This course is open for applications.
Please note that new student recruitment to the part time route of this course has been suspended for the September 2020 intake. Applications for 2021 part time should be made from October 2020.
We are continuing to interview applicants to this course but will do so via Skype or alternative means.
About this course
- Entry year:
- Course code:
- Film and Journalism
- City Campus
- 15 months full-time, 24 months part-time
- Part-time, Full-time, starts September
- Programme leader:
- Dr Shawn Sobers
- Key fact:
- Art and industry combine on this innovative, practice-based postgraduate course, designed to deepen your experience of still and moving image, and optimise your potential for creative employment.
Page last updated 19 March 2020
Taught by award-winning professional photographers and leading academics in the field, our distinctive, practice-based MA in Photography will allow you to explore the diverse applications of the medium and to deepen your understanding of photography as a discipline.
Through a course of intense study, creative practice, and professional partnerships, you will develop the passion that brought you to photography in the first place and be supported to produce innovative work, whilst also building skills to maximise and contextualise your creative outputs.
The course includes intense practice-led study weeks and the chance to work with creative industry partners, with professional practitioners running lectures, workshops and mentoring activities.
By taking advantage of a specially designed collective agency featuring a publishing imprint, editing bureaux and exhibiting forum, you will gain hands-on experience of collaborative practice.
These skills will allow you to channel both project based personal work and your response to live briefs, initiated by a range of sources such as business clients, curators, picture editors and design agencies, to successful outcomes.
You will also benefit from the practice-led research within the department, with links to the Photography Research Group, the Centre for Fine Print Research, and the Digital Cultures Research Centre.
Contextualise your practise
This course will enable you to contextualise your practice within relevant professional environments, such as research, education, exhibition, curation, project management, marketing, art direction, publishing and design.
It is relevant for graduates wishing to progress from BA study in an arts or humanities subject, who want to focus their practice in the medium of photography as well as for professionals already working in the field, looking to develop and underpin their practice in an academic, theoretical context.
Watch: The learning and teaching experience
The content of the course reflects the ethos of the photography department, which seeks to produce photographic art as well as develop the necessary knowledge and skills in this field.
You will study:
- Enquiry and Context - this module covers the theoretical, critical and contextual underpinning of creative practice.
- Developing Practices - you will learn how to develop lines of enquiry through practical exploration and research.
- Consolidating Practices I - you will produce a body of photographic work to a self-directed theme building on the outcomes of the first semester.
- Consolidating Practices II
- Dissemination in Professional Contexts - you will explore how to develop and resolve your practical outputs from the previous module into a bespoke professional context.
This structure is for full-time students only. Part-time students study the same modules but the delivery pattern will be different.
The University continually enhances our offer by responding to feedback from our students and other stakeholders, ensuring the curriculum is kept up to date and our graduates are equipped with the knowledge and skills they need for the real world. This may result in changes to the course. If changes to your course are approved, we will inform you.
Learning and Teaching
Through a series of lectures, seminars, tutorials and presentations, you will explore relevant concepts underpinning the theoretical and contextual basis of the photography work you will undertake on the course.
Through location orientated workshops and studio based sessions, you will develop lines of enquiry through practical exploration and research, and test out your ideas and techniques in a highly supportive academic and technically excellent environment.
You will undertake active research, to critically engage with your chosen practice and produce a body of photographic work on a self-directed theme. You will also learn how disseminate this work via outward facing networks and events, with the help of focused tutorials and workshops.
See our full glossary of learning and teaching terms.
The course includes 10 hours of contact time a week, which incorporates all the academic teaching and learning, technical workshops and engagement with industry partners. In addition to this, you are encouraged to spend around 30 hours of individual study time a week, to include the time you spend on your practical photography work.
We will make use of different types of assessment, including project reviews, essays, reflective diaries, presentations and reports, as well as assessing your portfolio of work. Your portfolio can take a diverse range of forms, including a photo-book, film, installation or commercial photography portfolio.
For more detail, see our full glossary of assessment terms.
The course is affiliated to and accredited by the Association of Photographers who are the leading professional organisation representing photographers both nationally and internationally.
While studying with us, you will have access to state-of-the-art photography studios and equipment, including colour, and black and white darkrooms and professional standard digital and analogue workflow facilities.
Our industry standard digital darkrooms feature Adobe Creative Suite and Capture One software, plus film scanning and large format printing capabilities.
We also have an extensive range of camera kit including medium format digital cameras, full frame DSLRs, a large stock of medium and large format analogue equipment and location lighting kits.
Bower Ashton offers an excellent base within our City Campus, linking you with some of the city's most influential creative and cultural organisations.
You will also have access to our other facilities at Bower Ashton, including our main library and student support services.
Learn more about UWE Bristol's facilities and resources.
Currency of practice is a feature of this course and it is crucial that your visual vocabulary and knowledge of contemporary practice is excellent.
In recent years the department has invited an array of photographers and creative industry professionals to conduct lectures, workshops and portfolio reviews with students.
Our blog 'Over Here Please' has an extensive list of practitioners who have contributed to the department.
Alongside practitioners other significant professionals such as picture editors, art buyers, photography writers and bloggers, art directors, curators, photographers agents, publishers, book designers, stylists and prop designers have all contributed to the course in this way.
You will also be given the opportunity to travel abroad to photography fairs and festivals and to visit professional studios, labs and galleries as part of this engagement with current international practices.
Careers / Further study
This MA Photography course will enable you to contextualise your practice within relevant professional environments, such as research, education, exhibition, curation, project management, marketing, art direction, publishing and design.
You will be ready to work professionally and independently, using the experience, networks and opportunities offered by the course to act as a springboard to obtain commissions.
You will also be equipped to go on to work in other fields such as studio production, publishing, art direction, curating or picture editing.
Full Time Course
|Home/EU-Full Time-Award Fee||7500|
|Home/EU-Full Time-Module Fee (15 Credit)||625|
|International-Full Time-Award Fee||13250|
|International-Full Time-Module Fee (15 Credit)||1104|
Supplementary fee information
The additional costs listed are those that students could reasonably expect to incur during their studies and are for items not covered by the standard tuition fee. These could be materials, text books, travel, clothing, software or printing.
See our funding pages for more information.
We are looking for highly motivated students with skills and experience in photography or related subjects. Usually applicants will have an undergraduate degree but applicants with other qualifications or professional experience are also encouraged to apply. Students on this course will benefit from our combined focus on personal work, professional practice and critical research.
For country specific entry requirements please find your country on the country information pages.
All applicants are carefully reviewed and shortlisted applicants will be invited to attend an interview, which consists of a portfolio review and discussions of future projects with members of staff. The emphasis of your portfolio should be on current work, quality rather than quantity and you should be able to show evidence of a depth of practice through images and research. Skype or telephone interviews will be arranged for international applicants.
English Language Requirement
International and EU applicants are required to have a minimum overall IELTS (Academic) score of 6.5 with 5.5 in each component (or approved equivalent*).
*The university accepts a large number of UK and International Qualifications in place of IELTS. To find details of acceptable tests and the required grades please visit English Language requirements.
English language support
If you meet the academic requirements but require additional support to take your language skills to the required level, you may be able to attend one of our pre-sessional English courses. Students who successfully complete the pre-sessional course can progress onto their chosen degree course without retaking an IELTS or equivalent.
Read more about our pre-sessional English Programme.
How to apply
We accept applications throughout the year but if you are working to a funding deadline, you should build this into your application process.
For further information
- Email: email@example.com
- Telephone: +44(0) 117 32 83333