Documentary Photography and Photojournalism MA

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UKPASS code: 035659 | Institution code: W50 | Attendance mode: Part-time day/evening
Start: 15 September 2016
Duration: 2 years
Location: North-West London
Campus: Harrow

Important tuition fee information – please read.

Alumni discount.

Price per 20-credit module.

Home/EU: £775.00
Overseas: £1,500.00

This course provides a unique combination of professional practice and critical understanding for documentary photographers and photojournalists working in the field of editorial and contemporary media practice. The course builds on the international stature of the photographic and journalism departments of the University. It is designed to equip you with a sound command of the working methods that will sustain a career grounded in photographic practice – whether as an editorial, commercial or art photographer, picture editor, curator or writer.

The course is especially useful for photographers, media professionals and graduates who wish to broaden their skills and knowledge in the field of editorial and documentary photography.

Course content

The emphasis of the course is on contemporary approaches to Documentary and editorial photography (including photo essays and single images for publication), picture editing, critical academic and journalistic writing,the production and design of a magazine, and the major project, as a substantial project, allowing the student to develop their own research and practice. The primary course resources are those in the Margaret Harker Photographic Centre and J block video facilities, which are equipped to the highest professional standards for both analogue and digital production.


The following modules are indicative of what you will study on this course. For more details on course structure and modules, and how you will be taught and assessed, see the full course document.

Core modules, semester one

Photography for Publication

You will focus on how to produce successful single images for publication, with an emphasis on editorial portraiture The module will cover pre-production research, intent of outcome, editing and post-production and digital workflows, metadata and markets, for editorial, books and galleries.

Documentary Storytelling – The Picture Story

This module will concentrate on the structure, form and content of storytelling. You will work towards producing a professional-industry standard photo story by the end of the module, along with a written critical assessment of your images and practice.

History and Theory of the Published Page

Through intense study you will gain an understanding of the historical, critical and sociological contexts that informs the practice, theory and usage of documentary photography and photojournalism, from a historical and current perspective.

Writing Photography

You will cover the essential components of print journalism and critical writing examining the vital relationship of text to image. The module will look at writing introductions, critical reviews, headlines and captions. You will be encouraged and guided to think critically about your written and photographic work.

Core modules, semester two

Magazine Editorial Production

During this module you will work in groups with fellow your cohorts, to produce a finished, professionally produced magazine, from conception to a finished publication. Each group will devise an image led magazine, considering concept, engaging in debate and contemporary issues. Particular emphasis is placed on innovative design and the use of type and an understanding of production and working with printers and finishers, through to the print stage. Specialist design tuition and weekly editorial meetings throughout the module will monitor progress of the publication. The resulting magazine will be an important part of your final portfolio.

Writing Photography

You will cover the essential components of print journalism and critical writing examining the vital relationship of text to image. The module will look at writing introductions, critical reviews, headlines and captions.  and you will be Encouraging you to think critically about your written and photographic work.

Semester three

Major Project or Dissertation

The Major Project or Dissertation is the culmination of the year’s work and is expected to be a substantial body of work which draws on the experience gained across all the modules, therefore demonstrating your ability to communicate your ideas though photography. It is a unique opportunity to experiment and play to realise your personal vision within photographic documentary practice. You will have the opportunity to engage with expert advise from professional visiting practitioners as well as group and individual tutorials with the course tutors  The major project can be conceived as a book, exhibition AV as well as a ‘work in progress’ photographic portfolio on a major theme of a book, dummy (blad), or website.

You will discuss your project with your tutors, taking into account your expected career path. The work produced on this module should be used as a significant career asset when you enter the world of professional photography, as well as an invaluable piece of academic research.

Associated careers

The course gives you a number of key skills that will make you highly employable in the media and publishing industries, whatever area you choose as your speciality, be it photography, book or magazine publishing or web-based publications. You will create work of high standard to enhance your professional portfolio.

Key staff

Ben Edwards, Course Leader

Ben’s career commenced as a painter/printmaker with a postgraduate degree from the Royal Academy of Arts, London. Ben is a photographer/ film-maker, with an extensive educational practice spanning many years. His current practice migrates between protracted personal projects, commercial assignments and stock photography/footage. He is one of the founder members of Blendimages LLC and Director of er Productions Ltd. His stills and film work are represented by Getty Images. His work is in private and public collections in the UK and abroad:The Victoria and Albert Museum, UK,The MOMA Houston, Texas, USA. Work previously published in major publications in the UK and abroad include: The Independent, The Guardian and Life.

Visit Ben Edward's profile page.

Dr David Campany, Reader in Photography

David is a well-known writer, curator and editor. His many books include Art and Photography (2003), The Cinematic (2007) and Photography and Cinema (2009). He is co-curating the inaugural show at Le Bal, Paris, and his essays have appeared in publications around the world, including Cruel and Tender (2003), Edgar Martins: Topologies (2006), Atget: Photograph de Paris (2008), and The Everyday (2009). David writes for Frieze, Ojodepez, Art Review, Source, Photoworks and The Oxford Art Journal, and is a co-founder of PA magazine.

Visit David Campany's profile page.

Harry Hardie, Lecturer in Photography

Harry has been working with photography for over 10 years, starting as the assistant to the director of photography at The Times, London, then as the photo editor for The Times Luxx Magazine. After The Times Harry worked as director of HOST Gallery, London before founding Here Press, a company that publishes books of photography that explore new forms of documentary practice. Harry is also director of cultural projects for Panos Pictures and has curated numerous exhibitions of contemporary photography.

Visit Harry Hardie's profile page.

Length of course

One-year, full-time or two-year, part-time

Additional costs information

To check what your tuition fees cover and what you may need to pay for separately, see our What tuition fees cover page.

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