Course Overview

Attendance
UK/EU Fees £7,750 *
International Fees £15,000 *
Alumni Discount See details
Duration 1 year

* Price per academic year

Course summary

The course explores documentary practices and photojournalism as exciting and developing mediums, through a combination of practice-based teaching and discussion of critical contexts.

We take each applicant on their own merit. This can include students of documentary photography or photographers in general who are interested in specialising in this area. Also welcome are artists who wish to focus their activities on a more social practice, and individuals from other disciplines, who wish to explore the subject area at post grad level.

The course builds on the international stature of the photographic and journalism departments of the University and is designed to equip you with an awareness of contemporary documentary and photojournalism, drawing on a variety of related media.

The course can be taken in full-time or part-time mode.

The Documentary and Photojournalism MA allows students to explore ideas of society through photographically related practice and within critically informed ways that maintain connections with the issue, yet also consider fresh visual approaches to the subject matter.

We approach photography as a social practice, situated within its own history, but also drawing on various discourses. We explore the idea that documentary practice and photojournalism may take many forms in the 21st Century.

Importantly, from your arrival, we emphasise the development of your own practice, through experimentation, critique and theory, and encourage analysis of practice through contemporary perspectives.

The course leads towards the Final Major Project, which is a consolidation of student learning into a high profile event in a central London exhibition space.

You will be taught by practising professional photographers, artists and writers, within a supportive course atmosphere. Technically, the course resources are equipped to the highest professional standards for both analogue and digital production of still and moving image.

Course structure

All modules involve classroom teaching, tutorials, seminars, workshops, group work and your own fieldwork and are designed to equip you with advanced ways of working and negotiating your practice. We take the view that the work you make from the beginning of your studies with us is potentially valid currency for external use.

We encourage you to explore production of a body of documentary/photojournalistic works through the development of personal practice in the real world by:

  • Creating an informal learning agreement which emphasises a real world engagement
  • Exploring appropriate responses to given situations
  • Exploration of documentary methods
  • Challenging expectations.

Students take the first four core modules below and choose from either Final Major Project or Dissertation as their fifth core module.  Students choose one option module from those listed below.

The following modules are indicative of what you study on this course.

Core Modules

You will explore production of a body of documentary work and developing on personal practice. This module will give you the opportunity to begin work that ultimately will inform your final major project and can be understood here as a testing ground for what will follow. Following an informal learning agreement which emphasises a real world engagement, you will be expected to: find appropriate responses to given situations, explore innovative and discursive methods, be experimental with content and complete a body of work that challenges expectations.

This module focuses on the photo-book and the composite elements required for book production. The photo-book can be documentary, or story based involving: research-based content and subject matter – normally based on people, a collaborative approach, creative photography, the symbiotic relationship of text and image, layout and design, innovative approaches to the photo-book, a written critical evaluation. The project is set within the boundaries of the M25.

The module aims to equip students with the historical and critical contexts that inform contemporary editorial photographic practice.

This module offers the development of writing skills that will enable you to understand and put into practice the different models and conventions of writing with and about photographs, including; feature writing, critical analysis, appraisal, interviews, collaborative writing and captions. They include:

  • Studies of the novel and storytelling
  • The boundaries between fact and fiction
  • Exploration of critical understandings of the relationship between text and image

Through a brief, this introductory module offers the student a framework within which to begin/ establish/develop practice through making work. Students will be encouraged to explore new contexts, considering theory through practice, through the production of new work to be presented at the end of the semester.

 

The final major project is your opportunity to produce a self-determined project expresses key disciplines and practice’s you have engaged in throughout the course. Your major project can take any appropriate form.

Please note: Students must take either this module or the Dissertation module as a core module.

The Dissertation module provides an extended space for a self-initiated investigation, which builds on theoretical and critical debates studied earlier in the course. This module requires substantial research and an advanced level of understanding and analysis. You are encouraged to investigate a range of primary and secondary sources in the production of this intellectually challenging conclusion of your theoretical studies.

Please note: Students must take either this module or the Final Major Project module as a core module.

Optional modules

This module is offered by the Photography Arts MA. It is driven by student initiatives to address contemporary debates and the specialisms of the visiting lectures. The talks are designed to inspire and provide you with a critical framework to discuss issues and debates, via key theoretical concepts related to photography and visual culture. The speakers include practitioners and theorists working within the field of photography, visual arts and cultural theory.

This module is offered by the Photography Arts MA. The module explores the specific effects of different photographic practices through their aesthetic strategies and rhetorical aims. The purpose is to situate practices within histories, theories and contexts to consider their place in relation to contemporary photographic debates. The module focuses on specific themes, eg documentary (the ‘document’, social documentary and realism,) and the issues it raises for its presence in today’s modern global context.

Entry Requirements

You should possess, or be expecting, a good undergraduate degree or, exceptionally, have previous relevant experience. Your previous undergraduate degree does not need to be in a related subject but you will be expected to display a substantial visual portfolio and some knowledge of context that demonstrates a commitment to studying documentary practice.

You will need fluent written and spoken English to study at postgraduate level. If your first language is not English, you will need an IELTS score of 7.0 or equivalent.

View more information about our entry requirements and the application process.

You should possess, or be expecting, a good undergraduate degree or, exceptionally, have previous relevant experience. Your previous undergraduate degree does not need to be in a related subject but you will be expected to display a substantial visual portfolio and some knowledge of context that demonstrates a commitment to studying documentary practice.

You will need fluent written and spoken English to study at postgraduate level. If your first language is not English, you will need an IELTS score of 7.0 or equivalent.

More information

Careers

The emphasis of the course is on the development of your practice, through experimentation, and knowledge creation as understood within contemporary approaches to documentary, as well as many related practices such as critical and journalistic and collaborative practice.

In addition to the Skills acquired of photographers enabling the production of works this will also involve competent use of a variety of hardware, software, social media, presentation and production skills.

The MA  will involve the development of various hard skills such as management of large and small scale projects, direction (either within film or theatrical modes) facilitatory methods (such as in educational or community roles), advocacy, effective social networking and experience of group and collaborative working. We intend that the student will be able to function as a still photographer, documentary film-maker, activist, artist and writer. We would imagine our graduate to be well rounded and confident individual with adaptability facilitating new ways of seeing.

The course is taught by experienced and practising photographers, publishers and writers whose extensive network of contacts in all areas of photography is accessible to students. We actively encourage work experience during the course and will advise on possible limited time internships and placements, providing these do not interfere the course work. Any internships or placements will be arranged by the students.

Many of our course graduates are successful international photographers. A selection of our former students is below:

Our Career Development Centre has just been shortlisted for the Best University Careers Service in the National Undergraduate Employability Awards for 2017.

With a growing network of over 3,000 employers around the world and a team of experienced careers consultants, we are here to help you succeed.

In 2015–16, we helped over 1,500 students find work placements across a range of sectors, with 250 employers attending 14 on-campus skills and careers fairs.

As a Westminster student, you’ll have access to our services throughout your studies and after you graduate.

We can help you:

  • find work placements related to your course
  • find part-time/vacation, placement and graduate jobs, including voluntary experience
  • find international opportunities to enhance your employability
  • market yourself effectively to employers
  • write better CVs and application forms
  • develop your interview and enterprise skills
  • plan your career with our careers consultants
  • meet employers and explore your career options at our employer fairs, careers presentations and networking events throughout the year

Find out more about the Career Development Centre.

Facilities

The luxuriously appointed photography area, with its suite of studios, dark rooms, print and finishing facilities and its extensive range of equipment has just installed an expanded digital suite and has invested in new high end equipment for digital imaging.

Documentary Photography and Photojournalism Degree Show 2017 at Ambika P3

Fees and Funding

UK and EU tuition fee: £7,750 (Price per academic year)

Find out how we set our tuition fees.

Alumni discount

This course is eligible for an alumni discount. Find out if you are eligible and how to apply by visiting our Alumni discounts page.

Funding

As well as tuition fee loans, there is a range of funding available to help you fund your studies.

Find out about postgraduate student funding options.

Scholarships

The University is dedicated to supporting ambitious and outstanding students and we offer a variety of scholarships to eligible undergraduate students, which cover all or part of your tuition fees.

Find out if you qualify for one of our scholarships.

Additional costs

See what you may need to pay for separately and what your tuition fees cover.

International tuition fee: £15,000 (Price per academic year)

Find out how we set our tuition fees.

Alumni discount

This course is eligible for an alumni discount. Find out if you are eligible and how to apply by visiting our Alumni discounts page.

Funding

Find out about funding for international students.

Scholarships

The University is dedicated to supporting ambitious and outstanding students and we offer a variety of scholarships to eligible undergraduate students, which cover all or part of your tuition fees.

Find out if you qualify for one of our scholarships.

Additional costs

See what you may need to pay for separately and what your tuition fees cover.

Course Location

The vibrant home of Westminster School of Media, Arts and Design, the Harrow Campus offers one of the richest portfolios of creative industry research and learning in Europe. The recent redevelopment of the campus has seen the creation of fluid, informal learning spaces, dedicated project and gallery spaces and a revamped library. For more details, visit our Harrow Campus page.

Contact us

Call our dedicated team on:

+44 (0)20 7915 5511

Opening hours (GMT): 9am-5pm Monday to Friday

[email protected]

More information

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