CampusDoc - Documentary

Are you a highly-motivated student with the ambition to become a renowned documentary film maker? Then apply to our exclusive CampusDoc International exchange programme and join the club of CampusDoc alumni.

Welcome to HU

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Students sitting on the grass at HU Campus

During one semester, you will learn to produce, film, edit and sell your own 20-25 minute video documentary.

This is an intensive programme; you can expect to work long hours and adhere to tight deadlines. But the rewards are evident: past CampusDoc productions have been screened at festivals around the globe. A thorough selection process is part of the application.

The documentaries are produced in teams of two. Participants must be dedicated, hard-working, and able to commit themselves full-time to a project they believe in.

Useful to know

Start moment September
Number of ECTS 30 Dutch Education System
Programme level Minor - advanced
Programme code JM-CAMPDOCEN-18
Language of instruction English
Year of study Year 3 or 4
Practical Matters Housing and Immigration
Location Utrecht Science Park

Course content

What do you need to enter this programme? And what can you expect when you apply? In this section you'll find all you need to know!

The exchange programme will take you through the entire process of documentary film production: from concept to premiere. You will also complete additional video assignments and work on perfecting your technical and storytelling skills, as well as develop a distribution plan based on your expectations and goals for the film.

HU operates this programme in collaboration with various international partners, including the City University of New York (CUNY). The course includes a study trip to New York.
Please note: you will need a travel budget of € 1,800 for the study trip (excluding food). However, the study trip is not a requirement for participation and completion of the programme

The programme consists of:

  • An introduction to storytelling and narrative strategies;
  • Advanced filming, editing, and post-production;
  • Drafting an extended production plan and shooting script based on real-world research;
  • Launching a real crowdfunding campaign to finance your doc;
  • Delivering a package of (promotional) artwork, a trailer and a 20-minute video documentary;
  • Developing an international distribution plan;
  • Insight into intellectual property and royalties;
  • Insight into film festival culture and personal branding.

Would you like to know more about this programme or do you have a specific question? Please contact the programme coordinators, Pim Mak or Milada Stipetic, or the international officer of the HU School of Journalism, Carien Touwen.

Courses take place five days a week, and can continue into the evening. After completion of the following activities, you'll finish this programme with an assessment for 30 ECTS.

Title Activities
Pre-production Preparation, research, script development
Production Filming & editing your documentary
Post-production Colour grading, sound design, artwork, 1'00'' trailer
Distribution plan Crowdfunding, e-commerce, global market, film festivals

Please note: For the two-week study trip to New York you’ll need an additional travel budget of € 1,800. Excluding food, so make sure you have additional budget. However, this study trip is not a requirement for participation and completion of the programme.

In our Course Guide you can find all relevant information about the programme in one practical document. Download it here for your convenience.

CampusDoc uses a holistic, integrated assessment process, conducted by two supervisors. You sumbit your work throughout the semester.

  • Production plan;
  • Final shooting script;
  • Marketing and distribution plan;
  • 20-25 minute video documentary;
  • Festival package: documentary + artwork + trailer

Our goals are ambitious and the course is an intense pressure-cooker period of long hours and demanding deadlines.

CampusDoc covers all aspects of the documentary filmmaking process; we are unique among other documentary programmes in that we combine hands-on coaching and theories on film analysis and script-writing with tutorials from editors, researchers, filmmakers, as well as producers, entertainment lawyers and distributors. The goal is for participants to get their work seen and go on to make new work long after having completed CampusDoc.

CampusDoc is meant for talented students interested in video storytelling who want to delve deeper into issues they care about, as well as develop their visual storytelling skills beyond what is required in standard broadcast journalism.

To apply to the programme, you:

  • are an advanced student, preferably in Journalism, Media, or Film;
  • possess existing journalism/video skills – either through education or through work;
  • demonstrate a serious interest in documentary film making.

Please note: this programme has a selection procedure.

To apply to the programme, your English language skills must be at CEFR level B2.

To apply you must submit the following:

  • A pitch in which you present your plan for the documentary;
  • A motivation letter and CV;
  • A video showreel (1.00 min).

After your learning agreement has been signed by Hogeschool Utrecht, you will receive an invitation for the pitch from the minor contact person.

Please submit all the required documents to the course lecturers, Brian Maston before 15 April.

Applicants will be selected on the basis of their motivation, level of video skills and experience. You will be informed if you are accepted to the programme by 20 April.

If you are selected, you can start the enrolment at HU University of Applied Sciences Utrecht (for more information go to our Admissions Exchange page).
Note: There is a 1 May deadline for this official university registration. If you miss this deadline, you cannot be admitted to the course!

The minor will be taught based on the following literature.

  • Directing the Documentary, 6th Edition, Michael Rabiger
  • In the Blink of an Eye, Walter Murch
  • The Hero With a Thousand Faces, Joseph Campbell

Before the start of the course you will receive/be issued the final reading list.

Practical information

When you move to a different country to study, there are lots of things to arrange. For instance, where will you live, how much are the costs? Visit our practical information page to help you prepare your stay. It is also important to start arranging a living space as soon as possible. Our housing pages will help you on your way. A student living in the Netherlands needs about € 800 - 1000 a month to cover living expenses, such as housing, food and transportation. This includes insurances – health insurance is mandatory.

Find out how to apply

Ready for an international adventure?

Why choose hu?

  • Join an elite club of documentary film makers

    This programme is unlike any other. It is practical, taught by the best professors of practice in Europe and former CampusDoc students (all successful video journalists), and organised in a large professional alumni network: The CampusDoc "gang".

  • Inspiring international setting

    HU supports your ambitions. Our lecturers will tutor and assist you in making the most of this international programme. During your time in Utrecht, you will meet students from all over the world and make connections to last a lifetime.

  • Utrecht Science Park Campus

    Studying at HU University of Applied Sciences Utrecht means you get to enjoy all the benefits of our modern campus, Utrecht Science Park (USP). A miniature city with the universities' buildings, student housing, restaurants, cafés, a sports centre, and much more, it enjoys excellent transport links to Utrecht and beyond.

  • Vibrant university city Utrecht

    Beautiful Utrecht has lots of young people and excellent facilities for student life. It has a mediaeval city centre which is small enough to explore by foot or bicycle. Enjoy a drink next to the quaint canals or dine in one of the converted wharf cellars.

A view of the campus with students sitting in the grass and cyclists going by on the rainbow-coloured bike path

Interested in our CampusDoc - Documentary programme?

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