Female photographer taking pictures in white room

Photography research

Explore our work in photography, one of 6 areas of expertise within our Art and Design: History, Theory and Practice research


In our Photography research, we're using photographic art practice as an investigative tool. We're exploring photography as a medium, and investigating how photographic practices shape individual subjectivity and modernity.

Photography helps to investigate world issues through art practice. Our research highlights important social and cultural issues and makes them visible in distinct ways, drawing on subjects like art history, cultural theory and philosophy.

Photography is constantly evolving in its engagement, interpretation and distribution. Our research adds to current debates in contemporary photographic practice and asks questions like how photography can be used to propose theoretical considerations, how subjectivity is defined through photography, and how photographic practice proposes new ways of thinking about the world.

Our research focuses on the following topics:


  • Photographic art practice
  • Photographic theory
  • Practice as research
  • Psychoanalytic theory
  • Vernacular photographic practices

Our research outputs have been published in leading print journals including Photoworks, Source and Aperture, and in online journals such as 1000 words. Our work has also been featured at conferences on photographic research at institutions such as Goldsmiths and the University of Brighton, and at photo festivals including the Brighton Photo Biennale, Paris Photo, and Format Festival.

Methods and facilities

Our research explores the practices, history and medium of photography in both practical and theoretical ways. Our academic and research staff have decades of professional industry experience – as well as experience with many different photographic techniques and practices – and the methods they employ shape the work we do.

Our photographic facilities include film and digital cameras of all formats, studios, colour and black and white darkrooms, and large format digital printing.

Recent projects include

Discover our areas of expertise

Photography is one of 6 areas of expertise within our Art and Design: History, Theory and Practice research. Explore the others below.

Interested in a PhD in Art & Design?

Browse our postgraduate research degrees – including PhDs and MPhils – at our Art & Design postgraduate research degrees page.

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