Social Documentation, Master | University of California, Santa Cruz | Santa Cruz, United States
24 months
15102 USD/year
15102 USD/year
14178 USD/year
Tuition fee
Apply date
Start date


Social Documentation from University of California, Santa Cruz is designed for future documentarians committed to social change and to documenting communities, cultures, issues, and individuals who are marginalized in our current landscape of representation. 


Social Documentation from University of California, Santa Cruz goes beyond the story. That's our motto and our practice: to go beyond story-telling into the intimacy of people's lives, the causes underlying social injustice, the issues too pressing to ignore. There's a story, too, but we think that should be the beginning, not the end, of the matter.

Graduates with Social Documentation from University of California, Santa Cruz will be able to:

  • Critically analyze social issues pertaining their documentary subject matter by applying social science methodologies and will implement ethically sound community negotiation and professional and interpersonal interaction in documentary fieldwork.
  • Acquire analytical writing skills, produce advanced project proposals and develop creative treatments.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of historical models of documentary practices and demonstrate by using those idea in their own practice uses those ideas.
  • Demonstarate expertise in documentary project planning.
  • Shoot documentary video and photography with various cameras and in a variety of contexts.
  • Implement professional lighting and sound recordings in a variety of settings and with diverse equipment.
  • Understand and implement video and sound editing, logging and transcribing.
  • Implement post-production video, audio and photographic output.
  • Demonstrate an ability to analyze their field recordings according to story structure and character development in order to develop their own work.
  • Implement distribution, social media and transmedia applications to their documentary projects.

Programme Structure

Courses include:

  • Approaches to Social Documentary
  • Advanced Documentary Field Production & Editing
  • Project Planning for the Social Documentary 
  • Practice of Social Documentary
  • Social Science Research and Representation
  • Ways of Seeing and Hearing
  • Studies & Practice for SocDoc, Filmmaking & New Media
  • Production, Analysis, Editing

Key information


  • Full-time
    • 24 months

Start dates & application deadlines


72 SCH


On Campus

Academic requirements

GPA admission requirements GPA

Other requirements

General requirements

  • Official transcripts
  • Supplemental Materials
  • Recommendations 
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation are required, up to 5 may be submitted. 
  • An analytical writing sample (a research paper, professional report, substantial essay, or published work)
  • A resume or curriculum vitae
  • A sample of your documentary production work (a video or sound recording, oral history, ethnographic essay, photographic essay, or web page). The preferred format for submission of production work is via web, but hardcopy versions may be accepted in some cases. Documents will not be returned. If you are able to, please provide URLs to publications and documentary productions in your application. You must mail any hard copies of sample production materials (DVDs, CDs, portfolios, etc.) directly to the department.

Tuition Fee

To alway see correct tuition fees
  • International

    15102 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the tuition of 15102 USD per year during 24 months.
  • National

    15102 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the tuition of 15102 USD per year during 24 months.
  • In-State

    14178 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the tuition of 14178 USD per year during 24 months.

Living costs for Santa Cruz

1710 - 2560 USD /month
Living costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


Interested in financing your studies? Find a student loan that works for you.

Financing partner MPOWER Financing Student Loans between $2,001 - $100,000


Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

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Social Documentation
University of California, Santa Cruz
Social Documentation
University of California, Santa Cruz


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