DOC NOMADS Erasmus Mundus joint master degree (EMJMD) in documentary filmmaking

January 03, 2022

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Location (s):

  • Belgium
  • Hungary
  • Portugal
Brussels, Budapest, Lisbon


The DOC NOMADS Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree (EMJMD) in Documentary Filmmaking is a two-year, full time, international graduate program (120 ECTS) delivered by a consortium of three prominent European universities across three countries: Portugal, Hungary and Belgium. The entire DocNomads programme was assessed by an external international panel in 2019 and found compliant with all the standards and sub-standards of the ‘European Approach for External Quality Assurance of Joint Programmes’ framework.


DocNomads is the first joint master in Europe in the field of FILM that was granted the right to use the Erasmus Mundus brand name and the grant support of the European Commission for the first five editions. This backing was granted again for the course editions in the period of 2017-2022.

In each edition, about twenty-four students from all around the world follow a mobility track from Lisbon to Brussels, via Budapest. In doing so, students are immersed within different cultural environments, learning how to make use of their abilities outside their usual social contexts.

Taught entirely in English and taking a practical approach, DOC NOMADS’ unique curriculum and supportive faculty aims at expanding students' skills and creativity, while providing an integrated training that combines a focus on the arts with contemporary practices in film production.

Directing is essentially learnt through making films out in the real world. Students are asked to confront the aesthetic and practical challenges generated by the actual process of filmmaking and in doing so develop their critical thinking skill; gain autonomy in multifarious disciplines; and build – throughout the course – their own repertoire of formal approaches.

Upon completion of the program, degree holders will be prepared and qualified to enter a professional life in the craft of documentary filmmaking – as directors, as producers, as independent artists.

As an Erasmus Mundus Program, DOC NOMADS offers two-year scholarships to some of the selected European and non-European students.

DOC NOMADS Master Course is sponsored and supervised by the EACEA - Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency of the European Commission.


DocNomads School 

Although the study itinerary is based in three different countries DocNomads is unified as a School, it is not a course held independently at each university.

The curriculum and activities throughout the course are interconnected in the framework of a modular school that shares a common learning philosophy emphasizing collaborative methods. The leading instructors of each term participate in key curricular moments of other semesters, and in all transitions between the countries (we call these “Preparation Weeks”). The DocNomads students in the current edition gather once more to attend the screening of the latest students’ film exercises and to discuss their progress.

Instructors’ profiles, pedagogical methods, cultures of origin and professional backgrounds certainly differ between each local university, but we consider these contextual differences to be beneficial since the students’ learning experience is significantly broadened through contact with diverse education approaches and perspectives on filmmaking.

Based on two academic years, the curriculum is divided into four semesters.  

Activities in the Semesters 1 to 3 

The first three curricular semesters, held consecutively in Lisbon, Budapest and Brussels, are articulated around six constant course subjects, whose pedagogical contents and learning objectives build upon one another, from beginner level to advanced level, or complement each other in accordance to the specifics of the academic matters in focus.    

Generically, the subject “Documentary Skills” (6 ECTS) is aimed at the development or improvement of theoretical, methodological and technical skills, whereas the subjects “Documentary Film Directing” (9 ECTS) and "Directing in the Field" (6 ECTS) encompasses the major filmmaking practice of each semester. The students perform several exercises, including the “semester exam film” that should enrich the individual portfolio of each student.

All film exercises are programmed by the school, and are tightly scheduled, requiring the students to learn to work under time discipline. Crews are very compact, frequently working in assigned pairs. Each student develops, shoots, and edits his or her own film exercises while also assisting on their classmates’ films to gain extensive teamwork experience. Students are continually learning from each other and from the wide-range of practical and aesthetic problems the different assigned exercises offer. 

A hallmark of the course is the regular monitoring and personalised advice that is given by the instructors in each step of the exercises’ development and production. Routinely, the works-in-progress are presented before the class and the assigned instructors or mentors in order to be discussed, analysed and criticised. Ultimately the students have complete freedom in their artistic decisions.

Although the DocNomads program emphasises a practical approach, it is also about reflecting on the practices of documentary filmmaking.

“Documentary History” (3 ECTS) and “PT/HU/BE Cinema, Culture and Identity” (3 ECTS) are the main theoretical courses in each semester, which classes are organized around lectures on theoretical fundamentals, case studies analysis, screenings and discussion.

“Events and Visits” (3 ECTS) is an activities-based course, which aim to bring students closer to the international professional environment.

Graduation 4th Semester 

The final semester, held simultaneously in Lisbon, Budapest and Brussels, centres on the individual Master Degree Project (MDP), which comprises of a thesis documentary and the corresponding dossier that should meet both professional and academic standards (30 ECTS). The framework of this two-part course (Project Development + Graduation Film) is articulated according to evolving steps along the MDPs’ progression that culminates in the final exam before a jury of faculty instructors and guest experts.      

Opportunity is About:


Candidates should be from:

Description of Ideal Candidate:

Applicants background

  • DOC NOMADS Erasmus Mundus Masters Course is aimed to students from all over the world with a Bachelor's degree (BA) in Film Studies, in Arts or in Media Communication studies.
  • Other degrees (of at least EQF Level 6) may be accepted from applicants with a convincing artistic portfolio.
  • DocNomads provides the rare privilege of bringing together, for some time, a close community of people from diverse cultures and varied backgrounds, individual voices and particular visions. 
  • We consider this aspect to be one of the best assets of the program, which certainly augments the unique experience of being part of it.

Applicants profile

The Academic Board of DOC NOMADS is looking for students who are:

  • active, enthusiastic, and curious
  • creative, supportive, and capable of team work
  • resilient, tolerant and open to criticism
  • socially minded, empathetic, and ethically aware
  • seeking artistic independence and a personal voice

DocNomads is quite an intensive study program, demanding much study and many work hours, while constantly pushing students to face new experiences. 

Its challenging curriculum is aimed at students committed to taking advantage of the learning opportunities provided, in order to achieve and improve upon specialized skills, both in terms of theoretical knowledge of creative documentary and through practical training within this multifarious discipline. 


Deadline: January 03, 2022

Cost/funding for participants:

Erasmus Plus scholarships are awarded on the basis of excellence to eligible candidates.

The planned number of scholarships available for the 10th edition is twenty (20).

A student scholarship is awarded exclusively for a full-time enrolment in one of the Master courses and will cover the entire duration of the EMJMD study programme.

Candidates eligible for scholarships are students who have obtained a primary higher-education degree or can demonstrate a recognised equivalent according to national legislation and practices of the degree awarding country. While this condition must necessarily be fulfilled at the time of enrolment, the Consortium accepts scholarship applications from students in the last year of their first higher education degree.

DocNomads Consortium provides two categories of student scholarships based on EACEA regulations: Programmecountry and Partner country scholarships.

Programme countries: Member States of the European Union, and EEA-EFTA States (Iceland, Norway, Lichtenstein), UK, Turkey, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) and Serbia.

Partner countries: Countries OTHER than the countries listed in the above Programme countries category.

Special cases

  1. Students with a double nationality (of a Partner and of a Programme Country) must specify the nationality under which they submit their scholarship application. 
  2. "12-month rule": Candidates from Partner countries who have been residents in one of the Programme countries, or have carried out in any of these countries their main activity (studies, training or work) for more than a total of 12 months during the previous 5 years calculated backwards from the deadline of the application to DocNomads will be provided with Programme Countries category scholarships based on EACEA rules.

A minimum of 75% of EMJMD scholarships will be earmarked for candidates from Partner Countries. Erasmus+ EMJMD student scholarships can be offered to students from any region of the world. The Consortium takes geographical balance into account – i.e. no more than 3 candidates from the same country (or with the same nationality) should be awarded an EMJMD scholarship during the same intake.

Detailed information about the scholarships

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