Suitable for: The MA Photography course focuses on the fields of international photojournalism, documentary and travel photography and is designed in particular for postgraduate students who wish to develop their knowledge and skills to pursue a career in these areas.
To take into account
Entry requirements (typical offer) You should have one of the following: at least an upper second class honours degree (2.1) in photography; or at least an upper second class honours degree in any subject and significant professional experience in the industry; or at least an upper second class honours degree in a related subject with a major project in photography. Special consideration will be given to candidates who do not have these qualifications but who have significant experience in the field of photography and are able to present a strong portfolio as part of their application. ...
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About the course
The course is delivered through a combination of intensive workshops and online teaching reflecting communication methods used in the modern industry. The programme is supported by group discussions, seminars and individual tutorials. In between the concentrated teaching sessions you will have the choice of either basing your studies at one of two learning centres (one at Bolton, the other in China) or learning remotely.
You will carry out assignments in the areas of photojournalism, documentary and travel photography for the first two modules then specialise in one of these areas for the final module.
The full-time course is one year in duration which is divided into three terms.
In term one you will consider a range of practical and ethical issues that have an impact on the practice of photography by researching four research questions. You will explore these issues through readings, lectures, discussions and practical assignments.
In the first half of term two, you will plan for two picture stories, one travelogue and one issue based, which you will then go on to shoot in the second half of the term. This work will be based on a further four research questions. At the end of term two, you will edit and discuss your projects with professionals, peers and tutors leading to preparations for continuing one of the two projects into term three.
In your final term you will have 10 weeks to expand your work in progress into a substantial body of work with ‘The Book’ module in which you will have the opportunity to develop a photographic book on a personally researched theme. You will negotiate a learning contract with your tutor from which the final project will be assessed.
What you will learn
You will gain a critical understanding of the key issues in contemporary photography and how these affect the process of making images, specifically in the fields of photojournalism, documentary and travel photography.
The type of issues you will study include image libraries and the commercialisation of the photo market, the changing nature of picture news gathering and photojournalism, issues of ethics and social responsibility in photography and the importance of meaning and context in photo images. The insight you gain from this study will inform your approach to taking photographs.
You will study the work of contemporary practitioners in these areas of photography and the relationship between their work and the markets they supply.
In addition, you will develop an appreciation of the practical requirements of planning, research and preparation for photography assignments.
Entry to the course is based on the assumption that you are a technically proficient photographer. It is important to note that it is your responsibility to ensure that you have the technical skills to complete the practical work.
- The course is based in two centres – Bolton, England and Dalian, China. You may switch learning centres at the end of each term or travel to the other learning centre to use it as a project base during your studies.
Careers and professional development
For both aspiring and practicing photographers, the MA in Photography will enable you to understand and interact with international image markets.
The degree is specifically aimed at equipping you to work in different cultures and publish your work in a range of domestic and international publications.
The course will also provide opportunities for you to progress to a career in photographic education or continue into further study at research degree level.
Studying this course will also help you to develop a number of career-enhancing skills in addition to your subject specific knowledge and understanding. These include: interpersonal skills; research skills; oral and written presentations skills; independent working; and time and project management skills.
On graduation you will automatically become a member of the University’s alumni association, gaining access to a wide range of university facilities, including libraries, journals and periodicals as well as professional and employment advice, throughout your career.
Entry requirements(typical offer)
You should have one of the following: at least an upper second class honours degree (2.1) in photography; or at least an upper second class honours degree in any subject and significant professional experience in the industry; or at least an upper second class honours degree in a related subject with a major project in photography.
Special consideration will be given to candidates who do not have these qualifications but who have significant experience in the field of photography and are able to present a strong portfolio as part of their application.
You will be required to present a portfolio of photography and examples of written work, to be discussed/assessed at interview, demonstrating your suitability and aptitude for the course.
After your application has been received you will be contacted for an interview for which you will be required to present a portfolio and examples of written work.
At interview you should bring: i) a physical or electronic folio of your work; ii) a copy of your final BA dissertation or other research.
We are looking for you to demonstrate a clear style and commitment to the area of study. Please edit the folio down to around 20 pictures including at least one picture story.
You will be required to show original copies of your highest qualification certificate before starting the course.
If English is not your first language you will need a recognised English language qualification at the appropriate level for this course, i.e. IELTS 6.5 or equivalent
Mode of attendance: Part-time