The Master's program M.A. Visual and Media Anthropology, initially developed and offered at the University of Excellence Freie Universität Berlin (inception winter term 2008/2009), has been continued at HMKW Berlin since the winter semester 2019/20.
In the Visual and Media Anthropology master’s program, practical and theoretical knowledge of film production is imparted in a research context. The focus is on ethnographic films, documentaries, and immersive 360-degree applications. Aspects of experimental and fictional films are also covered in class. Students learn how to represent cultural aspects of societies in virtual space using film, photography, immersive methods, and storytelling through the production of 360-degree films and scenarios. Students will also learn how to use virtual reality headsets (Meta Quest 2, etc.) and how to produce VR applications for virtual reality technology.
The large number of new professions that are currently emerging within filmmaking in combination with AI and VR research make our students sought-after graduates on the job market, and it is not uncommon for several doctoral positions and lucrative job offers to be received shortly before they complete their MA Visual and Media Anthropology studies have. Read the success story of our students here.
The advanced master's degree M.A. Visual and Media Anthropology is aimed at current and future leaders in industries related to digital media, TV film production, Streaming platforms, VR, artificial intelligence, art and culture, museums, entertainment industry, or governmental and non-governmental organizations, as well as those interested in documentary photography.
The program equips students with knowledge about the ethical correct production of classical, scientistic, immersive and artistic audio-visual media for the representation of national, and transnational cultures, with a focus on Asian, African, European, North American and Latin American “native” or “indigenous” communities.
The program includes classes in Documentary film & Photography, Digital Anthropology, Camera, Sound, and Editing classes, Social Media Activism, Immersive Storytelling with 360degree video, AI Technology & Culture,Anthropology of the Metaverse, Introductory and advanced usage for Meta Quest 2, Virtual Environments and creating in VR and Environmental Anthropology. Part of the master's program is the student's own ethnographic field research, which is supervised in colloquia.
Based on their own qualitative research work, students can present cultures worldwide on film or photography and, in cooperation with the research partners, produce their own classic documentary formats or (elective area) create virtual environments required in AI and VR applications. The course also offers several modules on the qualitative methods of social research and filmmaking for fieldwork. In addition to the focus on film, a module on documentary photography is also offered.
The program's focus is the consideration of marginalized groups (women, people of color, LGBT+, and least developed countries) in digital media and within new AI applications.
The program includes four on-campus workshops in Berlin, 4-5 days: Hands-on-Camera Workshop and Immersive 360-degree filmmaking. Students will learn from lectures of an award-winning VR company.
All course content is delivered 100% online by an international team of professors and lecturers with over a decade of online teaching experience. Students can study at a time and place convenient to their lifestyle. All that is needed is a good internet connection, and a laptop or smartphone. Distance Learning is offered via the world-best Learning Management platform LMS Canvas and through Zoom-live-streams of classes, online presentations and discussions. The program was one of the winners of the Best Practice in Online Teaching by CEDIS Center for Digital Systems Freie Universität Berlin. The advanced graduate degree program is 100 % equivalent to other M.A. programs, and prepares graduates for PhD studies.
Here you can find more information about Distance Learning.
Meet your fellow students for additional On-Campus-Camera-and Sound-Workshops in Berlin, Germany. Optional 2-5 days hybrid On-Campus-workshops are offered for students to build hand on technical experience. Students must assume additional (travel, room) costs arising from in-house workshops (not mandatory) and fieldwork periods. We offer hybrid classes via live-stream in case you cannot travel to Berlin.
Applicants: This program is designed for students who have an undergraduate degree (BA) in any subject, and also for professionals who want to conduct a second MA degree.
The master's program in Visual and Media Anthropology is designed to prepare students for later positions as experts in visual anthropology (ethnographic film, ethnographic photography) and VR in the following areas, among others:
Our students conducted internships in following institutions:
With following artists our students worked together during their internship:
HMKW's Master's program M.A. Visual and Media Anthropology is state-approved by the Berlin Senate Administration.
In addition, the program is accredited and certified by the FIBAA (Foundation for International Business Administration Accreditation). It thus meets the highest international academic quality standards.
|Type||Distance learning (flexible e-learning in virtual classrooms, webinars etc.)|
|Degree||Master of Arts (M.A.)|
|Tuition fees||4170,- € per semester (16.680,- € in total for the two year's program)|
4 semesters (2 years)
Winter term (October) - more information via vma (at) hmkw.de
More information about the application process
FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions
For admission requests, please e-mail vma[at]hmkw.de
Final MA Thesis application form
Final MA Thesis application form (Instruction)
New Applicants for the program please use this document: