anthropology, must have a Bachelor`s Degree, preferably in within Humanities or Social Sciences. However, the course is also open to students with Bachelor`s Degrees in other subjects. An average grade equivalent to C or better within the Norwegian grading system is required for Bachelor's degree or equivalent issued in Europe, Canada, USA, Australia and New Zealand; And an average grade equivalent to B or better within the Norwegian grading system is required for Bachelor's degree or equivalent issued in all other countries.

The course may be taken as a single course. Application code: 9371

Course content

The aim of this course is to give students an insight into how ethnographic film contributes to the production of anthropological knowledge and serves as a valid research tool. By the students own presentations and analyses of the films, a critical thinking of ethnographic film as a way of representing ethnographic knowledge will be conveyed. The course explores the history, conceptual innovations, and technological developments of presenting ethnographic knowledge in film and video. The students are introduced to major films, filmmakers and contemporary debates and will critically analyse the ways various ethnographic films contribute to our understanding or misunderstanding of the diversity and similarity of human cultures. In each session, we will watch and discuss films that exemplify approaches to documenting and presenting the diverse peoples and cultures of the world.

Objectives of the course

Students who successfully complete this course should have achieved the following learning outcomes:


  •  know how to present and analyse the different genres within ethnographic filmmaking.
  • know how to think critically about film as a form of representation, its veracity.



  • be able to present and analyse how these genres and film styles are connected to different social science approaches.
  • be able to critically evaluate how films has been used in the social sciences to convey knowledge in a cross-cultural contexts.
  • be able to critically evaluate the power relations inherent in film-making as a research context.


General competence

  • be able to present and analyse ethnographic films by paying attention to the relationship between the course of events in the film, how one scene is related to the other, the description of the protagonists, and the different social contexts presented in the film
  • acquire a consciousness of the role of the audience in the social science knowledge production.
  • be able to critically evaluate the potentials of ethnographic filmmaking in cross-cultural communication and empowerment.

Language of instruction and examination

All lectures, readings, assignments, seminar discussions and the final exam are conducted in English.

Teaching methods

The teaching will consist of lectures, seminars (approx. 36 hours), and practical exercises.  

Information to incoming exchange students

This course is available for inbound exchange students.

This course is open for inbound exchange student who meets the admission requirements. Please see the Admission requirements section.

Do you have questions about this module? Please check the following website to contact the course coordinator for exchange students at the faculty:


Students have to hold an oral presentation and analyse a chosen film. The presentation should last ca. 15 minutes.


The final examination is an essay of max. 3500 words / 10 pages written during a home examination period of two weeks. Grading: A-E (pass)/F (fail). A re-sit exam will be arranged for this course.

  • About the course
  • Campus: Tromsø |
  • ECTS: 10
  • Course code: SVF-3105