Nick Hodgson is a graduate of Falmouth Flexible’s online MA in Photography. In this Q&A interview, we spoke to Nick about why he wanted to study Photography at master’s level, what the support was like while studying online and what he’s been up to since finishing the course.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your background?
Nick: Five years ago, I quit my job as a Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) to concentrate full-time on my life-long passion for photography. My practice is mainly documentary and landscape, but I’ve also shot gardens for various UK magazines and books.
Why did you choose to study online with Falmouth Flexible?
Nick: I liked the flexibility of a two-year, part-time course that I didn’t have to start in September, the traditional beginning of the academic year. I chose the January start date instead. I was also aware of Falmouth’s very strong reputation.
What motivated you to study Photography at master’s level?
Nick: I wanted to increase my knowledge of the philosophy and practice of photography, and gain another tertiary academic qualification, so that I would feel more credible about calling myself a photographer.
What was the support like, both during the application process and your studies?
Nick: It was excellent during the application process, with all my questions answered. The quality of the teaching and tutoring was almost always of a high standard. The Course Leader has set a very high level of teaching expectation and has gathered some outstanding lecturers, tutors and guest speakers to ensure a high-quality student experience.
The programme team managed the Covid situation well – thankfully being an online course the main impact for me was my inability to shoot new work for my Final Major Project (FMP) for four months until the first lockdown finished, but the supervision for the FMP was really supportive.
Photo credit: Nick Hodgson
Did it help keep you motivated knowing that you would complete the course and get your degree in two years? How did you balance work and studying?
Nick: I had no problem with self-motivation, but I think other students had some wobbles along the way and were really well supported by the tutors from what I’ve heard.
What are the networking opportunities like for online students? Have connections you made during the course been helpful since graduation?
Nick: I was lucky enough to be part of a really supportive cohort, all of whom took our studies very seriously and genuinely wanted to support each other. And some of us physically met at Falmouth for the 2019 face-to-face symposium.
This mutual support all helped enormously, especially once Covid hit just as we were about to start the FMP stage. Many of us are still in regular contact via WhatsApp and Instagram, despite being based in different parts of the UK and continental Europe.
Photo credit: Nick Hodgson
What have you been up to since graduation?
Nick: I’ve just help my first solo exhibition which I’d originally planned for the autumn of 2020 as part of my FMP submission. Better late than never! It went far better than expected and is going to lead to a book.
I’ve also started a post-MA blog, as I enjoyed writing my Critical Research Journal so much during the course. I’ve had some work featured by ShutterHub, have started supplying stock to Alamy and have had images published in some magazines and books.
How do you think the course will continue to help you advance your career in photography?
Nick: I feel so much more confident in how my own work is developing, as well as my knowledge of contemporary practitioners and thinking. I’m also considering submitting a project in an attempt to attain Fellowship level of the Royal Photographic Society (RPS).
What’s your advice for anyone else thinking of studying Photography online with Falmouth Flexible?
Nick: Do it! It is well-taught, excellent value for money, and ideal for anyone juggling their time with other commitments - although I did find myself spending about 30 hours a week during the taught modules, so you’ve got to be really serious about it to get the most out of it.
Get a fresh outlook on your work with Falmouth Flexible’s part-time, online MA in Photography. Choose from three start dates per year: