October 16, 2013

Social Documentation MA: Call for Applications

University of California, Santa Cruz
Marquee Image credit: Photo by Ricardo Velasco Trujillo.

SocDoc: Masters Degree in Social Documentation Call for Applications
Application Deadline: Wednesday January 15, 2014

SocDoc Fall Visit Day at UC Santa Cruz in November (contact [email protected] for more information)

SocDoc is a one-of-a-kind program 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. SocDoc 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.

With training from professionals outstanding in their fields, students gain the skills and confidence to enter the increasingly sophisticated world of documentary production. Students train in production, creating projects on their own as well as in a group to learn what works and gain experience. Lighting, cameras, locations, subject and character choices, all come into play. So do editing techniques, motion graphics and animation, trailers and websites. As important as training in equipment is training in world-view, from the ethics of documentary to perspectives of narrative, and markers of evidence. SocDoc is a laboratory of discovery for students and professors alike, as we search for the best pathways to make a difference in the world through videography, photography, audio, and words.

Founded in 2005, SocDoc has a contemporary view of documentary that sets it apart from traditional approaches. Students considering enrollment should have a clear idea of a project, a commitment to social justice and human rights, and a desire to study their subject areas in depth. We prepare graduates for careers in independent media, documentary, human rights work, and creative contributions to a range of fields.

Soc Doc students work closely with a faculty of eminent professionals in the documentary field (production, criticism, theory), and draw from the topical and analytic expertise of scholars across the campus. For more information, please see

Student work examples: &

The Program
The UCSC Social Documentation Program is a two-year, full-time program leading to a Master of Arts (M.A.) degree. The program provides opportunities for the graduate student who is actively committed to social justice a chance to develop expertise in the understanding and production of social documentaries in film/video, photography, documentary animation, new digital media, and other genres.

Upon completion of the program, Master of Arts degree holders will be qualified to enter documentary-related professions such as documentary directing, producing editing and research. Degree holders may work within industries such as public broadcasting, the documentary film business, as independent producers, artists and journalists, with social-change organizations, or for archival centers, museums, and non-governmental organizations. Alumni may also choose to pursue a PhD in a related field in the Arts, Humanities, or Social Sciences.

To apply
Students are admitted into the program only in the fall. Online applications are available at UCSC Division of Graduate Studies website:
(GRE not required)

Graduate Program in
Social Documentation
Department of Film & Digital Media
UC Santa Cruz
1156 High Street
Santa Cruz, CA 95064
T +1 (831) 459-3445
[email protected]

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