If you've got a passion for photography and an undergraduate qualification in the subject, this MA Photography course is your perfect way to take your creative career forward.
On this course, you'll extend your photographic work to postgraduate level and hone your authorial voice and engage with the debates that inform and underpin photographic practice. You'll have many opportunities to network, publicise and market your work outside of the University too, so once you graduate, you'll be better prepared for life in the creative sector.
You'll also have gained the knowledge and skills required to work effectively in the photographic industry or in a number of broader creative roles – such as writing, curating, picture editing and education.
What you'll experience
On this course you'll:
- Engage with internationally-renowned visiting speakers and practitioners – recent speakers have included photographers Martin Parr, Jason Evans, Paul Seewright, Adam Broomberg, Melanie Manchot, Julian Germain, Faisal Abdu-Allah, Tom Hunter and Eric Kessels
- Take part in study visits to galleries and photography festivals
- Make use of our extensive photographic studio facilities, including: flash and tungsten lighting set ups, digital and traditional darkrooms supporting colour and black and white photography, high-end negative scanners, ink jet printers and projection facilities
- Optimise and fine tune your portfolio with our powerful PCs and Macs, loaded with the software used by professionals, high-spec printers, and film, video and photography editing facilities
- Get hands-on with the latest production techniques and equipment, including: 3D printing, CNC milling machines, digital fabric printing, as well as printing workshops with screen printing, letterpress, laser cutting, dye sublimation and digital fabric printing facilities
- Get best practice tips and practical support from academic staff and technicians on all elements of photographic work
- Have access to our comprehensively equipped library facilities, including over 400,000 books, DVDs, maps, and thousands of online ejournals and newspapers, as well as electronic resources that are available anywhere, 24/7
Work experience and career planning
To give you the best chance of securing a great job when you graduate, our Careers and Employability service can help you find relevant work experience during your course.
We can help you identify placements, internships, voluntary roles and freelancing opportunities that will complement your studies and build your portfolio.
Careers and opportunitiesThe course may lead to opportunities in freelance photography, curating, exhibiting, assisting in a commercial photographic environment, visual content provision, picture editing, or PhD research / research-related careers.
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.
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
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
- A good honours degree in a related subject, or equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications.
- An interview or online portfolio submission will 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
Tuition fees (2019 start)
UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students
- Full-time: £7,500
- Part-time: £2,500 in year 1 and £5,000 in year 2
- Full-time: £13,900
- Part-time: £4,630 in year 1 and £9,270 in year 2
Additional course costs
These course-related costs aren’t included in the tuition fees. So you’ll need to budget for them when you plan your spending.
Our accommodation section shows your accommodation options and highlights how much it costs to live in Portsmouth.
You’ll study up to 6 units a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each unit.
You can borrow most of these from the Library. If you buy these, they may cost up to £60 each.
We recommend that you budget £75 a year for photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.
If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose.
You'll need to cover the cost of materials and/or reprographic requirements for work. These costs are normally in the region of £100 - £1000, depending on the nature of the work and the media used.
Optional study trips
For optional study trips, you'll need to cover the full cost. Optional study trips abroad will cost in the region of £200 - £800. UK trips, where offered, will be in the region of £50 - £150.
What you'll study
Each unit on this course is worth a certain number of credits.
In each year, you need to study units worth a total of 180 credits. For example, 2 units worth 60 credits and 2 unit worth 30 credits.
- A question of research
- Contemporary documentary practice in context
- Photography major project
Changes to course content
We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.
Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional units may not run every year. If a unit doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative unit.
As well as support by faculty teaching staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University’s Academic Skills Unit (ASK).
ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:
- academic writing
- note taking
- time management
- critical thinking
- presentation skills
- working in groups
- revision, memory and exam techniques
Teaching on this course includes:
- one-to-one tutorials
- group tutorials
- independent learning
Each academic year is divided into 2 teaching blocks and an assessment period:
- Autumn teaching block – September to December
- Spring teaching block – January to Easter
- Assessment period – Easter to June
You’ll get a timetable 4 weeks before the start of a teaching block.
Most teaching takes place during the day, Monday to Friday. There’s no teaching on Wednesday afternoons. You may occasionally need to go to University and course events in the evenings and at weekends.
How you're assessed
You'll be assessed through:
- written coursework
- practical coursework
Apply for this course using our online application form.
If you're from outside of the UK, you can apply directly to us or you can get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region. To find out what to include in your application, head to the how to apply page of our international students section.