Develop your voice within Contemporary Documentary Practice
Why take this course?
On this course you will extend your photographic work at postgraduate level, defining your own authorial voice within the context of the contemporary documentary environment and the theoretical debates that underpin this.
There is a strong ethos in social and cultural awareness, supporting projects that are embedded within research and professional practice. You will be encouraged to network, publicise and market your work outside the University, and enhance your skills for working in the creative sector.
What will I experience?
On this course you can:
- Experience an intellectual challenge within a productive research community, aided by supportive supervision.
- Engage with internationally renowned visiting speakers and practitioners.
- Take part in study visits to galleries and photography festivals.
What opportunities might it lead to?
On this course you will develop strong academic, creative and technical abilities. As a result, you will have the skills to work in various areas of the current photographic industry or as part of the wider creative industries, from writers to curators, picture editors to educators.
The MA course may lead to opportunities in:
- Freelance photography
- Assisting in a commercial photographic environment
- Visual content provider
- Picture editing
- PhD research / Research related careers
- 1 year full time, 2 years part time
- 2017 entry requirements
- A minimum of a second-class honours degree in a related subject or equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications. An online portfolio submission may be required as part of the selection process. English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.
UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students
2017/18 entry: full time: £5,200, part time: £1,730 in year 1 and £3,470* in year 2
2017/18 entry: full time: £12,600, part time: £4,200 in year 1 and £8,400* in year 2
* Fees are subject to annual increase.
+44 (0)23 9284 5566
- School of Art and Design
- Programme specification
Structure & Teaching
This MA course is offered over one year (full time) or two years (part-time). The course has units related to:
- Research: This includes methodologies, analytical skills, visual analysis, research management and organisation, professional skills, networking and personal effectiveness.
- Creative photographic practice: This includes analogue and digital skills, editing, project management, professional practice and industry links, peer learning, contextualisation and reflective practice.
Core units comprise:
- A Question of Research
- Photography Major Project
- Contemporary Documentary Practice in Context
Teaching and Assessment
The course informs and encourages our students to participate in project work that is built upon social and cultural awareness through engaging and collaborating with communities outside of the university, nationally and internationally.
Much of the teaching encourages students to have the ability to verbally articulate their ideas, peer exchange and participate in collaborative learning, with some workshops and lectures. You will benefit from being taught by practising professionals with extensive expertise in exhibiting, publishing and curating.
There will be regular contact teaching time including one-to-one and group tutorials and workshops. You will also have the opportunity to engage in the wider culture that develops within the subject area alongside the undergraduate students in Photography.
During the final stage of the course in summer the learning becomes more independent and self-managed making your timetable more flexible.
How are you assessed?
You will mostly be assessed by a mix of written and practical coursework, with regular feedback.
MA Photography Course Leader
This exciting new MA course in Photography offers you the opportunity to question, develop and reflect upon your own practice by exploring the genre of contemporary documentary practice.
Facilities & Features
Studios and Darkrooms
We have excellent photographic studios with flash and tungsten lighting set ups with both digital and traditional cameras supported by a digital darkroom together with traditional darkrooms. You can work with digital and analogue cameras, from 35mm to medium and large format. Lighting and cameras are also available to borrow for shooting on location.
Our digital darkroom is equipped with Mac computers, high end neg scanners and ink jet printers. We also have both black and white and colour darkrooms.
Design studios provide working spaces as well as areas for scheduled tutorials and presentations, with projection facilities for digital reviews.
You will have access to a wide range of powerful and modern multimedia PC and Mac computers equipped with the latest industry standard software, professional printers and extensive film, video and photography editing facilities. Should you need any assistance, there are specialist knowledgeable, enthusiastic and highly motivated technicians on hand to support you in using the facilities.
The Eldon Production Centre offers laser-cutting, 3D printing, CNC milling machine and digital fabric printing. The photographic workshops and computer suites are very well equipped, including Macs and PCs running industry-standard software. Specialist filming equipment is available from the Faculty Loan Store. The print workshops include excellent facilities with specific areas for – screenprinting, letterpress, laser cutting, dye sublimation printing and digital fabric printing.
We organise a lively programme of visiting speakers in order to encourage a vibrant culture of debate and industry contact. Recent speakers have included the world-renowned photographers Martin Parr, Jason Evans, Paul Seawright, Adam Broomberg, Melanie Manchot, Julian Germain, Faisal Abdu-Allah, Tom Hunter and Eric Kessels.
Modern, comfortable and a great learning environment, our library offers a wealth of information including 400,000 books, DVDs, maps and thousands of online ejournals and newspapers. Many electronic resources are available anywhere, 24/7 and our friendly staff are always on hand to help.
Budgeting for your studies
There may be extra costs arising from your studies which you will need to consider when planning your expenditure.
Some are common costs to all courses of study. These may include the cost of study texts, reference books, photocopying and computer supplies. Others relate to specific courses and may include field trips, materials and specialist equipment.
Other costs to consider
There are costs relating to the purchase of materials and / or reprographic requirements for work. This may be in the region of £100 - £1000. These costs will depend on the nature of the work and the media used.
For optional study trips, you will be expected to pay full costs. Optional study trips will cost in the region of £200 - £800. UK trips, where offered, will be in the region of £50 - £150.
Careers & Opportunities
Through seminars, project work, training and work experience, the MA Photography course will help you to engage with the creative industries of photography and its ancillary industries to be better equipped for employment and further career progression.
Roles our graduates may take on include:
- Research-related careers
- PhD study
- Free-lance photographers
- Assisting work
- Picture editors
- Editorial photography
- Setting up own businesses
- Digital printing and retouching
- News industry
- Picture agencies
- Galleries and museums
- Media industry
Here at the Creative Careers Centre we are committed to improving your employability. Whether it’s placements, self-employed placements, internships, short-term work experiences, freelancing opportunities and volunteering, we will help you find valuable and relevant work experience to complement your degree. The experienced team is always on hand to offer advice on everything from producing high-quality applications through to preparation for a company assessment day.
To make sure you take the right steps on your career path, we’re here to give you help, support and advice throughout your study. Even after you’ve graduated, we continue to give you support for up to five years.
Employers tell us that they want graduates to be able to demonstrate certain skills when they come out of university. Our courses take account of this. We make sure we prepare you for employment through work-related learning, projects, placements and working in simulated environments that are designed to prepare you for the working world.
Online application form
Apply direct using our online form
Your application will be received by the University Admissions Centre for consideration.
Postgraduate Information Days
Our Postgraduate Information Days for 2017 entry have now finished. If you would like to meet or speak with a member of staff about any courses you are interested in, please email email@example.com and we will arrange this for you.
We will confirm the dates of events related to 2018 entry soon.
Other opportunities to visit
Download our free walking tour PDF for a self-guided tour of the University. You can visit Monday to Friday between 8.30am and 4pm.
We have an open-door policy so you will be able to take a look in our buildings, speak to some of our support services and get a feel for the campus.
If you are unable to visit us, contact the admissions team – see the 'Key Facts' section above for contact details.
Staff from our international Office regularly attend overseas exhibitions. To find out more about these and our visits to your region see our International Office exhibitions page.
Fees and Funding
Find out more about fees and funding available to you at Portsmouth.