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Postgraduate study
Photography Photography Photography

Photography MA

Forge a specialism and career as you explore artistic, documentary, commercial and socially engaged photography at an advanced level of technical and conceptual creativity.


Course overview

Embrace the interdependence of aesthetic, technical and conceptual approaches as you take an integrated approach to theory and practice. You are encouraged to challenge your ideas and develop adventurous and compelling photography through research and experimentation. We welcome analogue, digital and post-photographic approaches, and you have access to traditional chemical darkrooms alongside professional studios and the latest industry-standard digital tools as part of Adobe Creative Campus.

Audiences are essential for a successful photographic practice, and you become confident in the communicative potential of different formats and platforms. Professional development is embedded throughout, and you engage with legal and ethical concerns and build ‘future-ready’ entrepreneurial skills.

A unique feature of the course is the interdisciplinary module The Connected Practitioner, which allows for creative alternatives to a traditional written dissertation, enabling you to articulate your vision in a way that’s right for you.

This is a demanding course and requires a high level of self-direction and independent study in addition to the taught sessions. You are supported to produce critically engaged photographic work that is distinctly yours.

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Course details

Course structure

Core modules

Approaches and Images

A series of inductions and workshops prepare you for practical work. You consider aesthetic, technical, and conceptual approaches to image-making, and employ these in the planning, development, and resolution of a photographic project. You are encouraged to experiment, test new ideas, and actively challenge and develop your previous work.

Audience and Encounters

Photographs are not just images: we encounter them in material contexts. Explore the ways in which photographs can be deployed and disseminated, and how they might be engaged with by viewers. You consider aesthetic, technical and conceptual approaches to produce a photographic artefact made for an intended audience.

Master's Project: Photography

Undertake a major, in-depth, individual study into a specialisation relating to your discipline.

This project is appropriate to commercial, industrial, creative, or research-based fields according to your own interests and career aspirations. You are responsible for the conceptualisation, research and development of the project, producing an end product relevant to your field of study.

The Connected Practitioner

Develop the tools, skills and techniques required to embark on research specific to each discipline or sector. Explore a comprehensive collection of engaging research methods and practices, as well as critical thinking, connecting with external facing issues and real-world issues, challenges, policies and audiences.

This interdisciplinary module facilitates a vibrant postgrad community and a cross-pollination of ideas, looking beyond the specialist subject to the wider panorama, offering multiple perspectives and inter or trans-disciplinary approaches.

The Resourceful Photographer

Making strong images is only part of a successful photographic practice. Develop the necessary skills to operate at a professional level, whatever your chosen career path and aspirations.

A series of seminars explores effective communication, marketing and promotion, legal and ethical obligations, business models, and careers in photography. You develop practical skills and industry know-how, underpinned by relevant critical and theoretical contexts.


Advanced practice (2 year full-time MA only)


The internship options are:

Vocational: spend one semester working full-time in industry or on placement in the University. We have close links with a range of national and international companies who could offer you the chance to develop your knowledge and professional skills in the workplace through an internship. Although we cannot guarantee internships, we will provide you with practical support and advice on how to find and secure your own internship position. A vocational internship is a great way to gain work experience and give your CV a competitive edge.

Research: develop your research and academic skills by undertaking a research internship within the University. Experience working as part of a research team in an academic setting. Ideal for those who are interested in a career in research or academia.


Modules offered may vary.


How you learn

MA Photography fosters independence and specialisation. You are supported to identify your goals and the best way to achieve them, empowering you to initiate, design and implement your own projects. At the heart of the course is self-led practice, making images, bodies of work and real-word photographic artefacts, always informed by research. Your knowledge and professional skills are expanded and challenged by lectures, seminars and discussions with tutors, peers and visiting professionals.

Regular group critiques support you to evaluate and articulate your practice, reflecting on your development through an ongoing workbook. You receive inductions to photographic equipment and facilities including the studios and dark room, and then have the freedom to hone your skills, calling on technicians to support as needed.

There is no formal technical instruction as part of the taught group sessions, and you should already have a sound understanding of techniques relevant to your area of practice. The course culminates in a final 60-credit module where you undertake an entirely self-directed major project that sets out your vision as a photographer.

How you are assessed

This course is assessed by in course assessments. For each module, you respond to the brief and submit work such as a portfolio, workbook, artefact, report or presentation that demonstrates the learning outcomes. You receive formative feedback throughout the module, usually in the form of group critiques or tutorials, to support you to develop and refine your final submissions.


Entry requirements

You should have a 2.2 in a photography undergraduate degree. We also consider other relevant experience or qualifications.

You are expected to be a confident and independent learner with a good understanding of photographic techniques, idea development and critical thinking. You are asked to present a portfolio of images or a completed project demonstrating your skills, and a proposal outlining the direction of your work and aims for the course.

International students will require IELTS 6.0 or equivalent.

For general information please see our overview of entry requirements

International applicants can find out what qualifications they need by visiting Your Country



Career opportunities

After graduation you could work as an independent photographer or within a range of businesses that require professional photography and visual acumen in positions such as:

• editorial photographer
• press or documentary photographer
• fashion photographer
• product photographer
• community photographer
• commercial or corporate photographer
• fine artist
• picture researcher or editor
• visual assets manager
• art director
• photography instructor or lecturer
• curator for museums and galleries
• further research at doctoral level, leading to a PhD.


Information for international applicants


International applicants - find out what qualifications you need by selecting your country below.

Select your country:

Useful information

Visit our international pages for useful information for non-UK students and applicants.

Talk to us

Talk to an international student enrolment adviser



2024/25 entry

Fee for UK applicants
£7,365 a year

£4,770 a year with advanced practice

More details about our fees

Fee for international applicants
£17,000 a year

£10,000 a year with advanced practice

More details about our fees for international applicants

  • Length: September: 1 year (20 months with Advanced Practice). January: 16 months (2 years with Advanced Practice).
  • Start date: September or January
  • Semester dates

Apply now (full-time)



2024/25 entry

Fee for UK applicants
£820 for each 20 credits

More details about our fees

  • Length: September: 2 years. January: 28 months.
  • Start date: September or January
  • Semester dates

Apply now (part-time)

Apply now (part-time)


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Get in touch

UK students


Telephone: 01642 738801

Online chat (general enquiries)

International students


Telephone: +44 (0) 1642 738900

More international contacts


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