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Photography MA

Learn about the course below
Code
PGW613
Start
September 2023
Duration
1 year full-time
2 years part-time
Attendance
Full-time
Part-time
Fees
£9,600 (UK) *
£16,800 (EU/INT) *
Course leader
Anne Burke
This course can be studied either in person, by distance learning or through a flexible mix of both modes. Please complete the same application form and we’ll contact you to understand your preference.

Our practice and research-based course will challenge you to explore, question and evolve as a photographer. The course provides you with a creative and energetic working environment in which to produce a major photographic project using some of the best traditional and state-of-the-art facilities in the UK, encouraged and supported by world-class academic and technical staff.

Why study MA Photography* at Middlesex University?

At Middlesex, our practice-led approach to photography ensures you spend your postgraduate studies fully immersed in both making work and thinking about its connections with wider photographic discourse. Through a series of photographic projects, or a single large project, you will experiment with both new and traditional photography and whether behind a camera, in post-production or reflecting critically on your practice, you will be thoroughly supported by a staff team of research-active, photography practitioners. Access to diverse range of professional photographers, guest lecturers and technical advisers, will further enhance both your knowledge and skills of photography, as well as your exposure to the wider industry.

Online delivery and technical support will allow you to continue to produce industry-standard digital work in addition to the hands-on experience that you will gain through access to high quality resources in our dedicated art and design building. 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 your full potential and take the next step towards a stimulating and successful career.

Course highlights

  • Masterclasses and workshops from high-profile speakers such as Rhiannon Adam, Adrian Bradshaw, Rachael Burns, Julian Calder, Brian Harris, Cheryl Newman, Martin Parr, Kate Peters, Ingrid Pollard, Simon Roberts, Nicola Shipley and Jem Southam
  • Access to some of London's best photography resources, including the V&A Print and Drawing Study Room.
  • Explore subjects through photography (and possibly video), with development of skills across Adobe Creative Cloud
  • Strong focus on professional presentation skills, in both digital and print form
  • Access to networking opportunities and world-leading research and expertise.

*this course is subject to review. We periodically review our programmes to make sure the content and teaching stay up to date and relevant. Please check this page regularly for updates.


Find out more

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What will you study on MA Photography?

Through a combination of practical and theoretical work, you will study the technical, contextual and historical elements of all forms of photography. You will study the equipment and techniques used to produce professional photographs in industry.

What will you gain?

You will further develop your skills and experience in taking professional photographs, whether in a fully-equipped studio or on location. You will also learn to use photography as a medium of communication, and develop the ability to conceptualise and create photographic projects for commercial and artistic purposes. You will be prepared to make professional use of the equipment, tools, cameras and software regarded as the industry-standard in creative industries worldwide.

Modules

  • Modules

    • Explore: Ethics and Aesthetics (30 credits)

      This module aims to facilitate a process of open exploration and experimentation in practice, with a view to you negotiating a viable, well positioned, ethically sound MA proposal by the module end. The module aims to familiarise students with key debates in historical and contemporary photography, with a particular focus on questions of ethics and on the visual strategies taken up by photographers in the communication of ideas. Through both formative and summative assessments and through on-going discussion, debate and reflection, the module further aims to support the development of advanced level communication skills, criticality and professional practice.

    • Advanced Research Skills (15 credits)

      This module provides you with the knowledge and skills required to undertake independent academic research in Visual Arts and Design at postgraduate level.  By introducing you to contemporary and emergent research resources in the discipline; essential frameworks and tools for navigating research ethics in creative fields, linking to Middlesex University’s Research Ethics guidelines; and consolidating advanced knowledge of referencing conventions for academic integrity, you will be able to propose and structure a relevant research proposal for independent enquiry and investigation at Master’s level.

    • Contexts: Critical Review (15 credits)

      This module aims to deepen the student’s knowledge and skills in the critical review of influential research pertinent to the contexts of their creative practice.  Designed as a set of specialist elective seminar courses, led by a variety of researchers within the university, this module allows the student to experiment with new areas of knowledge and deepen their critical understanding of the wider contexts for their creative practice.

    • Contexts: Materials and Methods (15 credits)

      This module helps develop your knowledge and skills in the research methods and materials pertinent to the contexts of your creative practice.  Designed as a set of specialist elective seminar courses, led by a variety of researchers within the university, this module allows you to experiment and learn first-hand about the methods and materials used by the researcher and to gain and apply insights into knowledge at the cutting edge of Visual Arts and Design, and relate this to your own emerging research interests.

    • Positioning your Research (15 credits)

      This module aims to develop you as a confident researcher and communicator and to provide a showcase opportunity for the student to engage in peer review and public debate as a means for professional development and consolidation of the research scope, methods, context, and practice of your Master’s project.

    • Collaborate: Strategies for Change (30 credits)

      This module aims to explore photography as a necessarily collaborative practice and to support students in developing viable strategies for working productively with others. You will be introduced to different debates around authorship and the photograph as collaboration. The module aims to encourage you to consider the purpose and aims of your own work and to develop your own participant groups/contacts and professional networks as necessary. At the end of the module you will curate an interim group show.

    • Realise: Reaching your Audience (60 credits)

      This module aims to support you in producing and making public either a significant body of photographic work or a significant written commentary at an advanced level. The module aims to consolidate earlier discoveries through exploration, collaboration, research and contextualisation to present a rigorously investigated concluding body of work. The final outcome will incorporate a viable strategy for making the work public and will be presented in a form that is appropriate for its intended audience. The module aims to further support you in developing their professional skills in preparation for your chosen career paths.

More information about this course

See the course specification for more information about typical course content outside of the coronavirus outbreak:

Optional modules are usually available at levels 5 and 6, although optional modules are not offered on every course. Where optional modules are available, you will be asked to make your choice during the previous academic year. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module,  or there are staffing changes which affect the teaching, it may not be offered. If an optional module will not run, we will advise you after the module selection period when numbers are confirmed, or at the earliest time that the programme team make the decision not to run the module, and help you choose an alternative module.

We are regularly reviewing and updating our programmes to ensure you have the best learning experience. We are taking what we've learnt in recent years, by enhancing our teaching methods with new and innovative ways of learning.

How is MA Photography taught?

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.

MA Photography is delivered through a combination of in person and online teaching. It can also be studied either as a one year full-time degree or as a two-year part time degree. Please note that if you intend to apply for a student route visa to study this course, you will only be able to undertake the MA as a full-time student.

Assessment

Your skills, knowledge and understanding will be entirely assessed by coursework including practical projects, oral presentations and supporting written work. There are no exams.

Teaching and learning

Learning structure: typical hourly breakdown in 2023/24

1.

Live learning

Contact time per week, per level:

Part-time: 5 hours

Full-time: 10 hours

2.

Self-paced learning time

Average hours per week, per level:

Part-time: 5 hours

Full-time: 10 hours

3.

On demand resources

Average hours per week, per level:

2 hours

Outside of these hours, you’ll be expected to do independent study where you read, listen and reflect on other learning activities. This can include preparation for future classes. In a year, you’ll typically be expected to commit 1200 hours to your course across all styles of learning. If you are taking a placement, you might have some additional hours.

Definitions of terms

  • Live in-person on campus learning – This will focus on active and experiential sessions that are both:
    • Led by your tutors including seminars, workshops and demonstrations We’ll schedule all of this for you
    • Student-led by you and other students, like small group work and presentations.
  • Live online learning – This will include lectures, tutorials and supervision sessions led by your tutor and timetabled by us. It also includes student-led group work that takes place online
  • Tutor set learning activities – This covers activities which will be set for you by your tutor, but which you will undertake in your own time. Examples of this include watching online materials, participating in an online discussion forum, completing a virtual workshops or reading specific texts. You may be doing this by yourself of with your course mates depending on your course and assignments. Outside of these hours, you’ll also be expected to do further independent study where you’ll be expected to learn, prepare, revise and reflect in your own time.

Support

You have a strong support network available to you to make sure you develop all the necessary academic skills you need to do well on your course.

Our support services will be delivered online and on campus and you have access to a range of different resources so you can get the help you need, whether you’re studying at home or have the opportunity to come to campus.

You have access to one to one and group sessions for personal learning and academic support from our library and IT teams, and our network of learning experts. Our teams will also be here to offer financial advice, and personal wellbeing, mental health and disability support.

  1. Standard entry requirements
  2. International (inc. EU)
  3. How to apply
  1. UK
  2. EU/International
  3. Additional costs
  4. Scholarships and bursaries

How will MA Photography support your career?

This course will prepare you 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 remarkable success soon after graduating. These include winning entries in the British Journal of Photography’s recent Portrait of Britain competition, finalists in the National Portrait Gallery Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize, and a winner of the Sony WPO Student Focus Award.


We’ll carefully manage any future changes to courses, or the support and other services available to you, if these are necessary because of things like changes to government health and safety advice, or any changes to the law.

Any decisions will be taken in line with both external advice and the University’s Regulations which include information on this.

Our priority will always be to maintain academic standards and quality so that your learning outcomes are not affected by any adjustments that we may have to make.

At all times we’ll aim to keep you well informed of how we may need to respond to changing circumstances, and about support that we’ll provide to you.

Other courses

Photography BA Honours

Start: September 2023, EU/International induction: September 2023

Duration: 3 years full-time, 4 years part-time

Code: W640

MA Fine Art

Start: September 2023

Duration: 1 year full-time, Usually 2 years part-time

Code: PGW103

Media Management MA

Start: September 2023

Duration: 1 year full-time, 2 years part-time

Code: PGN2P4

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