Photography MA

Postgraduate ( full-time, part-time)

Cambridge

September 2016

Intermediate awards: PG Cert, PG Dip

Course duration: 12 months full-time or 24 months part-time.
Teaching times: 10am-1pm and 2pm-5pm Wednesdays (full-time); 10am-1pm or 2pm - 5pm Wednesdays (part-time).

Overview

Discover, research and experiment with different photographic processes and disciplines using our industry-standard facilities. Supported by a team of photographers, visual artists and theorists, you’ll develop your critical understanding of this art form, and prepare for a career in today's global photography industry.

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Full description

Careers

Our course will prepare you for many roles in the photographic industry and beyond: photographer, yes, but also picture researcher, assistant, lecturer, curator or art critic. You might choose a 'portfolio career' and combine your photography work with other activities. Either way, you’ll have developed the skills to use a comprehensive range of approaches and technologies which, combined with projects such as symposium and exhibition organisation, will prove invaluable in many roles.

With our focus on international practice, you'll be able to develop new contacts and networks, and seek out international employment opportunities. If you’re from a country where the visual media has untapped potential, you’ll be in a position to contribute to its development.

Modules & assessment

Core modules

  • Process and Practice as Research
    You will engage with the relationship between research and production. In particular you will explore the process of designing a research project for Art and Design students at Masters level. Lectures and seminars will introduce you to methodology, ethics and exemplars of research methods from a broad range of art and design disciplines. The specifics of designing a research project, such as dealing with failure and evaluating success, will be considered as fundamental aspects of research design. Lectures and seminars will be delivered on a cross-school platform and you will begin to consider alternative paradigms of practice and engage with ideas from outside your own discipline. Using the initial lectures as a starting point, you will be asked to design and undertake a practice-based, self-contained pilot project which tests the scope and limits of a specific research method or methods. Through the research design process you will write a proposal, identify milestones, deliver an outcome and evaluate your pilot project. In group critiques and tutorials within a specialist subject area, you will discuss and support the ongoing progress of each other’s pilot projects.
  • Photography: Experimental Practice
    This module will provide you with an opportunity to engage in a sustained body of self-initiated practice-based research. You’ll explore new approaches and deepen existing areas of technical expertise. You’ll be encouraged to take part in experimental research in diverse areas such as studio work, darkroom lab, digital imaging, time-based media and fieldwork, in addition to analysing their interdependency. An initial proposal will form the basis of your practice-based research and your learning will be centred on testing theories and approaches to develop new outcomes through practice. You’ll learn to articulate ideas through a self-reflective and considered use of process, media and context and investigating new modes of inquiry and address. Your research and progress will be evaluated through a combination of tutorials, self-assessment and peer group presentations, which will provide an arena for critical exchange and feedback. Your development of the necessary skills for professional engagement in the field of photography and lens-based media will in turn be supported by visiting galleries, sites and specialists. Your assessment will consist of a portfolio of outcomes and supporting research and development material.
  • Photography: International Perspectives
    Demonstrating creative judgement when applying the techniques, tools, and methods appropriate to your practice, you’ll be encouraged to create work based on a concept that is both contemporary and topical. You will critically evaluate and form appropriate solutions to push your work beyond your existing creative practice. We encourage students to contextualise their practice in relation to international debate, so an awareness of international practitioners working in your area is essential and you will be expected to take into account both national and international influences. You will also have the opportunity to articulate your ideas and present your work and research in a Symposium. In raising awareness of international strategies, a series of lectures will cover aspects of networking, copyright, funding and archiving. You’ll be encouraged to compare home country and international approaches to photography and to find solutions and contexts in which they can operate meaningfully. Summative assessment will take place at the conclusion of the module including a portfolio of outcomes and supporting developmental and contextual research.
  • Master's Dissertation Art and Design
    This module forms the major written element of the MA programme. On it, you will be invited to choose a topic related to your area of study, as the basis for a research essay of up to 6,000 words. The essay should demonstrate an awareness of current critical debate in the subject, through appropriate reference to relevant examples both from visual practice and critical writing. Your subjects may be thematic and issue-based, or may focus upon the critical analysis of a particular body of work. It is expected that you will use the module to investigate the use of critical writing as an aspect of your own creative development, by investigating issues and preoccupations for which you feel a particular affinity or concern, and that you will use the dissertation as an instrument of enquiry into the debates, conventions and values which define your own field of practice. In group tutorials you will explore the use of different modes of critical method and conventions of art and design research, and the production of critical writing as an aspect of an individual's creative and professional practice.
  • Master's Project: Art and Design
    The Masters Project represents the culmination of your learning on the programme, and giving you the opportunity to develop and resolve a major area of enquiry. This is a self-directed visual project negotiated with the staff team and peers. You'll need to negotiate, manage, co-ordinate and bring to successful conclusion a complex, practice-based project within your field of art, media or design. You'll start by formally presenting your research proposal to staff and peers, and will be expected to build on your previous modules to identify a complex area for investigation and enquiry, as well as research methods appropriate to the project. Following negotiation with staff, peers and, where appropriate, outside agencies, you'll then submit a written research proposal. Your project may involve external engagement alongside a personal exploration of themes and concepts in your specialist field. You'll need to show your ability to innovate, think strategically and be sensitive to changing cultural and social climates. You'll be assessed by portfolio (a body of work comprising a written project proposal, and developmental and final visual work) and a 1200-word reflective commentary. This commentary will specifically outline the methodological and ethical considerations relevant to your portfolio work, and evaluate your final visual work.

Assessment

You’ll show your progress through a combination of methods that reflect the learning outcomes of each module. These include portfolios of practical and written work, reflective commentaries, symposium contributions, and a 6,000-work dissertation.

Where you'll study

Your department and faculty

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Cambridge School of Art has been inspiring creativity since 1858 when it was opened by John Ruskin.

Engaging with current debates surrounding contemporary practice and with the state-of-the-art facilities, Cambridge School of Art houses light, bright studios, industry-standard film and photographic facilities, and 150-year-old printing presses alongside dedicated Apple Mac suites. Our digital art gallery, the Ruskin Gallery, exhibits both traditional shows and multimedia presentations, from national and international touring exhibitions and our own students.

We are the only university in Cambridge offering art and design courses at higher education level. A tight-knit community of artists, academics and over 900 students, we collaborate across our University, the creative industries, and other sectors. Cambridge is a centre for employment in the creative industries and there are rich opportunities for collaboration with the city’s entertainment, technological, scientific, arts and heritage industries.

Our graduates have a history of winning national and international awards and an excellent employment record. They include Pink Floyd's Syd Barrett and Dave Gilmour, Spitting Image creators Peter Fluck and Roger Law, and illustrator Ronald Searle, the creator of St Trinian's.

We’re part of the Faculty of Arts, Law and Social Sciences, a hub of creative and cultural innovation whose groundbreaking research has real social impact.

Where can I study?

Cambridge
Lord Ashcroft Building on our Cambridge campus

Our campus is close to the centre of Cambridge, often described as the perfect student city.

Explore our Cambridge campus

Specialist facilities

You’ll have access to our state-of-the-art digital facilities (including CGI HDRI lab), colour and black-and-white darkrooms, photographic studios, a printmaking studio and laser-cutting facilities, with full inductions and training available. You’ll be able to use our digital imaging resources, darkrooms and studios on an open access basis. Other Cambridge School of Art facilities, such as letterpress and 3D workshops, will be available to you once you’ve had training. You can book one-to-one tutorials during the week and use specialist equipment with the support of our technicians.

You can also borrow photographic, video and recording equipment from our Media Services Unit to use in your projects.

Fees & funding

Course fees

UK & EU students, 2016/17 (per year)

£6,100

UK & EU students, 2016/17 (per year part time)

£3,050

International students, 2016/17 (per year)

£11,700

Important fee notes

The part-time course fee assumes that you're studying at half the rate of a full-time student (50% intensity). Course fees will be different if you study over a longer period. All fees are for guidance purposes only.

Additional costs

Costs vary depending on the direction and ambition of your work and the type of equipment you choose to buy. 

Optional field trip to Antwerp - 2 nights
Cost £160

Field trips eg. 3 day; 2 night field trip to Orford Ness
Cost £26

How do I pay my fees?

Paying upfront

You won't need to pay fees until you've accepted an offer to attend, but you must pay your fees up-front, in full or in instalments.

How to pay your fees directly

International students

You must pay your fees up-front, in full or in instalments. You will also be asked for a deposit or sponsorship letter/financial guarantee. Details will be in your offer letter.

Paying your fees
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Funding for UK & EU students

There's no statutory funding for postgraduate study. However, we offer a number of scholarships and we've put together guidance on where to start researching funding options.

Students taking up a place on this course are eligible to apply for the Mark Wood Art and Design Scholarship. This is a financial award to recognise and encourage excellence. For more details and the application form, please visit our Making a Difference website.

Additional costs

Costs vary depending on the direction and ambition of your work and the type of equipment you choose to buy. 

Optional field trip to Antwerp - 2 nights
Cost £160

Field trips eg. 3 day; 2 night field trip to Orford Ness
Cost £26

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Funding for international students

We've a number of scholarships, as well as some fee discounts for early payment.

Entry requirements

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Important additional notes

Our published entry requirements are a guide only and our decision will be based on your overall suitability for the course as well as whether you meet the minimum entry requirements. Other equivalent qualifications may be accepted for entry to this course, please email answers@anglia.ac.uk for further information.

Entry requirements are for September 2016 and January 2017 entry. Entry requirements for other intakes may differ.

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International students

We welcome applications from international and EU students, and accept a range of international qualifications.

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English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you'll need to make sure you meet our English language requirements for postgraduate courses.

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Improving your English language skills

If you don't meet our English language requirements, we offer a range of courses which could help you achieve the level required for entry.

We also provide our own English Language Proficiency Test (ELPT) in the UK and overseas. To find out if we are planning to hold an ELPT in your country, contact our country managers.

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Get more information

UK & EU applicants

01245 68 68 68

Enquire online

International applicants

+44 1245 68 68 68

Enquire online