Visual Research Methods - 2 ECTS

Visual research methods are increasingly used in contemporary research. Visual research methods—such as using photography or video—are applied as the numerous obtained visual data can disclose aspects of (inter)action, document certain practices (through repeated observation) and further support multidisciplinary analysis. The selection of visual research methods is also more accessible by technological facilities, both hardware (eg mobile phones) and software e.g. for editing and management.

Organised by Wageningen School of Social Sciences (WASS)

Wed 11 March 2020 until Fri 27 March 2020

Duration Registration deadline: February 26, 2020
Venue Leeuwenborch, gebouwnummer 201

The course departs from the notion that the academia are just recently disclosing the full potential of visual data and require capacity building and due reflection. In the social sciences a more awaiting and critical approach is prevailing, articulated in debates on ethical implications. As in all domains it is recognized that the assumed richness of visual data also confronts researchers with challenges in the process of documenting, analysing and interpreting of the visual data.

This course focuses on the potential and the qualities of visual data collection in research and will start with a review of the diversity of research strategies that incorporate visual data. Visual literacy and visual ethics will be positioned from an academic point of view to further legitimize obtaining and using visual data.

Learning outcomes

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:     

  • Explain the diversity of research methodologies that incorporate visual data
  • Select a visual research methodology, which is suitable for their research project
  • Create primary visual data; both graphics as video
  • Collect secondary visual data; both graphics as video
  • Analyse and discuss the quality of visual material
  • Apply visual research ethics to collecting and analysing visual data.
  • Transcribing, labelling, coding and analysing footage
  • Differentiate between roles of researcher and photographer / filmmaker
  • Contribute to a further positioning of VRM at WUR as a contemporary research issue


The course is a combination of interactive sessions and assignments in relation topics such as to research design, ethics, representation in practice (portrayal), recording and analysing films. Some basic visual production techniques will be trained in a context of a scientific practice. Participants will gain familiarity with multimodal transcription, labelling and coding of observations and analysing footage with respondents/peers.


Course participants deliver a final assignment of their choice, which emerged during or otherwise relates with the course content. It is recommended to link this assignment with ongoing research activities. Procedures followed to finalise this product will be discussed with participants individually and require approval by course staff. The final assignment has to be submitted for assessment within 2 months after the taught course. With an assessment of sufficient quality, the certificate of attendance will be issued.


Session 1 11-3-2020 9:30 - 16:30
Session 2 16-3-2020 9:30 - 16:30
Session 3 20-3-2020 9:30 - 16:30
Session 4 27-3-2020 9:30 - 16:30

Target group and min/max number of participants

The course is highly recommended for PhD students at the beginning of their PhD who want to incorporate visual research methodologies. Staff members and other researchers interested in visual research methods in general are welcome.

The maximum number of participants is set at 20, the minimum at 10. 

Assumed prior knowledge



The sessions will be held in building “De Leeuwenborch”, Hollandseweg 1 in Wageningen, The Netherlands. The exact rooms will be announced later.

Course fees

WGS PhDs with TSP € 220
a) All other PhD candidates b) Postdocs and staff of the above mentioned Graduate Schools € 450
All others € 700

NB: for some courses, PhD candidates from other WUR graduate schools with a TSP are also entitled to a reduced fee. Please consult your Education/PhD Programme Coordinator for more information

Cancellation conditions

Participants can cancel their registration free of charge 1 month before the course starts. A cancellation fee of 100% applies if a participant cancels his/her registration less than 1 month prior to the start of the course. 

The organisers have the right to cancel the course no later than one month before the planned course start date in the case that the  number of registrations does not reach the minimum.

The participants will be notified of any changes at their e-mail addresses.