Course Overview

Attendance
UK/EU Fees £900 *
International Fees £1,850 *
Alumni Discount See details
Duration 2 years

* Price per 20-credit module

Course summary

The Documentary Photography and Photojournalism MA allows you to explore society through photographically-related practice and within critically-informed ways through a combination of practice-based teaching and discussion of critical contexts.

We consider documentary photography and photojournalism as exciting and expanding mediums, situated within their own histories, taking many forms in the 21st Century.

Applicants can include students of documentary photography or photographers in general who are interested in specialising in this area and developing their practice. 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 postgraduate level are also welcome.

From the moment you arrive, we emphasise the development of your own practice, leading towards a consolidation of your learning into a high-profile exhibition in a central London exhibition space.

You will be taught by practising professional photographers, artists and writers, within a supportive course atmosphere. 

Our facilities are equipped to the highest professional standards for both analogue and digital production of still and moving image.

The course builds on the international stature of the photographic and journalism departments of the University and may be taken in full-time or part-time modes.

This course is commendable because of its desire to evolve and take into consideration the changing nature of
photography and how Documentary and Photojournalism students are taught to think about the creative process’

Shoair Mavlin
Director of Photoworks, England

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 support you to activate the production of your own practice by:

  • Creating an informal learning agreement which emphasises a real-world engagement
  • Considering appropriate responses to given situations
  • Development of methodology
  • Exploring writing as part of your practice
  • Challenging expectations.

You will choose from the indicative modules below acquiring 180 credits to complete the course, and choose from either Final Major Project or Dissertation as your final module. 

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

Core modules

In Semester 1 this module will offer you a framework within which to establish and develop practice through making work and consideration of critical context. You will produce new bodies of work to be presented at the end of the semester.

In Semester 2 you will continue to explore developing practice. Within a real-world engagement, you will find appropriate responses to given situations, working towards a public-facing exhibition and assessment at the end of the semester.

You will locate your practice and concepts, in written discourse that supports your direction and evidences a comprehensive knowledge of your chosen area, in an academically referenced 2000-word essay. You will display evidence of your progress, experimentation and risk taking in written practice through notebooks/blogs or other materials.

The module will examine the photobook as a vehicle for contemporary documentary photography and photojournalism. This module focuses on the photobook and the composite elements required for its production. You will examine a wide range of strategies adopted by contemporary and historical precedent exploring the relationship between content and final object. 

With the assistance of practical workshops, talks and tutorials you will produce a self-defined project based on your own research.

The Final Major Project is an opportunity to produce a self-determined works that consolidate key disciplines and practices you have engaged in throughout the course. This module allows you to connect elements of learning and display your accumulated knowledge and understanding of photographic practice and context. 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 is optional and provides an extended space for a self-initiated piece of critical writing , that builds on theoretical and contextual debates studied in the course.

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

Optional modules

This module will equip you with the historical and critical contexts that inform contemporary documentary photography and photo-journalism.

This module will develop your writing skills enabling you to understand and put into practice the different models and conventions of documenting with words across various spectrums; including feature writing, critical analysis, appraisal, interviews, long form reporting and collaborative writing. We will draw from studies of the novel, social histories and storytelling, including the boundaries between fact and fiction.

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 lecturers. 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 work, through experimentation, and knowledge creation as understood within contemporary approaches to documentary and photojournalistic practice.

In addition, technical skills are acquired enabling the photographic production of works and involving competent use of a variety of hardware, software, including Premiere editing software, InDesign, advanced Photoshop and so on.

As well as photographic skills, the MA involves the development of various other areas such as management of large and small scale projects, direction, curating, facilitatory methods (such as in educational or community roles), advocacy, and experience of group and collaborative working. 

Our priorities are that we hope that our graduating student will be able to function as a still photographer, documentary film-maker, artist and/or writer. We would imagine our graduate to be a 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 Careers and Employability Service is here to support you to achieve your full potential.
 
With a growing network of over 3,000 employers around the world and a team of experienced careers consultants, we provide you with a variety of opportunities to work and develop new skills. As a University of Westminster student, you’ll have access to our services throughout your studies and after you graduate.
 
We can help you:
    •    find work placements, graduate jobs or voluntary experience related to your course
    •    discover international opportunities to enhance your employability
    •    write effective CVs and application forms
    •    develop your interview and enterprise skills
    •    plan your career with our career consultants
    •    gain insights into your chosen industry through mentoring
    •    meet employers and explore your career options at our employer fairs, careers presentations and networking events 
 
Find out more about the Careers and Employability Service.

 

Find out more about other employability initiatives at the University of Westminster. 

Student Works and Degree Show at Ambika P3

Recent Student Achievements and Activities

  • Students asked to give public talks at The Photographers’ Gallery, London on the works of Roger Mayne.
  • Current student Cameron Alexander interviewed about his work in Photo-monitor
  • Ex student Thanaa Hazeem exhibited with Oxfam in Amsterdam (solo exhibition) and presented at the UN Conference
  • Susanna D’Allesio selected for the BJP writing internship
  • Two students selected by Canon for all expenses trip to Perpingnan Festival alongside tutorials with Magnum photographers
  • Parisfoto 2018 trip with studio visits to acclaimed photographers
  • Graduate Ben Terzza nominated as ‘commended’ by Anna Sparham, curator of the Museum of London in Source Online 2017
  • National Charity bank commissioned one MADPPJ student for £3K commission
  • Students and alumni, participated at Tate Modern during 'Offprint' selling books produced on the course 

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.

Fees and Funding

UK and EU tuition fee: £900 (Price per 20-credit module)

When you have enrolled with us, your annual tuition fees will remain the same throughout your studies with us. We do not increase your tuition fees each 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.

The Stationers’ Company Postgraduate Bursary Scheme

The Stationers’ Foundation Bursary is specifically for the Documentary Photography and Photojournalism MA. It offers the course one bursary each year to a UK-based postgraduate applicant. Successful students will each receive a bursary of £6,000 towards their fees and offered the opportunity to receive mentoring during their studies from an appropriate member of the Stationers’ Company

Additional costs

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

International tuition fee: £1,850 (Price per 20-credit module)

When you have enrolled with us, your annual tuition fees will remain the same throughout your studies with us. We do not increase your tuition fees each 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 our creative, media and digital courses, 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

Contact the Course Enquiries Team:

+44 (0)20 7915 5511

[email protected]

Opening hours (GMT): 9am–4.30pm Monday to Friday

More information

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