With the ability to document, interpret and reimagine the world around us, Photography is a powerful discipline to master. From landscapes to people, architecture, events, sports, fashion and journalism, no subject is out of reach. Whether you’re at the beginning, middle or later stages of your creative career, this course will challenge you to explore, question and evolve your practice as a photographer with expert guidance, innovative resources and extraordinary facilities.
Why study MA Photography at Middlesex?
At Middlesex we take a highly practical approach to Photography that ensures that you spend the majority of your postgraduate study behind a camera, in a darkroom and experimenting with both new and traditional technology. Drawing on the expertise of a diverse range of professional photographers, guest lecturers and technical advisers, you will enhance your knowledge and skills through a series of photographic projects using practice-led research and supportive written work.
Based in our University’s £80 million Art and Design School, our course uses state-of-the-art resources to give you hands-on experience with industry-standard tools. With Apple Macintosh Pro workstations, A2 Epson printers, Hasselblad film scanners, studios, as well as a range of darkrooms including colour, black and white, and digital, you’ll have everything you need to push yourself to the frontier of your potential and take the next step towards a stimulating and successful career.
- Innovative facilities that allow you to experiment with contemporary and traditional techniques while preparing you for the equipment, tools, cameras, software and standards expected in creative industries worldwide
- Access to some of London’s best photography resources to enhance your research and inform your practice, including the V&A Print and Drawing Study Room
- Flexible module structure to meet the needs, ambitions and abilities of each student whatever stage you are at in your career
- Opportunities to explore subjects through video as well as still photography, with several Adobe Creative Suite and Final Cut Pro workstations
- Strong focus on professional presentation skills, such as printing and mounting your work
- Regular masterclasses and workshops from high-profile guest speakers from diverse professional backgrounds, such as Camilla Brown, Dewi Lewis Publishing, and Royal photographer Julian Calder
- Access to networking opportunities, world-leading research and expertise through the Lansdown Centre for Electronic Arts (LCEA) and Art & Design Research Institute (ADRI) on campus
What you will study?
Taught by some of the UK’s leading practitioners and specialists in Photography, Visual Culture, and Communication Arts, this course is divided into five modules taken over three semesters (if studied full time). Each module is designed to be flexible, allowing you to bring your own Photography interests to the assignments while extending the boundaries of current photographic practice through experimentation, research, analysis, and creative exploration.
Developing Practice – Term 1 (30 credits)
Through a combination of studio, practice and text-based methods you will explore a chosen area of your Photography in a contemporary context while enhancing your technical skills. By the end of this module you’ll be able to employ a variety of reflective methods to develop your own creative research proposal with the advanced communication skills to present, discuss and evaluate your work effectively.
Critical Debates – Term 1 (30 credits)
Through a series of lectures, seminars and reading groups you’ll explore the key concepts, ideas, issues and research methodologies relating to the practice and theory of Photography. With particular focus on the cultural and social contexts within your chosen discipline, you’ll produce a portfolio of critical responses to contemporary debates in research and professional practice.
Image and Insight – Term 2 (30 credits)
This module explores what it is to be an independent author in Photography with particular focus on the contemporary outlets and possibilities for your work, such as social mead and high-speed transfers. Through in-depth examination of both modern and historical photographers you will begin to establish your place, purpose and direction in the industry. As part of this module you will develop a self-initiated photographic project that demonstrates your individual and original approach to Photography, as well as preparing you for your final Major Project in Term 3.
Advanced Research – Term 2 (30 credits)
Through a series of lectures, workshops, seminars and individual tutorials you will examine a diverse range of advanced approaches to Photography research using both historical and contemporary sources. This module is designed to prepare you for your final Major Project by enabling you to explore the work of practitioners and scholars in Photography, and the contemporary research problems that they face. By the end of this module you will have produced an illustrated Research Survey demonstrating your investigations and findings.
Major Project – Term 3 (60 credits)
The final module is an opportunity for you to bring together the knowledge and skills that you have acquired during the course and apply them to a significant project of Photography. Using research methodologies, concepts and processes previously explored in the course you will evaluate interrelationships between theory and practice. By the end of this final module you will have produced a portfolio or public exhibition of a substantial body of practice work supported by critical and reflective written work that demonstrates your resolution and expertise.
Your skills, knowledge and understanding will be entirely assessed by coursework including practical projects, oral presentations and supporting written work. There are no exams.
This course is flexibly designed to put you at the centre of your learning by using a range of teaching and assessment approaches that take into account your individual interests, abilities and ambitions in Photography.
As part of your learning, you’ll be required to actively participate in activities and engage with your fellow students, both individually and collaboratively, working and learning as part of a small group at times. You will also be supported by some of the best facilities and equipment in the country with technical tuition on a range of devices, software, cameras, scanners, printers, darkrooms and more.
As well as your immediate peers on the programme, there is much going on across the campus and university that you can access, collaborate with and benefit from, such as the newly formed Art & Design Research Institute (ADRI) which provides a useful network for postgraduate students as well as seminar and ideas in progress sessions.
Standard entry requirements
To be accepted to study on the MA Photography, we normally require a good honours degree, or equivalent qualification, in an appropriate subject. We also consider candidates with other relevant qualifications and individuals with a minimum of three years' work experience. Those without formal qualifications need to demonstrate relevant work experience and the ability to study at postgraduate level.
International entry requirements
We accept the equivalent of the above from a recognised overseas university, to find out more about the requirements from your country, see further information under support in your country.
English language requirements
You must have competence in English language and we normally require Grade C GCSE or an equivalent qualification. The most common English Language requirements for international students are IELTS 6.5 (with minimum 6.0 in all four components) or TOEFL internet based 87 (with at least 21 in listening & writing, 22 in speaking and 23 in reading).
Middlesex also offers an Intensive Academic English course (Pre-Sessional) that ranges from 5-17 weeks, depending on your level of English. Successful completion of this course would meet English language entry requirements. For more information on applying for the pre-sessional please email [email protected].
For details of other equivalent English language requirements that Middlesex accepts see international entry requirements.
How to Apply
Applications for postgraduate study should be made directly to the university. The quickest way to apply is by making an online application, once you have created your account and completed your application, you will be able to track the progress of your application online. Alternatively, you can fill in an application form and return it to the appropriate admissions office. UK and EU students should apply directly to the London office. Non-EU international students can apply to our international admissions office in London, or use our network of regional offices across the world to assist you with your application.
The application is just the first step in our selection process, we also invite you to an interview and review your portfolio of art and design work. We’ve put together some simple notes to help you prepare:
- Be selective about the work you show while continuing to show a range of skills and ability
- Show mostly recent work that you are most proud of
- Consider how to present your work and the impression the overall look of your portfolio will have on the viewer
- We like to see lots of work but don’t overfill your portfolio - you should be able to carry it by yourself!
- You do not need to bring large pieces of 3D work, photographs are sufficient
Sketchbooks are extremely important. They should be a ‘diary’ of your thinking and include observational and speculative drawings/sketches communicating a visual sensitivity. We also look for evidence of how you develop and work through your ideas. Include photographs and collected images and importantly your reaction to them, but avoid letting your sketchbooks being merely scrapbooks
The interview itself usually lasts about 15 minutes, but please allow an hour as this usually includes a tour of our facilities. We use the interview to allow us to find out more about you, to better understand your aspirations and interests and for you to learn more about us. The interview will explore why you want to study the subject with us, there will be no trick questions, so don't be too nervous.
This course will prepare for a diverse range of careers within the creative and photographic industries, from commercial organisations to photojournalism and the arts. With strong links to art and design employers in the UK and abroad we support the individual ambitions of every one of our students while they are studying with us and after graduation.
Our graduates are recognised worldwide for their high quality work in Photography with several students achieving enormous success soon after graduating. These include a finalist in the National Portrait Gallery Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize, a commission by the Photographers Gallery for the 2012 Olympics, and a winner of the Sony WPO Student Focus Award.
Whether you want to seek out and secure professional projects while studying or need some support to secure work after graduation, our dedicated team of Work Placement Officers and Careers Advisers will be on hand to guide you.
Michael Bradley is the programme leader for this course. Click here to read his full staff profile.
The facilities, studios and workshops at our £80 million purpose-built Art and Design School on campus in North London are recognised as among the best in country. With a wide range of digital media, equipment, software and library facilities on-site you’ll benefit from unique levels of access to both the latest forms of technology and traditional tools with expert support to help you develop your work.
These facilities include:
- A digital darkroom with 56 Apple Mac stations
- Large-format Epson printers
- Colour darkrooms
- Black and white darkroom
- Photographic studios with ‘Colorama’ systems
- Professional level lighting equipment including Bowens synchronised flash units and Arriflex tungsten lights
- Canon EOS 5D Mk III full frame digital cameras with a range of lenses
- Hasselblad film cameras with a wide range of lenses and backs
- 35mm, 645, 6x6, 6x7 medium format cameras
- Digital cameras
- 10x8 and 5x4 technical field cameras for location photography
- Lightweight location lighting kit
Take a look at our Art and Design Facilities Gallery to explore our specialist facilities for photography in more detail.
Find out about our postgraduate scholarships worth up to 50% of the tuition fee.
The tuition fee for MA Photography is as follows:
Full-time students: £6,000
Find out about our flexible payment plans for UK/EU students, and how they can help you spread the cost of your course.
Full-time students: £11,000
AHRC Masters studentships
The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) offers funding for some subjects. Find out more.
Luck Hille Postgraduate Photography Scholarships
With generous donations from the Luck Hille Foundation we are able to offer three scholarships to study MA Photography with us. One scholarship of £5,000 and two of £2,000 are available to new and continuing students. Find out more and how to apply.