ATS3540 - Documentary and realism in film and television - 2017

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Organisational Unit

Film and Screen Studies


Associate Professor Deane Williams

Not offered in 2017


Documentary and Realism in Film and Television examines approaches to documentary film and television through addressing questions of realism, reality, truth, indexicality and the boundary between fiction and non-fiction. The theoretical and practical issues discussed in relation to film and television will provide a framework for the examination of a number of important phases in the historical development of documentary and realist codes. The unit will address different styles of documentary, such as direct cinema, autobiography, reality formats and digital documentary and their historical evolution, in addition to the contemporary landscape of documentary production.


On the successful completion of this unit students will be able to

  1. Identify and classify a range historical and contemporary documentary or realist codes in relation to different media such as cinema, television and digital media.
  2. Evaluate film and television studies methodologies as they pertain to examples of non-fiction.
  3. Apply film and television studies methodologies in order to compare and analyse different documentary or realist forms
  4. Apply library resources and communicate an understanding of research methods in written and oral form.


Within semester assessment: 100%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. A unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


Twelve credit points of second-year Arts units. As this is a third-year level unit, it is recommended that students only take this unit after they have completed at least one second-year level unit in Film and screen studies.


FTV2710, FTV3710