Key details
Award title
MA Photography (also available as PGDip)
Awarding body
Falmouth University
Level
7
Duration
MA 2 years; PGDip 14 months
Mode of study
Online, part-time
Total MA course fee
£10,900
3 start dates a year
January, May and September
Next start date
25 January 2021
Welcome week
16 January 2021
Application deadline
11 January 2021

Introduction

Our masters degree will equip you with the knowledge, understanding, and skills to meaningfully engage with a technologically- and socially-evolving medium. It will help you succeed within the increasingly complex and competitive creative industries.

The course brings together talented practitioners on an international scale who have the ambition the ambition to succeed, innovate, and lead. It allows for the dynamic cross-pollination of approaches in photography and the exploration of critical perspectives.

You will also have an individual, or group of, sophisticated projects of a publishable standard. You can use these as the foundation to take you to the next stage in your career and sustain your practice beyond.

Through your time on the course, you will:

  • Gain valuable insights which you can immediately apply to your work by sharing your approaches to photography and collaboratively exploring critical perspectives
  • Become an inquisitive, innovative, and outward-looking professional practitioner
  • Be able to embrace multi-disciplined approaches to your work
  • Confidently collaborate with other professional practitioners on a global scale
  • Inspire others and take leading roles within the arts sector and creative industries on an international level

On successful completion of this course, you will have an internationally recognised postgraduate qualification.

Who is this course for?

The aim of this course is to enhance the creative, critical, and professional skills of practitioners who are at an early stage in their careers.

It also gives those who have already established themselves within the professional arena an opportunity to interrogate their practice and deepen the quality and sophistication of their creative output.

Our MA is designed to accommodate a broad range of practitioners, from those who use photography to question the world around them to those whose practice interrogates the medium itself.

Typical applicants may be working as photojournalists, critics in photography, curators, freelancers, or business or studio owners.

During the enquiry and application process for this course some applicants may realise that they’re not quite ready to make the most of our rigorous masters-level study. In these circumstances we can talk with you to see whether joining our BA(Hons) Photography (Top-Up) course prior to progressing to the MA would be most beneficial.

Studying on our Top-Up will allow us to work with you to ensure you have the best chance of getting a good degree result, which in turn will lead to a guaranteed offer and place on the MA. Please contact us for more information on +44 (0)1223 447713.

 

Entry requirements

To apply for the MA in Photography, you should have:

  • An honours degree or Level 6 equivalent qualification
  • If English is not your first language, proof of proficiency in English (minimum overall score of IELTS 6.5 with at least 6.0 in Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening or TOEFL IBT (Internet Based Test) with a minimum of 88 overall and at least 21 in all 4 components)

 

We also accept a range of equivalent recognised English language qualifications. Candidates without a degree or formal qualification are still encouraged to apply.

For more information regarding equivalent international qualifications and Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) please call us on +44 (0)1223 447713 or view our handy guide:

APL guide

Course details

Course structure

MA

You will need to complete four 30-credit modules and one 60-credit project (180 credits in total). All modules on the course are compulsory and must be passed in order to complete the award.

PGDip

You will need to complete four 30-credit modules (120 credits in total). All modules on the course are compulsory and must be passed in order to complete the award. A dissertation (major project) is not required. 

Module one

Positions and Practice

This module enables you to locate your practice within the broad contexts of professional contemporary photography.

You will consider the importance of research as a fundamental aspect of contemporary photography in both academic and industry contexts, and critically reflect on core themes in contemporary visual culture.

Through discursive activities with faculty staff and peers, as well as self-directed research and personal reflection, you will analyse your practice in relation to specific themes, and articulate your practical and conceptual motivations and intentions as an image-maker.

Module two

Informing Contexts (30 credits)

'Informing Contexts' aims to increase your understanding of how contemporary practice is enriched through critical and theoretical contextualisation, helping you develop an informed and sophisticated photographic practice.

The module will introduce you to a number of themes and debates that are fundamental to the study of the image, such as debates around looking and subjectivity.

You will also consider your own practice in relation to historical, philosophical, and ethical perspectives around photography and visual culture.

Module three

Sustainable Strategies

This module considers the different contexts in which the photography is published, and how its form influences how it is received and understood by audiences.

You will explore the many creative strategies involved in the production, resolution, and publication of photographic work, and consider the possibility of interdisciplinary approaches in the making and presentation of your own creative output.

As you study, you’ll also devise strategies and workflows that are conscious of material consumption and work towards professional, and ecological and environmental sustainability.

You’ll be encouraged to experiment with new materials, processes, and creative strategies as appropriate to your specialism.

Module four

Collaboration and Professional Locations (30 credits)

‘Collaboration and Professional Locations’ strives to increase your understanding and appreciation of the roles, relationships, and responsibilities that can play a major part in progressing and sustaining your professional practice.

As part of this, you will be encouraged to undertake commissions and work placements during this module, and to devise or engage in photography and visual arts initiatives relevant to your work.

You’ll also have the opportunity to collaborate on a live brief with a small group of peers. These briefs will be set by clients and allow you to gain experience with real world, industry challenges.

Final major project (MA only)

Final Major Project (MA only) (60 credits)

This module provides you with the chance to produce a critically and professionally informed research project and deliver it to a public audience.

Initially, you will submit a proposal outlining a scheme of work and the critical contexts surrounding your project. You’ll then work continuously on the module over the course of two study blocks.

The project will be your opportunity to demonstrate increasing autonomy in respect of your research capabilities, alongside support from your supervisor.

You will also continue to benefit from the programme’s ongoing series of guest lectures by leading contemporary practitioners and industry experts.

Positions and Practice

This module enables you to locate your practice within the broad contexts of professional contemporary photography.

You will consider the importance of research as a fundamental aspect of contemporary photography in both academic and industry contexts, and critically reflect on core themes in contemporary visual culture.

Through discursive activities with faculty staff and peers, as well as self-directed research and personal reflection, you will analyse your practice in relation to specific themes, and articulate your practical and conceptual motivations and intentions as an image-maker.

Informing Contexts (30 credits)

'Informing Contexts' aims to increase your understanding of how contemporary practice is enriched through critical and theoretical contextualisation, helping you develop an informed and sophisticated photographic practice.

The module will introduce you to a number of themes and debates that are fundamental to the study of the image, such as debates around looking and subjectivity.

You will also consider your own practice in relation to historical, philosophical, and ethical perspectives around photography and visual culture.

Sustainable Strategies

This module considers the different contexts in which the photography is published, and how its form influences how it is received and understood by audiences.

You will explore the many creative strategies involved in the production, resolution, and publication of photographic work, and consider the possibility of interdisciplinary approaches in the making and presentation of your own creative output.

As you study, you’ll also devise strategies and workflows that are conscious of material consumption and work towards professional, and ecological and environmental sustainability.

You’ll be encouraged to experiment with new materials, processes, and creative strategies as appropriate to your specialism.

Collaboration and Professional Locations (30 credits)

‘Collaboration and Professional Locations’ strives to increase your understanding and appreciation of the roles, relationships, and responsibilities that can play a major part in progressing and sustaining your professional practice.

As part of this, you will be encouraged to undertake commissions and work placements during this module, and to devise or engage in photography and visual arts initiatives relevant to your work.

You’ll also have the opportunity to collaborate on a live brief with a small group of peers. These briefs will be set by clients and allow you to gain experience with real world, industry challenges.

Final Major Project (MA only) (60 credits)

This module provides you with the chance to produce a critically and professionally informed research project and deliver it to a public audience.

Initially, you will submit a proposal outlining a scheme of work and the critical contexts surrounding your project. You’ll then work continuously on the module over the course of two study blocks.

The project will be your opportunity to demonstrate increasing autonomy in respect of your research capabilities, alongside support from your supervisor.

You will also continue to benefit from the programme’s ongoing series of guest lectures by leading contemporary practitioners and industry experts.

How you'll learn

With Falmouth Flexible, you access your course content, interactions with other students and tutors, and learning resources through Canvas, our easy-to-use online platform.

You can access the course wherever you are in the world, and you can watch, pause, and rewind lectures whenever you want.

 

Learning activities

Engaging learning activities will help you apply theory to practice. They could include:

  • Concise online presentations to introduce key concepts
  • Small group and class discussions and crits to facilitate interaction and dialogue
  • Online critiques to test assumptions, ideas, and to receive feedback from peers and tutors
  • Individual and group tutorials throughout the course
  • Independent study
  • Self-evaluation and peer feedback

 

Assessments

All assessments are taken and submitted online.

Assessment methods for the masters degree in photography can typically include:

  • Coursework assessment with no formal examinations
  • Oral presentations
  • Collaborations on live, client briefs
  • Projects, individual reports and public presentations

 

Student support

Throughout your studies, you’ll be supported by a student advisor. Their job is to answer any non-academic queries you may have. They can be contacted via email, phone, text, or WhatsApp.

Your student advisor can show you around the online learning platform, guide you through enrolment, and give advice on managing your work/life balance.

As a Falmouth student, you enjoy an equal status to students studying on campus:

  • Your own student ID card
  • Access to online software tutorials at lynda.com
  • 24/7 online access to library resources
  • Students’ Union community

 

As a Falmouth Flexible MA Photography student, you'll also be entitled to a free student membership of the Association of Photographers. 

Teaching team

Designed with employer-focused learning at the core, our MA Photography team work with global organisations, staff, and alumni to provide you with the breadth of experience and networks needed to accelerate your career.

The course is designed and taught by Jesse Alexander, Dr Steph Cosgrove, Dr Gary McLeod, Anna-Maria Pfab, and Dr Wendy McMurdo.

​Our online tutors are based around the world and come from a range of backgrounds in professional photography. They include Paul Clements, Michelle Sank, Dr Stella Baraklianou, Krishna Sheth, and Cemre Yeşil.

In addition to our tutors, we invite guest lecturers to enhance what you're learning and bring the subject to life. Here's a small selection of our previous speakers:

  • Christiana Monarchi (Editor, Photomonitor)
  • Guy Martin (artist)
  • Sarah Pickering (artist)
  • David Fathi (artist)
  • Sarah Davidmann (artist)
  • Richard Billingham (artist)
  • Marc Wilson (artist)
  • Michal Iwanowski (artist)
  • Edmund Clark (artist)
“As a working photographer it's difficult to dedicate a year or two years to doing a course so I needed to do something that was flexible, that I could do around my own work. The flexible MA at Falmouth was the perfect choice."
Anthony Prothero, MA Photography

“The Masters has really helped me get to grips with what it is that I need to do to make my photography a success in the future.”

Jo Sutherst, MA Photography

Video intro to the course

Meet the course team and find out more about the MA Photography:

Watch our MA Photography video

 

Photo MA

Face-to-face events

Up to twice a year, you’ll have the optional opportunity to meet your classmates and tutors in person. The dates and location of the events will vary. Events usually incorporate a weekend to accommodate busy schedules.

Previous MA Photography face-to-face events have included a visit to Unseen Amsterdam, the leading annual event for contemporary photography showcasing artists, both emerging and established, who are pushing the boundaries of the medium.

Our students had the opportunity to:

  • See a range of photographic work ‘in the flesh’ by some of the most celebrated and respected practitioners at world-leading venues
  • Develop their awareness and understanding of contemporary practice
  • Get face-to-face feedback from peers and staff on their own work
  • Network with peers and teaching staff, and other industry professionals

 

Unseen Amsterdam

"The face-to-face events really help you to firstly meet the other people on your course, meet the academic team, meet support staff, but also appreciate the wealth of photography around the world."

Jo Sutherst, MA Photography

Find out more about face-to-face events on our student experience page.

How to apply

 

Before you apply 

Before you submit your application, please contact one of our course advisors so they can guide you through the process and ensure you submit the best application possible for entry into the course. 

Call us on  +44 (0)1223 447713.

 

Application steps 

Application steps:  

1. Submit an online application form.

2. Submit a copy of your first degree certificate or Level 6 equivalent qualification and your IELTS/TOEFL certificate if English is not your first language.

3. Submit a digital portfolio of your current photographic practice. The portfolio should indicate both your technical aptitude and the quality and sophistication of your practice. You shouldn’t attempt to encompass a range of styles and genres of photography, but rather try to give the admissions team a sense of your practice specialisms and your interests as a practitioner. You should title or briefly caption each image in your portfolio, explaining - if necessary - how the image is indicative of your practice and why you have selected it.

Late applications may be considered if places are available.

For free advice, please contact our friendly and knowledgeable course advisors on +44 (0)1223 447713.

Fees & funding

Fees

Total course fee 

£10,900 (including £250 acceptance fee)

 

Payment options  

  • One-off payment 
  • Six equal instalments spread over a two-year period

 

Payment methods  

Payments can be made online or by phone, using a credit or debit card, or by bank transfer. 

 

Please visit our fees and funding page for more information or call us on +44 (0)1223 447713 to speak to a course advisor.

Funding options

Application offers

We offer a range of bursaries, early application offers, and alumni discounts.

 

Loans

You may be eligible for funding from the UK Government.

 

Please visit our fees and funding page for more information or call us on +44 (0)1223 447713 to speak to a course advisor.

 

Total course fee 

£10,900 (including £250 acceptance fee)

 

Payment options  

  • One-off payment 
  • Six equal instalments spread over a two-year period

 

Payment methods  

Payments can be made online or by phone, using a credit or debit card, or by bank transfer. 

 

Please visit our fees and funding page for more information or call us on +44 (0)1223 447713 to speak to a course advisor.

Application offers

We offer a range of bursaries, early application offers, and alumni discounts.

 

Loans

You may be eligible for funding from the UK Government.

 

Please visit our fees and funding page for more information or call us on +44 (0)1223 447713 to speak to a course advisor.

 

Student work

Want to see what our current students create? 

Deep Water is the first Falmouth Flexible Graduate Show - meet some of the participants and see their incredible photography practice in our online publication.

 

Falmouth sign
Contact us
If you have any questions about the MA Photography, our experienced course advisors are here to help. You can call our friendly and knowledgeable team on +44 1223 447713.

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