Key details

Award title
MA Photography (also available as PGDip)
Awarding body
Falmouth University
Level
7
Duration
MA 2 years; PGDip 15 months
Mode of study
Online, part-time
Total MA fee
£12,150
Start dates
January and May
Next welcome week
20 May 2024
Next start date
28 May 2024
Application deadline
7 May 2024
Next virtual Q&A
14 March 2024, 17:30 GMT
Book your place

Gain a fresh outlook on your work

The photography industry is complex and competitive. To succeed, you need a course that pushes you further than simply mastering your technical skills, deepening your photographic knowledge and ability to innovate.

With Falmouth Flexible you’ll draw on other disciplines, build international connections, and explore wider contexts to engage meaningfully with this technologically and socially evolving medium. Through a range of activities including live briefs set by real clients, you’ll develop the professional skillset to make your mark in the industry, ready to join our rich legacy of accomplished and award-winning graduates.

You will:  

As well as an internationally recognised postgraduate qualification, as a successful graduate you’ll leave the course with a body of work strong enough to take you to the next stage in your career and sustain your practice beyond.   

Why study with Falmouth?

Find your creative voice

This MA is designed to enhance your artistic, critical, and professional skills, regardless of where you are in your career. Live briefs with real clients will equip you with the skillset, experience, and connections to thrive in this demanding and competitive industry.

You’ll be challenged to interrogate your practice and develop your creative voice. By experimenting with new materials and techniques, you’ll push your technical abilities and creative boundaries to excel as a specialist.

As well as joining our own collective of artistic minds, designers, and makers, you’ll expand your creative circle even further, becoming part of a global network of practitioners and finding your place within the wider photography community.

"I'm very grateful for the diverse backgrounds of my tutors and the references mentioned in the modules, this has opened my eyes to wider range of practices, approaches and methodologies in photography."

Rehab Eldalil, MA Photography

“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

Be inspired by our successful graduates

Have a question? 

Our Course Advisors can help. Contact us to discuss any aspect of the course, funding options, or how you'll study online:

Discuss my options

Course details

Please note the module orders are subject to change.

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 (30 credits)

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 (30 credits)

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.

Want to learn more about any of the modules?

Get in touch with our expert Course Adviser team. They’ll be able to answer all your questions about the programme, our application process, funding options, and more.

Positions and Practice (30 credits)

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 (30 credits)

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.

Want to learn more about any of the modules?

Get in touch with our expert Course Adviser team. They’ll be able to answer all your questions about the programme, our application process, funding options, and more.

Not ready for a masters yet?

If you don’t know if you’re fully equipped to make the most of our rigorous masters-level study, we can help. Get in touch with one of our course advisors to see whether joining our BA(Hons) Photography (Top-Up) course prior to progressing to the MA would be more beneficial.

Studying on our Top-Up will allow us to work with you to ensure you have the best chance of achieving a 2:1, which in turn will lead to a guaranteed offer and place on the MA. Please contact us for more information on  +44(0) 1326 332 125.

Entry requirements

An honours degree or Level 6 equivalent qualification.

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.

  • IELTS - minimum overall score of IELTS 6.5 with at least 6.0 in Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening

  • TOEFL iBT (online test) - minimum of 88 overall and at least 21 in all 4 components

  • LanguageCert (online test) - a High Pass from the ESOL B2 Communicator test in reading, writing, speaking and listening (2 parts)

We accept a number of additional English language qualifications as well.

Candidates without a degree or formal qualification are also encouraged to apply. If you have prior learning or experience with this subject, you may even be able to apply for Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL). You can learn more about this via our APL guide.

Portrait of man with arm tattoos - Jo Sutherst photography
Want to know if the course is for you?

For more information on course requirements, including advice regarding your eligibility, please discuss your options with a Course Advisor.

Discuss my options

How you'll learn

Access course content anywhere

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.

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. 

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

As one of our students, you’ll have access to a range of services designed to support your studies and make your time with us as enjoyable as possible.

  • Falmouth’s comprehensive online library of books, journals, and resources

  • A Student Advisor team to answer non-academic queries

  • Online software tutorials via LinkedIn Learning

  • The Students' Union community

  • Career advice, CV creation, practice interviews, and more via our careers platform

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

Hear from a graduate in this Q&A session

MA graduate Adele Annett discusses how she managed the course around other commitments, as well as career benefits since graduating - such as an artist residency and exhibition. 

- Just then something different students kind of handle in different ways depending on what their work is. I'm a photographer, so what I use to do is I would-- I would have shoots in my studio. And then after doing that I would move on to university shoots, personal project work. And then in my evenings, I would do more of the lecturing-- lecture work and tutorials, webinars, and reading. So yeah, that very much works for me because my working day was quite flexible and it meant that I could shoot in the day, which I really enjoyed.

But I think it's quite easy to move everything around the way that you need it to just because everything is so flexible and you can pick up and put down different bits whenever it suits you. There's certain things like-- there's certain things I can do better during the day or in the evening, depending on what works for me. And I that's what's quite nice about the course. You can sit down with a cup of tea in an evening and watch a lecture that you didn't have access to at 10:00 that day. So yeah, I think it's quite easy to make the course work for you and have everything in time, spaces, and certain-- some people work four days a week, so they would do everything on their day where they weren't working during the week.

So it has that flexibility, I guess. And there is a lot of work to do. But it's quite enjoyable work, so I quite enjoy doing it. And I find that there was always enough time to do everything that I needed to do. I was already working as a photographer beforehand, and think what the MA has done is it's given me my own personal practice back again.

So going through the two years on the MA, it's been very explorative and research-based-- I don't even know if I just made that word up. But yeah, it's been very research-based and it's helped me expand my ideas and my creativity. So alongside my paid client work, I now have my own personal practice. Since finishing MA, I've had an artist residency and an exhibition, which would never have done had I not done the MA. And I'm also currently now on the PGCHE program. So I'm hoping to go into teaching as well, which MA has opened up and invited to look into. So yeah, lots of positives. And I think more than anything, I think it's just re-awoken what it is that I was drawn to photography to do in the first place.

- There's a lot of students that come to Falmouth knowing the Falmouth name, knowing Falmouth has this connection with photography and a long developed history with photography and the Institute of Photography. And I think so-- I think we do draw people that have already got somewhat of an interest or understanding of photography and the industry. And not always, we get a lot of people that come from many different backgrounds, were ex-policeman, ex-doctors. And so they already-- they come to the program with a very unique-- their own personal histories. And I think that what the course does very well is give them space to also engage, interact the new knowledge that we're giving them, the sort of research into photography and contemporary photographic practices, but also the ability, the space to harness their previous knowledge. And how those two kind of new--the old and the new understandings interact.

[MUSIC PLAYING]

Watch our latest webinar

Gain essential insight into our MA Photography course, as Course Leader, Jesse Alexander answers common questions in this Q&A session:

Watch the Q&A

Fees and funding

Fees

Total course fee

£12,150 (including £350 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) 1326 332 125 to speak to a Course Advisor.

Typical course costs

All students on the course are expected to have access to their own photographic equipment.

What this will consist of will vary according to your practice and preferred ways of working. Typically, this will mean a good quality DSLR plus the lenses you require.

You will also need to purchase the Adobe Creative Cloud and have a laptop/desktop capable of running these applications.

For further advice, please call us on +44(0) 1326 332 125 to speak to a Course Advisor or check out more ways to get in touch.

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 Funding options page for more information or call us on +44(0) 1326 332 125 to speak to a course advisor.

Total course fee

£12,150 (including £350 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) 1326 332 125 to speak to a Course Advisor.

All students on the course are expected to have access to their own photographic equipment.

What this will consist of will vary according to your practice and preferred ways of working. Typically, this will mean a good quality DSLR plus the lenses you require.

You will also need to purchase the Adobe Creative Cloud and have a laptop/desktop capable of running these applications.

For further advice, please call us on +44(0) 1326 332 125 to speak to a Course Advisor or check out more ways to get in touch.

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 Funding options page for more information or call us on +44(0) 1326 332 125 to speak to a course advisor.

Borderless perspectives: photography face-to-face events

At Falmouth we are continually rethinking online study to bring you the richest learning experience.

We understand the importance of learning with peers, which is why up to twice a year*, you’ll have the opportunity to meet your classmates and tutors in person at our optional face-to-face events. From international photo festivals to hands-on workshops, they’re a chance to fully immerse yourself in the subject you love and share experiences with like-minded creatives.

Professional opportunities, mentorships, and lasting friendships can blossom from our face-to-face events. You’ll gain global perspectives, valuable feedback, and deepen your knowledge.

View our face-to-face events

*Please note that given the variability in participant numbers and the specific nature of planned events, it may not always be possible to organise them for every course every year.

Paris Photo 2022

"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

Careers

Our graduates go on to achieve great things: from successful careers in travel, fashion, and editorial photography to becoming award-winning documentary photographers and internationally celebrated portrait photographers.

Talent and technical ability are vital, but we’ll also prepare you for the realities of life in the industry, encouraging you go out and gain first-hand experience with commissions, work placements, and a live brief project set by a real client. Past clients have included organisations such as Oxfam, the Royal Photographic Society, and the Wellcome Photography Prize. You’ll develop the professional and transferrable skills – from pitching to collaborating – needed to thrive in many fields of the creative industries.

In addition to the guidance offered by our tutors, you can also access RealWORKS, our careers and employability service throughout your studies, and for up to 5 years following graduation.

Our expert team will help you identify potential opportunities in the UK or internationally, prepare for job interviews, advise you on starting up your own business, and more. 

Find out more about the careers available to you as an MA Photography graduate:

Explore MA Photography careers

Student work

Want to see what our current students create? 

The Falmouth Flexible Graduate Show took place in London - meet some of the participants and see their incredible photography practice in our video.

MA Landings exhibition 2022

Discover how Photography graduates showcased their Final Major Projects and see work designed and curated by current students in the 2022 Landings exhibition

Source Graduate Photography 2023

See the diverse and innovative work produced by our graduates in this online showcase.

Graduate awards and nominations

Falmouth Flexible Photography on Instagram

See what current and former MA Photography students are up to in our latest @falmouthflexiblephoto Instagram posts:

 

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 team is based around the world and come from a range of backgrounds in professional photography.

We also invite guest lecturers to enhance what you're learning and bring the subject to life.

 Here's a small selection of our previous speakers:

How to apply

Application steps 

Step 1: Submit an online application form

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

Step 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. Find out more about applying:

Application process

Andy Thatcher
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Join our community of learners. Start your application today.

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Take your first step to success.

Photography resources

Birds of a Feather: Collaboration made simple
Birds of a Feather: Collaboration made simple

In this month’s blog post we continue to look at some of the key elements embedded in collaboration through the book Birds of a Feather.  

MA Photography graduate story: Exploring a family's history
MA Photography graduate story: Exploring a family's history

Explore the profound journey of photography graduate Mary Musgrove, as she delves into her family's history in Ireland through her images.

The best photobooks of 2023 revealed
The best photobooks of 2023 revealed

In this month’s blog post we look at the favourite/best photobooks of 2023. The best photobooks list phenomenon is a tradition that goes back to the early days of the internet through booksellers like Photo-Eye of Sante Fe.